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Memorandum for Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 [White]
July 24, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
The Secretary of War tells me that General Barton of the 4th Division recommended Theodore Roosevelt for a Medal of Honor.1
If such recommendation has reached the War Department, expedite its passage through our channels. Twenty-four hours should be sufficient.
If the proposal has not reached the War Department from ETO, prepare a radio requesting information as to when it will be forwarded if at all. State that if favorable action is considered in ETO, that expediting action is considered important by the War Department.2
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. Secretary of War Stimson had returned to Washington, D.C., from his European trip on the morning of July 24. (For information on Stimson’s trip, see Marshall to Stimson, July 3, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-433 [4: 502-3].) He brought with him the Medal of Honor recommendation by Major General Raymond O. Barton; Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., had been assistant commander of the Fourth Infantry Division. (H. Merrill Pasco Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, August 20, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 201 Roosevelt, Theodore].) On Roosevelt’s death, see Marshall to Mrs. Roosevelt, July 14, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-452 [4: 522].
2. G-1 sent messages to Eisenhower’s headquarters on July 24 and 31. Eisenhower replied that he had heard nothing concerning the recommendation. Another message was sent on August 14, and the next day Eisenhower’s headquarters replied that Eisenhower and Bradley agreed that the Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.) was the appropriate award for Roosevelt’s actions but that a Medal of Honor recommendation was being forwarded to the War Department for consideration. The department’s Decorations Board considered the situation and agreed with Eisenhower that the D.S.C. was the appropriate award. (Pasco Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, August 20, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 201 Roosevelt, Theodore].) Marshall discussed the situation with Stimson on August 21. “Both Marshall and I thought he [Roosevelt] deserved the Medal of Honor and so ruled. This action pleased me very much.” (August 21, 1944, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 48: 12].) For further discussion, see Marshall to Mrs. Roosevelt, September 28, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-531 [4: 611-12].
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 533-534.