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To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower
August 5, 1942 [Radio No. 2890] [Washington, D.C.]
Have detailed report submitted on organization and management of women complements in antiaircraft combat units. Character of work done, sleeping, messing arrangements and so forth.1
I probably will not be able to release Smith before latter part of August and maybe not then. His relationship to Admiral Leahy and Admiral King at this time has made it impossible for me to go through with original plan. Would his later detail be still acceptable or must you go ahead with other arrangements?2
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. While in London, Marshall had talked with Eisenhower about the allocation of Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps companies to the European Theater to ease the shortage of clerical help. (Walter B. Smith Memorandum for General Somervell, August 3, 1942, NA/RG 160 [ASI Director of Administration, WAAC].) Eisenhower replied: “British use women ATS [Auxiliary Territorial Service] principally with mixed heavy antiaircraft batteries in static positions and are experimenting with use in manning searchlight equipment at chosen installations adjacent to populated areas where a certain amount of police protection is afforded.” Although A.T.S. officers received basic classroom knowledge of antiaircraft tactics, none had operational command. Only those women who volunteered specifically for antiaircraft duty were eligible for such service. “ATS man range instruments, equipment in plotting room, perform administrative duties and are cooks and mess attendants in the mixed mess. Men and women eating together share canteen and recreational facilities but have additional recreational facilities for themselves. Camps are divided into 2 general areas, 1 for ATS, 1 for men, each having own latrine and bathing facilities. Regimental medical officers handle both men and women at different times. Not used with light antiaircraft installations except for administrative duties.” (Eisenhower to Marshall, Radio No. 1101, August 12, 1942, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 291.9].) On August 18 the military attach