5-183 To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, August 2, 1945

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: August 2, 1945

Subject: World War II

To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

August 2, 1945 Radio. Washington, D.C.


Personal for MacArthur from Marshall.

We are in the midst of considering reassignments of officers returning from ETO which present many complications, your needs, the desirability of putting combat officers at the head of various school and other activities here in the United States which are preparing men for your campaigns, etc. In considering the various proposals the thought has occurred to me that you might desire to have selected high ranking men given you on what might be called a supernumerary basis for possible use in case of casualties or where it appears desirable to you to change command. Having this last in mind I wish to bring up the names of some of the outstanding divisional leaders to see if you wish them sent to your theater, otherwise we shall go about their assignment here at home.

The first of these is Major General Maxwell D. Taylor now in command of the 101st Airborne Division. He was among the half dozen most conspicuously successful division commanders in the heavy fighting in Europe, displaying great personal courage and leading his division aggressively through exceedingly hard fighting, following the first air jump into the Cherbourg Peninsula, later on a similar jump into Holland and again in the closing phases of the fighting at Bastogne. He speaks Japanese and was in that country from 1935 to 1939.

Another officer in the category of exceptional leadership is Major General Anthony C. McAuliffe who was with Taylor in the 101st Division and made the principal fight at Bastogne in command of that division and later performed conspicuously in command of the 103d Division.

Still another is Major General James M. Gavin, now commanding the 82d Airborne Division, a young man of extraordinary powers of leadership and conspicuous personal courage.

Another is Major General Robert T. Frederick who originally commanded a special commando force of Americans and Canadians conspicuously in Italy, later commanded a division airborne into the landing in southern France and still later commanded the 45th Division in the heavy fighting on the Maginot Line and in the crossing the Rhine and advance into Czechoslovakia.1

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. The editors have not found a response from MacArthur.

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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 256-257.

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