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To Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell
April 9, 1943 Radio No. 2465 Washington, D.C.
From Marshall for Stilwell for his eyes only.
The following comes to me in a signed letter from a soldier of your command. It makes sense to me and I therefore pass it on to you: “I have been in the India China Theater for some time and feel that you might be interested in some of the things we ordinary GI’s discuss and decide. A few things stand out.
The opinion of most of us is that if the different commands would stop fighting among themselves we might get somewhere. I refer to the 10th AF, the SOS and the ATC.1 It is like so many hostile camps aligned against each other. That goes for most of our posts.”
I know this is an old story to you but coming to me as it does from a lowly corporal emphasizes the importance of the matter and the necessity of the various commanders on the ground making the correction of this weakness a major consideration.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-3645, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Air Transport Command.
2. Corporal Lew Opsal, a radioman, had written to Marshall, “Why can’t there be one command!” (Opsal to Marshall, n.d., GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Stilwell replied on April 13 that in the majority of cases “our people are playing ball.” There were a few instances of friction due to commands sharing personnel, equipment, and facilities. “This is no alibi,” said Stilwell, and he planned to “make the matter one of major consideration.” (Riley Sunderland and Charles F. Romanus, Stilwell’s Personal File: China-Burma-India, 1942-1944, 5 vols. [Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1976], 2: 654.)
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. 637-638.