Chapter XVII: 
The ASF and Civilian Agencies Concerned With Military Supply and Defense
Among other wartime civilian organizations, the federal government created emergency agencies to handle certain matters closely related to direct military operations. The Army Service Forces worked primarily with four such agencies: the War Shipping Administration, the Office of Defense Transportation, the Office of Lend-Lease Administration (later the Foreign Economic Administration), and the Civilian Defense Administration. The only generalization to be made about ASF relationships with these groups is that they raised few basic questions. Since these civilian agencies were performing duties more closely concerned with military operations, in some ways the collaboration required here was of a more delicate character than that required for procurement matters. But in spite of the fact that problems vital to military strategy were sometimes involved in these relationships, they were satisfactorily worked out.
Ocean Transportation
In 1941 the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were for America mighty zones of defense.
These zones, however, had to be crossed in aiding our allies and in attacking our foes. Naval and aerial domination of the sea lanes became an indispensable element of strategy. Also necessary was the construction and maintenance of sufficient shipping to carry supplies to overseas theaters. Nothing devours as much as global warfare. General Somervell was among the first to impress this point upon military and political leaders. He actively participated in the initial shipping planning.1 In June 1942 he warned that the submarine menace threatened "failure of our war effort." 2 In March 19.43 he reported to General Marshall that the chances for an effective offensive in 1943 and 1944 were "measured almost entirely by the shipping which can be made available for military operations." 3 And in November 1943 Somervell told a Senate subcommit-

tee, "We can never have more ships than are needed for all-out offensive warfare."4
The solution to the shipping problem was threefold: to build new ships, to curb sinkings, and to use available vessels efficiently. A record-breaking construction program between 1942 and 1945 produced more than five thousand oceangoing vessels totaling fifty-three million dead-weight tons.5 Building new ships, however, was like pouring water into a leaky barrel unless losses to enemy submarines and planes could be checked. In the early days of the war, sinkings created a critical situation. But antisubmarine measures cut losses from twelve million dead-weight tons in 1942 to two million in 1944.6 General Somervell, just as interested in the effort to curb submarine losses as in new construction, received regular reports, studied them carefully, and did not hesitate to make suggestions for meeting the menace to the proper agencies. But of more immediate concern to him was the proper use of available shipping space, and its allocation among the various agencies requiring ships.
At the. beginning of World War II, both the construction and management of the merchant marine were in the hands of the United States Maritime Commission. In February 1941 the commission set up a Division of Emergency Shipping which planned to control the use of American vessels to meet defense requirements.7 In this way the United States had made a start in the problem of dealing with the shipping shortage: After 7 December 1941 however, American shipping capacity was squeezed to the limit. As G-4 of the War Department General Staff, Somervell was immediately confronted with the effect of the shortage of ships on Army supply and troop movements. Both he and his adviser on transportation, Colonel Gross, immediately went to work on the problem. They recognized the urgent need for an agency, under civilian domination, to control the use of all merchant marine resources. Somervell wished, however, to hedge its powers with specific limitations, to insure the primacy of strategic interests. This led him to draft an executive order to create a central agency which he cleared through the War Department and then took to the White House for the attention of Mr. Harry Hopkins.8
Of course, there were others besides Somervell who at the same time were urging such an agency. In any event, on 7 February 1942 the President, following the suggestion of his advisers, established a War Shipping Administration. By and large, the limitations with which General Somervell wished to circumscribe the new agency were omitted and broad powers were granted to the administrator. In essence, the civilian WSA held final and exclusive power over shipping allocations, subject to a vague qualification that the administrator would "comply" with strategic and military requirements.9 Despite the fact that his suggested limitation on the authority of the agency was not adopted, General Somervell achieved his

