Original Source Documents: April 21, 1974 - Interview with with Lieutenant General Henry S. Aurand
Contributor: Robert A. Notman
Source: General Aurand Papers
INTERVIEW WITH LIEUTENANT GENERAL HENRY S. AURAND
MAJOR WILLIAM O. MORRISON
THIS IS TAPE ONE, ALPHA, AND SHOULD COME BETWEEN TAPE ONE AND TAPE TWO.
THIS IS THE SECOND IN A GROUP OF TAPINGS WITH LIEUTENANT GENERAL HENRY S. AURAND. WE ARE PRESENTLY IN ABILENE, KANSAS, AT THE TRAILS END MOTEL. THE DATE IS 21 APRIL 1974 AND IT HAPPENS TO BE THE GENERAL'S BIRTHDAY. THIS GROUP OF QUESTIONS WILL COVER THE WASHINGTON DUTY WHICH IS MAY 1940 TO SEPTEMBER 1942, WHEN GENERAL AURAND WAS THE CHIEF PLANS AND REQUIREMENTS BRANCH G-4 OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT GENERAL STAFF FROM MAY 1940, THEN AS CHIEF REQUIREMENTS AND DISTRIBUTION BRANCH G-4 FROM JUNE 1940, CHIEF SUPPLY AND TRANSPORTATION BRANCH FROM AUGUST 1940, THEN AS DEFENSE AID DIRECTOR OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT FROM OCTOBER 1941, AND AS CHIEF OF THE INTERNATIONAL DIVISION ARMY SERVICE FORCES FROM FEBRUARY 1942, AND THEN AS COMBINED SECRETARY OF THE COMBINED PRODUCTION BOARD FROM JUNE 1942.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, you were in the class of 1940 in the Army Industrial College. Under what circumstances were you assigned to the General Staff?
LTG AURAND: Because of the contemplated increase in the Regular Army, the class of 1940 at the Army Industrial College graduated a few weeks ahead of time. Nearly all the students had orders before the closing date arrived, but I did not. It seems the Chief of Ordnance was not kindly disposed to me. Finally, orders came which assigned me as the Assistant Fiscal Officer of the Ordnance Department. I consider this to be a dead end street. I had come to Washington with the idea that this would be an ideal place for me to obtain duty overseas but I felt sure that this assignment, 'Assistant Fiscal Officer, meant that the request for orders overseas would fall on deaf ears. In those days there was a free bus which shuttled back and forth between the munitions building and the Army-Navy Club at lunch time. One day on the way back from lunch, I rode on the bus with Colonel W. M. Robertson and R. L. Maxwell. Both were first classmen at West Point when I was a plebe. Robertson had been the logistical instructor of mine both at the C&GSS and at the War College. And in 1933 he had recommended me to succeed him on the War College faculty. Way back in 1918 when I was at Sandy Hook, Maxwell was at Picatinny Arsenal and we worked together trying to develop a flashless powder. Not only did I get to know him well then but our paths crossed many times since we were both ordnance officers. I found on the way down on the bus that Robertson was an Executive Officer G-4 and Maxwell was the head of the Plans and Requirement section of G-4 himself. The next echelon of organization of G-4. I wondered out loud to these fellows why they hadn't grabbed me off to the G-4 section. You know, I had been on the G-4 member of the War College faculty and had done well in both Leavenworth and the War College on the subject. Well, Robbie said, "You aren't pure." And I said, "Yes I am." And I said, "You know the law is that a Staff Officer like an Ordnance Officer is, I should have done one year out of the last five in order to stay on the General Staff and also if an Ordnance Officer or other-staff Branch Officer attends a General Service School which the Army Industrial College is, it counts as one year of troop duty, so I'm as pure as the driven snow." And Robbie said, "Maxie, is that so?" And Maxie said, "Yes, that's so." Well," Robbie said, "Come on up to my office." So, I came up to his office and he went and talked to General Moore who was the G-4, for a few minutes and then he came out and said, "Come on in." And I shook hands with General Moore and he asked me a few questions and looked at Robbie and said, "Okay." So we went on into Robbie's office and in thirty minutes I had my orders assignment cancelling my being Assistant Fiscal Officer of Chief Ordnance and assigning me to G-4 and then a G-4 memorandum assigning me to be Maxwell's Deputy in Plans and Requirements for this. And that's how I got on the General Staff.
MAJ MORRISON: During the period May 1940 to September 1942, you were involved in many changes of national policies and reorganization within the War Department. I would like for you to trace some of these changes as you saw them through the whole period and begin with your own assignment, please trace them for me, sir.
LTG AURAND: Before answering this question, I'd like to make two general observations. Many changes of national policy were caused by the President who had to sell the isolationists segment of the country and the even more strongly isolationists Congress by a step to step method to get the industry of the country converted to military manufacture. Second, the War Department itself, in addition to the President's step by step action, was influenced by the military happenings abroad. Without questioning the decisions made at the time, because I can't take my mind back to what those circumstances were, the result was in retrospect a too soon a stop and a too late an effort. As I already told you, my first assignment was Deputy Chief of Plans and Requirements section of the G-4 Division of the War Department General Staff. G-4 was then organized into four sections. The other three were called Supply, Transportation and Construction; none of these sections, including my own, covered the provision function of the supply system which included procurement. Provision was handled by the office of Assistant Secretary of War. The officer in the Assistant Secretary's office, with whom I worked, was a Colonel James H. Burns who was known as Jimmie Burns the General because later on Justice Burns resigned from the Supreme Court and became the Chief of Mobilization for the President and, of course, he was known as Jimmie Burns the Justice. In addition, the Assistant Secretary's office there was my classmate, Colonel Tenny, later Brigadier General Tenney and Major McMoreland, later Brigadier General McMoreland. The Plans and Requirement section was manned by a planner, one planner, Lieutenant Colonel Griner by two computers of requirement who were Bill Goodman and Walter Wood and by one director of Research and Development who was Major Tony McAuliffe who handled the boards, the line boards, the infantry board, the cavalry board and so on. Generally he was known as the R&D man and there was still another member, the last member of my section, Lieutenant Colonel Hoag, Army Air Corps who handled the Army Air Corps actions in any of these fields, whether it was Griner's or Goodman's or McAuliffe's. These people constituted a group which was later represented on the Army Services Forces Staff by about four hundred officers. I don't say we did the work of four hundred men but it just seemed like it. The evolution of my assignment began shortly after my arrival when Colonel Maxwell was made the Executive Officer of the Export Control Board under Vice President Wallace who was the Chairman and I then became the Chief of P&R section as we called it -Plans and Requirements. And the next change occurred only a little while later and it came about in this way. The Supply section was headed by an old friend of mine named Jeff Keys who later became a Corps Commander who somehow or other slid out of the General Staff and back to the troops and who should come in to replace him, my West Point roommate Dot Walden and this made working together very easy. But when the requests for foreign assistance began coming in a year and a half before Lend Lease, we had to work so very closely together and General Moore decided that we'd make it one section and I think I ranked Dot Walden five files and said, "I was the Section Chief and he was the Exec." And for a while he was a little mad about it but we had known each other too long and too well to make any difference so we became the Requirements and Distributions section. Now all of these solicitors for additional property and what-not had to have some sort of transportation and most of the transportation at this time, outside of the re-enforcement of the Philippines which was going on, which they were allotted had to go in their own bottoms. Also, there was rail transportation involved in all that, so they said the best way to coordinate all this was to put it in with the Supply people, under the supply people. I've always thought that transportation should be under the supply people but then finally it was done here without my soliciting at all so we became the Supply and Transportation Section in G-4 and, therefore, we had only two sections of G-4; Supply and Transportation and Construction. Now the Chinese who had won much sympathy, began coming in directly to my office. The British were already in there rearming Britain after Dunkirk. And so the South Americans were in there, the Under-Secretary of State had promised Armored Division to Brazil and things like this. They were saying when do we get them and it was necessary to begin sorting this out so I brought in officers who were in charge of specific countries, that is they were older opposites, I mean, not older but opposites to their members of that country who tried to do business with US. And one of them in particular was Major Hayden Boatner, who was an old China hand. He had studied language in China and did a very fine job in handling the Chinese for me at this stage of the game, later he too escaped to combat duty. One of the first things that came up out of this was that we should have some sort of mission in the foreign country to show them how to use this stuff and while it didn't come to pass at this time, Boatner's study on this was the basis of the foreign missions we went over later. At this time, the group began getting so big that I asked another classmate of mine, Lieutenant Colonel V. V. Taylor with whom I had served on Corregidor and who was the Adjutant there when I was Ordnance Officer to head up this foreign group and what became known as my international branch was then created. Finally, the Transportation section as I have said, became a branch of our section. It was Frank Ross who headed it and later became the Chief Transportation Officer in the European Theater of Operations as a Major General. In the meantime, there were other vital changes in G-4. General Moore became the Deputy Chief of Staff of logistics and was replaced 'as G-4 by General Eugene Reybolt. Robertson got out of the job in order to go to troops and commanded the 2nd Division throughout the war in Europe and he distinguished himself on the north flank of the Bulge with that famous Division. He was replaced by Colonel Frank Mallon. In the early fall of 1941, I was made Defense Aid Director of the War Department, that is, and I took with me practically all the international branch of my office, including V. V. Taylor who became my executive officer. In the War Department reorganization of 1942, the office of the Defense Aid Director became the International Division of SOS, later the Army Service Forces. The home offices of my missions were transferred to the War Plans Division over my violent opposition, I might say. In June 1942, I became the combined Secretary of the combined production board and I'll explain that if you ask me a question about the board a little later. In early September of 1942, I was ordered to the Sixth Service Command in Chicago to take over that command and this was the ending of that part of my career in which I worked the hardest and I hope accomplished the most of any period in my military career. And I would like to add if it hadn't been for the superlative preparation I had, both by experience and by my work in the Army School system as student and faculty member, I wouldn't have been able to handle the job. I think this is a most important point of view for the future.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, please trace for me the changes in the Neutrality Act of 1936 which prohibited the export of weapons from the United States and what effect did these changes have on your activities?
