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Senators on Combat Tour

Senators on Combat Tour, 1943

On July 25, 1943, five U.S. senators boarded a military airplane to begin a 65-day tour of U.S. military installations around the world. Chaired by Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, this unique “special committee” also included Senators Albert Chandler, James Mead , Ralph O. Brewster, and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. The idea for this inspection trip originated among members of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs and the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. The latter panel, chaired by Senator Harry Truman, had spent two years examining waste and corruption at military construction facilities around the United States. This five-member team expanded that investigation overseas. Upon their return to the Senate, Senator Lodge and Senator Russell addressed the Senate to describe their experiences.