main objective, a unified and centrally directed program for the allocation of ships. Admiral Emory S. Land, chairman of the Maritime Commission, was appointed also to be War Shipping Administrator. But the two organizations functioned separately: the Maritime Commission directed shipbuilding, and the WSA assumed operating control over vessels.10
The Maritime Commission based its construction program upon estimates presented by interested agencies. The Chief of Transportation in the ASF listed Army needs for a year in advance, the Navy submitted its requirements for merchant-type vessels, the Army-Navy Petroleum Board worked out tanker needs, and the joint Staff Planners of the JCS decided on the necessary number of combat loaders. Cargo space for lend-lease and commercial uses was determined by the War Shipping Administration. The Maritime Commission took all estimates and adjusted them to fit existing and anticipated shipbuilding facilities. Its plans were then studied by appropriate joint committees and reviewed by the joint Chiefs of Staff. Unresolved disagreements between the Maritime Commission and the JCS might be decided by the President. Although carried on by a civilian agency, the shipbuilding program was essentially a military program, and the military interest predominated. As needs varied with the fortunes of war, adjustments in the ship construction program were made to meet demands. General Somervell occasionally intervened in the shipbuilding program to urge an increase in production to meet anticipated Army needs.11
In the field of small boat construction, the Army, Navy, and Maritime Commission each had its own program. The Army Transportation Corps purchased harbor craft and other vessels under one thousand gross tons or less than two hundred feet in length. It worked out informal agreements with groups interested in small boats on the apportionment of construction facilities among various contractors. By and large the Transportation Corps and the Maritime Commission experienced little difficulty in working together. The commission was usually happy to give the Army the type and tonnage of new construction it desired. Ship utilization, naturally, was closely intertwined with ship construction. Proper use of existing cargo space cut down the need for new ships. Idle tonnage was no more useful than tonnage not built.
The administrator of the WSA directed the operation, purchase, charter, requisition, and use of all American-controlled ocean-going vessels except combat vessels and transports of the Army and Navy, and coastwise traffic under the control of the Office of Defense Transportation. The administrator also allocated United States ships for use by the Army, Navy, other federal agencies, and governments of the United Nations. In addition, he represented the United States in dealing with the British Ministry of War Transport, kept current data on shipping, and informed the President on the shipping situation. He also collaborated with all military and civilian agencies performing wartime functions connected with overseas transport.
After the creation of the War Shipping Administration, Somervell negotiated an understanding with the new agency on operating relationships in the use of ships. The Navy had previously made an agree-

ment with the WSA, and General Somervell, on behalf of the Army, worked out a similar arrangement with Mr. Lewis W. Douglas, deputy administrator of the shipping agency. A modus operandi was signed on 13 June 1942.12 This agreement provided that the Army Transportation Corps would operate vessels owned by the War Department but would keep the WSA fully informed on the use of this tonnage. Since Army-owned ships would barely begin to meet Army needs, the WSA was to assign to the Army the additional ocean-going vessels it required. These ships would be allotted on a voyage basis, and on the home trip, unless otherwise arranged, they would revert to the control of the WSA. Overseas commanders were permitted to retain cargo vessels in their own service if military emergencies demanded. The Army and the WSA also agreed to exchange information and maintain the closest possible liaison, both in Washington and at ports of embarkation. Each organization would furnish the other full information for planning the best possible use of ships. Finally, the two agencies agreed that each had no desire to absorb or control the functions of the other.
The agreement settled a threatened jurisdictional dispute between the Army Transportation Corps of the ASF and the WSA. In essence, General Somervell, and his chief of transportation, General Gross, accepted civilian control over the United States merchant shipping pool. But once ships had been allocated to it, the Army wished full authority over its share. The ASF accepted the 13 June modus operandi and Somervell, in transmitting a copy of the agreement to Mr. Harry Hopkins, wrote that it was "eminently satisfactory." 13 It is doubtful, however, whether the Transportation Corps was really fully satisfied by the agreement. General Gross, writing on another proposal involving civilian control over Army cargo in a war theater, suggested that Marshall telegraph General Eisenhower: "I cannot endorse your proposal to share responsibility in so important a matter as the control of shipping in an active theater of operation with a cumbersome board operated by a civilian head . . . . I know of no function of your Chief of Transportation more important than those you seek to delegate elsewhere . . . ." 14 Colonel J. H. Graham, a trusted confidant and adviser to Somervell in World War II, in a memo which probably reflected the opinion of a good many transportation officers, wrote candidly of the Somervell-Douglas agreement: "That will serve for a while, two to four months, and will probably be the germ of something better." 15
But it was the War Shipping Administration which struck the first blow against the modus operandi. Mr. Lewis Douglas was even less satisfied with the arrangement that General Somervell's transportation advisers had negotiated. He thought in terms of complete WSA authority over cargo space. True, the WSA had the power to divide shipping among claimant agencies. But after these agencies had received their shares, Mr. Douglas was not inclined to relinquish authority. He

