Nix, Pvt. Lewis T. Jr.

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Nix L

Pvt. Lewis Taylor Nix Jr.
Born: 2 April 1918 – Locust Hill, Kentucky
Parents: Lewis T. Nix Sr. & Mattie L. Tabor-Nix
Siblings: 3 sisters
Nickname: “L. T.”
Hometown: Locust Hill, Breckinridge County
Education: grammar school
Occupation: worked on the family farm
Inducted:
– U. S. Army
– 21 January 1941 – Louisville, Kentucky
Training:
– Fort Knox, Kentucky
– Arrived: 28 November 1941
Training: 
– Fort Knox, Kentucky 
– Arrived: 28 November 1941 
– Basic Training
– the training was done with First Armored Division
– soldiers rushed through basic training
– Week 1: infantry drilling
– Week 2: manual arms and marching to music
– Week 3: machine gun
– Week 4: pistol
– Week 5: M1 rifle
– Week 6: field week – training with gas masks, gas attacks, pitching tents, and hikes
– Weeks 7: Time was spent learning the weapons, firing each one, learning the parts of the weapons and their functions, field stripping and caring
   for weapons, and the cleaning of weapons
– Typical Day 
– 6:15 with reveille
– most of the soldiers were up before this since they wanted to wash and dress 
– 7:00 to 8:00 – breakfast 
– 8:00 to 8:30 – calisthenics 
– Afterward, the tankers went to various schools within the company 
– training in using and maintaining 30 and 50 caliber machine guns and pistols 
– training in map reading, care of personal equipment, military courtesy, and training in tactics 
– 11:30 the soldiers stopped what they were doing and cleaned up for mess – – Noon to 1:00 P.M. – lunch
– Afterward, they attended the various schools which they had been assigned to on January 13, such as mechanics, tank driving, radio operating. 
– 4:30 – the soldiers called it a day and returned to their barracks and put on dress uniforms 
– 5:00 – retreat
– 5:30 – dinner 
– After dinner, they were off duty 
– 9:00 P.M. – lights were out 
– soldiers but did not have to turn in 
– 10:00 P.M. – Taps was played 
– qualified as a tank gunner
– tank crew of Sgt. Marcus Lawson
– in late March 1941, the entire battalion was moved to new barracks at Wilson Road and Seventh Avenue at Ft. Knox
– The barracks had bathing and washing facilities in them and a day room.
– The new kitchens had larger gas ranges, automatic gas heaters, large pantries, and mess halls.
– One reason for this move was the men from selective service were permanently joining the battalion.
– June 14th and 16th – the battalion was divided into four detachments composed of men from different companies
– Available information shows that C and D Companies, part of Hq Company and part of the Medical Detachment left on June 14
– A and B Companies, and the other halves of Hq Company and the Medical Detachment left the fort on June 16
Tactical Maneuvers:
– under the command of the commanders of each of the letter companies
– The three-day tactical road marches were to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and back. The purpose of the maneuvers was to give the men practice at loading,
   unloading, and setting up administrative camps to prepare them for the Louisiana maneuvers.
– Each tank company traveled with 20 tanks, 20 motorcycles, 7 armored scout cars, 5 jeeps, 12 peeps (later called jeeps), 20 large 2½ ton trucks (these
   carried the battalion’s garages for vehicle repair)
, 5, 1½ ton trucks (which included the companies’ kitchens), and 1 ambulance.
– The detachments traveled through Bardstown and Springfield before arriving at Harrodsburg at 2:30 P.M. where they set up their bivouac at the
   fairgrounds.
– The next morning, they moved to Herrington Lake east of Danville, where the men swam, boated and fished. The battalion returned to Ft. Knox through
   Lebanon, New Haven, and Hodgenville, Kentucky. At Hodgenville, the men were allowed to visit the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
– Louisiana Maneuvers
– The entire battalion was loaded onto trucks and sent in a convoy to Louisiana while the tanks and wheeled vehicles were sent by train.
– During the maneuvers that tanks held defensive positions and usually were held in reserve by the higher headquarters. For the first time, the tanks were
   used to counter-attack and in support of infantry. Many of the men felt that the tanks were finally being used like they should be used and not as “mobile
   pillboxes.”
 
