Harry S. Truman photo

Letter to General William S. Knudsen on His Retirement From Active Duty.

June 07, 1945

Dear General Knudsen:

As you return to civilian life I want to express appreciation for the distinguished service you have rendered to your country in the prosecution of the war. Your organizational genius in transforming our peace-time industry to a vast war machine is one of the greatest stories of the war and has earned the thanks not only of every American, but also the thanks of our allies who have depended on American supplies and equipment. That equipment which you helped to produce is speeding the day of victory.

First as a leader of the Advisory Commission to the Council for National Defense, then as Director General of the Office of Production Management, and for the past three and a half years in your military capacity as Director of Production in the Office of the Under Secretary of War, you have been in the forefront of our national industrial effort. Twice your work has won for you recognition by the award of the Distinguished Service Medal.

Almost insurmountable difficulties have been overcome by your courage and determination in working with private industry and by your forethought in anticipating and planning for future exigencies. Your resourcefulness and unswerving devotion to duty have saved the Nation vast sums of money while at the same time expediting production of materials of war, and preventing the loss of countless precious American lives.

I extend to you my own gratitude and that of a grateful people for the masterful way in which you have accomplished this monumental task.

Very sincerely yours,


[Lieutenant General William S. Knudsen, Office of the Under Secretary of War]

Harry S. Truman, Letter to General William S. Knudsen on His Retirement From Active Duty. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232386

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