wished to remodel the WSA along the lines of the British Ministry of War Transport, at least insofar as that organization combined the operation of civilian and military shipping in a single agency.
About six weeks after the signing of the agreement, top level American and British officials, including Prime Minister Winston Churchill, met to discuss shipping for BOLERO. In the course of the discussions Churchill inquired why the American Army in the United Kingdom needed fourteen million tons of shipping while twenty-five million sufficed for the entire British Isles. Of more specific concern to the ASF, however, was the fact that officials of the WSA at the conference challenged General Gross's shipping figures for BOLERO, and someone, possibly Mr. Douglas, stated that the Army was wasting cargo space because of improper loading. 16 Mr. Douglas argued that savings in cargo space could be made by unified planning. "Dear Bill," he wrote to General Somervell on 9 October 1942, "I am enclosing herewith a memorandum on combined planning for cargo ships." He then spelled out proposed savings by combining WSA, Army, and other cargoes, giving specific and detailed examples of waste arising from the absence of such combination.17 The ASF did not react kindly to the Douglas proposals, and General Gross presented studies refuting the charges of waste.18
In the midst of this mild disagreement the War Shipping Administration loosed a torpedo when on 18 December 1942 Admiral Land and Mr. Douglas obtained from President Roosevelt a memorandum saying, in effect, that except for task forces or assault forces, the WSA should load overseas military supplies provided by the Army. Admiral Land enclosed the directive in a letter to Secretary of War Stimson.19 Secretary Stimson retorted: "I must express my surprise that a matter which so obviously affects the interest of the Army should be initiated without anyone in authority from this Department having an opportunity to state his views either to the Budget or the President . . . ." The battle was joined. Secretary Stimson postponed designating Army representatives to confer with the WSA.20
Somervell and General Gross were the driving forces behind the Army opposition. On the day before Christmas, Somervell forwarded, for Admiral Leahy's signature, a memorandum to the President. This memorandum protested the directive of 18 December because it destroyed "the authority of the armed forces over the movement of supplies essential to their success." If Army port facilities were to be used for loading only combat task forces going overseas, these facilities would be only partly and hence wastefully used. The Army moreover, they argued, was better able than commercial loaders to make rapid adjustments in cargo to meet battle needs. Under the proposed arrangement, military cargo might be badly scattered and even lost. The memo implied that the Transportation Corps was the best agency for "'marrying" cargo and seeing that it arrived at the correct destination.21

On 31 December 1942 Mr. Douglas proposed a compromise whereby military technicians would be on hand whenever WSA operators loaded Army cargo. Admiral Leahy seemed interested in the suggestion, but General Gross bridled at the very thought of divided responsibility. Somervell thereupon explained to Admiral Leahy the need to protest in writing to the President. In a memo he stated that the executive order setting up the WSA provided for "collaboration" with the Army on vessels "for use by the Army." Accordingly, he argued, Mr. Douglas was exceeding the authority of this order. The larger issue, however, General Somervell pointed out, was whether the chiefs of staff "shall determine the strategic employment of shipping in its over-all relation to military operations . . . or whether the War Shipping Administration shall determine the disposal of shipping on the strategic- basis and inform the Chiefs of Staff what shipping they may have available for military purposes." 22
Admiral Leahy signed the memorandum of protest on 6 January. In it the President was requested to rescind his directive and confirm the authority of the joint Chiefs of Staff over the "means of transporting supplies and troops overseas." Shortly thereafter, General Marshall, who had become interested in the issue, wrote Mr. Douglas a personal letter in which he stated that the WSA was trying to change established procedures, and that the Army had drawn from civilian life a group of shipping experts who were competent to do the work. The Army, he implied, seemed to be doing a good shipping job, and the procedure of the WSA in this case could serve no other purpose than cause difficulty and animosity.23 At the same time, Secretary of War Stimson advised Admiral Land that the controversy had been placed in the hands of the President. The opposition to Mr. Douglas' proposal was too formidable. He therefore yielded gracefully, protesting that he had no desire to interfere in strategic matters. 
While the President did not rescind his directive, it was not enforced, so it can be said that the ASF had won its defensive jurisdictional battle. Both sides thereafter scrupulously observed the modus operandi of 13 June 1942.
In a sense the whole affair had been unnecessary. General Gross had always been interested in full loading, and had several pet projects for combining heavy bottom cargo such as steel for Britain with space-consuming balloon cargo such as assembled motor vehicles. Although the Army Transportation Corps made some mistakes, it had usually loaded as efficiently as military exigencies allowed. With the spotlight of controversy on this issue, there was perhaps an even greater effort to balance compact heavy cargo with bulky balloon cargo. Most Army vessels left port, loaded "full and down."24
For some time after this conflict all was quiet on the ASF-WSA front. General Somervell and Mr. Douglas continued to write their "Dear Lew" and "Dear Bill" letters, and the agencies worked in harmony. During 1944 a mild flurry broke the calm. In November Admiral Land protested to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that

