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August 27, 1917 [Gondrecourt], France
Notes for Inspector General.
Requisition for 20,000 board feet of lumber, made by the Division Quartermaster on Quartermaster of the Base Section at St. Nazaire, before troops left St. Nazaire, to be delivered to Gondrecourt. Requisition not filled.
Personal appeal made by Division Quartermaster to Chief Quartermaster Army Headquarters, Paris, on July 13, for lumber. Instructed to purchase lumber in open market in vicinity of training camp. French authorities at Gondrecourt stated that they did not desire any effort to be made to purchase lumber other than through military authorities.
Request was made on French authorities for 100,000 board feet. To date 13,000 feet have been delivered and all used for mangers and feed stalls required for animals without nose bags. No lumber has been available for issue to organizations to be used for needed repairs in billets, steps, tables, shelves, etc.
To prepare quarters for men who can not be accommodated after harvest, mess halls, battalion recreation rooms, kitchens, etc., formal request was made on July 28th to the French authorities for 114 barracks and 14 kitchen buildings. To date 34 sectional barracks have been delivered to the Division.
Since the daily issue of rations, shipped from the base at Nevers, commenced on August 17th, there has never yet arrived in any one day shipment of all the articles of the ration. At first the matches and soap, etc., failed to arrive; then the fruit failed to arrive; then vinegar failed to arrive. No pickles have been received at any time. From time to time errors were made in loading rations. On August 24th, shipment was short 4 crates of baking powder. Twice sacks of beans weighing 85 pounds net, were sent as weighing 100 pounds. Two cases of pumpkins were sent in place of tomatoes. Today three kegs of syrup were sent in lieu of four kegs.
In the issue made today, August 27th, for August 30th, the following items were short: Jam; Apples, evaporated; vinegar; pickles; butter. 225 pounds out of 1590 pounds of beans, and one keg out of four kegs of syrup.
In a telegram sent from the base at Nevers today the following shortages are indicated in the car of rations just leaving that place: Jam; vinegar; pickles; and butter. The telegram states that the articles are not on hand.
There is a shortage of tire tubes of all sizes and of lubricating oils, (American.) A small supply of tire tubes has been secured from the French, and the necessary lubricating oil. It is understood that a large shipment of lubricating oil reached St. Nazaire on the first Convoy. Repair parts for cars, trucks and motorcycles are urgently needed.
To date the following tobacco has been received.
25,920packages, (one ounce,) Bull Durham.
1,744lbs. tobacco, chewing.
4,320two ounce packages tobacco, P. A.
864packages tobacco, Tuxedo.
A limited supply of cigars.
Many articles of clothing for sales stores and small issues are lacking. There has been a lack of horse-shoes and farrier tools, as well as of many property articles.
Request was made on the Chief Ordnance Officer, A.E.F. for target material, etc., necessary for use in target practice. Following instructions from him a formal requisition for ordnance supplies was submitted to the French authorities through the Commanding General 47th French Division, on July 6th. To date only negligible quantities of these supplies have been received.
SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS.
Owing to the number of officers who have been detached from the Division for various Staff duties in France, or have been promoted and relieved from duty with the Division, and to the number of officers required for duty as Town Majors, etc., there exists a serious shortage of field and company officers in the command. There are companies with only two officers present for duty and the latter have rarely had more than five months’ service, and frequently less. It has been considered highly desirable to send officers to the front as frequently as practicable to observe conditions. This results in a further shortage. The Divisional Schools are about to be inaugurated. Under instructions from A.E.F. fifteen officers per regiment should be detached from each regiment to take the proposed courses.
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (RG 120), Records of the First Division, Historical File, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. This memorandum was not directed to any office or officer and was perhaps a personal aide-memoire. Usually such unaddressed memorandums had a long attached distribution list.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 119-120.