| Sgt. Stanley
J. Walsh was born on January 23, 1921, in
Janesville, Wisconsin, to Arthur M. Walsh &
Florence Dickson-Walsh. He grew up, with his
three brothers, at 514 South Third Street and
attended grade school and graduated from
Janesville High School in 1939.
Stanley joined the 32nd Tank Company of the
Wisconsin National Guard which was headquartered
in an armory in Janesville. Possibly one
of the reasons he joined the tank company was
that his brother, Ernest, was a
Stanley was called to federal service when the
company was federalized and traveled to Fort
Knox, Kentucky, on November 28, 1940. The
company went there with four operational tanks
and pulled the remaining, M2A2s that the regular
army had deemed obsolete, from the fort's
junkyard. When Stanley saw the tanks
assigned to A Company, he commented,
"Boy, are they crummy."
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
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 13th,
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 for retreat which was held at
5:00, and was followed by dinner at 5:30.
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.
In the late
summer of 1941, Stanley participated in
maneuvers in Louisiana from September 1st
through 30th. During the maneuvers, he
commanded a scout-car. It was after these
maneuvers that his battalion, the 192nd Tank
Battalion, was ordered to Camp Polk instead of
returning to Ft. Knox. There, the men
learned they were being sent overseas. He
was given a furlough home to say goodbye to his
friends and family.
A Company traveled to
San Francisco, California, by train where it
rejoined the other companies of the
battalion. The soldiers were ferried to
Ft. MacDowell on Angel Island and received
physicals from the battalion's medical
detachment. Those men with minor medical
conditions were held on the island and scheduled
to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
Some men were simply replaced.
was boarded onto the U.S. A. T. Hugh
L. Scott and sailed on Monday,
October 27th. 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 2nd and had a two day layover,
so the soldiers were given shore leave so
they could see the island.
November 5th, 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. Calvin Coolidge.
Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to
bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was
Tuesday, November 11th. During the night,
while they slept, the ships had crossed the
International Date Line. On Saturday,
November 15th, 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.
arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th,
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 20th,
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 Colonel 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 had what
they needed and received Thanksgiving Dinner
before he went to have his own dinner.
Ironically, November 20th was the date that the
National Guard members of the battalion had
expected to be released from federal service.
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 as they readied
their tanks to take part in maneuvers. It
was also at this time that the battalions
received half-tracks that replaced their
scout-cars that had been left behind at Camp
1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter
of Clark Airfield to guard against Japanese
paratroopers. From this time on, two tank
crew members, or half-track crew members,
remained with each vehicle at all times and
received their meals from food trucks.
morning of December 8th, December 7th in the
United States, the 192nd was guarding the
perimeter of Clark Field. A week earlier,
they had been given assigned positions around
the airfield. At 8:30 in the morning, the
American planes took off and filled the
sky. They landed at noon and lined up in a
straight line, near the mess hall to be
refueled. The pilots went to lunch.
were eating lunch when a formation of 54 planes
was spotted approaching the airfield from the
north. The tankers believed the planes
were American and commented how pretty they
looked. As they watched, raindrops fell
from the planes. When bombs exploded on
the runways, they knew the planes were Japanese.
Japanese were finished, there was not much left
of the airfield. The soldiers watched as
the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the
hospital on bomb racks, trucks, and anything
that could carry the wounded was in use.
When the hospital filled, they watched the
medics place the wounded under the
building. Many of these men had their arms
and legs missing.
That night, the
tankers lived through several more air
raids. Most slept under their tanks since
it was safer than sleeping in their tents.
They had no idea that they had slept their last
night in a bed for the next three and one half
On December 12th, the
company was sent to the Barrio of Dau so it
would be close to a highway and railroad to
protect them from sabotage. From
there, the company was sent to join the other
companies of the 192nd just south of the Agno
On December 23rd and
24th, the company was in the area of Urdaneta,
where the tankers lost the company commander,
Capt. Walter Write. In spite of
his wounds, he continued to give orders to his
company. His main concern was for his
soldiers safety. After he was buried, the
tankers made an end run to get south of Agno
River. As they did this, they ran into
Japanese resistance early in the evening but
successfully crossed the river in the Bayambang
was also at this time that the tankers was
told by General Wainwright's headquarters that
he was their only commander. Up to this
time, many officers held the belief that the
highest ranking officer, in an area, could
countermand the tankers orders, It was
only when tank command made it clear that the
tanks would only take orders from it that this
On December 25th, 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
held the position until 5:30 in the morning on
The 192nd and
part of the 194th fell back to form a new
defensive line the night of December 27th and
28th. From there they fell back to the
south bank of the BamBan River which they were
suppose to hold for as long as possible.
Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to an
area east of Pampanga on December 30th. It
was there that they lost a tank platoon
commander, Lt. William Read. That
night on a road east of Zaragoza, 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 the Gumain
River, the night of December 31st to the morning
of January 1st, 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
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 1st,
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
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 2nd to 4th, 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. The company returned to
the command of the 192nd on January 8, 1942.
On January 28th, 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.
During this time, his family
received a letter from him, in it he said:
"Earnie and I are O.K.
So is Joe McCrea. He is beside me now as I
write, listening to the news broadcast.
There's not much I can
tell you, but there's lots I'd like to tell
The weather has been
swell the last three months,; it has rained or
two or three times. But its time for the
rainy season to begin, however, that won't be so
I am still in good
shape - get to go swimming nearly every
evening. Haven't received any mail from
you since the war started but hope your getting
worry about us. We're doing all right -
still getting plenty to eat."
Stanley and Earnie had purchased an
airplane before they went overseas.
We're still going to do a lot of flying when
we get home."
The tanks and half-tracks were used to guard
three airfields starting on February 1st.
After that the company was sent to help wipe out
the Japanese in the Battle of the Points.
On April 9, 1942,
Stanley became a Prisoner of War and took part
in the death march fro Mariveles to San
Fernando. He was held as a POW at Camp
O'Donnell, until a new POW camp was opened at
Cabanatuan for the healthier POWs. When
the camp opened, Stanley remained behind at Camp
O'Donnell in the camp hospital. He was
discharged and sent to Cabanatuan on July 3,
At some point, Stanley became ill and was
hospitalized in the camp hospital with beriberi
and dysentery. On Friday, November 6,
1942, at approximately 6:00 PM, Sgt. Stanley J.
Walsh died of beriberi and dysentery at
Cabanatuan. He was 21 years old. His
body was buried in the camp cemetery. His
parents learned of his death in August 1943.
After the war, Stanley's parents requested
that his remains be returned to
Janesville. On July 31, 1948, a funeral
service for Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh and his
brother, Ernest, was held at St. Mary's
Church. Former members of A Company,
Dale Lawton, Forrest Knox, Philip Parrish and
Carl Nichols served as pallbearers for
Sgt. Stanley J. Walsh remains lie next to
those of his brother, Earnest, at Mount Olivet
Catholic Cemetery in Janesville.