5-004 Memorandum for the President, January 2, 1945

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 2, 1945

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the President

January 2, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]

Subject: DSM and Joint Resolution of Congress regarding the

services of Field Marshal Sir John Dill.

The DSM you awarded posthumously to Field Marshal Dill has not been presented to Lady Dill nor has she received the Resolution of Congress appreciating his services which was passed on December 20th. Copies of the citation for the DSM and of the Joint Resolution of Congress are attached hereto.1

I should suggest that in view of the fact that Lady Dill is leaving shortly for England you present her with the Distinguished Service Medal and copy of the citation over your signature and at the same time hand her the Joint Resolution of Congress.2

I should also suggest that you send a copy of the Joint Resolution to Mr. Churchill with some such comment as the following:

“I am sending you herewith a copy of a Joint Resolution of Congress enacted on December 20 last, appreciating the services of Field Marshal Sir John Dill. The fact that Congress saw fit to take this action, which is without precedent, and that the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, the Honorable Tom Connally, introduced the Resolution, is not only formal recognition of the great service rendered by Dill in promoting unity of action on the part of our respective countries, but is an evidence of a very wholesome state of mind in the midst of the bickerings that are inevitable at this stage of the war.

“I think Dill rendered both our countries a great service and I am delighted to see it written clearly into the record.”3

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. The citation for Sir John Dill’s Distinguished Service Medal recognized his distinguished service to the common cause of the Allies. “The good will and concert of action which have characterized the combined achievements of the Allied forces must be attributed in an important measure to his integrity of purpose, his freedom from prejudice and his selfless devotion to the common cause, together with the warm humanity which characterized all his actions.” House Joint Resolution 317 declared that “the outstanding service rendered to the United Nations by Field Marshal Sir John Dill be, and it hereby is, recognized by the American people and the Congress of the United States.” (Public Law 516, 78th Cong., 2d sess.) For further information regarding Dill’s death, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-568-570 [4: 652-54], and #4-607 [4: 694-95].

2. General Marshall attended the White House ceremony on January 5 when President Roosevelt presented to Lady Dill the Distinguished Service Medal honoring Sir John Dill. (New York Times, January 6, 1945, p. 14.)

3. On January 10 President Roosevelt sent a letter to Prime Minister Churchill that included this exact wording. (Enclosed in Leahy Memorandum for General Marshall, January 10, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 5-6.

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