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For immediate release: November 29, 2004 Contact: Daniel J. Linke, (609) 258-6345, firstname.lastname@example.org Princeton obtains long-secret report on Forrestal's death Willcutts Report details investigation around death of first secretary of defense PRINCETON, N.J. - The investigation into the death of the nation's first secretary of defense, James V. Forrestal, resulted in a lengthy report long kept from the public. Admiral M. D. Willcutts, the commanding officer of the National Naval Medical Center, convened the review board that looked into James Forrestal's death in 1949. Now, more than 55 years later, the Navy has released the report, which is available electronically through Princeton University's Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library Web site at: http://www.princeton.edu/~mudd/. The documents were procured by David Martin of Virginia via a Freedom of Information Act request in April 2004. Martin scanned the report and gave the files to the Mudd Library, which also included five photographs obtained through the request. The Willcutts Report, issued in July 1949, investigated the circumstances around Forrestal's death. Forrestal, a member of Princeton's class of 1915, was a Wall Street investment banker who, on the eve of World War II, became undersecretary of the Navy. He became secretary of the Navy in 1944 and, with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947, President Harry S. Truman appointed him the first secretary of defense. He resigned in March 1949 and entered the Bethesda Naval Medical Center suffering from exhaustion similar to battle fatigue, and soon after fell to his death from a window. The Willcutts Report supplements documents included in the James V. Forrestal Papers held at the Mudd Library, which include Forrestal's diaries. The report, along with a guide to the holdings of Forrestal's papers, may be viewed at the Mudd Library's Web site. For more information about this collection, contact the Mudd Library at (609) 258-6345 or email@example.com. (end) Daniel J. Linke University Archivist and Curator of Public Policy Papers Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library 65 Olden Street Princeton, NJ 08544 609-258-6345 (v) 609-258-3385 (fax) http://www.princeton.edu/mudd