Historical Markers - Rock Co., WI

Janesville Tank Company

Wisconsin Official Marker

Located in front of the Armory, 10 S. High Street, Janesville

 
Courtesy of Kurt Wheeler, Rock County Planning & Development Agency
 
    Janesville Tank Company
    During the 1930s, the Janesville National Guard armory was headquarters
    for the 32nd Tank Company, a unit of Wisconsin's famed Thirty-Second Division, which had been reorganized after World War I and equipped with light tanks. In November 1940, as part of the mobilization ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the unit was melded with three other midwestern National Guard units and redesignated Company A of the 192nd Tank Battalion. Within a year, the Janesville tank company had been trained and dispatched to the Philippine Islands.
    Following the outbreak of the war on December 7, 1941, members of
    Company A became the first of 330,000 Wisconsin residents to engage the enemy. During a harrowing four-month defense of the Bataan Peninsula, short of supplies and devoid of air cover, the Janesville tank unit fought bravely alongside other American and Filipino forces until surrendering on April 9, 1942. As prisoners of war, the Janesville men participated in the infamous Bataan Death March. Of the original ninety-nine members of the unit, only thirty-five survived imprisonment by the Japanese.
     
    Erected in 1990
 

 

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