Pfc. Robert R. Hubbard
Pfc. Robert R. Hubbard was
the son of Mr. & Mrs. George Lindsey and born
on February 20, 1919, grew up in Evansville,
Wisconsin. When he was a child, his mother
put him and his brother and sisters up for
adoption. He was the adopted by Ray
& Harriet Hubbard and resided at 3035
South Madison Street in Evansville.
Robert attended grade school and high school in Evansville. After graduating from Evansville High School in 1937, he was a foundry worker for the Baker Manufacturing Company in Evansville.
In 1939, Robert joined the Wisconsin National
Guard's 32nd Division Tank Company in
Janesville, Wisconsin. He was called to
federal service when the tank company was sent
to Fort Knox, Kentucky, on November 27,
1940. At Ft. Knox, the company was now A
Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. In January
1941, he was transferred to Headquarters Company
when it was formed in January 1941.
After nearly a year of training, Robert took
part in maneuvers in Louisiana. After the
maneuvers, the battalion was gathered on the
side of a hill at Camp Polk, Louisiana.
Expecting to hear that their time in federal
service was over, they were shocked to learn
that they were being sent overseas. Most
of the men were given furloughs home to say
goodbye to friends and families.
sent to the
Barrio of Dau
so it would be
close to a
ordered to the
to relieve the
the tanks of
the 194th were
hold the main
Route 5 to
chief of staff
tanks often were the
last units to disengage
from the enemy and form
a new defensive line as
Americans and Filipino
forces withdrew toward
Bataan. The night
of January 7th, the A
Company was awaiting
orders to cross the last
bridge into Bataan over
the Culis Creek.
The engineers were ready
to blow up the bridge,
but the battalion's
commanding officer, Lt.
Col. Ted Wickord,
ordered the engineers to
wait until he had looked
to see if they were
anywhere in sight.
He found the company,
asleep in their tanks,
because they had not
received the order to
withdraw across the
bridge. After they
had crossed, the bridge
Robert's parents received two letters from him before and after he became a prisoner. The first was written before the surrender of Bataan in January 1942, but it was received in March 1942. The second was written March 1942 and received in August of that year.
Because of the poor diet, Robert broke out with
sores on his hands and arms. It is
believed that this was caused by the poor
diet. It is not known if he was
hospitalized because of the condition.
After four months of fighting, Robert became a
Prisoner of War when Bataan was surrendered to
the Japanese. The evening of April 8, 1942, Capt.
his men the
news of the
surrender. While informing the members
of the company
waved his arm
tanks and told
the men that
they would no
he spoke, his
He turned away
from the men
for a moment,
and when he
turned back he
He next told
should do to
that they all
He told the
that could be
used by the
The only thing
they were told
not to destroy
The men waited
juice for what
he called, "Their last supper."
From Pusan, the POWs made a two day train trip to Hoten Camp, Mukden, Manchuria. The sub-camp he was assigned to was known as Shenyang. The POWs in this camp worked in either a sawmill or tool shop. He was POW #353.
It was while he was a POW
there that Robert had an acute attack of
dysentery. Since the medics had no
medicine and the POWs were inadequately fed,
there was very little that could be done for
him. He was put into the Mukden Prisoner
of War Hospital.
Pfc. Robert Hubbard died on Sunday, January 3, 1943, of dysentery and pellagra at Hoten Camp, Mukden, Manchuria. He was 23 years old. Since he died during the winter and the ground was frozen solid, his body was stored in a building until the ground thawed in the spring. He was finally buried in Plot 16, Group 2. His parents received word of his death in May 1943.
After the war in November 1949, Robert's remains be returned to Evansville. The photo below was taken at his grave at Maple Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Wisconsin.