Title: Memo from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Secretary of War, (denshopd-i67-00013)
Densho ID: denshopd-i67-00013

November 17, 1942.


I have every sympathy with your note of November thirteenth in regard to the advisability of encouraging Americanization in the Army.

Therefore, I would go along with your objections were it not for two facts:

(a) We already have a Norwegian Battalion, Filipino Units and a Japanese Battalion. Therefore, the creation of one or two small additional units would create no precedent.

(b) The memorandum to you from the Staff points out in the last paragraph that formation of such Battalions should be strictly limited to cases where political advantages are to be gained. That is why I hope the matter will be kept open and, of course, I must be the one to determine political advantages if any. It occurs to me that there are distinct and definite political advantages in the case of a Polish or Czech or Danish Battalion. These cases should be reopened for further discussion with the State Department.

I have no desire for any large unit. Even if the numbers were small enough only for a company, the objective would be served.

Most certainly I think there should be no German or Italian Unit at this time.