Sgt. David H. Duff
| Sgt. David Duff
was born on December 3, 1919, in Franklin County,
Ohio, to David & Edith Duff. With his
two sisters and brother, he lived at 672
Livingston Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. He left
school after his third year of high school and
went to work as a machinist.
David was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 22, 1941, at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio. He was sent to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for basic training and was assigned to C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. During his time with the company he was promoted from private, to private first class, and corporal.
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, which the 192nd was part of, broke through the lines of the Blue Army. As they approached the headquarters of the Blue Army, which was under the command of General George Patton, the maneuvers were suddenly canceled. The 192nd was ordered to remain behind at Camp Polk instead of returning to Ft. Knox. None of the members had any idea why this order was given.
On the side of a hill at Camp Polk, the tankers learned 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 29 years old or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service. Replacements for the men came from the 753rd Tank Battalion which had been sent to Camp Polk from Ft. Benning, Georgia. The 192nd also received the battalion's tanks and half-tracks.
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
ships took on
same day for
and docked at
was the date
were taken by
bus to Ft.
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