to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead

3.1 TXNG

The Texas Military Forces Museum is the official repository of documents and memorabilia for the LOST BATTALION Association:

Towns in the strip of Texas between Dallas and the Oklahoma border were the home to the various units of the 2 Bn 131 Field Artillery Regiment:

HQ Battery: Decatur and Witcha Falls

D Battery: Witcha Falls

E Battery: Abilene

F Battery: Jacksboro

Service Battery: Lubbock and Plainview

Med detachment: Plainview

Another webpage dedicated to the 2/131 FA Rgt:,_World_War_II)

Over the course of their 3.5 year ordeal the members of the TXNG 2/131, and those who became attached or associated with them along the way, were divided into groups that had vastly different experiences.

Early on, the IJA identified a group of about 70 US personnel (both TXNG and USS HOUSTON survivors) as having ‘technical skills’. Under the command of TXNG CPT Lundy Zeigler, they were shipped directly to Japan. Next, the two groups destine for the TBR departed Java. The first was known as the Fitzsimmons Group (their commander was TXNG CPT Archie Fitzsimmons). they were told that they were to ‘prepare the way’ for the main group to follow. Arriving in Burma a few months after that group was the remainder of those from Bicycle Camp; composed of TXNG and USN/USMC personnel. This large group was under the direct command of LTC Tharp.

The main body of E Battery did not arrive at the Bicycle Camp until after all these others had departed. They, too, were headed for Japan when they overlapped with the Tharp group for a short-time in Singapore, but were never reunited with their compatriots.

The small group of US personnel who worked in Thailand near the HIntok area were mainly US Merchant Mariners from the USAT Sawolka along with stragglers who had been left in Singapore as these other groups transited there. Ten more of those who had been shed in Singapore found themselves part of F Force. Oddly, they were reunited with the Tharp group rather than being returned to Singapore as were most of H & F Force men.

There were a few dozen men left behind on Java, mainly due to illness or injury. Many of them were lost in the sinking of the Tamahoko en route to Japan in JUN 44. Perhaps the most unique ordeal befell a TXNG PFC W.F. “Hook” Matthews. Unfortunately, his actual story is extremely poorly documented. He MAY have been part of the Hintok group along with the Merchant Mariners, but that remains a mystery. A few of those from Java were even sent to work the lesser known Railway on Sumatra. A group of the officers passed through Taiwan en route to Manchuria.

There are almost as many unique stories as the men who underwent this prolonged ordeal.

I hope I can do justice to their story!

San Antonio newspaper article:

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