Louis Sachwald, ADBC Commander
ADBC Commander, 1973-74
A founder and Past National Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, he was born on May 19, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY. In 1934 he moved with his family to Lancaster, PA. After graduating from McCaskey High School in 1937, he earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1940 from Millersville State Teachers College. Sachwald enlisted in the Army prior to Pearl Harbor and was caught in the heart of the Japanese invasion of the Pacific in the Philippines.Mr. Sachwald was serving as a sergeant with a chemical warfare unit in the Philippines when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and the American forces that were remaining in Manila were forced to retreat to Bataan, where they were instructed to hold at all costs. Outnumbered American and Filipino forces battled the Japanese onslaught from late December until spring, when they surrendered at Bataan on April 9, 1942, with Corregidor falling 27 days later. "By the end, we had no food, we were suffering from pellagra and beriberi, we had almost no ammunition, and we were using obsolete weapons," Mr. Sachwald told The Baltimore Sun in a 1991 interview. Mr. Sachwald was serving with G Company, 31st Infantry, when he transferred from Bataan to Corregidor, an island fortress at the entrance to Manila Bay, just before Bataan surrendered.
"We cried and cheered," he told The Voice, a newsletter published by Bethel Congregation, where he was a member. His military decorations included a Bronze Star and a Distinguished Unit Badge with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He moved to Baltimore in 1954 when he became an executive at the old Polan Katz Co. that manufactured umbrellas. After the company closed, he was a manufacturer's representative, selling leather goods and from 1986 until retiring in 2004, was with Mattress Discounters in Owings Mills.
PNC Louis Sachwald, 92, died Feb. 28, 2011, at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Southern Maryland.