3-312 Memorandum for Admiral King, September 3, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 3, 1942

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for Admiral King

September 3, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]


As you probably know I have been planning to release General Smith to Eisenhower for appointment as Chief of Staff of the European Theater. The appointment of Admiral Leahy made it appear very important that Smith should continue on here for some time, which he has done.

General Deane, who had been Secretary of the General Staff—Smith’s previous job—has been in the course of preparation for replacement for Smith for the past month and a half. Actually he has been spending all his time with General Smith for the past two weeks and prior to that had been spending half his time each day. Deane is acceptable to Admiral Leahy and I would like to have your approval of the transfer as General Eisenhower is urgently in need of Smith’s services—that is, a man who has Smith’s particular contacts at this particular time in relation to TORCH.1

As the old Joint Board still continues on the books it will be necessary to have a formal approval for Deane’s appointment as indicated in the attached draft.2

May I have your concurrence?

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. John R. Deane had been promoted to brigadier general on August 6, 1942; he began his duties as secretary of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Army and Navy Board on September 4, replacing Brigadier General Walter B. Smith, who began working in Eisenhower’s headquarters in London on September 7. Several days later, Eisenhower remarked to a friend: “The burden of my work has been greatly lightened since the arrival of General Smith. He is a natural-born Chief of Staff and really takes charge of things in a big way.” (The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, ed. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., et al. [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970- ], 1: 568.)

2. The editors have not found this document. The Joint Army and Navy Board had been chartered in 1903. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and subordinate committees had no official charter or directive, and President Roosevelt rejected a J.C.S. effort to provide one in mid-1943, asserting that it was superfluous and might have a restrictive effect. (Minutes of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Meetings, June 15 and July 20, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, CCS 334, JCS Minutes].) The Joint Chiefs were given legal status by the National Security Act of 1947 and thereafter the Joint Board officially ceased to exist.

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 342.

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