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To Field Marshal Sir John Dill
September 10, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I appreciate your sending me the attached message from your Military Attache in Chungking.1
My reaction to the Military Attache’s message is that General Chennault has either directly or indirectly influenced him to send it to you. The statements he made in the message could only have been based on information obtained from Chennault and are almost identical with statements previously made by Chennault in other correspondence.
General Chennault is an intrepid and inspiring leader who can direct very effectively the operations of combat aircraft; but his methods of influencing his proposals present a very serious problem for me. His action results in indirectly subverting Stilwell and Stratemeyer,2 who have been doing everything in their power to advance the arrangements for the support of his activities.
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. Dill had written on September 4, enclosing a copy of a telegram he had received the previous day. Major General Claire L. Chennault’s Fourteenth Air Force was “shrouded in gloom” because of unfulfilled promises of materiel, the attaché stated. Chennault could still complete much of his plan for 1943–44, but his minimum materiel requirements had to be met “immediately” and “without time wasting arguments.” The attaché hoped that the field marshal could have the prime minister approach the president, who, it appeared from Chungking, was not “really aware of facts.” Dill noted that he did “not intend to take any further action on this telegram. All I would ask you is not to be angry with our M.A.!” (Dill to Marshall, September 4, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Marshall sent Dill’s letter and enclosed telegram to the Operations Division, where John E. Hull drafted a response based upon Albert C. Wedemeyer’s comments; Marshall then edited this draft. These documents are in NA/RG 165 (OPD, 384, Case 8).
2. Major General George E. Stratemeyer had been commanding general of the India-Burma Sector and Stilwell’s air adviser since August 5, 1943.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 124–125.