Manogue

 

Pfc. James L. Manogue


    Pfc. James L. Manogue was born in 1914 in Johnstown, Wisconsin.  With his brother, he was raised in Milton, Wisconsin.  He was one of the four children of James & Ellen Manogue.  He went to school in Milton and attended Milton Union High School.  He left school to help his father on the family farm.  

    In Janesville, Jim joined the 32nd Tank Company of the Wisconsin National Guard about a month before the company was called to federal duty in the fall of 1940.  Arriving at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the company's name was changed to A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  He and the other members of the battalion trained for nearly a year in tank tactics and how to use the other equipment assigned to a tank company.

    In the late summer of 1941, the 192nd Tank Battalion took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.  After the maneuvers, Jim and the other members of the battalion learned that they were being sent overseas for further training.

    Jim received a ten day pass home to say his goodbyes.  He returned to Camp Polk, Louisiana and from there left for the west coast.  The battalion traveled by train to San Francisco.  By ferry, they were taken to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, they received inoculations and physicals.  Those members of the battalion who were found to have treatable medical conditions remained behind on the island.  They were scheduled to join 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 November 5th, 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 as they readied their tanks to take part in maneuvers.

    The morning of December 8, 1941, Capt Walter Write informed his company of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The tankers took their position around the perimeter of the airfield.  Around noon, planes appeared above the airfield and began bombing.

    Like the other members of A Company, Jim could not do much to fight the Japanese since he did not have the correct firearms.  After the attack, Jim saw the devastation of the attack.

    For the next four months, Jim and the other members of A Company fought to slow the Japanese conquest of the Philippines.  On April 9, 1942, Jim and most of the company became Prisoners Of War.

    Jim took part in the death march  With Jim on the march, was Phil Parish of A Company.   At Cabcaban, Jim and the other POWs had to run in front of Japanese artillery that was firing at Corregidor.  Corregidor had begun to zero in on the Japanese guns about the time Jim and Phil got there.  The POWs were forced to run past the guns as shells exploded around them. 

     At Lamao, Jim and the other POWs were held in a pen where other POWs had already been held.  They were forced to sleep in the waste of these previous occupants.  Since many of the men were sick, they added to the mess.

    About this time, the POWs received food.  Jim, Phil and another prisoner combined their rice and other food they had.  The three men had the best meal that they had had in days.

    The prisoners were forced to march into the night.  In one barrio, they could not see but could smell the bodies of the dead.  The smell made the POWs sick.

    At San Fernando, Jim was forced into a boxcar.  The prisoners were packed in so tightly that those who died remained standing until the living disembarked at Capas.  Jim and Phil then walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell on October 6, 1942.  This date conflicts with the date on his cross.

    As a Prisoner Of War at Camp O'Donnell.  It is not known if he went out on a work detail while there.  But it appears that Jim was considered too ill to be transferred to Cabanatuan when the new camp opened.  The diary kept by Lt. Leroy Scoville states that Pvt. James Manogue died at Camp O'Donnell.  He was buried in Section P, Row 7, Grave 10 in the camp cemetery.   He was the second to the last POW to die at the camp.

    On January 30, 1945, Sgt. Dale Lawton was liberated from Cabanatuan.  When he returned home to Janesville, he informed the Manogue family that Jim had died while a POW.  This was the first word that the family had received which confirmed a letter that the family had previously received about Jim's death.  

    The following is a letter written by Chaplain Frank L.Tiffany to the Manogue family The letter was written at Camp O'Donnell. It was not found until three years after it had been written.

 

Dear Mr. Manogue:

 

    It was my pleasure to have known Pvt. James Manogue of the 192nd Tank Battalion, but my very sad duty to write of his decease.  You undoubtedly would have long ago have received the official notice through military channels, but I just felt like adding this more personal word.  The information given to me and I did not think to ask James before his decease, does not state the relationship of the next of kin to the deceased, but if it be father, uncle or what, I am sure the memory of James will be fully sacred.

    Along with my assignment of hospital chaplain, I also went out with General Weaver's tank battalions as part-time duty so became, spiritually at least, close to the men of the units.  When our hospital of above name ( General Hospital No.1, Camp O'Donnell, P. I.) came here July 3, I soon became acquainted with James Manogue.  At first, he seemed to revive greatly.  Previously to our coming the hospital facilities were inadequate.  But about a month before he died, we began to see that his chances of ultimate recovery were slight.  Believe me, I did everything I possibly could personally in the way of getting him extra food, a toothbrush, etc. to help him along.  But the ravages of the disease and malnutrition had run to far.  His diagnosis was beriberi.  The Catholic chaplain, who will undoubtedly write to you, saw to his last rites according to his church.  He was buried in the cemetery, a beautiful location, plot P, row 7, grave 10.  I should have said that after our coming here to our hospital, the patients were given every possible medical and professional aid.

    Please be assured, Mr. Manogue, that not only my own but the sincere sympathies of every remaining member of the 192nd, including General Weaver, as well as the hospital attendants who knew James personally, go out to you and to every member of the family and friends of this young soldier.  May God abundantly bless and comfort you in this, your hour of sorrow.  

    My church is the Prresbyterian, U.S.A.  If there is any service I can render you after the war, just ask any minister of that church for my location, and I will be glad to hear from you.  I have been through Wisconsin in many times and know what a beautiful state it is.  Jay W. Tiffany, is an engineer on the Hiawatha from Minneapolis to La Crosse, Wis., and he tells me much of the country.  My last location before being called to active duty was Sandpoint, Idaho.

 

                                                                            Sincerely yours,

                                                                            Frank L. Tiffany

                                                                    Chaplain (Captain U.S. Army)

 

    After the war, the remains of Pfc. James L. Manogue were reburied at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila.

    Chaplain Frank L. Tiffany never had the opportunity to fulfill his promise to meet with the members of the Manogue family.  He died when the Arisan Maru, a Japanese transport that was carrying POWs, was sunk by an American submarine on Tuesday, October 24, 1944.

    Pfc. James L. Manogue was reported to have died on October 1, 1942, from beriberi at Camp O'Donnell POW Camp.   


 

 

Return to A Company

Next