TYPE: Archive
COMPONENTS: Several hundred items (1.2 linear foot) in one box plus rolled photographs; various sizes and conditions. Vp, bulk
ITEM ID: 3973

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Archive of McClung Family Papers

DATE
Century: 20th (1901-2000)
Notes: 1942-1959

Archive of McClung family papers regarding military service, Iran, and friendship with Nixon.

Glenn F. McClung (1896-1960) served 28 years as a police officer and chief in San Marino, CA, and also as as an Army captain during World War Two.

In 1954, he went to Iran for five years as a police adviser on traffic issues, in the wake of the coup which overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. He was accompanied by his wife Mary Alexander McClung (1896-1985).

The largest portion of this collection relates to their only child George A. McClung (1919-1945). George was a lieutenant in the 32nd Fighter Squadron during World War II; he trained in Arizona and then was stationed in Panama toward the end of the war. He disappeared on a flight in Panama on 29 April 1945, and was never found. His parents spent a month in Panama leading a final effort to locate him or his remains.

The collection includes 42 letters from George and his wife Phyllis dated 1942-45; 69 letters relating to his disappearance and subsequent search, 1945-51; 6 large rolled photographs of planes and crew from George’s training in Arizona; 23 photographs of George and the search; a reward poster, and related clippings.

The family’s time in Iran is also well documented. Mary retained typescript copies of 78 letters she wrote to friends and family from Tehran. She helped plan a reception for Eleanor Roosevelt in 1959, and was generally an active member of the American diplomatic and military community at that time. Her diary for 1957 and 49 photographs from this period, as well a thick folder of notes and ephemera, are also included.

Several of Mary’s Iran letters were addressed to Richard and Pat Nixon, who were apparently old friends of the McClungs from California. Some of the letters offer insights into Iranian conditions, and complaints about some of the other American personnel.

The collection also includes 19 letters, cards, and notes from Richard Nixon to the McClungs, 1954-73. The signatures are mostly secretarial, printed, or auto-pen, but some of the letters are personal: “It’s good to know Glenn is doing so well in handling the traffic problem in Tehran” (9 November 1954), or “I could not have been more distressed than when I learned that Glenn has cancer” (9 April 1960).

Also included are several from Pat Nixon or White House staffers. The collection also includes personal signed letters from Mamie Eisenhower and Julie Nixon Eisenhower; two photographs of General Patton given to McClung by the general; 27 photographs and related ephemera from the San Marino police department; artifacts including a Nixon-Agnew commemorative medallion, a group of apparently Persian jewelry, an English-language missal in decorative mother-of-pearl boards, inscribed by Mrs. McClung in Teheran, 1954 and 1957; and 4 other folders of family papers dating from 1918-76. A wide-ranging family archive covering several areas of historical interest.