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Walter J. Buboltz

DOB:  June 16, 1902
DOD:  December 15, 1944
Cemetery Location:  Section 4, Grave 935
Branch:  105th Horse Cavalry of U.S. Army
Rank:  Captain
Service Dates:  1920-1944

Having graduated from High School at the age of 17, Walter enlisted in the United States Marine Corp.  Having served about a year, he was called home to help support his mother and siblings after his father was killed in a construction accident.  He then joined the Wisconsin National Guard branch of the United States Army, 105th Horse Cavalry.  On August 29, 1925, Walter married Elizabeth Karoly. Their marriage produced three daughters, Dolores, Betty, and June.

The Great Depression hit the country and President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.’s). Young men were enlisted to work on many projects such as fighting forest fires and building roads, bridges, and parks.  Walter, who was then a First Lieutenant, was sent to help command the C.C.C. Camp Rand located up in the mountains out of Grant’s Pass, Oregon.

While Walter was employed as Head Custodian of the Milwaukee Public Library in April 1940, he was called to active duty with the Armed Services. He was the first city of Milwaukee employee to be called.  At the time he was serving his second year as a delegate to the Milwukee government service League and was President of the Inspectors Chapter of Local #2, American Federation of State, Country and Municipal employees.  The common council had granted him a leave of absence for the duration of his military service.

His unit, the 105th Horse Cavalry of the US Army, was sent to the Philippine Islands to train the Filipino Scouts in warfare. While aboard ship, Walter received his promotion to the rank of Captain. His duties were many, some of which included making sure that food and supplies were provided for both men and horses.

After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese captured thousands of men including Captain Buboltz. He survived the “Death March of Bataan” and was held prisoner of war for over two years. All during this time he was declared “Missing in Action.” In December 1943, Walter was killed when U.S. Forces bombed Japanese freighters not knowing the ships were caring U.S. soldiers.  Walter had recently been promoted to the rank of Major, but with the records destroyed, it was unofficial.

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