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Edgar Slaughter Gable Papers

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H60-003

Content Description

This collection includes materials related to Lt. Edgar S. Gable and his service in the Army during World War II. The main item is a diary he kept while he was a prisoner of the Japanese at Cabanatuan, Philippines, from 1942-1944. The diary was written in secret and buried near the camp. Gable shared its location with two other Americans; only one of the three survived, and after the war, Benjamin Stakes returned to Cabanatuan and retrieved it. He then turned it over to Gable's widow, Marian. The collection also contains notes slipped to his aunt, Gladys Slaughter Savary, who happened to be living in Manila during his imprisonment; letters and postcards sent to his wife; and photos of Gable and the prison camps. Edgar Slaughter Gable (1905-1945) was born and raised in Wagner, South Dakota. He attended the University of South Dakota at Vermillion from 1925 to 1930. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was in the Philippines working as the purchasing agent for Nielson and Co., an American mining firm. With the outbreak of hostilities, Gable enlisted and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Quartermaster Corps and assigned to the Philippine Motor Transport Unit. He was taken prisoner on May 6, 1942, on the island of Corregidor. About two weeks later he as taken to Bilibid Prison in Manila and the following week was transferred to Cabanatuan, a prisoner of war camp located ninety miles away. He left Cabanatuan on October 16, 1944, and after a steamer trip on a Japanese freighter, arrived in Takao, Formosa, on January 1, 1945. The steamship was bombarded by American airplanes on January 9, 1945; approximately 300 Americans were killed in this raid, among them Lt. Gable. He was buried with the other casualties at Takao, Formosa on January 12, 1945. The diary was edited by Robert R. Miller for publication in the "South Dakota Historical Collections," Vol. XXX (1960), pp. 318-348.

Acquisition Type

Gift

Provenance

Diary retrieved from Cabanatuan by Benjamin Stakes; turned over to widow Marian Harrell who shared them with Robert Ryal Miller at Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later New Mexico State University. In 1959, Miller informed SDSHS Secretary Will Robinson of the diary's existence to coordinate publication; in editing the work, Miller collected related research and photographs. In 1960, the widow Harrell authorized Miller to give the diary and accompanying materials to the SDSHS.

Restrictions Apply

No

Dates

  • 1941 - 1946

Creator

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

200 Megabytes

Inventory

//1-34 Edgar S. Gable’s diary, August 22. 1942 to August 15, 1944, kept while a prisoner-of-war at the Japanese prison Cabanatuan Prison in the Philippine Islands; holograph, 34 p., 21 cm. //35 Note, Gable to Gladys Savary (his aunt), who lived in Manila during the war; holograph, 1 p., 6 cm. //36 Note, Gable’s Wagner, South Dakota bank address on a scrap of paper; handwritten,6 cm. //37 Note, Gable to Gladys Savary, April 11, 1942; holograph, 1 p., 7cm. //38 ALS, Gable to Savary, August 27, /; 1 p., 15 cm. //39 ALS, Gable to Savary, January 3, 1943; holograph, 1 p, 21 cm. //40 ALS, Gable to Savary, March 3, 1943, holograph,1 p., 13 cm. //41 ALS, Gable to Savary, August 21, 1942; holograph 1 p, 20 cm. //42 ALS, Gable to Savary, February 20, 1943; holograph, first of 2 pages, 13 cm. //43 ALS, Gable to Savary, February 20, 1943; holograph, second of 2 pages 13 cm. //44 Newspaper clipping, “Prisoner’s Will Be Buried Jap Camp Before Death Admitted Here,” Hollywood Citizen, February 14, 1946. //45 Newspaper clipping, “Court Accepts Vet’s Will made in Jap Prison” n.p. n.d. //46 Postcard, July 22, 1944, Gable to Mrs. Edgar S. Gable, Pasadena, California; typescript, signed, official Japanese card for prisoners-of war. //47 Postcard, n.d., Gable to Mrs Edgar S. Gable, Pasadena California; typescript signed, official Japanese p.o.w. card. //48 Postcard, n.d. Gable to Mrs. Edgar S. Gable Pasadena, California; typescript, signed, official Japanese p.o.w. card. //49 Postcard, n.d., Gable to Mrs. Edgar S. Gable, Pasadena, California; typescript, signed, official Japanese p.o.w. card. //50 Photograph, Edgar S. Gable; 11x 6 cm. //51 Photograph, Gable and unidentified man; 18x 13 cm. //52 ALS, September 12, 1943, Gable to his wife, Marian; photocopy of holograph, 3 p., 21 cm. //53 Photograph, one page of Gable’s diary; 25 x 20 cm. //54 Photograph, Edgar S. Gable, 25 x 19 cm. //55 Photograph, Cabanatuan Prison Camp; 20 x 26 cm. //56 Photograph, rescue of prisoners from Cabanatuan Prison Camp; 20 x 26 cm. //57 Magazine photographs, officials of Nielson & Co. 1941. //58 Magazine photographs, Americans captured at Corregidor.