LTG AURAND: Well, the popular name was given to these changes was on 4 November 1937, pardon me it's 1939, the cash on the Barrel-Head Act or the Cash and Carry Act, whichever you want to call it. In July 1940, the Exchange Contract Act and on 11 March 1941, the Lend Lease Act. The primary computation for all three of these changes, as far as requirements for equipment was concerned, was how much of our War Reserves could be given to the foreign countries. This amount depended on what the difference was between what we had on hand and how much was required for the protective military program forces. Both of these deteriorated in the wrong direction. The amount in the war reserves decreased and the PMP program increased in strength. So that less and less became available for foreigners. The second dilemma was military services were not allowed to sell directly to foreign countries under the Cash on the Barrel-Head Act. Mr. Stettinius found the solution by having the U. S. Steel Overseas Corporation purchase the supplies from the military and then sell them to the foreign countries. Fortunately, the supplier didn't know this and they went directly from the depot to the dock. The third dilemma was what plant should be allocated for the production of foreign type munitions. This was a job of MacMoreland in the Assistant Secretary's office and I kept a watchful eye on it because I wanted to be sure that the plants which could quickly produce U. S. equipment would not be utilized to produce foreign type equipment. We worked together very closely because we had known each other so well before. Well, in the winter of 1938-1939, we saw the beginning of these orders for foreign munitions by foreign countries. I came in at the peak and toward the end, particularly for airplanes which consisted by far the greatest volume of these orders, the foreign countries built new plants for the protection of airplanes of their own design. This dilemma was partly solved by the Exchange Contract Act which permitted foreign countries to pay for munitions taken from the war reserve by ordering U. S. type equipment of equal value in places designated by our own industrial mobilization plan and consequently we got back new equipment for old in effect. Lend Lease opened the door wide to invasion of not only our war reserves but the initial equipment of the PMP forces. Nothing needed to be paid for these munitions by the foreign governments and so the requirements rose accordingly. Maybe the cruelest part of all this was, particularly, of the legislation that General Marshall had to certify that these munitions were surplus to the needs of the defense of the United States and I had to tell him that they were. Fortunately, this practice was stopped when Pearl Harbor occurred. There was no more argument about what was surplus and what was not in the Congress.
MAJ MORRISON: Please give me the succession of world wide military events which sparked military preparations of the United States.
LTG AURAND: Well, let me say in advance that these sparks ignited action at the White House and the office of the Assistant Secretary of War and in the War Department General Staff. The events which caused a new look to be taken at our defense posture and which usually resulted in the new troop basis on which we had to recomputate requirements had to be calculated after the following: 1 September 1939, invasion of Poland. Remember I was not yet on the General Staff for that but those computations were in the mill when I got there. 9 April 1940, invasion of Denmark and Norway. That added a few more tanks and planes and whatnot and I wasn't there yet. 10 May 1940, invasion of Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium and I landed in the middle of that computation. 29 May to 5 June 1940, the British evacuation of Dunkirk. And that really kicked off a lot of sparks, that was perhaps the best spark display that we had until Pearl Harbor. '22 June 1940, the fall of France. In the fall of 1940, the battle of Britain. 2 April 1941, the British defeated in North Africa. 28 April 1941, British withdraw from Greece. 1 June 1941, Crete was captured by the Germans and this was by vertical envelopment which really turned a lot of people's thinking around just like sinking the battleships at Pearl Harbor did. 22 June 1941, the invasion of Russia. And next to the fall of Dunkirk, this was a spark producing and, of course, Pearl Harbor which we all know was on . . . .
MAJ MORRISON: The basis of the increases in the total strength of all components of the Army was called 'Protective Mobilization Plan,' there appears to have been frequent changes in this plan in 1940 and 1941. Can you trace these changes?
LTG AURAND: At the end of May 1940, when I first arrived in G-4, the basis for the computation of the requirements for the Army was one million men. Its actual strength about equally divided between Regular Army and National Guard was just under 5000 thousand. In June 1940, the PMP's first expansion strength was put at two million men and the ultimate strength at four million. In February 1941, these strengths were again changed slightly. The basic strength one million 400 thousand, the first increase two million 800 thousand, and the total strength four million 100 thousand. By June 30, 1941, the actual strength of the Army was in round numbers, one million 400 thousand men, the target for the first steps of the PMP. But these numbers were not the only ones computed. They did not include the large number of various other numbers which had to be summed up and used as a basis for the decision, which determined that these numbers would be used. So that as far as the computation of requirements by G-4 was concerned we may have computed nine different sets of PMP numbers whereas three were all that appeared in the official record. Major, later General Wedemeyer, based his figures for the determination of the requirements of the victory - eight and a half million men by September 1941. One of the purposes of General Wedemeyer's computation was to indicate to the country and those in authority how much productive capacity would be required for military purposes.
MAJ MORRISON: A civilian organization was given the task of dividing raw materials and production facilities between the military and civilian needs. Please trace this history from May 1940 to September 1942.
LTG AURAND: Well, I'll have to go back to August 1916, when there was an established council of National Defense. It had become quite inactive in the intervening period. To undertake the task of dividing the American industrial resources between foreign military orders, the U. S. military requirements and the civilian requirements, both U. S. and foreign, the President appointed an advisory committee to the Council of National Defense in May 1940. In just 1941, it was reorganized into the office of Production Management and on 28 January 1942, it became the War Production Board. I expect to use these terms interchangeably in any further questions that you ask me about this organization. There was a quite separate civilian organization, however, which was created to handle Lend Lease, called the Lend Lease Administration. The growing pains of these two civilian organizations caused much difficulty for the military, particularly the General Staff. But they were most helpful in those spheres of influence and authority when they finally found out what those spheres of influence were. Most of the difficulty in this respect lay in high classification of the War Department Plans and the inability to give these to the civilian people who needed them. And this was one task that I finally set myself to and did overcome. I was ably helped on this though by Jimmie Burns, the General. Now later on and quite a little later on in 1942, there was another civilian organization which was called the Combined Production Board. This was an offshoot of the U. S. War Production Board. It attempted to combine the whole industrial efforts of Britain and the United States and further than that I can't define the mission.
MAJ MORRISON: Please list the appropriations which supported or influenced your activities during this same period.
LTG AURAND: On July 10, 1940, the President presented to Congress what was called the munitions program of 1940. The amount "as roughly 3.91 billion dollars. Now I have a story in connection with this which I think I should tell. It's been published but I happened to be there. I went to the office of the President with General Marshall carrying the papers to defend about five and a half or so billion dollars for this particular appropriation, whose main purpose was to keep up the military manufacturing program. When we got in there everybody sat down, the President was very jovial and then he said to General Marshall, "I've had in mind all this time just to start you off, you understand, about 4 billion dollars rather than this higher number." and he said, "You know, I have to sell this amount to Congress. Now if my wife went down to shop and saw a hat in the window marked five dollars, she wouldn't buy it, but if it is marked four dollars and ninety-nine cents, she couldn't resist it and she would go in and buy it. So you can have 3.99 billion dollars." Later, it was trimmed down by the budget to about 3.91 billion as I said and we got that back in contract authorities so it was about 4 billion dollars that the U. S. Army first started on its industrial preparedness program. They had the program forever, but this was the first good money they got. Now I'll skip a lot of others because it's almost ritualistic that each one got a little bigger. But the first Lend Lease appropriation came on 24 May 1941 and that was 7 billion dollars, however, that wasn't military Lend Lease, I don't know how much we got out of it but if we got three, I'd be surprised. And to show how the Lend Lease followed along, their next one was about 6 billion dollars. They didn't go up so fast and that was on 28 October. And the reason for this was the Stilmpson and McCloy and Henry Aurand were all trying to get the military Lend Lease money and the U. S. procurement money in one appropriation and then allocate the product when it left the factory. It didn't belong to anybody until the time it was finished. And we finally put this over in November, late November 1941, and there are two different accounts of when this was finally ratified. I insist it was just a day or two before Pearl Harbor and some of the others say it was quickly passed by the Congress as soon as the Pearl Harbor attack occurred. But that was for 28 billion dollars and whether we got going, you know, because of Pearl Harbor but it was fortunate that we had that dough in our hands on Pearl Harbor day.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, was your experience in the logistics department of the War College a benefit to you in making supply and mobilization estimates?
LTG AURAND: I would like to add Raritan Arsenal and the Army Industrial College to the War College. At the Raritan Arsenal Armor, I learned the mechanics of the details of the compilation of requirements. At the War College, I learned how to make the computations of the requirements for critical items. The ones that usually took the longest time to make and present them to higher authorities, to the Secretary of War or to the President. At the Industrial College, I learned the details of computing mobilization requirements in such a manner as the budget required and as the Congress required so that they could be easily defended before both. And from the three, I had the best preparation for the job of determining requirements that anybody in the military service could have.
MAJ MORRISON: In July 1940, the President obtained funds from Congress in the amount of 3.91 billion dollars for the munitions program of 1940. How was this money spent?
LTG AURAND: The original request of the War Department has been for PMP strength of 800 thousand, note that this is still another basis, the amount for munitions was 5.9 billion dollars. There was some difficulty in working back the strength that the new amount would buy and, as you know, the new amount was 3.91 billion dollars. Some people guessed that it would be about 450 thousand men and here was a chance to provide facilities for long lead time items and also the tools that were needed in these facilities for production purposes. My memory is that of the first amount, 1.2 billion was earmarked for facilities. And this amount for facilities remained in the lesser amount of 3.91, but when it came to the actual expenditures, I believe that this was more nearly a fifty-fifty split and perhaps 2 billion dollars was spent for facilities and tools. All of which made . . . it gave us a year's jump on production when Pearl Harbor day occurred. Also, I'd like to add that when you figured out the strength then that these things that were ordered, half of it, 2 billion dollars would support, it was less than 400 thousand and yet at this time, we drafted a force which by July 1941, was one million four hundred thousand men, a million more men than we had provided equipment for a year ahead which was about the time it takes to make it.
MAJ MORRISON: How did the cash and carry Act, sometimes called the Cash on the Barrel Head Act, work with respect to rearmament of Britain?
LTG AURAND: The Cash and Carry Act had two purposes which helped the French and the British place contracts for munitions in the United States. First, they could do so without obtaining any credit from the United States. They used their own dollar. Second, they could take the munitions out of the country but not in U. S. ships. This gave us an apparent position of neutrality which was the object of both the Congress and the President. Now, the third dilemma I've already described and that was they couldn't purchase directly from the government and the U. S. Steel Overseas Corporation was used as an intermediary.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir; what kind of contact did you have with the British after the fall of France?
