Gazer

 


Tec 4 Joseph A. Gazer


Born: October 1917 - Cleveland, Ohio
Parents: Thomas Gazdecki & Mary Faldowski-Gazdecki
    - mother died when he was two years old
Step-mother: Julia Poshyvak - 1920
    - last name legally changed to "Gazer"
Home: 3625 East 57th Street - Cleveland, Ohio
Siblings: 1 sister, 1 brother
Education: 3 years of high school
Occupation: machinist - aluminum company
Residence: 9735 Kensington Road - Detroit, Michigan
    - living with sister and brother-in-law
Engaged: Helen Marie Klein - November 1940
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 1941
Units:
    - 19th Ordnance Battalion
    - 17th Ordnance Company
        - A Company, 19th Ordnance Battalion designated 17th Ordnance Company
Training:
    - Fort Knox, Kentucky
        - 17th Ordnance trained on tanks of the 192nd Tank Battalion
Overseas Duty:  

    - Ship: U.S.S. President Coolidge
        - Boarded: San Francisco, California - 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
        - Arrived: Manila, Philippine Islands - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
        -  17th Ordnance with unloaded tanks of the194th Tan Battalion
    - Ft. Stostenburg - Philippine Islands
        - lived through attack on Clark Airfield
            - attack took place ten hours after attack on Clark Airfield
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
    - Battle of Bataan
        7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942
        - 17th Ordnance worked to keep the tanks of the 192nd & 194th Tank Battalions running
Prisoner of War:
    - 9 April 1942
        - Death March
            - POWs started march at Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan
            - ran past Japanese artillery firing on Corregidor
                - Americans returned fire
                    - three Japanese guns knocked out
           - San Fernando
               - POWs herded into bull-pin
                   - in one corner was a slit trench that moved from the flies on it
                   - floor of bull-pin covered in human waste
               - POWs organized into detachment of 100 men
                   - packed into small wooden
boxcars used to haul sugarcane
               - 100 POWs put into each car
               - cars were known as "forty or eights"
                   - each car could hold forty men or eight horses
               - Capas - POWs leave cars
                  - the dead fall to the floors of the cars
               - POWs walk the last ten miles to Camp O'Donnell
POW Camp:
    - Camp O'Donnell
        - unfinished Filipino Army training base
        - Japanese put camp into use as POW cam[
        - there was only one water spigot for the entire camp
        - as many as 50 POWs died each day
        - Japanese opened a new camp at Cabanatuan
            - wanted to lower the death rate among the POWs
    - Cabanatuan
Hell Ship:
    - Tottori Maru
        - 7 October 1942 - boarded ship
        - Sailed: Manila - 9 October 1942
             - two torpedoes fired at ship from an American submarine
             - ship missed mine laid by submarine
        - Arrived: Takao, Formosa - 12 October 1942
        - Sailed: 16 October 1942
        - Arrived: Pecadores Islands - same day
            - remained anchored off islands for several days
            - two POWs died - buried at sea
        - Sailed: 27 October 1942
        - Arrived: Takao - same day
            - 28 October 1942 - POWs taken ashore and showered
        - Sailed: 30 October 1942
        - Arrived: Makou Island - Pescadores Islands - same day
        - Sailed: 31 October 1942
Died: 31 October 1942
        - since T/4 Joseph Gazer died at sea, his body was thrown into the sea
Memorial:
    - Tablets of the Missing
        - American Military Cemetery at Manila


 

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