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Memorandum for the President
September 13, 1944 [Quebec, Canada]
Mr. John Franklin Carter1 has forwarded to my office a secret report on what the Army is doing with respect to the adoption of a single point parachute harness release. In sending the document he has stated that he does so pursuant to instructions from the President’s office.
Mr. Carter states that the Army Air Forces, being prejudiced against the single point parachute release, have not aggressively pressed the program of conversion from the old to the new type release.2 General Arnold tells me that the conversion of the entire manufacture of parachute releases to the single point type is going forward as rapidly as production will permit. Deliveries have been behind estimated schedules but this results from over-optimism on the part of the Air Forces when making out the production schedules.
I am asking General Arnold to return Mr. Carter’s report with his comments.
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. Carter was a Washington-based writer and newspaper columnist for the Bell Syndicate.
2. The 1945 Airman’s Almanac noted: “In 1944 a minor controversy developed with newspaper allegations that standard U. S. parachutes were unsafe for water landings and that the U. S. military services had been negligent in not adopting the British quick-release chute. Impartial investigators reported the allegations without foundation; that the U. S. had three adaptations of the British harness; and that most airmen who had jumped with both types preferred the U. S. chute.” (Francis Walton, ed., The Airman’s Almanac [New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1945], p. 192.)
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. 582-583.