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Saturday, February 11, 2012


Yesterday, Friday 10 February 2012, I received an e-mail from Steve DuBos, a resident at the Ol' Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., informing me that a fellow resident and mutual friend, Wilfred Leo "Backpack Mac" McCarty, born in Nebraska on Monday 20 February 1924, had passed away at the age of eighty-eight.

For the best effect, please enjoy viewing this slide show I created of photographs of Mac in "FULL SCREEN" mode.

Since Steve DuBos was the one who notified me, he's in the first picture in the slide show.

The photograph from Mauthausen Concentration Camp was donated by Mac to the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

One of those liberated inmates was Simon Weisenthal.

Prior to moving here to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi, I used to live in the Ol' Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., where Mac was one of my good friends.

We both lived on the Fourth Floor of the Sheridan Building, and frequently ate chow together in the mess hall.

He always wore his Purple Heart Medal, which he got when he was badly wounded in the Second World War during the Battle of the Bulge by shrapnel from a shell fired by a German 88mm gun.

After retiring from the United States Air Force, he wandered all over the globe, not as most travellers did, but by himself, well off the beaten path, sometimes hiking or camping, and seeing the remote little known sites.

He had a sister, whom I'd met on the FACEBOOK social networking web site, and I think he has relatives in Ireland, whom he would visit while on vacation, and/or exchange e-mails with.

Please click on "SMALL TOWN NEBRASKA BOY", and scroll down to Page 20 to read an article Mac wrote for the "COMMUNICATOR" newspaper at the Ol' Soldiers' Home.

Also, please click to read the text transcript of an interview with Mac by Cassie Campbell-Bice, of Dodge City, Kansas, for the VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT at the Library of Congress, conducted on Friday 07 August 2009.

At this time, formal notice of his death has not yet been publicly posted outside of our chaplain's office, and I have received no information regarding his funeral or burial.


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