Linse

 

Pvt. Wilbur E. Linse


Born: 17 February 1918 - Buffalo County, Wisconsin

Parents: Etta Goeldner-Linse & Alvin A. Linse

Siblings: 3 brothers, 2 sisters

Home: Lanson Valley Road - Modena Township, Buffalo County, Wisconsin

Occupation: farmer

Inducted: 

    - U. S. Army 

        - 18 April 1941 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

        - tank mechanic 

        - at some point he trained as a medic 

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty:

    - U.S.A.T Hugh L. Scott
        - Boarded: San Francisco - Monday -  27 October 1941
        - Sailed: same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - soldiers were given shore leave to see the sights
        - Sailed: Tuesday - Wednesday - 5 November 1941
        - Arrived: Guam - Sunday - 16 November 1941
            - ships took on bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and water
        - Sailed: Monday - 17 November 1942
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Thursday - 20 November 1941

            - soldiers bused to Ft. Stotsenburg
            - maintenance section remained at pier to unload tanks

Stationed:
        - Ft. Stotsenburg
            - General Edward King met the soldiers when they arrived
           
    - apologized to soldiers about living conditions
                - lived in tents along main road between fort and Clark Airfield

                - made sure they all had Thanksgiving Dinner before he had his dinner 
Engagements:

    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 8 December 1941
                - lived through attack on Clark Field
                - took cover since the medical detachment had no weapons to fight planes
            - 13 December 1941
                - inspecting aid stations
                    - drove jeep across Clark Field when Japanese planes attacked
                    - others in jeep: Capt. Alvin Powleit, Pvt. Robert Ryan, Pvt. Earl Weaver
                    - stopped jeep and it would not stop
                    - took cover during attack
            - 14 December 1941
                - medical detachment left Clark Field
                - set up aid station in a dried river bed
            - 21 December 1941
                - medical detachment moved north toward Lingayen Gulf with rest of battalion
            - 23 December 1941
                - detachment at Sison being shelled
                    - withdrew with battalion down Route 3
                    - the detachment bivouac-ed
                    - heard tanks
                        - the tanks were Japanese
                        - packed up and went south through Urdaneta
                        - crossed over Agno River bridge and passed through Carmen
            - 25 December 1941
                - set up aid station south of Rosales
                - medics checked letter companies
                - bivouac bombed and strafed
            - 27 December 1941
                - located at Santo Tomas
                    - detachment slept in churchyard
            - 28 December 1941
                - General MacArthur ordered medics not to carry guns
                - kept their guns
            - 28/29 December 1941
                - located near San Isidro
                    - area shelled for three hours
                    - one tank crew injured when a shell caused it to turn over
                    - medics noted that tank crews were in poor condition from lack of sleep and food
            - 30 December 1941
                - detachment did not receive order to pull out
                - ordered out by Capt. John Morley
                    - drover trucks through Gapan
                        - barrio was occupied by Japanese
                        - went through so fast Japanese could not stop them
            - 1 January 1942
                - detachment bivouac-ed north of Luog
            - 2 January 1942
                - treated S/Sgt. Joseph Wierzchon, C Company, who had been wounded by mortar fire
                - Pfc. Frank Byars while delivering a message killed by Filipino who mistook him as a
                  German
            - 4 January 1942
                - medical detachment at Culis
                - treated wounded of the 194th Tank Battalion
                    - 2nd Lt Weeden Petree shot in abdomen
                -  tank shot down Zero which was strafing
            - 6 January 1942
                - shelling destroyed 194th Medical Detachment truck
                - shared what they had with 194th
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
            - 7 January 1942
                - Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gen. James Weaver visit tankers
                    - MacArthur asked why the men were not in the hospital
                    - Dr. Alvin Poweleit replied, "Who would man the tanks?"
                - later in day Japanese bombed and strafed area
             - 10 January 1942
                - A and B Companies, and companies of 194th assigned beach duty
                    - from Abucay to Lamao
            - 18 January 1942
                - moved back to Pilar and Balanga which were burning when they went through
                - tanks inflicted heavy damage to Japanese infantry
             - 19 January 1942
                - dropped back to Orion
                - caught wild pig, roasted it
                - food truck arrived and medics ate first American food in two days
            - 20 January 1942
                - bivouac at 147 kilometer marker (from Manila)
                - Japanese attempted landing
            - 29 January 1942
                - ordered to West Coast of Bataan
                - start of Battle of the Points
            - 31 January 1942
                - Quinauan Point cleared
                    - a Japanese diary said the Japanese were more afraid of being hit by a grenade then of it
                      exploding
            - 3/8 February 1942
                - Battle of the Pockets
                    - several tanks disabled
                    - attempted to recover them
                    - several members of battalion wounded or killed
            - 9 February 1942
                - medical detachment at 218 Kilometer on West Road
                    - medics report tank crews in bad shape
            - 11 February 1942
                - moved to kilometer 205, West Road
                - bombed and shelled
             - March 1942
                - treated tank crews for various sicknesses
            - 3 April 1942
                - Japanese lunched major offensive
            - 8 April 1942
                - ammunition dumps destroyed
            - 9 April 1942
                - 7:00 A.M. - Bataan surrendered

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

            - "healthy" POWs sent to camp 

            - assigned to Barracks 7, Group 2

                - many of the medical staff assigned to barracks

            - 17 August 1944 - sent to Bilibid

    - Japan: 

        - Unknown Camp

        - Sendai #10

            - Work: Mining

Hell Ship:

- Noto Maru

        - Sailed: Manila - 27 August 1944 

        - Arrived: Takao & Keelung, Formosa

        - Sailed: Keelung, Unknown

        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - 4 September 1944

Liberated: 

    - September 1945
        - returned to the Philippine Islands

Promoted: Corporal
Transport:
    - U.S.S. General R. L. Howze
        - Sailed: Manila - 23 September 1945
        - Arrived: San Francisco - 16 October 1945 - 3:00 A.M.

            - someone spotted lights of San Francisco

            - the former POWs lined the rails as a tug helped the ship to the pier

            - men openly cried as a band played "San Francisco"
            - former POWs taken to Letterman General Hospital

Discharged: 28 April 1946
Reenlisted:  not known
Discharged: 1951
Residence: lived in California and Arizona
Never Married
Hospitalized: throat infection

Died: 9 January 1957 - Phoenix, Arizona

Buried:
    -15 January 1957

        - Saint Paul Lutheran Cemetery - Modena, Wisconsin


 

Return to Medical Detachment

Next