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To General Dwight D. Eisenhower
October 16, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
After a comfortable flight but with headwinds up to sixty miles an hour and the lowest barometer that the pilot had ever seen, during the flight between Newfoundland and Maine, we reached Washington at 7:30 Saturday night.
The trip was immensely profitable to me and to those with me because I do believe that in a very short time we learned a great deal about conditions with you and therefore are much better prepared to meet your requirements from this end.
I am immensely indebted for your fine and generous hospitality and for all the arrangements made for me, and especially for the dinner the night of our arrival and the fine attention given Justice Byrnes. I always feel apologetic for burdening you in this way by taking up so much of your personal time.
Of course after I left I thought of many things I should have liked to have mentioned but I think all in all we covered the main points.
A full Naval engagement is now brewing off Formosa while at the same time our two Corps are approaching Leyte. Naturally we hope that things will go through smoothly but there are unescapable hazards in any such far-flung blows. However, I think everyone welcomes the showdown on a Naval action and I have tremendous confidence in Halsey.1
With very warm regards,
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. In June 1944, Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., had been designated commander of the Third Fleet, which comprised most of the Pacific Fleet’s strategic forces. His principal strike force was Task Force 38, commanded by Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher (U.S.N.A., 1910). This force, which included four fast carrier groups, had sortied from Ulithi atoll on October 6 to attack Japanese airfields in the Ryukyu Islands, Formosa, and the Philippines. Despite a series of air battles between Halsey’s forces and Formosa-based Japanese aircraft, October 12 to 16, the two nations’ fleets did not engage. For a description of the Formosa air battle, see Samuel Eliot Morison, Leyte, June 1944-January 1945, a volume in the History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958), pp. 86-109.
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), p. 626.