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Memorandum for the President
April 11, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
General Stilwell informs me that the Generalissimo insists that he command the VLR (B-29) Project. He maintains that his authority in relation to our VLR forces should be the same as he enjoys in connection with 14th Air Force. As stated by General Stilwell, no trouble is anticipated if we inform the Generalissimo that his authority in this matter is the same as that of Supreme Commanders in other theatres to which units of the VLR are to be sent.1
It is suggested that you dispatch a message to him along the lines of the attached draft. This requirement on the part of the Generalissimo is primarily a matter of face.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. Stilwell to Marshall, Radio No. 15442, March 30, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers (Pentagon Office, Selected).
2. President Roosevelt sent a revised version of the proposed message to the Generalissimo on April 12. He stated that all the very long range bombers based in different areas were under a single commander in order to coordinate their effort; General Arnold exercised that direction for the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. “In all areas the coordination of VLR operations with those of other or local units will be under the Supreme Commander in the theatre concerned. In the China Theatre it will be under you.” (Sunderland and Romanus, eds., Stilwell’s Personal File, 5: 2177.)
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. 401-402.