Victor L. Gosney (1942/07/06)
Canada sent Watsonville one of her native sons to join the famous Salinas tank company.
Victor L. Gosney was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, in July 1917, to Alfred and Jennie Gosney. The Gosney family also included another son and four daughters. It is believed that the family initially settled in San Jose; however, by 1941 all of their children, including Victor, had relocated to Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Victor attended Watsonville High School for two years and after leaving school, worked in a service station.
Sometime between September and December 1940 Victor Gosney joined Company C of the 194th Tank Company of the National Guard located in Salinas. Private Gosney accompanied the unit to Fort Lewis, Washington, for training in February 1941. The tank company set sail for the Philippine Islands the following September and by the time they arrived in October, Gosney had been promoted to sergeant. Company C was initially stationed at Fort Stotsenberg with the mission of helping defend Clark Field and the city of Manila.
When bombing attacks by the Japanese began on December 8, 1941, the tank company set up defensive positions and prepared for the inevitable invasion. When the invasion came, they were unable to stop the Japanese and were forced to retreat to the Bataan peninsula. By containing the Japanese for three months, the Bataan defenders enabled allied forces to set up defenses in Australia that were instrumental in preventing an invasion of that country.
After surrendering in May 1942, Sergeant Victor L. Gosney completed the infamous Bataan Death March to Cabanatuan prison camp. It was later reported that he died in the prison on July 6, 1942, from the malaria and dysentery. His body was initially buried at the camp; however, his remains were later removed and reburied in the Manila American Cemetery.
(NARA2; ABMC; WRP June 4, 1945 1:4; http://www.proviso.k12. il.us/bataan%20Web/194_Poster.htm)