Tec 4 John Kovach Jr.

     Tec 4 John Kovach Jr. was born on October 7. 1922, in Gypsum, Ohio, to John Kovach Sr. and Margaret Kovach.  When he was a child, his parents separated and his three sisters and him lived with their mother in Church Hill, Tennessee.  The family would later live at Step 99 Portage Township, Ottawa County, Ohio.  John worked as a laborer with the Civilian Conservation Corps.
    John enlisted in the Ohio National Guard's Tank Company that was headquartered in Port Clinton.  In September 1940, the tank company was federalized and designated C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. 

Parents: John Kovach Sr., & Margaret Kovach

    - parents separated - mother lived in Church Hill, Tennessee

Siblings:  3 sisters

Home: Step 99 - Portage Township, Ottawa County, Ohio

Occupation: Laborer - Civilian Conservation Corps

Enlisted: Ohio National Guard


    - U. S. Army

        - 25 November 1940 - Port Clinton, Ohio


    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty: 

    - Philippine Islands:
        - Sailed: San Francisco, California - Monday - 27 October 1941
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - soldiers given shore leave
        - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
        - Arrived: Guam - unknown
        - Sailed: next day
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Thursday - 20 November 1941
            - taken by bus to Ft. Stostenburg

        - Ft. Stotsenburg
            - lived in tents along main road between fort and Clark Airfield


    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942 

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
            - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                - 100 POWs packed into each car
                - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
            - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell

POW Camps: 

    - Philippine Islands: 

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino training base
            - Japanese put camp into use as POW Camp
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
            - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate

        - Cabanatuan
            - hospitalized - Wednesday, 23 September 1942 - dysentery & malaria


    - Thursday - 19 November 1942 - dysentery
        - parents received word of his death  - 23 July1943


    - Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery


    - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands


    - Tablets of the Missing - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands

Note: Of the sixteen POWs John Kovach was buried with at Cabanatuan, only the

            remains of two could be positively identified after the war.   T/4 John Kovach's

            remains lie in a mass grave, at the American Military Cemetery, with the

            remains of the thirteen other POWs who could not be identified. 

Update:  In August 2014, the Army exhumed the remains of the men in the grave for

                DNA testing.  On April 7, 2017, the remains of T/4 John Kovach Jr. were positively identified
                through the use of DNA.



Return to C Company