4-349 Memorandum for the President, April 13, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: April 13, 1944

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the President

April 13, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]


In view of our failure to secure aggressive action by the Yunnan Force at this critical period of the campaign in Burma, I sent a message to Stilwell on April seventh suggesting the allocation of all or most of the “Hump” tonnage to Chennault’s 14th Air Force or the requirements of the B-29 heavy bombers in China. Yesterday a radio was received from Stilwell stating his agreement with this view and further, that he had immediately allocated the remaining tonnage in April to the 14th Air Force.1

I hope this procedure meets with your approval.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 April 7, in a staff-prepared message, General Marshall noted that a large part of the Hump tonnage for March not allocated to the Fourteenth Air Force had been for equipment and maintenance of the Yunnan force, which Chiang Kai-shek refused to use to attack a Japanese division of one-sixth the manpower. If the Yunnan force was not going to be used against the Japanese, then Stilwell should consider diverting that tonnage to the Fourteenth Air Force or to the B-29 project. (Marshall to Stilwell, Radio No. WAR-20146, April 7, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-OUT-20146)].) Stilwell replied on April 11 that he agreed. “Since Generalissimo won’t fight in spite of all his promises and all and every effort on our part to make him do so we have diverted all the remaining tonnage allocated by this Headquarters to Chinese agencies for April to 14th Air Force except those that are essential to lines of communications for that force. Recommend that China National Aviation Corps contract be cancelled and planes be taken over by the Air Transport Command.” (Stilwell to Marshall, Radio No. CFBX-15985, April 11, 1944, ibid., [CM-IN-7989].) For a discussion of Allied efforts to persuade the Generalissimo to use the Y-Force, see Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell’s Command Problems, a volume in the United States Army in World War II (Washington: GPO, 1956), pp. 304-14. For further information, see Marshall to Ho Ying-chin, April 15, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-354 [4: 413-14].

2. The president replied that he “heartily” agreed with Marshall’s message regarding allocation of Hump tonnage. (Colonel Richard Park, Jr., Memorandum for Colonel McCarthy, April 14, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, 580.81, Case 28].)

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), p. 408.

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