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To Mrs. Frank M. Andrews1
May 4, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mrs. Andrews:
I am terribly distressed in telling you that General Andrews’ plane crashed in Iceland yesterday and he was killed. Plane was first located this morning from the air about 35 miles from Reykjavik, and was reached on the ground but a few hours ago. There was one survivor. I have as yet no further details, but will notify you immediately they are received.2
He was a great leader and in his post abroad was on the way to rendering a tremendous service to the Allied cause. You have all my sympathy.3
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Originally handwritten by General Marshall, this message was read over the telephone by Colonel William T. Sexton, secretary of the General Staff, to a lieutenant in Miami, Florida, for delivery to Mrs. Andrews.
2. Andrews, commanding general of U.S. Forces, European Theater of Operations, was killed in an airplane crash along with nine officers, three enlisted men, and Bishop Adna W. Leonard, chairman of the General Commission on Army and Navy Chaplains. An enlisted man was the only survivor. (War Department Bureau of Public Relations Press Release, May 5, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Speeches].)
3. General Marshall spoke of Andrews as “an outstanding soldier.” He added: “No Army produces more than a few great captains. General Andrews was undoubtedly one of these, and we mourn his loss accordingly.” (Ibid.)
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 678.