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To Major General Lewis H. Brereton
August 4, 1943 Radio No. 6102 [Washington, D.C.]
From Marshall to Brereton.
I have read your 1901 of August 4 to Arnold and I am not only pleased with the spirit of your reply but admire greatly your fine attitude.1 You have been doing a splendid fighting job in the Middle East and this adds to my admiration.
Give your Ploesti people my personal thanks for their daring and skill in striking a devastating blow at the heart of the German supply system. My deep regret is that I cannot thank those who gave their lives in carrying out this gallant adventure.2
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-1128, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. The editors have not found Brereton’s message.
2. As commander of the Ninth Air Force, Brereton was responsible for planning, training, and execution of the low-altitude strike at the Romanian oil refineries on August 1 (TIDALWAVE). The Army Air Forces history observed that “the Ploesti mission fell short of expectations and entailed heavy losses” (i.e., 54 of 177 planes engaged and 532 airmen). (Craven and Cate, eds., Europe: TORCH to POINTBLANK, pp. 478, 482-83.)
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. 79-80.