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To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers
June 7, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Attached is a letter from the wife of your old barber at Fort Myer, Joe Abbate, to his uncle, Giovanni Abbate, Itala Superiore, Prov. Messina, Italy. There is also inclosed $35.00 in American currency. Possibly this should be converted into invasion currency.
Joe still has his Fort Myer shop but he also has the huge shop here in the Pentagon.
I hope you can arrange to have the delivery of the letter and the money made to Joe’s uncle and also that some employment can be found for this fellow. Joe tells me he has two sons who are prisoners of war, both officers, and that he had been a well-to-do man but is now reduced to beggary. He also said that a portion of his trouble had come from his hostility to Mussolini. However, this particular can be easily picked up by your people.
I don’t know how much trouble I am imposing on you but if you have any contact with Messina I should appreciate your helping out in this. Incidentally, Joe had no idea of my taking this action. He was merely telling me the story of his uncle when I offered to get a letter through, and money, if he cared to send it.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Devers wrote to Joe Abbate on June 21 that the letter and money had been delivered to his uncle, who was retired and receiving a small pension and salary from the city of Messina. “We have given him a position as Agricultural Adviser to the Provincial Commissioner, Messina, at 150 lire per day,” wrote Devers. He also reported on the last known whereabouts of the uncle’s three sons. (Devers to Abbate, June 21, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) General Marshall thanked Devers for taking care of the matter, and he added a postscript by hand: “Joe was so excited over your letter that he almost butchered my haircut.” (Marshall to Devers, June 29, 1944, ibid.)
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 469-470.