the retention of a large number of vessels in the European Theater of Operations if continued would cause a severe shipping shortage. A bad situation had developed slowly, almost imperceptibly. The theater had called for more supplies than could be discharged. Overseas ports were clogged, stevedoring equipment was inadequate, and ships were being held offshore as floating warehouses. The backlog of ships gradually piled up, until by November 1944, nearly four hundred ships were awaiting discharge.25
General Somervell reported to the JCS that the existing shortage was partly caused by the failure of the Maritime Commission to meet its construction schedule. But at the same time he recognized the validity of Admiral Land's charge.26 Indeed, he had been watching the situation develop with increasing misgiving. Now he worked vigorously to rectify matters. His pressure on responsible headquarters in the ETO, plus the opening of the port of Antwerp, soon reduced the number of ships retained to a reasonable number .27
In innumerable day to day shipping activities the ASF and WSA worked closely together. At ports, local representatives of the two agencies constantly exchanged cargo in order to attain more efficient loading. The arrangement whereby WSA assigned outgoing cargo ships to the Army, with the vessels returning to WSA authority for the home voyage, proved a workable one. Whenever an overseas command had more than a thousand tons of cargo to return to the United States, the WSA designated a vessel to move it. An Interdepartmental Shipping Priorities Committee under the War Production Board determined the most urgently needed return cargo, and shipping space on vessels was allotted to carry it. An ASF representative served on the committee and the Chief of Transportation made Army vessels available as needed. Another group, the Joint Military Transportation Committee, prepared long-range plans for the use of shipping capacity.
Usually the ASF presented to the WSA a forecast of its own probable shipping needs for the coming six to eight weeks. This showed where and in what amounts cargo lift would be required. These forecasts, reviewed twice monthly, helped the WSA to plan its deployment of ships. Final allocation of specific ships were worked out at semiweekly meetings between the agencies and by direct telephone wire between the two offices.
Troop ships required a somewhat different arrangement. They remained constantly in the service of the Army. At first, particularly if they had some cargo space, the WSA was interested in their home voyage. In co-operation with the Army, it did utilize some of this space. But with the growing number of troops and casualties to be returned to the United States later in the war, the Army Transportation Corps utilized all space on transports in carrying troops and their baggage for the round trip.
The changing needs of war demanded constant adjustment in shipping plans. When American troops were first sent overseas in large numbers, Army troop ships could not meet the load. The Navy therefore assigned some of its transports to the Army. But the major aid in providing

