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To Brigadier General John McA. Palmer
July 1, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I returned to the city to find your gracious little note of appreciation regarding your present duty assignment.1 I am glad that you feel as you do about it, but I want you to know that it is a source of reassurance to me that we are drawing on your wisdom in connection with these difficult decisions.
I am very sorry I did not realize that you and Maude were celebrating your Golden Anniversary. Katherine and I should have wanted very much to make tribute to the occasion. She is spending the summer at Leesburg rather than stewing at Myer with me absent most of the time and not getting home until late in the evening at best. Down there her daily interests are stimulated by the opportunity to work on the place. It looks lovely this summer. Her sister Allene is with her.
I want you to let me know when you would like to go to New Hampshire, which you certainly should do sometime this summer. You will be ordered up there for duty—meaning for calm contemplation of the various problems the War Department has put up to you in the cool atmosphere of that region, not to mention an occasional deliberation on the bank of a trout stream. Knowing your over-conscientious attitude I might tell you that my best thoughts regarding Army organization and operations have usually occurred while I was riding horseback. It is probable that yours will similarly flow from a fishing stance, certainly rather than from the heat and humidity of Washington.
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. Palmer had assisted the Army Service Forces’ Project Planning Division in drawing up a “Survey of Demobilization,” which was submitted to the chief of staff on June 18. (See Marshall Memorandum for the President, June 21, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-023 [4: 23-24].) As a result of the report’s recommendations, the War Department was creating a Special Planning Division as part of its Special Staff. Palmer was to advise the division on developing plans for demobilization, universal military training, a single department of defense, and the postwar organization of the army. The division was formally established on July 22, 1943. (James E. Hewes, Jr., From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900-1963 [Washington: GPO, 1975], pp. 131, 402.)
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. 41-42.