2-541 To Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur Telegram No. 121, September 5, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 5, 1941

To Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur1

September 5, 1941 Telegram No. 121. [Washington, D.C.]


Consideration being given by army navy to possibility of dispatching one first class National Guard division to Philippines approximately eighteen thousand men. This involves heavy demand on shipping in view of tremendous obligations in Atlantic. It also involves serious convoy problem with jeopardy to naval craft passing mandate bases. It further involves future heavy tonnage requirements for supply to Philippines with probability of this being rendered impracticable. Your views are desired. In this connection you are informed that we are planning in any event to send you nine additional Flying Fortresses in early October and a similar number in November together with additional though uncertain numbers of pursuit planes and we hope some modern light bombers and additional tanks. Additional personnel, not necessarily organizational, to man this equipment can be sent as you desire. Also we can supply trained replacements for any of your present Regular personnel being utilized in organization of Philippine Army or for minor increases of your command.2

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

Document Format: Typed telegram.

1. MacArthur, having returned to active duty on July 26, 1941, received the rank of lieutenant general on July 29, 1941.

2. “I do not consider it necessary for defense purposes to dispatch a us Army Infantry division at this time, MacArthur replied. “Equipment and supply of existing forces are the prime essential instead of reinforcements except comparatively minimum required to meet special needs.” He then outlined several special needs, including more aircraft and antiaircraft supplies, concluding: “I am confident if these steps are taken with sufficient speed that no further major reinforcement will be necessary for accomplishment of defense mission. (MacArthur to Marshall, Telegram No. 277, September 7, 1941, NA/RG 407 [Classified, 320.2 (7-28-41)(3)].) See Memorandum for Admiral Stark, September 12, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-547 [2: 605-6].

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. 599-600.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 2-541

Rights: Public Information