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Statement for Stars and Stripes
[April 18, 1942] [London, England]
Like any other veteran of the A.E.F. in France, I am delighted to welcome the new version of the Stars and Stripes. By a fortunate coincidence I happen to be in the British Isles as it comes off the press.1
“I do not believe that any one factor could have done more to sustain the morale of the A.E.F. than the Stars and Stripes” wrote General Pershing of this soldier newspaper. We have his authority for the statement that no official control was ever exercised over the matter which went into the Stars and Stripes. “It always was entirely for and by the soldier”, he said.2 This policy is to govern the conduct of the new publication.
From the start the Stars and Stripes existed primarily to furnish our officers and men with news about themselves, their comrades and the homes they had left behind across the sea. A soldier’s newspaper, in these grave times, is more than a morale venture. It is a symbol of the things we are fighting to preserve and spread in this threatened world. It represents the free thought and free expression of a free people.
I wish the staff every success in this important venture. Their responsibility includes much more than the publication of a successful paper. The morale, in fact the military efficiency of the American soldiers in these Islands, will be directly affected by the character of the Stars and Stripes of 1942.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Executive File 1, Item 5d, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. Stars and Stripes was published from February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919; it resumed publication on April 18, 1942. The eight-page newspaper of the United States Armed Forces in the British Isles featured photographs of Marshall and Roosevelt on the front page.
2. Pershing’s assessment of the newspaper is in My Experiences in the World War, 2 vols. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1931), 1: 318.
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. 165.