Danielson, Pvt. Arvid L.

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Pvt. Arvid Litchhol Eugene Danielson
Born: 22 April 1910 – Norman County, Minnesota
– military records may have his name as Arnold L. Danielson
Parents: Anders Danielson & Martha J. Erickson-Danielson
– father died and mother married John A. Hanson
Siblings: 2 sisters, 4 brothers, 1 half-brother
Hometown: Sundal Township, Norman County, Minnesota
Occupation: Farmhand
Selective Service Registration: 16 October 1940
– Next of Kin: Mrs. John A. Hanson – mother
Inducted: 1941
– Fort Lewis, Washington
– tank driver
– member of Sgt, Walter Straka’s tank crew
– 194th Tank Battalion

Note: The decision for this move – which had been made on August 15, 1941 – was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941. A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, 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 a Japanese occupied island which was hundreds of miles away. The island had a large radio transmitter. The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.

When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day. The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat – with a tarp on its deck – which was seen making its way to shore. Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped. 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: S.S. President Calvin 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
– Arrived: Manila – Friday – 26 September 1941
– disembarked ship – 3:00 P.M.
– taken by bus to Fort Stotsenburg
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– lived in tents upon arriving
– received their meals from food trucks
– 15 November 1941 – moved into barracks
– the barracks were open three feet from the bottom of the exterior walls
– above that, the walls were woven bamboo that allowed the air to pass through
Work Day:
– 5:15 A. M. – reveille
– washing – the lucky man washed by a faucet with running water
– 6:00 A.M. – breakfast
– 7:00 to 11:30 A.M. 
– Noon – lunch
– 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. – worked
– the shorter afternoon work period was based on the belief that the climate made it too hot to work
– the tankers worked until 4:30 P.M.
– the term “recreation in the motor pool” was used for this work time
Tank Crews:
– during this time, the tank crews learned about the M3A1 tanks
– tank commanders read manuals on tanks and taught crews about the tanks
– learned about the 30-caliber and 50 caliber machineguns
– spent three hours of each day taking the guns apart and putting them back together
– did it until they could disassemble and assemble the guns blindfolded
– could not fire guns since they were not given ammunition which had been requested by Gen. King but not released by Gen. MacArthur
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
– the battalion wore fatigues to do the work on the tanks
– the soldiers were reprimanded for not wearing dress uniforms 
– they continued to wear fatigues in their barracks area to do their work
– if the soldiers left the battalion’s area, they were expected to wear dress uniforms
– this included going to the PX
– the soldiers spent their free time bowling, going to the movies,
– they also played horseshoes, softball, badminton, or threw a football around
– on Wednesday afternoons, they went swimming
– they also went to Mt. Aarayat National Park and swam in the swimming pool there that was filled with mountain water
– men were allowed to go to Manila in small groups
– they also went to canoeing at Pagsanjan Falls in their swimsuits
– the country was described as being beautiful
– 1 December 1941
– tanks ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field
– 194th guarded the north end of the airfield and the 192nd guarded the south end
– 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
– Battle of Luzon
– 8 December 1941 – 6 January 1942
– 8 December 1941
– Clark Field
– hit by shrapnel from an exploding bomb in his posterior
– bleeding so bad that Pvt. Walter Straka plugged the wound with his t-shirt
– saved Danielson’s life
– Taken to the military hospital – Fort Stotsenburg
– Purple Heart
– 28 December 1941
– Japanese agreed to let one ship carrying wounded to Manila
– two choices
– a lumber schooner
– a 2000 ton inter-island ship – S.S. Mactan
– the ship was infested with red ants, copra beetles, and cockroaches
– in two days it had been painted white with red crosses
S.S. Mactan
– 31 December 1941
– wounded and injured brought aboard
– once cabins were filled men were placed on mattresses on the deck
– those patients on deck could hear and see the ammunition and gasoline dumps being destroyed
– the ship sailed at 10:00 P.M.
– zig-zagged to avoid mines in the harbor
– Corregidor loomed into view and faded into the darkness
– for the first time, the men knew they were being sent to Australia
– headed south in Japanese controlled water
– expected to be sunk by a torpedo
– 7 January 1942
– Arrived: Makassar, East Dutch Indies
– Dutch pilot came aboard and guided ship to dock
– plane spotted
– turned out the plane was from a friendly country
– patients later learned had the plane been Japanese, the dock was mined and would have been destroyed with the ship docked
– medical staff attempted to get medical supplies but none were available
– 11 January 1942
– Sailed
– took southerly route
– freshwater is shut off
– food and water is rationed
– 13 January 1942
– Arrived: Darwin, Australia
– food and other supplies were being rationed and none could be spared
– 14 January 193
– Sailed
– whistles and alarms began blowing
– issued life jackets
– later learned the waters they were in were filled with sharks
– a fire occurred in ship’s engine room
– ship’s crew put on fire
– one crewman was badly burned
– 16 January 1942
– the ship rides out a typhoon
– 18 January 1942
– ship intercepts Japanese radio message saying the S.S. Mactan had been sunk with all on board lost
– 20 January 1942
– Arrived: Townsville, Australia
– seven bags of cement were brought on board and used to waterproof the ship’s hull
– 21 January 1942
– food, water, clean linens, and medicine brought aboard
– 23 January 1942
– Sailed
– 24 January 1942
– Arrived: Brisbane, Australia
– sick received fresh milk and fed
– 25 January 1942
– Sailed
– 27 January 1942
– Arrived: Sydney, Australia
– wounded and sick transferred to 113th Australian General Hospital
– returned to the United States
– 19 August 1942
– September 1942
-Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, California – 30 September 1942
– 27 October 1943
– wounds considered too severe to stay in the military
– 8 February 1988 – Cass County, Oklahoma
– Sundal Cemetery – Gary, Minnesota

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