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Memorandum for the Assistant Chiefs of Staff, G-1 [White], G-3 [Edwards]
October 29, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
The Alcan Highway into Alaska opens today. It is capable of carrying 1,000 tons of freight a day if the operating crews for the trucks can be provided. The trucks are available, the drivers are not.
I understand from General Somervell that you don’t hold out any hopes for a sufficient number of troops of this character in the near future. He tells me that if he is allowed to do it, he can recruit the necessary force on a semi-military basis so far as organization is concerned. I mean by this not necessarily the prescribed regiments but he would have the necessary number of drivers and the necessary eating and sleeping establishments over the route. The men would be enlisted.
What about this?
Give me an early reply. It is very important to reduce shipping to Alaska.1
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. G-3 replied that the Services of Supply had failed to demonstrate “that the large scale operation of this highway would effect any material saving in shipping.” The chief of staff approved adding one truck regiment (3,585 men) to the three already authorized for Alcan Highway operations. (Edwards Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 29, 1942, NA/RG 165 [OCS, Project Decimal File 1941-43, 611 Alaska].) The official army history observed that the “amount of freight delivered by road to the Alaska Defense Command” during World War II was “insignificant.” (Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemisphere Defense, p. 398.)
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), p. 417.