4-334 Memorandum for General White, G-1, April 5, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: April 5, 1944

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General White, G-1

April 5, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]

I notice that Mr. Martin of the House Military Affairs Committee had a great deal to say about promiscuous awards of decorations.1 I wish you would check up on his figures and prepare a little memorandum for him on the reasons for our present policies with reference to the marked difference in the situation in 1917-1918 as well as the unfortunate results of the policy of those days. Your memorandum should also make very clear to him the morale factor in a unit like the Eighth Air Force which takes heavy casualties day after day on a basis utterly unlike anything we had in France.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. Congressman Thomas E. Martin, Republican from Iowa and member of a House military affairs subcommittee on medals and decorations, had declared on April 4 that the army was awarding service decorations at such an indiscriminate rate-175,000 thus far—that their value was being threatened. Martin stated that as the war continued, “the number of clashes with the enemy will increase, more medals and decorations for heroism will be issued and the value will decrease in proportion to the number awarded.” (New York Times, April 5, 1944, p. 13.)

2. Major General Miller G. White submitted a draft of a letter to Martin, which Marshall edited and sent; see Marshall to Martin, April 10, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-340 [4: 396-99]. For further information regarding Marshall’s views on the award of service decorations, see Marshall Memorandum for Admiral King, April 10, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-339 [4: 394-96].

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. 388-389.

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