Chapter II: 
The Reorganization of the War Department

Several different forces produced the extensive reorganization of the War Department which was officially announced by Secretary of War Stimson on 2 March 1942. During the latter half of 1941, demands for changes in the existing organization had come from various sources and were strangely interwoven. The result in 1942 was an attempt to meet existing dissatisfaction and at the same time to construct a workable Army high-command structure to direct the conduct of the war.
The historians of the Army Ground Forces have observed that the Army Air Forces "took the lead and supplied the drive" for reorganization.1 The motivation was simple enough. One of the paramount aims of many air leaders between the two wars had been the establishment of an independent air force.2 Although substantial progress toward this objective was made with the creation of the AAF in June 1941, the air leadership in the Army was still not content with its status. By late 1941, many persons within the Army Air Forces had become convinced "that the most successful solution would involve a radical reorganization of the military establishment, with the AAF enjoying virtual autonomy within the War Department"3
Though the Air Forces supplied the drive for reorganization, the initial impetus came from Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, the chief of staff of GHQ, who from the beginning had experienced difficulty with the uncertainty of his assigned mission and the relation of his command to the air arm and to the War Department General Staff. Originally General Headquarters was viewed as the body that, when mobilized, would draft war plans and conduct actual operations. Largely based upon World War I experience, the early assumption had been that in the event of another war the United State would again send an expeditionary force to Europe. Just as General Pershing had determined the conduct of military operations without guidance from the General Staff in Washington, so, it was assumed, General Headquarters would move overseas to plan and direct operations of the new expeditionary force. Yet when GHQ, was established in July 1940, it did not include the War Plans Division, which continued to be the main center of strategic planning in the War Department. Unlike

the situation in World War I, it seemed that military activity in a new conflict would take place on many fronts. It was therefore not practical to send War Department planners to any single theater because of the necessity of having a central headquarters for worldwide overall planning.
Although General Marshall was both chief of the WDGS and commanding general of GHQ, the staffs of the two organizations had a separate identity and tended to move in somewhat different and even competitive paths. Moreover, when General Headquarters was originally set up, it was assigned a training mission rather than an operational one.4 Even in this function of training, GHQ's responsibilities came into conflict  with those of the chiefs of combat arms. The chiefs of arms propounded doctrine and trained individual officers and men. GHQ supervised the training of tactical units and developed the doctrine for their employment. There remained ample room for conflict between the chiefs of arms and General Headquarters over the development of training doctrine.
The functions of GHQ, aside from training, remained will defined. On 3 July 1941 a directive to General McNair gave him wide potential authority over the planning and control of military operations in various fields. On the surface, this seemed to strengthen GHQ, but the authority was more nominal than actual.5 Hedged by many limitations, General McNair lacked sufficient control over supply to carry out his enlarged responsibility; Furthermore other agencies had partial control in other respects over overseas garrisons placed under his supervision. It was not long before General McNair determined to have this anomalous situation remedied. On 25 July 1941 he sent a memorandum to the Chief of Staff of the War Department requesting, simply enough, that overseas bases be grouped into defense commands and that General Headquarters be made responsible for directing all activities of these bases.6 This memorandum precipitated a fundamental examination of the existing War Department and Army command organization.
In the discussions that followed, the problem of procurement and supply had to be faced. The planners seemed to feel that this problem was incidental to and dependent on the resolution of the larger general problems of command. But General McNair appreciated the fact that a tactical mission without control of supply support created complications. He had encountered that problem in several Atlantic bases. He therefore tended to favor the creation of a Services of Supply, modeled after Pershing's organization in France in 1918, but applied to the zone of interior. The question of supply and procurement thus crept in through the back door, but nonetheless it remained an important consideration in the effort to find an adequate solution to the problem of organization.7
In mid-August 1941 Lt. Col. William K. Harrison, Jr., a W PD officer long interested in War Department organization,

presented the first clear-cut description of the principles of the plan which was later adopted. It included a sketch of the functions of a separate service force.8 The War Plans Division, knowing that General Marshall still hoped to retain the framework of the existing organization, temporarily shelved Harrison's plans, but the seed thus planted shortly took root.9
At this point, the Air Forces became the dominant factor in the drive toward reorganization. The idea of a service command fitted is particularly well with its aims. When, toward the end of October, writing for General Arnold, Brig. Gen. Carl Spaatz recommended the abolition of GHQ and the formation under the Chief of Staff of a small General Staff and autonomous air and ground forces, also he recommended a service force.10 Like the Harrison proposal, this recommendation was at the moment unacceptable. The War Plans Division continued to wrestle with the problem.11
General Arnold broke the log jam in mid-November 1941. Emphasizing the importance of air power in modern war, he wrote directly to General Marshall and asked for a complete reorganization that would allow the air force to play its proper role. The Air Forces supported a plan providing for three separate commands air, ground, and service it a Chief of Staff and a small General Staff in top control. The War Plans division received the Arnold memorandum for comment and concurred with it in principle.12 General Marshall was "favorably impressed" and directed that the WPD develop the proposal in sufficient detail to determine its practicability.13
Thus the Army Air Forces became the champion of a thorough War Department reorganization which would include the creation of a Services of Supply. Remaining within the existing military framework meant it would need to work with the War Department supply bureaus. Since General McNair had already suggested that his own General Headquarters could not function effectively unless it were given greater control of supply matters, and since the Air Forces was unwilling to see supply activities turned over to GHQ, it could logically support a plan to establish a separate supply command for ground and air forces under War Department direction.
Another strong reason for reorganization, and one tied in with Air Force's pressure for change, was the fact that the administrative burden of the Chief of Staff was becoming increasingly heavy. This was a difficulty that had plagued generals and statesmen throughout history, and one that had become mom and mare burdensome with the growing complexity of modern armies. Brig. Gen. Robert L. Bollard during World War I had expressed the fear that the general staff system would break down because no one man could handle the details heaped on the Chief of Staff and still direct a war.14

