The Officers of the Lost Battalion
The 2nd Battalion of the 131st Field Artillery was led by a complement of 28 commissioned officers. Lt. Colonel Blucher S. Tharp (later promoted to Colonel) was the senior officer and Captain Arch Fitzsimmons was assigned by the Japanese to oversee the Americans assigned to the Burma portion of the railway building.
While the Officers maintained different roles in the POW camps, the stories of the men reflect their more direct relationships with specific Officers. Not all were originally with the 131st - 2nd Lt. Roy E. Stensland from Sioux Falls, SD was assigned to the 147th Field Artillery (South Dakota National Guard) but was captured on Java when on a special mission “to procure ships and small boats to run the blockade at Bataan in the Philippines” (http://www.rightsidesd.com/?p=20033).
|LAST NAME||FIRST NAME||RANK||HOMETOWN|
|Allen||Hollis G.||1st LT|
|Fillmore||Clyde C||1st LT|
|Fitzimmons||Archie L||CAPT||Carlsbad, NM|
|Hard||Ilo B||1st LT|
|Heinen||Julius B||1st LT|
|Hiner||David A||2nd LT||Abilene, TX|
|Lattimore||James P||2nd LT||Lubbock, TX|
|Morgan||Isaac A Jr||1st LT|
|Smith||Travis J||2nd LT|
|Stensland||Roy E||2nd LT||Salinas, CA|
|Straughan||Millett A||2nd LT|
|Tharp||Blucher S||LT COL|