Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office
World Premiere of the Award Winning Documentary highlighting the Soldiers of a Harrodsburg armory unit during World War II's Bataan Death March

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 19, 2008  
Contact Information:  1LT Andi Hahn
Asst. Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Kentucky National Guard
502-607-1898
 


WHO:
Kentucky National Guard Harrodsburg Tankers from WWII - Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion

WHAT:
Harrodsburg Tankers Bataan Rememberance Day.

WHEN:
April 26th, 2008

WHERE:
Harrodsburg, KY and Danville, KY

(Video Preview available on http://dma.ky.gov)

Frankfort, Ky. – The Kentucky National Guard will present an award-winning documentary on the Harrodsburg Tankers that endured the Bataan Death March of World War II on April 26, 2008.

"BATAAN – The Harrodsburg Tankers: A Time For Courage … A Time For Heroes" will highlight the days events honoring Kentucky's fighting men during World War II.

The Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Historical Society, the City of Harrodsburg, Mercer County and the Harrodsburg Historical Society will join with the local community on Saturday, April 26, 2008 paying tribute to their own home town heroes – the Harrodsburg Tankers.

Following a 5-K run and a 10 mile march by the Boy Scouts, there will be historical discussions conducted by nationally recognized historians and then the world premiere of "BATAAN – The Harrodsburg Tankers: A Time For Courage … A Time For Heroes." The award-winning documentary chronicles the participation of the Kentucky Army National Guard's 38th Tank Company, later - Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion, in World War II and the experiences of its Soldiers, many of whom endured the infamous "Bataan Death March."

The public is invited to attend this free showing.

Events for APRIL 26, 2008 include:

8 a.m. Bataan Tankers 5k Run / Walk

Boy Scouts Bataan Tankers 10 Mile March

Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg

10 a.m. Opening ceremony

Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg

1 p.m. Historians Roundtable

James Harrod Conference Center, Harrodsburg

6 p.m. Reception

Kentucky Army National Guard 202ND Army Band providing music

Norton Center for the Arts, Centre College, Danville

6:45 p.m. Reception for premiere

Norton Center for the Arts, Centre College, Danville

7 p.m. World premiere: "BATAAN The Harrodsburg Tankers: A Time For Courage … A Time For Heroes"

Norton Center for the Arts, Centre College, Danville

ABOUT THE HARRODSBURG TANKERS

Before World War II, the Harrodsburg Tankers were the 38th Tank Company of the Kentucky Army National Guard. They were among the first Kentuckians called to active duty in preparation for World War II. When they went on federal active duty they became Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion. On Thanksgiving Day, 1941, The Harrodsburg Tankers landed in the Philippines. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and only hours later they began an attack on the Philippines. The Harrodsburg Tankers, along with the allied forces, fought the Japanese valiantly without reinforcements or resupply until ordered by their superiors to surrender in April 1942. Those who could not escape to Corregidor were in the infamous "Bataan Death March." They were all eventually taken prisoner of war. Only 37 of the original 66 Kentucky Guard Members from Harrodsburg survived Japanese captivity.

Additional Information

Documentary Premiere A free public viewing of the documentary "BATAAN >– The Harrodsburg Tankers: A Time For Courage … A Time For Heroes" will be preceded by a reception held at the Norton Center for the Arts, Centre College. Music will be provided by a quartet of the 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National Guard.

The screening begins at 6:45 p.m. with brief remarks by Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Adjutant General for Kentucky.

A preview of the Documentary can be seen on: http://dma.ky.gov

Bataan Tankers 5k Run / Walk There is a $12 pre-registration fee, $15 for the day of the event. The registration fee for those 18 years of age and under is $5. For more information contact: Cpt. John Holmes – 502-607-6120 or e-mail john.holmes3@us.army.mil.

Boy Scouts Bataan Tankers 10 Mile March For information about patch qualification contact: Maj. Todd Ewing, 502-607-1200 or e-mail todd.ewing@us.army.mil

Historians Roundtable The public is invited to join a panel discussion of the history of the Harrodsburg Tankers. Members of the audience will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own stories about the Harrodsburg tankers.

The moderator will be Jim Opolony, Coordinator of the Proviso East Bataan Commemorative Project. Opolony is a teacher at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois and he along with two other teachers started the Provisio East High School Bataan Commemorative Research Project website during the 1999 -2000 school year. The website, still an ongoing project, has become one of the most respected resources available about the men of Harrodsburg and all those who served in the 192nd Tank Battalion.

The panel members for the roundtable are:

Russell Harris, Senior Associate Editor of Publications and The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Harris has done extensive research about the Harrodsburg Tankers and has published one of the key works on the subject in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. For articles on World War II, he has received both state and national awards. He is the editor or author of some eighty articles and essays, as well as a prize-winning documentary and George Rogers Clark and His Men: Military Records, 1778-1784 (1981).

Dr. Rich Holl, Professor of History at Lees College Campus of Hazard Community College and Technical School, is the author of From the Boardroom to the War Room: America’s Corporate Liberals and FDR’s Preparedness Program (2005), the co-editor of a Kentucky history textbook, and the author of an award-winning article on POW camps in Kentucky during World War II. He is working on a history of the Kentucky home front during the Second World War.

Col. (R) Arthur L. Kelly has interviewed some one hundred Kentucky veterans of World War II (including several of the Harrodsburg Tankers). These and many other tapes comprise the Arthur L. Kelly Veterans of World War II Oral History Collection at the University of Kentucky. He is also the author of Battlefire!: Combat Stories of World War II (1997), which included a chapter profiling the experiences of Harrodsburg Tanker Field M. "Jack" Reed.

Christopher L. Kolakowski, Executive Director of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association, has also worked for the National Park Service and the Civil War Preservation Trust. Author of numerous articles, including a profile of Harrodsburg Tanker William Gentry in Kentucky Humanities (2007), his career has been devoted to interpreting and preserving American military history. He currently offers a talk about the Tankers through the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau.

The Wall that Heals From April 24-27, 2008, a national touring exhibition called The Wall That Heals will visit the Norton Center for the Arts. This Exhibition was created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to travel to communities across the United States.

Featuring a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., it is accompanied by a mobile museum that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era. A computerized Information Center also allows visitors to search for information about those named on the Memorial. The accompanying mobile museum features a map of Vietnam, a chronology of the war, and related information that helps explain the conflict to the generations of Americans born in the intervening years. The 250-foot replica will be installed on the lawn of the Norton Center and along with the mobile museum, will be open to the public at no charge.

Additional Information Resources

Kentucky National Guard eMuseum

Event Information and historical resources http://kynghistory.ky.gov/BataanTankerDay08.htm

Provisio East High School Bataan Commemorative Research Project http://www.proviso.k12.il.us/Bataan%20Web/index.htm