The Arcadia Conference

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(President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill hold a joint press conference in the president’s office on December 23, 1941)

On December 23, 1941, Admiral Harold R. Stark, the chief of naval operations, asked his aide, Captain John McCrea, to accompany him to a meeting at the White House with President Franklin Roosevelt. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had arrived from London with an entourage of top British military leaders for the so-called Arcadia Conference, the first U.S.-British meetings about the war since the U.S. had become a combatant. Admiral Stark and Captain McCrea were introduced to the prime minister, a man McCrea would come to know much better during the following 13 months. Mr. Churchill said a few words, and drinks were served. The next day top level military planning meetings began, and McCrea served as the secretary for the navy at those meetings.