December 13, 2022

Letters to Frank McCarthy

From Princess Margaret to John Wayne

As chief of the General Headquarters Secretariat, Frank McCarthy traveled extensively with Gen. George Marshall during World War II, and took a lot of notes.

Army officers talk about ordnance.

Gen. George Marshall, Col. Thomas Nixon, and Gen. George Patton talk about ordnance. Lt. Col. Frank McCarthy takes notes.


McCarthy and Marshall remained friends after the war; McCarthy often visited the Marshalls in Virginia.

The Marshalls visit with company on the front steps.

George and Katherine Marshall visit with Frank McCarthy on the front steps of their Leesburg home.


Marshall visited in California, where McCarthy worked for 20th Century Fox.

George Marshall and Frank McCarthy in California.

George Marshall visits Frank McCarthy in Hollywood.


McCarthy donated his government and Hollywood papers as well as his Academy Award for producing Patton, best picture in 1971, to the George C. Marshall Foundation when he retired.

Academy Award

Frank McCarthy’s Academy Award from best picture Patton.


His papers have letters from many famous people, both in government and in entertainment.

Walt Disney was presented with the Producers Guild of America Milestone Award in 1957. The ceremony was organized by McCarthy.

letter from Walt Disney

A letter of thanks from Walt Disney.


There are letters of congratulations when McCarthy took a position at the State Department after the war.

letter from George Patton

A congratulatory letter from Gen. George Patton.


telegram from Irving Berlin

A telegram from Irving Berlin congratulating McCarthy on a new job and wishing towards his future.


Princess Margaret of Great Britain wrote a letter of gratitude for her visit with McCarthy to Page, AZ, and Lake Powell.

letter from Princess Margaret

Handwritten letter from Princess Margaret.


Legendary CBS News broadcaster Walter Cronkite was enthusiastic in his praise for Patton, and invited McCarthy to dine with him in New York City.

letter from Walter Cronkite

CBS News broadcaster Walter Cronkite appreciates the movie Patton.


McCarthy obviously knew Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who worked with the General Headquarters staff before he became Supreme Allied Commander for the invasion of Europe. The two stayed in touch, and McCarthy supported Eisenhower in his run for President.

letter from Ike

Note from “Ike” on the campaign trail.


President Eisenhower invited McCarthy to functions at the White House; some big and some small, like this one:

letter from President Eisenhower

President Dwight D. Eisenhower inviting Frank McCarthy to a small White House party.


McCarthy had friends in the movie business of course. He was close to Grace Kelly the actress, and had his own room at the palace in Monaco where he frequently visited Princess Grace and Prince Rainier.

McCarthy entertained movie stars at his home, including superstar John Wayne.

John Wayne letter

Letter from John Wayne.


I would love to know the story behind the broken glass table!

Melissa has been at GCMF since fall 2019, and previously was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with three large rescue dogs. Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.