Sgt. Edward Lyle Kolb
Edward Lyle Kolb was the son of
William J. Kolb and Lily Minnie Gertrude Whiting-Kolb. He was born on February 5, 1920,
in Maywood, Illinois. With
his two brothers and two sisters, he lived at 510 South 7th Avenue in Maywood.
He was called "Lyle" by his family. For his
education, Lyle attended
Emerson Grade School and Proviso Township High School. Before
joining the Illinois National Guard, Edward went to Florida to work with
his brothers, as a truck driver, in the citrus business.
After returning to Illinois, Lyle joined the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Tank Company in Maywood. Like so many young men at the time, he knew that he would soon be drafted into the army and wanted to fulfill his military obligation. He was called to federal service in November of 1940, when his company was federalized. He trained first at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then took part in the maneuvers of 1941 in Louisiana.
At Camp Polk, Louisiana, he with his fellow tankers learned that instead of being released from federal service they were being sent overseas. He received a leave home to say goodbye and then returned to Camp Polk. By train, his company traveled to Angel Island. It was from there that he was sent to the Philippine Islands. The battalion arrived on Thanksgiving Day, 1941.
War came for Lyle and the 192nd Tank Battalion just ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The tanks had been placed around the perimeter of the airfield to prevent the Japanese from using paratroopers. Around 11:45 in the morning, planes appeared above the airfield. Seconds later, bombs began exploding.
Lyle and the other members of B Company were sent to Lingayen Gulf in an attempt to stop the Japanese from landing troops. Lyle, along with the other members of Company B, fought the Japanese for four months. They did this with little food and no hope of being relieved.
During this time, Lyle's parents received a letter from him. In the letter he told them that he and the other men were fine as long as they kept clean. His parents had one clue about when the letter was written. In it he stated that it was a week before his birthday.
On April 9, 1942, Lyle became a Prisoner of War with the surrender of the Filipino and American forces. Lyle took part in the death march and was first imprisoned at Camp O'Donnell. He then was sent to Cabanatuan Camp #1. On July 16, 1942, Lyle died of malaria at approximately 11:30 PM. He was buried in the camp cemetery.
After the war, in 1949, his remains were returned to the United States, and he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.