On the eve of World War II, in spite of specific orders to bring to his attention only those matters that could be handled by no one else, General Marshall was swamped by the demands on his time on decide relatively unimportant questions. No less than sixty-one officers and agencies, some with overlapping authority, had direct access to him. About fifty staff studies were given to him each day, leaving him time for little else.15 With the creation of three large commands to which administration in the zone of interior would be delegated, Marshall and the General Staff could concentrate on planning and policy making. Among other things, it was hoped that this easing of the administrative burden would contribute toward a solution of the problem of organizational relationships between air and ground forces. Although in sympathy with the desire of Air officers for a major role in the planning and direction of air operations, General Marshall was determined to keep the Army Air Forces at least nominally in the existing military structure in order to promote collaboration between ground and air operations. He felt that this could be achieved more easily if he personally gave greater attention to the Air Forces. He was firmly convinced that he could do this and attend to general strategic planning and direction of operations only if the War Department were so organized that the work of raising, training, supplying, and servicing the Army in the United States was concentrated is the hands of the fewest possible persons reporting directly to him.
Toward the end of November 1941, General Marshall was thus persuaded m proceed with a study of War Department reorganization. A committee of three was created to undertake this investigation. To serve as chairman of the committee, Marshall brought back Brig. Gen. Joseph T McNarney from England where he had been serving as an observer. The other two members were Colonel Harrison of WPD and Lt. Col. Lawrence S. Kuter of the Office of the Secretary of the General Staff. The work on reorganization was suspended shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when General McNarney was dispatched to Hawaii with the Roberts Board to investigate that military disaster. For the moment, reorganization had to wait, even though the advent of war had given a new urgency to the problem.
Reorganization of the OUSW
The various reorganization plans circulating before December 1941 failed to take into account the vital role of the Under Secretary of War. As noted earlier, his office had grown into a sizable staff supervising War Department activities in the field of procurement and general economic mobilization. A reorganization which affected supply operations would probably necessitate a reorganization of Under Secretary Patterson's office.16
Prior to his appointment in 1940 as Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. Patterson had had little experience in procurement or other industrial affairs, nor had he even read Section Sa of the National Defense Act of 1920 which outlined the responsi-

bilities of his new position. But, working is close harmony with Secretary of War Stimson, Patterson soon showed in high degree all the qualities that make a successful administrator. Though inexperienced as a business executive, he was an indefatigable worker, cooperative, modest, and willing to take advice. He often conferred with Bernard Baruch, for many years highly regarded as an expert on government problems.17
Mr. Patterson took office coincidentally with the launching of a huge mobilization program in the summer of 1940. A major difficulty for him was the relatively indifferent caliber and low rank of the military personnel attached to his organization. Rebuffed in the attempt to gain control over procurement activities after World War I, the General Staff had seemingly acquiesced in civilian domination over the business side of the War Department. One result was that the Assistant Secretary's organization was removed from the main stream of military interest and activity. The officers assigned to it sometimes felt that they had reached a blind alley in their careers. Often their military rank was too low to permit effective performance of duties.18 But the difficulty was not only one of caliber and rank. The civilian and military personnel were too few in number to take care of the growing responsibilities of their rapidly expanding office. In the first year of Mr. Patterson's incumbency, personnel multiplied about fivefold and new organizational arrangements were improvised in an effort to cope with the situation.
Mr. Patterson set about to remedy matters after his appointment as Under Secretary. In the summer of 1941 he employed a private firm, Booz, Frey, Allen, and Hamilton, management consultants, to make a study of the organization of his office. This firm, which had just completed a survey in the Navy Department, began its work on 5 August and finished the task two weeks after Pearl Harbor.19
Before submitting their report, the management consultants made a number of interim recommendations such as one for the creation of a separate administrative branch. Some of these, the Under Secretary adopted. The final report, given to Mr. Patterson on 20 December 1941, described the organizational structure of the office and listed six major problems. In the first place, it pointed out that neither the personnel in the office nor those in the supply arms and services subject to the Under Secretary's supervision understood clearly the purpose of the office. In the second place, it noted that duplication and overlapping of functions reduced the effectiveness of supervision. Third, the Booz report expressed the opinion that the military personnel often lacked sufficient rank, training, and general ability to perform their assigned duties. Fourth, the report harshly criticised current methods of statistical reporting. Fifth, it also pointed to the difficult problems in the relationship of the office to other units of the War Department and to the civilian defense agencies of the Government. Finally, the report declared that the administrative services of the office needed improvement .20

