Beyer

 

2nd Lt. Daniel Jordan Beyer


    What is known about 2nd Lt. Daniel J. Beyer was born on May 8, 1916, and that he lived 2558 South Wentworth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He was the son of Otto & Hermie Beyer.  He had four sisters and a brother.  As a civilian, he worked as mechanical draftsman.  Beyer went to the Philippine Islands as a member of 194th Tank Battalion.
    Daniel was reassigned and given command of the third tank platoon of B Company. He would later become the administration officer for the battalion.
    The battalion traveled west by train to San Francisco.  Arriving there, they were taken by ferry to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.  At Ft. McDowell, they were given physicals and inoculated.   Those men found to have a minor medical condition were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott and sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th, for Hawaii as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived at Honolulu on Sunday, November 2nd.  The soldiers were given leaves so they could see the island.  On Tuesday, November 4th, the ships sailed for Guam.
   
At one point, the ships passed an island at night.  While they passed the island, they did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  When they arrived at Guam, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables.  The ships sailed the same day for Manila and entered Manila Bay on Thursday, November 20th.  They docked at Pier 7 and the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg. 
  At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward King.  The general apologized that the men had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Airfield.  He made sure that they all received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own.  Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
   
For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons.  The grease was put on the weapons to protect them from rust while at sea.  They also loaded ammunition belts and did tank maintenance.
    The morning of December 8, 1941, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield.  They had received word of the Japanese attack on Clark Airfield.  As they sat in their tanks and half-tracks they watched as American planes filled the sky.  At noon, the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.  At 12:45, the tankers watched as planes approached the airfield from the north.  When bombs began exploding on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.


    In February 1942, B Company tanks were used to attack Japanese troops who were cut off behind Filipino and American lines.  This operation became known as "The Battle of the Pockets."

    For the next four months, Daniel fought to slow the Japanese conquest of the Philippines.  It appears that at some point, Daniel was assigned HQ Company of the 194th Tank Battalion.  The morning of April 8, 1942, he ordered his tank crews to destroy their tanks.  It was on that day that he became a Prisoner of War.

    Daniel took part in death march from Mariveles to San Fernando.  There he and the other POWs were packed into small freight cars.  They rode the cars to Capas where they got off and walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.

    Besides Camp O'Donnell, Daniel was held as a prisoner at Cabanatuan.  He was also sent to Bilibid Prison for processing for shipment to Japan.

    Daniel was boarded onto the Nagato Maru.  The trip to Japan lasted from November 7, 1942 until November 24, 1942.  In Japan, he was first held at Tanagawa.  He was next a POW at Ikuno Camp and then sent to Osaka #2-D at Umeda in March, 1945.  The prisoners in this camp were used as stevedores for the Nippon Tsuun Company.  He remained in this camp until it was destroyed by American bombers.

    Daniel and the other POWs were next sent to Tsuruga 20-B on May 21, 1945.  He was held there until around August 15, 1945, when he was sent to Hirohata #12-B.  It was at this camp that he was liberated.  He was returned to the Philippines for medical treatment before being returned to the United States on the S.S. Simon Bolivar on October 21, 1945, at San Francisco.

    After the war Daniel remained in the military as a United States Air Force officer.  He fought in Korea and obtained the rank of Major.  He retired from the Air Force on March 31, 1968. 

    Daniel J. Beyer retired to Warrenton, Missouri where he died on July 17, 1993.  He is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri in Section L,  Site 848.


 

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