2nd Lt. Albert J. Bartz
| 2nd Lt. Albert J. Bartz was the
son of Albert E. Bartz & Ida
Hawkinson-Bartz. He was born on May 24,
1913, in Albion Township in rural Edgerton,
Wisconsin, and was the fourth of the couple's
seven children. The family later moved to
Janesville and lived at 208
West Dodge Street. It is known he was
married and the father of a son.
Albert joined the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Tank Company from Janesville, Wisconsin, on December 17, 1932, and during the following eight years, he rose in rank from private to first sergeant. On October 30, 1940, just prior to the tank company being called to federal service, he was commissioned a second lieutenant. At some point, he was joined in the company by his brother, Robert.
After training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Albert
took part in maneuvers in Louisiana in late
summer 1941. According to members of the
battalion, they were part of the Red Army and
the Blue Army was under the command of General
George S. Patton. One day, the 192nd broke
through the Blue Army's defenses and was on its
way to capturing it's headquarters when the
maneuvers were suddenly canceled.
Instead of returning to Ft. Knox as expected, the battalion was ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana. On the side of a hill, they were told they were being sent overseas as part of Operation PLUM. Within hours, most had figured out that PLUM stood for Philippines, Luzon, Manila.
Men 29 years old, or older, were allowed to
resign from federal service and replaced with
men for the 753rd Tank Battalion. Those
men who remained were given leaves home to say
their goodbyes to families and friends.
Sometime after arriving in the Philippines,
Albert was assigned to C Company, 192nd Tank
Battalion. He was with this company
when the Japanese bombed Clark Field. The
morning of December 8th, the officers were
called to the battalion's radio room and told of
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
On December 11, 1941, Japanese bombers again
appeared over Clark Field. C Company tanks
were stationed along the southern perimeter of
the airfield. The bombers began pattern
bombing along the southern perimeter.
Albert told the corporal with him to get into
the tank. Since Albert believed he would
never make it in himself, he ran for cover in a
trench. As he ran, a bomb exploded in
front of him. Shrapnel from the bomb hit
him in the shoulder breaking his
collarbone. Other shrapnel hit him and
caused other wounds including one to the
On New Year's Eve 1941, Albert sailed for Australia. As it turned out, the ship he was on was the last ship to leave the Philippines. During the voyage the ship's crew had to fight a fire in the engine room, and next the ship had to sail through a storm. In Australia, he was taken to the 113th Australian General Hospital in Sidney. He spent six months in the hospital and was reassigned to another unit and were he continued to fight in the South Pacific. During this time, he was wounded a second time. In August 1944, Albert returned to Janesville.
For the remainder of the war, Albert was assigned to military supply movement as a Military Distribution Planning Officer on the West Coast in San Francisco. He rose in rank to captain and was discharged from the army on January 15, 1946.
Albert J. Bartz married Jeanette Worthington on September 5, 1947. He went to work for General Motors plant in Janesville and retired in 1970. He died on March 30, 1973, in Janesville and was buried at Fassett Cemetery in Edgerton, Wisconsin.