4-050 Memorandum for the President, July 14, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 14, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the President

July 14, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]

Subject: Salvage and Battle Scrap.

You will probably be interested in the following data, as yet incomplete, on the amounts of salvage and battlefield scrap being received in the New York Port of Embarkation.


15 ships included as part of their cargo 1500 gross tons of ferrous scrap and 200,000 pounds of non-ferrous scrap, also 1,000,000 pounds of scrap rubber, and the following items for salvage, repair and re-issue:

4400- 55 gallon steel drums

135tons of half track

55,000pounds of shoes

90,500pounds of clothing

10,000pounds of webbing

10,500pounds of canvas

In addition to the foregoing hundreds of boxes were received of repairable airplane engines and Air Force property, 100,000 pounds of oxygen and acetylene cylinders, many thousand ammunition containers and thousands of items for different technical services such as reels for the Signal Corps. There was also included captured enemy equipment for examination by our intelligence and technical people. The scrap iron was disposed of through trade channels for return to the war effort.


20 ships included as part of their cargo 2700 tons of ferrous scrap and 763 gross tons of non-ferrous scrap. In addition there were received many thousands of items of all classes of repairable and reuseable salvage including everything from field jackets, radio tubes, carboys, tank and band treads, miscellaneous clothing, to airplane engines, etc.

The number of items and volume of battle scrap and salvage being returned is increasing very rapidly not only from the European theater but also from the Pacific theater. In anticipation of these increases a segregation yard has already been established at the New York Port of Embarkation.

Only small amounts of copper have been returned, but the fired cartridge cases being returned include 70% copper.

Salvage and scrap activities in both Africa and the Pacific are directed by the Army. Repairable Navy property is segregated and forwarded to proper Navy depots.

To facilitate the program which was coordinated with the War Shipping Administration, the Board of Economic Warfare, the Navy Department and other interested agencies, practical business executives from the scrap metal industry have been commissioned in the Army and are actively supervising these matters both here and abroad.

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 60-61.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 4-050

Rights: Public Information