Churchill Asks General Hap Arnold For An Inscribed Photograph
General Henry "Hap" Arnold was a critical architect of the U.S. Air Force and a key player in WWII. He attended all of the Big Three Conferences with Roosevelt and then Truman, becoming the only officer in Air Force history to hold five-star rank. Churchill had great respect for Arnold and worked with him closely during the war. Few people knew that Churchill collected inscribed photographs of the major military commanders in both WWI and WWII. In this letter to Arnold on 10 Downing Street stationary, the Prime Minister asks him to send him a picture of himself. Dated April 4, 1946, signed "Winston Churchill"
Dear Mr. Schulze: I have looked at General Eisenhower's correspondence for 1946 and found the request for a photograph from Winston Churchill dated 4 April 1946. The letter looks identical to the one sent to Hap Arnold, except that Eisenhower's name has been inserted. There is no reply from Eisenhower; one of his staff made a note at the bottom of Churchill's letter, "photo sent 4/16/46". Because there is only one page, I can send you a photocopy of this document at no charge. You will need to send me your mailing address. Sincerely, Valoise Armstrong Archivist Dwight D. Eisenhower Library 200 SE 4th St. Abilene, KS 67410 (785) 263-6736
Arnold apparently sent an inscribed photograph to Churchill as requested. A response from Churchill (which is not in my collection) is below. It was sold by Chartwell Booksellers in 2009 for $ 10,000.
Dear Mr. Schulze, I reviewed the Churchill correspondence with General Marshall from 1942-1951; unfortunately there was no letter from the prime minister requesting an autographed picture of General Marshall. I discussed your information request with the archivist; he and I expect that Mr. Churchill may have requested a picture during one of the many conferences that the general and the prime minister attended during the war. Kindest regards; I wish there was a letter in the collection or a letter from General Marshall acknowledging that the picture was sent. Paul Barron Director of Library and Archives George C. Marshall Foundation Drawer 1600 VMI Parade Lexington, Virginia 24450