The management experts were especially concerned about the relationship between the Under Secretary's office and the General Staff Supply Division (G-4). Where did the responsibility of the Supply Division end and that of the OUSW begin? On this question, the Booz report proposed the dividing line suggested twenty years earlier by the Harbord Board. The Supply Division should transmit supply requirements to the Office of the Under Secretary, whose responsibilities would begin at this point. The Under Secretary would then approve the procurement estimates made by the supply arms and services, and determine the industrial facilities, raw material requirements, and manpower needed to provide supplies within the requested time period. The Booz report suggested various techniques for insuring fulfillment of this responsibility. But, significantly, it did not consider whether this separation of supervisory responsibility between the Supply Division of the General Staff and the OUSW was workable. It said nothing about actual methods of obtaining closer working relationships with the Supply Division in the determination of supply requirements or in expediting procurement.
The most important change recommended in the Booz report was the proposal that the Under Secretary appoint a single executive, an Army officer, with the title of Procurement General, to direct the work of the office and to supervise the supply arms and services. This executive should be given the rank of lieutenant general in the Army in order that he might have a military status superior to that of the chiefs of the supply arms and services, all of whom then held the rank of major general. This "improved military leadership" proposal was directly counter to the recommendations put forward in 1970 by Benedict Crowell. Mr. Crowell, it will be recalled, had wanted an industrialist to direct the procurement work of the War Department. With the position of Under Secretary now filled by a man who was not an industrialist, the Bone consultants evidently felt the office needed strengthened contacts with the military procurement agencies. Indeed, in the procurement field it was conceivable that such a post might acquire status and authority comparable to that of the Chief of Staff in the whole Military Establishment.
The system of internal organization proposed by the Booz report for the Office of the Under Secretary was adopted with one glaring omission. The Under Secretary did not take steps to create the position of Procurement General. But the mere fact that such a post was recommended throws a revealing light upon what seemed, to outside observers, the basic weakness of the War Department's supply organization.
Reorganization of C-4
The Booz report, in recommending a clarification of the relationship of the Under Secretary to the Assistant Chief of Staff (G-4) was soon upheld by the march of events. On 25 November 1941 a new and forceful personality, Brig. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, became G-4, WDGS. Two weeks later the United States was at war. Now, more than ever before, the supply of military forces was of critical importance. The training program had lagged in large part because there was not enough combat equipment. Shortages had slowed the strengthening of overseas garrisons, especially in the Pacific. Necessarily, some supplies had gone overseas under lend-

lease. If training were to be speeded up, our allies aided, and military operations undertaken with hope of success, then supplies had to be provided from current industrial production at an ever increasing rate, sad at the earliest possible moment. This meant that G-4 had to put all possible pressure upon the supply arms and services to speed up their procurement programs. Yet G-4 was not authorized to issue any orders on production matters, for production was the bailiwick of the Under Secretary of War. Here was an impossible situation, especially in the light of General Somervell's determination to fulfill his supply responsibilities as competently as possible. Being a man of action, he soon went to General Marshall with his views of the existing organizational set up.21
General Somervell, as he sized up his mission, realized that he could fulfill his duties and overcome organizational defects only by the closest possible cooperation with the OUSW. He stated this conviction directly to both Secretary Stimson and Under Secretary Patterson, and reiterated it on several subsequent occasions.22 On 6 January 1942 he telephoned Mr. Goldthwaite Dorr, an attorney in New York City, and asked him to come to Washington to study the problem of supply organization in the War Department.23 According to both General Somervell and Mr. Dorr, the request was made with the approval of Secretary Stimson and Under Secretary Patterson.24
Mr. Dory arrived in Washington on 7 January 1942. General Somervell requested him to examine the problem of supply organization, particularly the relation of the Supply Division of the General Staff to the Office of the Under Secretary of War and the supervisory relationships of both to the supply arms and services. Although Mr. Dorr was asked to serve as a consultant to the Secretary of War, he did not obtain an official appointment, received no compensation, and paid his own expenses.25
Mr. Dorr became chairman of an informal group which at first consisted of Mr. Robert R. West, director of the Bureau of Industrial Research at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Luther Gulick, who had served on the President's Committee on Administrative Management in 1936 and was then a consultant to the National Resources Planning Board. Subsequently, the group included Brig. Gen. Arthur H. Carter, previously a senior partner in the accounting firm of Haskens

and Sells and then director of the Administrative Branch in the Office of the Under Secretary, and James H. Graham, dean of the Engineering School of the University of Kentucky, who had been associated with General Somervell during World War I. An officer of General Somervell's staff, Lt. Col. Clinton F. Robinson, was the principal assistant to the informal group.
It is an amazing circumstance that those interested in the reorganization, including Mr. Dorr and General Somervell, were seemingly unaware of the more comprehensive plans then being discussed in the General Staff, while those planning the larger reorganization apparently did not appreciate the full effect of their plans on supply. Two streams could hardly flow very long in the same valley without merging; but during January 1942 they followed independent channels.26
The problem which the Dorr group was tackling was by no means novel; nor was the solution at which it arrived altogether original. The then director of defense aid in the War Department, Col. Henry S. Aurand had earlier remarked in an informal memorandum, "the crying need for reorganization of the War Department to put all supply in the hands of one man has been apparent since the time I joined the General Staff in May 1940." Colonel Aurand had consistently advocated unification of the supply system.27 The organization finally accepted may have differed in structure and detail from the proposal of Colonel Aurand, but it was founded on the same basic principle. 
Another advocate of this proposal, Col. Ralph H. Tate, in the office of Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy, also drew up an organizational scheme centralizing the control of supply activities. Other individuals in G-4 and in the War Production Board (WPB) had ideas on the subject. Mr. Dorr was familiar with most of these proposals.28 Indeed, Colonel Aurand was frequently consulted by Mr. Dorr and freely assisted in the informal group.
The work of the Dorr group was, as its designation indicated, moat informal. It kept no records. Its members worked individually on various assignments, and met in a "hush-hush" atmosphere after regular working hours. The discussions were kept secret. In the course of its work the group explored a wide variety of subjects, the most important of which, as already noted, was the relation between G-4 and the Under Secretary of War.29
Mr. Dorr decided that there were three principal objectives: to develop a War Department supply program stating military supply needs by time periods; to make more effective the powers of the Under Secretary of War in supervising military procurement; and to persuade the WPB

