March 11, 1945: Announcement of Carl A. Spaatz Promotion Briefly Interrupts Party


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

March 11, 1945: At Carl Spaatz’s headquarters in London, Major Sally Bagley interrupted the nightly poker party to announce that Spaatz had just received a well-deserved promotion to Four Star General by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one month before FDR died.

Congratulations went around the table; there was a champagne toast, then Spaatz impatiently explained, “Come on and deal” and the game went on.

Eisenhower’s top staff members met in the evenings for R&R to escape from the high pressures of conducting a world war, and an aide recalled one special evening when they were all relaxing and having a grand time with Ike leading the singing, accompanied by Spaatz on the guitar, really getting into the swing of things—it was the first time he had seen Ike really enjoy himself “since the Lord knows when.”

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