5-373 To Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, February 24, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 24, 1946

Subject: China

To Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith

[February 24, 1946] Radio No. GOLD 237 [Chungking, China]

Congratulations on your appointment which is a splendid choice.1 I am sorry you are to have such a heavy job with no opportunity for rest but I know of no one who could give a better performance.2

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Department of State (RG 59), Lot Files, Marshall Mission, War Department, Originals, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Handwritten radio message.

1. President Truman had decided that Smith would succeed Averell Harriman as ambassador to the Soviet Union. He announced this on February 14, the day Harriman arrived in Washington and his resignation was accepted. In order for Smith to retain his military status, however, Congress had to pass special legislation; consequently, Smith was not formally appointed until March 22.

2. Smith replied: “I would have much preferred a quiet assignment but you have set the example of devotion to duty and the rest of us must follow you and do the best we can.” (Smith to Marshall, Radio No. WCL-49838, February 26, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, Messages In].)

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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 475.

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Holding ID: 5-373

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