to give its attention primarily to increasing the production of raw materials and to allocating available supplies, leaving military procurement in the hands of the military agencies.30 Only the second of these objectives specifically concerned War Department organization. Mr. Dom favored an arrangement similar to that in force during World War I whereby General Goethals had reported to the Assistant Secretary on the business end of his job and to the Chief of Staff on the military. In other words, Mr. Dom, as he himself acknowledged, wanted to violate the dictum, "No man can serve two masters." He reasoned that he was dealing with a unique difficulty. Those responsible for military procurement had to know supply requirements as soon as possible in order to shape production plans and schedules. Those responsible for strategic plans wanted to delay committing themselves to specific requirements lest strategy became a "prisoner of rigid logistical arrangements. The officers in G-4 who translated strategic objectives into specific requirements of men and material were, in effect, in the middle, caught between these opposing pressures. At the same time they alone were in a position to reconcile them. But under the existing arrangement, the determination of requirements was done not only in G-4 Gut also by a unit in the Office of the Under Secretary of War. Mr. Dom concluded that it was essential to bring together under one individual the determination of requirements and the control of procurement operations which fulfilled them.31 Undoubtedly these conclusions of Mr. Do" were also those which General Somervell had reached in his view of the work of G-4.
Mr. Dom learned from Assistant Secretary McCloy that this possibility of a unified supply and procurement organization had been canvassed, but that no man had been found for the post who was mutually acceptable to the Chief of Staff and the Under Secretary of War. Apparently, several names were mentioned but none was acceptable to both parties. Mr. Doff therefore turned his attention to developing a plan for closer relationships between the officers in the Supply Division concerned with requirements and the persona supervising procurement operations in the OUSW. The crucial question of a unified tap organization was left unanswered for the time being.32
Meanwhile, the Under Secretary was trying to achieve better control over the production operations of the supply arms and services. To assist him, Mr. William S. Knudsen, formerly director general of the Office of Production Management (OPM), was commissioned a lieutenant general and assigned to the Under Secretary's office as Director of Production. General Knudsen turned at once to production troubleshooting. During the war he visited many plants and helped solve many production problems. Vital as this work was to prove and  Under Secretary Patterson once said that it was the equivalent of  "10 percent in war production" General Knudsen still provided no solution to the problem of top level supply organization in the War Department.33
Early in February 1942 General Somervell learned for the first time that a general reorganization of the War Department was in the offing. During much of December and January following Pearl

Harbor, General McNarney, who had been charged with planning it by Marshall, had been absent from Washington. When he returned on 23 January, the final touches were put on the War Department reorganization and on 31 January his recommendations were submitted to the Chief of Staff and given tentative approval.34
General Marshall called his staff together on 5 February and explained briefly the reorganization plan he was considering. He gave the staff forty-eight hours to review the proposal and to make suggestions.35 General Somervell, acting on the realization that a far reaching change in the structure of the War Department was being undertaken, consulted Mr. Dorr and his group at once. Both agreed that the proposal for a service command did not go far enough. In their opinion, General McNarney and his planners apparently did not understand the necessity of close interrelationships between the Supply Division and the Under Secretary of War, or the role of the Under Secretary in the procurement activities of the War Department. The fact that the Office of the Under Secretary in June 1941 had been moved into the so-called New War Department Building, a block away from the Munitions Building where the General Staff was located, may have contributed to this lack of understanding. The planners also did not seem to realize the extent to which supply operations at thin time were dependent upon current production.36
Despite these shortcomings, Mr. Doff saw in the reorganization plan an opportunity for recreating the kind of arrangement with which he had been familiar during World War I. He recognized that the General Staff apparently was now willing to put its supply responsibilities into a single command. This was one hurdle passed. Two more remained: to combine the large staff in the OUSW with the new supply command, and to find a chief for this command who would be acceptable to both the Chief of Staff and the Under Secretary.
Meanwhile, General McNarney told Somervell to draw up a supply organization which would meet the War Department's needs. Since the Chief of Staff was determined to announce a reorganization during the month of February, Somervell  had to act quickly. This meant that only a few far-reaching changes could be intro doted; there was no time to plan a thoroughgoing alteration of the existing system.37 Assisted by two staff officers Col. W. D. Styer and Lt. Col. C. F. Robinson, General Somervell prepared a plan for a unified organization to be known as the Services of Supply and commanded by an Army officer. This was very different from an enlarged G-4 type organization such as the Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division of World War I.
General Somervell accepted the existence of the supply arms and services as then constituted with their combined procurement and distribution responsibilities divided on a broad commodity basis. The only change was the creation of a transportation organization in the headquarters of the new command which would remove transportation from the Office of  The Quartermaster General.
The question was raised as to whether there should be a Director of procurement

