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To General John J. Pershing
April 29, 1942 Washington, D.C.
I am terribly sorry that the Fates seems to be against me in getting out to see you. I just telephoned a few mintues ago to see if you were there because I suddenly found the opportunity to run out for lunch today. However, I could get no answer on your phone.
The other day when I had to cancel our engagement, I found it necessary to witness a test of some detector devices in a plane, so had to leave at eleven o’clock, shortly after telephoning you, and it was not until I was over Cape May that it became evident that the luncheon with you was out of the question. So I radioed from there to Bolling Field and had them relay the message to you. My apologies for breaking that engagement.1
The next two days were completely filled up and I was out of town for two days. Monday and Tuesday I was occupied all day with meetings of the Combined and U.S. Chiefs of Staff, and related matters. Now tomorrow at 7:30 A.M. I am leaving for a three-day trip with Sir John Dill and some other British officers, both for their education and my information. We will probably not return until Saturday evening or Sunday, unless I am sooner recalled, which is rather probable.2
I wanted to tell you about my trip to London, and will at the very first opportunity. I am awfully sorry it has not proved possible to see you today.
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. On April 23 Stimson received word that a British aircraft equipped with the newest air-to-surface radar was at Bolling Field. Given a chance to observe the instrument in operation, Stimson and Marshall departed for the airfield for an inspection flight. (April 23, 1942, Yale/ H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 38: 140].)
2. Between April 30 and May 2, Dill and other Joint Staff Mission officers inspected airborne training facilities and armored units at Fort Benning, Georgia, observed an airborne drop and inspected Engineers and motorized units at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and reviewed the First and Thirty-sixth divisions at Camp Blanding, Florida. (Marshall Memorandum for the Bureau of Public Relations, May 3, 1942, 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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 176-177.