4-555 Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, October 26, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 26, 1944

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 [Henry]

October 26, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]


Let me have a first draft of the next proposal for promotion.

Do you think that there is a possibility that it will be necessary to ask for more men in the draft quota in order to meet the crisis in replacements? I have assumed that we had a fair chance of the situation in the European Theater clearing up in time to save us from making increased demands. However, we cannot continue to have the dilemmas, whatever the reason, that are presented to the troops in Italy.1 Also, I assume that with the increased size of operations in the Pacific—particularly the Philippines—that we may be having replacement troubles out there, although I have had no intimation of such prospect.2

General Somervell, in connection with the Negro situation in this country, makes a rather convincing plea for additional military police battalions. Will this provoke additional conflicts regarding manpower?3

Another matter—the Infantry Combat Badge seems to me to be of an awkward size, too large. Will you have two models made, each smaller than the present badge, so that we may get an idea of what they look like? Incidentally, ascertain how many of these are on hand at the present time in case we should change.4

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. On the increasing threat of a manpower shortage, see Marshall Memorandum for General Henry, October 18, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-546 [4: 629-30]. On the decision to limit the army’s ground combat strength to ninety divisions, see Marshall Memorandum for the Secretary of War, May 16, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-382 [4: 447-50].

2. Henry replied that if all the planned steps were taken to economize and retrain surplus personnel, the War Department could “meet estimated replacement requirements thru April [1945], with perhaps a temporary shortage of replacements available for shipment during November or December. This will cause a reduction in theater stockages but should not result in a lack of replacements for units.” G-1 did not believe that it was necessary to increase army requests on the Selective Service System. (Henry Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 27, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 320.2].)

3. Somervell was concerned that should the army’s service commands be called on to handle civil unrest they would be unable adequately to comply, as practically all active ground combat units were scheduled to be deployed overseas by the end of 1944. He requested that four additional Military Police battalions be organized. The G-3 division recommended organizing provisional battalions from available surplus personnel. Marshall approved this. (Ray E. Porter Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 26, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 370.93].)

4. G-1 reported that 1,405,700 Infantry badges (“Combat” and “Expert” versions) were on hand and ready for distribution or contracted for delivery through January 1945. An additional 1,660,000 were already in the hands of units and individuals and would have to be replaced if the smaller sizes were adopted. (Henry Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 27, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 320.2].)

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. 639-640.

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Holding ID: 4-555

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