2-317 To George S. King, December 7, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 7, 1940

To George S. King

December 7, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]

My dear Dr. King:

I received your letter of December 4th, regarding the plan you have worked out for a defense system against aerial night bombing.1

We are very glad to get every idea on this subject, and I would suggest that you mail your plan to Dr. Vannevar Bush, Research Committee of the Council of National Defense, Carnegie Institution, 1530 P Street, Washington, D.C. We have coordinated all research matters, and this is one of them, to this Committee of scientists, of which Dr. Bush is the head. We not only have the advantage of the work of this particular group, but they have organized the research men throughout the United States so that their services and their laboratories are all available to assist us.

The particular subject you bring up is under investigation in a number of different directions, and I know Dr. Bush will be glad to have your ideas.2

Faithfully yours,

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. King, a physician in Bay Shore, New York, had written to Marshall for the name of someone in authority to whom he could submit his plan for serious consideration. King did not include his plan in his letter to Marshall, but noted that he had “carefully worked out a scheme with relatively small risk and relatively small financial outlay when compared to the present methods of combating night bombing, which I am sure is original and which I am positive would immediately appeal to you as an experienced Army officer.” (King to Marshall, December 4, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)

2. Dr. King replied that he was forwarding his ideas to Dr. Bush as well as to the Air Ministry of Great Britain. In appreciation of Marshall’s personal reply to his letter, King wrote, “Your prompt reply to my personal letter regarding an idea for aerial night bombing, illustrates the fact that great men are great simply because they attend to details which smaller individuals over-look.” (King to Marshall, December 9, 1940, ibid.)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 365.

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