Pvt. James Maxie Bryant
| Pvt. James N.
Bryant was born on September 25, 1920, in Inman,
South Carolina, to William Bryant & Alma
Bridges-Bryant. He was one of the couple's
two sons. His parents divorced while he was
a child. With his mother and brother, he
lived in Beech Springs, South Carolina. He
was known as "Jack" to his family and
friends. His mother would later remarry, and
the family resided at 4404 First Avenue, Columbus,
On February 4, 1941, Jack was inducted into the Army at Augusta, Georgia. He was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic training. After basic training, he was assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion. What job he was qualified to do is not known.
In the late summer of 1941, the 753rd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. Maneuvers were taking place at the fort but the battalion did not take part in them. The 192nd Tank Battalion, which had taken part in maneuvers, was ordered to remain at the camp for further orders. The battalion learned they were being sent overseas. Those men 29 years old or older were given the chance to resign from federal service. Jack replaced a National Guardsmen released from federal service. He was assigned to C Company.
Over different train routes, the battalion was sent to San Francisco. Once there, they were taken by ferry to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. At the fort, they received physicals and inoculated against tropical diseases. Those men with minor health issues were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion in the Philippines.
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
The tanks were ordered to the perimeter of the Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers on December 1st. At all times, two members of each tank crew remained with their tank. The morning of December 8th, 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, parked in a straight line outside the mess hall, and their 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 bombs.
On December 31, 1941, Company was sent out reconnaissance patrols north of the town of Baluiag. The patrols ran into Japanese patrols, which told the Americans that the Japanese were on their way. Knowing that the railroad bridge was the only way into the town and to cross the river, Lt. Gentry set up his defenses in view of the bridge and the rice patty it crossed.
Early on the morning of the 31st, the Japanese began moving troops and across the bridge. The engineers came next and put down planking for tanks. A little before noon Japanese tanks began crossing the bridge.
Later that day, the Japanese had assembled a large number of troops in the rice field on the northern edge of the town. One platoon of tanks under the command of 2nd Lt. Marshall Kennady were to the southeast of the bridge. Gentry's tanks were to the south of the bridge in huts, while third platoon commanded by Capt Harold Collins was to the south on the road leading out of Baluiag. 2nd Lt. Everett Preston had been sent south to find a bridge to cross to attack the Japanese from behind.
Major Morley came riding in his jeep into Baluiag. He stopped in front of a hut and was spotted by the Japanese who had lookouts in the town's church's steeple. The guard became very excited so Morley, not wanting to give away the tanks positions, got into his jeep and drove off. Bill had told him that his tanks would hold their fire until he was safely out of the village.
When Gentry felt the Morley was out of danger, he ordered his tanks to open up on the Japanese tanks at the end of the bridge. The tanks then came smashing through the huts' walls and drove the Japanese in the direction of Lt. Marshall Kennady's tanks. Kennady had been radioed and was waiting.
Kennady's platoon held its fire until the Japanese were in view of his platoon and then joined in the hunt. The Americans chased the tanks up and down the streets of the village, through buildings and under them. By the time Bill's unit was ordered to disengage from the enemy, they had knocked out at least eight enemy tanks.
During the withdraw into the peninsula, the company
was mined and
about to be
The 192nd held
so that the
frog past it
and then cover
192nd was the
unit to enter
About 6:45 in
the morning of
April 9, 1942,
and waited for
When they did,
their way, as
a company, to
referred to as
There is no
Jack was sent
it is most
likely he was
sent to Japan
on the Nissyo
Camp he was
in, arrived on
The POWs from
were taken to
the Port Area
of Manila by
the ship on
In Japan Jack was sent to
Fukuoka #3-B, there he worked at
the Yawata Steel Mills doing manual labor.
The work was to shovel iron ore and rebuild the
ovens. The POWs were sent into the ovens
to clean out the debris. Since the ovens
were hot, because the Japanese would not let
them cool off, the POWs worked faster on this