Pvt. Wesley James Kerrigan
Born: 12 January 1918 - Fort Dodge, Iowa
Parents: William A. Kerrigan & Abbie Winterand-Kerrigan
Siblings: 1 sister, 2 brothers
Home: 1305 Mill Avenue - Brainerd, Minnesota
    - brother, Vern, and Wesley were living with their maternal grandparents
Nickname: Jim
Education: grammar school
Occupation: construction worker
Enlisted:
    - U.S. Army
        - 10 February 1941 - Brainerd, Minnesota
Training:
    - Fort Lewis, Washington
Units:
    - 194th Tank Battalion
        - accidentally shot himself while home on leave - 22 July 1941
            - slipped and finger stuck on trigger - shot himself in shoulder
            - spent part of leave in St. Joseph Hospital
Overseas Duty:

    - 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
            - sailed south away from main shipping lanes
            - escorted by the heavy cruiser - U.S.S. Astoria
                - smoke seen on horizon several times
                -  cruiser intercepted ships
                - ships from friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
    - Philippines
        - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 
Engagements:
    - Battle of Luzon
        - 8 December 1941 - 26 December 1941
            - 8 December 1941
               - Recalling the attack on Clark Field: 
"I was seated on a tank reading a movie magazine , when the first Jap bomb dropped on the field.  The attack was a complete surprise and I was almost jarred from the top of the tank by the explosion.  The Japs attacked with a flight of 74 bombers (actually 54) protected by about 80 fighters."
           - 12 December 1941 - wounded - Clark Field -air raid
           - wounded again, several times, while being transported to Manila when train
             was strafed by a Japanese plane
                 - hands also were burned but could not remember how it happened
                 - Recalled: "The train was set afire by the strafing."           
               - parents learned he was wounded - 20 December 1941
Wounded:
    - 26 December 1941
Evacuated:
    - 31 December 1941 - wounded informed the Japanese had agreed to
       allow on ship carrying wounded to sail to Australia
    - wounded moved to the Port Area of Manila
    - S.S. Mactan
        - ship sailed at 10:00 PM
        - POWs unaware where they were going until they see the silhouette
          of Corregidor
        - trip took 27 days
        - Remembering the trip: "I don't ever want to experience another like it."
        - Ship docked at Darwin, Australia
            - wounded taken to Brisbane   
            - wounded taken to 113th Australian General Hospital in Sidney
            - of his time in Australia, he said, "You never saw better hospitality than was  
              shown us Americans by the Australian people."

United States:
    Sailed: 19 August 1942
   Arrived: September 1942
        -Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, California - 30 September 1942
Discharged:
    - 20 January 1943
        - wounds considered too serious to stay in military
        - wanted to serve in some capacity
Died:
    - 2 June 1958 - Brainerd, Minnesota
        - car accident
Buried:
    - Fort Snelling National Cemetery - Saint Paul, Minnesota
        - Section:  C-19   Site: 12195

 

 

 


Return to Company A