The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to President Roosevelt
My Dear Mr. President: As you are aware, the Greek Government is anxious to obtain our consent for the recruitment of a considerable number of the Greek subjects in the United States for military service. The Greek authorities envisage, I believe, the creation of a rather sizable command from among the approximately 80,000 Greek subjects (men, women and children) in this country.
We have referred the matter to the War Department, and have been informed that while the War Department does not concur in the proposal of the Prime Minister of Greece that a great number of Greek subjects be drafted for organization into large separate units, the War Department will give favorable consideration to the recruitment of a limited number of separate battalions of Greeks to be assigned, when fully trained, to the various divisions of the United States Army.[Page 819]
A separate battalion of Norwegians is already being organized in the United States Army. I believe that separate battalions of certain of the foreign-language residents of the United States, including the Greeks, may be useful for psychological warfare purposes and for strictly military purposes in the event of active military operations in specific areas. I think it should be clearly understood, however, that they are regular units of the United States Army, serving under the American flag, and liable for service in any area where the American Army may be called upon to operate.
If you concur,91 we shall be glad to hand to the Greek Prime Minister the attached memorandum on his return to Washington on July 10, 1942 for the purpose of signing the Lend-Lease Agreement.
- President Roosevelt indicated his approval on July 8 by a marginal note on the original.↩