Schultz_D

 

Pvt. Donald Frank Schultz


    Pvt. Donald F. Schultz was the son of Otto C. Schultz & Emma Tessmer-Schultz.  He was born in Dorchester, Wisconsin, on February 17, 1919, and was one of the couple's twelve children.  He attended school in Dorchester and after his graduation from grade school, his family moved to a farm south of Lake Geneva on County Road BB.

    On November 16, 1940, Donald joined the Wisconsin National Guard in Janesville, Wisconsin, with his friends Ray and Fay Baldon.  He did this because it was just a matter of time until he would be drafted into the army.  Nine days later, on November 25, 1940, he traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for a year of training.  It was during this time his National Guard Company was renamed A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.

    When the battalion was sent to Louisiana for maneuvers, Donald stayed behind to guard the company's equipment that was left behind at Ft. Knox.  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 kept there.   Donald and the other members of the battalion at Ft. Knox, were sent to Camp Polk.
    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 Patton.  Those members of the battalion who were 29 years old or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service. 
    The battalion traveled by train to San Francisco.  By ferry, they were taken to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, they received inoculations and physicals.  Those members of the battalion who were found to have treatable medical conditions remained behind on the island.  They were scheduled to join the battalion 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 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.  The ships sailed the same day for Manila and 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. 
Ironically, November 20th was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
   
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 the morning of December 8, 1941, the members of A Company were informed of the Japanese attack on Clark Field.  His tank and the others were sent to the perimeter of the airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers.  About 12:45 in the afternoon as the tankers were eating lunch, planes approached the airfield from the north.  At first, the soldiers thought the planes were American.  It was only when bombs began exploding on the runways that they knew the planes were Japanese.
   The 192nd remained at Clark field for about a week before they were ordered to the barrio of Dau so it would be near a road and railroad.  For the next four months, the tankers held positions so that the other units could disengage and form a defensive line.   
 

   At the Gumain River, the tank companies formed a defensive line along the south bank of the river.  When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easily seen since they were wearing white t-shirts.  It was there that the tankers found that the Japanese soldiers were high on drugs when they attacked.  Among the dead Japanese, the tankers found the hypodermic needles and syringes.   The tankers were able to hold up the Japanese for several weeks.     
   On another date, the tanks of A Company had bivouacked for the night when the guards heard a noise down the road.  They awakened the other tankers and the men manned their guns.  As they watched a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac.  They opened fire with everything they had.  According to members of the company, there was a great deal of confusion, noise, and screaming.  Then, there was silence.  They had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion.
    Company A was assigned the duty of protecting the west coast of Bataan from Japanese invasion.  It was during this duty, that they would engage the enemy, who had landed troops behind the Filipino and American lines,  in what was to become known as the Battle of the Points.     
    The Japanese had landed soldiers behind the main defensive line on Bataan on January 22nd at
Quinauan Point.  The troops soon were surrounded in their beachhead with no way out.  When the Japanese attempted to land reinforcements, they were landed on the wrong place creating a second pocket on Anyasan Point.  Both points were wiped out.   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.
    On the night of April 8, 1942, the tankers received the order "crash."  They circled their tanks.  Each tank fired one armor piercing shell into the engine of the tank in front of it.  The tank crews opened the gasoline cocks in the crew compartments and dropped hand grenades into the tanks. The next morning, April 9, 1942, Donald was a Prisoner of War.

    From Mariveles, at the southern tip of Bataan Donald started what became known as the death march.  At San Fernando, Donald boarded a small wooden railroad car used to haul sugarcane and rode it to Capas.  Each car could haul eight horses or forty men.  The Japanese packed 100 men into each car.  Those who died remained standing until the living left the cars at Capas.  Once there, he walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.

    After arriving at Camp O'Donnell, a detail of POWs was selected to go out to rebuild the bridges the Americans had destroyed as the withdrew into Bataan.  The detail was under the command of Lt. Col. Ted Wickord of the 192nd.  On the detail Donald mixed cement for the bridges.

     When the detail ended in nine months later, Donald was sent ot Cabanatuan. At some point, he went out on another work detail to  build runways and revetments at Neilson Airfield.  While on the detail, he developed dry beriberi and was sent to the hospital ward at Bilibid Prison.  According to records kept there, he was admitted on April 25, 1944.  On May 10th, he was returned to Cabanatuan and remained there until the beginning of July.
    Trucks arrived at Cabanatuan and took Donald, and the other POWs, to the Port Area of Manila.  They were boarded onto the Canadian Inventor.  The ship sailed on July 4th but returned to Manila the same day with boiler problems.  It remained in port for fifteens days.  The entire time the POWs were kept in the holds. 
    The ship sailed again on July 16th, but it once again had boiler problems.  Since it couldn't keep up with the other ships, the Canadian Inventor was left behind.  Somehow, it safely arrived at Takao, Formosa on July 23rd.  While it was in port, salt was loaded into its holds. 
    The ship sailed again on August 4th and reached Keelung, Formosa, the next day.  It remained at Keelung for twelve days while more boiler repairs were made.  It sailed again on August 17th for Naha, Okinawa.  How long it took to get to Naha is not known.  When it arrived, the ship remained there for six days for additional boiler repairs.  It finally sailed and arrived at Moji, Japan on September 1, 1944.  In the end, the trip took the ship 62 days to complete.
    The POWs were disemarked and marched to the train station.  They rode a train until they disembarked and were taken to Fukuoka #5.  This camp was also known as Omine Machi.

    One of the major problems facing the POWs was the lack of food.  The main diet of the prisoners was rice.  But, there was never enough according to Donald.  He recalled that the POWs' diet was supplemented with fish heads, grass and seaweed.

    At Omine Machi, Donald worked in a coal mine.  It was from this work that he began experiencing breathing problems.  He remained in the camp until he was liberated on September 15, 1945.   The POWs were taken to Wakayama, Japan, and boarded onto the U.S.S. Consolation the next day.  Records kept at the time show that Donald was suffering from amoebic dysentery.  He was returned to the Philippines for medical treatment.  While he was on his way back to the States, his sister Betty died after a 27 day illness.
    Donald arrived in Seattle, Washington, on November 1, 1945, and
returned to Walworth County on November 11, 1945.  After he was discharged from the army, he farmed.  He then worked as a laborer installing natural gas lines in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  He later returned to farming and worked on a farm south of Walworth.

    It is known that Donald married Lulu L. Wells and had a daughter.  At some point, his experiences as a POW became too much for him and he left his family.  They would never see him again.  He resided in Lake Villa, Illinois.

    Donald began experiencing health problems in the 1980s.  He went for treatment at the Veteran's Hospital in North Chicago, Illinois.  He died in Lake Villa on March 7, 1988.  He was buried in Plot H, Grave 300 at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.



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