Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr.
| Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr. was
the son of Mr. & Mrs. John G. Kolesar
Sr. With his three sisters and two brothers,
he grew up at 315 Hurd Street in Port Clinton,
Ohio. He was born on September 9, 1918, and
was a graduate of Port Clinton High School.
While he was a child,
during the 1920s, his mother passed
Like many young men of his age, John knew that it was just a matter of time before he was drafted. During August 1940, to fulfill his military obligation, John joined the Ohio National Guard's H Tank Company headquartered the armory in Port Clinton.
On November 25, 1940, the tank company was called to federal service as C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. For the next ten months, John trained with the tank company at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In January, 1941, John was assigned to Headquarters Company when it was formed. During this time, he rose in rank from private to sergeant.
John next took part in maneuvers in Louisiana. After the maneuvers, the 192nd Tank Battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. There, the tankers received orders to remain behind at the fort without having any idea why.
On the side of a hill, the battalion
members learned they were being sent
overseas. Those men 29 years
old or older were released from
federal service. Many men
received leaves home to say their
goodbyes to families and friends.
On December 8, 1941, John lived through the
Japanese attack on Clark Field. He spent
the next four months making sure that the tanks
of the battalion received supplies.
He was reported wounded at one point during the
When Bataan was surrendered on April 9, 1942, John became a Prisoner Of War. He took part in the death march and was held at a prisoner at Camp O'Donnell. When Cabanatuan opened, John was left behind at Camp O'Donnell because he was considered too ill to be moved to the new camp.
On Monday, June 8, 1942, Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr. died of malaria and dysentery at Camp O'Donnell. He was 24 years old. He was buried at the Camp O'Donnell Cemetery. After the war, his remains were reburied at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.