WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG 13 --
Just how much "bait" is offered soldiers to volunteer for perilous missions such as the leap-frog operations in back of the Japanese in Burma was asked the Army today by Senator Robert R. Reynolds (D-N.C.) in a letter to Secretary Of War Stimson.
Senator Reynolds' letter was inspired by the ill-advised orders given to sick members of Merrill's Marauders who were ordered from hospital beds to defend an airport when actually they were not needed. Senator Reynolds' letter to Secretary Stimson said:
"It would be of valuable assistance if your department could have prepared for me a documentation of facts leading to the situation which inspired the news reports in the papers of Sunday, Aug. 6, as I fell my committee should be fully informed.
"I should particularly welcome information on the following points:
1- The question of unauthorized promises of promotions, leaves of absence and early relief for those who volunteer for special duty in the jungles, and what action the Army expects to or has taken to prevent and discourage future use of such "bait" to induce men to volunteer for exceptionally dangerous assignment.
2- What has now been done with the volunteers of Merrill's Marauders who volunteered for a reported "three months" special duty.
3- What has been done to improve the reported breakdown in morale and restoration of the confidence and faith these men should have in their leaders, but which they apparently lack.
4- What fatalities, casualties, etc., were suffered by the unit as a result of the error in ordering sick men to the defense of the airport.
5- Some of the press articles spoke of officers' reports giving full details of the history of the Merrill's Marauder incident, and if these are available I am sure they would be most helpful to my committee in obtaining a clear and authentic picture of just what occurred.