Tec 5 Eugene P. Zingheim
T/5 Eugene P. Zingheim was born in Westcliffe, Colorado on August 15, 1916, to Paul K. Zingheim & Frieda Schick-Zingheim. He
had a sister and a brother. At some point, Eugene's family moved to
Salinas, California, where he attended school. He graduated from
Salinas Union High School and attended Salinas Union Junior College.
Eugene joined the California National Guard's tank company in Salinas. On February 10, 1942, he was called to federal service when the tank company was federalized. The company was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington where they trained for the six months. The company's designation was now C Company, 194th Tank Battalion. It during this trainind that he qualified as a radio operator.
In September 1941, the 194th was sent to San Francisco for transport to the Philippine Islands. They were now designated part of the Provisional Tank Group. This unit was made up of 17th Ordnance, the 192nd Tank Battalion. and the 194th Tank Battalion.
On December 8, 1941, just ten hours after Pearl Harbor, Eugene lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Airfield. For the next month his tank battalion fought a delaying action as Filipino and American Forces fell back into the Bataan Peninsula.
After reinforcements arrived in the Philippines, the Japanese broke through the last defensive line on Bataan. It was at this time that General James King negotiated the surrender of American and Filipino troops to the Japanese. The evening of April 8, 1942, the tankers received the order crash. They destroyed their tanks and surrendered the next morning.
According to the report compiled by Captain Clinton Quinlen, of the 194th Tank Battalion, Eugene was with the battalion when Bataan surrendered and started the death march with his company. It also states that he was last seen at Lucbac on the death march. It was at this time all information on him stopped.
What is known is that Eugene fought for over a year as a guerrilla as a member of the 101st Squadron Luzon Guerrilla Force. In September 1943, Lt. Hart, Captain Alfred Bruce, Eugene and Jose Raagas were sent to the Bamban area of Tarlec to organize guerrilla resistance.
At 5:00 in the morning of September 3rd. they were awakened when their dog, Daisy, began to make noise. A Japanese force of 34 men was led by an informer, Fortnato Munoz, to the guerrilla operations center. Eugene was suffering from malaria and was unable to react. He was quickly captured by the Japanese.
Lt. Hart held his position, along the bank of a stream, so that the other guerillas could escape. He would be killed holding off the Japanese so the rest of the guerrillas could escape.
Eugene, with other prisoners, was taken to the Bamban Garrison. There, guerrillas were tortured to get information from them. Eugene was never seen alive again. It is known that he was executed by the Japanese on September 5, 1943, at Bamban Garrison.
After the war, the remains of Tec 5 Eugene P. Zingheim were reburied at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila. He is buried in Plot: L, Row: 2, Grave: 94.