under the commanding general of the SOS. A plan had been considered for a Director of Procurement and a Direct of Distribution or Storage with important supervisory responsibilities. But the decision to retain the supply arms and services made such a scheme unworkable. A compromise was reached with the creation of a Director of Procurement and Distribution who was in a sense a deputy to the commanding general for these functions. At the same time, the new supply command was to become the budget sad financial office of the War Department. There was precedent for this step in General Goethals' authority in 1918, but another mason of current importance was the fact that since most of the appropriations to the War Department were for procurement, this arrangement would simplify the appropriation and accounting system for war purposes.38
There were many other points to consider. Was the Services of Supply also to be a personnel agency? Just before the armistice of 1918, Secretary of War Baker had favored the creation of a new personnel organization in the War Department, but the war ended before the decision could be effected. There was now a disposition to revive the plan and separate personnel administration from the supply operations of the new command. This immediately raised another question. What should be done with the administrative bureaus of the War Department such as the judge Advocate General's office, the Chief of Chaplains, the National Guard Bureau, and the Post Exchange Service? Mr. Dom believed that it would be undesirable to load up the SOS with a wide assortment of organizations functioning under its command. At one time he considered the possibility of placing these various services under Assistant Secretary of War McCloy. Mr. Dom discussed the matter with him, but Mr. McCloy was reluctant to take over these diverse responsibilities. Then, the Chief of Staff made it clear that he did not wish to have a fourth command in the United States; since the SOS was expected to handle the common supply problems of the Department, it seemed the appropriate agency also to handle common administrative problems.39 In the end, it was decided to create a position of Chief of Administrative Services and group the various administrative bureaus under him.
In the second week of February, after several adjustments, General Somervell submitted an acceptable plan for a unified supply and service command to General McNarney. The work on this, like the work of  McNarney's committee, had been done in secret so as not to give anticipated opposition a chance to organize before the plan was complete. General Marshall had directed that even Under Secretary Patterson be kept in ignorance of developments.40 It was Mr. Don's belief that, though the reorganization plan "ignored the functions of the Under Secretary of War under the National Defense Act of 1920," particularly in the, bald form in which it was presented by General McNarney to Somervell, this was not because of an "intentional design" to change the fundamental structure of the War Department. Rather it was because of  "the inadvertence of a group of officers who did not know much about the supply side of the Army." 41

Thus General Somervell, with the help of Mr. Dorr, modified the McNarney plan as it affected procurement operations and the Office of the Under Secretary. In working out last minute details, they restated the powers of the Under Secretary in order to conform, at least in part, to the original intention of the National Defense Act of 1920.
Toward the end of February, Assistant Secretary McCloy who was handling reorganization details for Secretary Stimson asked General McNarney, General Somervell, Brig. Gen. Bennett E. Meyers, who was in charge of procurement for the Army Air Forces, and Mr. Dorr, to take up the proposal with Under Secretary Patterson. The latter was practically faced with a choice between accepting a jai! accompli, or delaying the much needed reorganization. He might still influence details, but the broad outline of the plan was probably already fixed. Mr. Patterson studied the plan. One of the first feature on which he commented was the removal of procurement of Air Forces supplies from the jurisdiction of the SOS. Under the plan, the Under Secretary would stiff supervise air force procurement but not through the Services of Supply. The arrangement was defended by General Meyers on the ground that, because of the legislative interest in a completely autonomous air force, it was essential at this time to keep air procurement separate from the common supply organization of the War Department.42
The Under Secretary was still not satisfied with this arrangement. His staff had been supervising air materiel operations along with those of the other arms and services. Now, practically all of his staff was to be placed under the commanding general of the SOS, yet he personally was still expected to supervise the procurement
operations of the Air Forces. In the end, the only solution was a dotted line on the organization chart of the proposed Services of Supply which indicated that on procurement and related functions, the materiel command of the AAF would 6e subject to the supervision of the SOS Director of Procurement and Distribution in the name of the Under Secretary.43
The Under Secretary reserved decision on the plan as a whole is order to discuss the details with his own staff. The inclusion of Mr. Dorr in these subsequent discussions did much to clarify the purpose of the reorganization. Indeed, it had been Mr. Don's influence which had resulted in the inclusion of words ordering the commanding general of the Services of Supply to act "under the direction of the Under Secretary of War" on "procurement and related matters." The Under Secretary raised the question whether the interposition of a SOS between himself and the supply arms and services would create obstacles to the performance of his basic responsibilities. Mr. Dorr argued that the position of the commanding general of the SOS on procurement matters would be comparable to that of as executive vice-president or a general manager in a large corporation. The staff organization of the SOS would be available to the Under Secretary for his use, and Mr. Dorr saw no reason why he should not be able to deal with the chiefs of the supply arms and services whenever he felt the need to do so. Furthermore, Mr. Dorr expressed the opinion that the Under Secretary would retain his own personal assistants, whom he had previously recruited and who were now associated with him, in his own office. He could devote himself to policy decisions and tough problems while

