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Research informations about 131st FA - r1286d - 06-01-2006


Maybe you could help me. I research an list of soldiers who were MIA, KIA of the 131st field artillery. Do you have an idea, where I could find this list ?

Thanks a lot to all,

A bientot, Gerome

Research informations about 131st FA - Walt's Daughter - 06-01-2006

Gerome, let's see what we can come up with.


Here's a name for you right off. Not sure if this is the right Bn, but give him a call or write to him. It's a start


131st AAA Gun Bn


Mr. Fred J Kellerman

5645 Antoninus Dr

Cincinnati OH 45238-1801





You can also check out the resources listed on the forum. There's some great tips and people to contact.


Let me know how I can assist you. If you have any further questions about the references, don't hesistate to contact me at any time. B)

Research informations about 131st FA - Gerome - 06-02-2006

Hi Marion,

Thanks a lot for your help, I'm going to contact M Kellerman. As you say, it's a start !

Again thanks, a bientot,


Research informations about 131st FA - Custermen - 06-02-2006



The 131st Field Artillery Battalion was one of the units of the 36th "Texas" Infantry Division. The 36th AAA unit was a different organization altogether. Is this the unit you refer to?


If you want more info on the 36th Texas Division, try this site. It also has a forum and I think the on-line Roster is still working but I've had trouble with it.

or try this one.




I have some info on the 131st Field Artillery and history books on the 36th Division. The 36th Division served in Italy and then Southern France with VI Corps. If you have any dates or places, that might give a clue as to what unit you are searching for.



Research informations about 131st FA - Gerome - 06-02-2006

Hi Steve,

Yes, my request is about the 131st Field Artillery of the 36th Texas. Maybe could you explain me the difference between the 131st FA and the 141st Fied Artillery (of the 36th) ? cause, I must say I lost !!!

In the net, I haven't found anything about the 131st FA, and I don't know where I must search !

Again, thanks a lot to all for your precious help.

Amicalement, Gerome

Research informations about 131st FA - Custermen - 06-02-2006

I had no luck finding the Roster. It was complete and had every name of any soldier who served in the 36th Division.


I did find this. But it is confusing to me. It is entitled "The Lost Battalion" which usually refers to the incident that happened when part of the 36th Division was cut off in Southern France. But this is in the Pacific. How did the 131st FA end up in the Pacific??? Could it have been there prior to Pear Harbor? The units of the 36th Division were a National Guard unit and were activated after the war started. I would not expect them to be in the Pacific in 1941.

Here are the links, anyway. I hope this is no rabbit trail.


I think I will write those guys and ask them for references to verify that is the right unit.


Research informations about 131st FA - Custermen - 06-02-2006

Oops. You posted before while I was writing my last one.

Maybe could you explain me the difference between the 131st FA and the 141st Fied Artillery

Here is a table I created that lists all the Infantry Divisions and the units that were part of them(meaning not attached temporarily).

Here is a short history of the 36th Division and at the bottom is a list of units.


The 141st FA Battalion was not attached to the 36th Division. The 141st Infantry Regiment was part of them. Those links should help.



Research informations about 131st FA - Walt's Daughter - 06-02-2006

2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery

The Lost Battalion


The 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery was mobilized on 25 November 1940, along with the 36th Infantry Division, Texas National Guard, and was sent to Camp Bowie at Brownwood. Originally intended to be part of a force to be sent to reinforce American troops in the Philippine Islands, the Battalion was detached from the 36th Infantry Battalion and sailed on the USS Republic on 21 November 1941. The ship was diverted from the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed on 7 December 1941, and landed on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies on 11 January 1942, to reinforce Dutch, British and Australian troops already there.


The Japanese landed on the island and the Dutch surrendered on 8 March 1942 after token resistance. The entire Battalion was taken prisoner. The Battalion (less Battery E) and the survivors of the cruiser USS Houston, which had been sunk off the Java coast, were sent to Burma, Thailand or Japan to work for the Japanese as slave laborers. They worked on the "Burma-Siam Death Railway" building a railroad through the jungle and in the coal mines, docks and ship yards in Japan and other southeast Asian countries. They spent 42 months in captivity suffering humiliation; torture, both mental and physical; starvation and disease (without medication).


