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Booher, Pvt. Kenneth A.

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Pvt. Kenneth Allen Booher
Born: 23 December 1909 – South Dakota
Parents: Elmer A. Booher & Eliza A. Lloyd-Booher
Siblings: 3 sisters, 5 brothers
Home: Lane County, Oregon
Enlisted:
– U.S. Army
– 1 April 1941
Training:
– Fort Lewis, Washington
Units:
– 194th Tank Battalion
Note: On August 15, 1941, the 194th received orders, from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for duty in the Philippines because of an event that happened during the summer. A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf when one of the pilots noticed something odd. He took his plane down and identified a buoy in the water. He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of a Japanese occupied island, with a large radio transmitter, hundreds of miles away. The squadron continued its flight plane and flew south to Mariveles and then returned to Clark Field. By the time the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.
The next morning, another squadron was sent to the area and found that the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat which was seen making its way toward shore. Since communication between and Air Corps and Navy was poor, the boat was not intercepted. It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas Duty:
– 4 September 1941
– the battalion traveled by train to Ft. Mason in San Francisco, California
– Arrived: 7:30 A.M. – 5 September 1941
– ferried to Ft. McDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– given physicals and inoculations
– men with medical conditions replaced
– 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
– escorted by the heavy cruiser – U.S.S. Astoria and an unknown destroyer
– smoke was seen on the horizon several times
– cruiser intercepted ships
– Arrived: Manila – Friday – 26 September 1941
– disembark ship – 3:00 P.M.
– taken by bus to Fort Stotsenburg
– maintenance section with 17th ordnance remained behind to unload the tanks and attached turrets
-27 September 1941 – job completed at 9:00 A.M.
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents until barracks completed – 15 November 1941
– 1 December 1941
– tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– 194th guarded north end of the airfield with 192nd guarding south portion
– two crew members of each tank and half-track remained with the vehicles at all times
– meals served by food trucks
– those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at the command post
Engagements:
– Battle of Luzon – 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– The morning of December 8, December 7 in the United States, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Airfield.
– 12:45 P.M. – the airfield was bombed destroying the Army Air Corps
– tankers were receiving lunch from food trucks when the attack came
– HQ Company members remained in the 194th command area
– could do little more than take cover during attack
– As HQ Company watched the wounded and dying carried to hospital on anything that would carry them
– most had missing arms or legs
– when the hospital ran out of the room, wounded put under the hospital
– Next day, members of the company walked around the airfield and saw the dead lying everywhere
– 10 December 1941
– the battalion sent to Mabalcat
– C Company was sent to Southern Luzon to support troops
– 12 December 1941
– moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
– arrived at 6:00 A.M.
– 14 December 1941
– A Co. & D Co., 192nd moved to just north of Muntinlupa
– 15 December 1941
– received 15 Bren gun carriers
– turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
– Bren gun carriers used to test ground to see if it could support tanks
– 22 December 1941
– sent to Rosario
– west and north of the barrio
– ordered out of the 71st Division Commander
– said they would hinder the cavalry’s operation
– 22/23 December 1941
– operating north of Agno River
– main bridge at Carmen bombed
– 24 December 1941
– operating in Hacienda Road area
Wounded:
– 26 December 1941
– outside of Carmen during major tank fighting
– evacuated to the hospital at San Fernando
– later taken to a Sternberg General Hospital in Manila
– received treatment
– from there he was taken to either Santa Scholastica College or Philippine Women’s College
– both were being used as hospitals
– as American forces abandoned Manila, wounded feared they were being left behind
Evacuated:
– Japanese allowed one ship to leave Manila carrying wounded
– only two ships were available
– a lumber schooner and the S.S. Mactan
– the schooner was unfit for the open sea and the Mactan was condemned
– MacArthur ordered that the wounded be put on the Mactan
– if they were left in Manila, they were dead
– 31 December 1941 – afternoon
– wounded taken by ambulance to the pier, carried up the gangplank, and put on S.S. Mactan’s deck
– as the wounded were being loaded, the ship’s cargo was being hoisted out of its holds and dropped into Manila Bay
– wounded watch as Japanese planes flew over Manila bombing the city
– wounded were placed as close as possible on deck and put on mattresses, while others were taken below and put in bunks
– ship infested with red ants, copra beetles, and cockroaches
– Sailed: that night
– zigzagged its way through a minefield in Manila Bay
– POWs had no idea where they were going until the ship passed Corregidor
– Arrived: 7 January 1942 – Makassar, Dutch East Indies
– stopped in an attempt to get supplies
– Dutch pilot docks ship
– air raid while they were docked
– false alarm friendly plane
– the dock was mined and almost blown up while the ship was docked to it
– Sailed: 11 January 1942
– water is shut off
– food and water rationed
– Arrived: 13 July 1942 – Darwin, Australia
– drop anchor in the harbor
– an attempt was made to get supplies
– Darwin is on rations and has none to spare
– Sailed: 14 January 1942
– 15 January 1942
– Ship’s whistle blew and alarm bells rang
– 10 hours out of Darwin – ship is on fire
– the fire was in the engine room
– successfully put out
– wounded issued life preservers
– water is infested with sharks
– 16 January 1942
– the ship also runs into a typhoon
– 18 January 1942
– Japanese radio reports the S.S. Mactan sunk
– Arrived: 20 January 1942 – Townsville, Austalia
– seven bags of cement brought onto the ship
– cement used to shore up the ship and prevent it from sinking
– 21 January 1942
– supplies, clean linen, and medicine brought on the ship
– Sailed: 23 January 1942
– next stop Brisbane, Australia
– Arrived: 24 January 1942 – Brisbane, Queensland
– men drink milk and fed
– Sailed: 25 January 1942
– Arrived: Sydney, Australia – Noon
– Red Cross boards ship and tell wounded they are being sent to a new military hospital ten miles from Sydney
Hospitalized:
– 113th Australian General Hospital – Sydney, Australia
– Ft. Dix, New Jersey
Promoted: Tec 4
Discharged:
– 9 October 1942
– wounds were too serious to remain in service
Died:
– 7 April 1973 – Cottage Grove, Oregon
Buried:
– Lane Memorial Cemetery – Eugene, Oregon
– Section: Garden of the Apostles

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