A Closer Look
The Janesville 99
Our Soldiers of the Bataan Death March
Story by Teresa Nguyen
After surrendering, they were forced to walk the Bataan Death March, enduring years of brutality, disease, starvation, torture and slave labor...
Historic Marker at The Armory telling the story of the Janesville 99
Every Memorial Day we remember our fallen soldiers and every Veteran’s Day, we honor those who have bravely served our country.
Memorial Day is a somber time set aside to visit the graves of our lost soldiers, those who fought so valiantly for our nation, who were marked as casualties in these terrible chapters of our history.
In our community, the local troops used to train at The Armory. This beautiful downtown building was built in 1930 and was eventually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1941, a special group of soldiers, the 192nd Tank Battalion, who trained at The Armory and used it as a mustering center, were sent off to the Philippines.
Janesville's Forrest Knox and his parents, Nina and Ross
Forrest's great granddaughter, Lauren Knox, and her dad, Steve Knox
This is the story of the “Janesville 99” …a story we must remember. It is a story of men who so deeply deserve our gratitude and honor.
A Special Interview
In an interview with John Knox, the son of a Janesville 99 survivor, we learned how John’s father, Sgt. Forrest Knox, and two uncles all endured the cruelty of the Bataan Death March at the height of WWII, in 1942. The interview was raw and the tales he told were incredible.
His father endured emotional scars that would last his lifetime and affected the way his children were raised.The damage was irreparable and there was no returning to the vibrant man he once was.
Forrest's grandson, and John's nephew, Steve Knox, is a member of the Bataan Memorial Committee, helping to organize an annual ceremony at the Janesville 99 Memorial.
The Bataan Death March
There were 99 Army National Guard soldiers from Rock County who defended the Philippines against the Japanese invaders at the start of the Second World War. After surrendering, they were forced to walk the Bataan Death March, enduring years of brutality, disease, starvation, torture and slave labor in Japanese prisoner of war camps.