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To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower
September 14, 1942 Radio No. 744 Washington, D.C.
For Eisenhower’s eye only.
Reference your 2161 re Eaker and Doolittle:1 Arnold and I both feel very strongly that Doolittle is a much more effective organizer and leader for U S Air Oran and Casa Blanca. He is a leader par excellence and both highly intelligent and strongly persistent in work of preparation. I have seen a great deal of him, took him to West Coast with me and by his combination of modesty, intensity, technical knowledge and level headed bearing he generally impressed me as probably the outstanding combat leader type in our Air Corps. However the decision is and must be yours. Have no hesitation because of what I have said.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Operation Division, Top Secret Message File [CM-OUT-4695], National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. To support the landing operations at Oran and Casablanca, the War Department planned to activate the Twelfth Air Force. Command had tentatively been assigned to Brigadier General James H. Doolittle; Marshall radioed Eisenhower on September 12 asking for his recommendation regarding a commander so that the War Department could issue instructions activating the Twelfth Air Force. Eisenhower replied (Radio No. 2161, September 13, 1942) asking Marshall’s preference between Doolittle and Major General Ira C. Eaker, who then headed the Eighth Bomber Command in Britain. (Papers of DDE, 1: 556-57.)
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), pp. 356-357.