LTG AURAND: The British mission arrived shortly after Dunkirk looking for munitions for rearmament. And I was called into a meeting in General Strong's office who was then Chief of the War Plans Division. And my only recollection of that meeting was that I met Brigadier General Donald Campion with whom I worked very closely thereafter. The fact that the British were in touch with the War Department and military British at that, had to be kept completely secret. The British rented some apartments on "K” Street, not far from the Army-Navy Club as individuals. They were not permitted at the start to come to the munitions building at all. When I went to see them I walked down the alley between "K" and "I" streets and went up a fire escape, which fortunately had been anchored to the ground so we didn't have to raise and lower the last flight down. The principle tasks at that time was to match the U. S. surpluses with the British needs. The first few differences in amounts were items which the British needed and so did the U. S. for its protective Mobilization Plan. General Marshall was holding the line on not invading the PMP requirements and then there would be a cable to London for further instructions, but when no answer came, I persuaded Campion, my Brigadier friend, to send them a message reading, "In absence of a reply to ours of a blank date, we are going ahead as follows." Unquote. In the months that followed before Lend Lease made the British Army Staff's presence legal, I continued my climb up the fire escape almost daily. One of the things that endeared me very much with Brigadier Donald Campion the first time I met him was during an interlude in the meeting in General Strong's office, he took me outside into one of the halls of the munitions building and said to me, "Do you make very cheap single shot pistols?" And I searched my brain and said, "I don't know of any. I imagine there may be some, why, why do you want those?" “Well,” he said, "When we go back to France, we'd like to drop these from airplanes so that the French could pick them up and kill one German and get away, drop the pistol, no evidence, no nothing." But what really cheered me up no end was that here was a Britisher right after Dunkirk, talking about going back to the continent and I got along with him very well.
MAJ MORRISON: During the early days in G-4, did you have anything to do with the development of the Jeep?
LTG AURAND: There was a fellow named H. R. Kurtz who was a very old friend of mine, he was a member of the class at West Point of the class of 1911 so I didn't know him at West Point but I knew him very well afterwards. And we ran across each other in the hall of the munitions building one day and he told me that a friend of his had some kind of a motor driven buckboard which the infantry board had turned down as unsuitable for a mobile machine gun mount. Jack, as Colonel Kutz was called, thought his friend had something and would I have him come to see me. Sure. Certainly. Jack's friend was a salesman from a small company near Pittsburgh. The infantry board at Benning had turned down his motorized buckboard on three counts, lack of road clearance, too long a turning radius and noise. After some discussion, he said that they could do away with the first two objections but then a profile of the thing would be too high which was an even worse objection. He produced some drawings of such a vehicle with a high profile. In my mind, it was absolutely unsuitable for a machine gun mount. But, what a pretty little truck. Let's go see the Quartermaster General who at that time bought our trucks for the Army and when I got there, QMB called in all his motor experts and they looked over these drawings and so on and they were all shaking their heads, "No," Well, I knew nothing about automotive design, but I began asking a few dumb questions and they are always harder to answer than smart ones and by the time this was over much to the red faces of the salesman, I had sold the Quartermaster General's office on buying some - what became known as one quarter ton truck 4x4. Well, I wasn't going to leave that office because everybody was just shaking their heads "yes" because I saw there was resistance, so I asked the Quartermaster General to bring in his secretary and I dictated a memorandum directing him to buy three of these one-quarter trucks 4x4, all of them with four wheel drive and two of them with front wheel steer and the third one with front and rear steer. This was to overcome a long radius to turn around. And I signed it by order of the Chief of Staff, H. S. Aurand, G-4. Well, I went back to my office and forgot all about it until one day a call came from the Quartermaster's office. There was going to be a demonstration of the one-quarter ton truck 4 x 4 at Camp Hiliber, over the obstacle course and all this sort of thing that they put regular passenger cars over, would I come? I sure would. The little truck was a dream. Everybody drove it. I mean, they had all of the board members of the field artillery board and the coast artillery board and infantry board and everybody else up there. I guess it was all afternoon until everybody drove it and drove it through the obstacles. Oh, they were enthusiastic about it. We could have board meetings right there and adopted the thing as standard. And then one of these arms people said, "Let's take it to Washington on the Fort Meyer parade ground or somewhere and invite all the Chiefs of Arms to come out, because they'll ask all kinds of questions and we can't answer and have three of the test drivers drive them down and give them a ride." So this was done. And one Sunday morning everybody came down. So, the number one test driver starts this thing up and he gets General Lynch, who was Chief of Infantry and General Moore, then Deputy Chief of Staff of Logistics, no he was still G-4, I don't know, it doesn't matter - and in the back seat and he straps him in like they used to strap yourself on a caisson, you know, your feet in straps and so on, and this fellow takes off around the parade ground and General Moore said, "Well, this is no test. Isn't there some rough terrain around here?" And there was a big wail at the south end of the Meyer parade ground, so the fellow goes down one side and up the other, down that side and back up and you know, on a sort of sinusoidal course, and right in the middle of this thing, along comes General Marshall on his horse. He stopped everybody and he said to General Moore, "Well, what you got there?" "Oh, I don't know," said General Moore, "This is called a quarter-ton truck 4x4." "Well," he said, "Buy one for each regiment, right away." So this was great. Well, then everybody else had a ride but General Herr, who was then Chief of Cavalry, held back and he wanted to drive this thing himself, so . . . and he wanted to drive the four-wheel steer one which hadn't been driven up to that point. So the fellow drove him out to the middle of the parade grounds , hastily took over and turned the thing over to General Herr, and as soon as he stepped on the gas, he threw the wheel over hard right, as hard as he could. Well, when General Herr picked himself up off the parade ground, he had been policed by a one-quarter ton truck 4x4 and not by a horse. We had a good time with that, you know,' at that particular test and the, of course, the tests all went fine. We had . . . nobody had any drawings, these were all in people's heads out there. This little firm, they bought a part from here and a part from there. So, we figured out how many . . . what the requirement was and it was 1500, I think, counting the somewhat higher echelons and the regiment if they wanted some, and so we told the War Production Board, I mean Jimmie Burns the General, did. He was with the War Production Board, to buy 1500 Jeeps from this company because there were no drawings, they were the only ones who knew how to make them. Well, the first thing I knew I was getting requests back from the War Production Board to increase the number required. Now, I said, "I can't do this." And finally, a guy came to see me and said, "I want to tell you something. This company couldn't make 1500 Jeeps in a year."
MAJ MORRISON: Was this the Bantam Company?
LTG AURAND: Yes. It used to make special vehicles for special purposes by assembling bits and pieces that they could buy. A transmission here, a front-wheel drive there, wheels there and so on that would fit a special requirement, say for hauling concrete reinforcing rods, you know that kind of a . . . a job shop and they weren't doing too badly. This was a great departure from what they were doing and they would have to have done it the same way. And, of course, they would have to get the allocations of the parts in order to assemble it. So, that's why they reported it. And he said Ford and Willis are both looking into it. Well, my ears went this way because at this time the Ford Company was on the outs with Mr. Roosevelt and we didn't dare contract with the Ford Company. Well, I wondered why Willis and Ford were interested in this. It looked like somebody wanted Willis to get the job, I won't say that, but knowing what I did, it looked like that to me at the time. And they said, "In order to get tools for this, really tools for it and whatnot, they need about 4000 or 4500 orders and we'd like to give them each 4500, no it worked each 4000, that's right, and give the 1500 to this company that invented it but make Ford and Willis submit drawings of their own, you see so it would be their drawings and they would be in competition with Bantam and so forth, 'So I said, "Alright, if it's a question of production, I'll go and see Jimmie Burns," and they said, "Oh, no, we've talked to him and it's alright." And I said, "I'll go and see him," and I saw him and Jimmie said, "That requirement is your baby." So I signed it and I ordered all together I guess it was 7500 that I split between Fort and Willis and the other company the other 1500. Well, in a short time Mr. Paterson arrived as Assistant to the Under Secretary of War. He was very interested in the Jeep and I spent much time with him in his office talking to him about it and giving my view of its history. After about six weeks he told me that the first job Judge Patterson had given him "as to investigate my role in the increase of the orders for the Jeep. He added that he had found me entirely clear of any connivance with either Ford or Willis. And even after that exhorbitant number of 9000 for the next twelve months, we were very, very short of Jeeps a year later. They became very popular. And this gentleman, despite what Willis Overland Company published later, is the true story of the Jeep.
MAJ MORRISON: What contacts did you have with the Advisory Committee to the Council of National Defense?
LTG AURAND: I believe that my first contacts were with Bill Knudsen. We all called him Bill. He was the Chairman at that time. And my recollection is not too clear. But as I recall, there was an effort being made to determine the facilities for long lead time items. The thing that was constantly repeated in the news in those days, facilities for long lead time items. The three I think of to illustrate them were, airplanes, tanks and ammunition. Of course, all of these items would require new facilities. You had to start by building factories and then building tools. And all of them were being ordered by England and France, also. Some of their own types and some of the U. S. types depending on which Act they were under at the time. What was wanted from the War Department General Staff was an estimate of the requirements which would permit at least the planning of such facilities. Colonel, later Major General Burns, Jimmie Burns the General, took me on my first visit to Bill Knudsen. Afterwards somebody from his office took me to meet some lesser light of Mr. Knudsen's office for conferences. The committee had two economists by the way who were also statisticians and I worked very much with them. The senior was Stacey May and Robert Nathan was the other. Robert Nathan came to my office quite early in my tenure, I believe just after I took over from Maxwell and wanted all the requirements of the Army for a major emergency. I gave him what I could but warned him that these figures were not official figures of the War Department, nor were they my official figures. I went to his office in Washington last February, just two months ago to try to help my memory but I didn't get much farther than this. And I want to say here, parenthetically, that while I was in the Industrial College one of the courses was computation of mobilization requirements. And we were handed the general mobilization plans. And I do not recall whether this was the general mobilization plan of 1938 or 1939. I do not recall if it was based on a War Plan like Rainbow number something or other and I'm sorry to say I don't recall the strength which might give some idea of the size of the plan but it was the largest plan that I had ever seen from 1930 on which had been proposed so far as placing a load an the industrial capacity of the nation was concerned and the faculty of the Industrial College used it for us to compute requirements on the basis of what load would be placed on industry.
