Schlingerman

 


 Pvt. Glen Robert Schlingerman


    Pvt. Glen R. Schlingerman was born on October 27, 1918, Winona, Minnesota, to Paul Schlingerman & Pauline Wozniak-Schlingerman.  With his sister, he was raised at 1123 East Mason Street in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and after he graduated high school and worked as a projectionist at a movie theater.  One of his hobbies was he operated a ham radio.
  Glen was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 28, 1941, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he did his basic training and attended radio operators school.  He qualified as a radio operator and was assigned to A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. 

    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 where ordered to Camp Polk.  None of the members had any idea why they were being sent there.
    On the side of a hill, the battalion members were informed that they were being sent overseas.  They were told that this decision had been made by General George S. Patton.  Those members of the battalion who were 29 years old or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service. 
    Over different train routes, the battalion traveled to San Francisco, California, and were ferried to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, they received inoculations and physicals, and those members of the battalion who were found to have treatable medical conditions remained behind on the island.  They were scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.  Men with major health issues were replaced.
   
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th. 
During this part of the trip, many tankers had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP.  They arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island. 
    On Wednesday, November 5th, the ships sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the S.S. Calvin CoolidgeOn Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they woke up the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th, since the ships had crossed the International Date Line during the night.  It was during this part of the voyage, on Saturday, November 15th, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it took off in the direction of the smoke, which turned out to be from a ship from a friendly country. 
    When they arrived at Guam the next day, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing the next day for Manila.  At one point, the ships passed 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.  The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning.  At 3:00 P.M., the soldiers disembarked and most were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.  The truck drivers drove their trucks to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind on the pier to unload the tanks.  
    At the fort, they were greeted by Colonel Edward P. King, who apologized that they 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. 
Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
    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.
   
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.
    On December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  From this time on, two tank crew members remained with each tank at all times.


    The morning of December 8, 1941, Capt. Walter Write informed his company that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese.  The tanks
were put on full alert at their positions around the airfield.  At 8:30 A.M., American planes took off and filled the sky in every direction.  Sometime before noon, the planes landed, to be refueled, and were lined up near the pilots' mess hall so they went to lunch.

    The tankers were eating lunch when planes were seen approaching the airfield from the north at about 12:45.  Many of the tankers counted 54 planes.  The planes approached the airfield and tankers watched what was described as "raindrops" falling from the planes.  When the raindrops began exploding on the runways, the tankers knew the planes were Japanese.
    When the Japanese were finished, there was not much left of the airfield.  The soldiers watched as the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the hospital on bomb racks, trucks, and anything that could carry the wounded was in use.  When the hospital filled, they watched the medics place the wounded under the building.  Many of these men had their arms and legs missing.
    That night, the tankers slept under their tanks since it was safer then sleeping in their tents.  They had no idea that they had slept their last night in a bed for the next three and one half years.

    On December 12th, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau to guard a highway and railroad from sabotage.  On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta, where they 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 but successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
    On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta, where 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 but 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 were asked to hold the position for six hours; they held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.

    On a road east of Zaragoza, on December 30th, the company was bivouacked for the night and posted sentries.  The sentries heard a noise on the road and woke the other tankers who grabbed Tommy-guns and manned the tanks' machine guns.  As they watched, a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac.  When the last bicycle passed the tanks, the tankers opened up on them.  When they stopped firing, they had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion.  To leave the area, the tankers drove their tanks over the bodies.
    At Gumain River, the night of December 31st to the morning of January 1st, the tank companies formed a defensive line along the south bank of the river.  When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easy to see since they were wearing white t-shirts.  The Japanese were taking heavy casualties, so they attempted to use smoke to cover their advance, but the wind blew the smoke into the Japanese.  When the Japanese broke off the attack, they had suffered fifty percent casualties.
    At Guagua, A Company, with units from the 11th Division, Philippine Army, attempted to make a counterattack against the Japanese.  Somehow, the tanks were mistaken, by the Filipinos to be Japanese.  The 11th Division accurately used mortars on them.  The result was the loss of three tanks.   
    On January 1st, the tanks of the 194th were holding the Calumpit Bridge allowing the Southern Luzon Forces to cross the bridge toward Bataan.  General Wainwright was attempting to hold the main Japanese force coming down Route 5 to prevent the troops from being cut off.  General MacArthur's chief of staff gave conflicting orders involving whose command the defenders were under which caused confusion.  Gen. Wainwright was not aware these orders had been given.

