2-431 Memorandum for the President, April 23, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: April 23, 1941

Memorandum for the President

April 23, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]


Subject: Training of Air Pilots for United Kingdom in the United States.1

Preliminary Training:

Under previous arrangements the War Department has prepared plans to establish six elementary—basic flying schools to be turned over to the British, to maintain an annual production of 3,000 pilots. To put this into effect, authority is needed for the expenditure of lease-loan funds sufficient to set up and in effect purchase the entire installation to be turned over to the British.

Later Development:

Prior to General Arnold’s departure for London, a plan was developed proposing to devote one-third of our pilot training capacity for the training of British pilots. From London he cables the British acceptance of this proposition and their proposal that the arrangements be prepared by British representatives duly appointed, with our people. This involves not only the basic training but additional preliminary training and a full program of advanced training. It is to secure a production of 4,000 pilots annually.2

Authority is requested to proceed with this matter, amalgamating the two programs involving a total of approximately 7,000 pilots annually, except as to a deficiency in advanced training for 3,000 pilots, which at the present time we cannot see our way clear to meet.

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. On Air Corps assistance to Great Britain, see Memorandum for General Arnold, February 14 and 27, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-370 [2: 422-23] and #2-379 [2: 433], and Memorandum for the Secretary of War, March 10, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-385 [2: 439-40].

2. At his April 13, 1941, meeting with the British staff in London, Arnold arranged for training British pilots in the United States, lending American pilots to assist in ferrying aircraft to the United Kingdom, and establishing a Greenland-Iceland air route across the Atlantic. (H. H. Arnold, Global Mission [New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949], p. 216.)

Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 483-484.

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