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Memorandum for Operations Division
March 18, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Attached is a memorandum from Stratemeyer regarding the date for the reception of French pilots in this country for training. It has been represented to me that the fact that a large number of French pilots are loafing around cafes in Algiers and the outskirts of Tunisia with no occupation presents an unfortunate effect on morale and involves a constant spread of criticism. For that reason I wanted to see if we couldn’t expedite their program. From the attached memorandum I find that the block in the matter is caused by the program for Brazilian pilots.1 Unfortunately the memorandum does not state when this program commenced, which would have some bearing on what we might do to moderate it. I was considering the possibility of giving the Brazilians a cut of 50 in May in order to get started at least one month earlier on the French pilots. Please look into this.
It does seem to me, with our huge program and Arnold’s thought that we were turning out more pilots than there would be planes to accommodate, that it would be possible to take care of a small number of French pilots at a much earlier date.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. Marshall had telephoned Stratemeyer to ask if French pilots might begin training before June. Stratemeyer replied that they were presently training one hundred Brazilians per month in March, April, and May, and would begin training the French pilots in June, at the rate of one hundred in June and July and fifty per month thereafter. (Stratemeyer Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, March 17, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Training of French pilots commenced in June and that of aerial gunners in April. (Ibid.; George F. Howe, Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1957], p. 499.)
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. 593-594.