| Pvt. Donald F. Schultz was the son of Otto C. Schultz & Emma Tessmer-Schultz. He was born in Dorchester, Wisconsin, on February 17, 1919, and was one of the couple's twelve children. He attended school in Dorchester and after his graduation from grade school, his family moved to a farm south of Lake Geneva on County Road BB. He never attended high school. |
On November 16, 1940, Donald joined the Wisconsin National Guard in Janesville, Wisconsin, with his friends Ray and Fay Baldon. He did this because it was just a matter of time until he would be drafted into the army. Nine days later, on November 25, 1940, he traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for a year of training. It was during this time his National Guard Company was renamed A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion.
A typical day for the soldiers started in 6:15 with reveille, but most of the soldiers were up before this since they wanted to wash and dress. Breakfast was from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M., followed by calisthenics at 8:00 to 8:30. Afterwards, the tankers went to various schools within the company. The classes consisted of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns, pistol, map reading, care of personal equipment, military courtesy, and training in tactics.
At 11:30 the soldiers stopped what they were doing and cleaned up for mess which was from noon to 1:00 P.M. Afterwards, they attended the various schools which they had been assigned to on January 13, such as: mechanics, tank driving, radio operating. At 4:30, the soldiers called it a day and returned to their barracks and put on dress uniforms and at five held retreat which was at 5:50. After dinner, they were off duty and lights were out at 9:00 P.M., but they did not have to turn in until 10:00 when Taps was played. During Paul's time at Ft. Knox, he qualified as a tank driver.
When the battalion was sent to Louisiana for maneuvers, Donald stayed behind to guard the company's equipment that was left behind at Ft. Knox. After the maneuvers, instead of returning to Ft. Knox, the battalion remained at Camp Polk. None of the members had any idea why they were being kept there. Donald and the other members of the battalion at Ft. Knox, were sent to Camp Polk.
On the side of a hill, the battalion members were informed that they were being sent overseas. They were told that this decision had been made by General George Patton. Those members of the battalion who were 29 years old or older were given the opportunity to resign from federal service.
The battalion traveled by train to San Francisco, where they were ferried, on the U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe, taken to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island. On the island, they received inoculations and physicals. Those members of the battalion who were found to have treatable medical conditions remained behind on the island. They were scheduled to join the battalion at a later date.
The 192nd was boarded onto the U.S. A. T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27. During this part of the trip, many tankers had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP. The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2 and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
On Wednesday, November 5, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes. It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the S. S. President Calvin Coolidge. Sunday night, November 9, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11. During the night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the International Dateline. On Saturday, November 15, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon. The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke. It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country.
During this part of the voyage, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon. The cruiser that was escorting the two transports revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it took off in the direction of the smoke. It turned out that the unknown ship was from a friendly country.
When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day. At one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in total blackout. This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way. The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning. At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg. Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to unload the tanks.
At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward P. King, who apologized that they had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Field. He made sure that they all received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own. Ironically, November 20 was the date that the National Guard members of the battalion had expected to be released from federal service.
For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons. The grease was put on the weapons to protect them from rust while at sea. They also loaded ammunition belts and did tank maintenance.
On December 1, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese paratroopers. From this point on, two tank crew members remained with the tanks at all times.
The morning of December 8, 1941, Capt. Walter Write informed his company that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese. The tanks were put on alert at their positions around the airfield. At 8:30 A.M., American planes took off to intercept any Japanese planes. Sometime before noon, the alert was canceled and the planes landed and were lined up near the pilots' mess hall. Their pilots went to lunch.
The tankers were eating lunch when planes were seen approaching the airfield from the north at about 12:45. Many of the tankers counted 54 planes. The planes approached the airfield and watched hat was described as "raindrops" falling from the planes. When the raindrops began exploding on the runways, the tankers knew the planes were Japanese.
The members of A Company lived through the bombing of Clark Field and could do little since their guns were not made to use against planes. For some reason, not known to the tankers, the Japanese did not attack the tanks.
The company, on December 12, was sent to the Barrio of Dau so it would be close to a highway and railroad and guard them against sabotage. From there, the company was sent to join the other companies of the 192nd which had been ordered north to the Lingayen Gulf Area to relieve the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts.
On December 23 and 24, the company was in the area of Urdaneta, where the tankers lost the company commander, Capt. Walter Write. After he was buried, the tankers made an end run to get south of Agno River after the main bridge had been destroyed. As they did this, they ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening but successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.
On December 25, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road. The tanks were asked to hold the position for six hours; they held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27.
On a road east of Zaragoza, on December 30, the company was bivouacked for the night and posted sentries. The sentries heard a noise on the road and woke the other tankers who grabbed Tommy-guns and manned the tanks' machine guns. As they watched, a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac. When the last bicycle passed the tanks, the tankers opened up on them. When they stopped firing, they had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion. To leave the area, the tankers drove their tanks over the bodies.
