MotoskoT

 

Pvt. Thomas Peter Motosko


Born: 8 March 1919 - Youngstown, Ohio

Parents: George & Barbara Miklosko-Motosko

Siblings: 2 sisters, 4 brothers
Nickname: "Tom"

Graduated:

    - Woodrow Wilson High School - Class of 1940 

Occupation:

    - operated a pool hall and custard stand 

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 25 March 1941 - Cleveland, Ohio

Training: 

    - Fort Knox, Kentucky

    - Camp Polk, Louisiana

Overseas Duty: 

    - battalion travels by train, over four different train routes to San Francisco, California

    - taken to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay by ferry
    - October 25th & 26th - physicals given
        - some men released
        - others held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
        - replacements fill these positions
    - Boarded: U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott - Monday - 27 October 1941

    - Sailed: same day
    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Sunday - 2 November 1941
            - arrived in the morning
            - soldiers receive leave
    - Sailed: Tuesday - 4 November 1941
    - Arrived: Guam
        - ship loaded vegetables, bananas, water, coconuts
    - Sailed: same day
    - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands -  20 November 1941
        - entered Manila Bay - 8:00 A.M.
        - disembarked in the afternoon

    - battalion rode train to Fort Stotsenburg
    - tanks unloaded by 17th Ordnance

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942 

    - Battle of Bataan

        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942 

Prisoner of War:

    - 9 April 1942

       - Death March

            - POWs started march at the southern tip of Bataan

                - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor 

                - American artillery on Corregidor returned fire - shells landed among the
                  POWs

            -San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane 

                - During train ride between San Fernando and Capas, Motosko recalled that

                    those POWs who died couldn't fall because the POWs were packed in the

                    small wooden boxcars, "They couldn't fall. They'd ust be standing there, next

                   to you, dead."   

            - Capas - POWs left boxcars - the dead POWs fell to the floor

            - POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell 

POW Camps: 

    - Philippine Islands: 

        - Camp O'Donnell

            - unfinished Filipino Army training base 

            - Japanese put camp into use as POW camp

            - one water spigot for the entire camp

            - as many as fifty POWs died each day 

            - POWs went out on work details to get out of camp 

        - Cabanatuan
            - hospitalized - 24 August 1942 - malaria & dysentery
                - discharged - no date given

    - Japan:

        Hirohata #12-B 

            Work: Laborer Seitetsu Steel Mills

Hell Ship: 

    - Coral Maru

        - Departed: Manila - 20 September 1943

            Note: Ship stopped Takao, Formosa

        - Arrived: Moji - 5 October 1943

Liberated: September 1945

Married: Sophie Medvec

    - she died nine months later

Married: Mary D'Amato - 1949

Children: 3 sons, 2 daughters

Residence: Youngstown, Ohio

Occupation: sold home improvement products

Died:

    - 23 February 2013 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Buried: Youngstown, Ohio

Note 1: Tom's younger brother, Paul, was killed in action liberating the Philippines on 2 February
              1945.

              He is buried at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.

Note 2: Thomas Motosko was the last surviving member of Headquarters Company


 

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