troop lift came from ships loaned by the British. The Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth were particularly helpful. These two "Queens," equipped with tiered bunks, and with men often sleeping in shifts, carried up to fifteen thousand troops each, the equivalent of an entire American division. Relying for safety on their tremendous speed, they carried without incident from enemy action nearly a million soldiers from the United States to the United Kingdom.28
But not even these huge liners could satisfy the increasing requirements for troop lift. When cargo construction was well along on schedule, the joint Chiefs of Staff approved the conversion of various types of ships to troop transports. Conversion was a useful device in giving the ship program some of the flexibility required by the exigencies of war. Later, after troop lift demands were temporarily met, vessels were converted into hospital ships, repair ships, spare parts ships, and even a news ship. Smaller vessels became floating refrigerators, floating warehouses, and floating service shops of numerous varieties. Conversions were carried out by several agencies and by the armed services.29
The Army negotiated directly with the WSA on all matters involving privately operated vessels under WSA control. It dealt with the WSA when it wanted British cargo ships for Army service, but worked directly with the British Ministry of War Transport when it needed British troop ships. The two agencies agreed on regulations for carrying civilian passengers engaged in essential travel. On 28 January and 7 March 1944 the WSA, the Army, and the Navy reached agreements whereby they accepted each other's barges for towing when their tugs had free time. Detailed understandings were also arrived at with regard to financial procedures.
An important field of co-operation was in matters of personnel. The Army Transportation Corps usually followed WSA procedures. It paid the prevailing wage rates including overtime and war bonuses. As far as practicable, it also followed established precedents on war risk insurance. The WSA used the overseas facilities of the War Department when it investigated and processed matters dealing with marine insurance. The Transportation Corps recruited crews for its own transports, but co-operated with the WSA in so doing. It also made its facilities available to the WSA for training officers for merchant crews. The Transportation Corps followed the forms and procedures of the WSA on deferments under the Selective Service Act, and the WSA personnel organization issued necessary re-employment certificates and handled negotiations with local draft boards.
This catalogue of co-operation could be greatly extended. But enough has been said to indicate how extensive were the operating relationships between the ASF and the War Shipping Administration. In short, the WSA controlled the entire pool of cargo vessels coming under the jurisdiction of the United States Government. The Army received most of its cargo ships through the WSA and retained authority to operate them according to its judgment of military needs. Under this arrangement

involving numerous points of interagency contact, there occasionally were misunderstandings, but it is noteworthy that these were so few in number.
Rail Transportation
For domestic transportation, the War Department depended primarily upon the services of the American railroad companies.30 The position of the War Department was in effect that of any other user of transportation facilities. The War Department contracted directly with the railroads for both passenger and freight services, and was subject to all the limitations imposed upon both carrier and user by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). The rail transportation problem of the Army was twofold: to obtain the necessary transportation service, and to avoid traffic congestion at ports engaged in the overseas shipment of Army freight. The essential difference between the Army and other commercial shippers was the military urgency of Army freight and the overseas destination of most of its shipments.
As early as the summer of 1941, the Association of American Railroads voluntarily joined with the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, to establish a control system over Army cargo moving into ports. Thereafter, no Army agency in the United States could ship any freight to a port area without a prior permit issued upon the basis of available shipping. A Traffic Control Division, set up as part of the Transportation Corps after it was created, continued to work with the Association of American Railroads in issuing freight permits and in arranging for necessary passenger service.
Earlier, on 18 December 1941, the President had established the Office of Defense Transportation by Executive Order 8989. That agency was an outgrowth of the Transportation Division of the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense. The ODT was given authority to co-ordinate transportation policies and activities oŁ federal agencies and private transportation groups in order to insure that the domestic transportation system met war requirements. In carrying out its responsibilities, the ODT was directed to collaborate with existing agencies and to utilize their facilities and services to the maximum. In particular, it, was instructed to maintain close liaison with the Maritime Commission, the ICC, and the War and Navy Departments. Several government agencies, including the War Department, were directed to designate a representative to work with the Office of Defense Transportation.
The ODT, shortly after it was set up, took steps to prevent the congestion of freight at port areas. An agreement was reached between the War Department, the ODT, and the WSA in March 1942, whereby a Transportation Control Committee was established, consisting of representatives from these three agencies and the British Ministry of War Transport. The Navy Department was later added to the committee. An assistant chief of transportation from General Gross's office represented the War Department on the committee. The first ODT regulation establishing control machinery was issued on 23 May 1942.

