3-444 To Mrs. John J. Singer, December 7, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 7, 1942

Subject: World War II

To Mrs. John J. Singer

December 7, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Marie:

I don’t recall just when I sent you a last letter. Katherine I think has written you several times of late so has probably kept you abreast of our affairs. She went up to New York with me Friday evening—flew up. I talked to the Manufacturers’ Association and she remained at the Arts Club and will not return until Thursday. Judge Roop of Savannah, an admirer of Allene’s, is in New York and either has considerable money or an unlimited expense account which he devotes to luncheons, dinners, front seats for opening nights, and so forth, so I think Katherine will enjoy herself. I flew back the same night, Friday, and arrived here at one in the morning.1

As usual I have been intensely busy pretty much all over the world and with a great deal of intricate and diplomatic business relating to Darlan and Boisson of Dakar.2 I much prefer working in the garden; however, I seem to feel very well and they tell me I look well.

I don’t know whether I shall be here Christmas or not. Molly probably arrives by that time. She is now in Alabama showing the baby to its grandmother. Jim is at Fort Sill taking a short course, after which he is to be assigned we know not where.

You will be interested to know that Forrest Harding is commanding the unit at Buna in northeast New Guinea.3 Many of your Benning friends were involved in the North African operations.

Give my love to Mary Bovard.


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. Concerning Marshall’s New York trip, see Marshall Speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, December 4, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-435 [3: 466-69]. Allene Tupper Wilkes was Mrs. Marshall’s sister. “Judge Roop” perhaps referred to John Rourke, Jr., who had been chief municipal judge of Savannah when Marshall commanded Fort Screven, Georgia; at this time Rourke was a Superior Court judge.

2. See note 3, Marshall Memorandum for the President, December 5, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-437 [3: 470-71].

3. Marshall’s friend since the 1920s, Harding had been promoted to major general in February 1942 and was given command of the Thirty-second Infantry Division (formerly Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard). The division arrived in Australia in mid-May and began fighting in New Guinea in mid-November. Its first major action was the campaign to capture the Japanese beachhead at Buna. By the end of November, General MacArthur had become displeased with the division’s progress and with its leadership. On November 30 he ordered Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger, First Corps commander, to relieve Harding and to take personal command of the Buna operation. This was done on December 2. (Milner, Victory in Papua, pp. 202-3, 209-13; Dear Miss Em: General Eichelberger’s War in the Pacific, 1942-1945, ed. Jay Luvaas [Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972], pp. 32-40.)

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), pp. 477-478.

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