Franklin D. Roosevelt

Memorandum to the Secretary of War Ordering the Construction of Heavy Bombers

May 05, 1941

My dear Mr. Secretary:

The effective defense of this country and the vital defense of other democratic Nations requires that there be a substantial increase in heavy bomber production. To this end will you take whatever action is needed, including the procurement of aircraft, to obtain substantially the production rate which I am indicating to you in a private memorandum.

I am advising the Office of Production Management to take the necessary steps to provide appropriate priority ratings applicable to this increased bomber program. Will you in cooperation with the Secretary of the Navy and the Office of Production Management work out the proper procedure to accomplish this very important task with all possible speed?

I am fully aware of the fact that increasing the number of our heavy bombers will mean a great strain upon our production effort. It will mean a large expansion of plant facilities and the utilization of existing factories not now engaged in making munitions. But command of the air by the democracies must and can be achieved. Every month the democracies are gaining in the relative strength of the air forces. We must see to it that the process is hastened and that the democratic superiority in the air be made absolute.

Very sincerely yours,

The Honorable,

The Secretary of War

APP Note: This document was re-titled by Gerhard Peters to avoid being mistaken as an official numbered "Executive Order." The original title in the Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt is "Order for Construction of Heavy Bombers"

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Memorandum to the Secretary of War Ordering the Construction of Heavy Bombers Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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