Pvt. Orrie Theodore Mulholland
T. Mulholland was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 5, 1917.
He was one of four sons of David J. Mulholland and Martha Roegner-Mulholland.
His one brother died as an infant. In 1923, when Orrie was six, his
mother died. His father, attempting to earn a living, placed his
three surviving sons in the Illinois Masonic Orphans Home. The
home was located at 441 South Ninth Avenue in LaGrange, Illinois.
Orrie attended Cossitt Grammar School
and Lyons Township High School. After high school, he took agriculture classes
through Michigan State University.
In November of 1940, Orrie enlisted in the Illinois National Guard. The federal government had established a draft and he wanted to get his one year of military service completed so that he could get a job full time. In November of 1940, the 33rd Tank Company of the Illinois National Guard was called into federal service and sent by train to Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was at this time that the company became Company B of the 192nd Tank Battalion.
During this training, Orrie trained as a tank driver. He also learned to operate the other equipment used by the battalion. The company next went on maneuvers in Louisiana, where they were selected by General George S. Patton for overseas duty. After receiving 51 new M-3 tanks, the 192nd Tank Battalion was sent to the Philippine Islands.
Orrie, with the other members of the 192nd Tank Battalion, arrived in the Philippines on Thanksgiving Day. Additional training was promised but came in the form of action against the Japanese invasion forces. For Orrie, two of the worst things about combat was diving for the foxholes during the frequent bombings by Japanese planes. The other was the way his tank shook when the bombing was taking place. The other members of his crew were Sgt. James Griffin and Pvt. Joseph Wiskowski.
When the Filipino and American Forces on Bataan were surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942, Orrie became a Prisoner of War. He took part in the death march and felt the endless walking, the hot sun, the lack of water and food all combined to make this one terrible experience.
As a POW he was first held at Camp O'Donnell. Conditions in the camp were so bad that Orrie volunteered to go out on a work detail.
The work detail's job was to collect scrap metal for the Japanese. Most of this metal was cars and trucks destroyed by the Americans as they fell back into Bataan. Since these vehicles could not run on their own, the Americans tied them together with ropes behind a working vehicle. Then each man drove a vehicle to San Fernando and left them in a large park. From there, the vehicles were taken to Manila.
While on this detail, Orrie became ill with malaria. He also had a sprained ankle. He was sent to Pampanga and put in a Filipino hospital. The patients in the hospital were mostly Filipino, Lawrence was one of a number of Americans in the hospital. The patients were treated well and got all the water they wanted and three meals a day. There was very little medicine to treat the patients.
After being released, Orrie was sent to Cabanatuan. On September 20, 1943, Orrie was sent to Manila and boarded the Taga Maru, The ship sailed for Formosa and stopped at Takao. It next sailed for Japan arriving at Moji on October 5, 1943. From Moji Orrie was sent to Himaji, Japan. He was assigned to Hirohata 12-B about thirty miles from Osaka.
As a prisoner in Japan, Orrie shoveled coal and ore from ships for the Seitetsu Steel Mills. He also worked in a tailor shop repairing clothes on a sewing machine, since he had been trained to do this at the orphanage in LaGrange, Illinois.
The prisoners knew how the war was going through rumors. Finally, in September of 1945, the Japanese commander of the camp announced to the American prisoners that the war was over and that they were free. On September 4, 1945, Orrie and the other POWs were liberated. Orrie returned to the United States in October of 1945. Orrie was promoted to staff sergeant. He would marry and become the father of two children.
Orrie worked for the City of Chicago in its Forestry Department. When he retired, he moved to Arizona. Many of the photos in the B Company portion of our website were given to us by Orrie Mulholland.
Orrie T. Muholland passed away on February 19, 2004, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was buried at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizonia in Phoenix.