J. W. “Mac” McDonald

Sharna Johnson

After spending 30 days in the English Channel onboard ship waiting for the Germans to surrender…

Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.

J. W. “Mac” McDonald
Dates of service: July 1, 1942 to Nov. 30, 1945
Born: Nov. 30, 1918
Hometown: Clovis
Lives in: Clovis
Theater or location of service: Europe
Branch: Army
Rank: Tech sergeant
Unit and specialty: 728 Railway operating battalion
After discharge: Clovis

In his words: After spending 30 days in the English Channel onboard ship waiting for the Germans to surrender, McDonald and his unit were all too happy to hop into boxcars headed for Germany. Accommodations were spacious to say the least — three men to a car.

The train also bore wine-cars, more importantly, wooden wine cars. Armed with five gallon “Jerry cans” (fuel cans) that had been emptied and rinsed carefully, “some of the men” drilled holes through the side of the wine-cars and refilled the cans with the intoxicating cargo.

Germany was a remarkably clean and beautiful country, he said. He felt the Germans were friendly and accepted their defeat, recognizing “the bad that they had done.” Daily in the course of his duties, McDonald would pass by the building where the German officers were being held and tried, intrigued by the goings on in the long building.

“I didn’t regret what I was doing, I felt it was my duty even though I had a son at home who was 22 months old that I had never met.”

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: