Pvt. Boyd Albert Riese
Pvt. Boyd A. Riese was son of Ernest and Ella Riese
and was born on April 3, 1921, in Avon County,
Wisconsin. He was raised at 4321 North Walnut
Street in Janesville and attended school there.
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, which 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 from September 1st
through 30th. During the maneuvers the
battalion performed exceptionally
well. After the maneuvers, instead of
returning to Ft. Knox, the battalion was
ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana. None
of the members had any idea why they were
being kept there.
The members of the battalion
pitched the tents in an open
field halfway between the
Clark Field Administration
Building and Fort
Stotsenburg. The tents
were set up in two rows and
five men were assigned to
each tent. There were
two supply tents and meals
were provided by food trucks
stationed at the end of the
rows of tents.
The tanks often were the last units to disengage
from the enemy and form a new defensive line as
Americans and Filipino forces withdrew toward
Bataan. The night of January 7th, the A
Company was awaiting orders to cross the last bridge
into Bataan over the Culis Creek. The
engineers were ready to blow up the bridge, but the
battalion's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ted
Wickord, ordered the engineers to wait until he had
looked to see if they were anywhere in sight.
He found the company, asleep in their tanks, because
they had not received the order to withdraw across
the bridge. After they had crossed, the bridge
2nd or 3rd,
Battle of the
The tanks had
been sent in
to wipe out
two pockets of
were soon cut
them at the
The company's last bivouac area was about twelve
kilometers north of Marivales and looking out on the
China Sea. By this point, the tankers knew
that there was no help on the way. Many had
listened to Secretary of War Harry L. Stimson on
short wave. When asked about the Philippines,
he said, "There are times
when men must die." The
soldiers cursed in response because they knew that
the Philippines had already been lost.
Boyd was held as a POW at Camp O'Donnell, but within days of arriving, 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. He remained on the detail until July, 1944.
On July 14, 1944, Boyd was boarded onto the Nissyo
Maru. On the July 17th, at 7:00 A.M.,
the ship moved 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 to a point near Corregidor and
dropped anchor. The next morning it sailed as
part of a convoy.
From Moji, Boyd was sent to Kamioka Camp also known as Nagoya #7-B, where he worked in lead and zinc mines. With him in the camp was Emerson Rex of A Company. The camp was sixty miles from Nagaski. When the atomic bomb was dropped, the camp shook. The POWs remained in the camp even after hearing that the war was over and receiving food drops. It was only after the POWs sent men out to contact the Americans occupying Japan that the camp was liberated on September 7, 1945. Upon liberation, he was taken to Yokohama and returned to the Philippines where he promoted to sergeant. He received 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, Washington.
He returned to Janesville and married Alverda Brenden on December 21, 1946, and became 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
and had grown in the valves of his heart.
Sgt. Boyd A. Riese funeral was held in Janesville, and his pallbearers were all members of A Company. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Janesville.