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To C. Paul Nelson
June 2, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Replying to your letter concerning Captain Nelson in India, the War Department has necessarily established definite procedures under which officers can be returned to this country, and the authority in the matter is in the hands of the theater commanders.1 They are the only ones who have the information concerning the situation in the theater—the availability of men to replace those returning and the importance of the particular individual’s assignment.
In order that Captain Nelson could be considered for return for assignment in this country he should apply for an emergency leave or for a reassignment through his commanding officer. Under ordinary conditions there would be little likelihood of his request being granted since he has not been overseas for two years. Army personnel normally are not returned to this country until after two years duty, except in the case of Air personnel who have participated in a certain number of combat missions.
I am sorry to give you such a disappointing reply because I should like to be of help, but as you will realize I must be most careful to take no action in an individual case which I cannot apply to others similarly situated. However, I am making an inquiry regarding Captain Nelson to see if there is any basis on which I might act.
I think I recall you as the Captain of D Company, the senior cadet Captain in the Corps, after Hawes’ departure.2 That seems a long time ago, and it is, as evidenced by the years.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. The letter from C. Paul Nelson (V.M.I., 1898), an engineer in Huntington, West Virginia, is not in the Marshall papers.
2. George P. Hawes, Jr., (V.M.I., 1898) had been First Captain of the Corps of Cadets before he resigned from the Virginia Military Institute in April 1898, shortly before graduation, to join the army during the Spanish-American War. In 1936 Hawes was awarded his diploma from the V.M.I.
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. 468-469.