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3-338 To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower, September 26, 1942

1942
   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 26, 1942

Subject: World War II


To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower

September 26, 1942 Radio1 [Washington, D.C.]

Secret

For General Eisenhower’s eye alone.

You have my full confidence and I heartily approve of everything you have done with two exceptions.

I was greatly disturbed by your recommendation of Frank in place of Doolittle because Arnold and I know Frank, saw what he did over here and consider that that would have been a tragic error.2 I am now even more disturbed over the selection of Hartle for a vital command. I think he did all right in Ireland but I think he gave a decidedly mediocre performance in cleaning up his unit and providing adequate leadership. To put him in charge of the key operation disturbs me greatly. If you can’t use Clark for this I will send you practically anyone you name. Dawley, Simpson, Griswold, Hodges, Lucas, Fredendall, Richardson or White.3 Dawley made a tremendous impression on McNair as a corps commander and leader in the North Carolina maneuvers. However please think this over but make your own decision.

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. Although dictated as a radio message, this document was personally delivered on September 30 by Major General Mark W. Clark, who had returned to Britain from a brief visit to Washington to discuss North African operation plans.

2. Former commanding general of the Third Air Force (October 1941-June 1942), Major General Walter H. Frank at this time was commanding the Eighth Air Force Service Command in Britain. On September 14 Eisenhower proposed Frank as an alternative to Ira Eaker or to James H. Doolittle as commander of the new Twelfth Air Force. (Papers of DDE, 1: 593. See Marshall to Eisenhower, September 14, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-326 [3: 356-57].) Eisenhower replied on October 3 that he “had never before heard anything detrimental to General Frank,” that Frank had done a good job in establishing the air base command in Britain, and that Frank had “the earnest and enthusiastic recommendation of European theater air commander Carl Spaatz and his staff. (Papers of DDE, 1: 590-91.) In mid-November Frank was made commander of the Army Air Forces Air Service Command at Patterson Field, Ohio.

3. Eisenhower explained that his selection of Major General Russell P. Hartle to command the Oran landing force “was based upon the conviction that he would do a workmanlike job. As agreed in subsequent telegrams, I am substituting Fredendall for him and will leave Hartle here in London. As my deputy, he will take over control here and I will see to it that he exercises his authority with the proper degree of toughness—of which no little is demanded right here in this spot.” (Ibid., p. 591.) The men Marshall listed were all Regular Army major generals between the ages of fifty-two and fifty-nine, and all but one (Charles H. White, who was at Fort Lewis, Washington) were corps commanders: Ernest J. Dawley (Sixth), William H. Simpson (Twelfth), Oscar W. Griswold (Fourth), Courtney H. Hodges (Tenth), John P. Lucas (Third), Lloyd R. Fredendall (Eleventh), and Robert C. Richardson, Jr. (Seventh).

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. 367-368.

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Holding ID: 3-338

Rights: Public Information