– It was after these maneuvers that the 192nd Tank Battalion was ordered to Camp Polk, Louisiana, instead of returning to Ft. Knox. Many of the soldiers
   were furloughs home and get their affairs in order. Men 29 years old or older were allowed to resign from federal service
– replacements for these men came from 753rd Tank Battalion
– the 192nd also got the tanks of the 753rd and some came from the 3rd Armored Division
Overseas Duty:
– this move was caused by 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 noticed something odd
– He took his plane down and identified a buoy, with a flag, in the water. He came upon more flagged 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. When the planes landed, it was too late to do
   anything that day.
– The next day – when planes were sent to the area – the buoys had been picked up and a fishing boat was seen making its way toward shore.
– communication between the planes and the Navy was poor, nothing was done to intercept the boat
– the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines
Transit
– rode trains to San Francisco, California
– ferried to island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– received physicals from medical detachment – 25 October 1941 – 26 October 1941
– men with minor health issues held back and scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date
– other men simply replaced
Deployment:
– traveled over four different train routes to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
– ferried to Ft. MacDowell, Angel Island on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe
– received physicals from the battalion’s medical detachment
– some men held on the island for minor medical conditions and scheduled to rejoin the battalion
– other men were simply replaced
– Ship: U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott
– Sailed: San Francisco – Monday – 27 October 1941
– Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii – Sunday – 2 November 1941
– remained in Hawaii until other ships in convoy arrived
– Sailed: Wednesday – 5 November 1941
– took a southern route away from main shipping lanes
– joined by the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and the transport S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
– smoke was seen on the horizon
– Louisville revved its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it intercepted the ship which was from a neutral country, but two other intercepted ships
   were Japanese freighters carrying scrap metal to Japan.
– Sunday – 9 November 1941 – crossed International Dateline
– soldiers woke up on Tuesday – 11 November 1941
– Arrived: Guam – Sunday 16 November 1941
– the ship was loaded with water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables
– Sailed: next day
– passed Japanese held island in total blackout
– Arrived: Thursday – 20 November 1941 – Manila Bay – 7:00 A.M.
– soldiers disembark ship three hours after arrival
– boarded buses for Ft. Stotsenburg
– maintenance section remained behind to unload tanks from ship
Stationed:
– Ft. Stotsenburg
– General Edward P. King met the soldiers when they arrived
– apologized to soldiers about living conditions
– lived in tents along the main road between fort and Clark Airfield
– made sure they all had Thanksgiving Dinner before he had his dinner
– the dinner was a stew thrown into their mess kits
– The members of the battalion pitched the ragged World War I 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.
– D Company moved into barracks that were almost finished
– the company was scheduled to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion
– the 194th had arrived in the Philippines in September
– In addition, the khaki uniforms they had been issued also turned out to be a heavy material which made them uncomfortable to wear in the tropical heat.
– D Company was attached to 194th Tank Battalion
– the transfer to the 194th was suspended indefinitely when the war started
– the company remained part of 192nd Tank Battalion
– the company was listed on Presidential Unit Citations for the 192nd
– D Company moved into barracks that were almost finished
– the company was scheduled to be transferred to the 194th Tank Battalion
– the 194th had arrived in the Philippines in September
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
– during this time, the tank crews learned about the M3A1 tanks
– tank commanders read manuals on tanks and taught crews about the tanks
– studied 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
– the base commander was waiting for General MacArthur to release the ammunition
– 5:10 – dinner
– after dinner, the soldiers were free to do what they wanted to do
Recreation:
– 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
– men were allowed to go to Manila in small numbers
Alert:
– 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 crew remained with the tanks 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
– lived Japanese attack on Clark Field
– planes did not go after tanks
– after attack 194th sent to a bivouac three kilometers north of Clark Field
– from there they were sent to Barrio of San Joaquin on the Malolos Road
– 12 December 1941
– moved to new bivouac south to San Fernando near Calumpit Bridge
– arrived at 6:00 A.M.
– 15 December 1941
– received 15 Bren gun carriers
– turned some over to 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts
– 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
– 24/25 December 1941
– tank battalions make an end run to get south of Agno River
– ran into Japanese resistance but successfully crossed the river
– 25/26 December 1941
– held south bank of Agno River from west of Carmen to Carmen-Akcaka-Bautista Road
– 192nd held from Carmen to (Route 3) to Tayug (northeast of San Quintin)
– 26/27 December 1941
– ordered to withdraw
– 1 platoon forced its way through Carmen
– lost two tanks
– one tank belonged to company commander – Captain Edward Burke
– believed dead, but was actually captured
– one tank crew rescued
– new line Santa Ignacia-Gerona-Santo Tomas-San Jose
– rest of battalion made a dash out
– lost one tank at Bayambang
– another tank went across front receiving fire and firing on Japanese
– Lt. Petree’s platoon fought its way out and across Agno River
– D Company, 192nd, lost all its tanks except one
– the tank commander found a crossing
– Japanese would use tanks later on Bataan
– 29/30 December 1941
– new line at Bamban River established
– tank battalions held the line until ordered to withdraw
– 30/31 December 1941
– tank battalions held Calumpit Bridge
– covering withdraw of Philippine Divisions south on Rt. 3, San Fernando
Killed in Action:
– Friday – 2 January 1942 – Friendly Fire – Guagua, Philippine Islands
– Marcus Lawson described what happened
– L. T. left his tank and was standing outside of it when a crew member of Lt. Col. Ernest Miller’s tank slipped, grabbed the tank’s machine gun and
  accidentally fired the gun. Bullets from the gun hit L. T. in the chest.
– L. T. died on way to the hospital.
– Ralph Stine stated he attempted to treat Nix’s wounds, but the wounds were too bad
Buried:
– Guagua, Philippine Islands
13 May 1942 – War Department released his name on a list of men known to have been Killed in Action
– parents had been informed of his death weeks earlier
Reburied:
– remains identified after the war
– American Military Cemetery – Manila, Philippine Islands
– Plot: D Row 3 Grave: 118

 

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