The Harrodsburg Tankers
“On Sept. 19, 1940, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson announced plans to mobilize 37,000 additional National Guardsmen in November, bringing the total to 133,000 Guardsmen on active duty. Shortly after they returned from training in Wisconsin in September 1940, the 38th Tank Unit was federalized and designated as Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion.”
- The Harrodsburg Herald
The Important Work of these Heroes of Harrodsburg
There were 66 Harrodsburg Tankers who went to war. Moving under secret orders, Company D arrived in the Philippines by Thanksgiving Day, 1941. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor a few days later, on December 7th and then attacked Clark Field just a few hours later.
The Harrodsburg Tankers along with the allied forces fought the Japanese valiantly without reinforcements or resupply until they were ordered to surrender in April 1942, and became prisoners of war. Before their surrender, they successfully delayed the Japanese Army's timetable from 50 days to four months, giving the allies vital time to protect Australia and recover from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Of those 66, only 37 survived Japanese captivity and the Bataan Death March. This division of tankers called themselves "The Battling Bastards of Bataan" and what they suffered is beyond comprehension.
Learn More About the Harrodsburg Tankers
Company D, 192nd Tank Battalion
The Harrodsburg Tankers: A Time for Courage, A Time for Heroes
More on the Harrodsburg Tankers
Bataan Memorial Dedication - 1961
Here you can see the back and the front of a photo of the Bataan Memorial Dedication for the Harrodsburg Tankers. The photo and information about it was obtained from this website.
(Photo from the collection of Jerry L. Sampson This is a great photo from 1961 when they dedicated the Bataan Tank on HWY 127. Jerry L. Sampson's grandfather, Logan Sampson, is fifth from the left. Photo from the collection of Jerry L. Sampson This is the back of the photograph with all the names.)