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To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower
June 13, 1945 [Radio No. W-16154.] Washington, D.C.
From General Marshall to General Eisenhower.
I have just been reading of the splendid reception given you in London which reminds me that so far in the preparation of the arrangements for your return home, you have only been consulted on rather precise details in the formulation of the general program. It occurs to me that you may have some general observations you wish to make in the matter. Please let me have them in all frankness.
Yesterday I formalized the first phase of your moves here in Washington in this manner. I will meet you at the airport and ride with you to the Pentagon. I think I will have Handy ride with Smith. The column of cars containing your party will enter the inner court of the Pentagon where the workers in the War Department can see and greet you either from the ground or from the adjacent windows. Your car will stop in front of a balcony where the Secretary of War will greet you using a loud speaker, you to reply from the car and I suggest that here you can make a very brief appreciation of the work of these many people in the War Department in supporting your activities in Europe. I will leave you there and so will Handy, and I had in mind that Smith would then join you in your car and we would have a young officer in the front seat who understands the entire program. Admiral Kirk would follow in the next car.1 The remainder of the program will be detailed to you by General Young,2 but I wanted you to know at an early date of this first phase. As matters now stand you would drive through the city with Smith and no other person save the young officer referred to. I will join the Chiefs of Staff who will be present at the reception at Congress.
I say again, let me have any personal reactions you may have in a general way regarding the business of your return. General Young is machining the entire program for your formal approval but of course there are many other things involved which may be important but are too detailed to go into a general statement of the program.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. Vice Admiral Alan G. Kirk (U.S.N.A., 1909) was commander of U.S. Navy forces in the European Theater of Operations.
2. Brigadier General Robert N. Young, assistant commander of the Third Division, was coordinating Eisenhower’s trip arrangements.
3. Eisenhower replied on June 14 that he had “no general suggestions to make,” although he did hope to see a baseball game in New York. Eisenhower and his party departed from Frankfurt, Germany, on June 16 and arrived in Washington shortly before noon on June 18. He headed a parade to the Capitol, spoke before a joint session of Congress, and went to the White House to receive the second Oak Leaf Cluster for his Distinguished Service Medal. He subsequently visited New York City; the U.S. Military Academy; Kansas City, Missouri; his family home in Abilene, Kansas; and Roosevelt’s grave at Hyde Park, New York; before departing for Frankfurt on the evening of July 10. (Papers of DDE, 6: 162-63.)
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. 227-228.