Manogue

 

Pfc. James L. Manogue


    Pfc. James L. Manogue was born in 1914 in Johnstown, Wisconsin, to James &Ellen Manogue and was raised in Milton, Wisconsin.  He was one of the four children.  He went to school in Milton and attended Milton Union High School but 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.  He did this since the draft act had just been passed, and he wanted to fulfill his military obligation.  The tank company left Janesville on November 28, 1940, and arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky, late that evening.
    The tank company was now A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  A typical day for the soldiers started in 6:15 with reveille, but most of the soldiers were up before this since they wanted to wash and dress.  Breakfast was from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M., followed by calisthenics at 8:00 to 8:30.  Afterwards, the tankers went to various schools within the company.  The classes consisted of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns, pistol, map reading, care of personal equipment, military courtesy, and training in tactics.
    At 11:30 the soldiers stopped what they were doing and cleaned up for mess which was from noon to 1:00 P.M.  Afterwards, they attended the various schools which they had been assigned to on January 13th, such as: mechanics, tank driving, radio operating.   At 4:30, the soldiers called it a day and returned to their barracks and put on dress uniforms and at five held retreat and followed by dinner at 5:30.  After dinner, they were off duty and lights were out at 9:00 P.M., but they did not have to turn in until 10:00 when Taps was played.   On January 13th, each member of the company was assigned to a specific school for training.

    In the late summer of 1941, the 192nd Tank Battalion took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.  After the maneuvers, the battalion was ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana, and informed it was being sent overseas as part of Operation PLUM.  Within hours, many of the men had figured out that "PLUM" stood for Philippines, Luzon, Manila. 

    Jim received a ten day furlough home to say his goodbyes.  He returned to Camp Polk, Louisiana, and from there left for the west coast by train for San Francisco, California, where they were ferried 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 and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.  Some men were simply replaced.
    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S. A. T. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th.  During this part of the trip, many of the tankers suffered from seasickness.  Once they recovered, they spent their time breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP.  The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
    On Wednesday, November 5th, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes.  It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the S. S. Calvin Coolidge.  Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th.  During the night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the International Date Line.
    It was during this part of the voyage, on Saturday, November 15th, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country. During this part of the voyage, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The cruiser that was escorting the two transports revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it took off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out that the unknown ship was from a friendly country.
    When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day.  At one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning.  At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.  Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to unload the tanks.
    At the fort, they were greeted by Colonel Edward King, who apologized that they 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.
    The members of the battalion pitched the tents in an open field halfway between the Clark Field Administration Building and Fort Stotsenburg.  The tents were set up in two rows and five men were assigned to each tent.  There were two supply tents and meals were provided by food trucks stationed at the end of the rows of tents.  
    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.

