National Affairs: Interim Appointment

When Stimson stepped out, his right-hand man stepped up. By promoting earnest, dull and difficult Bob Patterson, President Truman made sure of continuity in War Department policy during the troublous demobilization months, the Pearl Harbor inquiry, the coming battle over the armed forces merger.

New Secretary Patterson won the D.S.C. as a company commander in the 77th (Statue of Liberty) Division in World War I, came home to the law. In 1940 he took time off from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bench in Manhattan, went to Plattsburg to retrain for the new...

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