Albert Joseph Hessman
Join us in celebrating Albert—please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page!
Albert was born July 29, 1913, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; and died May 22, 1973, in Indiana, USA. Albert is buried in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Greenwood, Indiana.
T SGT US Army
World War II
Albert Joseph Hessman
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor which caused the U.S. to declare war against the Empire of Japan. At the time the U.S. had a military presence in the Philippine islands with General Douglas McArthur in command.
On December 8, 1941, the Japanese began an invasion of the Philippines. U.S. and Philippine armies resisted the invasion for over 3 months. The United States forces were unable to be re-supplied due to the devastation of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
On December 26, 1941, McArthur ordered all forces into the Corregidor and Bataan peninsula for the defense of the island. Subsequently, President Roosevelt ordered McArthur out of the Philippines to Australia where on March 20, 1942, McArthur made his famous speech stating that "I came out of Bataan and I shall return."
On April 10, 1942, the U.S. and the Filipino armies surrendered to the Japanese. This created 90,000 to 100,00 American and Filipino prisoners of war. For nearly a week in tropical heat, Japanese soldiers marched these prisoners to various prison camps. During this march, atrocities were committed by the Japanese soldiers. Falling was tantamount to a death sentence. Prisoners assisting others in need were attacked and killed. They were denied food and water and forced to continually walk. Bayonet stabbings, rapes, disembowelments, and rifle butt beatings were common. Japanese were known to drive their trucks and vehicles over those who had fallen. Soldiers riding in vehicles would casually stick out their bayonets and cut the throats of men marching along the road.
The exact march death count is impossible to determine but historians believe the minimum death toll to be between six and eleven thousand. Some estimate a casualty killing rate of between 1 in 4 and two in seven to have been killed in the brutal forcible march. This event came to be known as the "Bataan Death March." After the war, it was determined to have been a war crime.
In October 1944 McArthur's vow to return was commenced as the U.S. Army began landings at Leyte, in the Philippines. Thus began the liberation of the Philippine Islands from the Japanese.
On January 29, 1945, the 38th Division along with others began landing at Subic Bay on the Bataan peninsula. Units of the 38th Division, Company C, 151st Infantry (of which Albert J Hessman was a platoon leader) experienced fierce 16 days of battle action through heavy Japanese fortifications at Zig-Zag Pass. The Bataan peninsula was secured on February 21st. It was through these battles and taking back the Bataan peninsula that General McArthur dubbed the 38th, "The Avengers of Bataan." His units continued to battle through the Zambales Mountain Ranges including Luzon and into the Sierra Madre Mountain range as well as Corregidor.
In recognition of their contributions to clearing the Philippines, the 38th Infantry Division received the nickname "The Avengers of Bataan". Quickly demobilized after World War II, the 38th Infantry Division was reorganized and federally recognized on March 5, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
When Albert Joseph Hessman was born his father, Harry Leo Hessman was 26 and his mother, Martha Mary Hoheisel was 21. Albert Joseph Hessman, the 59-year-old resident of 228 Hollybrook Drive, New Whiteland, died Tuesday night at the Indianapolis Veterans Hospital. Hessman who was born July 29, 1913, in Indianapolis, had resided in New Whiteland since 1957. He married Mary Jane (Smith) Hessman on February 1, 1946, at Vanport, Beaver, Pennsylvania. He retired in 1966 as a gang leader with the New York Central Railroad. He had been an employee there for 30 years. Since that time, he had been a part-time police dispatcher for the New Whiteland department and the County Sheriff's Department. Hessman was a member of the Police League of Indiana, New Whiteland VFW Post, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Indianapolis. Survivors include the widow, the former Mary Smith; two daughters, Patricia of Franklin and Stella Joan Owen of New Whiteland; and A son Albert J. Hessman Jr. at home. Also, surviving are five brothers, Henry, Leo, Charles, Frank, and John: a sister Rosemary Miller and a stepbrother Brother Thomas F. Corcoran CSC of River Grove Illinois. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Greenwood Catholic Church. The burial will be in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens. A Rosary Service will be conducted at 8:15 p.m. Thursday from the funeral home.
Three siblings: 1) Patricia Hessman Smith 2) Stella Joan Hessman Owen 3) Albert Harry Hessman. Five brothers: 1) Leo J Hessman ID# 116433986 2) John Joseph Hessman ID# 112281960 3) Henry Hessman ID# 128854589 4) Frank Hessman ID# 128854585 5) Charles J Hessman ID# 192816531. One sister: Rosemary Marie Hessman Miller ID# 233844671.
T SGT US Army
World War II