Collection ID: 149156

Collection context


McCaffrey, George Herbert, 1890-1954.
Papers of the U.S. Army officer. Drafts of an autobiographical account of McCaffrey's military governorship training and tour of duty in Italy during the Allied occupation; and other military documents.
0.3 linear ft.
Preferred citation:

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Herbert McCaffrey Papers


Scope and Content:

The George Herbert McCaffrey Papers contain memorabilia and military documents.

Memorabilia, circa 1943, contains two drafts of "The Kernel's Journal," an autobiographical account of Colonel McCaffrey's military governorship training and tour of duty in Italy. The first draft is written in third-person narrative in the form of a diary, while the second draft in first person narrative in essay form.

Military documents deal with a Captain E. Shackleton Bailey's unauthorized and irregular handling of a gasoline (petrol) shortage problem in Catanzaro, Italy. There are reports by Captain Bailey justifying his actions and reflecting on his duties as a Civil Affairs Officer overseas. There is also a preface to Colonel McCaffrey's report on the incident.

Biographical / Historical:

George Herbert McCaffrey (1890-1954) was an American military officer who served during World War II.

Born June 2, 1890, McCaffrey attended private schools in the Boston area and received his degree from Harvard in 1912. During World War I, McCaffrey served overseas and rose to the rank of captain in the 78th Infantry Regiment. Returning to civilian life after the war, he continued in the reserves while holding the post of secretary to the Good Government and Boston Charter Associations from 1919-1929. In 1927, McCaffrey accepted a position in New York as assistant director of the Merchants' Association (Commerce and Industry Association of New York), and the following year became director, a position he held for 22 years. During this time, as a lieutenant colonel in the reserves, McCaffrey was assigned to the School of Military Governors at the University of Virginia.

Following the invasion of Sicily in 1942, Lieutenant Colonel McCaffrey was appointed military governor of the province of Palermo. His actions at this time supposedly became the inspiration for the character of Colonel Sartorius in John Hersey's novel, A Bell for Adano. From Italy, Colonel McCaffrey was transferred to Vienna to accept a position as senior military government officer and later chief political advisor to General Mark Clark. During his tenure in Vienna, McCaffrey improved the condition of the surrounding farm areas by the introduction of soil-improvement practices.

On his return to the United States, and after a brief period as tax consultant to the New York State Legislature at Albany, Colonel McCaffrey joined the American occupation authorities in Japan as an advisor on tax reforms. Later, during the Korean conflict, he was assigned to Puson to take charge of the finance section of the United Nations Council Administration Commission.

He was married to the former Anne Dorothy McElroy, with whom he had three children.

Acquisition information:
Gift of Anne McCaffrey , 1968.

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Herbert McCaffrey Papers

Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
Bird Library, Room 600
Syracuse, NY 13244, United States
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