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To Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell1
November 6, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Colonel Gorrell:
I have learnt through General Arnold that you are having difficulty in retaining a number of your skilled pilots because of a very natural desire on their part to be identified with active operations.
My business of the past six months has involved me in flights into active theaters. On each occasion I was in the hands of commercial pilots, so from my point of view it seems to me they are participating in active operations.
However, my principal concern would be that they do not forget that in their personal desire to get into the active fighting they must not let us down in the tremendously important service of the transportation operations in which they are now engaged. Although in a civilian status, your personnel engaged in these operations have been performing not only a very great service for the Army and Navy and therefore for the nation but to my mind an equally patriotic service with that of Army and Navy pilots.
I very much hope that your personnel will keep on with this job which is essential to our business of getting on with the war.
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. An air service colonel in World War I, Gorrell was president of the Air Transport Association of America and a member of the army’s Transportation Advisory Group.
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), p. 427.