3-453 To Private Allen T. Brown, December 17, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 17, 1942

Subject: World War II

To Private Allen T. Brown

December 17, [1942] [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Allen,

This is a note of Christmas greetings. I know you will have a full dinner, and probably a very good dinner, but I also know that you will miss Madge and Tupper very much. However, until we straighten out this world I am afraid a great many separations must be involved.

I have tried to send a note to the commander and men in each isolated outpost, particularly the little islands in the Pacific, and in Labrador, Greenland, and the Hudson Bay region. We have these garrisons all over the world and in many of the posts they have not only a great deal of loneliness to combat and lack of action, but extreme discomforts of heat and cold, or wind and rain, as in the Aleutians. The men across the ice cap of Greenland, with literally no diverting facilities and Arctic winter darkness to combat, have a very hard role to play. There are others manning air look-out towers in the peaks of the Himalayan Mountains between India and China who have a fearfully trying task to perform. It makes a very moving picture to one who is aware of the conditions.1

I suppose that by this time you have gotten well under way in your work. I hope some contact with Tris does not disclose your position, because I know how much satisfaction you will derive from going through with this thing without any knowledge on the part of the authorities of your connection with me.2

Allene I think will be with us Christmas. Clifton cannot come until New Year’s and your mother has asked Marie to come down for a week at New Year’s. Whether or not she will be able to do this I don’t know.

I may be off at any time. I cannot tell, but here or there I suppose I shall continue to be extremely busy.

With all my good wishes for your success in the New Year and with my love,


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

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. For an example of Marshall’s previous attempts to reassure isolated garrisons of the War Department’s concern for their welfare, see Marshall to Rattan, September 30, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-346 [3: 374]. In December the chief of staff sent Christmas greetings to army facilities; to the commanding officers of isolated garrisons he added the following paragraph: “All around the globe our men are proving themselves, in lonely watch towers in the Himalayas, in the worst jungles in the world in New Guinea, exposed to constant high winds, rain and fog in the desolate Aleutians, on barren islands in the south Atlantic, in Labrador and Greenland and across equatorial Africa. The glory of the battle in the Solomons, the Middle East and North Africa is denied them, as it is you in your isolated post. But never forget that your loyal cooperaion makes possible the larger successes.” (GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Categorical (Christmas)].)

2. Brown, who had been inducted on November 17, had recently arrived at the Armored Force Replacement Training Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was to undergo basic training. Colonel Tristram Tupper, who was assigned to public affairs work at Armored Force Headquarters at Fort Knox, was his uncle.

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. 484-485.

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