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.
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.