MAJ MORRISON: Britain and France had great difficulty in securing the dollars to pay for munitions that is required by the cash and carry Act. How was this solved?
LTG AURAND: Well, very shortly after Dunkirk the British took over all French contracts and that put a terrific load on their dollar reserve. Now the object of course, is to maintain the American Arsenal on a producing basis. If anything had been allowed to die at this time, it would have been like repealing the draft back in August 1941. This amendment to the Neutrality Act was written so that no credit could be extended by the United States as a temporary Stop-gap to the loss of the Britian's dollars. To correct this situation, the Exchange Contract Act was passed which enabled Britain to receive already manufactured munitions in exchange for contracts in the United States to produce U. S. military items. This simply deferred to the out-flow of British dollar holdings. By the end of 1940, it was obvious that something had to be done to finance the manufacture of munitions for the British. The Lend Lease Act was the result. This enabled U. S. appropriations to replace the out-flow of the British dollar. The goods sent to Britain were now on loan or lease from the U. S. Government to the British Government.
MAJ MORRISON: During the year or so following May 1940, you were concerned with material both for U, S. and foreign forces. Have you any views on the mobilization of the U. S. Army during this period?
LTG AURAND: Yes, during this time the Army was confronted with an unexpected choice. Material in existence was being drained out of the country and material of foreign types was being manufactured in it. Some small start had been made in manufacturing U. S. types, particularly in the aircraft but these were in demand by foreign nations as they came out of the factory door. At the same time it became increasingly evident that fighting men were needed in these abandoned bases from the bulge of Brazil to the Greenland, including the Azores and Iceland, without it having been stated to my knowledge, the decision was to do both, which was impossible to accomplish. Now I had little to say officially about this early start of the manpower mobilization in August or September of 1940. I tried to prevent the necessity for completing the camp construction and getting some equipment and manufacturing plants in production with the men who were being called into the military service, before they were called into the military service. There were others who held this view who presented it officially but they were overridden. The result was incomplete encampments, the places where they were to train and lack of equipment for training, even some of the equipment that did become available for training, of course, had to be siphoned off to the British in an emergency in North Africa.
MAJ MORRISON: By the end of the summer of 1941, you had worked near the top side of the War Department for over a year. Can you tell me what the relationships were among Stimpson, Patterson, McCloy and Marshall?
LTG AURAND: Again, I'm in the position of the fish looking up at people in a glass bottom boat. By this time, I knew that these people spoke to each other and now and then I was told about the results of their conversations. From the book entitled, On Active Duty in Peace and War by Henry L. Stimpson and McGeorge Bundy, I gather that the relationship of Stimpson with both Patterson and McCloy was very close. The book says that Patterson in his appointment ended for good and all, quote, "the division between the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary, yet once assumed direct responsibility for the vast Army program for procurement and throughout the five years that followed he relieved Stimpson of all but occasional labors in this field," unquote. McCloy is described in the book as a man who handled everything that no one else happened to be handling. And he became Stimpson's principal advisor in the battle for the Lend Lease Act and it was his skilled preparation that cleared the way for the War Department's successful assumption of the whole military burden of Lend Lease procurement. My own opinion, that is me, I, Henry Aurand, as of today is that the book is correct, but since I saw Jack McCloy almost daily and Judge Patterson less frequently, McCloy seemed to be Stimpson's alter ego and Patterson was entirely willing for McCloy to play this role. They were three great men. And no project about which I had to appear before any one of them did I ever detect any division among them. In the contemplation of the answer to your question, I presume that the relationship of any of these three civilians with General Marshall would be identical. I've read about General Marshall on the way back from a tough session before a Congressional Committee making the remark that if he could only keep personalities out of it, he might get his job done. Before Pearl Harbor, I heard of several policies which were under high-level consideration on which there might have been some difference of view between these three civilians and General Marshall. The differences were not of substance but of priority. There was no mention of General Marshall on active duty in Peace and War until after Pearl Harbor. In the first of several references, his organizing genius and diplomatic skill is mentioned. There was a fourth member of the civilian’s top side with whom I made contact seldom. He was Harvey H. Bundy whose official title "as special assistant to the Secretary. He "as described in the book as Stimpson's closest personal assistant. That's the best I can do with this very tough question.
MAJ MORRISON: You computed the requirements for the victory program. Can you tell me how the program evolved and what were its results?
LTG AURAND: Well, this is not my story. It's the story of Jean Monnet who we knew as John Money, the French industrialist. His industry was brandy and he had been in the joint procurement business with Britain in World War I. Naturally, he became of the British joint council on contracts in North America with regard to the purchase of French and British purchase of munitions in the United States; in other words, they were coordinating with each other to try to establish this American Arsenal that I have spoken of. On the same basis that he had urged Britain and France to buy American in World War I, he urged them to buy American in World War II. Germany and the conquered countries could manufacture more than Britain and France together. The only way to win the war was to get the production of the United States added on to the production of Britain and France and in this way, their side would out produce the Germans. At his unceasing urging, both the British and the French placed orders for military production in the United States as far back as the fall of 1938. At the start the orders were usually for aircraft but later they ware for British and French types of ground Army equipment. Monnet urged them to order U. S. tanks because that would be more compatible with the U. S. military procurement people and the U. S. Industrial Mobilization Plan. But it took the fall of France and several more months of resistance before the British agreed to buy U. S. type of equipment. And if my recollection is correct, they decided on a ten division program completely equipped as U. S. Divisions were. At the fall of France, Monnet urged the British to take over the French contracts in North America and do it quickly. He got a favorable answer and hastened to the United States to see that the British carried out the agreement. As a place hang up his hat, he was made a member of the British Supply Council in North America without portfolio. Forever after he would be asking where is the complete shipping list? At my first meeting with Bob Nathan of the Advisory Committee of the Council of National Defense, he asked me just that same question. What is the total load the Army will put on U. S. industry in case we get into war. Now a month later, Monnet was asking the same thing. And I hadn't been on the General Staff three months when Jimmie Burns, the General, was also after me for the same kind of figure. Okay, I said to all three, if you'll understand clearly these are my own numbers and I speak for no one in authority, I mean not even myself, I'll give you some modified numbers from the computation and requirements for the -either the 1938 or 1939 mobilization plan. There are two things about these requirements that I remember. They were enormous to all my fellow members of the General Staff. And far too small for the needs of World War II. Throughout all the recomputations of the next eight or nine months the lack of a very long range target production bothered me. Egged on by Monnet and Burns I wrote a study of the subject of over-all requirements and their usefulness for procurement purposes. I sent this memorandum to the Chief of Staff in April 1941. I gathered that he had heard more than he cared to hear about this subject but that was not my official reply. It was silenced. As things went from bad to worse for our not quite yet allies, the robbing of PMP equipment to support the British in North Africa was at center stage. Now on 9 July, the President sent a memo to the Secretary of War asking him to explore at once overall production requirements. He wanted the program in its entirety. This meant a program of all U. S. requirements plus those of all the rest of the free world. As luck would have it, Hitler invaded Russia shortly afterwards. This meant memos given to General Gerow, then Chief of the War Plans Division for action. He prepared a reply which said in effect that the President's request was backwards. That first came strategy then, of course, to carry out the strategy and then the material requirements. Also, by this time it was becoming apparent that the lack of coordinated orders for production was producing unbalanced supplies. Knowing that Gerow's men ran them, General Wedemeyer, then Major, was given the job of writing the strategies situation of the U. S. forces and defining what they would consist of. And I was given the job of computing the U. S. requirements and adding them to those of our allies for manufacture in the United States. I must confess that I felt that Wedemeyer was making some educated guesses, so I would do likewise. The victory program was submitted to the President 15 days late and was returned as incomplete and amorphous but nobody changed my figures. In my opinion, the best and perhaps the only result of the preparation of the victory program was its publication in the Chicago Tribune in 4 December 1941. I read it in the Washington Post on my way to work. I told Jack McCloy that it was wonderful now that it was published because the people of the United States would now know what they were up against. For six months or more thereafter, I was followed by a member of the FBI who sometimes sat in my office and listened in on my telephone and was there when anybody came in to talk to me. The oddest event of this whole thing was when I went to Chicago about a year later, it was in September of '42, among other things I called on Colonel McCormack, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and when I walked into the Tribune Tower here standing at the door was the FBI guy that had been following me with a grin on his face about that wide. That was just an off-side remark here. Now only three days later, let's see, this was 4 December, only three days later was Pearl Harbor and everybody in the United States forgot the thing. In other words, they forgot that even this program was not enough.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, you visited the Louisiana maneuvers at Lake Charles in Louisiana on September of 1941. What was the purpose of this visit?
LTG AURAND: The background was this. I'd just about finished the computations for the victory program. We were waiting for the Russian figures and Pat Taylor my deputy was on his way to Moscow in a large plane full to get them to get these figures. It would be a few days before he returned, incidentally he was ranked off the plane by Jimmie Burns, the General and Jimmie Burns brought them back instead of Pat Taylor but I got them. There were rumors of separating Lend Lease activities from Supply and Transportation Division of G-4 and I had promised this new job to Pat Taylor when it came up. So I had great need to get back to the supply of the U. S. Army and let Pat Taylor take the Lend Lease business. Finally, the 4th Army was going to test the book, just as I taught it at the War College by actually supplying everything but ammunition according to the book, And running trucks around to represent ammunition deliveries. They should see it. On the way there the through Pullman to the West Coast from New York to San Francisco, I think it was on which I rode, was set out on a siding at a railroad yard in New Orleans to be attached from the Southern train to the Southern Pacific train. And a flood came along and we were a lone car sitting out there and with the water up to the car's axels that would have been hit high if we had gotten you know, between the ballast, between the tracks and the only other fellow aboard was Hanson Baldwin who was then a military writer for the New York Times, and he and I got acquainted. And he was a Naval Academy graduate and we talked kind of the same language and he had been a great critic of the progress of the manufacture of tanks which I thought was fabulous and he thought was awful slow and we talked about these things very frankly and very pleasantly. And about three years ago I was invited to a symposium at the Naval War College and who should be there but Hanson Baldwin and we renewed old acquaintances.
MAJ MORRISON: But he got you out of the railroad . . . .