    From there, 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 Read.  The company returned to the 192nd on January 8, 1942.
    On January 28th, the tank battalions were given the job of protecting the beaches.  The 192nd was assigned the coast line from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan's east coast.  The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.
    A Company also took part in the Battle of the Pockets to wipe out Japanese Marines who had been trapped behind the main defensive line.  The tanks would enter the pocket one at a time to replace a tank in the pocket.  Another tank did not enter the pocket until a tank had left the pocket.
    To exterminate the Japanese, two methods were used.  The first was to have three Filipino soldiers ride on the back of the tank.  As the tank went over a Japanese foxhole, the Filipinos dropped three hand grenades into the foxhole.  Since the grenades were from WWI, one out of three usually exploded.
    The other method to use to kill the Japanese was to park a tank with one track over the foxhole. Driver gave the other track power resulting with the tank spinning around and grinding its way down into the foxhole.  The tankers slept upwind of their tanks.

    On another occasion 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 battalion.  
    On March 2nd or 3rd, during "The Battle of the Points."  The tanks had been sent in to wipe out two pockets of Japanese soldiers who had been landed behind the main defensive line.  The Japanese were soon cut off.  When the Japanese attempted to land reinforcements, they landed them at the wrong place creating another pocket.
 
    On April 4, 1942, the Japanese launched an attack supported by artillery and aircraft.  A large force of Japanese troops came over Mount Samat and descended down the south face of the volcano.  This attack wiped out two divisions of defenders and left a large area of the defensive line open to the Japanese.  When General King saw that the situation was hopeless, he initiated surrender talks with the Japanese.
    The night of April 8, 1942, the members of A Company circled their tanks.  Each tank fired one armor piercing shell into the engine of the tank in front of it.  The tankers next opened up the gasoline valves and dropped hand grenades into the turrets.  The next morning at 7:00 A.M. they became Prisoners of War.
    
The POWs made their way north from Mariveles.  The first five miles of the march were uphill which was hard on the sick and underfed men.  At one point, the members of the company had to run past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor.  They received little water and little food.  When they reached San Fernando, they were put into a bull pen.  In one corner of the bull pen was a trench the POWs were suppose to use as a washroom.  The surface of the trench was alive with maggots.  How long they remained in the bull pen is not known. 
    The Japanese ordered the POWs to form detachments of 100 men.  They were marched to the train stationed and packed into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane.  Each car could hold forty men or eight horses.  The Japanese  packed 100 POWs into each car.  Those who died remained standing since there was no place for them to fall.  At Capas, the living left the cars and the dead fell to the floors.  They walked the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell.
   
Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino training base.  There was one water faucet for the entire camp, and men literally died for a drink.  The death rate in the camp began to rise until as many as 55 men died each day, and the burial detail worked non-stop to bury the dead.  Since the water table was high, the graves could not be deep.  Often, when they returned the next morning to the cemetery, the wild dogs had dug up the bodies, or the bodies were sitting up in their graves.
    The Japanese opened a new POW camp near Cabanatuan to lower the death rate among the POWs.  It is not known if Glen was sent to the camp when it opened or if he was sent there after returning from a work detail. 
According to medical records kept at the camp hospital, Glen was admitted to the hospital on Saturday, September 4, 1942, suffering from dysentery and malaria.

    Other records that were kept by the medical staff show that Pvt. Glen R. Schlingerman died of malaria on Friday, October 9, 1942.   In the diary kept by 2nd Lt. LeRoy Scoville of A Company, Glen died from malnutrition.  After he died, he was buried in the camp cemetery.  His family learned of his death in June 1943 and had a memorial funeral mass said at St. John's Church on July 8, 1943.
    After the war, the family of Pvt. Glen R. Schlingerman asked that his remains be returned to the United States and arrived on October 5, 1949.  His remains were returned to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where a funeral was held at St. John's Church.  Pvt. Glen R. Schlingerman was buried at Allouez Catholic Cemetery in Allouez, Wisconsin, on October 20, 1949.
     


 

 

 

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