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To Major General and Mrs. Frank R. McCoy1
September 2, 1939 Washington, D.C.
Dear Frank and Frances:
I have just received your telegram of congratulations, and I want you to know that your good wishes mean more to me than almost any others I might receive. I chose an unfortunate day for my induction into office, and just as I took the oath a call came to go to the White House on national defense business.
You may remember that last fall, the day after I became Deputy Chief of Staff, the storm broke; and again the day of the announcement of my appointment, I had to dash off on a hasty tour of new Air Corps construction throughout the United States, and then to Brazil.2 So, in the light of the present tragic catastrophe, I do not anticipate peaceful years ahead. All the more, your message is appreciated.
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Frank R. McCoy Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. McCoy was stationed at Governors Island, New York, commanding the Second Corps Area from May 1936—when he was transferred from Chicago—until his retirement on October 31, 1938. He assumed the duties of president of the Foreign Policy Association on September 1, 1939.
2. Marshall’s first day in office as deputy chief of staff was October 15, 1938. Regarding the “storm” that broke at this time, Marshall may have been thinking of the troop movements into Czechoslovakia by Germany (October 1) and Poland (October 2) as a result of the Munich Agreement signed on September 29. Stanley D. Embick’s last day as deputy chief of staff was September 30; this left Marshall—head of the War Plans Division, the senior General Staff division—as the chief of staffs principal deputy. (For information concerning Marshall’s tour of West Coast installations and his trip to Brazil in the spring of 1939, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-572-#1-578 [1: 713-20].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 48.