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Memorandum for the President
May 30, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Mr. Louis Johnson1 came into the office immediately after his lunch with you, and resumed some of the matters on which he had reported to you. One comment he made was in regard to the high efficiency of the ferrying service conducted by Pan American across Africa, and the comparative inefficiency of the Army ferrying service.2 He estimated that 40% of the Army planes were put out of action by their crews in the process of crossing Africa. I have had these operations checked and I find that our statistics show the following concerning 77 heavy bombers:
88% — delivered
6% — now under repair
6% — total loss.
Of the above, 65 were delivered without any delay, 3 after some delay, 2 returned to the United States, 2 were repaired en route and 5 crashed. Total 77.
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 president had appointed Louis A. Johnson, former assistant secretary of war, as his personal representative in India.
2. Financed by the United States through lend-lease, Pan American subsidiaries had established transport service from Miami, Florida, to Khartoum in the Sudan. By early 1942 the Army Air Forces Ferrying Command flew planes from Florida to West Africa via Natal, Brazil. Because of the drain on Regular Army and Reserve officers for combat and training purposes, the Ferrying Command initially had difficulty securing experienced officers. (Craven and Cate, eds., Plans and Early Operations, pp. 322-30.)
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 215.