Tec 5. Harold Philip Keegan
T/5 Harold P. Keegan was the
son of Raymond F. Keegan & Mary Ellen
Conway-Keegan. He was born March 22, 1922,
in Hanover, Wisconsin, and was the second of the
couple's three sons. He also had a younger
sister. Harold also lived in Plymouth,
Wisconsin, and attended grade school in
Hanover. He graduated from St. Mary's School
in Janesville and later live at 31 South Main
Street in Janesville. He was a member of the
graduating Class of 1940 from Janesville High
After graduation, he and his siblings were living with an aunt at 312 East Clark Street in Janesville. To earn money, he joined the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Battalion Tank Company in Janesville. His reason for doing this is that he knew that it was only a matter of time before he was drafted into the regular army. Like many young men of his day, he wanted to fulfill his military obligation and get on with his life.
In November of 1940, Harold's tank company was called to federal service as a Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion. In January, 1941, Harold was transferred to Headquarters Company as a maintenance clerk when it was formed from members of the letter companies of the 192nd.
After training at Ft. Knox, Harold went with the
battalion on maneuvers in Louisiana. Upon
completion of the maneuvers, Harold and the rest
of the battalion learned they were not being
released from federal service but being sent
overseas for additional training.
On December 8, 1941, Harold survived the Japanese attack on Clark Field. Over the next four months the only word that his parents received was a letter dated January 16, 1942. In it he stated that except for one really heavy air raid things were not that bad. On April 9, 1942, after four months of constant bombing and strafing, Harold and the other defenders of Bataan were surrendered to the Japanese .
Harold with his battalion started the Death March at Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan. He made his way north to San Fernando. There, the POWs were put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane. Each car could hold forty men or eight horses. The Japanese put 100 men into each car. Those POWs who died remained standing until the living left the boxcars at Capas. They then walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell.
Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino Army Training Base. There was only one water spigot for the entire camp. As many as 50 POWs died each day. The living worked day and night to bury the dead.
When work details were formed, Harold
volunteered to to go out one. Like many
other prisoners, Harold realized that staying in
the camp could result in his death. While
working on a detail to rebuild runways at Clark
Field, Harold became ill with dysentery.
He was returned to Camp O'Donnell. It was
there that Harold died at the age of twenty on
Friday, June 5, 1942, and was buried in the camp
cemetery in Section: M, Row: 5, Grave 2.
After the war, at the request of his family, Harold's remains were returned to Janesville, Wisconsin. He was reburied at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery on February 7, 1949.