Boone

 

Pfc. Patrick F. Boone


    Pfc. Patrick F. Boone was born on November 19, 1916, in Kentucky to Frank Boone and Mary Ann Lush-Boone.  With his three sisters and two brothers he lived on the family farm outside of Leitchfield, Kentucky.  Like many others of the time, he left school after completing the eighth grade and went to work on the family farm.
    Patrick was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 22, 1941, in Louisville, Kentucky, and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training.  Upon arrival at the fort, he was assigned to D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  It is not known what specific armor school he attended.
    In the late summer of 1941, the battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, take part in maneuvers.  During the maneuvers, the 192nd was part of the Red Army.  The battalion broke through the Blue Army's defenses and was on its way to capture the headquarters of the Blue Army when the maneuvers were suddenly captured.  The tankers believed it was because General George Patton was commanding officer of the Blue Army.
    After the maneuvers, the tankers expected to return to Ft. Knox. Instead, they received orders to stay at Camp Polk.  None of the men had any idea why they were being kept at the fort.  It was on the side of a hill that the tankers learned they were being sent overseas as part of Operation PLUM.  Although they were never told what PLUM stood for, within hours most knew it stood for Philippines, Luzon, Manila.
    Men 29 years old or older or who were married were given the chance to resign from federal service.  They were replaced by men from the 753rd Tank Battalion. The battalion also received the 753rd's tanks and half-tracks which were loaded onto flat cars. 
    Over four different train routes, the soldiers traveled West to San Francisco, California.  This was done so that civilians in the communities they passed through would not assume the United States was preparing for war.  Once there, they were ferried to Angel Island.
   
On the island the soldiers received inoculations and physicals.  Those found to have minor medical conditions were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.  The battalion traveled west to the Philippine Islands.  There, they were taken to Fort Stotsenburg and housed in tents along the main road.  It was during this time that D Company was attached to the 194th Tank Battalion.
   
The battalion sailed, U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott, from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th, for Hawaii as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived in Hawaii on Sunday, November 2nd, and had a layover.  The soldiers received passes and allowed to explore the islands.  They sailed again on Tuesday, November 4th, for Guam.  When the ships arrived at Guam, they took on bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and water.  The soldiers remained on ship since the convoy was sailing the next day. About 8:00 in the morning on November 20th, the ships arrived at Manila Bay.  After arriving at Manila, it was three or four hours before they disembarked.  Most of the battalion boarded trucks and rode to Ft. Stotsenburg north of Manila.
    At the fort, the tankers were met by General Edward King.  King welcomed them and made sure that they had what they needed.  He also was apologetic that there were no barracks for the tankers and that they had to love in tents.  The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they arrived.
    For the next seventeen days the tankers spent much of their time removing cosmoline from their weapons.  They also spent a large amount of time loading ammunition belts.  The plan was for them, with the 194th Tank Battalion, to take part in maneuvers.  At this time, D Company was suppose to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion, but the transfer was never completed, so the company remained under the command of the 192nd.
    The morning of December 8th, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  During the night, word had been received about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 
    All morning long, the sky was filled with American planes.  At exactly noon the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch. 
To get their lunch three tankers from each tank were allowed to go to the food truck that had been sent to the airfield to feed them.  Most of the soldiers were in line at the truck when they saw planes approaching.  No one was alarmed by this since they did not believe that the Japanese would attack.  It was only when bombs began exploding that they realized they were wrong.
   After the attack, D Compamy was ordered to Mabalac on Delores Road.  They remained there until December 10th.  They were next sent to Klumpit to look for paratroopers.  While there, they guarded a large bridge from saboteurs.   

    On December 13th, the tankers were moved 80 kilometers to do reconnaissance and guard beaches.  They remained there until December 23rd, when they were sent 100 kilometers north to Rosario to assist the 26th U. S. Cavalry because the defensive lines had broken.

   
      Christmas Day, the tankers spent in a coconut grove.  As it turned out, the coconuts were all they had to eat. 
From Christmas to January 15, 1942, both day and night, all the tanks did was cover retreats of different infantry units.  The tanks were constantly bombed, shelled, and strafed.  
    At Gumain River, on January 5th, D Company and C Company of the 194th, were given the job to hold the south riverbank so that the other units could withdraw.  The tank companies formed a defensive line along the bank of the river.  When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easy to see since they were wearing white t-shirts which reflected the moonlight.  The tankers were able to hold up the Japanese.       

