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To Mrs. Allen T. Brown
September 28, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
I have been intending to write you a note ever since I returned to Myer and found you missing, to tell you how much I really did miss you. Yesterday I received your note of generous appreciation, along with the references to what Katherine had told you regarding a press release and the presentation of a medal.1
I did not know that she was going to mention the matter to you. I had merely mentioned it to her and she had not seen the papers. What has happened is this and the fat is now all in the fire and has been for several days: General Terry will approach you regarding a convenient hour for the presentation.2 That being the case, the press release would be automatic. Therefore to avoid the danger of some well-meaning person overdoing the matter or carelessly phrasing a statement, it was crafted in the Bureau of Public Relations here in the War Department.
I do not think it wise for me to send other instructions to General Terry at this late moment; furthermore, what you say in regard to Allen I don’t think applies to the circumstances. Were he receiving the decoration I could understand his decent reticence about having the matter publicized, particularly in view of his relationship to me, but under the present circumstances my own assumption is that he would be gratified to know that what he did and what he suffered was not ignored, in a world which only too quickly forgets the sacrifices people make to bring us comfort and enjoyment. Besides, he has many friends who would be greatly pleased to learn in this manner what a fine job he did, at Cassino, for example, and was doing in the advance on Rome when he met his end. The press release was restrained in tone and merely covered the essential facts.
I will certainly watch for an opportunity to meet you for lunch in New York and to see Tupper. It looks as though I should be there towards the end of October for an evening, Navy Day, to be exact, and while I may not make the luncheon hour I will probably be able at least to have tea with you.
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Allen’s widow had written to thank Marshall for allowing her to stay with them at Fort Myer for two months. She was dubious about the planned press release about Allen’s decorations. “As you know, he never wanted any special notice paid him while he was in the Army. Do you think he would have liked a special announcement made of his decorations?” (Brown to Marshall, September 24, 1944, GCMRL/Research File [Family].)
2. Major General Thomas A. Terry, head of the Second Service Command, presented Allen’s Bronze Star (for gallantry in action near Campoleone, Italy, on May 29, 1944) to Madge on October 23. (New York Times, October 24, 1944, p. 8.) The Italian government awarded him the Bronze Medal of Military Valor.
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. 613-614.