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Memorandum for the President
December 5, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Last September General Arnold, in an effort to straighten out the complicated supply situation of the rapidly expanding Air Corps, enlisted the services of Robert E. Wood of Sears Roebuck, to inspect the air supply set-up. I am now told that he has visited every supply activity, depot, etc., of the Air Command in continental United States and that his suggestions have resulted in marked improvements.
General Arnold now proposes that Wood be ordered to active service for employment in connection with the procurement, storage and distribution of Air Corps materials.
In view of his pre-war activity I am submitting this request for your approval.
General Wood has gone about this business quietly and in a highly efficient manner and I believe he has been of great assistance to the Air Corps.1
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. Chairman of the board of Sears, Roebuck and Company, Wood had served as acting quartermaster general of the army during 1918-19. In 1940-41 he was president of the America First Committee and a critic of Roosevelt’s foreign and military policies. The president replied: “I do not think that General R. E. Wood should be put into uniform. He is too old and has, in the past, shown far too great approval of Nazi methods. If General Arnold wishes to continue to use him in a civilian capacity in the supply situation, I have no serious objection.” (Roosevelt Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, December 7, 1942, FDRL/F. D. Roosevelt Papers [PSF, Departmental (War)].)
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. 471-472.