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To John C. O’Laughlin
January 29, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Cal:
This morning I read the editorial in the Army and Navy Journal of January 27th, referring to my recent inspection trips. I appreciate the generous treatment you have given me, and I think it will be very helpful with the Service at large.1
I had some radio communication with General Pershing the afternoon of the day of his arrival in Tucson. I was flying east from March Field trying to reach El Paso in time to review the Cavalry Division as it returned from the field; I made it by about fifteen minutes. Incidentally, we enjoyed perfect flying weather throughout, but we flew all the way from Leavenworth to the West Coast, east to Georgia and north to Washington followed by vicious weather, which got closer and closer on our heels. Arnold sent me a note this morning from General Martin at Barksdale Field, who said sleet and snow struck them thirty minutes after our departure. We were just sitting down to dinner at Benning when the weather report caused us to abandon the meal and the assembling guests, and take off for Washington. We had a perfect flight up here, as the visibility was good and we had a tail wind of from 50 to 70 miles an hour; made the trip in 2 hours and 50 minutes.
P.S. Apropos of the editorial in the Army and Navy Journal, I am enclosing a confidential memorandum of a few days ago to the Staff.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. O’Laughlin was the publisher of the Army and Navy Journal. The editorial observed that Marshall “is wisely building an en rapport between the high command in Washington and the forces in the field. A lack of understanding between the War Department General Staff and the field could hold dire possibilities for the success of the programs and policies laid down by the Secretary of War. To avoid this and to assure complete coordination of purposes and methods, General Marshall has been taking every precaution to keep in closest touch with the Army units.” It also noted Marshall’s conference with the Corps Area commanders and his inspection trips to the maneuvers in the west and south. Emphasizing the importance of the chief of staff’s personal presence in the field, the editorial said: “a thousand letters could not convey the picture he brought back in his mind.”
2. The memorandum to which Marshall refers is that of January 25, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-110 [2: 146]. O’Laughlin replied that he was “glad the editorial pleased you. It is only the beginning of the campaign I have in mind.” (O’Laughlin to Marshall, January 30, 1940, GCMRL/G.C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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), pp. 153-154.