Bartz A


2nd Lt. Albert J. Bartz

   2nd Lt. Albert J. Bartz was the son of Albert E. Bartz & Ida Hawkinson-Bartz and born on May 24, 1913, in Albion Township in rural Edgerton, Wisconsin.  He was the fourth of the couple's seven children.  The family later moved to Janesville and lived at 208 Dodge.  

    Albert joined the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Tank Company from Janesville, Wisconsin on December 17, 1932.  Over 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.  He was later 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.  It was after these maneuvers that the members of the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas. 
    The battalion traveled west, from Camp Polk, to San Francisco over different train routes.  Once there, the soldiers were ferried to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.  They were given physicals by the battalion's medical staff and those men who failed were replaced or designated to be sent to the Philippines, at a later date, and rejoin the battalion.
    The soldiers boarded the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott which sailed on Monday, October 27th and arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd at 8:00, and the soldiers received shore leave.  The ship sailed on Tuesday, November 4th for Guam.  Arriving there, the ship took on water, bananas, vegetables, and coconuts.
    Sailing, the ship arrived in Manila Bay the morning of November 20, 1941, at 8:00.  The soldiers disembarked the ship about three hours after it docked.  Most took buses to a train station and rode a train to Ft. Stotsenburg.
    At Ft. Stotsenburg, the soldiers were greeted by Gen. Edward King who apologized that they had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Field.  He remained with the battalion until every member had had Thanksgiving dinner.  Afterwards, he went to have his own.

    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.  After the attack, Albert's tank platoon was sent out to locate Japanese paratroopers.  While performing this duty, a Japanese pilot who had been captured by Filipino civilians were turned over to him.  Upon completion of this duty his platoon returned to Clark Field.
    On December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  From this time on, two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times.
    The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the tankers were told of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  They went to their positions around the airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  At 8:30 that morning,  American planes took off and filled the sky.  They landed at noon and their pilots lined up, in a straight line, near their mess hall.    
    The tankers were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes was spotted approaching the airfield from the north.  The tankers believed the planes were American. As they watched, what were described as "raindrops" fell from the planes.  When bombs exploded on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.  The battalion remained at Clark Field and lived through several additional attacks.

    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 of the airfield.  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 abdomen.
    Seeing what had happened to Albert, the corporal climbed out of the tank's turret and dragged Albert to safety.  He then proceeded to bandage Albert's wounds.  Albert was sent  to a hospital on a freight car, with the other wounded, and recovered from the wound.  He then returned to duty.  His injury was bad enough that he was sent to a field hospital in Manila.  When a truce was arranged with the Japanese to allow a ship carrying wounded to leave the Philippines for Australia, Albert was selected for evacuation.     

    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.  He spent six months in the hospital in Australia then was reassigned to another unit and continued to fight in the South Pacific.  During this time, he was wounded a second time.  In August of 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 of the United States.  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.


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