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To General Henry H. Arnold
May 14, 1943 Washington, D.C.
I had hoped to get out to see you last night but when I finished here at the office I felt too tired to make the effort, particularly in view of today’s events—the Chinese at 9:00 o’clock here, the Joint Chiefs of Staff at 9:30 there, the Combined Chiefs of Staff at 10:30, including luncheon with them, and the White House this afternoon—after which I shall have to do some War Department business.
A note came in yesterday that you planned to leave Sunday for Oregon.
I think this is fine, but I was concerned to learn that you plan to leave there at the end of the month in order to make an address at West Point. Please don’t do the latter. Your Army future is at stake and I don’t think you should hazard it with a matter of such trivial importance.1 Get solidly on your feet and absolutely refrain from any inspections, interviews, speeches, or anything in the way of business. It is vastly important to you, and it certainly is to me, and to the Air Forces, that you make a full recovery, and you cannot do it if you overrun your own internal machinery.
I am taking the British Chiefs of Staff with Wavell and his associates to Williamsburg Saturday afternoon to spend the night there, returning Sunday—of course weather permitting.2
I have not been told yet how you plan to go West. I doubt if a plane is advisable and I am telling the office here to have you ordered out so that you can avoid the expense of a rail journey if you go that way.
This is a very hasty note dictated during my first few minutes at the office.
Please be careful.
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Collection, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. For General Arnold’s trip to West Point, see Marshall to Arnold, May 14, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-657 [3: 693-94], a note Marshall sent later this same day.
2. Taking a relaxing break from the meetings of the TRIDENT Conference (see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-669 [3: 705-8]), General Marshall and seven British officers visited restored Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 15-16, 1943. The British guests included Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell, General Sir Alan Brooke, Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal, Admiral Sir James Somerville, Lieutenant General Sir Hastings Ismay, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse. “We took most of the British ‘rank’ to Williamsburg over the week-end and they appeared to enjoy it thoroughly, examining everything minutely and at great length,” Marshall wrote to Admiral Harold R. Stark. “The Sea Lord and the Air Marshal even went swimming, in water too frigid to tempt anyone else.” (Marshall to Stark, May 17, 1943, GCML/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) For more of General Marshall’s account of the Williamsburg trip, see Marshall to Brown, May 21, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-662 [3: 697-98]. For a report of the British chiefs’ visit, see Gerald H. Bath, “A Report on the Visit of the British High Command to Colonial Williamsburg, May 15th and 16th, 1943” (Mimeographed copy in the GCMRL).
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 691-692.