Bruni, Fred Tobias, Jr., CPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1203-Tank Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Armor (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1944, 1203, POW/MIA
Service Years
1938 - 1944



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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt. S. Kimbrow to remember Bruni, Fred Tobias, Jr., CPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Dec 14, 1943
Hostile, Died while Captured
Intentional Homicide
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Battling Bastards of BataanWorld War II Fallen
  1942, Battling Bastards of Bataan
  1944, World War II Fallen [Verified]

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 Ribbon Bar

 National Guard Awards

 Unit Assignments
192nd Tank Battalion , USAFFE Headquarters POW/MIA
  1941-1944, 1203, 192nd Tank Battalion , USAFFE Headquarters
  1942-1944, 1203, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Bruni was one of the men murdered by Japanese troops in Puerta Princessa, Palawan Island, Philippines. The remains of those killed were recovered and interred in a common grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Prior to the federalization of his tank unit in 1940, then Lt. Bruni served with the Wisconsin National Guard.  He'd served with this unit from 1921, receiving a commission in the unit in 1938.

He served as commander of Headquarters Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, a unit made up of National Guard units from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. The Battalion arrived at Clark Field in the Philippine Islands in the fall of 1941.

On 8 December 1941, they were attacked by Japanese forces. These attacks continued until until April 1942 when they surrendered to the Japanese. He survived the Bataan Death March and was held as a prisoner of war until he was executed by the Japanese along with 138 other Americans. The excuse for their ghastly murder by fire, bayonet, bullets and dynamite was to prevent them being rescued by Allied forces.

(Details at below).

Captain Bruni joined the Wisconsin National Guard 28 June 1921, being promoted through the ranks, becoming a 2nd lieutenant 14 June 1938. In the autumn of 1940, he was promoted to first lieutenant when his tank company (M-2 tanks) was federalized. Now, he was a member of the 192nd GHQ Light Tank Battalion which was formed from National Guard units from Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky. The battalion trained at Fort Knox for a year, and then did training in Louisiana in 1941 (Fort Polk), prior to the unit being shipped to Clark AB, Philippines in November 1941. He was promoted to captain upon arrival at Clark.

The unit fought from 8 December 1941-8 April 1942 when they surrendered to the Japanese, and were put into what became known as the Bataan Death March, eventually arriving at Camp O' Donnel.

(Further details at Captain Bruni was shipped to various camps until he was at Palawan where he the 138 others were killed. Note: Several men manage to make successful escapes and tell the tale of what happened, others were captured and tortured to death. Comments/Citation

Note:  Remains were returned of those lost in this incident in 1952 and interred in a common grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missiouri.
Notes/Links: (M-2 Tank information) (Roster of those murdered by the Japanese). (burial sites)


" During World War II, in order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, the Japanese herded the remaining 150 prisoners of war at Puerto Princesa into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using barrels of gasoline. Prisoners who tried to escape the flames were shot down. Others attempted to escape by climbing over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed. Only 11 men escaped the slaughter and between 133 and 141 were killed. The site of the massacre can still be visited.

The massacre is the premise of the recently published book Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II by Bob Wilbanks, and the opening scenes of the 2005 Miramax movie, "The Great Raid".
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