Trisler

 

Cpl. Edward Vivion Trisler


    Cpl. Edward V. Trisler was the son of William H. Trisler & Ella Trisler.  He was born on September 15, 1921, and one the couple's six children. He was raised on a farm and worked as a farmer outside of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

    Edward joined the Kentucky National Guard in Harrodsburg and was called to federal duty on November 25, 1940 as a member of D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.  He trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky and took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.

    After the maneuvers, Edward learned that his battalion was being sent overseas.  He received a leave home to say goodbye and then returned to Camp Polk, Louisiana.  Form there, his company took a train to San Francisco.
    Over different train routes, the 192nd traveled to San Francisco.  After receiving physicals and inoculations, they were boarded onto the U.S.A.T. Hugh L. Scott  The ship 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 Tuesday, November 4th, 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.

    The morning of December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Edward and the rest of his company were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield.  Being that their tanks could not fight planes, they watched as the Japanese destroyed the American Army Air Corps.  For the next four months, his company fought to slow Japan's conquest of the Philippines.

    Edward became a Prisoner of War when Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942.  He took part in the death march from Mariveles to San Fernando.  There, he and the other POWs were packed into boxcars and road to Capas.  From Capas, he walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell. 
    Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino Army training base that the Japanese put into use as a POW camp.  There was only one water faucet for the entire camp.  The number of deaths in the camp increased each until as many as 55 POWs died a day.
    The Japanese realized that they had to do something, so they opened a new POW Vamp at Cabanatuan.  Trisler was sent to the camp when it opened.   A short time after arriving in the camp, he entered the camp hospital on Friday, June 12, 1942, suffering from malaria.  How long he remained in the hospital is not known since no discharge date was indicated.  \

    According to U. S. Army records, Cpl. Edward V. Trisler was readmitted to the camp hospital on Monday, November 30th with dysentery and malaria.  He died from these illnesses at Cabanatuan POW Camp on Wednesday, December 23, 1942, at approximately 8:00 PM.  He was 22 years old. He was buried at the Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in Plot 2, Row 16, Grave 2061.

   After the war, the remains of Cpl. Edward V. Trisler were buried at the American Military Cemetery at Manila. 

    Note that his cross indicates that he was a member of the 194th Tank Battalion.  Although D Company fought with the 194th, the company never officially was transferred to the battalion. This resulted in some of the members of the company being buried as members of the battalion while others were buried as members of the 192nd Tank Battalion.


 

 

Return to D Company

Next