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To General of the Army Henry H. Arnold
April 16, 1945 Radio. Washington, D.C.
Eyes Only for Arnold from Marshall.
Reference your UA 67521 of April 14, the crux of your message is in the third paragraph. I quote: “or if I continue leisurely and restfully, etc”.1 Each statement you have given me regarding leisurely and restful movements has not been in accord with your subsequent movements and I assume that the same will happen in this case.2
I certainly would not have you hurry back to Washington for the strain of action here and on the other hand I am rather depressed at seeing you start on another of your strenuous trips, this time carrying you around the world.3 It may demonstrate to the Army and to the public that you certainly are not on the retired list but also it may result in your landing there. I will have to trust to your judgment though I have little hope that you can curtail your wasteful expenditure of physical strength and nervous energy.4
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. Arnold had left Washington, D.C., on March 31 for a tour of France and Germany. On April 14 he wrote from France, “I find myself rapidly approaching the end of a period of rest and relaxation and recovering my physical well being.” He would soon be traveling to Italy, and he was debating whether to return to Washington or continue on to the Pacific theater. “Changed conditions in Washington add materially to the load which you are carrying. The Army Air Forces should do their utmost to bear their part of it and to relieve you as much as they can. The question that comes to my mind is whether considering the long pull I can give better service if I return to Washington direct or if I continue leisurely and restfully and visit the CBI, MacArthur, Nimitz and go to Washington via San Francisco.” (Arnold to Marshall, Radio No. UA-67521, April 14, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) For Marshall’s previous advice to Arnold on March 2, 1945, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-051 [5: 72-73].
2. “I read of your presence and statements with various active commands,” General Marshall had written to Arnold on April 8. “Where is the Bermuda rest, the lazy days at Cannes, the period of retirement at Capri? You are riding for a fall, doctor or no doctor.” (Marshall to Arnold, April 8, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Arnold mentions Marshall’s message in his memoirs and responds: “He [Marshall] was right and wrong. He didn’t realize I was in bed for an hour and a half every day after lunch, in bed at nine o’clock at the latest every night, and didn’t get up until about eight o’clock each day. However, I was glad he was solicitous of my well-being.” (H. H. Arnold, Global Mission [New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949], pp. 547-48.)
3. Arnold reported that he had not visited the Pacific theater for over two years. “Therefore, there are certain attractions and advantages to my taking that route home. The doctors looking me over say that physically I could go either way. Accordingly I would appreciate an expression of opinion from you as to your desires on this matter.” (Arnold to Marshall, Radio No. UA-67521, April 14, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
4. Arnold continued his inspection tours in Italy and Brazil before returning to the United States on May 8. He left Washington on June 6 for his trip to the Pacific theater. (Arnold, Global Mission, pp. 552-75.)
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. 144-145.