Pvt. Karl G.
White was born on January 11, 1922, in Freedom,
Pennsylvania, and was the younger son of
William J. & May L. White. He was
known as "Glen" to his family and friends.
He also used Glen as his first name on his
military records which means he legally had his
name changed. As a child his family moved
to Hanover, Wisconsin, and later moved to 426
Pleasant Street in Beloit, where he attended
Beloit Memorial High School.
Glen joined the
Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Division Tank
Company right out of high school. His
reason for doing this was a draft act had just
been passed and it was just a matter of time
before he was drafted. Knowing that the
tank company was about to be called to federal
service, he enlisted. On November
28, 1940, the company traveled to Fort Knox,
Kentucky, for a year of federal service.
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 and at five held retreat and
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.
From September 1 to the 30,
the battalion took part in maneuvers in
Louisiana. After the maneuvers, they were
ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana, instead of
returning to Ft. Knox. On the side of
hill, Glen and the rest of the battalion learned
their time in the military had been extended,
and that they had been selected for overseas
duty. He received a furlough home to say
goodbye to his friends and family.
for this move was an event that took place in
the summer of 1941. A squadron of American
fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one
of the pilots, who was flying at a lower
altitude - noticed something odd. He took
his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in
the water and saw another in the distance.
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
that a large radio transmitter. The island
was hundred of miles away. The squadron
continued its flight plan and flew south to
Mariveles before returning to Clark Field.
When the planes landed, it was too late to do
anything that day.
The next day, another
squadron was sent to the area and found that the
buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat that
was seen making its way to shore. Since
communication between the Air Corps and Navy was
poor, the boat escaped. It was at that
time the decision was made to build up the
American military presence in the Philippines.
After the companies were
brought up to strength with replacements, the
battalion was equipped with new tanks and
half-tracks with came from the 753rd Tank
Battalion. The battalion traveled over
different train routes to Ft. Mason in San
Francisco, California, where they were taken by
the ferry, the U.S.A.T. General Frank M.
Coxe to Angel Island. At Ft.
McDowell, on the island, they received physicals
and inoculations. Men found with minor
medical conditions were held back and scheduled
to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
Other men were simply replaced.
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 2nd 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.
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 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.
The members of the battalion
pitched the tents in an open field halfway
between the Clark Field Administration Building
and Fort Stotsenburg. The tents were set
up in two rows and five men were assigned to
each tent. There were two supply tents and
meals were provided by food trucks stationed at
the end of the rows of tents.
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 time on, two tank crew members
remained with each tank 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 planes landed, to be refueled, and were
lined up near the pilots' mess hall. The
pilots went to lunch.
in the afternoon on December 8, 1941, as the
tankers were getting lunch, when planes
approached the airfield from the north. At
first, the soldiers thought the planes were
American. It was only when bombs began
exploding on the airfield that they knew the
planes were Japanese. The bombers were
followed by fighters which strafed the
area. For some reason, the most of the
planes did not attack the tanks and
half-tracks. The few that did, dropped
their bombs between the tanks.
When the 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, most of the tankers
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
was sent to the Barrio of Dau, on December 12,
so it would be close to a highway and railroad
against sabotage. From there, the company
was sent to join the other companies of the
192nd just south of the Agno River.
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
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 held the
position until 5:30 in the morning on December
The 192nd and part of the
194th fell back to form a new defensive line the
night of December 27 and 28. From there
they fell back to the south bank of the BamBan
River which they were suppose to hold for as
long as possible. The tanks were at Santo
Tomas near Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29
serving as a rear guard against the Japanese.
A Company was sent, in
support of the 194th, to an area east of
Pampanga. It was there that they lost a
tank platoon commander, Lt. William Read.
On a road east of Zaragoza, on December 30th,
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 31 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
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
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. After this the
company was returned to the command of the
192nd. Around this time, he wrote a letter
to his parents, which they did not receive until
January 11, 1943.
While American and Filipino forces
were withdrawing from the Pilar-Bigac Line, the
battalion prevented the Japanese from
overrunning the position and cutting off the
withdrawing troops. The morning of January
27, a new battle line had been formed and all
units were suppose to be beyond it. That
morning, the tanks were still holding their
position six hours after they were suppose to
have withdrawn. While holding the
position, the tanks, with self-propelled mounts,
ambushed, at point blank range, three Japanese
units causing 50 percent
On January 28, the tank
battalions were given the job of protecting the
beaches. The 192nd was assigned the Bataan
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.
A Company also took part in
the Battle of the Points to wipe out Japanese
Marines who had been trapped behind the main
defensive line. 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 had left the pocket.
