Sgt. Lawrence Robert Alberg
Born: 21 October 1918 - Minnesota
Parents: Emil R. Alberg & Clara Tollefson-Alberg
Siblings: 1 sister, 1 half-brother
Hometown: 312 5th Avenue Northwest - Brainerd, Minnesota
Occupation: automotive mechanic
Enlisted: Minnesota National Guard
Inducted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 10 February 1941 - Brainerd, Minnesota
            - 82 men passed Army physicals
            - remained at Armory until 19 February 1941
        - 20 February 1941 - left by train - 12:19 A.M.
        - arrived Fort Lewis, Washington
            - equipment:  two tanks, one reconnaissance car, six trucks
        - designated: A Company, 194th Tank Battalion
Training:
    - Ft. Lewis, Washington
        - assigned to reconnaissance section of battalion
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island, hundred of miles away, with a large radio transmitter on it.  The squadron continued its flight plan and flew south to Mariveles before returning to Clark Field.  By the time the planes landed that evening, it was too late to do anything that day.
    The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore.  Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas Duty:
    - rode train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
        - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 6 September 1941
    - ferried on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe to Angel Island
        - given physicals and inoculated by battalion's medical detachment
        - men with medical conditions replaced
  - Ship: S.S. President Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
            - escorted by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer
                 - smoke seen several times on horizon
                 - cruiser intercepted ships which were from friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg 
Stationed:
    - Philippines
        - Ft. Stotsenburg
            - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 
            - 1 December 1941
                - tanks ordered to perimeter of Clark Field
                - 194th guarded north end of airfield with 192nd guarding south portion
                - two crew members of each tank and half-track remained with vehicle at all times
                    - meals served by food trucks
                - those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at command post
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
            - 8 December 1941
                - lived Japanese attack on Clark Field
                - planes did not go after tanks
                - after attack 194th sent to a bivouac three kilometers north of Clark Field
                    - from there they were sent to Barrio of San Joaquin on the Malolus Road
            - 10 December 1941
                - battalion sent to Mabalcat
                    - C Company was sent to Southern Luzon to support troops
            - 12 December 1941
                - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                    - arrived 6:00 A.M.
            - 14 December 1941
                - A Co. & D Co., 192nd moved to just north of Muntinlupa
            - 15 December 1941
                - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
                - Bren gun carriers used to test ground to see if it could support tanks
            - 22 December 1941
                - sent to Rosario
                    - west and north of the of barrio
                    - ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
                        - said they would hinder the cavalry's operation
            - 22/23 December 1941
                - operating north of Agno River
                - main bridge at Carmen bombed
            - 24 December 1941
                - operating in Hacienda Road area
            - 24/25 December 1941
                - sent to Carmen Area on Agno River - arrived 7:00 P.M.
                    - 5th Columnists sent up flares
                    - ran into Japanese resistance but successfully crossed river
            - 25/26 December 1941
                - held south bank of Agno River from west of Carmen to Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista Road
                    - 1 platoon of D Co., 192nd held are west of Highway 13
                - 192nd held from Carmen to (Route 3) to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin)
            - 26/27 December 1941
                - ordered to withdraw - 7:00 A.M.
                    - Lt. Costigan's platoon forced its way through way through Carmen
                        - lost two tanks
                            - one tank belonged to company commander - Captain Edward Burke
                                - believed dead, but was actually captured
                            - one tank crew rescued
                - new line Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas-San Jose
                - rest of battalion made a dash out
                    - lost one tank at Bayambang
                    - another tank went across front receiving fire and firing on Japanese
                - Lt. Petree's platoon fought its way out and across Agno River
                - D Company, 192nd, lost all its tanks except one
                    - the tank commander found a crossing
                    - Japanese would use tanks later on Bataan
            - 28 December 1941
                - Tarlec Line
                    - most of battalion withdrew from line that night
            - 29/30 December 1941
                - new line at Bamban River established
                - tank battalions held line until ordered to withdraw
            - 30/31 December 1941
                - tank battalions held Calumpit Bridge
                - covering withdraw of Philippine Divisions south on Rt. 3, San Fernando
            - 2 January 1942
                - both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction
                - 194th withdrew there on Highway 7
            - 5 January 1942
                - C Company and A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, withdrew from Guagua-Poraline
                  Line and moved into position between Sexmoan and Lubao
                - 1:50 A.M. - Japanese attempted to infiltrate
                    - bright moonlight made them easy to see
                    - tanks opened fire
                    - Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
                - 3:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off engagement
                     - suffered 50% casualties
                - Remedios - established new line along dried creek bed  
            - 6/7 January 1942
                - 194th, covered by 192nd, crosses Culis Creek into Bataan
                - both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
                - rations cut in half
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 8 April 1942
            - January 1942 - tank platoons reduced to three tanks
It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen. Weaver, "Tanks will execute maximum delay, staying in position and firing at visible enemy until further delay will jeopardize withdrawal.  If a tank is immobilized, it will be fought until the close approach of the enemy, then destroyed; the crew previously taking positions outside and continuing to fight with the salvaged and personal weapons. Considerations of personal safety and expediency will not interfere with accomplishing the greatest possible delay."
            - 8 January 1942
                - composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to
                  protect East Coast Road north of Hermosa
                    - their job was to keep the East Road open  north of Hermosa and prevent the
                      Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main battle line had been formed
                - remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
                    - tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest
                    - tanks also needed overdue maintenance by 17th Ordnance
                - sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could withdraw
                - tanks knock out an anti-tank gun
                - two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered
                - mission abandoned
                - Gen. Segunda's troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment
                - tank platoons reduced to three tanks each
                    - D Co., 192nd, receives tanks
            - 12 January 1942
                - C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road
                    - forward position with little alert time
            - 13 January 1942
                - mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road
                    - returned to battalion

