Greenfield

 


Pvt. Eugene Charles Greenfield


    Pvt. Eugene C. Greenfield was born in July 21, 1918, in Alliance, Ohio, to Howard E. Greenfield and Grace Lavinia-Greenfield and lived in East Liverpool, Ohio.  It is known he had one sister and that his family later resided in Bayard, Ohio.  He also graduated from Ohio State University in 1940.
    Eugene was inducted into the U. S. Army on March 22, 1941, and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky for basic training.  There, he attended radio school and graduated as a radioman.
    After basic training, he was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, where he became a  member of the 753rd Tank Battalion.  The battalion had been sent to the base from Ft. Benning, Georgia.  At Camp Polk, the 753rd continued their training, but they did not take part in the Louisiana maneuvers of 1941.

   

    After the maneuvers the 192nd Tank Battalion received orders that they were being sent overseas.  Being that the battalion was primarily made up of National Guardsmen from four Midwestern states, those men 29 years old or older were given the chance to resign from federal service.  This created vacancies in the battalion that needed to be filled.

    It was at this time that Eugene joined the 192nd, with his friend, Olen Gilson, and was assigned to A Company.  He also became a member of the tank crew of 2nd Lt. William Reed.  Reed, himself, was also a transfer from the 753rd.

    Eugene with his new company traveled west by train to San Francisco.  He and the other men were ferried to Angel Island where they received physicals and shots.  Those members of the battalion with minor medical conditions were held back on the island.

    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott and sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th, for Hawaii as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived at Honolulu on Sunday, November 2nd.  The soldiers were given leaves so they could see the island.  On November 5th, the ships sailed for Guam.  At one point, the ships passed an island at night.  While they passed the island, they did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  When they arrived at Guam, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables.  It sailed the same day for Manila.  The ship entered Manila Bay on Thursday, November 20th.  It docked at Pier 7 and the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.
    At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward King, who apologized that they had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Airfield.  He made sure that they all received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own.

    On December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  From this time on, two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times.

    The morning of December 8, 1941, Capt. Walter Write gathered his company and told them the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor ten hours earlier.  He then ordered his men to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers.

    The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the 192nd was told of the attack on Pearl Harbor and returned to the perimeter of Clark Field.    At 8:30, the American planes took off and filled the sky.  They landed at noon and lined up, in a straight line, near the mess hall.  The pilots went to lunch.
    The tankers were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes was spotted approaching the airfield from the north about 12:45.  The tankers believed the planes were American. As they watched, raindrops fell from the planes.  When bombs exploded on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.    
    After the attack, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau, on December 12th, so it would guard a highway and railroad from sabotage.   From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd just south of the Agno River.  There, the tanks, with A Company, 194th held the position.

    On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta.  It was there, that the tankers lost the company commander, Capt. Walter Write.  After he was buried, the tankers made an end run to get south of Agno River.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening. They successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
    On December 25th, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The tanks held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.
    A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an area east of Pampanga.
  Eugene was in his half-track when it came under enemy fire.  One of the enemy rounds hit the the half-track knocking it out.  After the round hit the half-track, Lt. William Reed escaped the it.  He was working to free the rest of his crew from the cab when a second round hit the half-track below his legs.  This round mortally wounded Lt. Reed.  Eugene and the other members of his tank crew moved Lt. Reed from the half-track and laid him under a bridge.  Lt. Reed would not allow himself to be evacuated since their were other wounded soldiers.  He insisted that these men be taken first.  

    Pvt. Jack Bruce, another member of Eugene's half-track crew went for help, but when he did not return.  Eugene also went for help in an attempt to save Lt. Reed's life.  By the time he reached help, the area where Lt. Reed was had been waiting for help had been overrun by the Japanese.  The fourth member of the tank crew, Pvt. Ray Underwood, held Reed in his arms until Lt. Reed died of his wounds.

    As tanks became scarce, the tank crews from the different companies shared tank duties.  At one point, Eugene fought as a member of a B Company tank crew. 
    One of the few pieces of information received from Eugene was in a letter to Miss Vera Capper of East Liverpool.  The letter was written on March 5, 1942, but was not received until August 1942.  In the letter he asked her to say he was in good health.  He also told his family and friends not to worry about him.

    On April 9, 1942, Eugene became a POW when Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese.  Eugene took part in the death march and was held as a Prisoner of War at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan.  It appears he went out on a work detail, but the specific detail is not known.
    At some point, while on the detail, Eugene became ill and was sent to Bilibid Prison and hospitalized for pleurisy.  The medical records show he was transferred to Cabanatuan on May 17, 1943.

    Later in 1943, Eugene was selected for transfer to Japan.  He was boarded onto the Taga Maru, which was also known as the Coral Maru. and taken to Japan.  The ship sailed on September 19, 1943, and arrived at Takao, Formosa, on September 23rd.  When it sailed is not known, but it arrived at Moji, Japan, on October 8th.  
    Upon arriving in Japan, Eugene was sent to Hirohata.  The POWs in this camp worked at the Seitetsu Steel Mill.  He and the other prisoners unloaded cargo and ore from ships, worked in the mills machine shops, worked the blast furnaces and cleaned the slag from them.

    While Eugene was at this camp, he developed beriberi.  According to U. S. Army records, Pvt. Eugene C. Greenfield died from starvation and beriberi on Friday, April 7, 1944, at Hirohata 12-B.

    After the war, at his parents' request, the remains of Pvt. Eugene C. Greenfield were returned to the Philippine Islands.  He was buried at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila.


 

 

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