3-148 Memorandum for General McNair, March 27, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: March 27, 1942

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General McNair

March 27, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]


The other day I authorized Somervell to proceed with the relief of General Cummins in the Sixth Corps Area by General Grunert, and the relief of General Benedict in the Ninth Corps Area by General Joyce.1

In accordance with your recommendation of March 3d, it is agreeable to me to replace Joyce by White of the 7th Division to command the Ninth Corps, and Grunert by Dawley to command the Sixth Corps.2

I do not recall whether or not I committed myself to you with reference to the Eighth Corps Commander to replace Strong. You recommend Sultan. G-1 hazards the comment that all three alternates mentioned by you—Hodges, Simpson and Walker—appear to be stronger men than Sultan. What is your view now as to this particular relief?3

Lucas, I believe, has already been ordered to replace Stilwell, Anderson replacing Lucas.4

As to the Tenth and Eleventh Corps, I am inclined to think that it is too soon to take Eichelberger away from the Division problem, and that the same applies to Gerow if there is any way to meet the difficulty at the present moment.5

I have had in mind that we would bring Buckner back and give him a corps in order to prepare him for a task force command. He seems to be a very vigorous type. Corlett, now in Alaska, is a very strong character, I understand, with whom I could replace Buckner.6

Whom do you propose to take the Seventh and Fortieth Divisions, and whom will you propose to take the Division from which the commander of the Eighth Corps is to come—if from a Division? Incidentally, I should think it would be very bad business to take Hodges away from his present organizational job at this time.7

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 210.311, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. Major General Joseph M. Cummins had commanded Sixth Corps Area since 1941. Formerly commanding general of the Philippine Department, Major General George Grunert commanded Sixth Army Corps. Major General Jay L. Benedict had commanded Ninth Corps Area since November 3, 1941. Major General Kenyon A. Joyce commanded Ninth Army Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington.

2. Major General Charles H. White (U.S.M.A., 1907) was commanding general of the Seventh Division at Fort Ord, California. Commanding general of the Fortieth Division at Monterey, California, Major General Ernest J. Dawley (U.S. M. A., 1910) was given Sixth Army Corps instead.

3. Major General George V. Strong had commanded Eighth Army Corps, stationed at Brownwood, Texas, since May 1941. Major General Daniel I. Sultan (U.S.M.A., 1907) commanded the Thirty-eighth Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Major General Courtney H. Hodges was organizing the Training and Command School in Birmingham, Alabama. Major General William H. Simpson (U.S.M.A., 1909) commanded the Thirty-fifth Division at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Major General Walton H. Walker commanded the Third Armored Division at Camp Polk, Louisiana. Sultan got the job; Hodges took Tenth Army Corps, and Walker led Fourth Armored Corps.

4. Major General John P. Lucas (U.S.M.A., 1911), commanding general of the Third Division at Fort Lewis, assumed command of Third Army Corps. Major General Jonathan W. Anderson, the divisional artillery commander, took over for Lucas.

5. Major General Robert L. Eichelberger (U.S.M.A., 1909) commanded the Seventy-seventh Division until June. Leonard T. Gerow had been promoted to major general in mid-February 1942 and given command of the Twenty-ninth Division, eventually leading it to the British Isles to train for the invasion of Western Europe.

6. Major General Simon B. Buckner, Jr., remained in Alaska until August 1944. Brigadier General Charles H. Corlett (U.S.M.A., 1913), commanding general of Task Force Kiska and the army base at Kodiak, also stayed at his post.

7. McNair’s recommendations for command have not been found, but Brigadier General Albert E. Brown (U.S.M.A., 1912) assumed command of the Seventh Division and Brigadier General Rapp Brush received the Fortieth Division.

Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 151-152.

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