Pvt. Frederick George Schweinsberg
Pvt. Frederick G. Schweinsberg
was born in Forest Park, Illinois, on August 5, 1918. He was the
son of Alfred Schweinsberg and Louise Lipke-Schweinsberg. With his brother and two
sisters, he lived at 443 Marengo
Avenue in Forest Park and attended
Grant-White Elementary School and Proviso Township High
School. Frederick worked as a salesman for the A. B.
Schweinsberg Real Estate Company, which was his family's business.
Frederick joined the Illinois National Guard and in November, 1940, he entered the army when the Maywood Tank Company was called into federal service. Frederick, with his company, trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was during this training that Frederick became a member of the Headquarters Company of the 192nd Tank Battalion when the company was created in January of 1941. In the late summer of 1941, Frederick took part in maneuvers in Louisiana.
After the maneuvers, the 192nd was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana. On a hillside, the entire battalion was informed that their tour of duty had been extended from one to six years. Those men over 26 years of age were released from military service. They were given passes to return home and take care of any unfinished business.
After returning to Camp Polk, Frederick and the rest of the battalion were sent by train to San Francisco. From there, they took ferries to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. On the island, shots were given and preparations made for duty overseas.
In October 1940, Frederick was sent to the Philippine Islands with the 192nd Tank Battalion. The battalion arrived a little over two weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ten hours later, he lived through the Japanese attack on Clark Airfield.
Until Filipino and American troops were surrendered to the Japanese, he worked to supply the tanks with ammunition and gasoline. On April 9, 1942, Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese. It was on that day that Frederick became a Prisoner of War.
HQ Company remained in their bivouac until a Japanese officer with several hundred soldiers showed up in the encampment. He ordered the soldiers out on the road. They were allowed to drive their trucks to Mariveles.
Outside of the barrio, they were ordered out of the trucks and ordered to kneel with their possessions in front of them. As they knelt, the Japanese took what they wanted from the POWs. They were next herded into a field and left sitting for hours.
As the POWs sat, they noticed a Japanese sergeant and soldiers forming a line in front of them. They quickly realized that this was a firing squad and that they were going to be executed. The Japanese were almost ready when a Japanese officer pulled up in an American car. He spoke to the sergeant than got back into the car and drove off. The Japanese sergeant ordered his soldiers to lower their guns.
The POWs were ordered out onto the road and ordered to march. As they made their way north, they had to run past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor. It was at Cabcaben that Pvt. Frederick Schweinsberg died on the Death March on April 12, 1942. He was 23 years old.
It should be noted that after the war a U.S. Remains Recovery Team recovered the remains of a member of B Company in a cemetery at Cabcaben. Inside the remains of the man's shirt was a picture of himself. The remains were reburied at the new American Military Cemetery at Manila as an "Unknown," since the team believed it could not positively identify them.
Since his remains were not positively identified, Pvt. Frederick Schweinsberg's name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery at Manila.