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To Colonel Robert R. McCormick
July 13, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
In reply to your telegram concerning the proposal that General Summerall visit the First Division, I agree that his presence in this unit for a brief period when it is not actually in the line, would be of material benefit.1 However, for the present General Eisenhower is receiving great pressure from both British and American sides for visits from numerous high officials—as well as many other prominent personages—to the battle area of Normandy. In order to protect his commanders and to prevent actual interference with operations, he is holding these visitors to an absolute minimum. Incidentally, he has secured an order from Mr. Churchill prohibiting visits of high British officials (this is most confidential) and I am endeavoring to give him the same protection on the American side.2 In view of this I would be reluctant to propose a visit by General Summerall at this particular time.
At a later date when the liberated areas of France are more secure and fully organized, consideration will be given to your suggestion. Thanks for forwarding it to me.
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. McCormick, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, had served with the First Division during World War I. “Wouldn’t it be a great gesture to have Gen Summerall visit the First Division,” he had suggested to Marshall. (McCormick to Marshall, July 9, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].) General Charles P. Summerall commanded the First Division during July-October 1918 and September 1919-June 1921.
2. For further information, see note 1, Marshall to Eisenhower, June 29, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-429 [4: 499].
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. 521-522.