FoleyG

 


Pvt. Gerald Dean Foley


Born: 31 October 1914 -  Minnesota

Parents: Dohliner S. Foley & Marie Halverson-Foley

Siblings: 3 sisters, 1 brother, 1 half-sister

Home: 5036 East Sixth Street - Los Angles, California

Inducted:

    - U. S. Army

        - 1941

Training: 

    - Fort Lewis, Washington

        - proved to be a marksman with his side-arm
    - Ft. Knox, Kentucky
        - radio operator school

Units: 

    - 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: U.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 heavy cruiser -  U.S.S. Astoria
                - heavy cruiser intercepted several ships after smoke was seen on the horizon
                - ships belonged to friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg

Stationed:
    - Ft. Stostenburg, Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941
        - 1 December 1941 - tanks and half-tracks ordered to perimeter of Clark Field
            - two members of each crew ordered to remain with their vehicle at all times
            - received meals from food trucks   

Engagements: 

    - Battle of Luzon

            - The morning of December 8th, December 7th in the United States, the tankers were ordered to the
               perimeter of Clark Airfield.

            - 12:45 P.M. - the airfield was bombed destroying the Army Air Corps
                - tankers were receiving lunch from food trucks when attack came
            - HQ Company members remained in 194th command area
                - could do little more than take cover during attack
            - As HQ Company watched the wounded and dying carried to hospital on anything that would carry
              them

                  - most had missing arms or legs
                  - when hospital ran out of room, wounded put under the hospital
            - Next day, members of company walked around airfield and saw the dead laying
               everywhere
            - 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
            - 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 - 9 April 1942
            - 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 from 17th Ordnance
                - all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
                    - three per tank platoon
                    - 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
        - 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
        - 25 January 1942 - along Bano Bano Road
            - battalion was holding the road
            - after Roy Nordstrom, A Company, killed a Japanese officer and enlisted man with his
               machine-gun, the battalion was in a major engagement

            - Foley's half-track was at the south end of the tank column
            - Foley got so excited he climbed from the half-track and began shooting.  The
              first Japanese soldier he hit in the chest.  He continued to calmly fire at them
              while he stood out in the open.
            - 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
                - gasoline rations cut to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks
                - Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that one platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor
                    - Wainwright rejected idea
        - 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
            - at Cabcaban Airfield
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."
        - February 1942
            - tank battalions on their own guarded airfields
            - battalions also guarded beaches to prevent Japanese from landing troops     
            - 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
                - gasoline rations cut to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks
                - Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that one platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor
                    - Wainwright rejected idea
        - 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
            -  at Cabcaban Airfield

Tank battalion commanders received this order, "You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word 'CRASH', all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished."
            - 10:30 P.M. - Gen. King announced that further resistance would result in the massacre of
              6000 sick or wounded troops and 40000 civilians
            - less than 25% of his troops were healthy enough to continue fighting
            - he estimated they could hold out one more day
            - sent his staff officers to negotiate the surrender of Bataan
            - 11:40 P.M. - ammunition dumps blown up

Prisoner of War: 

    - 9 April 1942

        - received order to destroy equipment and report to kilometer marker 168.2.
            - Provisional Tank Group Headquarters
        - Japanese officers told Col. Ernest Miller to keep them there until ordered to move
    - 10 April 1942
            - 7:00 P.M. - started march from Provisional Tank Group headquarters
            - Foley escaped into jungle at kilometer post 167.8 with George Abapo

Guerrilla:

    - fought as guerrilla

    - listed on guerrilla roster for Zambales 

    - captured by Japanese in 1943

    - According to Foley, he was living in a cave near Manila, because

      one man was sick.

    - He was taken to Malolos in Bulacan and questioned

    - Foley, after he was recaptured, stated he did not fight as a guerrilla

    - When the Japanese could get nothing from him, they beat him

POW Camps:

        - Cabanatuan

            - According to the diary of 2nd Lt. Ralph Crandall, the

              Japanese brought Foley to the camp on May 12, 1943

        - Clark Airfield

            - considered by men who were there as the best POW camp in the Philippines
                - slept in barracks on bunks
            - May 1942
                - Work day started at 6:00 A.M.
                    - POWs were fed breakfast
                        - one cup of rice
                     -  6:00 P.M. - dinner
                - POWs worked seven days a week - no days off
                - POWs arrived and cut grass and screened gravel
                - dug rocks out of ground to repair runways
                     - POW detachments had a quota of rock to meet each day
                    - had to work until quota for the day was met
                - at first guards, who were combat veterans, told the POWs to work slowly
                    - the guards wanted to stay on detail as long as possible
                - when guards changed, the treatment of POWs changed
                - POWs worked long hours on short rations
                - POWs expected to keep working regardless of health
                - if a POW was injured there was no medical supplies to treat him
                    - POWs with malaria did not have to work
                - if the Japanese determined a POW wasn't "too sick" the man worked
                - POWs had to work during a typhoon in loin clothes
                - at one point the POWs had to move live bombs from one building to another building
                - those who could not work were severely beaten
                    - beatings common
                    - POWs stated that someone was always being hit over the head with a saber by one lieutenant
                    - also beaten for no reason with a golf club
                - when on POW escaped the other POWs were not fed and stood at attention for hours

        - Cabanatuan
            - 15 July 1944
                - 25 to 30 trucks arrived at camp to transport POWs to Manila 
                    - POWs left at 8:00 P.M.
        - Bilibid Prison
            - POWs arrive at 2:00 A.M. - 16 July 1944
                - fed rotten sweet potatoes

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 August 1944 - 2 September 1944 - sailed through storm
        - Arrived: Moji, Japan - Thursday - 3 August 1944 - midnight
            - POWs disembarked and taken to a pier - Friday - 4 August 1944 - 8:00 A.M.
                - 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

POW Camp:

    - Japan

        - Fukuoka #4B

           - arrived in camp - August 1944
            - POWs housed in YMCA building
            - POWs worked as stevedores on docks, for railroads, and for companies
            - Cpl. Nagakerra Seiso refused to issue or repair POW clothing
                - if he considered a POWs clothing did not need to be replaced, he beat the POW with his
                  fists and kicked him
            - Japanese told ranking American officer there were no shoes available for the POWs
                - POWs worked barefooted in cold weather resulting in many developing coughs, lung
                  conditions, and pneumonia
                - many of the POWs forced to work while suffering dysentery
            - Japanese soldiers were seen wearing Red Cross boots meant for POWs

            - Foley was put in charge of a work detail that
blasted air raid shelters into the mountain
              sides

            - he packed the detail with sick POWs so that they would receive medical care

            - William Kinler of C Company credited Foley with saving his life

Liberated:

    - 13 September 1945

        - POWs broke into camp warehouse and found 500 pairs of Japanese shoes and 250 pounds of
          leather that was intended to be used to repair the POWs' shoes
        - 1300 uniforms for the POWs were also found
        - former POWs taken Nagasaki

            - from there they went to Okinawa

            - flown to Manila
Discharged: 1 December 1946

Married: Priscilla J. Winterfeldt

Children: 1 daughter

Died: 2 October 1989 - Cook County, Illinois
Buried: Saint Luke Lutheran Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois


 

 

Next

 

Return to HQ Company