LTG AURAND: Oh, yeah, the shifter came along and he didn't know what track he was on but he hooked . . . and finally got hooked on to us and when we got out of the yard we were on a dike, yeah, so we were above the water and we got hooked in the passenger station, we got hooked very easy, we had no trouble. This was funny, to be sitting out there as though you were out at sea in a Pullman car. The only reason I was happy to go there was that the Army Air Corps didn't have enough airplanes to supply even reconnaissance for the two Armies that were engaged in this . . . so they asked the Navy for help. Well, the Lexington was in North Island in San Diego at that time and they made all the bachelor aviators go over and form a provisional squadron and go over to fly recon for the 4th Army and my son was one of them. I'm going to tell those stories; I don't care about the length of the tape. I went to the briefing when they all came back from a flight and one fellow said, "I saw the damnest looking things on the road I ever saw in my life; it looked like a flock of cattle cars but they were trucks." And I said, "Do you mind if I horn in?" And they said, "No." "Well," I said; "You just report that right in the phone now to whoever you report to and then I'll tell you what it was." So the squadron commander reported it and he came back to me and said, 'What was it?" And I said, "That's the last gasp of the cavalry; they're carrying their horses in mounted trucks and calling it Portee Cavalry." Well, anyway to get back to Lake Charles. After paying my respects to General Kruger and Ike Eisenhower, I visited for two or three days with Colonel Leroy Lutes. He was a 4th Army G-4; I had never met him before although he was a coast artilleryman. His setup was perfect and I mean book perfect and it worked perfectly, both. And it was working so well that when I got back I expressed myself to General Somervell on the subject. He was then G-4 and he said to me, "Well, I've been looking for a guy who has had some practical experience in the field of handling an Army supply program, a G-4 of an Army and this fellow had been in on the ground." And I said, "Yes." He said, "I'm getting him." In a little while Lutes worked for Sommervell in G-4 and he became his distribution man in the Army Service Forces and when Sommervell retired he took over from Bill Sommervell and he's been my friend and he's still alive . . . .
MAJ MORRISON: Well, you take care of him . . . .
LTG AURAND: Wonderful guy, I sure did and that man earned it. There was one other thing that somewhat predicted the future that occurred on the Louisiana maneuver. The head of the American ordinance association for some time had been retired ordinance Colonel James L. Walsh and he knew quite a few of the big shots on Wall Street. Among them the head of the IBM, the original old man, I've forgotten his name, I should know it, and he persuaded him to mount some business machines on trucks. And'he said, "What will I do with them?" "Well," he said, "They are imagining ammunition supply down there; let's go down and keep track of what's in the various dumps and whatnot on IBM cards." So he had one truck on which were sorters and another truck on which they cut the cards, you know, punch machines. And they worked out beautifully. It worked out just beautifully. But there was a smart adjutant general down there and he said; "Hey, that's what we want for personnel." And for some reason or another the AG got these IBM machine records which they were called in World War II and the supply people were all left out. When I got to Cherbourg, the first chapel service that was held there and I attended, was interrupted by a couple of machine records trucks playing to beat the band so that we couldn't hear the organ or the preacher or anything else and I had my aide go out and shut them off until the service was over. Then I went out and looked at them. I found out that they worked from about the 12th to the 15th of the month very hard and from about the 25th to the end of the month very hard and they just played around with the machines, made funny things come out and whatnot, like people play with computers. So I went to my ordnance officer and said, "Have them put all the ammunition at the Normandy base on these cards." BOY, it was just as wonderful as the Louisiana maneuvers.
MAJ MORRISON: Why was the office of the Defense Aid Director created about 1 October 1941, what was its mission and how were you selected to be its Director?
LTG AURAND: Well, as I've already told you, I have heard rumors of the separation of the foreign stuff from G-4. A thing that I thought was proper and welcome. And I also told you that I intended Pat Taylor to take this office and I'd stay with the U.S. stuff. But things didn't always turn out the way you planned it. Just what the reason was for splitting this branch off and making separate organizations of the War Department with no apparent profit, no apparent loss, I can't say. It may have been that the foreign missions in Washington wished to deal with someone on a higher level than the War Department section, the G-4 section was pretty far down on the totem pole. It may also have been that Jack McCloy was to have direct access to the office handling Lend Lease because he had been given the Lend Lease job by Stimpson. Or it may have been that someone of the general staff did not see why G-4 should be concerned about supplying anybody but the United States Army. That's another angle that might have entered. My own opinion which was never asked by anybody was that it would be a good thing to get the Lend Lease business out of G-4, although I would hate to lose that very new and interesting activity. The mission of the office would be, of course, to handle all details of all War Department Lend Lease matter. Policy would come from on high but which high, the Assistant Secretary of War or the Chief of Staff, was never clearly stated. The tug-of-war between mobilizing the U. S. Army and getting guns to those who are killing Germans continued. Just after my return from Louisiana, I was in General Moore's office for some reason or another and there was a buzz from his squak-box, this is one of the things that everybody in the room can hear, you know. It was Jack McCloy. He wanted to know who had been selected to be Defense Aid Director as the Secretary wanted to send up his nomination for Brigadier General. Taylor, I said in a low voice to General Moore, Aurand, he said into the squak-box. After General Moore snapped off the box, I told him of my promise to Taylor, whom I hoped was on his way back from Moscow with the Russian requirements. And they, of course, would be incorporated into the victory program and Taylor would know all about it. He was the guy with the know-how. But my protest was of no use. So, I became Defense Aid Director.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, how did you go about manning this new office?
LTG AURAND: First of all, I was limited in the number of regular officers that I could have in this new office by the office of Chief of Staff; in other words, the general staff secretariat. I presumed it came from on top on a policy basis rather than numbers basis and they translated it into numbers. I could have a deputy and executive and the heads of the British, Chinese Russian groups of the foreign branch. Judge Patterson furnished me the names of about 17 lawyers. And he also gave me the authority which I had had in World War I when I was a First Lieutenant. He gave me authority to commission directly from civilian life up to and including the grade of major. The grade was to depend on the civilian income. I secured secretarial help by taking along the secretaries of the regular officers whom I took out of G-4 and the remainder I obtained from the War Department poll, which was an amazing setup by the people who ran the Civil Service in the War Department, did a wonderful job of that. My own secretary, Miss Lucille Parker of Plains, Kansas, stayed with me for the rest of my time in Washington, in Chicago, went to Cairo with me and she stayed with me for the next new hitch in Washington and finally went to Hawaii with me and stayed until I retired. David Wainhouse who became a counselor as Lend Lease Director, remained with me for the remainder of my stay in Washington and went to Cairo with me. George Olmsted, 1922 West Point, who came back into the service after resigning, was my operations officer. We later met in China where he was G-5. And finally, I worked for him in the business world in 1964 through 1969. And the remaining officers to whom I gave direct commissions, mostly from the Judge's list of 17, only one was a mistake. Tyson in particular, who was not a lawyer but an accountant, was my statistician and he became very valuable toward the end.
MAJ MORRISON: Were there any additions made to this office after it became operative?
LTG AURAND: Yes, one. It had to do with the home offices of the Lend Lease mission. You recall that I spoke to you previously about Boatner making a study on this in connection with China. The purpose of these missions were primarily to acquaint the recipients in their own countries with the storage use and maintenance of the equipment furnished by the United States. And to keep my office informed of the arrival of the equipment and the country to which they were assigned, accredited. The home offices also represented the head of the mission in obtaining funds and personnel for the mission and action of the many other requests that the mission had submitted. There was already a mission in England for quite another purpose than Lend Lease. A supervision of Lend Lease mission was given to this mission. However, in the military we were quite over-shadowed by the presence of Mr. Averell Harriman as a Lend Lease representative to England. Later, Major General J. K. Crane was head of the mission to Great Britain. The British group from G-4 acted as home office for whoever headed the military Lend Lease mission in Great Britain. On 16 June 1941, Major Boatner as I've already said proposed a similar mission to China. On 27 August 1941, such a mission was sent and Boatner became the head of its home office. On 8 September 1941, General Burns proposed a general plan for mission which I adopted at once. Later it was directed by the President. On 23 September 1941, General Maxwell headed the Middle East mission. General Wheeler, the Urania mission and General Greeley, the Russian mission. The Greeley mission never got to Russia but remained in Teheran for some time. Colonel Faymonbille, who was already in Moscow, pleased the Russians and they said they didn't need anybody else.
MAJ MORRISON: How was the problem solved of allocating the material to the U. S. Army and the foreign bidders?
LTG AURAND: There were certain ground rules for items other than U. S. standard which had been produced for each country. These ground rules varied as to whether Lend Lease would finance them or whether the foreign country bought them or under which Act they came and so on. Since these were foreign items, it was plain sailing; there was no allocation for this kind of equipment but there were other problems. One of the hassles was over the action of Great Britain of by-passing U. S. Lend Lease by the Lend Leasing itself to some other country. This was very difficult to work out because everybody got mad about it. Finally, if the British would say when they requested it from the United States, that it was for some other country and that if Britain would say that this was U. S. products when they delivered it, it was okay and the British accepted that. I don't see why we just didn't let the British go ahead and do what they pleased because it was a very fine point to be arguing about in the middle of a war. In these ground rules there was a staff of munitions assignment boards under Mr. Hopkins. General Burns eventually became the Executive of this board and my friend and former executive Pat Taylor became his assistant and with it, got his Brigadier General's star. Under this board there were three munitions assignments committee that I knew about. One was munitions assignment committee ground of which I was commissioned . . . of which I was the chairman, one was assignment committee air of which I was a member and the other was the, I presume, the munitions assignment committee Navy. George Olmsted was my stand-in in both the ground and air committees. These committees were made up of a planning and supply officers of the United States who were concerned in this particular theater or with this particular country. For example, War Plans Division and G-4 were represented on my committee. Also, and this was sort of a moot question, a representative of the petitioning country was invited to attend the meeting when his country's requests were being considered. Some of the U. S. people on the committee objected to this very strenuously; I thought it was only fair that they should make the presentation of the request themselves but Olmsted made the reply of what the action recommended was and then if they wanted a vote, chase both of those guys out. But that they should hear everything that went on. So sometimes they were and sometimes they weren't, depending on who represented WPD and G-4 that day. Also, when we became the International Division of the Army Services, General Clay usually attended or had a representative, representing Sommervell.
MAJ MORRISON: Was that Lucius Clay, General Lucius Clay?
