The narrative in this volume has been prepared primarily upon the basis of personal observations and recorded interviews. The author participated in the initial planning which preceded the creation of the Army Service Forces on 9 March 1942, and served in the Control Division, Headquarters, Army Service Forces from 5 July 1942 until the start of his terminal leave on 15 January 1946. During this period, the author had in mind that some day he would prepare a record of the organizational experience of the Army Service Forces, and collected numerous papers bearing on this subject during the course of his regular duties. Interview notes and other papers were accumulated, all of which were collected in an historical file of the Army Service Forces deposited with the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army.
General Somervell kept intact a personal file of correspondence and memoranda prepared during the course of service as Commanding General, Army Service Forces. These personal files, amounting to about five file cabinets, were turned over to The Adjutant General of the Army in January 1946 when General Somervell went on terminal leave. These files have been kept intact and have been consulted freely by the author in the course of preparing this narrative. Considerable file material from the Office of the Secretary of War, the Office of the Under Secretary of War, and from the Chief of Staff has been used. This material has been deposited with the Departmental Records Branch, Adjutant General's Office, Department of the Army.
Each of the major staff divisions in Headquarters, Army Service Forces, was required to prepare a narrative history of its activities immediately after the conclusion of hostilities in August 1945. These narratives, along with an account of the organizational history of the Army Service Forces as a whole, prepared by the author, were deposited with the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, and have been freely consulted in the course of preparation of the present volume.
The Army Service Forces prepared a large number of documents for internal use which are extremely helpful to anyone inquiring into the organization of the agency. The ASF had an elaborate monthly statistical reporting system which eventually numbered some twenty different sections. The most useful report for the general student is the Monthly Analysis Report which was a summary of all the individual reports and called attention to the major developments in the work of the command. In addition, beginning in July 1942 and terminating in July 1945, the ASF held semiannual service command conferences, the minutes of which were reproduced in mimeograph form. These minutes contain papers prepared by leading officers of the command as well as floor discussions of major administrative problems. General Somervell also held biweekly staff conferences of headquarters
personnel, the minutes of which were reproduced in similar form and then distributed to staff directors and chiefs of technical services. From time to time also, reports were prepared such as documents on the Canol project, the Pentagon, and the Inter-American Highway. These documents have been preserved in the historical file of the Army Service Forces.
An annual report of the work of the Army Service Forces was prepared for each fiscal year from 1942 to 1945. In both 1944 and 1945, these were released in summary form and given out for general distribution. A longer and more detailed printed copy was deposited in the Pentagon Library and also in about one hundred depository libraries throughout the United States. These reports contain extensive information about the Army Service Forces and are available to any person who might wish to consult them.
Much of the history of the Army Service Forces in World War II will of necessity appear in other volumes in this series. The author has consulted many volumes, published and in manuscript form, prepared in the Office of the Chief of Military History. Among the volumes and manuscripts most frequently consulted were the following:
Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Logistics of Global Warfare, 1941-1943 R.
Elberton Smith, Army Procurement and Economic Mobilization
Jonathan Grossman, Industrial Manpower Problems and Policies of the War Department
Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunder land, Stilwell's Mission to China
Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1941-1942
Chester A. Wardlow, The Transportation Corps: Responsibilities, Organization, and Operations
Chester A. Wardlow, The Transportation Corps: Movements, Training, and Supply
Joseph Bykofsky and Harold Larson, The Transportation Corps: Activities in the Oversea Commands
Erna Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, Supply, and Services, Vol. I
Chester L. Kieffer and Erna Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, Supply and Services, Vol. II
Constance McL. Green, Harry C. Thomson, and Peter Roots, The Ordnance Department: Organization and Research and Development
Clarence McK. Smith, Hospitalization and Evacuation: ZI
Dulany Terrett, The Signal Corps: The Test to Mid-1943
Dulany Terrett, The Signal Corps: Outcome Through 1945
Blanche B. Armfield, The Medical Department: Organization and Administration
Blanche D. Coll and Herbert H. Rosenthal, Corps of Engineers: Troops and Supply
Jesse A. Remington, Blanche D. Coll, and Lenure Fine, Corps of Engineers: ZI Construction
Troyer Anderson, Introduction to the History of the Under Secretary of War's Office, MS, OCMH
While most of the material has been derived from War Department sources, the author has also utilized some of the more important records of the War Shipping Board (Lewis Douglas files) and of the War Production Board (monographs and reports).
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