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To Major General Walter Bedell Smith
July 1, 1943 Teletype [Washington, D.C.]
Colonel Thomas North who has been in charge of my personal General Staff School providing you with selected and trained officers, is due to arrive in North Africa about July 7th.1 I sent him out, without request from him, in order that he could learn a little at first hand of the character of the work being done by your various operational staffs in the field and by his graduates. Also I wished him to have a little reward for a very fine performance of duty.
I wish you would honor him with a personal interview and give him any opportunity that seems practical for a closeup of what is going on.
He was Fox Conner’s immediate assistant at GHQ in France, was the flash and range sound expert for artillery for years over here, and he has carried out several important jobs for me. Lack of rank has previously prevented a proper acknowledgement of his talents. He is an extraordinarily able man and goes through to the finish despite all obstacles and knows nothing but work. He has never made any request to me of any kind, therefore the foregoing is inspired only by my personal opinion.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Copy Text Source: Teletype.
1. North had become head of the Operations Division’s Current Section (Logistics Group) on June 16, 1943. His chief function there was to keep the War Department informed of its own activities. To help familiarize officers who were preparing for overseas assignments with current War Department views, plans, and procedures, Marshall had directed that North establish the Task Force Officers School. (Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1951], pp. 131, 291, 369.)
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), p. 42.