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4-015 To Director Oveta Culp Hobby, June 15, 1943
To Director Oveta Culp Hobby
June 15, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mrs. Hobby:
On my return from Africa I learned of the attack which had been directed against the integrity of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. The Secretary of War has already stated in forcible terms the views of the War Department in the matter, but I wish to assure you personally of my complete confidence in the quality and value of the organization which has been built up during the past year under your leadership.1
To me one of the most stimulating aspects of our war effort has been the amazing development of the WAAC organization in quality, discipline, capacity for performing a wide variety of jobs, and the fine attitude of the women themselves. Commanders to whom the WAAC’s have been assigned have spoken in the highest terms of their efficiency and value. The best evidence in the matter are the demands now being made on the War Department for increased allotments of WAAC organizations, which total, I believe, some 600,000.2
I wish you would assure your subordinates of the confidence and high respect in which they are held by the Army.
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. Rumors and accusations of immoral conduct against unspecified members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps had been rising during early 1943, hitting a peak in June with the publication of newspaper stories alleging that the army was issuing contraceptives to all W.A.A.C. personnel. President and Mrs. Roosevelt both issued denials, as did Secretary Stimson, W.A.A.C. Director Hobby, and other high-ranking army officials. This “slander campaign” is examined in Mattie E. Treadwell, The Women’s Army Corps, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1954), pp. 191-218. See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-025 [4: 25-28], Marshall’s comments in his Speech Prepared for the Governors’ Conference, June 21, 1943.
2. In May Secretary Stimson had announced that the army needed five hundred thousand new recruits for the W.A.A.C. (New York Times, May 14, 1943, p. 5.) The press was reporting that the War Department had requests on file for six hundred thousand women. (Treadwell, Women’s Army Corps, p. 227.)
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. 15-16.