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To Major General Charles D. Herron
April 1, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
I feel very remiss in not having written to you earlier to tell you how much I appreciated the perfectly delightful hospitality you and Mrs. Herron and Jimmie offered me during my visit to Hawaii. I felt that everything pertaining to my stay was exactly as I would like to have it, and I know of no two people that it would give me so much pleasure to visit as you and Louise. Jimmie was an unexpected pleasure.
I have been under terrific pressure since my return, not only with the business which piled up during my absence, but with presentations before the Appropriations Committee, but also, and particularly, with a battle over airplanes, and the preparations of a battle to protect our appropriations in the Senate against heavy economy slashes. This last is really hard work, because I have to see so many people, convince them, provide them with arguments, and then see that the whole scheme of defense dovetails together. I feel that if I can keep the Army training program going, then my most important business is to see that the money is forth-coming to provide adequate preparedness.
It has been cold here until yesterday, which developed into a real spring day with the redbuds out in the early morning and the forsythia blooming by late afternoon. Molly and I had a fine ride and then I walked for an hour with Katherine.
I have been taking up your various propositions one by one to see what can be done to help out. You will hear from me from time to time regarding them.1
With my affectionate regards to you all.
P.S. Your striker put Mrs. Herron’s shoe-horn in my baggage. I am returning it under separate cover. I am also sending my photograph to Jimmie.
The fruit came as a great surprise and delighted us. It was in perfect condition. I am writing Louise to thank her.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. Herron had written a memorandum to Marshall regarding aides to general officers. He contended that at the corps level one aide-de-camp was sufficient. “Aides above this number are either doing work belonging to staff departments, or covering up their idleness. If they are company officers, they are sorely needed with troops.” Herron then noted that too many aides were relatives. Generals followed the “choice of their wives” and this usually reduced the morale of the command and reflected poorly on the commander. “An aide should be an outstanding officer—the best of his grade. When he is, the General’s prestige is enhanced thereby.” Herron recommended that a letter from the secretary of war opposing the detail of relatives to the staffs of general officers be circulated. (Herron to Marshall, March 26, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
Marshall referred the memorandum to G-1. General Shedd concurred with the limitation on numbers of aides, but thought that relatives should be permitted because of the close relationship necessary between general officers and their aides. (Shedd to Marshall, April 2, 1940, NA/RG 165 [G-l, 16083-1].)
2. Louise was Mrs. Herron. Their daughter, also named Louise, was called “Jimmie.”
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 183-184.