1-453 To Major General Frank R. McCoy, July 4, 1937

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 4, 1937

To Major General Frank R. McCoy

July 4, 1937 Vancouver Barracks, Washington

My dear General:

Your note has just come telling us that there is no hope of my being assigned to the 1st Division in October.1 We are disappointed, primarily and most of all because we will not be with you and Francis this next year. Katherine, of course, is disappointed that she will not be closer to the family and her beloved Fire Island. However, she takes it like a veteran, and went down town immediatel[y] to buy some yard furniture and some other items she had let go by in the expectation that she would only be here a few months longer.

Fortunately the news came when the weather and the flowers, shrubs and trees were—and are—at their loveliest. Oregon is a beautiful state, and this time of the year the northwest is gorgeous. Each night we have free from a dinner engagement we go off about four thirty, with fishing tackle and a frying pan, seek some lovely lake or water fall, and fish and cook our supper; then drive home in the twilight, which carries us almost up to nine o’clock in this latitude. We enjoy these informal outings tremendously, and some day Katherine will get a big steel head on her line.

A few days before the Russians descended on us K. and I returned from a 1400 mile CCC trip. We crossed mountain ranges seven times, cooked our lunches on mountain tops, stayed in delightful lodges, spent a night in famous old Canyon City—a one street mining town famous for its rough stuff, fished in lakes and rivers, made our way slo[w]ly through flocks of two and three thousand sheep a number of times; and had a delightful outing—all in eastern Oregon. As soon as the Russians left we lit out, with Molly for the sea shore south of Astoria, near Tillamook. A cottage had been loaned us and we stayed there for five days while I did some CCC inspections in that vicinity.

Next Thursday we start out on a weeks trip in southern Oregon. I am taking my executive and his wife, old friends of ours I brought out here, and my aide and Molly.2 We men will do some camps and then all of us will fish the Mackenzie River, cross the mountain there and go on to Crater Lake. Then we plan to stop at East Lake—another, and smaller, crater affair famous for its rainbow trout fishing. We will stay there several days; then I will bring the women home while the other two men do some camps I saw on my last trip in that region.

I go up to maneuvers the middle of August and we plan to do Victoria and Vancouver Island as I go north to Tacoma. Molly and her mother will come back to Vancouver, and I will do two weeks at Lewis.

The Russian flyers were not much of a problem, except as to clothes on a Sunday; but the Ambassador with six in his party and not less than sixty members of the press and radio in the house all of Sunday up to almost midnight! The Ambassador stayed with us, but I sent his attaches back to a hotel in Portland. Poor Katherine had to feed the news men coffee and sandwiches by the gallon and bale. All of this would not have been difficult with the resources of an army post, but when it develops in thirty minutes, and on a Sunday morning at breakfast time, there are some complications. London had me on the phone within twenty minutes—by name—and Moscow within the half hour! After that it was a constant phoning from all over the US and Europe.

Again, my thanks for your effort to get me the 1st Division. Maybe something yet will develop to bring our families together; but I had been planning on your assistance this fall in Katherine’s birthday parade ceremony.3

With love to you both, from all of us,


G. C. Marshall

Document Copy Text Source: Frank R. McCoy Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Document Format: Author-typed letter signed.

1. On June 28, McCoy wrote: “Since writing you I have had the chance to talk over things with the Chief of Staff, and am sorry to say that for the present there seems no probability of your being assigned to the 1st Division. However, he is as fully conscious as I of the appropriateness of it.

“I regret in a way that I brought up the subject, because it means not only a bitter disappointment to me, but I take it that it will mean so to you and especially to Katherine and Frances.“ (McCoy to Marshall, June 28, 1937, LC/F. R. McCoy Papers.)

2. Major Claude M. Adams assumed the position of executive officer on June 21, 1937. Marshall had requested Adams’s transfer from the R.O.T.C. department at the University of Florida. Captain Edward C. Applegate, a 1932 graduate of the Infantry School’s Company Officers’ Course, had reported as Marshall’s aide on June 24.

3. Mrs. Marshall’s birthday was October 8. She noted that Marshall “loves to give surprises, but he does not like to receive surprises himself. Each birthday some unusual thing is sprung on me, I never know what, but something that has required thought and ingenuity to make the day wonderful." (K. T. Marshall, Together, p. 22.)

Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 550-551.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 1-453

Rights: Public Information