Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr.
Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr. was the son of Mr. & Mrs. John G. Kolesar Sr.
With his three sisters and two brothers, he grew up in Port Clinton,
Ohio. He was born on September 9, 1918, and was a graduate of Port
Clinton High School.
While he was a child, during the 1920s, his mother passed away.
Like many young men of his age, John knew that it was just a matter of time before he was drafted. During August 1940, to fulfill his military obligation, John joined the Ohio National Guard's H Tank Company headquartered the armory in Port Clinton.
On November 25, 1940, the tank company was called to federal service as C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion. For the next ten months, John trained with the tank company at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In January, 1941, John was assigned to Headquarters Company when it was formed. During this time, he rose in rank from private to sergeant.
He next took part in maneuvers in Louisiana. After the maneuvers, the 192nd Tank Battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. There, they were informed they were being sent overseas. John received leave to say goodbye to friends and family.
On October 27, 1941, John with the rest of the battalion sailed for the Philippine Islands. Arriving at Manila, the battalion was taken to Fort Stotsenburg. At the fort, they spent the next two weeks preparing for maneuvers they were scheduled to take part in on Luzon.
On December 8, 1941, John lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Field. He spent the next four months making sure that the tanks of the battalion received supplies. He was reported wounded at one point during the fight.
When Bataan was surrendered on April 9, 1942, John became a Prisoner Of War. He took part in the death march and was held at a prisoner at Camp O'Donnell. When Cabanatuan opened, John was left behind at Camp O'Donnell because he was considered too ill to be moved to the new camp.
On June 8, 1942, Sgt. John G. Kolesar Jr. died of malaria and dysentery at Camp O'Donnell. He was 24 years old.