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4-418 To Mrs. Allen T. Brown, June 23, 1944

   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 23, 1944

Subject: World War II


To Mrs. Allen T. Brown

June 23, 1944 Washington, D.C.

Dear Madge,

I returned from abroad late Wednesday evening and was too busy yesterday to manage a line to you.

Your letter from Wisconsin caught up with me the day before I left England for the Mediterranean and was much appreciated.

I flew down by Algiers and landed in Italy near Caserta late Saturday afternoon. The following morning I flew up to the Anzio beachhead and went out to the cemetery. I found they were just completing that day the last interments to be made in that plot of over 7,000, a new cemetery having been opened north of Rome. As soon as they have had an opportunity to place everything in the best of order they will take and send me some photographs which of course I will send on to you. Allen’s plot is on the main pathway through the cemetery, a short distance beyond the flagpole. His Uncle Tris was with me at the time.1

After a brief reconnaissance over the beachhead site I embarked again and flew north, going by Velletri and the ground over which Allen had fought; I used the co-pilot’s seat and we flew at about 300 feet so I had a very good view of the terrain. However, I did not know exactly where he had become engaged. General [Mark] Clark met me in Rome and as it was too stormy for puddle-jumper planes which were all we could use in the forward zone he and I motored north to his Headquarters, quite a long distance north of Rome. After an interview I had with the French and American Corps commanders and all the division commanders who were not then in the line, they brought in Lieutenant Druckenmiller of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, who commanded one of the platoons in Allen’s company and was immediately behind him in the fight. With him was Allen’s tank driver and gunner, Technician Clifford A. Doherty of Pittsfield, Maine, and Pvt. Wallace Bobo of Spartansburg, S.C.; also Technician William J. Spence of Red Bank, New Jersey. Captain Joseph Lieberstein, the battalion surgeon, was with these men. They gave me an account of what had occurred and spoke in very high terms of Allen. Lieutenant Druckenmiller had Allen’s map, a much rumpled paper with the various lines and objectives noted in crayon, which he used to explain to me the details of the action. Katherine has told me of your instructions regarding Allen’s effects so I am making inquiry now as to whether or not you wish me to forward the map.

These men looked in good shape and in high morale as they were engaged in a remarkably successful pursuit. The road north for forty or fifty miles was a litter of destroyed transportation, tanks, trucks, self-propelled artillery, etc., which the Air Corps had knocked out. Allen’s division was moving towards the front at the time, to deliver an attack which I see from the paper was launched, according to the schedule they gave me, yesterday morning.

From there I went on forward to one of our divisions which was in the line north of Grosseto near the coast. Fortunately the weather changed for an hour and they were able to get a puddle-jumper plane to me so instead of spending the night with General Clark I was able to fly back to Rome and thus saved almost a day in my travel. I reached Rome about 8:30 that evening and stayed at the Grand Hotel. I see by the papers here that I am being criticized because they turned on the hot water in honor of my arrival. Also they apparently moved one or two newspaper men out of their rooms to accommodate our party, which did not please.

The following morning I motored south to the Alban Hills and there took a plane and from the co-pilot’s seat was able to identify the scene of Allen’s last action. Following a very busy day in a number of places which I reached by air, and which included some stormy flying, I returned to my starting point late that night and had dinner with the various British commanders, Air, Ground, and Naval, as well as our own senior officers. The following morning after a 4:30 breakfast I took off for Casablanca, had lunch there, had dinner in the Azores, and had breakfast in southwest Newfoundland at 5:00 the following morning.

I shall be quite busy today but hope to get down in the country this evening for a brief rest. I wish you were to join us.

With my love,

Affectionately,

G. C. Marshall

Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed letter signed.

1. Colonel Tristram Tupper, Mrs. Marshall’s brother, was public relations officer at Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers’s headquarters.

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. 487-489.

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