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
The other method to use to
kill the Japanese was to park a tank with one
track over the foxhole. 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
The soldiers were hungry and
began to eat everything they could get their
hands on to eat. The Carabao were tough
but if they were cooked long enough they could
be eaten. They also began to eat horse
meat provided by the 26th U. S. Cavalry.
To make things worse, the soldiers' rations were
cut in half again on March 1, 1942, which meant
that they only ate two meals a day.
The Japanese also were
dropping surrender leaflets with a scantly clad
blond on them. The Japanese would have
been more successful at getting the Americans to
surrender if the picture had been hamburger,
since the men were so hungry that they most
likely would have surrendered for a good meal.
On April 3, 1942, the
Japanese launched a 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.
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."
On April 9,
1942, Glen became a Prisoner Of War. He
took part in the death march from Mariveles to
San Fernando, and from there rode a train to
Capas. Exiting the train, he walked to
Camp O'Donnell which was an unfinished Filipino
training base that was pressed into use as a POW
camp on April 1, 1942. When they arrived
at the camp, the Japanese confiscated any extra
clothing that the POWs had and refused to return
it to them. They searched the POWs and if
a man was found to have Japanese money on them,
they were taken to the guardhouse. Over
the next several days, gunshots were heard to
the southeast of the camp. These POWs had
been executed for looting.
There was only one water
faucet in the camp, and the prisoners stood in
line from two to eight hours waiting for a
drink. The Japanese guards at the faucet
would turn it off for no reason and the next man
in line would stand as long as four hours
waiting for it to be turned on again. This
situation improved when a second faucet was
There was no water for
washing clothes, so the POWs would throw out
their clothing when it had been soiled. In
addition, water for cooking had to be carried
three miles from a river to the camp and mess
kits could not be washed. The slit
trenches in the camp were inadequate and were
soon overflowing since most of the POWs had
dysentery. The result was that flies were
everywhere in the camp including the POW
kitchens and in the food.
The camp hospital had no
soap, water, or disinfectant. When the
ranking American doctor at the camp wrote a
letter to the camp commandant, Capt. Yohio
Tsuneyoshi, asking for medical supplies, he was
told never to write another letter. When
the Archbishop of Manila sent a truckload of
medical supplies to the camp, Tsuneyoshi refused
to allow the truck into the camp. When the
Japanese Red Cross sent medical supplies to the
camp the Japanese took 95% of the supplies for
their own use.
The POWs in the camp hospital
lay on the floor elbow to elbow and only one of
the six medic assigned to care for 50 sick POWs
was healthy enough to care for them. When
a representative of the Philippine Red Cross
stated they could supply a 150 bed hospital for
the camp, he was slapped in the face by a
Each morning, the bodies of
the dead were found all over the camp and were
carried to the hospital and placed underneath
it. The bodies lay there for two or three
days before they were buried in the camp
cemetery by other POWs who were suffering from
dysentery and/or malaria. To clean the
ground under the hospital, the ground was
scraped and lime was spread over it. The
bodies of the dead were placed in the area, and
the area they had been laying was scrapped and
lime was spread over it.
Work details were sent out on
a daily basis. Each day, the American
doctors gave a list of names to the Japanese of
the POWs who were healthier enough to
work. If the quota of POWs needed to work
could not be met, the Japanese put those POWs
who were sick, but could walk, to work.
The death rate among the POWs reached 50 men
dying a day.
many of prisoners were dying in the camp, Glen
went out on a work detail to San Fernando.
This detail's job was to collect destroyed
American vehicles and drive them to San
To do this,
the POWs worked in teams. The POWs would
tie ropes between the vehicles and to a working
vehicle. One POW got into each car or
truck and steered it as it was towed to San
Fernando. From San Fernando, the vehicles
were taken to Manila and shipped to Japan as
was working on this detail he had an attack of
dysentery and sent to Camp Olivas at San
Fernando. Medical records kept at the camp
show that Glen was admitted to the camp hospital
suffering from dysentery and malaria.
Since dysentery is a result of a poor diet, and
the medics had little to no medicine to treat
him, Pvt. Glen K. White died from dysentery at
Pampanga Provincial Hospital at San Fernando on
Wednesday, July 8, 1942, and was buried in the
camp cemetery which was about a kilometer
outside the camp. His grave was marked
with a wooden cross with his name on it.
He was 20 years old.
Leo Dorsey, of A Company, was
also on the detail. After the war, he drew
a map of the cemetery. On the map he also
included the graves of Cpl. Gilbert Rymon of A
Company, Cpl. William Burns of HQ Company, and
T/4 John Blomquist of HQ Company, 194th Tank
Battalion. After the war, the remains of
these men were recovered from the graves.
1948, Glen's family requested that his remains
be returned to the United States, and he was
reburied at Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock
Island, Illinois, in Section: D
Site: 129 on October 26, 1948.