3-246 To Major General James G. Harbord, July 3, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 3, 1942

Subject: World War II

To Major General James G. Harbord

July 3, 1942 Washington, D.C.

My dear General:

I have just received a note that H.R. 6081 has passed both Houses of Congress and will probably be signed by the President in a few days. As I understand it, this bill will permit your advancement to the grade of Lieutenant General.1 I am sorry that it did not become a law at an earlier date. However, the heavy legislative battles regarding basic war legislation made it extremely difficult to put any special legislation through the mill.

Incidentally, having in mind the cablegram General Pershing sent from Paris in June or July, 1919 which proposed you for the grade of Lieutenant General, you might be interested to know that I have had a continuous battle on the same subject. I have been successful though in seeing that the men in important positions were given the rank in time to be of use to them in their new functions and in their dealings with opposite officials. The clearing of each proposal for a lieutenant general is fraught with difficulties, but so far I have been able to put them across.

With warm regards to Anne2 and yourself,

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. Harbord, chairman of the board for Radio Corporation of America, had retired in 1922. H.R. 6081 amended the retirement act of June 13, 1940, by striking out the words “below the grade of brigadier general” to provide that any officer who was officially recommended for promotion for services rendered during the World War and who had not attained that rank and who had received the Medal of Honor or Distinguished Service Cross or Distinguished Service Medal would be eligible for advancement of one grade on the retired list. The law became effective July 9, 1942. Harbord was the only major general affected by the change while six brigadier generals became eligible for promotion. (Senate Calendar No. 1538, 77th Cong., 2d sess., June 17, 1942, pp. 1-3. War Department Bulletin No. 36, July 20, 1942.)

2. Harbord’s wife was Anne Lee Brown Harbord.

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. 266.

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