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To John C. Kunkel1
October 25, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Kunkel:
Mr. William E. Crist, son of General Crist, now in charge of civil government in Japan, has appealed to me to indorse his application for an appointment to West Point. I have an intimate concern in his case because it happens that I secured special permission for his father, then Lieutenant Crist, to return from China with Mrs. Crist so that the expected baby would be born back home in Pennsylvania.2 Young William is the result. He is a fine fellow and appears to have inherited the military ideals of his father who is rendering a conspicuous service to the country.3
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. A Republican member of the House of Representatives since 1939, Kunkel represented the Eighteenth District of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg and vicinity).
2. William E. Crist, Jr., like his father, had been born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Brigadier General Crist (U.S.M.A., 1920) had been chief of the Government Section, General Headquarters, Tokyo, since August 1945. The Marshalls and Crists had been together in Tientsin, China, between 1924 and 1926.
Concerned that he might be setting a precedent, Marshall had the Personnel Division study the idea of the chief of staff’s recommending that a candidate be appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. G-1 concluded that a letter to Congressman Kunkel would not establish a precedent, given Marshall’s “long personal acquaintanceship with the boy, as distinguished from your official relationship with his father.” (Brigadier General Robert W. Berry Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, October 23, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
3. Young Crist matriculated with the Class of 1950 in July 1946.
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. 335-336.