Filipinos WW1 US Military Service

Historical Notes #2

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Filipino U.S. WW1 veterans who lived at least 100 yrs



Eracleo Alimpolo, 104y (1898-2002)

born 4/22/1898 Isabela Philippines; died 10/2/2002 Seattle Washington; buried Sunset Hills Memorial Park Seattle Wash; enlisted Navy Steward (1916-1920); later enlisted Coast Guard (12/17/1928-10/1/1957) Chief Steward; Awards: American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal, WW11 Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal; Civilian occupation: retiree from Boeing Aircraft (1957-1970’s); SS# issued Washington

Sources: by Nestor Palugod Enriquez, Pilipino online historian



Leoncio “Leo Balan, 104y (1899-2003)

born 2/15/1899 Mabini Pangasinan; died 4/10/2003 @ Kapiolani Med Center Pali Moli Hawaii; buried Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery; predeceased by wife & children; served WW1 w/ the Army; joined & later retired USN SDC also a WW11 veteran; resident of Wahiawa Hawaii




Timoteo G. Barruga, 101y (1900-2002)

born 1/24/1900 Philippines died 8/23/2002; buried Glorious Ressurrection Memorial Park Tagum City Davao del Norte Philippines; Pvt Army; also a WW11 veteran





Luciano B. Cadelina,100y born 5/1/1897 Negros Occidental; died 10/14/1997 Philippines; buried Bindoy Municipal Cemetery Negros Oriental Philippines; Army Pvt Co A 2nd Hawaiian Inf 1/28/1917-1/29/1919; resident of Camp 1 Waiakea Mill Hawaii



Julio “Jay” Ereneta, 103y (1902-2005)

born 1/2/1902 in Iloilo, Philippines; at age 17 signed on as pantry boy aboard the Danish ship Selandia for a trip w/ Philippine Gov. General Francis B. Harrison; arr Ellis Island on 2/2/1919; enlisted 2/18/1919 in the Navy; served in the USS Eider (Minesweeper #17) in the WW1 North Sea minefields. He went to Navy Radio School and became an Aviation Squadrons air crewman during WW11 & a Chief Warrant Officer in 1943; Solomon Island Campaign (1942-1944); Philippine Visayan Liberation (1945). A flyweight boxer in Naval Boxing competitions, he retired in 1949. He had a remarkable trend-setting career path and when he died 4/15/2005 @ 103 yrs old in San Diego, California he had outlive his contemporaries. buried Mount Hope Cemetery San Diego; Awards: WW1 Victory Medal, WW1 75th Anniversary Medal. (plenty of online photos; I’ve listed some weblinks here notes by M.E.Embry

Sources: by Nestor Palugod Enriquez, Pilipino online historian  (website has several photos)


also honored @ Mount Soledad Memorial La Jolla California located @ wall E  Facing East  Row 2  Plaque 50 



Manuel P. Jocson, 101y (1897-1999)

born 12/29/1897 Philippines; died 5/6/1999 @ 101 yrs old; buried Alfonso (Cavite) Memorial Park Cemetery; Navy




Tito D. Lagrimas, 100y (1898-1998)

born 1/4/1898 Philippines; died 5/22/1998; buried Loyola Memorial Park Paranaque Philippines; EM1 Navy




Severino B. Manalo, 100y born 2/17/1891 Manila; died 5/5/1991 Waianea Honolulu; buried National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific; Army Pvt Co F & K 2nd Hawaiian Inf inducted 7/16/1918-3/31/1920; resident of Pahala Hawaii





Elario Questas, 112y (1886-1999)

born 8/6/1886 Philippines; died 2/5/1999 Maui Memorial Hospital buried Hale Lana Church Cemetery Kahului, Maui Hawaii; Army


Source Honolulu Star Bulletin 2/15/1999 obit: resident of Honokohau Valley Maui

Sources: WW1 Draft Reg residence: Maui; listed 1920 Maui Hawaii Census

Additional notes on Mr. Questas

Source: by Nestor Palugod Enriquez, Pilipino online historian:  “Questas @ age 15 (1901-M.E.Embry) stowed away on a boat bound for Kauai; plantation worker (sakada) for Pioneer Mill in 1914” “fought two World Wars



Apolonio Vergara 101y  (1898-1999)

born 10/15/1898; died 7/15/1999; buried Henniker New Cemetery Southside Ext New Hampshire Navy Matt1 (Note: race not confirmed)







WW1 Philippines related news


Last known U.S. military veteran of World War I turns 108 with abundant memories



Frank Woodruff Buckles born 2/1/1901 Bethany Missouri; @ 108 yrs of age, the last known living. veteteran of the 4,734,991 WW1 U.S. military personnel. He was a POW @ University of Santo Tomas & Los Banos Laguna internment camps during WW11. He is the sole member & commander of the national WW1 veterans group. He was also a commercial seafarer


