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What was Billings' relationship with [Henry] Luce like?
Well, Harry used to come down and go over things with John.
John was always deferential to Harry. I guess he was, among other
things, not just a perfect commander but he was also a perfect
soldier. In relation to Harry, he did pretty much what Harry wanted
him to do, and rarely got in to arguments with him, at least not in
Were the two men close?
I don't think that John was really close to anybody. Harry
was such a strange mixture of people all rolled up in one that I'm
not really sure he was ever close to anybody. Also, you know, when
you're the boss you tend to avoid intimate friendships with people on
the staff. It's an awful lot simpler if you do. Favoritism is
avoided. All those kind of problems. “The boss likes so and so, but
doesn't like so and so”. You're just creating a lot of problems for
Did he hold strong political views?
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