Walsh_S

 

Sgt. Stanley John Walsh


    Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh was born on January 23, 1921, in Janesville, Wisconsin, to Arthur M. Walsh & Florence Dickson-Walsh.  He grew up, with his three brothers, at 514 South Third Street and attended grade school and high school in Janesville.

    Stanley joined the 32nd Tank Company of the Wisconsin National Guard which was headquartered in an armory in Janesville.  Possibly one of the reasons he joined the tank company was that his brother, Ernest, was a member.

    Stanley was called to federal service when the company was federalized in November of 1940.  As a member of A Company, he trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  The battalion was provided with tanks, M2A2s that the regular army had deemed obsolete.  When Stanley saw the four of the tanks assigned to A Company, he commented, "Boy, are they crummy."  

    In the late summer of 1941, Stanley participated in maneuvers in Louisiana.  During the maneuvers, he commanded a half-track.  It was after these maneuvers that his battalion, the 192nd Tank Battalion, was being sent overseas.  He was given a leave to say goodbye to his friends and family.
    The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S.S. Hugh L. Scott 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 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.
    The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the 192nd was guarding the perimeter of Clark Field.  A week earlier, they had been given assigned positions around the airfield to guard against enemy paratroopers.  At 8:30 in the morning, the American planes took off and filled the sky.  They landed at noon and lined up, in a straight line, near the mess hall.  The pilots went to lunch.  
    The tankers were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes was spotted approaching the airfield from the north.  The tankers believed the planes were American. As they watched, raindrops fell from the planes.  When bombs exploded on the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.    
    After the attack on December 12th, the company was sent to the Barrio of Dau so it would be close to a highway and railroad.   From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd just south of the Agno River.  There, the tanks, with A Company, 194th held the position.  

    On December 23rd and 24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta.  It was there, that the tankers lost the company commander, Capt. Walter Write. 
In spite of his wounds, he continued to give orders to his company.  His main concern was for his soldiers safety.  After he was buried, the tankers made an end run to get south of Agno River.  As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening. They successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.    I n one incident, that took place December 23rd and 24th, the company was told by General Wainwright's headquarters that he was immediate commander of the area.  This belief of the highest ranking officer in an area being in command was a situation the tankers found themselves in repeatedly until tank command made it clear that the tanks would only take orders from it.
    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 held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th.
    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 Reed.  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.
    During this time, his family received a letter from him, in it he said:


    "Earnie and I are O.K. So is Joe McCrea.  He is beside me now as I write, listening to the news broadcast. 
    There's not much I can tell you, but there's lots I'd like to tell you.  (Wow!) 
    The weather has been swell the last three months,; it has rained or two or three times.  But its time for the rainy season to begin, however, that won't be so good.
    I am still in good shape -  get to go swimming nearly every evening.  Haven't received any mail from you since the war started but hope your getting our letters.

   Don't worry about us.  We're doing all right - still getting plenty to eat."

    Stanley and Earnie had purchased an airplane before they went overseas.

    We're still going to do a lot of flying when we get home."

    On April 9, 1942, Stanley became a Prisoner of War.  He took part in the death march and was held as a POW at Camp O'Donnell.  A new POW camp was opened at Cabanatuan and the healthier POWs were sent there.  Stanley remained behind at Camp O'Donnell in the camp hospital.  He was discharged and sent to Cabanatuan on July 3, 1942.  

    At some point, Stanley became ill and was hospitalized in the camp hospital with beriberi and dysentery.  On Friday, November 6, 1942, at approximately 6:00 PM, Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh died of beriberi and dysentery at Cabanatuan.  He was 21 years old.  His body was buried in the camp cemetery.  His parents learned of his death in August 1943.

    After the war, Stanley's  parents requested that his remains be returned to Janesville.  On July 31, 1948, a funeral service for Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh  and his brother, Ernest, was held at St. Mary's Church.  Former  members of A Company, Dale Lawton, Forrest Knox, Philip Parrish and Carl Nichols served as pallbearers for Stanley. 

    Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh remains lie next to those of his brother, Earnie, at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Janesville. 


 

 

 

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