Pvt. Lloyd James Richter
| Pvt. Lloyd J.
Richter was born on July 29, 1913, in Marshall,
Minnesota, to Edward Richter & Rose
Schoell-Richter. He was known as "James" to
his family and called "Shadow" by his friends.
In 1930, he was living in Iowa and working on his
At some point, Lloyd moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, and joined the Wisconsin National Guard. His tank company was federalized in September 1941 and officially activated on November 25th. On November 28th, the company boarded a train for Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
Arriving at Ft. Knox, the tank soldiers attended various schools for training. It is not known what training that Lloyd received.
In the late summer of 1941, the 192nd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana, to take part in maneuvers. According to members of the battalion, during the maneuvers, they broke through the defensive perimeter of General George Patton's Army and were about to overrun his headquarters when the maneuvers were suddenly canceled. After the maneuvers, instead of returning to Ft. Knox, they were held at Camp Polk not knowing why. It was on the side of a hill, that Gen. Patton informed them that they were being sent overseas. The day they received this news was the day that they were scheduled to be released from federal service. Those men 29 years old or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service.
Traveling west by train, the battalion arrived in San Francisco. They were then taken by ferry to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. At the fort, they were given physicals and inoculated. Some men were held back for medical reasons and scheduled to be sent to the Philippines at a later date.
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S Calvin Coolidge 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 a 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. They sailed the same day for Manila. The ships 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.
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.
The morning of December 8, 1941, the officers of the battalion were called together and ordered to have their tank platoons deployed to the perimeter of Clark Airfield. They were informed of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The tanks took assigned positions around the airfield to stop Japanese paratroopers. At 8:30 A.M., American planes took off and patrolled the sky. At noon, the planes landed and were parked in a straight line outside the mess hall so the pilots could get lunch.
As the tankers sat in their tanks, all morning long, they watched as American planes filled the sky. At noon, the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch. The tankers were also having lunch when planes were seen approaching the airfield from the north. They had enough time to count 54 planes. Many of the tankers speculated that the planes were American. They then saw what looked like raindrops falling from the planes. It was when bombs began exploding on the runways that the soldiers knew the planes were Japanese.
After the bombers were through, they were followed by Japanese Zeros. The Zeros strafed the airfield and fort. Some of the tankers manned their .50 caliber machine guns and fired on the planes. It was reported that they shot down as many as nine planes. After the attack, the tankers saw the carnage done by the planes.
After the attack, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau so it would be close to a highway and railroad. From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd just south of the Agno River. There, the tanks, with A Company, 194th held the position.
On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta. It was there, that 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 after the main bridge had been destroyed. As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening. They successfully crossed at 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.
A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an
area east of Pampanga. It was there that
they lost a tank platoon commander, Lt. William
Reed. The company returned to the 192nd on
January 8, 1942.
The detail was
under the control
of the Japanese
Navy and welfare
of the POWs was of
no concern to
only concern they
had was getting
the number of POWs
being sick was too
simply walk among
the POWs, at the
school, and select
men who did not
physical signs of
pellagra could not
get out of
The ship was moved on July 18th
and anchored at the harbor
breakwater from July 18th to July
23rd. At 8:00A.M. on the
twenty-third, at 8:00 A.M., the
ship moved to a point off
Corregidor and dropped anchor at
7:00 P.M. The next
morning, the ship sailed as part
of a convoy which attempted to
avoid American submarines by
hugging the coast line of