Technician 5th Class Julius St. John Knudsen - Julius was born 3 January 1916, the eldest child of Lewis and Bessie (St. John) Knudsen of Brainerd, Minnesota. He entered the Service at Ft. MacArthur, California last assigned to the 194th Tank Battalion. In late 1941, General Douglas MacArthur made reinforcing the defense of the Philippines, a top priority. The 194th Tank Battalion was created for this purpose, combining National Guard units from Minnesota, Missouri, and California.
Company A of the 194th Tank Battalion, the unit to which Knudsen was later assigned, had originally been a Minnesota National Guard unit based in Brainerd, MN - Knudsen’s hometown. As the threat of war looked increasingly likely, the War Department federalized the unit on 10 February 1941 and dispatched them to Fort Lewis, Washington, where it was mustered as part of the 194th Tank Battalion and later that fall they shipped off to the Philippines.
Julius went Missing in Action after surrender on 9 April 1942 during the Bataan Death March. There is a lot of mystery and different accounts surrounding his disappearance. Join us as his Nephew Jim tells us his story.
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