Re: WW11 in the Philippines (excerpt)


In 1940, he boarded a ship bound from San Francisco to the Philippines. He was in Manila when the Japanese attacked there a few hours after the raid on Pearl Harbor. When the Japanese invaded, he was among Western civilians taken prisoner.
He was held for 3 ½ years at the Santo Tomas and Los Banos internment camps. He wouldn’t talk much about that time, except to say, “There was no mercy as far as the Japanese were concerned.” He once saw three men, British and Australian, nearly beaten to death. Food became scarce as the Japanese began to lose the war. At Los Banos, on the campus of an agricultural university, the prisoners found a scale. Buckles discovered that he had lost almost a third of his 140 pounds. “When I got down to 100 pounds,” he said, “I quit weighing."Buckles still has the chipped metal cup from which he ate his beans and rice.
On Feb. 23, 1945, six months before the end of World War II, U.S. and Philippine forces liberated the Los Banos camp. Buckles, who had led daily fitness exercises in the camp, was almost the only one of 2,100 survivors who didn’t go directly to a hospital when they landed back in San Francisco, he said. Instead, he checked into a hotel. He discovered that while he had been gone, his paychecks from his shipping company had been piling up at the Crocker Bank.
“I was starving, but I had money in the bank,” he said


More on the Los Banos POW camp:

The raid at Los Baños Philippine Agricultural College and Forestry Campus, now called the University of the Philippines on 2/23/1945, by a combined U.S. Army Airborne and Filipino guerrilla task forcewas celebrated as one of the most successful rescue operations in modern military history. It was the second precisely-executed raid by combined U.S.-Filipino forces within a month, following on the heels of the Raid at Cabanatuan at Luzon on1/30/1945, in which 513 Allied military POWs had been rescued.

The main internment building in Los Banos was inside Baker Hall, a gymnasium, where most internees had been incarcerated since 1942.

Surrounded by barbed wire fences in clusters of hatched huts were 8,146 POWs: 7,000 Filipinos, 1,527 Americans, 329 British, 133 Australians, 89 Dutch, 30 Norwegians, 22 Poles, 16 Italians, and 1 Nicaraguan. Aside from twelve U.S. Navy nurses and a few servicemen, most of the internees were civilian businessmen, teachers, bankers, and missionaries caught by the Japanese during the course of the war and incarcerated in various POW camps in the country.

On5/14/1943, as the prisoner population at the UST internment camp rose to unmanageable level, the internees were transferred to the new Los Baños facility,

The various Filipino guerrilla groups operating in the vicinity of Los Baños played a key role that led to the successful liberation of the camp…Under the GGC, the Hunters-ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) guerrillas, made up originally of former cadets of the Philippine Military Academy along with some former ROTC and college students under the command of Col. Frank Quesada were one of the most active groups. Other formations include President Quezon's Own Guerrillas (PQOG) under Col. Fil Avanceña, Red Lion's Unit, the Filipino-Chinese 48th Squadron and the Villegas group of the Marxist Hukbalahaps were tasked by the GGC to coordinate operations related to Los Baños.

More on Los Banos rescue:

Army Chief of Staff General Colin Powell (now former Secretary of State) proclaimed- "I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Baños prison raid. It is the textbook airborne operation for all ages and all armies."





3/6/2008 President Bush today introduced. "Frank Buckles, 107-years-young... the last living Doughboy from World War I..As a civilian working in the Philippines shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was taken prisoner of war and ate out of the same tin cup for his more than three-year-long imprisonment…was honored with a White House visit and was made the guest of honor at a ceremony at the Pentagon where portraits of Buckles and eight other World War I veterans were unveiled…David DeJonge, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based photographer, began documenting the last World War I survivors in 1996. Of the nine portraits that were displayed today, five of those veterans died within weeks of their sessions with DeJonge.


W.Va. Man Among Last of WWI Vets



The Associated Press 7/5/2007


He speaks Spanish and German, even surprising a visitor of Filipino descent with a warm send-off in Tagalog, a remnant of 3 1/2 years spent as a civilian prisoner of war in the Philippines during World War II.

Then in 1941, while on business in the Philippines, the man who had tried so hard to reach the front lines of World War I was captured by the Japanese, a civilian prisoner of World War II.

A man who brought him food during those 3 1/2 years became a lifelong friend, well after Buckles had returned home, married and raised a daughter.

When the Filipino man's three daughters were old enough, it was Buckles who paid their college tuition.



Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land


By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – As the Supreme Court weighed a dispute over a religious symbol on public land Wednesday, Justice Antonin Scalia was having difficulty understanding how some people might feel excluded by a cross that was put up as a memorial to soldiers killed in World War I.

"It's erected as a war memorial. I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead," Scalia said of the cross that the Veterans of Foreign Wars built 75 years ago atop an outcropping in the Mojave National Preserve. "What would you have them erect?...Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?"