    On December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  From this time on, two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times and received their meals from food trucks.
    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.  At 8:30, the American planes took off and filled the sky.  They landed at noon and lined up near the mess hall while the pilots went to lunch.    
    The tankers were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes was spotted approaching the airfield from the north.  The tankers believed the planes were American. As they watched, raindrops fell from the planes.  When bombs exploded on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.    
    Four days after the attack, on December 12th, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau so it could prevent sabotage of a highway and railroad.  From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd just south of the Agno River. 
    On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta, where the tankers lost the company commander, Capt. Walter Write.  After he was buried, the tankers made an end run to get south of Agno River.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening but  successfully crossed the river in the Bayambang Province.
    On December 25th, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road.  The tanks held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.
    The 192nd, and part of the 194th, fell back to form a new defensive line the night of December 27th and 28th.  From there they fell back to the south bank of the BamBan River which they were suppose to hold for as long as possible.  The tanks were at Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 28th and 29th serving as a rear guard against the Japanese.
    A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an area east of Pampanga on December 30th.  It was there that they lost a tank platoon commander, Lt. William Read.  That night, on a road east of Zaragoza, the company was bivouacked for the night and posted sentries.  The sentries heard a noise on the road and woke the other tankers who grabbed Tommy-guns and manned the tanks' machine guns.  As they watched, a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac.  When the last bicycle passed the tanks, the tankers opened up on them.  When they stopped firing, they had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion.  To leave the area, the tankers drove their tanks over the bodies.
   As the Filipino and American forces fell back toward Bataan, A Company took up a position near the south bank of the Gumain River the night of December 31st and January 1st.  Believing that the Filipino Army was in front of them allowed the tankers to get some sleep.  It was that night that the Japanese lunched an attack to cross the river.
    A Company, on January 5th, while attached to the 194th Tank Battalion, withdrew from the Guagua-Porac line.  It was evening and they believed they were in a relatively safe place. Lt. Kenneth Bloomfield told his men to get some sleep.  Their sleep was interrupted by the sound of a gun shot.  The tankers had no idea that they were about to engage the Japanese who had lunched a major offensive.  In the bright moonlight, the Japanese were easy to see.  In an attempt to cover themselves, they laid down a smoke screen which blew back into them.  There was a great deal of confusion and the battle lasted until 3:00 A.M., when the Japanese broke off the attack.  Within days of this action, the company returned to the command of the 192nd. 
    The night of January 7th, A Company was awaiting orders to cross the last bridge into Bataan over the Culis Creek.  The engineers were ready to blow up the bridge, but the battalion's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ted Wickord, ordered the engineers to wait until he had looked to see if they were anywhere in sight.  He found the company, asleep in their tanks, because they had not received the order to withdraw across the bridge.  After they had crossed, the bridge was destroyed.   
    The next day the tanks received maintenance.  It was the first rest that the two tank battalions had since December 24th.
    On January 24th, the tank battalions were ordered to cover all forces withdrawing to the Pilar-Bigac Line which was suppose to take place the night of January 24th-25th. The 192nd covered the withdraw in the Abucay area. The battalions prevented the Japanese from overrunning the position and cutting off the withdrawing troops. 
    The morning of January 27th, a new battle line had been formed and all units were suppose to be beyond it.  That morning, the tanks were still holding their position six hours after they were suppose to have withdrawn.  While holding the position, the tanks, with self-propelled mounts, ambushed, at point blank range, three Japanese units causing 50 percent casualties.
    On January 28th, the tank battalions were given the job of protecting the beaches.  The 192nd was assigned the coast line from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan's east coast.  The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.  They also took part in the Battle of the Pockets and the Battle of the Points.       
    The pockets was an extremely dangerous operation.  When tanks were sent into a pocket, they entered one tank at a time.  The next tank would not enter until the tank that had been relieved exited the pocket. 
    To wipe out the Japanese, two methods were employed.  One had three Filipino soldiers sitting on the back of each tank.  When the tank passed over a foxhole the soldiers each dropped a hand grenade into the foxhole.  Being that the ordnance was from WWI, one of the three hand grenades usually exploded.
    The second method was to park the tank with one tread over foxhole.  The crew would give power to the other track causing the tank to spin and dig its way into the ground.

    The soldiers were hungry and began to eat everything they could get their hands on to eat.  The Carabao were tough but if they were cooked long enough they could be eaten.  They also began to eat horse meat provided by the 26th U. S. Cavalry.  To make things worse, the soldiers' rations were cut in half again on March 1, 1942.  This meant that they only ate two meals a day.  
    The Japanese also were dropping surrender leaflets with a scantly clad blond on them.  The Japanese would have been more successful at getting the Americans to surrender if the picture had been hamburger, since the men were so hungry that they most likely would have surrendered for a good meal.
    During the Battle of the Points, on March 2nd and 3rd, the tanks were sent in to wipe out Japanese troops that had broken through the main defensive line and than trapped behind the line after the Filipino and American troops pushed the Japanese back toward the sea and wiped them out.
   The company's last bivouac area was about twelve kilometers north of Mariveles and looking out on the China Sea.  By this point, the tankers knew that there was no help on the way.  Many had listened to Secretary of War Harry L. Stimson on short wave.  When asked about the Philippines, he said, "There are times when men must die."  The soldiers cursed in response because they knew that the Philippines had already been lost.
    On April 4, 1942, the Japanese launched a attack supported by artillery and aircraft.  A large force of Japanese troops came over Mount Samat and descended down the south face of the volcano.  This attack wiped out two divisions of defenders and left a large area of the defensive line open to the Japanese.  When General King saw that the situation was hopeless, he initiated surrender talks with the Japanese.
    Jim and most of the company became Prisoners Of War on April 9th.  At 6:45 in the morning, they received the order "crash" and destroyed their tanks and waited for the Japanese to make contact with them.  When they did, they ordered the Prisoners of War to Mariveles

    It was from the southern tip of Bataan that Jim started what is now called 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.   


 

 

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