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To Lieutenant General Sir Hastings Ismay
June 28, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I have a peculiar request to make of you.
On the flight to Africa the Prime Minister talked quite a bit about the new Stars to be authorized for the Eighth Army Campaign and for the First Army battle in Tunisia. He further discussed the matter in Algiers, and finally I heard some comments on the subject by Tedder and young Randolph Churchill with the Prime Minister on our plane flight to Tunisia.1
I would appreciate your sending me the regulation or announcement on the subject, but I would even more appreciate having the benefit of the Prime Minister’s approach to this decision. I recall some of the points he made but I find I am very hazy on his views regarding clasps.
Would it offend him to ask that he dictate, very roughly, about a page statement of his reasons for selecting a point west of Cairo and for requiring that the men should have been attached to the combat army, etc.
Please don’t be embarrassed in this matter. You thoroughly understand his probable reactions and I will equally understand your decision not to speak to him on the subject.2
With warm regards,
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. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder had been commander in chief of the Mediterranean Air Command since it was formed on February 17, 1943. Randolph F. E. S. Churchill was the prime minister’s son and a staff officer with the British Army in North Africa.
2. Ismay replied that the prime minister had “considerably modified the views about decorations” since returning to Britain, and as the issue was still being considered, Ismay had not asked him to repeat his original thoughts. But “for your eye alone,” Ismay said that the government was planning to issue an “Africa Star” and a “1939-43 Star.” (Ismay to Marshall, July 7, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Churchill announced these decorations on August 3. They are described in H. Taprell Dorling, Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil (London: George Philip and Son, 1946), pp. 87-89.
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. 38-39.