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Matthew B. Ridgway

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“I should like to add my gratitude for your tireless efforts in this worthy cause . . . ”

Matthew Bunker Ridgway, 1895–1993.  United States Army general; commander of United Nations forces in Korea; NATO Supreme Commander.  Typed Letter Signed, M. B. Ridgway, with autograph annotation, one page, 7” x 9”, on stationery of the United States Army, Office of the Chief of Staff, no place [Washington, D.C.], December 10, 1953.

Ridgway thanks staff member Rosemary Wright and her colleagues for their fundraising efforts.  He writes:  “It is a pleasure to forward you a letter from the Secretary of the Army, in which he expresses his thanks for your leadership in the 1954 Community Chest Campaign.  I should like to add my gratitude for your tireless efforts in this worthy cause and ask you to convey my appreciation to your co-workers.”   He adds “With best wishes” and, in handwriting, “and a happy Christmas season”.

Ridgwayʼs letters appear to be scarce on the autograph market.  Our review of auction records found only two typed letters, and no handwritten letters, that have been offered.  This seems quite unusual, given Ridgwayʼs prominence, particularly after President Harry S. Truman named him to replace General Douglas MacArthur as the supreme commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, commander of the United Nations forces in Korea, and commander of all United States forces in the Far East.

Rosemary E. Wright (1890–1969), to whom Ridgway wrote this letter, spent some 35 years working for the Army, ultimately as Chief of the Army General Staff Assignment Section, before she retired in November 1953.  Miss Wright handled all of the administrative work relating to officers assigned to the General Staff.  She knew all of them—well enough to call Eisenhower “Ike,” George S. Patton, Jr., “Georgie,” and Jonathan Wainwright “Skinny.”  She wrote of her years with the Army in The Generals Call Me “Mom,” which appeared in the March 15, 1952, edition of Collier’s magazine.

Ridgway has boldly annotated and signed this letter.  The letter has slight staining from previous mounting in a photo album but overall is in fine condition. 




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