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To Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith
March 15, 1944 [Radio No. 299] Washington, D.C.
Personal for Smith from Marshall.
The matter of the transfer of the Army Band from the Mediterranean to your theater has been personally handled by me.1 Devers hates to lose Band but states that transportation for the Band plus field music will be available about the middle of April. I have not yet come to a decision in the matter. The trouble is this, I proposed the movement of the Band to the Mediterranean in order to give it prestige before the country so that it might be on an approximate footing with the Marine and Navy Bands. Practically nothing ever came out of the Mediterranean about the Band and I do not want to send it to the European Theater if it will be involved in the same silence. Let me have your comments.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. See Marshall to Devers, March 13, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-288 [4: 340-41].
2. “Against a background of active military operations and political maneuvers in the Mediterranean it was practically impossible to produce publicity for the band,” Smith replied on March 16. “Newsmen were not interested in the slightest degree and the band’s broadcasts could not reach the United States. About all that could be done was to try to get away from the stilted methods that the band leader was using and endeavor to add some color so that when the band returned to the United States it would attract attention.” Smith informed Marshall that “here the band will play concerts for the Prime Minister, Parliament, et cetera, and it may be possible to give it more publicity, but on this consideration alone I doubt if it is worthwhile to move it to the United Kingdom. In the United States I believe it would now attract far more attention.” (Smith to Marshall, March 16, 1944, In Log, p. 145-AA, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Message Log].)
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), p. 348.