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Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 [Henry]
January 24, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
This statement I think should be redrafted.1 To my mind it fails to present two important points.
First, it should make clear that for a long time we assigned the young men to divisions in this country with six months or more yet to serve here, transferring older men from those divisions to meet the replacement requirements from overseas. It should be explained that today we have not the divisions in this country to permit such an arrangement but we do have a battle on tremendously increased proportions for which replacements are urgently required.
Also, get in a clear statement, brief, very much to the point, to the effect that the training being given replacements is exceedingly thorough and they are assigned to veteran “teams” so that one or two new men are invariably surrounded by a squad of eight or ten battle veterans which makes all the difference in the world.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. On January 17 Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson informed General Marshall, “I have received hundreds of letters from parents of 18 year old men, strongly objecting to the use of their sons as infantry replacements and asking why men over 18 in other branches of the service are not sent to the infantry.” Patterson asked would it not be well to make public the fact that older men from other branches already had been transferred into the Infantry. Marshall referred Patterson’s memorandum to G-1 for a draft reply. It is that statement which Marshall thinks should be redrafted. (Patterson Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, January 17, 1945; G-1 draft statement, January 19, 1945, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 321 Infantry].)
2. For further information regarding training for eighteen-year-old Infantry replacements, see Marshall Proposed Statement for Secretary of War’s Press Conference, March 1, 1945, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-047 [5: 63-64], and Marshall to Hess, March 5, 1945, #5-053 [5: 74-76].
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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 40.