Leonard, Fred C., Jr. (P2, C3, L15)
Private First Class Fred Curry Leonard, Jr., 23, of Mercer County, died on 28 July 1942 at Camp Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines of cerebral malaria while serving on federal active duty with Headquarters Company of the 192nd Tank Battalion.
It is worth noting that there may be some confusion about his name. In his military documents, found to date, he is listed as Fred Leonard. And his paperwork from November 1940 list “(none)” for middle name. Newspaper accounts reference him as Fred Leonard, Jr. and some websites show his middle initial as C. and as G. According to the findagrave.com website his father's middle name was Curry. The 1930 Census lists him as Fred Curry, Jr. So it is likely his correct name would be Fred Curry Leonard, Jr.
Fred Leonard Jr. was born on August 12, 1919, in Mercer County, Kentucky, to Fred Curry Leonard and Alma Roach-Leonard and grew up on the family farm with his sister and two brothers. At some point, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, but Fred remained in Harrodsburg living with his grandparents Andrew Frank Leonard & Ethel Margaret Graves Leonard and joined the Kentucky National Guard’s tank company there.
Leonard enlisted 30 March 1936 and left the unit on 2 October 1936 at the rank of Private. He listed his civilian occupation as farmer and truck driver. He reenlisted on 12 July 1937. He was promoted to Private First Class on 2 August 1938. He left the unit on 15 Feb 1939 due to moving out of state. Leonard reenlisted on 20 Sep 1940 and remained part of the unit when it was federalized on 25 November 1940.
Moving under secret orders, Company D arrived in the Philippines by Thanksgiving Day, 1941. War came to them when the Japanese attacked Clark Field just a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Harrodsburg Tankers along with the allied forces fought the Japanese valiantly without reinforcements or resupply until they were ordered to surrender in April 1942. They had delayed the Japanese Army's timetable from 50 days to four months, giving the allies vital time to protect Australia and recover from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On July 3, Fred was admitted to the camp hospital at Cabanatuan #1 POW camp suffering from diarrhea and assigned to Barracks 28. According to the records kept by the camp medical staff, he remained in the hospital for seven days being discharged on July 10. Fred was again admitted to the camp's hospital on August 24, 1942, suffering from cerebral malaria and splenitis which is an inflammation of the spleen. This may have been the result of a beating. According to the records kept at the hospital, Pvt. Fred G. Leonard Jr. died on Friday, August 28, 1942, at approximately 3:30 A.M. of cerebral malaria and was buried in the camp cemetery.
After the war, the U.S. Remains Recovery Team positively identified the remains of PFC Fred C. Leonard. At the request of his family, he was reburied at Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg.
SEE Also: Bataan Commemorative Research Project Website Leonard Fred Bio
PFC Fred G. Leonard Jr. was born on August 12, 1919, in Mercer County, Kentucky, to Fred G. Leonard Sr. and Alma Roach-Leonard and grew up on the family farm with his sister and two brothers. At some point, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, but Fred remained in Harrodsburg living with his grandparents and joined the Kentucky National Guard’s tank company there.
In September 1940, the tank company was designated D Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, and on November 25, the company was ordered to Fort Knox, Kentucky. The company boarded 10 trucks in Harrodsburg on November 28th and its tanks were loaded onto a flatcar and taken by train to Ft. Knox. The company left Harrodsburg at 12:30 P.M. arriving four hours later at 4:30 P.M.
PFC Leonard Dies June 11 In Philippines
1943 The Advocate-Messenger Danville 25 Jun page 1
Private First Class Fred Leonard, Jr., of Harrodsburg, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Leonard of that city, died on June 11, 1943, according to a report of the International Red Cross received yesterday by telegram from the War Department.
Private Leonard is the 23 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Leonard of Dayton, Ohio, formerly of Harrodsburg.
His death is the third reported among members of the Harrodsburg National Guard known as Company D, 192nd Tank Battalion which went to the Philippines.
Others of the group previously reported dead were Sergeant Wallace Denny, whose wife is Mrs. Alma Best Denny; and Sergeant Elzie Anness, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Anness, all of Mercer County.
Private Leonard is survived also by a sister, Miss Betty Leonard, and two brothers, Russell and Jackie Leonard, all of Dayton.
Harrodsburg Soldier Is Reported Dead
1943 Lexington Herald June 25 page 5
Harrodsburg, Ky., June 24 Special – News of the death of a third member of the former Harrodsburg National Guard, which went to the Philippines as Company D, 192nd Tank Battalion, was received here today. A wire from the War Department to Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Leonard informed them that the International Red Cross reported the death on June 11, 1943, of their grandson, Private First Class Fred Leonard Jr., of Harrodsburg.
He would have been 23 years old in August and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Leonard Sr., formerly of this place, but now of Dayton, Ohio.
Besides his parents, he is survived by a sister, Miss Betty Leonard, and two brothers, Jackie and Russell Leonard, all of Dayton.
The first notice of a death among the Harrodsburg men in the Philippines was that of Sergt. Wallace Denny, whose wife, Mrs. Alma Best Denny….