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Identifier: R-MC 076

Douglas L. McCabe Papers


  • 1943-1995 (inclusive)
  • Majority of material found in 1945-1946

Scope and Content Note

The materials in this collection span the period of 1943 to 1946, except for two letters written on April 17, 1995 (Folder 1). The bulk of the materials date from 1945 and 1946. Folders 2-5 contain a total of 18 US Army memos and reports and a bound contract from McCabe's tour as a pier officer and Chief of the Checker Section at the Port of Manila. With the exception of the contract and the reports in Folder 5, all of the materials are photocopies. Folders 6-13 contain issues of the Daily Pacifican, a four-page newspaper published in the Pacific Theater for US Army personnel. Folder 14 contains two clippings from unidentified publications. The collection also features a 44-page scrapbook containing original and photocopied orders, postcards, letters, military passes and cards, publications, clippings, photographs, maps and programs for plays and concerts chronicling his military career, particularly his overseas duty.


0.4 Cubic Feet

1 manuscript boxes

Language of Materials

Undetermined .


The Papers of Douglas L. McCabe encompass his experiences as a US Army officer in World War II, from his days at Rutgers University in the ROTC and ASTP to his service at the Port of Manila as a pier officer and Chief of the port Checker Section. The collection includes orders and reports from his service at the Port of Manila, which deal with logistical issues and theft from the docks, eight copies of the Daily Pacifican , a newspaper published by the US Army in the Pacific, and a 44-page scrapbook.

Biographical Sketch of Douglas L. McCabe, 1922-

Mr. Douglas L. McCabe was born in the Bronx, New York, on September 21, 1922, but resided in West Orange, New Jersey, as a child. His father, a lawyer and certified public accountant, worked for R.T. Lingley & Company in Manhattan. His mother served as a Red Cross volunteer for thirty-five years. McCabe went to school in West Orange and participated in the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

McCabe entered Rutgers in 1940, following in the footsteps of his older brother, John F. McCabe, Jr., RC '32. He was involved in many activities at Rutgers, including lacrosse, Cap & Skull and Student Council. He also joined the Delta Epsilon fraternity and served as an usher at Kirkpatrick Chapel. He first met his wife, Isabelle Armstrong, New Jersey College for Women Class of 1946, on a blind date to a fraternity party.

In the summer of 1943, McCabe and his fellow Advanced ROTC cadets, the group that would become known as the Black Fifty, were ordered to active duty in the Army. McCabe underwent medical testing at Camp Kilmer, which separated him from his ROTC classmates; due to a heart murmur, he had to sign a waiver to serve in the Army. He was sent to Camp Croft, South Carolina, for basic training. From Camp Croft, he was ordered back to Rutgers, where he rejoined the Black Fifty, before entering Officer Candidate School, Class 340, at Fort Benning, Georgia; due to a subsequent bout of scarlet fever, McCabe was commissioned with Class 346. He then joined the 113th Infantry Regiment, a National Guard outfit, at Camp Pickett, Virginia, and trained with them at various installations in the South, including Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Camp Rucker, Alabama.

On August 2, 1945, McCabe received orders to proceed to California for overseas deployment. While he believed that he was going to Alaska, he was sent to the Port of Manila. In Manila, McCabe served as a pier officer with the Transportation Corps, supervising the loading and unloading of cargo ships. He then became the Chief of the Checker Section, which produced inventories of the materials moving through the port. In both capacities, he dealt with Filipino civilians, who worked under him, labor disputes and theft from the docks. While off-duty, he would often tour Manila, visit with Filipino civilians and participate in social activities arranged for GIs. He also attended an Easter passion play on Balut Island and the war crimes trail of General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

In the summer of 1946, McCabe returned to the United States and, following his separation from the service, he completed his senior year at Rutgers. He took a position at the Prudential Insurance Company, but, since he had remained in the Reserves, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. During his stateside tour, he served as a ROTC instructor at a military prep school in Manlius, New York. He then returned to his career at Prudential, retiring in 1985. The McCabes had two sons and a daughter.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into fourteen folders and one encapsulated scrapbook, housed in one manuscript box. The photocopied and original reports in Folders 2-5 were pre-arranged by Douglas L. McCabe. The bound copy of the US Army's contract with the Luzon Stevedoring Company, Inc., was placed in Folder 3 as it pertains directly to the labor disputes discussed in the folder's other documents. In the interest of preservation, the issues of the Daily Pacifican were filed in separate folders and arranged in chronological order; two clippings were placed in Folder 14.

Related Collections

An Interview with Douglass L. McCabe for the Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II is available online: Interview with Douglas L. McCabe

Rutgers University Class of 1944 Military History Book . New Brunswick, NJ: The Class of 1944 and the Rutgers University Alumni Association, 1994. Available from Special Collections and University Archives, LD4750.R97 1994

Guide to the Douglas L. McCabe Papers, 1943-1995 (1945-1946, bulk) R-MC 076
Edited Full Draft
Shaun Illingworth
May 2004
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
732-932-7012 (Fax)