M/Sgt. Osborne McDonald
| M/Sgt. Osborne
McDonald was born on April 15, 1905, in Hampton,
Ontario, Canada, and was the son of Florence M.
Anderson. It is known that he had three
half-brothers and five sisters.
At some point, his family
resided in Racine, Wisconsin, before his mother
returned to Canada.
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 and 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. On November 27th, the company left for Ft. Knox, Kentucky and a year of federal service. 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 the company. 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,
from September 1 through 30, 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.
The battalion traveled west over different train
routes and arrived at Ft. Mason in San Francisco
and were ferried, on the U.S.A.T. General
Frank M. Coxe, to Ft. Mc Dowell on Angel
Island where they given physicals and inoculated
by the battalion's medical
detachment. Anyone who had a medical
condition was replaced or held back and
scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later
On December 8, 1941,
just ten hours after the attack on Pearl
Harbor, Osborne lived through the Japanese
attack on Clark Field. Since they had no
weapons to use against planes, the members of
the company took cover during the
attack. After the attack they saw the
damage done to the base.
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.
of April 8,
his men the
news of the
surrender. While informing the members
of the company
waved his arm
tanks and told
the men that
they would no
he spoke, his
He turned away
from the men
for a moment,
and when he
turned back he
He next told
should do to
that they all
He told the
that could be
used by the
The only thing
they were told
not to destroy
The men waited
juice for what
he called, "Their last supper."
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, and 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.