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To Captain Clifton S. Brown1
December 29, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I was sorry to leave Africa without seeing you and Allen. As a matter of fact, I was in Oran for about thirty minutes, just long enough to transfer from a battleship to a plane and go on with the President to Tunis. I had intended to return to Italy and then to Algiers and possibly to have seen you at Oran on my way to England. However it became necessary for me to proceed immediately to the Pacific after returning from Teheran. There was no time to spare.
I wrote to both you and Allen over there but I think McCarthy probably was wrong when he had me address yours to the APO number, care of Postmaster, New York City. That did not make sense to me at Cairo.
I have had a great many letters, or notes on Christmas cards, from women who expressed appreciation for the fact that their sons or husbands had written them of the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, of turkey, cranberries, and all the trimmings, that had been served to them.2 Allen gave us three pages of it so it seemed to be a normal reaction. We have not heard yet what you had for Thanksgiving.
I found your mother well, and Molly en route from Arkansas with Jim for Christmas. They arrived the day after I did and we all had dinner together at Leesburg and drank your health and Allen’s in champagne. It seemed too bad that you boys could not have been with us, but at least you were not in the jungle under the conditions some of our men are enduring in the South and Southwest Pacific.
The best of luck to you. I hope that you keep well and that your feet are not troubling you.
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Brown had arrived in Algiers on October 26 with a group of antiaircraft artillery officer replacements. Frank McCarthy had an agreement with the secretary of Walter Bedell Smith’s staff at Allied Force Headquarters that Brown would be sent to a brigade headquarters, but he was directed instead to A.F.H.Q. Marshall was not pleased and had the secretary of the General Staff call Smith’s office to get Brown’s orders changed; this interference from the Pentagon with a routine posting irritated Smith, who wanted to know who was issuing such instructions. Marshall replied: “Instructions were mine. I do not want my stepson saddled on a Supreme Commander’s headquarters. Also I have tried through McCarthy by every hook or crook to avoid embarrassing people by disclosing his connection with me.” Brown was sent to the headquarters of the Forty-fourth Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade at Philippeville, Algeria, on October 28. (McCarthy Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 26, 1943, Smith to McCarthy, October 27, 1943, Marshall to Smith, October 27, 1943, Smith to McCarthy, October 28, 1943, and McCarthy Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 28, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) For Marshall’s reaction to the February 1943 discovery at Fort Knox that Allen Brown was his stepson, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-535 [3: 566].
2. For his response to one such letter, see Marshall to Mrs. Warren W. Harvey, December 24, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-179 [4: 207-8].
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. 212-213.