Forrestal, James, 1892-1949

Forrestal was ROOSEVELT’s extremely vigorous Secretary of the Navy. In 1940 he had been taken on as an administrative assistant and was appointed UnderSecretary of the Navy shortly afterwards. He launched a new building program and solved the problem of establishing priorities regarding resources through a Controlled Materials Plan. In 1941 Forrestal went to London to negotiate Lend-Lease deals. In May 1944 he became acting Secretary of the Navy and set about rationalizing the service. He visited the Pacific area three times and twice visited Europe—he watched the Allied landings in the south of France. He recommended the unification of the three services into a Department of Defense in the Eberstadt Report and at the end of the war he spoke out with intense feeling against too rapid demobilization.

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