LTG AURAND: Yeah, General Lucius Clay. Once this system of assignments got to working it worked very well and particularly after the assignments were made to theaters and not the country. Although, of course, assignments to theaters was made in only one, two or three cases, it was the bulk of the stuff. We still had about 20 Lend Lease countries we sent a little to by country.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, what effect did Pearl Harbor have on the Lend Lease program?
LTG AURAND: Well, there were two effects. There was an immediate effect and a long range effect. And in accordance with the terms of the Lend Lease agreements the U. S. could recapture any material needed for its own defense. In the early morning of 8 December 1941, I attended a very large meeting in General Marshall's office which was considering the reinforcements of the defenses of the West Coast of the United States, I brought the terms of the Lend Lease agreement about recapture to the attention of the meeting and described how British aircraft and anti-aircraft guns on their way to Russia and so on could be repossessed. They were sitting around waiting for shipment. I suggested that General Sommervell who was then G-4, and I could work this out in detail as soon as we knew what the tactical requirements of the West Coast were. And that the port of New York should be closed to outgoing ships carrying munitions immediately. The long-range effect was that the munitions manufactured in the United States would be hereafter allocated to theaters of war and U. S. commanders there in each specific theater would make the final Lend Lease allocation and transfers, in other words, they could keep it themselves if they wanted to. This was a change from the pre-Pearl Harbor arrangement that transferred the material as soon as it was floated, that is, loaded on the ship in the United States. Even with this new transfer policy, there was still considerable work for the munitions assignment boards' because of the large number of other Lend Lease customers.
THIS IS SIDE TWO OF TAPE ONE, ALPHA
MAJ MORRISON: What did you do to all the officers in Washington that were called immediately to duty after Pearl Harbor?
GEN AURAND: Well, I had an arrangement, not an official arrangement but a personal arrangement because I spent several twenty-four hour days of the week in the offices, and I would be allowed off, completely off, no telephones or anything from noon Saturday till noon Sunday every week. But there came a time when John Monnet who lived only a five minute auto ride from me would call me up at breakfast and say "Come over here; I've got some news or I want to talk to you about this." In which case I would call my office and say that I was working Sunday mornings so I'd take Sunday afternoon off. Well, this happened to be one of those when I had worked Sunday morning but was taking Sunday afternoon off and I was listening to the Red Skins football game out of the old Griffith Stadium in Washington. And all of a sudden there was a flash, news thing, and it said, "Please do not repeat this message to anybody in Griffith Stadium." They were afraid of a stampede or something. "Pearl Harbor has been attacked. Repeat, do not repeat this message to anybody in Griffith Stadium." And about two or three minutes later a message came through with the same "Do not repeat this to anybody in Griffith Stadium" saying "All members of the Armed Forces report for duty immediately at their places of duty in suitable uniform." Ouch. I had no suitable uniform. The last uniform I had bought, I bought in 1928 when I graduated from Leavenworth and this was now the end of 1941. That is thirteen years of growth later. Well, I hauled out the one outfit that I had and I found that it consisted of breeches, boots, spurs, blouse to accompany it and, of course, in those days we wore white shirts to dress up and khaki shirts to wear for drill and things like that with a blouse. I had those but the insignia I had was that of a major of the Ordnance Department and I was a Colonel in the General Staff, so had that difficulty. When I got my breeches on I couldn't sit down. They were very well sewn together because they didn't rip. I stood up and so I said, "I'll get by with this as long as I have to; I have to." There used to be an order that every month on the date of your birth in that month, you went down to your boss in uniform, you went to work in uniform and reported to your boss and he'd look you over to see that everything was alright. But we had been working so hard, that I hadn't been in this uniform at all since I graduated from the Industrial College, which was in uniform, and before that at every War College graduation, which was four and my own five. So in the past thirteen years, I wore my uniform six or seven times. So there I was. So my wife and I began scrounging the neighborhood, there was quite a few officers that lived on Upton Street and I got a pair of General's staff things but I' couldn't get any Colonel's eagles because everybody at my time had just been promoted to Colonel. And then my wife remembered that our next door neighbor had bought, anticipating the promotion of her husband, had bought some solid silver eagles to pin on him and he hadn’t made it, and so she went over to the back door and begged her for the silver eagles. Well, I got all dressed up, took the way to the office; this was about five or five thirty by this time on Sunday afternoon of 7 December, when I realized the last guy they wanted to see down in the office, was the fellow who had been giving all the munitions away. I would certainly be the personna non grata in anything that was going on and I just made up my mind that I'd wait till the next morning because my office knew that I was duty officer and, where I was, I got no call. So I thought everything was . . . the hell with this guy, you know, and I'd better stay away. But by about five o'clock on Monday morning my conscience disturbed me and I struggled into my uniform and I went down to my office. And the duty officer said, "There's a note here from General Marshall dated about six o'clock yesterday afternoon saying as soon as the Colonel comes in, I want to see him.” I was only twelve hours late. So I went in and here was everybody. All the Service Chiefs, all the Army Chiefs, G-3 and G-4 and whatnot, and Pat Taylor was standing up and I was glad there wouldn't be a vacant chair because I had to stand up. So Pat and I stood there together and I listened for a while and he started whispering in my ear and I said, "No, pay attention or we'll get shot, General Marshall won't like it," and finally I got it that they were talking about the defenses of the West Coast. Now there were none of these and none of that and none of this kind of ammo and Hap Arnold was there and he said, "No planes." Now there was a kind of silence and I said, "General Marshall, I would like to offer a suggestion. There must be maybe a hundred British fighters at this field outside of Brooklyn waiting for suitable transport or waiting for Yanks to fly them to Britain or something. They have already been turned over to the British but they haven't been floated, they are still ours and you can have every one of them and there is plenty of 303 ammunition and they've all got 303 machine guns on them. If your aviators can pull the triggers on a 303 machine gun as well as they can on a 30, you've got a hundred planes, put gas in them and fly them out." Everybody kind of opened their jaw and the Chief of Coast Artillery spoke up and said “How about 90 millimeter anti-aircraft" and I said, "I just got word that two complete battalions of 90 millimeter and anti-aircraft are on their way down to the Narrows and in New York Harbor headed for Russia. Send a message to the Coast Guard to turn them back." "Well, who'll do that?" And I said, "Pat go out and call the, who runs the Coast Guard, the Treasury Department and have them turn the ship around and have then close the port of New York."
MAJ MORRISON: They used to but now it's the Transportation Department.
GEN AURAND: Yeah.
MAJ MORRISON: At that time the treasury . . .
GEN AURAND: And so Pat in utter disgust that he was leaving this very exciting meeting went out and did that. And that's when I said, "Well General Marshall, Somervell and I can handle this. Let's us get in touch with the West Coast and measure their demands and I can give him stuff and he knows where the stuff is and we'll take care of this." And everybody heaved a sigh of relief and left and I left first. I got out of there because I was afraid that somebody would say to me, 'Where have you been all night?" Yeah. I never thought I'd be wanted but I was very badly needed. Isn't that funny?
MAJ MORRISON: Yes sir. Sir, how did it happen that you didn't wear your uniform except on a couple of occasions in thirteen years?
GEN AURAND: Well, I think it goes back to the anti-military sentiment of the times. I believe that somewhere along in our past questioning that I described this about the Pax special visits everywhere and the military had a low profile, and even when I was the Ordnance Officer of the Sixth Corps area and I would go into West Virginia regiment of the National Guard and whatnot, I always went in civilian clothes. And, anyway, when you go up against those mountaineers wearing burning onions and they wonder who that, you know. So I didn't wear any uniforms at all in the VI Corps area. Then I went to the War College, I wore at graduation day, that was more or less required. And then I went to Raritan Arsenal and I want to tell you, nothing is more discouraging to morale of these old civilian manned arsenals than somebody running around in a uniform, because they think two things; one, he's against us and two, he doesn't know what he's doing. And if you go around in civilian clothes and act like they do, well they think maybe you're a little smart at that. It's a great morale thing. And in Washington, the word was don't ever show up in uniform anywhere. And, of course, we all rode public transportation then; I went on the trolley car to work and back and nobody wanted to be seen in uniform. That was the feeling. And so it wasn't because I was dead-beating on the wearing of the uniform or getting away with something or not wanting to buy one, but it was because of the low profile prescribed by, I guess it was from the Chief of Staff on down. Look how they are complaining about the number of generals now . . . too many of them running around with their stories.
MAJ MORRISON: I understand.
GEN AURAND: Yeah, okay.
MAJ MORRISON: In the State of the Union message in early January 1942 President Roosevelt set some production goals for American industry in the calendar year of 1942. What were they and how did they compare with the requirements of the Victory program?
