4-381 To Brigadier General Claude M. Adams, May 11, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: May 11, 1944

Subject: World War II

To Brigadier General Claude M. Adams

May 11, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Flap,

I have been out of town for ten days, just returned yesterday evening,1 but shortly before leaving Washington there was brought to my attention the opposition of the Surgeon General to your assignment as attache at Ottawa. G-2, following the Surgeon General’s statements, also expressed reluctance, both based on the fact that frequent travel over long distances, and usually by air, is necessary for the performance of the duties of our attache in Canada.2

Before leaving town I directed that the Surgeon General make a formal statement in the matter, particularly as your retirement was qualified with the statement that you were available for limited service. On my return I find his statement which is to this effect:

“In view of the fact that General Adams has recently had a coronary accident, combined with the fact that he was hospitalized previously for heart trouble, it is thought that it would be unfair to General Adams to assign him to this duty as it would probably result in his having another attack.”

I am directing that the matter be dropped. I am doing this not only because of the Surgeon General’s statement but primarily because this points to a repetition of what took place in Brazil. You will recall that I was opposed to your going there because of the air travel required, just as I was opposed to your air travel out of Washington when you were here with me. You had attacks here and you had a severe attack in Rio. Therefore I am unwilling to be a party to a third assignment which I am told will lead to another attack.

At the time I brought up the question of your detail I had hoped that in view of the limited service qualification on your retirement, there would be no complications; however I was wrong, and what is more, I am inclined to think that the limited service factor was possibly the result of your personal persuasive influence on the doctors on your Board.

I am sorry about this because I know you will be greatly disappointed. However, there is no doubt in my mind as to what my decision should be.3

Hastily yours,

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

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. General Marshall had departed Washington on Sunday, April 30, for an inspection trip to the South and the West Coast, returning on Wednesday, May 10. His tour included the Women’s Army Corps Training Center at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia; an armored unit at Fort Ord, California; the Boeing aircraft plants at Seattle, Washington; and infantry and armored divisions at Camp Bowie, Texas; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Camp Cooke, California; Camp Beale, California; and Camp Adair, Oregon. The chief of staff then spent a few restful days at Erskine Wood’s fishing camp along the Metolius River in Oregon. (Frank McCarthy Memorandum for General Surles, May 11, 1944, and Marshall [McCarthy] to Wood, May 10, 1944, GCMRL/F. McCarthy Papers [U.S. Army 1941-45].)

2. Adams, who had a history of heart trouble, had been recuperating at Thayer General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Arrangements had been made in April for Adams’s assignment as military attach

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Holding ID: 4-381

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