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To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers
October 21, 1943 Radio No. R-4674 Washington, D.C.
For Devers’ eyes only from Marshall.
I am looking for a place overseas for General Reckord, former commander of the 29th Division and now commanding the 3rd Service Command in Baltimore. He retires the end of December.1
If you do not know him Reckord is an aggressive character with considerable administrative and executive capacity who has been more or less the directing genius in all National Guard Legislation. It occurred to me that he would make a very efficient Provost Marshal particularly in relation to your negro problem and matters of that sort.2 Since Key was sent to Iceland I do not know who your Provost Marshal is.3 What about Reckord?4
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-9030, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. War Department policy called for the relief from command duty of all officers reaching the statutory retirement age of sixty-four. Major General Milton A. Reckord was to be retired effective December 28, 1943, and several important friends of his had contacted the War Department regarding a future assignment for him.
2. Concerning the problems faced by African-American troops stationed in Great Britain, see Lee, Employment of Negro Troops, pp. 440-41, 624-30, and David Reynolds, Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942-1945 (New York: Random House, 1995), 216-37, 302-24.
3. Major General William S. Key, a former commander of the National Guard’s Forty-fifth Division, had been head of the Iceland Base Command since June 1943.
4. Reckord became provost marshal general, European Theater of Operations, in December 1943.
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. 162-163.