GEN AURAND: Before making this comparison I'd like to tell you the story of another day in December, eighteen days after Pearl Harbor, seventeen days after the meeting in Marshall's office. On Christmas day 1941, while I was watching my three and a half year old daughter open her Christmas presents, I got a phone call from the usual guy who called me on Sunday, Jean Monnet, John Money. "Come on down to Stacy May's office right away." 'Well, what for? I'm here in the middle of Christmas and what's the hurry?" "Well," he said, "You get down here; Stacy May and Bob Nathan and I are here and we need you." So I went down. When I finally got there, he looked at me and he said, "Henry, the President wants some production targets for American industry for the calendar year of 1942." I told him that I had already calculated them into the victory program. He said that they were not nearly high enough, that America and the British combined production had to far out exceed the German production plus what he could get out of the captured country. The only way that victory could be won was by having the Allies have more military production than the Germans. And he said that frequently. Consequently, the industrial capacity of the United States must be stretched to the limit. And I replied this way; I have written this down to read because I want to be fairly accurate, "If I get you what you are saying is that you want a victory program based on how much we can make, how much we can produce and not based on how much we need." "Quite right. Quite right." 'Well, let me call my two former requirements experts, Bill Goodman and Walter Wood, and have them bring sane papers from their office because they were then computing U. S. requirements, you see they stayed in G-4 and I was then Defense Aid Director, and while they are coming you and I and Nathan and Stacy May will talk about how these requirements will be computed. How are you going to face this, you know, what basis for a figure?" Well, we have to find some basis in the raw materials or facilities or something of this kind." So we chose steel. Not iron or not' finished products or not how many steel mills but the production of steel in the United States and what it could be expanded to, and then how it had to be divided between the civilian people of the United States and the civilian people abroad that we were supporting and the military. The United States plus all the allies. That would be fundamental division. So the figures we would get would not only be for the U. S. Army but for the world; that is the free world. So having done that, we began when Goodman and Wood arrived. The three of us, from our long experience in computing Army requirements, selected several long lead time items which required large amounts of steel and determined a balanced program of these items which could be manufactured from the steel allocated to the Army for 1942. This was a startling list. I'll give you a comparison here a little later. About three days after this Sunday, say the 28th of December, I had a call from Judge Patterson. "Come to my office." "Well, what in the hell's up now?" When I got to his office he said, "I sent for you since you were the fellow who computed the victory program requirements. What do you think of these requirements? And he handed me a piece of paper with oh about twelve items on numbers and I looked at it and theses were the things that we had computed in Stacy May's office on Christmas morning. And I said, "Judge, I'll give you a firm answer but I also want to explain it." And I said, "These figures are okay. I computed them myself." And he laughed and he said, "Get out of here." Well, they went into the President's State of the Union message just exactly like I computed them with the help of Walter Wood and Bill Goodman. I didn't do it; we all worked at it. But it was a wonderful thing that things got unchanged for the President of the United States and he used it in a message. Now here’s the comparison of what was to be manufactured in the calendar year 1942. The victory program called for 28,000 airplanes. The figures from Stacy May's office were 60,000. Tanks, 20,400 victory program. Stacy May's figure - 45,000. AA guns, victory program, 6,300. Stacy May's office, 20,000. AA machine guns, victory program, 7,000. Stacy May's 14,000. Ground machine guns, victory program, 168,000, Stacy May's, 500,000. Airplane bombs, victory program 84,000. Stacy May 720,000. Now I had two responses from the War Production Board before they got the Stacy May figures; that is on my own victory program figures which I think are interesting. One was that U. S. industry was unable to produce 20,000 tanks by the year 2000, let alone produce them in one year. Actually they produced in 1942 25,000 tanks in one year. The other one was that there weren't enough airplanes being made and to drop 84,000 bombs, but they forgot that these ran from little fragmentation bombs to 2,000 pound bombs and so they had to give the pilot a choice. So you had to make, I've forgotten the statistician's figure, about one and three quarter times those that could be dropped. And I had an awful tine explaining that, even to the Air Corps, the Army Air Force.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, what caused the creation of service supply, later the Army Service Forces?
GEN AURAND: Well, I'm going to go back to World War I when they organized in the General Staff the purchase, storage and traffic division of the General Staff which was almost a disaster when you read about it historically. I mean it wasn't at the time. You wonder how the thing ever operated. This was still fresh in the mind, this lesson, most of the people there in the War Department because they had been in World War I, even the very low rank, and they had heard all the gripes about it. So they resolved they were not going to have the General Staff operate and this was a doctrine that followed in all the schools and everything else. The General Staff did not operate and so they were trying to see to it that in World War II that they didn't have an operating general staff. That's one thing that you can't put your finger on because you don't know how much it was in the head of the guy who did the work but it was certainly in the head of a whole lot of people who were in high positions. Well, the General Staff envisioned by Elihu Root was a planning staff. They had no other function; that's why the War College when it started up was not a teaching instituion; it was a bunch of officers planning, doing war planning and mobilization planning -nothing else. The old Army up when they were still run by the Adjutant General and until Leonard Wood came along and more or less conquered the Adjutant General that was the situation. Then, of course, Pershing went to France and added on the G. Well, it was assumed that the four G-s would get together and make the plans. That was what I learned in that '24 or '25, 1924 or 1925 hitch in the ordnance office. They were planners up there. They didn't do anything; they made plans and they'd let the ordnance know if there were any questions, we'd ask them. I used to go up there quite often with captured enemy property. What were their claims about that? Then all of s sudden, somebody stuck in a War Plans Division. Well, what did that make all these other people? They were the War Plans Division already, collectively, so what was that doing in there? Well, it got stronger and stronger. I hate to tell you which Chief of Staff really gave it's full impetus, but it certainly was somebody in the MacArthur, Craig, Marshall regime as far as I can tell. The evidence of the War College in '30 and '31 when MacArthur was Chief of Staff and I was in Washington with both of the other two and they were both Chiefs of Staff. And this thing just grew like topsy. And, of course, what aided it was the joint board and the joint planning committee of the subordinate Navy planning outfit and the Army planning outfit. Now there was no comparison and this was another thing that followed up, the Navy didn't have a general staff. They had a bunch of operating officers, you see, and the bureaus were all civilian run and off on the side and of the Navy plans did follow the Navy planning. They did everything with G-l, 2, 3, and 4 were supposed to do under the original concept of a planning general staff. Well, the WPD liked this, so they just took over all the staff functions they could grab, just like they grabbed off my foreign missions, which did them no good except having them and I had to run up the War Plans instead of having a guy on the other end of the buzzer. These were the things that practically forced the G-4 to become a nobody and a command to organize, you see. All of this was a tendency; War Plans Divisions took over all of G functions after Pearl Harbor. It became General Marshall's operations outfit. He ran the War with WPD and he had his plans made by WPD. Now, already at this time that this reorganization came up, the Army Air Corps had achieved independence. It had its own general staff and everything else right there in the munitions building, thank God, so we could just run a few steps or something to get in personal contact. Down at the War College, which had closed, they had established what was called GHQ. And GHQ was originally set up to command all of these bases that we got from the British, you know, the destroyer deal and then one thing after another was added to it. And they finally got the defense of the United States and the Canadian American defense board and they got all of the training and all of the tests of combat training and they became what we later called the Army Ground Forces. I think they themselves were called Army Ground Forces. So the logic then of having a logistical command was contained in the fact that these other two commands had been taken, where from? Well, both really from G-3. Why not take from G-4 a logistic command? And all they left with G-l was the manpower mobilization. And that was planning to a certain degree but they planned at the rate that OPD set. And this in my mind was what occurred and made the Army Service Forces necessary. And we've got its twin right in existance now in the Army Material Command and right at this moment, they are taking everything away from G-4 except his undershirt and his trunks, and they'll get those. And this is the way this thing goes all the time, get the operations out of the general staff, sure. I'm all for it. Set up the commands for these things. Sure, I'm all for it. That's alright but let's not teach in the schools these other things. Let's do away with G-l, 2, 3, and 4. Let's have a War Plans Division or a Plans and Operations Division to serve the Chief of Staff, period and no other divisions in the General Staff, and be honest about it and not be hypocrites. Fine. Or, let's do away with the WPD and go back to your four G-s as planners. Now in all four of these commands, I'm sorry they did away with the Army Ground Forces Command. I think that and the Material Command are essential, absolutely essential. But the decentralization which they are trying to achieve; sorry I made too long a speech.
MAJ MORRISON: The War Plans Division, I mean the Ground Forces Command did much mire than ours today. Well, old CONARC and we have the Forces Command now.
GEN AURAND: I know, but that's a piece, a piece, CONARC was a piece of Army Ground Forces and this is a piece of CONARC. And the other pieces of these Chiefs floating around for reserve components and so on. And if there's one thing I hate, and I think doesn't work without friction, oh, of course, you can force anything, is that you have one more than one guy that the Governor of Texas has to go to. I believe in territorial command, and the guy tie is the commander having every function of the Department of the Army in his area, no exempted stations, no nothing. If he can't do it, let's educate somebody that can. But this business of having a whole lot of places around here, each reporting to a different guy upstairs and the Governor wondering what the hell is coming next, is a problem which shouldn't be presented to the State Forces or the Reserves or anybody else.
MAJ MORRISON: Okay.
GEN AURAND: Now wait a minute. I want to add one more thing to this debate which from my notes I see I overlooked. In August 1941, which is six or seven months before this thing, I went to General Reybold and Colonel Mallon and managed to get together with both of them somehow or other and I said, "I want to put something before you that's been bothering me no end." And I said, "I have enough things causing me sleepless nights with this." And I said, "I want to know whether you are going to run this oncoming war when we get big, with a general staff with a thing in it like the purchase storage and traffic division of World War I or whether you are going to take that function out into a separate command with authority --tell people what to do and so on instead of staffing them." And they said they didn't know and why was I asking? Well, I said, "Whenever we get into this war, the number of officers required, and I had a manning table, a great big sheet of paper about one yard by one yard for my section of G-4. I need seven hundred officers for my section” and they both looked at me and laughed. Bill Somervell, in the middle of the war in Europe in the summer of '44 had 2400 men doing the job that I asked for 700 men to do. There was no appreciation of this thing at all; in the manpower side of the supervision or in the amount of decisions that had to be made. This comparison of Stacy May's number and my victory program numbers plainly show. And how do you teach this, I don't know; as I told you, I was considered to be a wild man in the numbers I was using by my fellows, by my own roommate at West Point and yet that was a drop in the bucket to what we actually had to do. Where do you get this vision; where do you go with the people? How do you get them to say when you should? Take the men out of the factories and put them into uniform which is the critical decision always. I don't know. I think we need more schooling. When you asked me what the effect of this was on the office of the Defense Aid Director as part of this question, I almost forgot it. The effect on the office of the Defense Aid Director, well it was . . . it became the International Division of the Army Service Forces. And it lost the home offices of the missions of the Lend Lease mission to the War Plans Division. I think I've already talked about that further up in the question. And that just made a lot of extra work for us and did nothing for WPD. They just wanted to have the control. And I see no other great effect except that we became more and more all the time a statistical recording outfit rather than the delightful challenge that we had been in October only a few months before. Now I may sound as though the setting up of this Army Service thing gave me no pleasure but this is quite contrary to the fact. I was pleased that we had gotten operations out of the general staff and into a command and I was also pleased that under Somervell the supply system had been put back together under one head. Somervell now had it without anything being in the assistant secretary's office or any of those, he had requirements, provisions and distribution and he could run the supply system as a system with one boss. And I think that thing did more to keep our troops supplied than any other organizational device could have done.
MAJ MORRISON: Yeah, he had the Chief of the Tech Services . . . .
