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To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers
July 20, 1944 Radio No. WAR-68323 Washington, D.C.
Personal for Devers from Marshall.
United Press release from 5th Army dated July 20 speaks of the 100th Hawaiian-American Battalion “composed partly of Americans of Japanese descent”.1 The word “partly” destroys the effect which we are trying to create with this publicity.2 The War Department has no knowledge of this being anything except a Japanese-American Battalion with possibly a few non-Japanese officers. Please continue the buildup of this unit but make certain that your correspondents and censors do not weaken the material by such references as this one.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-68323, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. An Associated Press dispatch from Rome of the same date noted that the One Hundredth Infantry Battalion—which was made up largely of Japanese Americans from the Hawaiian National Guard—was “composed of Hawaiian-Americans.” (New York Times, July 21, 1944, p. 5.) Concerning the origins of the Japanese-American units, see Marshall to Emmons, October 7, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-124 [4: 146-47].
2. In late June, the Operations Division had sent Devers a message regarding the 442d Combat Team and the One Hundredth Infantry Battalion: “If military reasons do not preclude, it would be beneficial to give publicity to aggressive action of these Japanese troops. It has tremendous value, not only from the propaganda side, but helps materially in our handling of the American-of-Japanese-descent problem in this country, particularly on the west coast.” (Marshall [OPD] to Devers, Radio No. WAR-57243, June 28, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-OUT-57243)].)
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), p. 532.