            - 16 January 1942
                -  C Company sent to Bagac to reopen Moron Highway
                    - highway had been cut by Japanese
                - Moron Highway, and Junction of Trail 162
                    - tank platoon fired on by antitank gun
                        - tanks knock out gun
                        - cleared roadblock with support of infantry

            - 20 January 1942
                - Banibani Road -tanks sent in to save 31st Infantry command post
            - 24 January 1942
                - tanks order to Hacienda Road in support of troops
                    - landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
            - 26 January 1942
                - the battalion held a position a kilometer north of the Pilar-Bagac Road
                - four self-propelled mounts with the battalion
                - 9:45 A.M. - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
                    - when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had
                - 10:30 A.M. - Japanese withdrew after losing 500 of 1200 men
                    - prevented new defensive line being formed from being breached
            - 28 January 1942
                - 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
                - guarded coast from Limay to Cabcaben
                - half-tracks patrolled roads
                    - maintained radio contact with on-shore and off-shore patrols

            - March 1942
                - two tanks were bogged down in mud
                - the tankers were working to get them out
                - Japanese Regiment entered the area
                    - Lt. Col. Miller ordered tanks and artillery to fire at point blank range
                        - Miller ran from tank to tank directing fire
                    - wiped out Japanese regiment
            - 4 April 1942
                - Japanese launched major offensive
                - tanks sent into various sectors to stop Japanese advance
            - 6 April 1942
                - four tanks sent to support 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry, Philippine Scouts
                    - one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire at junction of Trails 8 & 6
                    - other tanks covered withdraw
                - 3rd Platoon sent up west coast road
                    - near Mount Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
                    - the tanks withdrew to Marivales
            - 8 April 1942
                - fighting on East Coast Road at Cabcaban

Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1942
        - 7:00 A.M. - forces surrendered
            - made way to Mariveles at southern tip of Bataan
        - Death March
               - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
                - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                    - Americans on Corregidor returned fire
                - San Fernando - POWs put into small wooden boxcars
                    - each boxcar could hold eight horses or forty men
                    - 100 POWs packed into each car
                    - POWs who died remained standing
            - Capas - dead fell to floor as living left boxcars
                - POWs walked last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
POW Camps:
    - Philippines:
        - Camp O'Donnell
            - 1 April 1942 - unfinished Filipino training base Japanese put into use as a POW camp
                - Japanese believed the camp could hold 15,000 to 20,000 POWs
            - POWs searched upon arrival at camp
                - those found with Japanese money were accused of looting
                - sent to guardhouse
                - over several days, gun shots heard southeast of the camp
                    - POWs who had money on them had been executed
            - Japanese took away any extra clothing from POWs as they entered the camp and refused to return it
                - since no water was available for wash clothing, the POWs threw soiled clothing away
                - clothing was taken from dead
                - few of the POWs in the camp hospital had clothing
            - POWs were not allowed to bathe
            - only one water spigot for entire camp
                - POWs waited 2 hours to 8 hours to get a drink
                    - water frequently turned off by Japanese guards and next man in line waited as long as 4 hours for water to be turned on again
                    - mess kits could not be cleaned
                - POWs had to carry water 3 miles from a river to cook their meals
                - second water spigot installed a week after POWs arrived
            - slit trenches overflowed since many of the POWs had dysentery
                - flies were everywhere including in camp kitchens and food
            - camp hospital had no water, soap, or disinfectant
            - the senior POW doctor wrote a list of medicines he wanted to treat the sick and was told by the camp commandant, Capt. Yoshio
              Tsuneyoshi, never to write another letter
                - Tsuneyoshi said that all he wanted to know about the American POWs was their names and numbers when they died
                - refused to allow a truckload of medicine sent by the Archbishop of Manila into the camp
                - 95% of the medicine sent by Philippine Red Cross was taken by the Japanese for their own use
            - POWs in camp hospital lay on floor elbow to elbow
            - operations on POWs were performed with mess kit knives
            - only one medic out of six assigned to care for 50 sick POWs, in the hospital, was well enough to work
            - as many as 50 POWs died each day
                - each morning dead were found everywhere in the camp and stacked up under the hospital
                - ground under hospital was scrapped and cover with lime to clean it
                - the dead were moved to this area and the section where they had laid was scrapped and cover with lime
                - usually not buried for two or three days
            - work details: if a POW could walk, he was sent out on a work detail
                - POWs on burial detail often had dysentery and malaria
        - Japanese opened new POW camp to lower death rate
            - 1 June 1942 - POWs formed detachments of 100 men
                - POWs marched out gate and marched toward Capas
                    - Filipino people gave POWs small bundles of food
                        - the guards did not stop them
                - At Capas, the POWs were put into steel boxcars and rode them to Manila
                - train stopped at Calumpit and switched onto the line to Cabanatuan
                    - POWs disembark train at 6:00 P.M. and put into a school yard
                    - fed rice and onion soup   
        - Cabanatuan:
            - original name: Camp Panagaian
            - Philippine Army Base built for 91st Philippine Army Division
                - actually three camps
                    - Camp 1: POWs from Camp O'Donnell sent there
                    - Camp 2:  four miles away
                        - all POWs moved from there because of a lack of water
                        - later used for Naval POWs
                    - Camp 3: six miles from Camp 2
                        - POWs from Corregidor and from hospitals sent there
              - September 1942 - Camps 1 & 3 consolidated
                 - work details sent out to cut wood for POW kitchens, plant rice, and farm
                 - when POWs lined up for roll call, it was a common practice for Japanese guards, after the POWs lined up, to kick the POWs in
                   their shins with their hobnailed boots
                    - they also were frequently hit with a pick handle, for no reason, as they counted off
                - POWs on the rice planting detail were punished by having their faces pushed into the mud and stepped on
                - the POWs had to go into a shed to get the tools, as they came out, they were hit on their heads
                - if the guards on the detail decided the POW wasn't doing what he should be doing, he was beaten
                - many POWs on details were able to smuggle in medicine, food, and tobacco into the camp
            - to prevent escapes, the POWs set up patrols along the camp's fence
            - men who attempted to escape and caught were executed after being beaten
                - the other POWs were forced to watch the beatings
            - daily POW meal - 16 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of vegetable oil, sweet potato or corn
        - Barracks:
            - each barracks built for 50 POWs
                - 60 to 120 POWs were held in each one
                - POWs slept on bamboo strips
                - no showers
        - Camp Hospital:
            - 30 Wards
                - each ward could hold 40 men
                    - frequently had 100 men in each
               - two tiers of bunks
                   - sickest POWs on bottom tier
               - each POW had a 2 foot by 6 foot area to lie in
            - Zero Ward
              - given name because it had been missed when counting wards
              - became ward where those who were going to die were sent
              - fenced off from other wards
                  - Japanese guards would not go near it
                 - POWs sent there had little to no chance of surviving
                - many deaths caused by malnutrition
                - others became ill because of lack of bedding, covers, and mosquito netting
    - Las Pinas Detail  - 12 December 1942
        - POWs built runway at Nichols Field
            - runway a mile long and 500 feet wide running southeastward
            - POWs removed hills with picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows
            - landfill used to fill-in swampland
            - loaded mining cars with earth and four POWs pushed car to dumping area
        - lived at the Pasay School
           - 6:00 A.M.
               - roll call
           - breakfast: fish soup and rice
           - marched mile and half to Nielsen Field
                       - arrived at 8:30 A.M.
            - Initially the POWs worked until 11:30 and did not work again until 1:30
                - work day ended at 4:15
                - work day got longer
                    - death rate among POWs extremely high
                    - dying sent to Bilibid Prison to die
                    - POWs beaten for breaking rules
            - 21 September 1944 -  American planes bomb and strafe airfield
                - detail ends - POWs sent to Bilibid Prison

