Army Memorabilia

Tomak, Michael C. Jr

Rank: Private First Class
Serial Number: 35025900
Military Branch: Troop A 112th Cavalry
Origin: Ohio
Date of Death: 1944-7-23
Calvary Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio
Featured: No

Michael C. Tomak, Jr. was born May 19, 1916, the son of Mike and Rose Tomak. His parents were both from Czechoslovakia, and lived in Youngstown, Ohio. Michael was one of 6 children. Michael enlisted in Cleveland June 26, 1941. Not much information about his military career has been found, but it is definitely known that he was in the 112th Cavalry, and must have seen a lot of action before his death on July 23, 1944.

This group consists of Pfc. Tomak's officially engraved posthumous slot brooch Purple heart with its presentation box; and internet research that includes a detailed Application for Headstone for military personnel. The application shows that he was buried in Youngstown in July 1948. That indicates that his body was brought back to the states from an overseas burial ground at his parents request. A copy of this document is included here.

There is a huge amount of information on the 112th Cavalry on the internet, part of which is reproduced below. Google 112th Cavalry fo a lot more info.

Known as the "Little Giant of the Pacific," the 112th Cavalry Regiment, part of the 56th Cavalry Brigade, Texas National Guard, was mobilized for active duty on 18 November 1940. The regiment was stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, and in February 1941 was sent to Fort Clark at Bracketville, to relieve the 5th United States Cavalry. The regiment participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers and patrolled the border with Mexico until shipped overseas on 8 July 1942. The regiment disembarked at Noumea, New Caledonia, on 11 August 1942, where it was attached to the Americal Division. The Regiment, after turning in its horses, landed on Woodlark Island without opposition and provided security for Navy Seabees while the Seabees built an airstrip.

In November 1943 the regiment plus the 148th Field Artillery Battalion was designated Director Task Force under Brigadier General Julian W. Cunningham. The 2nd Battalion of the 158th Infantry Regiment as reinforcing element for the task force was dropped in late December. The first action of the regiment was the landing at Arawe, New Britain. After linking up with the 1st Marine Division, the Regiment was sent to Aitape, New Guinea, and attached to the 32nd Infantry Division, where it fought in many battles along the Driniumor River. The new activated (1 October 1944) 112th RCT consisting of the 112th Cavalry Regiment (Special) and the 148th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer) departed Aitape for Leyte, Philippine Islands on 31 October 1944 and immediately attached to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 16 January 1945, the 112th RCT moved from Leyte to Luzon in the Philippines, where it fought until the end of the war.

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