The system worked in this manner. The Transportation Control Committee, on the basis of official information about availability of cargo space, established what were known as ODT block releases under which specified quantities of cargo might move to ports during a given month. The Traffic Control Division in the Office of the Chief of Transportation then issued the unit permits within the limits fixed by the Transportation Control Committee for the shipment of all government and lend-lease freight except Navy. Unit permits for Navy freight were issued by the Navy. Those for such commercial freight as was being shipped overseas were issued by the Association of American Railroads. The Army continued to issue its own permits on its own authority for the shipment of military cargo to ports for loading in vessels assigned to the Transportation Corps.
The ODT atone time suggested that the entire system of issue of releases for shipment to ports be transferred to its direct operating control. The Army Service Forces opposed this move, maintaining that it was strictly a military responsibility to control the movement of Army freight to ports. This position was eventually accepted. Transportation Corps machinery was utilized for the issuance of other permits in order to avoid the creation of duplicating and confusing administrative machinery.
The ODT exercised general supervision over the utilization of all rail facilities. Its orders affected War Department shipping, unless specifically exempted, in the same way as other freight. At the request of the Transportation Corps the ODT agreed to consult the Army before issuing any specific order. In many cases exemptions were provided for military freight. For example, ODT General Order 1 issued on 1 May 1942 prohibited the railroads from accepting for transportation-any closed freight car containing less than ten tons. An amendment to the order issued on the same day prohibited the use of closed cars for moving merchandise within the same city or shipping area. In both instances exemptions were made for specified commodities of an obviously military character. In addition, the Army asked for and obtained an exemption for cars used as storage facilities during military maneuvers. In another case Army-owned tank cars were exempted from the ODT's regulations covering the assignment and routing of loaded tank cars. Since only about one third of the Army's domestic shipments of petroleum products were made by Army-owned cars, the Transportation Corps assigned representatives to work with the ODT in the routing of commercial tank cars. The ODT Tank Car Advisory Committee included a representative of the Chief of Transportation, and at three different shipping points Army representatives worked jointly with the ODT There were many other orders of a similar nature controlling the use of rail facilities on which the ASF co-operated with the ODT
The Interstate Commerce Commission, on the other hand, refused to permit the ASF to review its orders prior to issuance. Thus, for example, the ICC, in Service Order 68 on 30 January 1942, required shippers to pay for the minimum weight of the car furnished by the carrier regardless of the size of the car specified by the shipper. This was done to avoid switching delays in providing the exact freight car requested. Such an order necessarily had the effect of increasing freight charges for the Army; thereupon the Transportation Corps sought an exemption. Originally the

ICC offered a limited exemption based upon a permit system, but this was not acceptable to the Army because of the large number of Army installations involved and the delays which would result. No satisfactory solution to this problem was ever devised. By another order issued in February 1943, the ICC vested authority in a joint agency of the ICC and ODT to divert transcontinental carload traffic from congested routes. The Army Service Forces succeeded in obtaining an exemption from this order through the ODT
The Army dealt directly with the Association of American Railroads in routing military passenger traffic in groups of forty or more persons. The Transportation Corps and the railroads agreed upon the types of accommodations to be provided and upon the rules to be followed in utilizing equipment. The conversion of baggage cars to kitchen cars was one such agreement. The Transportation Corps, working with the railroads,, also took steps to reduce military demands, as, for example, by assigning three men to each section of Pullman space. Another expedient was to time military movements in such a manner as to permit the maximum use of a particular assignment of rail equipment. Thus, on one occasion, three long-run hauls of Army personnel were made with the same set of passenger cars. Yet another method used to reduce military demands was to halt the practice of shipping wheeled vehicles with troop units when moving from one part of the United States to another. All of these steps were taken by the ASF without any order from the ODT
The ODT was kept informed of the general volume of military traffic anticipated by the War Department. On the other hand, the ODT was not consulted about any specific movement of either passenger or freight traffic. These movements were worked out directly between the Transportation Corps and the Association of American Railroads, acting as a central agency for all railroad companies.
The requirements of American railways for new equipment were presented to the War Production Board by the ODT Before acting on these requirements, the WPB asked the War Department whether the construction program would interfere with the purchase of rail equipment for military use overseas. These questions were handled by ASF headquarters and the Chief of Transportation. The advice of the ASF was also sought by the WPB in granting tax amortization certificates to railroads for new construction or new equipment. The ODT purchased some twelve hundred troop sleeping cars and four hundred troop kitchen cars which it rented to the railroads for troop train service. The safety and convenience features of this equipment were established by the Chief of Transportation.
There were a number of other agencies with which the Army dealt in the domestic transportation field. The ASF was consulted by the Public Roads Administration after 1942, for example, on the question of what state highway projects should receive federal funds. With the co-operation of the ODT, the Army Service Forces worked with state agencies in removing limitations on the truck haul of military freight. In addition, the Transportation Corps worked with the ODT on questions of transporting persons in accordance with Public Law 779 of the 77th Congress, approved 1 December 1942. Under this law, the War Department was empowered to furnish transportation for workers at private plants after the ODT had determined

