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To Major General Charles D. Herron
February 14, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
I returned last night from Panama and Puerto Rico, to find your letter of February 3d, and am passing it over to War Plans to mull over.1 I will write you a little more with reference to the matter later on. Meanwhile I have told them to let you have the first data and outline that we get of the Joint Maneuver on the West Coast. It was tremendously impressive and highly instructive, easily the most realistic affair in the air and on the ground, in my military experience, short of war.
Admiral Stark and I are getting along very intimately and I hope we will have a genuine basis to complete cooperation shortly.
I had a fine, though greatly hurried trip through the Caribbean area. Incidentally, I flew from Puerto Rico to Miami in 4 hours and 30 minutes, a record I believe.
Now, most confidentially, I hope to fly to Hawaii the first part of March, between the House hearings on the Appropriation Bill and those of the Senate. I may go by China Clipper, though more probably by the new B-17B Flying Fortress. I will be unable to give you much advance notice, as it will be a matter of getting away the moment I find myself clear, and also of spotting the weather before leaving Washington.
If I do make the trip, please spare me so far as possible from official entertaining and repeated “honors.” Formal honors on arrival will be sufficient. I would like the rest of the time for business, and maybe a moment to sit down and rest, something I have not had for about five months. I had hoped to have a day of relaxation at Miami Beach with Mrs. Marshall yesterday, but the weather drove me on to Washington.
This is a hasty note, as I have a huge pile of business on hand.
With affectionate greetings to you both,
P.S. I may have you a Lieutenant Generalcy if I have any luck in the House.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Herron, commanding general of the Hawaiian Department, had written that he was cultivating relations with the navy. He expressed his “considerable suspicion” that the navy desired to expand their facilities in Hawaii. Herron admired the thorough development of navy maneuvers. “They do not have to put on demonstrations instead of maneuvers, in order that there may be some profit to the command, as we often do. . . . There is no excitement among local orientals in regard to the world situation. This part of your kingdom seems to ride on an even keel.” (Herron to Marshall, February 3, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. On February 1 the senate passed S. 3200, which provided for the temporary rank of lieutenant general for the commanders of the Panama Canal and Hawaiian departments. The House passed the bill on July 25, and it was signed by the president on July 31, 1940.
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. 157-158.