Advertisement

 William Joseph Balchus

Advertisement

William Joseph Balchus

Birth
Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death
11 Dec 2013 (aged 92)
Yuba City, Sutter County, California, USA
Burial
Shenandoah Heights, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID
121693951 View Source

Standard Speaker
Hazelton, Pennsylvania
Thursday June 4, 1942, page 5
Third Mahanoy Man Missing
Mahanoy City reports that the third of its contributions to the armed forces of Uncle Sam has been reported ,missing in the Loss of Corporal William Balch in the Philippine Island. Sergeant George Medwicj and Sergeant Michael Litchko were previously reported as missing.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Saturday August 12, 1944, page 6
Cpl. William J. Balchus, former resident of this vicinity, writes that he is well and sends his regards to all from a Jap prison camp in the Philippines.
The letter was written to his sister, Mrs. Mary Matalenas, Martinsville, NJ.
Cpt Balchus has many relatives and friends in this region. His sister, Mrs. Anna Sadukas, resides in Mahanoy City, two other sisters Mrs. Helen Gavel and Mrs. Isabel Vargovich, reside at Bethlehem.
Mrs. Maralenas states the the letter also carried best wished for a Merry Christmas and A Happy new Year. Whether they were meant for the forthcoming holidays or those of 1943 is problematic.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Wednesday October 20, 1943, page 1
CPL WILLIAM BALCHUS IS HELD AS A PRISONER
Corporal William J. Balchus brother of Mrs. Mary Matalenas of Martinville, NY and formerly of Connerton has been listed as a prisoner of war, according to word send to this office by Mrs. Matalenas, who received the news from the War Department by telegram.
Cpl Balchus who has relatives in this vicinity, was known to be serving in the Philippine Islands, and was t Fort Mills on c=Corregidor. This would consequently place him as a prisoner of the Japanese Government.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Saturday March 10, 1945 page 1
PRISONER OF WAR BACK
Cpl. William J. Balchus, a native of Shenandoah, who has ben a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines since the fall of Cooregidor, has arrived safely in California, according to a message front he Red Cross received by his sister Mrs. Nellie Matalenas of Martinsville, NJ. He was reported in good condition and will probably be allowed to visit here soon. Besides Mrs. Mataleans, he has three other sisters, Mrs. Anna Saukas of Mahanoy City, Mrs. Helen Gavel and Mrs. Isabelle Vargovich of Brooklyn. The family at one time resided in Girardville.

William Bachus was one of 11 prisoners of war who escaped death in a massacre on Palawan Island in the Philippines, in December 1944. About 140 American POWs were killed when the Japanese herded them into trenches, dumped gasoline on them and set them on fire.

He returned to live in Shenandoah, PA and married Helen, happy to leave the war in the past. He loved fishing and the outdoors both in PA and California. He drove trucks for the coal mines and later construction equipment. He was the last of the 11 survivors to pass away.

Contributed By
Maggie Mac

Pottsville Republican, The & Evening Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Monday, December 23, 2013

William J. "Willie" Balchus, 92, formerly of South West Street, Shenandoah, passed away Dec. 11 in Yuba City, Calif., where he was currently residing with his son, Joseph "Sherman" Balchus and his wife, Brenda, for the past eight years.
Born in Shenandoah, Oct. 15, 1921, he was a son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Zitkus Balchus.
He was a decorated Army veteran of World War II. He was one of 11 prisoners of war who escaped being burned to death by Japanese guards at the Puerto Princesa Prison Camp. Nearly 140 POWs lost theirs lives at what became known as the Palawan Massacre. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart, as well as the Philippines Liberation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal and the Philippines Defense Ribbon.
Willie was a member of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah.
He was an avid fisherman and thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors in Pennsylvania and California.
Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife, the former Helen M. Wisniewski, in 1989; and six sisters.
Surviving, in addition to his son and daughter-in-law, are a daughter, Carole Oshman, Stewartsville, N.J.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; and cousins.
Prayer and scripture services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. The Rev. Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow at Our Lady of Fatima Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. Relatives and friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.

