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Memorandum for General McNarney
October 11, 1943 Washington, D.C.
Apropos of the attached memorandum to General Lewis regarding the holding of young men for long periods in the District of Washington,1 why might it not be a good thing to bring in here a much larger proportion of negro troops, chauffeurs, depot men, etc. Washington can absorb the negro soldier population much better than most any other city except possibly Chicago or New York, and with their presence here we would not feel that we were holding back personnel that we would wish to get overseas as quickly as possible.2
G. C. M.
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), 220.31, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. See the previous document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-127 [4: 150-51].)
2. With McNarney’s and G-3’s concurrence, Lewis recommended against implementing Marshall’s suggestion because the antiaircraft units had to work “closely and intimately” with the many women volunteers—among them “wives of Army officers, Congressmen and important civilians”—at antiaircraft headquarters; also the units “live in and adjacent to civilian communities where cordial relations have been established” and “only a few units are located in colored communities.” Further, most male chauffeurs had been replaced by W.A.C. personnel; “to use colored personnel to replace the few men required for the heavy trucks only, might bring out the question of discrimination and would present a problem of housing and messing a mixed unit.” The district did not employ enlisted personnel for labor or depot work. (Lewis Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 13, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 220.31].) Marshall accepted Lewis’s recommendation.
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), p. 151.