4-211 To General Douglas MacArthur, January 24, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 24, 1944

Subject: World War II

To General Douglas MacArthur

January 24, 1944 Radio Washington, D.C.

In the Clear1

For MacArthur from Marshall to be delivered January 26.

Congratulations on both your birthday and the recent highly successful operations.2 May the coming months bring you the great satisfaction and reward of a succession of victories on the road to Japan.

Award of the Distinguished Service Medal to you was directed today by the President with the following citation:

“General Douglas MacArthur, United States Army, for exceptionally distinguished service as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific since March, 1942.

“Under extremely difficult conditions of terrain, climate and limited forces and material he expelled the enemy from eastern New Guinea, secured lodgments on the island of New Britain and gave strategical direction to coordinated operations resulting in the conquest of the New Georgia group and the establishment of the United States Army and Navy Forces on Bougainville Island. He has inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and established his forces in positions highly favorable for the continuation of offensive operations.”3

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. This message was sent at 9:20 A.M. on January 25. It was unencoded so that the recipient need not paraphrase it before it could be published. Major General Alexander D. Surles advised the Southwest Pacific Area public relations office to make immediate release of the citation upon receipt of the award. (Frank McCarthy Memorandum for Chief of Staff, January 25, [1944], GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected]; Surles to Diller, January 25, 1944, Out Log, p. 64, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Message Log].)

2. General Marshall handwrote the following note to Major General Thomas T. Handy: “What do you think of a DSM citation for MacArthur on his birthday—Jan 26 (our to-morrow)? Normally we should wait until Rabaul falls or at least Kavieng. But the latter is more Halsey’s show and Rabaul is a long way off, maybe. The attached citation covers the period of his present command. Eisenhower has had 2 citations during this period. If this seems OK to you, send it back to McCarthy so that he can telephone it to Hyde Park and get an OK in time. G. C. M.” (Marshall to Handy, [January 24, 1944], GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

3. Major General Richard J. Marshall (V.M.I., 1915), MacArthur’s deputy chief of staff, sent the following message to Major General James A. Ulio, The Adjutant General. “The award of the Distinguished Service Medal to General MacArthur has aroused the greatest enthusiasm on the part of civil and military elements throughout the area. I have just been able to contact the General at an airfield where he had landed at dusk on his return from visiting troops of the 6th Army. As a consequence the presentation was of necessity informal. He expressed the deepest appreciation and was evidently much moved.” (R. J. Marshall to Ulio, Radio No. C-949, January 26, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

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. 245-246.

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