2-297 To Lieutenant General Charles D. Herron, October 29, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 29, 1940

To Lieutenant General Charles D. Herron

October 29, 1940 Washington, D.C.

Dear Herron:

I received a note from you this morning regarding the Governor’s arrangement for the Selective Service Act, and your calling to duty the first Japanese ROTC product.1 Also your suggestion regarding internment camps.2 I am having the various points looked up by the sections of the Staff concerned.

As I told you when I was in Hawaii, you are a great source of comfort to me because I feel that your sound judgment and utter loyalty guarantee the full protection of our military interests in the Pacific.

Your reference to the business of the Army expansion is appreciated.3 We are doing a great many things, and involvements are numerous and exceedingly complicated. However, we have been able so far to keep our heads above the deluge; the seed-corn planted last fall, which began to bear fruit in the early summer, has saved us in the business of this tremendous expansion. The numbers involved and the reorganizations accomplished seem very small in the light of what we have recently embarked on. However, if those preliminary moves and expansions had had to be carried out at the same time as the present program, it would have been utterly impossible to have avoided tremendous confusion—at least in the minds of the lower echelons struggling to find themselves.

I feel now that if we can go on into next March without untoward incident, the full plot will have been developed—the last phase being the establishment and gearing into full running order some 22 replacement centers of 15,000 or more men each. The worst should then be over, and even though a much greater expansion is required, so firm a foundation will have been laid that we should be able to carry on with far less difficulty than at present.

My trips about the country, and particularly those to Panama and Hawaii have been immensely profitable to me in passing on the various issues raised in the War Department. I am just going into what I hope is the last adjustment of the War Department General Staff, in the creation of an additional Deputy in whom will be centered all matters pertaining to the Air Corps, along with the divorcement of the GHQ Air Force from its temporary status under the Chief of the Air Corps. Once this set-up is in full running order, I think we can accommodate ourselves to future requirements.

McNair has taken a tremendous load off my shoulders, but is having a pretty hard time himself. He has a ten-passenger plane and he and his staff are on the go almost constantly.

We got a great deal of enjoyment from the fruit you and Louise treated us to; but I do wish I could sit down to another Hawaiian dinner like that she honored me with the night before my departure from Honolulu.

Give my ADC Jimmie my love, and tell her I hope she is keeping up professionally preparatory to serving me when the time comes. Incidentally she might be of help in coordinating some 15,000 ambitious would be Army hostesses—we only need 90.4


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. Herron wrote that he had called to active duty the first Reserve officer of Japanese ancestry, a University of Hawaii R.O.T.C. graduate, for an assignment in the quartermaster depot. But Governor Joseph B. Poindexter had “just announced the personnel of the Draft Boards and there is not one Japanese name in the lot, although 40% of the draft will be of that blood. I fear that the young Japanese will come to camp in a bad frame of mind and that my calling of the single Reserve officer will have no effect on the inevitable reaction to the Governor’s action. I do not see how he could have done such a thing!” (Herron to Marshall, October 26, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

2. Concerning the possibility that a significant number of United States citizens being evacuated from the Far East might have to be housed in Hawaii, Herron wrote: “For your information about 3,000 evacuees from the Orient could be housed here temporarily without putting up tent camps or turning soldiers out of barracks. Should more than 3,000 evacuees be debarked here we would need immediately more cots.” (Ibid.)

3. Concluding his letter to Marshall, Herron wrote: “Contemplation of the war Army that you are building makes my few remaining hairs stand on end and I am appalled by the thought of all of the decisions that must come up to you. Praise God you have a strong body as well as a good mind!” (Ibid.)

4. Marshall later wrote to Senator Joseph C. O’Mahoney: “The matter of the appointment of hostesses and librarians has caused me more time-consuming energy than the augmentation of the Army to 1,400,000. The War Department has successfully withstood terrific pressures from every direction.” (Marshall to O’Mahoney, [March 10?, 1941], GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)

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. 344-346.

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