McDonald

 

M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald


    M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald was the son of Mrs. Mary Anderson.  He was born on April 15, 1905, in Hampton, Ontario, Canada.  It is known that he had three brothers and five sisters.   At some point, his family resided in Racine, Wisconsin.

    After finishing his schooling, Osborne took a job at the local General Motors plant in Janesville where he worked as a machinist.  He resided at 210 West Laurel Avenue in Janesville.  He also joined the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Tank Company headquartered in an armory in Janesville.  During his years with the tank company, he served as the chief mechanic for the company.

    Osborne's mother passed away before he was called to federal service in the fall of 1940.  His tank company was now A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion and assigned to duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

    In January, 1941, Headquarter Company was formed with men from the four letter companies of the battalion.  It was at this time that Osborne was transferred to HQ.  With this transfer, he was put in charge of tank maintenance.  It was his job to make sure that the tanks, trucks, jeeps and motorcycles ran.

    The one thing that Osborne and the other members A Company who had been selected to join HQ Company were known for was their love of beer.  On Saturday night, they would buy at least one case of beer and drink it.  During these gatherings, Osborne would often tell stories.  Many were stories from famous books.  Members of the company stated that he never told the same story twice during their entire time at Ft. Knox.

    After taking part in maneuvers in Louisiana, in the late summer of 1941, Osborne learned with the other members of the 192nd that the tank battalion was being sent overseas.  Being almost forty years old, Osborne was given the chance to resign from federal service, but he chose to go overseas with the 192nd.

     Osborne was given leave home to take care of business and say goodbye to family and friends.  He no sooner got home, then he received a telegram ordering him back to Camp Polk.  He thought it was a joke.
    From Camp Polk, the battalion traveled west over four different train routes.  Arriving in San Francisco, the soldiers were ferried to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, the soldiers were given physicals and inoculated for tropical diseases. Those with health issues were released from service and replaced.
    The battalion sailed from San Francisco on Monday, October 27th for Hawaii, on the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott, as part of a three ship convoy.  They arrived in Hawaii on Sunday, November 2nd, and had a layover.  The soldiers received passes and allowed to explore the islands.  They sailed again on October 29th for Guam.  When the ships arrived at Guam, they took on bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and water.  The soldiers remained on ship since the convoy was sailing the next day. About 8:00 in the morning on November 20th, the ships arrived at Manila Bay.  After arriving at Manila, it was three or four hours before they disembarked.  Most of the battalion boarded trucks and rode to Ft. Stotsenburg north of Manila.
    At the fort, the tankers were met by General Edward King.  King welcomed them and made sure that they had what they needed.  He also was apologetic that there were no barracks for the tankers and that they had to live in tents.  The fact was he had not learned of their arrival until days before they arrived.

    On December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Osborne lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Field.  During the Battle of the Philippines, Osborne and the other members of HQ attempted to make sure that the letter companies received the necessary repairs to keep the tanks running that to fight the Japanese.

    On April 9, 1942, Osborne became a Prisoner Of War when the Filipino and American defenders of Bataan were surrendered to the Japanese.  He and the other soldiers of HQ Company stayed in their bivouac for two days before they received orders from the Japanese to move.

    They made their way to the road that ran near their encampment,  The Japanese had them kneel along the sides of the road.  As they knelt, the Japanese troops passing them took what they wanted from the POWs.  After this, they road trucks to Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan.

    Outside of Mariveles, the POWs were directed to a field and told to sit.  After several hours they were ordered to move.  They moved to a field near a school and ordered to sit again.  It was at this time that the Japanese recruited POWs to repair trucks.

    Since he had experience working on cars and trucks, Osborne was assigned to the work detail at Mariveles to repair trucks.  It was while he was working on this detail that M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald suffered a heart attack on Saturday, April 11, 1942.  He was taken to the U.S. Naval Station at Mariveles where he died.

    According to information provided by the military during the war, after his death, M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald was buried in the Naval Section of the cemetery at Mariveles. 

    After the war, M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald's remains were returned to Racine in October 1949.  He was buried at Graceland Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin, on October 19, 1949, in the veteran's plot.  


 

 

Return to A Company

Next