Pvt. Ralph Leroy Boyle
| Pvt. Ralph L.
Boyle was born on December 23, 1919, Fairmont,
West Virginia, to Ralph P. Boyle & Helen M.
Dennis-Boyle. With his four sisters and two
brothers, he was raised at Rear, 526 Depot Street
in Niles, Ohio. He attended high school for
two years and later worked as a laborer in the
Civilian Conservation Corps.
Ralph was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 5, 1941, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training and assigned to C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. He attended armor school and qualified as a tank mechanic.
In the late summer of 1941, the 192nd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, to take part in maneuvers.
During the maneuvers, the Red Army broke through the lines of the Blue Army and on its way to capture the headquarters of the army when the maneuvers were suddenly canceled. Many of the members of the battalion believed it was because the Blue Army was commanded by General George Patton.
The tankers expected to receive orders to return to Ft. Knox, instead they were ordered to remain behind at Camp Polk. None of the men had any idea why this had been done.
It was on the side of a hill that the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas as part of operation "PLUM." Within hours many men had figured out that PLUM stood for Philippines, Luzon, Manila. Those men who were 29 years old or older were given six hours to resign from federal service. Those men who did were replaced by men from the 753rd Tank Battalion.
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.A.T.
Hugh L. Scott
for Hawaii as
part of a
at Honolulu on
2nd. The soldiers were given leaves so they could see the
one point, the
an island at
did so in
This for many
soldiers was a
sign that they
ships took on
same day for
and docked at
was the date
were taken by
bus to Ft.
The tanks were ordered to the perimeter of the Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers. That morning of December 8, 1941, the tankers were informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When they looked up that morning, the sky was filled with American planes. At noon, the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.
in the afternoon, the tankers noticed planes
approaching the airfield. When bombs began
exploding around them, they knew the planes were
Japanese. Besides their .50 caliber
machine guns, they had few weapons to use
against the planes. Most took cover and
waited out the attack. After it ended,
they saw the destruction done by the tanks.
have been a
that the camp
Unit 731 and
it is rumored
were done on
was buried at