Hullihan

Tec 4 William Patrick Hullihan


     T/4 William Patrick Hullihan was born on April 2, 1916, to John A. Hullihan and Mary A. Gately-Hullihan in Cicero, Illinois.  He was one of eight children born to the couple.  

     William was raised at 603 South 8th Avenue in Maywood, Illinois, and attended St. James Catholic School and Proviso Township High School.  He graduated from Proviso Township High School as a member of the Class of 1934.  After high school, he attended the University of Illinois, for one year, before being employed in the family's reclamation business in Cicero.

     In 1940, William, or "Bill" as he was known by his friends, joined the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Tank Company in Maywood just before it was called to federal duty.  He was inducted into federal service in November of 1940 and went through training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  In January, 1941,  he was reassigned to the Headquarters Company of the 192nd Tank Battalion.  

    In the late summer of 1941, Bill took part in the Louisiana maneuvers of 1941.  After the maneuvers, the battalion was ordered to remain behind at Camp Polk.  It was on a side of a hill that the soldiers learned that they were being sent overseas.   Those men who were 29 years old or older were allowed to resign from federal service.  The battalion also received the tanks and half-tracks of the 753rd Tank Battalion.
    The battalion traveled west by train to San Francisco.  Arriving there, they were taken by ferry to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.  At Ft. McDowell, they were given physicals and inoculated.   Those men found to have a minor medical condition were held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
    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 Tuesday, November 4th, 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.  The ships sailed the same day for Manila and entered Manila Bay on Thursday, November 20th.  They docked at Pier 7 and the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg. 
    At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward King.  The general apologized that the men 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.  Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
   
For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons.  The grease was put on the weapons to protect them from rust while at sea.  They also loaded ammunition belts and did tank maintenance.

     Bill lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Field and fought the Japanese after they invaded the Philippines.  During the Battle for the Philippines, his parents heard from him once in a telegram at Christmas time and once in a letter that they received on April 3, 1942.  It said he was "doing well" and was dated January 16th.

    When the Filipino and American Forces on Bataan were surrendered to the Japanese, Bill became a Prisoner of War.  He took part in the death march experiencing and witnessing the brutality shown to the prisoners by their Japanese captives.  He was finally interred as a POW at Camp O'Donnell. 
    To lower the death rate among POWs, the Japanese opened a new camp at Cabanatuan.  Bill was considered too ill to be transferred to the camp and remained behind at Camp O'Donnell.

    Tec 4 William P. Hullihan died of dysentery and malaria on June 25, 1942, at the age of 26.  After his death, he was buried in Section O, Row 3, Grave 7. 

    After the war, the family of Tec 4 William P. Hullihan requested that his remains be returned to Illinois.  He was reburied at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, on October 19, 1948.  He was posthumously awarded the good conduct medal and the Purple Heart.


 

 

 


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