PRIVATE FIRST CLASS WALTER JAMES "SONNY" HAINES was born on August 5, 1925 to Walter John Haines and his wife, the former Ruth Lenore Townsend. The family was living in Mt. Laurel NJ when the Census was taken in April of 1930. By the time the 1940 Camden City Directory was compiled, the Haines family had moved to 1240 North 25th Street in the Cramer Hill section of Camden NJ. By 1943 they had moved to 2804 Tyler Avenue. Walter Haines enlisted in the United States Army sometime after Pearl Harbor.
Private First Class Haines was assigned to the 151st Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division. Going overseas with his unit in the spring of 1944, he took part in the invasion to liberate the Philippine Islands. The 38th Infantry Division earned combat streamers for three campaigns in the Southwest Pacific, including spearheading the landings on Luzon in the Philippines that regained the Bataan Peninsula from the Japanese. The 151st Infantry Regiment performed security operations in the Culasian Point-Barugo area under the 24th Infantry Division.
The division was reassembled by January 4, 1945 and landed in the San Narcisco area of Luzon on January 29 without opposition. Subic Bay was gained with the capture of Grande Island by a battalion of the 151st Infantry as the port facilities at Olongapo fell January 30, 1945. The division then commenced the drive to clear Highway 7, all three regiments participating in the fierce Battle of Zig Zag Pass February 1-14 1945, and Dinalupihan fell to the 149th Infantry on February 5. The reinforced 151st Infantry landed at Mariveles, Bataan February 15, 1945 and defeated a major Japanese counterattack that night. The division pushed down the east coast road to Pilar and across the peninsula to Bagac, securing most of Bataan Peninsula by February 21, 1945.
A battalion of the 151st Infantry was detached to relieve the 503d Parachute Infantry on Corregidor February 24, 1945 and assigned to garrison the island March 8. The division moved to Fort Stotsenburg on March 10 and relieved the 43rd Infantry Division there. It then pushed west to destroy entrenched Japanese forces between the fort and Mt. Pinatubo. Battalion-sized landings were conducted in the meantime by the 151st Infantry at Caballo Island and Fort Drum (El Fraile Island) on March 28, and Carabao Island on April 16.
Private First Class Walter J. Haines was killed in action on April 12, 1945, during the retaking of Caballo Island, a small island one mile south of Corregidor. PFC Haines was never a POW, however his body was never recovered.
Walter J. Haines was survived by his parents and ten brothers and sisters. He also apparently had been married, a father, and divorced prior to his death.
the pages of
The Courier Post
Camden, N.J. May 5th, 1945
Deaths In War Reveal 11 from South
and Navy Department casualty lists yesterday reported eleven South Jersey
men killed, 13 wounded, one missing, and a Vineland man a prisoner.
PFC Walter J. Haines, of 2804 Tyler Avenue, Camden
Haines, the son of Mrs. Ruth Haines, was reported missing in action at Corregidor April 12. An infantryman, he has been overseas 13 months and participated in the operation driving the Japs out of Bataan before going to Corregidor. He holds the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with two campaign stars.
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