McCafferty kept a diary in which he made near-daily entries from April 8, 1942, the day before the surrender of Bataan, until
the Japanese surrender in 1945 and the liberation of prisoners of war. The collection includes 15 notebooks and notepads which
document McCafferty’s life in Japanese prison camps. McCafferty wrote in a sloppy and cramped hand in order to make the diary
indecipherable to the Japanese authorities, and also due to the scarcity of writing supplies (he often fits two lines of script
into one ruled line on the page). Accompanying the handwritten diaries is a typescript which McCafferty later made, consisting
of 17 numbered and dated sections and one undated section, being a reflection on his Japanese captors and a list of their
names and/or nicknames and personality traits. Most of the sections include an index of events. Also included in the collection
is a photograph of McCafferty taken when he was a captain.
Col. Grattan H. McCafferty served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1946. He was in command of a regiment of Filipino soldiers
during the Battle of Bataan in World War II. On April 8, 1942, General Edward P. King ordered the surrender of the allied
forces in the Bataan. The combined American and Filipino forces, including McCafferty, were taken prisoner by the Japanese
Army and forced on the Bataan Death March, a 60-plus mile march to the POW camp at Camp O’Donnell. The prisoners suffered
many abuses at the hands of the Japanese along the way. Those who lagged behind or could not complete the march were beaten,
shot, stabbed and beheaded. Around 500 Americans and many more Filipino soldiers are estimated to have died during the march,
with more dying at Camp O’Donnell and other camps. For the remainder of the war McCafferty was held prisoner in camps and
internment areas in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Manchuria. The major camps where McCafferty was imprisoned were
Camp O’Donnell and Tarlac prison camp in the Philippines; Karenko, Taiwan; and Mukden, Manchuria. He was repatriated after
the Japanese surrender in 1945 and died in November, 1954 at the age of 65.
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