At Gumain River, the night of December 31 to the morning of January 1, the tank companies formed a defensive line along the south bank of the river. When the Japanese attacked the position at night, they were easy to see since they were wearing white t-shirts. The Japanese were taking heavy casualties, so they attempted to use smoke to cover their advance, but the wind blew the smoke into the Japanese. When the Japanese broke off the attack, they had suffered fifty percent casualties.
At Guagua, A Company, with units from the 11th Division, Philippine Army, attempted to make a counterattack against the Japanese. Somehow, the tanks were mistaken, by the Filipinos to be Japanese. The 11th Division accurately used mortars on them. The result was the loss of three tanks.
On January 1, the tanks of the 194th were holding the Calumpit Bridge allowing the Southern Luzon Forces to cross the bridge toward Bataan. General Wainwright was attempting to hold the main Japanese force coming down Route 5 to prevent the troops from being cut off. General MacArthur's chief of staff gave conflicting orders involving whose command the defenders were under which caused confusion. Gen. Wainwright was not aware these orders had been given.
Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridges over the Pampanga River. Due to the efforts of the Self Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted. From January 2 to 4, the 192nd held the road open from San Fernando to Dinalupihan so the southern forces could escape. It was also in January 1942, that the food ration was cut in half. It was not too long after this was done that malaria, dysentery, and dengue fever began hitting the soldiers.
A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an area east of Pampanga, where they lost a tank platoon commander, Lt. William Read. The company returned to the command or the 192nd on January 8, 1942.
On January 28, the tank battalions were given the job of protecting the beaches. The 192nd was assigned the coast line from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan's east coast. The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.
The company also took part in the Battle of the Pockets - from January 23 to February 17 - to wipe out Japanese soldiers who had been trapped behind the main defensive line after a Japanese offensive was stopped and pushed pack to the original line of defense. The tanks would enter the pocket one at a time to replace a tank in the pocket. Another tank did not enter the pocket until a tank exited the pocket. Doing this was so stressful that each tank company was rotated out and replaced by one that was being held in reserve.
To exterminate the Japanese, two methods were used. The first was to have three Filipino soldiers ride on the back of the tank. As the tank went over a Japanese foxhole, the Filipinos dropped three hand grenades into the foxhole. Since the grenades were from WWI, one out of three usually exploded.
The other method to use to kill the Japanese was to park a tank with one track over the foxhole. The driver gave the other track power resulting with the tank spinning around and grinding its way down into the foxhole. The tankers slept upwind of their tanks.
While the tanks were doing this job, the Japanese sent soldiers, with cans of gasoline, against the tanks. These Japanese attempted to jump onto the tanks, pour gasoline into the vents on the back of the tanks, and set the tanks on fire. If the tankers could not machine gun the Japanese before they got to a tank, the other tanks would shoot them as they stood on a tank. The tankers did not like to do this because of what it did to the crew inside the tank. When the bullets hit the tank, its rivets would pop and wound the men inside the tank. It was for their performance during this battle that the 192nd Tank Battalion would receive one of its Distinguished Unit Citations.
Since the stress on the crews was tremendous, the tanks rotated into the pocket one at a time. A tank entered the pocket and the next tank waited for the tank that had been relieved to exit the pocket before it would enter. This was repeated until all the tanks in the pocket were relieved.
What made this job so hard was that the Japanese dug "spider holes" among the roots the trees. Because of this situation, the Americans could not get a good shot at the Japanese.
The tankers from A, B, and C Companies were able to clear the pockets. But before this was done, one C Company tank which had gone beyond the American perimeter was disabled and the tank just sat there. When the sun came up the next day, the tank was still sitting there. During the night, its crew was buried alive, inside the tank, by the Japanese. When the Japanese had been wiped out, the tank was turned upside down to remove the dirt and recover the bodies of the crew. The tank was put back into use.
At the same time, the tanks were also used to clear out the Japanese in what was called "The Battle of the Points." The Japanese had attempted to land troops behind the main defensive line and ended up with troops trapped on two different points on the peninsula.
The Japanese Marines were driven to the cliffs and hid in the caves below the cliff lines. They used the caves for protection and would climb down the cliffs to enter them or leave them. The tankers fired into the caves repeatedly until the Japanese were dead or came out of the caves.
On another date, the tanks of A Company had bivouacked for the night when the guards heard a noise down the road. They awakened the other tankers and the men manned their guns. As they watched a Japanese bicycle battalion rode into their bivouac. They opened fire with everything they had. According to members of the company, there was a great deal of confusion, noise, and screaming. Then, there was silence. They had completely wiped out the bicycle battalion.
Company A was assigned the duty of protecting the west coast of Bataan from Japanese invasion. It was during this duty, that they would engage the enemy, who had landed troops behind the Filipino and American lines, in what was to become known as the Battle of the Points.
On April 3, 1942, the Japanese launched an attack supported by artillery and aircraft. A large force of Japanese troops came over Mount Samat and descended down the south face of the volcano. This attack wiped out two divisions of defenders and left a large area of the defensive line open to the Japanese. When General King saw that the situation was hopeless, he initiated surrender talks with the Japanese.