the commanding general of the SOS would relieve him of a multitude of burdensome details.44
Some of Mr. Patterson's assistants did not agree with Mr. Don's arguments. They believed that since the loyalty of the commanding general of the SOS under the proposed plan would be to the Chief of Staff first, the Under Secretary would play a much reduced role. The director of the Bureau of the Budget, who was much concerned, asked that the President protect the Under Secretary by defining his powers. Otherwise he believed, "the proposed arrangement could easily result in purchase and procurement work being insulated from the top civilian side of the Department."45
Mr. Patterson himself seemed disposed to follow the general outline of reorganization. He rejected the advice of one of his most trusted assistants who prepared a directive to be included in the plan which would require that important changes in the supply organization be reviewed for final approval by the Under Secretary of War. Mr. Patterson opposed such a measure because he believed that in time he could work out problems with the supply head on an informal basis.46
The Under Secretary, on the other hand, did require certain changes in the plan for amalgamating his staff with that of G-4. Initially, the plan had contemplated combining the supervision of requirements and production in a single unit. At the Under Secretary's insistence, the separate identity of the two offices concerned with these activities was preserved, though both were placed under a Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements and Resources 47
Mr. Dorr had several times pointed out that the central problem was to find a head for the new command who would be suitable to both Chief of Staff Marshall and Under Secretary Patterson. Toward the end of February, Mr. Patterson learned that General Somervell was being considered by the Chief of Staff for the job. He had already had some contact with General Somervell. He had admired the vigor with which Somervell as chief of the Construction Division in the Office of The Quartermaster General had pushed the building of Army camps, and had recommended him for an award of an oak leaf cluster to his Distinguished Service Medal.48 On the other hand, he had experienced at first hand General Somervell's brusqueness which could and did antagonize people. Late in 1941, in order to speed production, Mr. Patterson had approved the construction of an arsenal near the coast at Houston, Texas. Somervell curtly wrote him that the only other similar plant was also near the coast, and he hoped that it "will not be put out of production by enemy action. It is likewise hoped that, with thousands of square miles and almost unlimited facilities no more production facilities will be located outside the strategic area." 49 General Somervell was quick to apologize for the tone of his letter; the very next day, he

wrote a "please-do-not-bother-to-answer-this" note saying he held Mr. Patterson in the highest personal and professional esteem and that he was greatly distressed to learn that his memorandum had given offense.50 The letter and issue were trivial, but they were characteristic of the Somervell drive. Mr. Patterson admired General Somervell's dynamic personality but was somewhat worried about future relations with him. He mentioned it not only to Mr. Darn but to many others including the new chairman of the War Production Board, Donald M. Nelson. Mr. Nelson, who shortly thereafter became involved in a hot dispute with General Somervell, at this time recommended him as a good man to occupy this important military position dealing with supply. Mr. Doff also spoke highly of General Somervell but tactfully added that in a question of personality, Mr. Patterson should use his own judgment. Patterson then acquiesced in both the reorganization and the appointment of General Somervell.51
The completed reorganization plan was ordered into effect by the President on 28 February 1942,52 and on 2 March 1942 Secretary Stimson announced the reorganization is a press release. In a brief memorandum to those members of his staff transferred to the new command, asking that they share their loyalty to him with the new commanding general, Under Secretary Patterson declared that the unification of supply "under the vigorous leadership of General Somervell, will enable us to perform our huge task with greater dispatch sad better coordination."53 On 9 March 1942 General Somervell assumed his new responsibilities as commanding general of the Services of Supply, or, as it will be called hereafter, the Army Service Forces.54
The Reorganization of 9 March 1942
The President's executive order directing the reorganization of March 1942 attracted relatively little public attention. It was practically swept off the front pages of the newspapers by the dramatic Japanese push into Java and by British commando raids on the German held French coast. Nevertheless this brief and prosaic order, in the words of one commentator, directed "the most drastic and fundamental change which the War Department had experienced since the establishment of the General Staff by Elihu Root in 1903.55
The President's order authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe the functions and duties of the new commands. As Commander in Chief, the President specifically reserved the authority to deal directly with the Chief of Staff on matters concerning military strategy and tactics.

The executive order became effective on 9 March 1942, and was to remain in force during the war and for six months thereafter. Detailed War Department instructions with respect to the reorganization were issued in War Department Circular 59, dated 2 March 1942. Simultaneously, the War Department in a press release explained to the public that the creation of three separate commands under the Chief of Staff ground, air, and service was needed in order to get away from the existing cumbersome staff structure. The redistribution of duties was expected to streamline the Department and gear it to worldwide operations. Through reorganization, it was hoped to obtain better control over important matters, to delegate details, and to achieve greater cooperation between air and ground forces.56
Under the new concept, the War Department General Staff would be composed of a small number of officers who would assist the Chief of Staff "in strategic planning and direction, and in coordinating the activities of the three great commands in order to provide theater commanders with the broad directives and with the means for conducting the actual war operations." 57
The new Commanding General, Army Air Forces, succeeded to most of the dubs previously allocated to the chief of the Army Air Forces, together with some new ones. The air command was to have its own general and administrative staffs. It would train and equip air units for both "independent air striking and or combined combat operations with the ground forces." 58 The Air Forces would also be responsible or the research, design, development, and procurement of all items peculiar to air operations.
The new Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, took over responsibility for organizing and training ground combat troops. The functions of the semiautonomous chiefs of the combat arms of infantry, cavalry, field artillery, and coast artillery were, for the most part, absorbed by the Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, and the arms thereby lost their independent status. In consequence, they could now be better trained as a balanced combat team.
To the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, fell the task of relieving the fighting arms, air and ground, of the "distraction and effort required by supply, procurement, and general housekeeping duties, except for experimental development and procurement peculiar to the Air Forces." 59 He was also expected to relieve the Chief of Staff of details of administration, including budgets, induction of personnel, the maintenance of records, and similar matters.
War Department Circular 59 described the organizational structure of the ASF and set forth the duties assigned to the new command. These duties covered a wide field. The Chief of Staff was determined that there would be no more than three commands in the United States reporting to him. Therefore, all responsibilities which did not fit into the Ground or Air Forces were dumped into the Service Forces. The AST thus became a catch all command, as already indicated. Some of the duties logically belonged in it; others were put there because they could not logically be placed anywhere else.
The hard core of the Army Service Forces was the procurement and supply

