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To Major General Frank R. McCoy
October 20, 1939 Washington, D.C.
My dear McCoy:
For some reason I did not see the citation of the Roosevelt Medal award to you,1 and was first advised of what happened by reading an editorial commending your splendid service. As a matter of fact I have not yet seen the citation, and had the Press Section looking it up for me yesterday. But without further delay I must write you and tell you that while I understand you were paid high compliments and tributes, nevertheless from my point of view, you should have a much more impressive reward for your services in the broad field of international affairs. I know that you are delightfully situated at present, but I want to see you render a much greater service to the country.
This may be bad news for you, but I was talking to the Secretary of War day before yesterday about the propriety of speaking to the President with a view to having a trip for you to England and France financed, though you ostensibly went over purely as a civilian. I would value very highly your report on things military, rather than political, as they appear to you during the next six weeks. You have the contacts in both England and France and you have the military knowledge along with broad vision and sound judgment, to make you the most valuable agent the American Army could send over at the present time, for the purpose of securing helpful information. Of course you will treat this as confidential.2
With my congratulations and affectionate regards,
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 to be awarded a Roosevelt Memorial Association medal on October 27, 1939, the eighty-first anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt’s birth. The citation characterized McCoy as a “soldier and diplomat, working for his country without fanfare of trumpets or consideration of reward.” The Roosevelt medals for 1939 were also awarded to agricultural chemist George Washington Carver and to poet and author Carl Sandburg. (New York Times, October 9, 1939, p. 21.)
2. McCoy replied that the proposed trip “gives me a fine feeling of anticipation.” (McCoy to Marshall, October 23, 1939, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Approval was apparently not forthcoming, as McCoy did not make the trip.
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), pp. 92-93.