Pvt. Frederick George Schweinsberg
Pvt. Frederick G. Schweinsberg was born in Forest
Park, Illinois, on August 5, 1918. He was
the son of Alfred Schweinsberg and Louise
Lipke-Schweinsberg. With his brother and two
sisters, he lived at 443 Marengo Avenue in Forest
Park and attended Grant-White Elementary School
and Proviso Township High School.
Frederick worked as a salesman for the A. B.
Schweinsberg Real Estate
Company, which was his family's business.
Frederick joined the Illinois National Guard, and in November 1940, he entered the regular army when the Maywood Tank Company was called into federal service as B Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. Frederick, with his company, trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was during this training that Frederick became a member of the Headquarters Company of the 192nd Tank Battalion when the company was created in January of 1941. In the late summer of 1941, Frederick took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.
After the maneuvers, the 192nd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. On a hillside, the entire battalion was informed that their tour of duty had been extended from one to six years. Those men over 26 years of age were released from military service. They were given passes to return home and take care of any unfinished business.
After returning to Camp Polk, Frederick and the
rest of the battalion were sent by train to San
Francisco. From there, they took ferries
to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. On
the island, shots were given and preparations
made for duty overseas.
On December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the
attack on Pearl Harbor, Fred lived through the
Japanese attack on Clark Airfield. His
battalion remained at the airfield until they were
sent north to Lingayen Gulf to meet Japanese
troops landing there. He worked to ensure
that the tanks had ammunition and gasoline.
On April 9, 1942, Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese. It was on that day that Frederick became a Prisoner of War. HQ Company remained in their bivouac until a Japanese officer with several hundred soldiers showed up in the encampment. He ordered the soldiers out on the road. They were allowed to drive their trucks to Mariveles.
Outside of the barrio, they were ordered out of the trucks and ordered to kneel with their possessions in front of them. As they knelt, the Japanese took what they wanted from the POWs. They were next herded into a field and left sitting for hours.
As the POWs sat, they noticed a Japanese sergeant and soldiers forming a line in front of them. They quickly realized that this was a firing squad and that they were going to be executed. The Japanese were almost ready when a Japanese officer pulled up in an American car. He spoke to the sergeant than got back into the car and drove off. The Japanese sergeant ordered his soldiers to lower their guns.
The POWs were ordered out onto the road and ordered to march. As they made their way north, they had to run past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor. It was at Cabcaben that Pvt. Frederick Schweinsberg died on the Death March on April 12, 1942. He was 23 years old. His remains were buried at the cemetery there.
It should be noted that, after the war, a U.S. Remains Recovery Team recovered the remains of a private from B Company at the cemetery at Cabcaben on September 22, 1948. The POW's remains were identified as X-835 They were renumbered as X-4691. Since only one member of B Company died at Cabcaban, the recovered remains should be those of Frederick Schweinsberg. The recovery team believed they could not positively identify the remains, so they were reburied at the new American Military Cemetery at Manila as an "Unknown," in Plot 2, Row 12, Grave 2401.
Since his remains were not
positively identified, Pvt. Frederick
Schweinsberg's name appears on the Tablets of
the Missing at the American Military Cemetery at