The Japanese broke through the east side of the main defensive line on Bataan on April 7. The tanks were pulled out of their position along the west side of the line and ordered to reinforce the eastern portion of the line. Traveling south to Mariveles, the tankers started up the eastern road but were unable to reach their assigned area due to the roads being blocked by retreating Filipino and American forces.
It was the evening of April 8 that Gen. Edward P. King decided that further resistance was futile, since approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight, and he estimated they would last one more day. In addition, he had over 6,000 troops who sick or wounded and 40,000 civilians who he feared would be massacred. At 10:30 that night, he sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.
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."
The morning of April 9, 1942, the tankers received the order "crash." They circled their tanks. Each tank fired one armor piercing shell into the engine of the tank in front of it. The tank crews opened the gasoline cocks in the crew compartments and dropped hand grenades into the tanks. Donald was a Prisoner of War.
From Mariveles, at the southern tip of Bataan, Donald started what became known as the death march. At San Fernando, Donald boarded a small wooden railroad car used to haul sugarcane and rode it to Capas. Each car could haul eight horses or forty men. The Japanese packed 100 men into each car and closed the doors. Those who died remained standing until the living left the cars at Capas. Once there, he walked the last few miles to Camp O'Donnell.
After arriving at Camp O'Donnell, a detail of POWs was selected to go out to rebuild the bridges the Americans had destroyed as the withdrew into Bataan. The detail was under the command of Lt. Col. Ted Wickord of the 192nd. On the detail Donald mixed cement for the bridges.
When the detail ended in nine months later, Donald was sent ot Cabanatuan. At some point, he went out on another work detail to build runways and revetments at Neilson Airfield. While on the detail, he developed dry beriberi and was sent to the hospital ward at Bilibid Prison. According to records kept there, he was admitted on April 25, 1944. On May 10, he was returned to Cabanatuan and remained there until the beginning of July.
Trucks arrived at Cabanatuan and took Donald, and the other POWs, to the Port Area of Manila. They were boarded onto the Canadian Inventor. The ship sailed on July 4 but returned to Manila the same day with boiler problems. It remained in port for fifteens days, during which the POWs were kept in the holds.
The ship sailed again on July 16, but it once again had boiler problems. Since it couldn't keep up with the other ships, the Canadian Inventor was left behind. Somehow, it safely arrived at Takao, Formosa, on July 23. While it was in port, salt was loaded into its holds.
The ship sailed again on August 4 and reached Keelung, Formosa, the next day. It remained at Keelung for twelve days while more boiler repairs were made. It sailed again on August 17 for Naha, Okinawa. How long it took to get to Naha is not known. When it arrived, the ship remained there for six days for additional boiler repairs. It finally sailed and arrived at Moji, Japan on September 1, 1944. In the end, the trip took the ship 62 days to complete.
The POWs were disembarked and marched to the train station. They rode a train until they disembarked and were taken to Fukuoka #5. This camp was also known as Omine Machi which was the Japanese propaganda camp. The POWs received slightly better treatment at the camp than in the other camps.
One of the major problems facing the POWs was the lack of food. The main diet of the prisoners was rice. But, there was never enough according to Donald. He recalled that the POWs' diet was supplemented with fish heads, grass and seaweed. The camp guards stole items from Red Cross packages and withheld the packages from July 1, 1944, to September 2, 1945. The Japanese intentionally opened packages and mixed up contents so that the ranking Allied officer would not know how much should be in each package. When they were given to the POWs they were often contained less than what had been sent and most of the food was gone. In addition, when Red Cross packages arrived, they were withheld from POWs from three to seven months after arriving.
At Omine Machi, Donald worked in a coal mine which had been condemned as unsafe before the war. It was from this work that he began experiencing breathing problems. It is not known if he received any treatment for the condition while a POW.
The camp guards stole items from Red Cross packages and withheld the packages from July 1, 1944, to September 2, 1945. The Japanese intentionally opened packages and mixed up contents so that the ranking Allied officer would not know how much should be in each package. When they were given to the POWs they were often contained less than what had been sent and the amount of food in the boxes had no real nutritional value. In addition, when Red Cross packages arrived, they were withheld from POWs from three to seven months after arriving.
He remained in the camp until he was liberated on September 15, 1945. The POWs were taken to Wakayama, Japan, and boarded onto the U.S.S. Consolation the next day. Records kept at the time show that Donald was suffering from amoebic dysentery, and he was returned to the Philippines for medical treatment. It is not known if he went directly to the Philippines or if he was flown there from Okinawa. While he was on his way back to the States, his sister Betty died after a 27 day illness.
Donald arrived in Seattle, Washington, on November 1, 1945, and returned to Walworth County on November 11, 1945. After he was discharged from the army, he farmed. He next worked as a laborer installing natural gas lines in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. He later returned to farming and worked on a farm south of Walworth.
It is known that Donald married Lulu L. Wells and had a daughter. At some point, his experiences as a POW became too much for him and he left his family, and they would never see him again. He resided in Lake Villa, Illinois.
Donald began experiencing health problems in the 1980s, so he went for treatment at the Veteran's Hospital in North Chicago, Illinois. He died in Lake Villa on March 7, 1988, and was buried in Plot H, Grave 300 at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 10, 1988.