that other private and public facilities could not render adequate service. On behalf of private manufacturers, ASF field installations presented proposals for bus service to the Chief of Transportation. After local investigation and approval, the Chief of Transportation submitted his recommendations to the ODT As of 30 June 1945 the Army owned some 7,498 buses, of which nearly 5,000 were used for bus service to military installations and over 1,000 for bus service to war plants. The ASF also assisted motor carriers in requesting new or replacement equipment from the ODT and the War Production Board. Army-owned oil barges, when not fully employed in military traffic, were made available to the WPB and the Defense Supplies Corporation for the haul of petroleum products.
In order to prevent congestion at ports-the curse of World War I-the ODT found it necessary to exercise control over shipments to storage points in port areas. These shipments were brought under the same control as shipments to piers, with the result that they were kept in line with available port facilities. The ODT also exercised general supervision over all storage space affecting transportation activities, and at one time, desired to bring army holding and reconsignment points under its supervision. The Army Service Forces objected strongly to this proposal, and an informal understanding was reached which exempted holding and reconsignment points of the Transportation Corps from ODT supervision. However, these facilities were made available by the Transportation Corps to the Treasury Department, the Foreign Economic Administration, and the Department of Agriculture. The ODT sponsored a Federal Emergency Warehouse Association which was helpful in making public warehouse space available to the Army.
As a heavy shipper, the War Department was much concerned with the rates charged for its freight movements. The Chief of Transportation negotiated directly with railways to reduce rates on various classes of military freight, and in cases of an impasse, went to the ICC for a decision. The ODT joined the Chief of Transportation in pressing those cases where governmental agencies generally might benefit from a reduction in freight rates. All other rate cases involving the Army were prosecuted by the Chief of Transportation.
The ASF insisted upon maintaining full control over military traffic within the zone of interior. At the same time, as already indicated, it took necessary steps to reduce its demands as far as possible and to assist the railroads in bearing the burden. During the redeployment period after V-E Day, a 50 percent increase beyond the previous peak in military passenger traffic made it necessary for the ODT under Transportation Corps and ASF pressure to impose a number of restrictions upon civilian passenger traffic. But in spite of these measures, the passenger facilities made available for the Army were in many instances inadequate. These problems were in the process of mutual negotiation and settlement when the surrender of Japan brought about a decrease in the volume of military traffic. Voluntary action was later proposed by the western railroads to meet Army needs for passenger equipment to move men home from the Pacific coast. These various arrangements for mutual action by the Army Service Forces and the other government agencies concerned with domestic transportation provided a satisfactory working relationship throughout World War II.

From the date of the passage of the Lend-Lease Act in 1941 until the end of the war, a central civilian agency maintained general oversight of foreign aid programs. First, there was the Division of Defense Aid Reports under Maj. Gen. James H. Burns; after 28 October 1941, there was the Office of Lend-Lease Administration under Mr. Edward R. Stettinius; and finally on 25 September 1943, the Foreign Economic Administration was created, headed by Leo Crowley.31 These central agencies were not strictly speaking operating agencies. Rather they supervised and co-ordinated the procurement and distribution of lend-lease supplies by other departments. Thus the War Department was responsible for procuring all lend-lease supplies for foreign armies. But at first it was dependent upon the OLLA for allocation of funds, and had to follow procedures laid down by that office. During the prewar phase of lend-lease, this division of function led to involved requisitioning procedures which the Army felt seriously hampered its efforts to procure and distribute munitions on a strategic basis. These difficulties were largely resolved after Pearl Harbor by placing the distribution of munitions under the control of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. As a corollary, a consolidated production program was developed by the ASF, combining U.S. Army and lend-lease requirements. To finance this consolidated program, Congress made direct appropriations to the War Department for lend-lease purposes, placing only certain dollar limitations on transfers of military equipment. The Army Supply Program then became the basis of procurement both for the U.S. Army and for military lend-lease; allocation of the finished product was accomplished by the Munitions Assignments Board in Washington, operating under the directives of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The administration of this military lend-lease program, nevertheless, remained in the War Department, and in March 1942 was absorbed as one of the functions of the ASK
This system made lend-lease a basic instrument of military policy and strategy, as noted elsewhere.32 In March and April 1942 General Somervell was instrumental in the negotiation of agreements whereby the OLLA gave up all authority to influence these decisions. The War Department thus acquired complete autonomy in the operation of its lend-lease program "subject to the policies and directions of the President or the Combined Munitions Assignments Board," and to the establishment of reporting procedures which would permit OLLA to keep accurate record of transfers made.33 The OLLA (and later the FEA) became an accounting agency insofar as military lend-lease supplies were concerned. The reporting procedures were established by agreement between the International Division, ASF, and the civilian lend-lease authority. The OLLA and FEA retained responsibility for handling civilian lend-lease. Since it was impossible to decide in some cases whether an article was civilian or military, there remained areas of questionable or overlapping jurisdiction. The Army was also interested in the amount and character of civilian lend-

