JAMES FORRESTAL Truman’s Secretary of the Navy writes to Congressman Charles A. Plumley saying, “I will look into the people whose names you sent along” Typed Letter signed: “James Forrestal” as Truman’s Secretary of the Navy, 1p, 7½x9½. Washington, 1946 March 15. The last Secretary of the Navy and first Secretary of Defense writes to Congressman Charles A. Plumley. In part: “You need never be hesitant about giving me advice. Whatever I have had from you in the past was sound, and given with good intention. I will look into the people whose names you sent along.” JAMES FORRESTAL (1892-1949), Secretary of the Navy from 1944, became the first Secretary of Defense in 1947. Forrestal helped implement Truman’s policy of integrating the armed forces, but clashed with the President over budget cuts. Forrestal met privately with Republican Presidential candidate Dewey, who intended to retain Forrestal in office. Truman summarily dismissed Forrestal on March 31, 1949. Suffering from what may have been nervous exhaustion, Forrestal was hospitalized on April 2. On May 22, Forrestal fell, leaped (or was pushed) to his death from a window at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Although suicide remains the most likely cause of death, conspiracy theorists have a field day with this sequence of events. Republican CHARLES A. PLUMLEY represented Vermont in the House from 1934-51. Paper clip rust stain at upper left blank margin, slightly soiled at bottom blank right corner, penciled docket (unknown hand) at bottom left. Otherwise, fine condition. – Please contact us if you have any questions or require additional information. HFSID 26544
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