function. The bulk of the Office of the Under Secretary of War, because it was concerned with procurement and industrial mobilization, along with most of the personnel of G-4 of the General Staff, became part of the new organization. The chiefs of the six supply arms and services, who formerly reported directly to the Chief of Staff, now reported to the Commanding General, ASP. These arms and services were the Quartermaster Corps, the Ordnance Department, the Corps of Engineers, the Medical Department, the Signal Corps, and the Chemical Warfare Service. In addition, the procurement and supply duties of the Coast Artillery Corps were transferred to the Ordnance Department.
The new setup of 9 March 1942 recognized an organizational need which had been evident in the top command of the Army, both overseas and in the United States, since World War I. This need was to handle all procurement and all supply operations as one integrated activity. No supply arm or service could do the job by itself. An army in combat had to have all its supplies, from weapons and ammunition to gasoline, food, and clothing, on a schedule which brought all of these items together is the right place at the right time. The ASF was the War Department's answer to this vital need in World War II.
The "mission" of the ASF "to provide services and supplies to meet military requirements" imposed upon it duties in addition to its functions of procurement and supply, as already stated. These duties were not precisely defined, several overlapped, and some were susceptible of elastic interpretation. Among them were included the direction of research storage, and distribution of supplies; purchasing and contractual procedures; construction for the Army; consolidation of supply programs and requirements procured for the Army, Navy, and defense aid; fiscal administration; direction of certain Army wide functions such as pre-military training, manpower mobilization, and labor relations; operation of reception centers, replacement training centers, and training schools for the supply arms and services; technical training of individuals, basic training of service troops, and technical training of service units; the furnishing of ASF personnel to the Army Air and Ground Forces, theaters of operations, and overseas forces; and a large number of other duties.60
Many organizations were made part of the ASF to assist in its "mission" to "provide services and supplies to meet military requirements." Among these were the various administrative bureaus of the War Department. These included the offices of the judge Advocate General, The Adjutant General, the Provost Marshal General, the Chief of Special Services, the Chief of Chaplains, and the Chief of Finance. Various regional organizations and installations also performed duties which might be classified as supply and administrative duties. Corps area commanders, general depots, regulating and reconsignment stations for overseas shipments, and ports of embarkation were all placed under the Army Service Forces.61 The commanding general of the new ASF was given the functions, responsibilities, and authority of command which by law, regulation, or custom had been formerly vested in the heads of the units assigned to him.62 He could also consolidate these

units and make "such amalgamation, reallocation of duties, and reorganization as is necessary or advisable." 63
Circular 59 expressly noted the dual responsibility of the commanding general of the Army Service Forces; on business matters he reported to the Under Secretary of War and on military matters to the Chief of Staff.64 No attempt was made to delimit the two spheres of activity. When General McNarney testified before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs on 6 March 1942, he admitted that this was an arrangement "which you might say violates good organization." He added that while the commanding general of the ASF would have two bosses, they were "for two different purposes, but the purposes are somewhat interrelated." McNarney declared that the two functions of procurement and supply had to be merged. Under this arrangement, they were joined at the highest practical level and this was the "beat practical solution" to the problem.65
Circular 59 also stated, at the insistence of Under Secretary Patterson, that the responsibilities placed on the Secretary of War in Section 5a of the National Defense Act "shall continue to be performed by the Under Secretary of War." 66 But with moat of his staff transferred to the Army Service Forces there was some question as to how the Under Secretary would do this work. Theoretically, he would function on a policy level, the ASF on an operating level. The reorganization did provide the Under Secretary with a solid basis of formal and statutory authority to determine policy. It remained to be seen whether with a small personal staff and with General Somervell in a position of dual responsibility, he could make this authority effective.
Some Problem of the Reorganization
The War Department reorganization brought with it serious problems of status and jurisdiction. From the beginning there was much antagonism toward the ASF. A Senator on the Military Affairs Committee commented, "I don't see what use there is in this setup of a commanding general in charge of services and supply." 67 Many men of high military rank also disagreed with the plan. From the moment it went into effect, there were various efforts to upset it. After the war, the structure set up in March 1942 was swept away and replaced by one not unlike the prewar arrangement.
The housekeeping function in an organization can be interpreted both broadly and strictly. Those who perform such duties, especially if they are strong and vigorous personalities, sometimes tend m absorb the powers of those whom they are supposed to serve. The Mayors of the Palace in France during the early Middle Ages, though originally only housekeeping officials, gradually extended their service functions until they replaced their royal masters. The organization of 1942 had endowed General Somervell with a good deal of administrative power and many feared he would build an "empire."
On the other hand, if the Army Service Forces was to have any practical value, it had to relieve the Chief of Staff and the

