| 2nd Lt. Edward G. Winger was born
February 4, 1921, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to
Bernhardt Winger & Grace Wilber-Winger.
It is known that his mother married Roy Perry and
his mother, Ed, and his brother, Richard, moved to
119 South 6th Avenue in Maywood, Illinois.
He was the half-brother of Esther and Marshall
Perry. He graduated from Proviso Township
High School on May 26, 1939.
In 1937, while he was still in high school, Ed
joined the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Tank
Company. After high school, he worked as a
clerk for the Northern Illinois Public Service
Company. In October 1940, he re-enlisted
in the tank company as it prepared for federal
duty. During his time in the company, he
rose in rank and was a staff sergeant when the
company was federalized. On November 28,
the company arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky,
Upon arrival there, the company was designated
Company B, 192nd Tank Battalion and the soldiers
started training. 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 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.
Ed was trained as a tank
driver. It was while the company was at
Ft. Knox that Ed wrote a series of articles for
The Maywood Herald about the training.
These articles were very popular in Maywood.
In January 1941, HQ Company
was created and men from the four letter
companies were transferred to the company.
Ed was one of tose men who joined the
company. In the late summer of 1941, the
battalion was sent to Louisiana to take part in
maneuvers from September 1 through 30. HQ
Company supplied the tanks and half-tracks with
supplies and fuel. They also did
maintenance work on the vehicles but did not
actively take part in the maneuvers.
After the maneuvers, the
battalion was ordered to Camp Polk,
Louisiana. On the side of a hill, the
soldiers learned they were being sent
overseas. Men who were married or 29 years
old, or older, were allowed to resign from
federal service. Most of the remaining
soldiers were given leaves home to say their
The reason 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 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
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 general apologized that
they had to live in tents along the main road
between the fort and Clark Airfield. He
made sure that they all received Thanksgiving
Dinner, which was a stew thrown into the mess
kits, 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 1st, the
tanks were ordered to the perimeter of Clark
Field. Two members of each tank crew
remained with their tanks at all times. On
December 8, the tankers had received word of the
Japanese Pearl Harbor. As they sat in
their tanks and half-tracks they watched as
American planes filled the sky. At noon,
the planes landed and the pilots went to lunch.
They lined the planes up in a straight line in
front of the mess hall. At 12:45, the
tankers watched as planes approached the
airfield from the north. When bombs began
exploding on the runways, they knew the planes
battalion received orders on December 21st that
it was to proceed north to Lingayen Gulf.
Because of logistics problems, the B and C
Companies soon ran low on gas. When they
reached Rosario, there was only enough for one
tank platoon, from B Company, to proceed north
to support the 26th Cavalry.
On December 23 and 24, the
battalion was in the area of
Urdaneta. The bridge they were going
to use to cross the Agno River was destroyed and
the tankers made an end run to get south of
river. As they did this, they ran into
Japanese resistance early in the evening.
They successfully crossed at the river in the
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 tankers were fell back
toward Santo Tomas near Cabanatuan on December
27th, and December were at San Isidro south of
Cabanatuan on December 28 and 29. While
there, the bridge over the Pampanga River was
destroyed, they were able find a crossing over
withdraw into the peninsula, the company crossed
over the last bridge which was mined and about
to be blown. The 192nd held its position
so that the 194th Tank Battalion could leap frog
past it and then cover the 192nd's withdraw. The
192nd was the last American unit to enter
Over the next several
months, the battalion fought battle after battle
with tanks that were not designed for jungle
warfare. The tank battalions, on January
28, 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.
It was at this time the tank battalions received
these orders which came from Gen. Weaver, "Tanks will execute
maximum delay, staying in position and
firing at visible enemy until further delay
will jeopardize withdrawal. If a tank
is immobilized, it will be fought until the
close approach of the enemy, then destroyed;
the crew previously taking positions outside
and continuing to fight with the salvaged
and personal weapons. Considerations of
personal safety and expediency will not
interfere with accomplishing the greatest
B Company also took
part in the Battle of the Pockets to wipe out
Japanese soldiers 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 exited the pocket.
In the area north of Trails #5 and #7, in
the Gayaegayan Region on the West Coast Sector
of Bataan, Ed led his tanks against the
Japanese on terrain not favorable for
tanks. During this attack on what was
known as the Tuol Pocket, his tanks knocked out
several enemy machine guns and enabled friendly
infantry to advance.
It was during this battle, that the Japanese
used flamethrowers on Ed's tanks. This was
the first time the Japanese used flamethrowers
in World War II. Ed's crew was temporarily
blinded and his tank ended up wedged between two
trees. Ed and his crew managed to
escape. His tank would later be recovered
by B Company.
Making his way toward Filipino-American lines,
Ed was shot by a Filipino Scout in his stomach
and legs. The Scout mistook him as a
German military advisor. At that time, a
rumor was circulating, among the Filipino
troops, that the Germans were providing the
Japanese with observers. The Filipino
Scout assumed that the soldier approaching him
was German because he had blond hair.
After Ed was shot, Cpl. John Massimino carried
Edward for three days in an attempt to get him
to an aid station. By the time Ed reached
the aid station, gangrene had developed in his
As Ed lay on the operating table, he asked Dr.
Alvin Poweleit not to amputate his legs.
He also asked the doctor to give his possessions
to his girlfriend if he died. Edward died
during surgery at the aid station.
According to Dr. Poweleit, 2nd Lt. Edward G.
Winger died on February 5, 1942, one day after
his 21st birthday. His date of death is
officially listed as February 9, 1942.
For his courage while under enemy fire and for
leading his tanks against enemy flamethrowers,
2nd Lt. Edward G. Winger was posthumously
awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action
in the area north of trails 5 and 7 along the
west coast of Bataan during the period of 4 to 6
After the war, 2nd Lt. Edward Garfield Winger
his remains were recovered and he was buried in
Plot D, Row 6, Grave 190, at the American
Military Cemetery, outside of Manila in the
Philippine Islands. His mother's family
also had his name put on the family headstone at
Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.