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To Major General Raymond S. McLain1
December 19, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
This note carries my Christmas greetings, with great hopes for the success of your Corps in the present heavy fighting in the advance to the Rhine.
I have followed your career since the landing in Sicily, particularly in the fighting from the Normandy bridgehead up to the present moment when you are commanding an Army Corps engaged in one of the world’s greatest battles and against a desperate foe. Throughout you have displayed outstanding characteristics of a leader and it is my earnest hope that you will find the same opportunities for your talents in Corps command that you did with a Brigade and a Division.
There is little possibility that you will enjoy any of the proverbial cheer of the Christmas season but you at least will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making history and adding to the prestige of America and the glory of American arms.
My hopes and best wishes go to you for the New Year, with my prayers for your safety.
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. An investment banker, McLain had risen from private to brigadier general in the Oklahoma National Guard (Forty-fifth Division). He commanded the division’s artillery brigade in Sicily and Italy, including the Anzio campaign. In the Normandy campaign he commanded the Thirtieth Infantry Division’s artillery brigade until promoted to major general and given command of the Ninetieth Division in Patton’s drive across central France. He took command of the Nineteenth Corps in mid-October, during the battle for Aachen, and led it in the drive to the Roer River.
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. 701-702.