3-527 Memorandum for the President, February 21, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 21, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the President

February 21, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]


General MacArthur transmits the following:

“Through Sir Ronald Cross, the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom to Australia, I have received the following message from Prime Minister Churchill:

“’The rapid movements I have been making and pressure upon me made me delay till my return sending you my most cordial congratulations upon the capture of Buna by American and Australian forces command and important and resolute operations under your distinguished command which have resulted in the destruction of the Japanese invaders in Papua.

“’I have watched with particular admiration your masterly employment of transport aircraft to solve vast complicated and diverse logistical problems.

“’I should like to let you know how grateful we all feel throughout the British Empire that you stand on guard over all these vital interests.

“’Pray also accept my own personal good wishes. I look forward indeed to the day when we may meet.’”

I believe that it would be helpful if some message from you went to General MacArthur, but I also have felt that it should have a definite and evident basis, as to timing, other than the possible thought that the message from the Prime Minister had suggested such action. I am quite sure that his reference to the Southwest Pacific and MacArthur before the House of Commons, and the above quoted message are part of a definite British move to convince us of their appreciation of the situation in the Pacific which was such a bitter bone of contention at the Casablanca Conference.

In view of the fact that during the last few days MacArthur has reported truly remarkable bombing operations against Rabaul and other points in the Solomons, I think there is justification for a message from you and I am taking the liberty of attaching a draft of such a message for your consideration.



The President directs me to transmit the following message to you:

“The tremendous and remarkably1 efficient bombardments launched by your air forces during the past few weeks and especially in the last few days in support of the situation in the Solomons and in furtherance of your own operations command our enthusiastic admiration. The arduous and difficult land campaign along the Papuan coast which has decimated the enemy and now threatens him at Salamaua has made a great impression on our people and must have a demoralizing effect on Japanese confidence in the fighting efficiency of their ground troops.

My thanks go to you and your leaders and to the officers and men of the Australian and United States forces who carried the fight to the enemy on all levels and over great distances and even greater difficulties.”

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. In the version sent to MacArthur the words “tremendous and remarkably” were not included. (Marshall to MacArthur, Radio No. 1398, February 22, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-OUT-7781)].)

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. 558-560.

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Holding ID: 3-527

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