Bataan Project

Pvt. Rudolph Oliver Bolstad

Born: 3 September 1905 - Mary Township, Norman County, Minnesota
Parents: Ole E. Bolstad & Ida Aasen-Bolstad

Siblings: 3 sisters, 3 brothers

Home: Mary Township, Norman County, Minnesota

Occupation: farmer


    - U. S. Army

        - 1941 - Fort Snelling, Minnesota


    - Fort Lewis, Washington


    - 194th Tank 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:
    - 4 September  1941 -
        - battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California
    - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 5 September 1941
        - ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
        - given physicals and inoculations
        - men with medical conditions replaced
    - Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge

    - Boarded: 3:00 P.M. - 8 September 1941   
    - Sailed: 9:00 - same day
    - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.

        - four hour shore passes issued
    - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
            - escorted by heavy cruiser , U.S.S. Astoria, and an unknown destroyer
                - heavy cruiser intercepted several ships after smoke was seen on the horizon
                - ships belonged to friendly countries

    - Arrived: Manila Bay - 7:00 A.M. - 23 September 1941

    - Disembark: 3:00 P.M.
        - taken to Ft. Stostenburg by truck

        - lived in tents until 15 November 1941
    - Stationed:
        - 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
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 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
            - 12 December 1941
                - moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
                    - arrived 6:00 A.M.
            - 15 December 1941
                - received 15 Bren gun carriers
                - turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
            - 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
            - 24/25 December 1941
                - tank battalions make end run to get south of Agno River
                    - 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
                - 192nd held from Carmen to (Route 3) to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin)

Mi ssing in Action:

    - Col. Ernest Miller's record on A Company  show Bolstad as missing - 27 December 1941

    - Rudolph Bolstad was a member of Lt. James Hart's tank crew

    - Hart's tank held its position and operated behind enemy lines
        - reported their operations - 7 January 1942


    - Pampanga, Philippine Islands

    - member of "Lapham's Raiders" 

         - promoted to corporal 

    - September 1944

        - Luzon, Philippine Islands

     - Evacuated to Australia:

         - 2 September 1944 - U.S.S. Narwhal - submarine

         - others evacuated with him: Capt. Wilbur Lage, Lt. Charles L. Naylor, and Sgt. Wilbur Jellison
             - most likely these men were ill or wounded

Promoted: Sergeant
    - headstone application indicates he was a 1st Lieutenant
Discharged: 30 May 1946


    - 2 September 1946 - Chicago, Illinois


     - Concordia Lutheran Cemetery - Hendrum, Minnesota




Bataan Project





Bataan Project

Return to Company A