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Memorandum for General Arnold
November 3, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
With regard to our difficulties in China, the Secretary was wondering yesterday if we were entirely sound on continuing Bissell in command of the 10th Air Force in view of the antagonism towards him which has developed because of the handling of the Chennault affair.1
The Secretary was much impressed with Bissell when he discussed matters with him here regarding Greenland, etc., but he felt that he was not of a very tactful type.
I suppose Stilwell would be bitterly opposed to such a transfer; however I wanted you to think about it. I suppose the difficulty would not be finding a place for Bissell, but rather finding an equally competent successor.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. Brigadier General Claire L. Chennault’s American Volunteer Group had officially become the China Task Force on July 6, 1942. Chennault had long desired independence from the India-based Tenth Air Force commanded by Brigadier General Clayton L. Bissell. The U.S. Army history describes relations between the two commanders as “embittered” and dominated by “animosity.” (Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell’s Mission to China. pp. 188, 252.)
2. Bissell continued to command the Tenth Air Force until the summer of 1943.
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), pp. 422-423.