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To Major General Alexander M. Patch
March 19, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
For some time we have been considering the desirability of bringing senior battle-experienced officers from each theatre back to the United States to strengthen our training program. Also we had the thought that the climate of the Solomons made it highly desirable to effect reliefs of commanders at rather regular intervals, otherwise we would probably lose their services due to malaria, etc.
During General Harmon’s visit I discussed the matter with him and he has agreed to your release. General Griswold, who now has the IV Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington, will be your replacement and you will take his Corps when you return.1 Orders will issue shortly to put these changes into effect.
While I realize that you would much prefer to remain closer to the scene of actual operations, General Harmon tells me that in all probability the XIV Corps will have mainly administrative functions for the next few months. Both General McNair and I believe your experience in the South Pacific can, therefore, be put to best advantage here.
You have done a superb job both in New Caledonia and Guadalcanal and we will all look forward to having the opportunity of seeing you on your return.2
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. Lieutenant General Millard F. Harmon, commanding general of the South Pacific Area, was attending the Pacific Military Conference in Washington, D.C. (See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-569 [3: 604-7].) For more information on the Patch-Griswold transfer, see Marshall Memorandum for General McNair, March 29, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-578 [3: 618-19].
2. “While I personally would prefer to remain closer to an area of active operations,” replied Patch, “this is no time for anyone to give the slightest attention to his own preference. Chance and circumstances have been more than good to me personally. Hence, the least I can do is to be prepared to serve wherever it may be considered that I can be of use.” (Patch to Marshall, April 2, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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), p. 596.