Pvt. Boyd Albert Riese
Pvt. Boyd A. Riese was son of Ernest and Ella
Riese. He was born on April 3, 1921, in Avon
County, Wisconsin. He was raised at 4321 North
Walnut Street in Janesville and attended school
While Boyd was still in high school, he enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard. During his senior year of high school, his tank company was called to federal duty as a member of A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. This resulted in his receiving his high school diploma at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
In late August, the
battalion was informed it would take part in
maneuvers in Louisiana. During the maneuvers
the battalion performed exceptionally
well. After the maneuvers, instead of
returning to Ft. Knox, the battalion
remained at Camp Polk. None of the
members had any idea why they were being
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.
At some point after this, A Company was attached to
the 194th, and was in the area east of
Pampanga. It was there that they lost, Lt.
William Reed. The company returned to the
192nd on January 8, 1942.
One night during this time, the
company was in bivouac on two
sides of a road. They
posted sentries and most of the
tankers attempted to get some
sleep. The sentries heard
noise down the road and woke the
company. Every man grabbed
a weapon. As they watched,
a Japanese bicycle battalion
rode into their bivouac.
The tankers opened fire with
everything they had. When
they stopped firing, they had
completely wiped out the bicycle
Boyd fought for four months before Bataan was
surrendered to the Japanese. He took part in
the death march from Mariveles to San
Fernando. There he boarded a small wooden box
car used to haul sugarcane. The cars were
known as "Forty or Eights," since each car could
hold forty men or eight horses. One hundred
men were packed into each car. The dead fell
out when the living climbed out at Capas. The
POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell.
Boyd was held as a POW at Camp O'Donnell. Within days, he volunteered to go out on a work detail to collect scrap metal. The POWs tied vehicles, that had been destroyed during the retreat into Bataan, together and drove them to San Fernando. From there, the vehicles were taken to Manila and sent to Japan.
Boyd came down with malaria at some point on the detail. He was taken to the Pampanga Provincial Hospital and remained there until July 27th. When he was released, he was sent to Cabanatuan. He was next sent to the Port Area of Manila to work on the docks. The POWs began work on June 13, 1942 and remained on the detail until July, 1944.
On July 14, 1944, Boyd was boarded onto the Nissyo
Maru. On the July 17th the POWs left
Bilibid Prison at 7:00 A.M. but dropped anchor at
the harbor's breakwater. The POWs remained in
the holds of the ship and were not fed for almost a
day and a half. Once they were fed, they
received two meals a day of rice and vegetables and
received two canteen cups of water. On July
23rd, at 8:00 A.M., the ship moved off a point near
Corregidor and dropped anchor. The next
morning it sailed as part of a convoy.
Form Moji, Boyd was sent to Kamioka Camp also known as Nagoya #7-B. There he worked in lead and zinc mines. With him in the camp was Emerson Rex of A Company. Boyd was liberated at Kamioka in September, 1945.
The camp Boyd was sixty miles from Nagaski.
When the atomic bomb was dropped, the camp
shook. It was only after the POWs sent men out
to contact the Americans occupying Japan that the
camp was liberated. Upon liberation, he was
promoted to sergeant. He was returned to the
Philippines for medical treatment before being
boarded onto the U.S.S. Gospher
which sailed on September 24th and arrived at
Seattle, Washington, on October 21st. The POWs
disembarked were hospitalized at Madigan General
Hospital at Ft. Lewis.
He returned to Janesville and married Alverda Brenden on December 21, 1946. He was the father of Leslie Ann. Boyd remained in the military and was assigned to the office of the reorganized reserve corps offices in Milwaukee.
On Monday, October 24, 1949, after coming home from
work, Boyd lapsed into a coma. He regained
consciousness briefly and was taken to Great Lakes
Naval Station in Lake County, Illinois. There,
he died never regaining consciousness. After
his death, it was determined he had died from a
bacterial infection that he contracted while a POW.
Sgt. Boyd A. Riese funeral was held in Janesville. His pallbearers were all members of A Company. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Janesville.