lease provided to other governments. Reciprocal aid (or "reverse lend-lease") and the conditions under which it might assist U. S. military operations were problems of importance to both agencies. It was necessary to delineate responsibility for the supply of the civilian population in occupied areas. Agreements reached in these fields were usually so complicated, and involved so many different government agencies, as to defy simple definition. The International Division, ASF, represented the War Department in these negotiations.
The shipment of lend-lease supplies was also important to the ASF because of its possible interference with the military supply of overseas theaters. By a basic arrangement worked out in late 1942, the War Department was responsible for the movement of military lend-lease supplies to port, but loading and shipment overseas were responsibilities of the War Shipping Administration. This arrangement was never entirely satisfactory to the ASF, which preferred Transportation Corps control of the loading and shipping of military lend-lease, but through close co-operation with WSA it did prove to be at least a workable system. In cases where lend-lease supplies were consigned to U.S. commanders abroad for distribution within a theater of operations, they were moved entirely under Army control.34
Since civilian as well as military lend-lease supplies had to be shipped on the same vessels, the co-ordination of storage operations, movement to port, and loading activities required close collaboration between the ASF, OLLA, WSA, and representatives of foreign governments concerned. Through formal and informal conferences and committees, the multiplicity of details inherent in such operations was worked out harmoniously.35
Civilian Defense
The President in .May 1941 established an Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) as a co-ordinating agency to work with state and local governments in protecting the civilian population and civilian facilities from the possible dangers of enemy action.36 A board for civilian protection, on which the Secretary of War was represented, was set up within the OCD.
The War Department was obviously vitally concerned with civilian defense. While the Army's role in home defense was primarily to repel any enemy attack, it had already assumed some responsibility for inspecting the precautions taken at vital production facilities to insure uninterrupted operation. The Provost Marshal General in the ASF directed an internal security program which called for plant guards, visitor control, and other safety precautions at vital war installations. A Resources Protection Board in the WPB, composed of representatives of the Army, the Navy, the OCD, and the WPB, indicated specific facilities which were vital to the war effort. These facilities were included on a Master Inspection Responsibility List which guided the ASF in its internal security activities. Later the OCD established, with the approval of the Secretary of War, a Facilities Security

Program designed to assure protection of essential facilities.37 This program was to be supplementary to the protective programs of the Army, the Navy, and the Federal Power Commission.
There was some difficulty between the OCD and the ASF in drawing a clear distinction in their respective roles. An agreement was negotiated between the two agencies in May 1943 in which the War Department assumed exclusive responsibility for protecting facilities listed on its Master Inspection Responsibility List. The Secretary of War designated a representative to work with the OCD on internal security matters and to prevent any overlapping effort. The whole internal security program was greatly reduced in November 1943 and again in September 1944.38
The ASF co-operated in many other phases of the OCD program. The Chief of Chemical Warfare Service provided training in chemical defense for thousands of civilians. The service commands of the ASF worked closely with local OCD offices in calling attention to necessary protection programs by state and local governments. Dangers from possible bomb and gas attack were dramatized by Army personnel in a show which toured principal cities of the country. With allied forces on the offensive all over the world, civilian defense gradually receded in importance, until by 1944, the OCD virtually ceased to exist. It is doubtful if civilian defense experience in World War II was sufficiently extensive or vital to suggest any pattern for future use. Thanks to the fact that all the actual conflict took place at such great distances from the United States itself, the problem of civilian defense actually never became a crucial one.

Page Created June 13th 2001


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