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To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers
March 13, 1944 Radio No. 2065 Washington, D.C.
For Devers’ Eyes Only from Marshall.
Reference my 1948 and your W-5038 regarding Army Band:1 I sent the Band to Italy in order to increase its prestige and incidentally help morale. I thought by giving it an active theater background it might acquire prestige here at home approximating that of the Navy and Marine Bands. I was not very successful as little publicity has ever come out of the Mediterranean regarding the Band, at the moment I only recall one reference.
Now because the center of gravity is switching I thought again for my purpose in establishing the position of the Band before the country, that we might get somewhere by sending it to England. I don’t wish to have a bad effect on your theater on morale but my purpose was directed to the Band more than to the theater. If in the light of circumstances you still feel that it would be importantly adverse to the interests of the U.S. Troops in the Mediterranean I will not go further in the matter.2
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-5186, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. “The Army Band was sent to North Africa at my personal direction,” Marshall notified Devers on March 11. “It has been there for over 8 months and a move is now desirable. Unless there are strong reasons to the contrary it is contemplated moving the Band, including the Special Field Music organized since its arrival in North Africa, to the U K.” (Marshall to Devers, Radio No. 1948, March 11, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Devers replied: “Last October an exceptionally fine band with field music was organized in the United Kingdom. If it is strongly desired to transfer the army band and field music to the United Kingdom, thus giving them 2, the only strong reason that can be given for retaining it here is that there will be a corresponding loss of morale.” (Devers to Marshall, Radio No. W-5038, March 13, 1944, ibid.)
2. See Marshall to Smith, March 15, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-295 [4: 348].
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. 340-341.