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To Major General Frank Parker
November 16, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I have received your note volunteering for service in North Africa. Your enthusiasm and keenness for action were to be expected and your understanding of the French people, the language and characteristics of their colonial troops, and your knowledge of the topography of North Africa are appreciated.1
I am passing on your request to Eisenhower. In all these matters I have made it a rule to give the commander whom and what he asks for, so far as this has been practicable. In calling retired officers to active duty it has been invariably upon the request of the man who desired their services and I have been unwilling to force my views in such personnel matters, as I have been holding the head men to strict accountability for the efficiency of their operations.
I might tell you, most confidentially, that on six occasions I have endeavored to bring you into the picture but without success so far.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. Parker had written: “I volunteer for the liaison service with the North Africa French Army. My physical condition is fit for active service and I greatly desire to serve actively in this war for the current and subsequent service of which I am and shall be capable. I know the French high command so well. Even if you have to make an exception in my case I shall prove your wisdom in so doing.” (Parker to Marshall, November 8, 1942, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Parker, who had commanded the First Division during the final weeks of World War I, had been a student and teacher at the