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To Lieutenant General Delos C. Emmons
October 16, 1942 Radio No. 719 Washington, D.C.
For General Emmons’ eye only.
Reference your 3603 I am not yet ready to go into details of this matter with the Navy.1 It is very important that we in the Army have first coordinated our views. I wish therefore to have further expressions from you as to exact methods thought best to follow in setting up joint Army and Navy large commands.
In my radio yesterday on this subject I failed to make one very pertinent comment and that is that Nimitz commands Army troops from New Zealand to Alaska while your Army command is but a portion of his. It therefore seems apparent that he should have a better integrated staff. At the present time we are dealing with an urgent demand from Ghormley seconded by Harmon for another division to the South Pacific.2 MacArthur desires another division. Tonnage is strictly limited and the Navy is now moving in its tonnage a large portion of the Forty-third Division to the South Pacific. This in turn involves a reduction of MacArthur’s base personnel shipments. Furthermore we are now engaged in preliminary measures in setting up in Noumea an organization to meet the logistical requirements of ground and Army Air Forces involved in Ghormley’s active operations. This should have been done in the first place and I am certain that an intelligent Army staff with Nimitz would have forced the issue which we now find confronting us in a crisis.
This message is for your eye only and these examples are not to be quoted to the Navy because they imply criticism which I must reserve to myself to make.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. The editors have not found this document.
2. Major General Millard F. Harmon, Jr. (U.S.M.A., 1912), a pioneer in military aviation and former chief of the Air Staff, had been appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area on July 14, 1942. He was subordinate to South Pacific Area commander Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley. Both commanders were hurriedly reinforcing the United States position on Guadalcanal in preparation for an imminent Japanese counteroffensive.
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 401.