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Memorandum for the Surgeon General [Magee]
January 23, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I have had several reports, one very direct recently through the President, relating to the urgent need of ample mosquito gauze at Freetown and Takoradi on the west coast of Africa, as well as Accra, where 40% of the air men (Army pilots and Pan American staff) are now down with malaria.1
The statement was made by General Giffard, the British commander on the West Coast, that numbers of ships were taking into Takoradi to pick up manganese and that they usually arrived in ballast. We could not see why they could not be loaded with mosquito gauze and greatly reduce the proportion of Americans now being eliminated by malaria.
General Arnold and General Olds, who is in charge of the Bomber [Ferrying] command, can give you detailed information about this. Please see that directive action is taken.
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 mid-1941, to speed the delivery of British aircraft acquired in the United States, the Army Air Forces established aircraft ferrying services. Bomber expert Lieutenant Colonel (Brigadier General after January 16, 1942) Robert Olds created the Air Corps Ferrying Command; Pan American Airways contracted to establish subsidiary companies to fly bombers from Miami, Florida, to Khartoum, Sudan. The South Atlantic route ran from Miami to Natal, Brazil, to several landing fields on the west coast of Africa (Bathurst, The Gambia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Fisherman’s Lake, Liberia; Takoradi and Accra, Gold Coast; and Lagos, Nigeria), and then across central Africa to the Middle and Far East. Operations had just begun when the United States entered the war. (Craven and Cate, eds., Plans and Early Operations, pp. 313-33.)
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. 82-83.