GEN AURAND: Oh yes, all the Tech Services were part of the . . . . Yeah, Army Service Forces command. Another thing, I believe we talked about already was the fact that at the beginning of our entrance into the War, right after Pearl Harbor, we were very short of shipping and the railroads across the country were scarcely able to bear the burden which most planners in planning for a Pacific War thought would be taken by ships from the gulf ports to the Panama Canal and across the Pacific. Because of the shortage of ships this couldn't be done. So the transportation people had not only the job of building ships but of reinforcing the strength of the transcontinental railroad. For a while then the supply system was a servant of the transportation system and you had to select the things that could be delivered at the other end more carefully than you had to select what you were going to make in the factory. But the transportation system finally caught up and became the servants of the supply system and then you could make and deliver better what you wanted to. It went all the way back to the White House, as we used to say, the White House said you need this and it goes all the way without any hindrance. This is a very excellent point to make in favor of ASF because Somervell controlled transportation also and he and his staff and his people. He is a Commander now, not a general staff officer. He could make these things work together. And it was a terrible job to coordinate this on a supervisory and coordination basis by any division of the general staff; I don't care what you call it. So, I'm very happy about the formation of the Army Service Forces as an organization for fighting the war. But I didn't like what it did to me.
MAJ MORRISON: In the pre-war, the pre-world war period, were certain assignments and schools needed for promotion and was this called "ticket punching?"
GEN AURAND: The promotion to the grade of Colonel was largely by seniority. There was a selection out system, I think it was called a Class B system, rather than a selection up system. It must be kept in mind that 1920 promotion was by branch and when the single list came out in 1920, the people began to wonder how any board was going to, let's say, consisting of a field artillery man and a dough-boy as going to decide whether a colonel of cavalry was going to be promoted or a colonel of engineers. And this is what really killed selection up at that time. I think this same difficulty exists today as far as I'm concerned. It would take a long while before anyone would care to select an officer for promotion from among officers other than his own branch. And your promotion boards were very reluctant, so the out people usually had such bad records that it didn’t matter what branch he was and so that was easy but the up was not. The promotion to general officer until the end of the 30's was usually made by the people with Pershing in Europe. I've forgotten, we had names for them, Pershing's followers or something like that, but nothing in any of this bore any semblance of what today you call "ticket punching." In fact, "ticket punching" didn't come into effect to any great extent until the spirit of career guidance took over the assignment of officers, the same which I detest, despise and otherwise abominate. Let me hasten to add, however, that there were other selections still based on, what do I want to say, each branch by what branch you were in which were indicative of individual progress and this was a selection to go to the Command and General Staff School or the War College or the selection to the staff at the colleges and so on. This was usually made on a ratio: basis depending upon the number of officers in each branch and that was the percentage that they would get of students and faculty members in both places and then within that the branches could choose their own. And I don't know of any general officers promotion after the '30's that I attributed to his branch. But everyone watched these school selections to see which branch was going to get the biggest cut.
MAJ MORRISON: In January 1942, you were promoted to Brigadier General. Did you find your rank and job responsibilities greater than your contemporaries?
GEN AURAND: No. At the time there were quite a few of my contemporaries who held very important jobs. If you take the West Point classes of '13, '15, and '16, the ones on either side of mine, there were Somervell and Styer and Eisenhower and Bradley, Stratemeyer, Cousins and Lyon on the Air Force Staff all Major Generals and I'm not sure that I'm beginning to remember half of them, now, of course, there were quite a few that weren't doing as well as I was but I somehow or other felt that their turn was coming. And I will recount one thing, when we got to be made "Mex" colonels which was the first mass promotion, a very curious thing happened, they skipped four or five of the twenty engineers in my class. I don't know if there were twenty left; that leaves four or five out of eighteen or seventeen. This made me mad as the devil and I got so angry about it that this West Point roommate of mine, Dot Waldron and I used to ride to work in his car sometimes and I said I was going to refuse my promotion. I just felt this was the lousiest selection for promotion that I could imagine, based on these people I knew. And I knew how they were and Dot says you are talking through your hat, keep your shirt on and they'll get it and most of them did. Most of them, some of them, made General later, but I tried to examine this and I found a funny thing, there was no cavalry lieutenant colonel who wasn't rated superior. There was no, practically no engineer officer who was rated higher than average. The engineers expected an average man to be perfect and they very seldom used the excellent and superior rating. And so they just took these average ratings numerically and made this mixed promotion on that basis. Never considering the rating officer, and this brings up another one that you must find something to do about and that is how to get the rating of juniors of their superiors in this system; those are the ones that count.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, what was your appraisal of Jean Monnet?
GEN AURAND: Jean Monnet was a man with a single purpose, to win the war. I believe that he was a very patriotic Frenchman, that he is more of an internationalist than any man that I have ever known intimately. Without him, many of these things that occurred in that time from, May 1940 to September of '41 would not have happened. He prodded the British in the taking over the French contracts, followed the U. S. to work on the exchange basis, to hold off the day of payment and then when he got that done he prodded the U. S. development of Lend Lease, which was Roosevelt's idea, but it was because of constant prodding of Monnet, we got to win the war by producing more here in the United States, plus England, than the Germans and all its factories can. The other thing was that he insisted constantly on a shopping list, which he always talked about and he finally got into the President and sold it. And that was why, I am told that Jean Monnet had a meeting with the President and sold him that thing he called the "list in its entirety”. He did more toward the winning of the war for the United States than any other individual I know.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, what was the mission of the combined production board? How did you happen to be assigned as a combined secretary and why did you serve only ten weeks or so?
GEN AURAND: In the spring of 1942, what had been the office of Defense Aid Director was now the International Division of the Army Service Forces - had become a glorified statistical reporting agency. Of course, there were still some other duties beside that but the allocation of supplies directly to theaters instead of countries had greatly reduced the importance of this job. And I was concerned because I had come to find an overseas job and here I was marking time on this one and I hoped to beg out of it so'1 could go on my quest for a job overseas. About this time one of my friends on the British Army Staff in Washington told me that the British Supply Council of North America had nominated me to be the combined secretary of the combined production board. And I said, "What is this?" Well, the story was that they were going to treat all the production facilities in England and all those in the United States and in Canada, for that matter, as though they were in one country. This Combined Production Board was to get them together to contribute their best skills and whatnot to get the best production of war purposes. And that sounded like a nice big proposition, rather intriguing to me, so I went up to see General Somervell about this and he had heard of it alright and he said, "Do you want the job," and I said, "Yes, I'd love to have that job." So it was arranged and what I found was this, the combined production board consisted of two people: Lord Beaverbrook, who was a supply chief from England, and Donald Nelson who headed the war production board and they each had a deputy who would sit in Washington and would really be the board: Jim Knowlson from the United States, whom I had known for his work on the war production board and Sir Robert Sinclair, spelled Sinclair, who would be the British man. Well, this wasn't enough so each one of them had to have an attorney and so they each had an attorney and then they each had to have a secretary, a high ranking official secretary, so they each had a secretary but sometime or other down the/totem pole there had to be one guy who presented the papers to both sides and that is what they wanted me for and they called me the combined secretary of the combined production board. I never saw an order which gave me that title but that's what they called me. So I got this job and it was very interesting, a very fine job and I took my friend David Wainhouse along because with all these lawyers and what-not in the upper levels, I wanted a good lawyer for myself and, of course, he was his wonderful diplomatic self just like he had been for me in the Lend Lease business. Below my level, the organization split again into U. S. and British sections. It was like an X on the organization chart, and we got things agreed by our lower half of the organization; I would pass the papers up to the secretaries of the deputies, if they looked alright to me. If the deputies approved, they would both sign the papers and pass them along for action to their national organizations. Two of these papers had grave effects on what the aims and objectives of General Lucious Clay were. He represented Somervell on the War Production Board of the United States and some of its allocation committee. So, he went to Jim Knowlson and said this simply had to be changed, that everything was wrong, that it wasn't in accordance with the wishes of General Somervell or of the War Department and so Jim, with a great deal of ill at ease and Sir Robert Sinclair said hopeful attitude that this would not happen again and so on and got these things reversed. Well, this hadn't happened very long when I got a call from Somervell and he said to me, "How would you like to command the 6th Service Command with two stars?" I said, "I would." And then I got a call from Jack McCloy almost immediately after this and he said, "You sold your soul for a mess of tinsel." He was so mad at me that you could hear it over the phone. Then I went to Chicago and I knew that I had been kicked upstairs.
MAJ MORRISON: Sir, is there anything that you would like to add before we go home?
GEN AURAND: Well, I'm not trying to speculate on what would have happened if, when I make this remark, but if whoever picked the command officer of the communication zone in the European theater of operations had done it with the care that Somervell picked Leroy Lutes for his distribution guy in G, well first in G-4 - then in the Army Service Forces, they would not help but have selected Robertson, W. M. He had graduated from the War College and the Command and General Staff School, he had been a G-4 man on both faculties and he had been the executive to the War Department of G-4. I can think of no greater qualifications for the job of Commanding General COMZ and he was the only guy in the United States Army that had them.
MAJ MORRISON: General Aurand thought of a couple of things, corrections that he would like to make to the tape and this is after we have completed the entire taping. We are putting these items on in this spot because there was room on the tape here. General, go ahead.
GEN AURAND: Well, first of all when I enumerated the functions of the supply system, I enumerated them as determination of requirements procurement and distribution. I should have said determination of requirements provision and distribution. Provision contains the procurement function but just to be clear I will try to enumerate the provision functions as I recall them. Of course, you had to have money to start with, the next thing you had to consider was the place of manufacture and the tools and the raw materials. After that you had to make arrangements for the manufacture which are called procurements and this is all paper work. Once the procurement is arranged a man goes to work and starts making them, making what you have ordered. Then follows inspection and after the inspectors report comes in the goods that have been manufactured are officially accepted; in other words this is the time the contractor gets his money. And after acceptance there is a frequently disregarded function of provision which has to take place if possible at the place of manufacture and that is storage. The items that very rarely come off the production line and go directly into its depot. Besides, there is some function in the distribution system which have to be gone through before destination can be given and I don't care how carefully you schedule the manufacture, it never comes out exactly right. The other thing I have to talk about is about this spiral railroad bridge on the railroad between Brest and Rennes. I've referred to it once as a Stone Arch Bridge and another time as a tressel bridge. As I sit here now I'm not sure which it is and I doubt if I'd bet more than ten cents either way but I'd bet that ten cents that it's a Stone Arch Bridge.
MAJ MORRISON: Thank you sir.