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Memorandum for the President
December 28, 1943 Washington, D.C.
Subject: Tonnage over the Hump into China.
I attach a message from General Stratemeyer together with a proposal that the following message be sent to General Stilwell:1
The President directs that the following message from him be delivered to the Commanding General of the India-China Wing, Air Transport Command:2
“I have been informed that on Christmas day your command transported the ten thousandth ton of vital supplies over the hump into China for the month of December. This represents an exceptionally outstanding performance and is a source of great gratification to me. The goal has been high, the air route exceedingly dangerous both as to mountains and enemy action, and the weather treacherous. Only fine teamwork and outstanding devotion to duty by the entire personnel could have made this accomplishment possible. I have directed the citation of the Wing and desire that my personal thanks be communicated to every officer and man concerned.”3
G. C. Marshall4
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Stratemeyer had recommended that the India-China Wing of the Air Transport Command be given a citation “for exceptionally outstanding performance of duty in action during December 1943.” (Stratemeyer to Marshall, December 27, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Brigadier General Edward H. Alexander had commanded the India-China Wing since its creation on December 1, 1942.
3. At the Washington Conference in mid-May 1943, President Roosevelt had directed that the level of air shipments from India to China reach ten thousand tons per month beginning in September. (Foreign Relations, Conferences at Washington and Quebec, 1943, pp. 296-97.) Air shipments had been an important topic of discussion with the Chinese at the First Cairo Conference. An “optimistic” estimate in late November was that nine thousand tons could be transported in December 1943. (Foreign Relations, Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, pp. 313, 342-45, 354-55, 414.) A history of the Hump route is Frank H. Heck, “Airline to China,” in Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, eds., Services Around the World, a volume in The Army Air Forces in World War II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), pp. 114-51.
4. The president wrote “OK FDR” to the left of Marshall’s signature.
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. 211-212.