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Memorandum for the Chief of Ordnance [Wesson]
July 26, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Along with the usual assaults on our Army system, particularly the progress of our present procedure in securing prompt production of materiel, there was reported to me the frank antagonism of Mr. Spear, President of the Electric Boat Company. This seems to be based on the fact that he had brought up a gun, the Davison Antiaircraft gun, about a year ago for consideration by the Army; that he felt he had received shabby treatment; that, as I understand it, the gun was tried out at least briefly at Fort Monroe, and the officers there were rather enthusiastic about it; and finally that he sold the gun to the British Government.1
Have someone give me a brief memorandum of what happened with Mr. Spear that I may offset such criticism from men of his important position. The trouble with this is, he does submarine work for the Navy, and with others, compares the Navy efficiency to the disadvantage of the Army in such matters.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. John C. O’Laughlin, a friend of both Marshall and of Lawrence Y. Spear, had visited the chief of staff’s office on the afternoon of July 26 and had raised Spear’s complaints. (See Marshall to O’Laughlin, August 8, 1940, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-240 [2: 287-88].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 277-278.