William Alexander McCain – Brigadier General, United States Army

Born at Carroll County, Mississippi, August 25, 1878, the son of John Sidney and Elizabeth Ann Young McCain. He was a student at the University of Mississippi, 1895-96 and graduated from West Point in 1902, from the School of Application For Cavalry and Field Artillery, 1905, the Army Industrial College, 1924, and the Army War College in 1928.


He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry in 1902 and promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General in 1940. During his career, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (World War I), and an Oak Leaf Cluster (World War II), a Gold Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Philadelphia Chapter. He was the Director of the Army Industrial College, 1930-34. He was a member of the Society of Cincinnati and was a Presbyterian.

He died at Doyelstown, Pennsylvania, and was buried next to his brother, John Sidney McCain, in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.


PHILADELPHIA, July 2, 1942- Mrs. Mary Louise McCain, wife of Brigadier General William A. McCain, commanding officer of the Quartermaster Depot here, died last night in the Doylestown Hospital, at the age of 64.

Mrs.McCain, who was well known here and in Washington, was a graduate of Wesleyan College at Macon, Georgia.  She accompanied her husband to all his stations, except during his duties overseas in wartime.

Surviving, besides General McCain, is a a daughter, Elizabeth. A funeral service will be held at 3 P.M. tomorrow inthe chapel of Arlington National Cemetery.

111…Born MS…WILLIAM A. McCAIN…Ap’d MS…44
William Alexander McCain, Born August 25, 1878.
Military History.—Cadet at the Military Academy, June 20, 1898 to June 12, 1902, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to Second LIEUTENANT, 8th Cavalry.

Served: At Fort Riley, Kansas, from September 30, 1902 to March 17, 1905; en route to the Philippines, to May 2, 1905; at Camp Wallace, Union, Philippines, from May 5, 1905 to April 14, 1907; sailed with regiment from Manila for the U. S., April 15, 1907; at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, May 20, 1907 to Sep. 12, 1907; at Hermosa, South Dakota, in connection with progressive military map of the U. S., Septgember 13, 1907 to November 23, 1907; at Fort Robinson, NE, to Dec. 9, 1907; at Fort Washakie, Wyoming, December 10, 1907 to April 16, 1909; at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, April 17, 1909, to February 1911; Graduate of School of Application for Cavalry and Field Artillery, class of 1905.

First LIEUTENANT, 8th Cavalry, March 5, 1911, at Batangas, Philippines, March 1911 to July 1912; at Fort William McKinley, Philippines, to March 1913; at Jolo, Philippines, to June 1913; at Camp Stotsenburg, Philippines, to transferred to 15th Cavalry, Feb. 1, 1914.

February 15, 1914; at Fort Bliss, Texas, March 25 to 31, 1914; on leave of absence to May 16, 1914; at Fort Bliss, May 17 to December 1914; at Ysleta, Texas, to March 1915; at Fort Bliss to July 17, 1915; at Fabens, Texas, July 18 to
Transferred to 13th Cavalry, Aug. 15, 1915.

September 1915; at Columbus, New Mexico, to March 1916; (present there when place was raided by Mexican bandits, March 9, 1916); with Punitive Expedition in Mexico, March 15 to Captain of Cavalry, July 1, 1916.

October 9, 1916; on leave of absence, October 15 to December 1, 1916; at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, commanding 26th Recruit Company, G. S. I., December 2, 1916, to Major, Field Artillery, National Army, Aug. 5, 1917.

August 25, 1917; at Camp Sherman, Ohio, Aug. 26, 1917, to May 29, 1918; at Camp Merritt, New Jersey, to June 7; en route to Le Havre, France, via Liverpool. June 8 to 16; Division Ordnance Officer, 83rd Division, at Montigny-le-Roi, Haute Marne, June 20 to July 14; at Le Mans, Sarthe, July 15 to LIEUTENANT Colonel, U. S. A., July 30, 1918.

August 27; Corps Ordnance Officer, Fifth Army Corps, August. 29, 1918, to March 8, 1919 (present with that Corps during St. Mihiel and Argonne­Meuse Operations; received citation in Corps Orders and another from Commander-in-Chief, A. E. F.); in office of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, Hdqrs., S.O.S., March 9 to Colonel, Temporary, of Cavalry, May 6, 1919.

July 23, 1919; en route Le Havre to New York, July 31 to Aug. 9, 1919; at Camp Dix, New Jersey, August 11 to 26, 1919; at Washington, DC, with Military Intelligence Division, General Staff, August 27, 1919, to Awarded Distinguished Service Medal. Colonel, Temporary, of Cavalry, May 6, 1919.

At Washington, DC, with Military Intelligence Division, General Staff, Aug. 21, 1919, to Returned to Grade of Captain, June 30, 1920. Transferred to Quartermaster Corps, July 1, 1920. Major, Quartermaster Corps, July, 1, 1920.

about July 31, 1920; sailed from New York for Antwerp, August 1, 1920; Assistant to Port Commander, U.S. Army, to October 1920; at Coblenz Germany, Chief Transportation Officer, American Forces in Germany, to Feb. 1922; at New York General Intermediate Depot, Water Transportation Branch, to August 1922; at Camp Perry, OH, Quartermaster, National Matches, to October 1922; at Brooklyn, New York, New York Intermediate Depot, Eastern Surplus Property Control Officer, to January 31, 1924; (at Camp Perry, Ohio, Quartermaster, National Matches for 2 months in 1923); at Washington, DC, student officer, Army Industrial College, February 1, 1924 to June 1924, when he was graduated; at Washington, DC, Planning Branch, Office, Assistant Secretary of War, July 1, 1924, (at Camp Perry, Ohio, Quartermaster, National Matches, August 1924), to Lieutenant Colonel, Quartermaster Corps, July 18, 1925.

Auguswt 14, 1927; at Washington, DC, student officer, Army War College, August 15, 1927, to July 3, 1928; (graduated June 30); at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Officer in Charge, Procurement Division, Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot, July 4, 1928, to July 30, 1930; at Washington, DC, Director, Army Industrial College, July 31, 1930, to Colonel Quartermaster Corps., June 1, 1934.

July 5, 1934; at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, comdg. Philadelphia Q.M. Depot, July 7, 1934, to (DSM)—June 30, 1942.

Colonel Retired June 30, 1942, opn law. Brigadier General Retired Aug. 16, 1948.

Civil History:—Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Member of the Society of the Cincinnati of Virginia. Died, May 13, 1960, at Doylestown, age 81.

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