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To Second Lieutenant Allen T. Brown
March 24, 1944 Washington, D.C.
Your mother, Allene, and Molly have been very busy socially the last few days despite your mother’s sprained ankle. They did the symphony, a Chinese party, and a movie, and today are lunching somewhere else. I think your mother has enjoyed this because she had been leading a monastic life for quite a long time, and getting quite stale.
I am off tomorrow on a trip involving some water flight.1 I enjoy thoroughly getting away from Washington. The only trouble is that by the time I return problems and troubles have so accumulated that I am under heavy pressure from the hour of my arrival here. Just at the moment I should like a few hours rest. I suppose this will continue and probably grow worse until we get to the end of this business.
I have been examining some very interesting air photographs of the Cassino region and the connecting valleys up to the beachhead. That is difficult country but it is the sort of country where the defender always digs in. I am hopeful that a little sun and blue sky will cheer things up, particularly since all the advantage in air will go to our side. Mud is a great depressant in war, almost as great as long waits for something to happen. I never saw but one battle on a pretty day and that was followed by a heavy period of rain. However, they had beautiful weather for the finale in Tunisia which enabled the air and the tanks to move with great effect.
First signs of green are showing on some of the willow trees along the river and I think two or three warm days will bring everything out. I imagine the season up around your place in Poughkeepsie is several weeks later than Washington, at least two and probably three. I can imagine your longing to get back to those surroundings, not to mention the family.
We are having a hard fight here over personnel shortages, the month by month failure of the Selective Service Act to give us the men according to the schedule. If you get press releases you will probably know something about this. It is a hard battle, with each industry and each locality opposing the stern requirements of the situation.
Molly is expecting to go back to Leesburg about the first of April with your mother. She is also counting on spending a couple of weeks in early June at Fire Island.
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. General Marshall accompanied General Henry H. Arnold on a three-day trip to Bermuda. He took Sir John Dill along, and he and Dill were guests of the governor-general and his wife, Lord and Lady Burghley. See Marshall to Lady Burghley, March 29, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-326 [4: 379].
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), p. 370.