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Memorandum for the President
October 19, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
For your information there are attached hereto a message from me to MacArthur and his reply, and also the previous messages of his to which he refers.1
My communication to him was in an effort to see if there was any way in which further assistance might be immediately given to the Navy in the Solomons. His reply, as well as his communique of last night, indicate that apparently everything possible is being done to cripple the superior Japanese Naval force between Rabaul and the Shortland Islands in the southeast.
I had previously sent a confidential wire to General Harmon, our Air commander under Ghormley, to find out if in his opinion there were any instructions that might be given from Washington to MacArthur to provide support for the Solomons operation. He replied there was nothing, that MacArthur’s Air was doing all that numbers, poor communications and the difficult weather conditions permitted.
Yesterday we ordered a heavy bomber group from Hawaii to Australia to be replaced immediately by another and partially trained group from the States. The more difficult part of the transaction is the movement of the ground maintenance crews. That will be accomplished by the crews from the States, with all the necessary materiel, being shipped immediately from San Francisco to Hawaii, where the men will disembark but the materiel will remain aboard. The crews from the Hawaiian group, which will already have departed, will embark and the vessel will proceed to the Southwest Pacific.
Another move is being made transferring a fighter squadron of P-40 planes from Hawaii to the South Pacific and another fighter squadron (P-39’s) from Christmas Island to the South Pacific. Meanwhile we are carefully resurveying the situation in Alaska to see if we are justified in removing a fighter group from there in order to find replacements for Hawaii.
A detailed report on MacArthur’s New Guinea operation, now in progress, will be sent to you today.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. See Marshall to MacArthur, October 16, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-372 [3: 401-3].
2. The Operations Division-drafted report is Marshall Memorandum for the President, October 19, 1942, NA/RG 165 [OCS, Project Decimal File 1941-43, 381 South Pacific Area].)
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), pp. 404-405.