    The tankers were next assigned to guarding the Bataan and Cabcaban Airfields.  They also guarded against beach landings and paratroopers.  They would continue this duty until April 7th.  On April 8th, the tankers were sent Trail 10 and Mount Samat.  The lines had broken.  They fought there until receiving the news of the surrender.   

    The morning of April 9th, D Company received the order crash.  They circled their tanks, fired an armor piercing shell into each tank's engine, opened the gasoline cocks inside the tanks, and dropped grenades into the tanks.  Patrick was one of the members who decided that he would try to reach Corregidor.
    The soldiers made their way along the coast and found boat in a cove.  The engine would not start.  Some of the men who were mechanics got hthe motor to work.  After dark, at gun point, they convinced the owner to take them to Corregidor.  As the boat approached Corregidor, the soldiers used a flashlight to signal the island.  They did this a number of times before they received a response that told them how to get through the island's mine field.
    On the island, Patrick received new clothes and the first real meal he had in months.  He was assigned to a beach defense unit. 
    In the early morning of May 6th, the Japanese lunched an all out attack on the island.  It was on that day that Patrick became a Prisoner of War.  The POWs remained on the island for two weeks before the Japanese brought barges in to transport the POWs to Bataan. 
    The barges took the POWs to a point about 100 yards from the shore.  At that point, the POWs jumped into the water and swam to shore.  Once on shore, they were taken to a pier which had been damaged during the Battle of Bataan and filled the holes with pieces of concrete.  After they finished, they were ordered to form detachments of 100 men and ordered to march.
    Having heard from men who had escaped the march out of Bataan what it was like, they feared they would have the same experience.  To their surprise the POWs were not abused on the march and were marched at a reasonable rate.  They marched up Dewey Boulevard in Manila to Bilibid Prison.  The POWs remained at Bilibid until they were transferred to Cabanatuan. 
    At Cabanatuan, the POWs went out on daily work details or worked the camp farm.  The food they grew went to the Japanese.  It is known that he went out on a work detail to Lipa Batangas.  There, the POWs built runways and revetments with picks and shovels.  In early October 1944, he and the other POWs at Lipa were sent to Manila for transport to Japan.
    The POWs were taken to the Port Area of Manila.  When they arrived, the ship they were scheduled to sail on was not ready.  Another ship, the Hokusen Maru, was ready to sail, but its POW detachment had not completely arrived.  The Japanese switched Patrick's detachment with the other detachment.  Patrick was boarded onto the Hokusen Maruon October 1st.  The ship pulled out of port but dropped anchor near a buoy.  It remained there until October 3rd when it sailed as part of a convoy. 

     Sailing along the coast, the ships were attacked by an American submarine.  Two were hit by torpedoes and sunk.  The POWs heard the torpedoes as they passed the ship.  Avoiding submarines, the ship did not reach Hong Kong on October 11th.  Only four ships from the convoy had survived the trip.
    The ship remained at Hong Kong for five days.  During this time American planes bombed the port.  The ship sailed again on October 21st and took three days to reach Takao, Formosa.  It arrived at the port on October 24th.
    The same day it arrived at Takao, the ship the POWs had been scheduled to sail on, the Arisan Maru, was sunk by an American submarine in the Bashi Channel of the South China Sea.  Only nine of the 1803 POWs on the ship survived the sinking.
    The POWs were disembarked on November 8th from the ship and bathed,  They remained on Formosa.  During their time on Formosa, they were held at Inrin Temporary camp which was opened for them, since they were such bad shape, the POWs were not required to do any hard labor.  On January 13, 1945, 564 POWs were boarded onto the
Melbourne Maru.  It arrived at Moji, Japan, on January 14th the ship sailed. It arrived at Moji, Japan, on January 23rd.

    From Moji, Patrick's POW detachment rode a train to
Sendai  #7.  In the camp the POWs worked in a copper mine.   He remained in the camp until the end of the war.  He was liberated in September 1945 and returned to the Philippines.  He received medical treatment and was fatten up.  He returned to Kentucky and married Anna Louise.
    Patrick F. Boone resided the rest of his life on Leitchfield, Kentucky.  He passed away on December 29, 2011, and was buried at Saint Elizabeth's Cemetery in Clarkson, Kentucky.


 

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