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Jack H. McCall Jr. Papers

Identifier: CSWS-0053

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of two 452-page biographies of Jack H. McCall Sr. entitled Pogiebait's War: The Life of a Tennessee Marine in World War II written by his son, Jack H. Nick McCall Jr. They are the same work, but different drafts. The second manuscript is heavily footnoted and includes a glossary and suggestions for further reading. It also includes direct quotes from Jack McCall Sr. and other men who served in his unit and transcriptions of V-mail that McCall Sr. wrote home.

The bulk of the manuscript is devoted to chronicling Jack McCall Sr.'s time with the U. S. Marine Corps during the Second World War. This portrayal begins with his time in basic training, including its associated chants, songs, slang, and hazing. The account of the unit's time in active service consists primarily of descriptions of various landscapes and battles, including kamikaze pilots, friendly fire incidents, self-inflicted wounds, and suicides. Interestingly, the manuscript also portrays Marine attitudes toward women, German POWs, enemy soldiers (both German and Japanese), and homosexuality. McCall Sr. also shares his thoughts on the atomic bomb, mentioning that he was positive that he would have been killed if the invasion of Japan had taken place.


  • 1998, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Manuscript and University Archives collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 24 hours is needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.25 Linear Feet


This collection consists of two versions of a biography of Jack H. McCall, Sr. written by his son, Jack H. 'Nick' McCall, Jr.: My Father’s War: Reminiscences of the Life of a Williamson County Marine in World War II and Pogiebait's War: The Life of a Tennessee Marine in World War II. One draft was completed shortly after McCall Sr.'s Death, and the second is an expanded version completed a year later. The manuscripts primarily deal with McCall Sr.'s time in the Marine Corps during World War II. A version of Pogiebait's War: The Life of a Tennessee Marine in World War II was published in 2001.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jack H. McCall, Sr. was born on May 1, 1922 and grew up in Franklin, Tennessee. After graduating from high school in 1941, he had planned to attend the University of Tennessee. He changed his mind after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps instead. McCall was assigned to the 9th Defense Battalion, where he was quickly nicknamed Pogiebait due to his lifelong love of candy (known as pogey bait in the Marine Corps). The unit deployed to Cuba in February of 1942 and moved to Guadalcanal in September. They remained there until June of 1943, when they were assigned to the Rendova/New Georgia campaign (operation TOENAILS). They were given light duty in the Russell Islands from January to mid-summer 1944, and then assigned to the invasion and occupation of Guam (operation FORAGER) in June of 1944. McCall, Sr. was rotated home in December of 1944, and then assigned to work with rocket artillery in Norfolk, Virginia. His impending deployment to Japan was halted by V. J. day, and he was discharged at Oceanside, California, on October 2, 1945.

Jack H. McCall, Jr. received a B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University and graduated with a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1981. He served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is also a former army officer. He died on May 31, 1997.


Collection consists of four folders.

Previous Citation

This collection was originally listed as MS.2112 and MS.2582. It was then listed as CSWS.WWII.3.0019 until receiving its current number.

Acquisition Note

Jack H. Nick McCall Jr. donated this manuscript to the Special Collections Library in January of 1999.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA