Pvt. Emery B. Boardman
Pvt. Emery B. Boardman was born in Green Bay,
Wisconsin, in 1919 to Charles W. Boardman &
Edna Leeman-Boardman. With his two brothers,
he was raised at 731 Highland in Glen Ellyn,
Illinois, and attended Glenbard High School.
Before the war, he worked in his father's reality
and insurance business.
Like many young men, Emery knew that the recently passed draft act would most likely result in his serving in the army. To fulfill his military obligation, Emery joined the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Tank Company in Maywood, Illinois, in August 1940. In November of 1940, the company was federalized and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to train. It was there, that the tank company became Company B, 192nd Tank Battalion.
In January, 1941, Emery was transferred to the
Headquarters Company when the company was formed
with members from the four letter companies and
made the company clerk. His specific
duties with the company are not known.
In the later summer
of 1941, he continued his training during the
Louisiana maneuvers. After the maneuvers
the 192nd was ordered to Camp Polk,
Louisiana, instead of returning to Ft. Knox, as
they had expected to do. At the fort, on the
side of a hill, the members of the battalion
learned they were being sent overseas. So
much for one year of military service. It
is not known if he returned home on leave or if
he remained at the base while the battalion
readied its equipment for transport.
of April 8,
his men the
news of the
surrender. While informing the members
of the company
waved his arm
tanks and told
the men that
they would no
he spoke, his
He turned away
from the men
for a moment,
and when he
turned back he
He next told
should do to
that they all
He told the
that could be
used by the
The only thing
they were told
not to destroy
The men waited
juice for what
he called, "Their last supper."
When the march started, Emery was already suffering from dysentery and was very weak. Pvt. William Hauser, and another GI, helped Emery by carrying him between them.
The second night of the march the POWs were held by a stream from which they were able to get water. The men began to share stories of where they wanted to be instead of where they were at at that moment. Emery began telling the other men that he would like to be at a restaurant in his hometown of Glen Ellyn. He described what he would be eating if he were there.
As he spoke, another POW not to far from him heard Emery. When Emery named the restaurant the other man looked to see who was speaking, It turned out that this second GI was Harold Baker who had grown up with Emery in Glen Ellyn. The two friends talked about the good old days and the meals they ate at the restaurant.
The next day during the march the POWs heard a rumor that men who were too ill to march would be taken by truck to the next bullpen. Suffering from dysentery, Emery left his company and attempted to make this arrangement.
As it turned out, the rumor of sick prisoners
receiving rides on trucks turned out to be
untrue. Emery continued to march, but
outside of San Fernando, he had an attack
of dysentery and went to the side of the road to
relieve himself. A guard seeing this
approached Emery and raised his gun to hit him
with the butt. Emery raised his arms to
his face to soften the blow. Seeing this
as an act of defiance, the guard bayoneted Emery
in the stomach. When Emery did not
die after being bayoneted the first time, the
guard bayoneted him a second time. This
time the guard left the bayonet in Emery until
he slumped over onto it. Knowing Emery was
dead, the guard pulled the bayonet out of
him. The Japanese allowed the other
members of the battalion to bury him alongside
On April 18, 1942, at the age of 23, Pvt. Emery B. Boardman died near the town of Balanga. After the war, his remains were recovered and his body now lies in Plot F, Row 15, Grave 62, at the American Military Cemetery outside of Manila.