Standard Speaker
Hazelton, Pennsylvania
Thursday June 4, 1942, page 5
Third Mahanoy Man Missing
Mahanoy City reports that the third of its contributions to the armed forces of Uncle Sam has been reported ,missing in the Loss of Corporal William Balch in the Philippine Island. Sergeant George Medwicj and Sergeant Michael Litchko were previously reported as missing.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Saturday August 12, 1944, page 6
Cpl. William J. Balchus, former resident of this vicinity, writes that he is well and sends his regards to all from a Jap prison camp in the Philippines.
The letter was written to his sister, Mrs. Mary Matalenas, Martinsville, NJ.
Cpt Balchus has many relatives and friends in this region. His sister, Mrs. Anna Sadukas, resides in Mahanoy City, two other sisters Mrs. Helen Gavel and Mrs. Isabel Vargovich, reside at Bethlehem.
Mrs. Maralenas states the the letter also carried best wished for a Merry Christmas and A Happy new Year. Whether they were meant for the forthcoming holidays or those of 1943 is problematic.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Wednesday October 20, 1943, page 1
CPL WILLIAM BALCHUS IS HELD AS A PRISONER
Corporal William J. Balchus brother of Mrs. Mary Matalenas of Martinville, NY and formerly of Connerton has been listed as a prisoner of war, according to word send to this office by Mrs. Matalenas, who received the news from the War Department by telegram.
Cpl Balchus who has relatives in this vicinity, was known to be serving in the Philippine Islands, and was t Fort Mills on c=Corregidor. This would consequently place him as a prisoner of the Japanese Government.

Republican and Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Saturday March 10, 1945 page 1
PRISONER OF WAR BACK
Cpl. William J. Balchus, a native of Shenandoah, who has ben a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines since the fall of Cooregidor, has arrived safely in California, according to a message front he Red Cross received by his sister Mrs. Nellie Matalenas of Martinsville, NJ. He was reported in good condition and will probably be allowed to visit here soon. Besides Mrs. Mataleans, he has three other sisters, Mrs. Anna Saukas of Mahanoy City, Mrs. Helen Gavel and Mrs. Isabelle Vargovich of Brooklyn. The family at one time resided in Girardville.

William Bachus was one of 11 prisoners of war who escaped death in a massacre on Palawan Island in the Philippines, in December 1944. About 140 American POWs were killed when the Japanese herded them into trenches, dumped gasoline on them and set them on fire.

He returned to live in Shenandoah, PA and married Helen, happy to leave the war in the past. He loved fishing and the outdoors both in PA and California. He drove trucks for the coal mines and later construction equipment. He was the last of the 11 survivors to pass away.

Contributed By
Maggie Mac

Pottsville Republican, The & Evening Herald
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Monday, December 23, 2013

William J. "Willie" Balchus, 92, formerly of South West Street, Shenandoah, passed away Dec. 11 in Yuba City, Calif., where he was currently residing with his son, Joseph "Sherman" Balchus and his wife, Brenda, for the past eight years.
Born in Shenandoah, Oct. 15, 1921, he was a son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Zitkus Balchus.
He was a decorated Army veteran of World War II. He was one of 11 prisoners of war who escaped being burned to death by Japanese guards at the Puerto Princesa Prison Camp. Nearly 140 POWs lost theirs lives at what became known as the Palawan Massacre. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart, as well as the Philippines Liberation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal and the Philippines Defense Ribbon.
Willie was a member of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah.
He was an avid fisherman and thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors in Pennsylvania and California.
Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife, the former Helen M. Wisniewski, in 1989; and six sisters.
Surviving, in addition to his son and daughter-in-law, are a daughter, Carole Oshman, Stewartsville, N.J.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; and cousins.
Prayer and scripture services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. The Rev. Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow at Our Lady of Fatima Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. Relatives and friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.


Family Members

Parents
Spouse

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement