4-102 To Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, September 4, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 4, 1943

Subject: World War II

To Lieutenant General Walter Krueger1

September 4, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Krueger:

I am enclosing two letters, one to me, and my reply relating to Major Sam Salisbury. Apparently he is in your Army.2

I am burdening you with this minor matter because I knew this man back in 1934 [1933] and found him one of the best prepared reserve officers I had come in contact with, quiet, unassuming, unobtrusive, with power of command and control. I turned over the troops on the post and the garrison to him and his officers during their training tour, while I devoted my attention with my staff to the CCC then being organized. He did it all exceedingly well with none of the usual palaver.

Salisbury, I think, was a ship captain and the son of an admiral. He must be about 45 or 50.

I wish you would find out whether or not the vicissitudes described in his letter were due to his incompetence, or more or less the hard luck of having been superseded by men who had gotten rapid promotions. I hope you will not visit on him your wrath for having written me directly; but if I know the man, this is the first time in his life he has ever spoken out of turn. Possibly if he had been more aggressive regarding his own affairs, he might have at least gained one grade in rank. He was a major when I knew him in 1934.

Don’t trouble to answer this. It is merely one of the items in my day’s mail which invariably includes something of this sort. I seldom touch these unless I have reason to feel that it may be a case of genuine injustice.3

I imagine you are having a most interesting time and happy to be on the front. I was sorry not to see you in Washington before you departed, but as I recall I was either in England or Africa at the time.

With warm regards,

Faithfully yours,

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. Krueger, commanding general of the U.S. Sixth Army and the new (in July) Alamo Force, was at his Australian headquarters near Brisbane.

2. Salisbury, who had served under Marshall in 1933 at Fort Screven, Georgia, had written to describe his activities during the seventeen months he had been in Australia and New Guinea creating and running Army Transport Service Base Sections. He noted that subordinates had been promoted ahead of him and that in April he had organized and led a rescue party aboard a blazing ammunition ship in Milne Bay, for which his two assistants were awarded the Silver Star, but he was “ignored.” Marshall replied that he was “sorry that you have not had better luck, but I am glad to see that your soldierly spirit has not been dented and you still have your head up.” (Salisbury to Marshall, June I1, 1943, and Marshall to Salisbury, September 4, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)

3. Marshall later wrote to Salisbury: “I have just learned from General Krueger that you have been promoted, also that you have received the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He expressed himself in most favorable terms regarding your services, recognizing the hard luck of your various assignments in the past.” (Marshall to Salisbury, November 10, 1943, ibid.)

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. 119-120.

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Holding ID: 4-102

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