Five hundred and thirty two soldiers of the Battalion, along with 371 survivors of the USS Houston were taken prisoner. Six hundred and sixty eight were sent to Burma and Thailand and 235 to other locations. Altogether, 163 soldiers died in captivity and of those 133 died working on the railroad. Many more died as a result of diseases contracted while in captivity after the war.


For almost three years, no one heard from any of the members of the battalion, hence the name, "Lost Battalion."

Research informations about 131st FA - Walt's Daughter - 06-02-2006

LOST BATTALION. On August 27, 1940, as World War IIqv engulfed both Europe and the Orient, a joint resolution of the United States Congress authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt to federalize the National Guard. Within days, Roosevelt issued orders for the mobilization of several state National Guard units. The Texas National Guardqv began its tour of duty as the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division,qv United States Army, by reporting for federal active duty to Camp Bowie, near Brownwood, in the autumn of 1940. Within weeks, the new division increased its manpower from 11,737 officers and men to nearly 15,800 by the addition of new officers and Selective Service inductees from Texas and the surrounding states. The division participated in maneuvers in Louisiana during the summer of 1941. After the Thirty-sixth returned from the war games, the army alerted the Second Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, for assignment. On the evening of November 10, 1941, the battalion entrained at Camp Bowie en route to the West Coast; eleven days later the unit boarded the United States army transport Republic at San Francisco and joined a convoy bound for the Philippines.


The Republic was sailing west of Hawaii on December 7, 1941, when the troops learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The convoy, still proceeding toward the Philippine Islands, which were under attack from another Japanese force, received orders to sail to Brisbane, Australia; the ships arrived there on December 22. Six days later, the battalion was ordered to board a Dutch ship, the Bloemfontein, and sail to Surabaya, Java, to provide ground support for an army air force unit. The Texans arrived on January 11, 1942, the same day the Japanese began invading the Dutch islands. Initially, the battalion acted as ground crew for the Nineteenth Heavy Bombardment Group, which had been forced to leave its original support sections at Clark Field when fleeing the Philippines. Shortly, when the bomb group was ordered to Australia, the flyers asked their leaders to allow the Texans to accompany them to Australia, since they were desperately needed. But the Second Battalion was left in Java to support the morale of the people there. The unit earned the title of "Lost Battalion" because they were not evacuated with other military forces. The Dutch surrendered the islands on March 8, 1942.


The Japanese imprisoned the Texans, along with 5,500 British and Australian troops, at a camp called TanJong Priok, near Batavia. Five weeks later the battalion marched to a new prison known as Bicycle Camp, where they encountered the first of many acts of Japanese brutality. On October 2, 1942, nearly 200 battalion members were marched on board ship and transferred to Singapore. Nine days later most of the remaining members followed, and the group was reunited at Changi Barracks POW camp, formerly a British army post, before being shipped to Moulmein, Burma, on January 11, 1943. The Texans traveled by train to Thanbyuzayat, Burma, and immediately began work on the Japanese "Railroad of Death," which ultimately connected Burma to Bangkok, Siam. The unit labored in various work camps on the railroad, including assisting on the famous "Bridge over the River Kwai," and suffered numerous casualties and deaths. Seventy thousand Allied prisoners of all nationalities perished on the project. In 1944 the Japanese transferred some of the Texans to prison camps in Cambodia and Vietnam and others to Bangkok, where the survivors of the Second Battalion remained for the rest of the war.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Abilene Reporter-News November 10, 1971. Elmer Ray Milner, An Agonizing Evolution: A History of the Texas National Guard, 1900-1945 (Ph.D. dissertation, North Texas State University, 1979). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.


E. R. Milner

Research informations about 131st FA - Walt's Daughter - 06-02-2006

I suggest you contact my buddy Richard Horrell of WW2 Connections (in the reference section I referred to earlier). He may be able to help you obtain rosters for the Bn.


You may want to try this email address first. Contact the 36th Division Association:


The 1st Bn served in North Africa and the MTO.


The 2nd Bn served only in the PTO.