            - 1 January 1943 -family received word he was a POW
        -Bilibid Prison     
            - Admitted: 23 August 1943 - hospital ward
                - abdomen dermatitis
            - Discharged: 30 August 1943
               - medical records show he was suffering from pellagra, beriberi, dysentery and
                 amblyoa (lazy eye)
            - Admitted: Not known
            - Discharged: 12 January 1944 - returned to airfield work detail
            - Admitted; 21 January 1944
                 - dermatitis
             - Discharged: 2 February 1944 - returned to airfield work detail
             - Admitted: 17 March 1944
                - contusion
             - Discharged: 19 March 1944
                 - Army Air Detail
              - Admitted: 5 April 1944
                 - dengue fever
             - Discharged: 14 April 1944
                 - Army Air Detail
             - Admitted: 14 May 1944
                 - contusion - left big toe
             - Discharged: 18 May 1944
                  - Army Air Detail 
             - Admitted: not known
                 - in grown nail - big left toe
             - Discharged: 20 June 1944
                  - Army Air Detail
             - Admitted: 9 July 1944
                 - acute enteritis
             - Discharged: 13 July 1944
                 - Army Air Detail
Hell Ship:
    - Nissyo Maru
        - Friday - 17 July 1944 - POWs left prison at 7:00 A.M.
        - Boarded ship: Friday - same day
            - Japanese attempted to put all the POWs in one hold
            - when they couldn't, they put 900 the POWs in the forward hold
            - 600 POWs held in rear hold
        - Sailed: Manila - same day
            - dropped anchor at breakwater until 23 July 1944
            - POWs were not fed or given water for over a day and a half after being put in
              the ship's hold
            - POWs fed rice and vegetables twice a day and received two canteen cups of
               water each day
            - 23 July 1944 - 8:00 A.M. - ship moved to area off Corregidor and dropped
              anchor
        - Sailed: Monday - 24 July 1944 - as part of a convoy
            - some POWs cut the throats of other POWs and drank their blood
            - convoy attacked by American submarines
                - four of the thirteen ships in the convoy were sunk
                - a torpedo hit the ship but did not explode
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - Friday - 28 July 1944 - 9:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: same day - 7:00 P.M.
            - 30 July 1944 - 2 August 1944 - sailed through storm
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - Thursday - 3 August 1944 - midnight
            - Thursday - 3 August 1944 - POWs issued new clothing
            - Friday - 4 August 1944 - 8:00 A.M. - POWs disembarked and taken to a theater
            - POWs put into a movie theater
                - later divided into 200 men detachments and sent to different POW camps
            - taken by train to POW camps along train lines
            - POWs arrived at Narumi Camp - Saturday - 5 August 1944
POW Camps:
    - Japan:
        - Narumi Camp

            - Work: Daido Electric Steel Company
                - Nippon Wheel Manufacturing Company
                    - manufactured steel wheels
                - to meet number of POWs needed to meet the work quota, the sick POWs
                  who could walk were forced to work
                - Punishment in the camp consisted of the POWs being beaten, kicked,
                  stripped of clothing, standing at attention for long periods of time
Liberated: 9 September 1945
Hospital:
    - Schick General Hospital - Clinton, Iowa
Returned Home: 5 November 1945
Married:
    - Grace Randolph Mohr - 13 August 1953
        - Died: December 1991
Children: 1 daughter
Employed:
    - Southern Pacific Railroad - Modesto, California
        - mechanic -
Residence: 254 East Emerson - Tracy, California
    - later resided in Franklin, Washington
Died: 22 September 1994 - Veterans Administration Hospital
    - Spokane, Washington


 

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