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Memorandum for the Joint Chiefs of Staff
March 26, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
1. The following is submitted as an Army proposal for a directive in connection with the operations envisaged in the South-Southwest Pacific areas in 1943.
1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff directive communicated in COMINCH dispatch 022100 of July 1942 is cancelled and the following directive is substituted therefor.
a. The operations outlined in this directive will be conducted under the direction of the Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area.
b. Operations in the Solomons Islands will be under the direct command of the Commander, SOPAC Area, operating under general directives of the Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area.
c. Naval units of the Pacific Fleet assigned as task forces engaged in these operations will remain under the control of the Commander in Chief, Pacific.
3. Forces. Additional forces will be allocated to Southwest Pacific and South Pacific Areas as indicated in Joint Chiefs of Staff dispatch 232357.
a. Establish air fields on Kiriwina and Woodlark Islands.
b. Seize Lae Salamaua Finschaven Madang Area and occupy Western New Britain.
c. Seize and occupy Solomon Islands to include the southern portion of Bougainville.
5. Purposes. To inflict losses on Japanese forces, to deny these areas to Japan, to contain Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater by maintaining the initiative, and to prepare for ultimate seizure of Bismarck Archipelago.
6. Plans. Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area, will submit general plans including sequence and timing of major offensive operations to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.1
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 1, Item 1b, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved this directive with minor changes on March 28 and sent it to MacArthur, Nimitz, and Halsey on March 29. The revised version, issued as JCS/238/5/D, is printed in Morton, Strategy and Command: The First Two Years, Appendix K.
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. 607-608.