General Staff of operating and administrative functions so that the staff could devote itself to planning and strategy. The fan that the ASF took over many functions which previously had been performed on a higher rung of the ladder of the military hierarchy did not mean that the functions themselves were less important. The creation of the ASF did not relegate supply matters to a corner where no one need worry further about them. It simply made one man the key figure in handling these problems and that man had to act with authority. By the nature of his responsibilities, the commanding general of the Army Service Forces could scarcely hope to please everyone. If he interpreted his function strictly and acted with deference to those who had been reduced in the organizational hierarchy, he could not rise to the urgency of the situation; if he acted with vigor and efficiency, he was an "empire builder."
To make a difficult situation even more difficult, the ASF was not a well-integrated organization, and its commanding general, though vested with wide jurisdiction, was not fully the master in his own house. In contrast, the Army Air Forces and the Army Ground Forces were far better unified.
The AAF, since its creation in June 1941, had been composed of two major parts, the Air Force Combat Command and the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps. These two component parts were now abolished and their responsibilities vested in the commanding general of the Army Air Forces. The position of a Deputy Chief of Staff for Air is the War Department was also abolished. All this meant simply that General Arnold, by virtue of one title, would perform all of the duties which he had previously performed with two or three titles. He was now able to create such subordinate commands and staffs as he thought desirable. Moreover, for several years the component parts of the AAF had developed a common loyalty to the concept of the air mission in combat operations. There was thus a unity of purpose and of tradition within the AAF.
In the case of the Army Ground Forces, the executive order of 28 February 1942 transferred the functions and authority of the chiefs of Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Coast Artillery to the commanding general of the AGF, Lt. Gen. L. J. McNair. The new command headquarters of the AGF was the already existing General Headquarters which had first been formed in 1940. Thus, out of the reorganization, General McNair received a mission which was somewhat more limited in scope than that originally envisaged for GHQ, but he retained an existing staff intact. In addition, by absorbing the duties of the four chiefs of combat arms, much of the friction which he had experienced in the past was eliminated.
The commanding general of the Army Service Forces inherited no such unified organization. He simply received command authority over various agencies, each of which retained its separate identity and many of which retained a degree of autonomy. True, with the creation of the ASF, the chiefs of supply and administrative services had been moved down a peg in the hierarchy, for the major organizational change introduced by the establishment of the ASF was to interpose a new level of command into the War Department between the chiefs of supply and administrative services and the Chief of Staff. Whereas each of these chiefs previously had reported directly to the Chief of Staff, they now reported to the command-

ing general of the Army Service Forces. Nevertheless, the various heads of bureaus still retained a good deal of authority and responsibility. They were not an easy group to transform into a tight-knit, unified organization.
Another difficulty lay in the wide range of separate functions performed by the ASE It was more than a procurement and supply agency of the War Department. Actually, all the many miscellaneous activities which had grown up within the War Department over along period of time were simply assigned en bloc to the Army Service Forces. In consequence, the ASF was expected, among other things, to relieve the Chief of Staff and the War Department General Staff of housekeeping burdens. The ASF thus became a command of "things in general." This variety of duties was to create one of the major internal organizational problems for the ASF in the years ahead.
A feature that many people failed to understand was that the Army Service Forces was a very different command from either the AAF or the AGE The latter two were expected primarily to train combat units for military operations against the enemy. The mission of the ASF was to provide services for the other two forces and for overseas commands.
The role of the ASF as a common agency for War Department research and development, and for procurement and supply, was far less important with respect to the Air Forces than with respect to the Ground Forces. This arose from the fact that the AAF did its own research and development work. Although the Army Ground Forces shared responsibility with the ASF for development activities and testing military equipment, and although it decided the quantities of equipment desirable for various types of ground combat units, the really extensive research on ground equipment was done by the technical services within the Army Service Forces. 
The ASF also determined requirements and made arrangements for production, delivery, storage, and issue of ground equipment. Its procurement and supply activities for the AGF therefore surpassed those for the AAF. The Air Forces procured its own aircraft and related items. It had to turn to the ASF for such supplies as food, clothing, and other items which it used in common with the AGE In the procurement and supply of such items, the ASF was recognized as a common agency for the War Department. But the largest part of the supply work of the ASF was performed for ground troops, both in the United States and overseas.
The Army Service Forces was unique in other respects than in being a common supply agency for the two commands in the United States and for the various theaters of operations overseas. For one thing, it was initially designated to be the budget agency of the War Department. It became responsible for the induction, initial classification, and the assignment of personnel for the Army as a whole. It also provided common medical, communication, and transportation services for the Army. Thus the ASF was by no means a "coordinate" command with the Air Forces and the Ground Forces. Rather, it was a command set up to assist these two commands and to handle overseas service and supply needs. The essence of its special character could be found in its description as the "common supply and service agency" of the War Department.
An important problem for the future was to arise from those provisions of Circular 59 which assigned to the Army Air

Forces the "command and control" of its own air bases in the continental United States. This command included all personnel of units and installations located at the air base "including station complement personnel and activities." In practice, the assignment of command authority at air bases to the Army Air Forces meant that the AAF itself retained responsibility for the performance of medical services, utility services, recreational activities, chaplain services, and many other administrative or housekeeping duties at these bases. On the other hand, no such duties were vested in the commanding general of the Ground Forces. The ACT occupied its training stations on a kind of "user" or "lessee" basis. The actual operation of the ground posts which housed troops in training, fell to the ASR
No one, of course, expected the reorganization of 9 March 1942 to be perfect. Indeed Circular 59 itself stated that "experience of the first three months" would probably indicate the desirability of "minor modifications" in the proposed organization. Yet, at the same time, it was equally clear that no fundamental changes in the 9 March pattern of organization were expected for the duration of World War II. The War Department had decided upon the general scheme of organization for the conduct of its part of the war effort. The Secretary of War and the Chief of Staff expected the arrangement to prove both workable and helpful

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