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Memorandum for General Emmons
April 17, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
On a recent trip which included several stations of the GHQ Air Force, I was concerned to find how little the Air Corps officers knew of the facts relating to the existing situation as to planes, prospective deliveries, and reasons for present and past difficulties. I was particularly struck with how little of this information one of your senior commanders possessed, not withstanding the fact that he had rather recently been on duty in the office of the Chief of the Air Corps.
It appeared to me that some of the young pilots lacked in morale, evidently because of their restless impatience for modern materiel with which to work and their ignorance of the reasons which had effected the delays in the distribution of equipment. The ground troops of the Army have lacked a great deal in modern equipment and have suffered considerable hardships this past winter, but in most instances their leaders have made clear to them the difficulties of the supply situation, with the result that a high morale has been maintained.
I have had prepared a memorandum on the supply status of airplanes and I wish you would personally see to it that your general officers make such use of the information as may be necessary to bring the young officers to a better understanding of the situation.1
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. The editors have been unable to identify the aircraft supply memorandum Marshall enclosed. Emmons replied that the chief of staff’s directive was being implemented and that the explanation of “the existing situation as to planes, prospective deliveries, and reasons for present and past difficulties” would “materially add” to his officers’ morale. (Emmons Memorandum for General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, April 21, 1941, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 19838-50].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 478-479.