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To General of the Army Henry H. Arnold
October 17, 1946 Nanking, China
I have lost all contact with you aside from the knowledge that you are Fish and Game Commissioner of California.1 This one item of information suggests to me glorious fall days in the mountains for fish, and pheasant hunting de luxe. I envy you your freedom. Make good use of it.
My work goes on interminably, rather like the seemingly never ending battle to establish Overlord.
Katherine and I live comfortably, possibly luxuriously by U.S. standards, but our thoughts and longings are concentrated on Leesburg and Pinehurst.
Molly may be leaving Washington now with the children in the Generalissimos new C-54, headed for a fast trip to Nanking. She has been waiting since September for ship passage to India where Colonel Winn is located as a military attache.2 Katherine of course is thrilled with the prospect of being a grandma again.
My plane—Churchill’s old one—hit a soft spot in the run way or taxi way here a week ago while turning, sank one wheel in deep, breaking off the nose wheel and twisting the nose out of plumb.
I am completely out of touch with home affairs, Army, etc and can hardly recall when I was in the midst of things. It is a great relief not to be burdened with War Department responsibilities, but my troubles have merely been transferred to another issue and other surroundings—while you fish and shoot, damn it!!
I wish we could go again in the higher altitudes for golden trout. You must really organize a good expedition for me on my return, that is after I finish my gardening chores at Leesburg and Pinehurst.
Give our affectionate regards to Mrs. Arnold and keep a fair share for yourself—and my best to David.3
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Collection, H.H. Arnold, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Arnold had stepped down as commanding general of the Army Air Forces on February 9, began his final leave on March 3, and formally retired as of the end of June 1946. He lived on a farm near Sonoma, California, and was serving as a member of the California Fish and Game Commission.
2. On the Winn family’s transportation problems, see Marshall to Chamberlin, September 3, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-546 [5: 675-76]. Hearing of their plight, Chiang Kai-shek volunteered to fly them over in his new plane. In March 1946, the Chinese National Aviation Corporation had requested Pan American World Airways to procure and convert a four-engine Douglas C-54 Skymaster military transport for Chiang Kai-shek’s use. General Wedemeyer asked that the commanding general of the Army Air Forces (General Carl Spaatz after February 9) help expedite the process. (Wedemeyer to Spaatz, Radio No. CFB-26400, March 23, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, War Department, Miscellaneous].) After many delays, the aircraft and Winns arrived in Shanghai on November 11.
3. David Lee, Arnold’s youngest child, was a member of the class of 1949 at the U.S. Military Academy.
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. 723-724.