Cpl. Joseph Zam Jr.
| Cpl. Joseph Zam Jr. was
born on April 23, 1922, in Toledo, Ohio, to Joseph
J. Zam Sr. & Mary Hollo-Zam. As a child,
he grew up on Lockwood Road in Portage Township
outside of Gypsum, Ohio. He was one of the
couple's eleven children.
Joseph attended Gypsum School. Although he did not graduate, he attended Port Clinton High School for two years. Before he was inducted into the army, he worked on area farms as a laborer and in boat construction.
Knowing that it was just a matter of time before
he was drafted, Joseph enlisted in the Ohio
National Guard in November, 1940. On
August 10th, the company left Port Clinton and
took part in maneuvers at Sparta, Wisconsin for
three weeks. In September the company was
designated C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.
After the attack, Joseph and the other members of C Company were sent to defend a dam from possible sabotage. A few days later the company was sent north to Lingayan Bay in support of B Company. He was reported to have been wounded on December 14, 1941, during this action. From available information, he was hit by shrapnel. For the next four months Joseph took part in the attempt to slow the Japanese conquest of the Philippine Islands.
When Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese, Joseph became a Prisoner of War. He took part in the Death March and was first held at Camp O'Donnell as a POW. It was while he was there that he went out on the bridge building detail to rebuild bridges that had been destroyed during the withdraw into Bataan.
As a member of the work detail, Joseph with the other POWs was sent to Calauan. After this bridge was finished, the detail was moved to Batangas in later July 1943. From there he was sent north to Candelaria to rebuild a third bridge
Upon completion of the bridge building detail,
Joseph was sent to Cabanatuan. After
arriving at the camp, Joseph was hospitalized on
Wednesday, July 5, 1942, suffering from
dysentery, yaws, and malaria. It was there
that Cpl. Joseph Zam Jr. died of beriberi and
heart failure on Tuesday, September 14, 1942, at
approximately 10:00 PM. The report kept at
the camp has his cause of death as dysentery and
yellow jaundice. He was 21 years