September 25, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
In relation to your navy story, the following are the facts:1
During maneuvers we prescribe the menus for each day and the rations necessary to these menus are then shipped up from the depots to the daily railheads accordingly. In other words, 500,000 men have the same bill of fare. So, if it happens to provide for french toast and your navy man wants soft-boiled eggs, he will have to go back to the navy for his breakfast. For .8 of an egg per man is sufficient for french toast or a scramble. The limiting factor is 50¢ per ration but the distribution of these fifty cents is determined in advance over the period of the entire maneuvers. There is still another complication which you probably will not advertise—you get 60¢ a day in the Navy. We get 50¢.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The chief of naval operations had sent to Marshall a copy of a “yarn” from navy pilots complaining about the insufficiency of the food at the Beaumont, Texas, army mess where they had been eating while participating in the maneuvers in Louisiana. (Stark to Marshall, September 23,1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Arnold had likewise been “declaiming” about the parsimonious egg ration. “Maybe they need for [more] egg in the air than on the ground,” Marshall wrote at the bottom of the letter from Stark. Arnold commented that his investigation of the egg situation had elicited the following teletyped response: “There is no trouble with the food at Beaumont. Everybody is satisfied. The Mess Officer says so.” (Arnold Memorandum for General Moore, September 24,1941, ibid.)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981– ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 619.