Peter Eliasberg, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer arguing the case, explained that the cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity and commonly used at Christian grave sites, not that the devoutly Catholic Scalia needed to be told that.

"I have been in Jewish cemeteries," Eliasberg continued. "There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew."

There was mild laughter in the packed courtroom, but not from Scalia.

"I don't think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead. I think that's an outrageous conclusion," Scalia said, clearly irritated by the exchange.

The court is considering whether the cross' presence on the land violates the Constitution, despite Congress' decision to transfer the land on which the cross sits to private ownership.

Scalia made plain his view of the case, strongly suggesting that he sees no problem with the cross at all. By contrast, lower federal courts did find a constitutional violation and were not persuaded that the land transfer fixed the problem.

The cross has been covered with plywood for the past several years following the court rulings. Court papers describe the cross as being 5 feet to 8 feet tall.

Although Scalia's take on the dispute seemed clear, the case appeared to diminish in importance as the hourlong argument continued.

Rather than serve as a statement about the separation of church and state or even how people get past the courthouse door to challenge religious symbols on government land, the case could end up focused narrowly on the land transfer.

Even on that issue, the court appeared divided between conservatives and liberals.

Several conservative justices seemed open to the Obama administration's argument that Congress' decision to transfer to private ownership the land on which the cross sits ends any government endorsement of the cross and takes care of the constitutional questions.

"Isn't that a sensible interpretation" of a court order prohibiting the cross' display on government property? Justice Samuel Alito asked.

The liberal justices, on the other hand, indicated that they agree with a federal appeals court that ruled that the land transfer was a sort of end-run around the First Amendment prohibition against government endorsement of religion.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the decisive vote in these cases, said nothing to tip his hand.

Veterans groups are on both sides of the case, with some worrying that other religious symbols that serve as war memorials could be threatened by a ruling against the Mojave cross.

Eliasberg, who represents the former National Park Service employee who sued over the cross, said their fears are misplaced. He said two prominent symbols in Arlington National Cemetery, the Argonne Cross Memorial and Canadian Cross of Sacrifice, are different.

Context matters, Eliasberg said, noting that the Veterans Administration offers a choice of 39 different emblems and beliefs on tombstones at Arlington.

Jewish and Muslim veterans, by contrast, object that the Mojave cross honors Christian veterans and excludes others.

Whatever the court decides, it seems unlikely that the Mojave cross — where Easter Sunrise services have been held for decades — would have to come down.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated, and Eliasberg agreed, that even if the court finds problems with what Congress did, lawmakers probably could find a valid way to sell or give the land to veterans groups.

A decision is expected by spring.

The case is Salazar v. Buono, 08-472.



BONUS MONEY SOUGHT BY FILIPINO VETERANS; Manila Payments to Be Urged if Washington Fails to Open Office for Speedy Redemption.


August 28, 1936, Friday

Page 9, 252 words

MANILA, Aug. 27. -- Marcelino Suria, Manila business man, who is an adviser of the 5,000 Filipino veterans of the World War, said action toward the cashing of bonus bonds must be taken immediately to relieve distress. The bonds must now be sent to Washington after certification


The World in their Lifetime

The Educational and Industrial Emancipation of the Negro

Booker T. Washington
February 22, 1903
An Address before the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
Brooklyn, New York
Our most recent experiment in the way of race accessions – the Filipino – I shall not, on this occasion, discuss, for the reason that you seem as yet to be quite undecided as to how and where he shall be classed – that is, whether you will rate him as a black man or a white man. Just now the Filipino seems to be going through the interesting process of being carefully examined. If he can produce hair that is long enough and nose and feet that are small enough, I think the Filipino will be designated and treated as a white man; otherwise he will be assigned to my race. If I were to consider the question purely from a selfish standpoint, I should urge that our new subjects be classed as Negroes; but if I were to consider unselfishly the peace of mind of the Filipino himself, I should hope that he be so classified that, in addition to all his other trials, he will not struggle through all future generations considered and looked upon as a problem, instead of a man. Source:





His own storyAt the World's Fair

WHEN I was at first asked to attend the St. Louis World's Fair I did not wish to go…President of the United States said that it would be all right, I consented. I was kept by parties in charge of the Indian Department…. I stayed in this place for six months. I sold my photographs for twenty-five cents, and was allowed to keep ten cents of this for myself. I also wrote my name for ten, fifteen, or twenty-five cents, as the case might be, and kept all of that money. I often made as much as two dollars a day…Every Sunday the President of the Fair sent for me to go to a wild west show. I took part in the roping contests before the audience. There were many other Indian tribes there, and strange people of whom I had never heard… There were some little brown people at the Fair that United States troops captured recently on some islands far away from here. They did not wear much clothing, and I think that they should not have been allowed to come to the Fair. But they themselves did not seem to know any better. They had some little brass plates, and they tried to play music with these, but I did not think it was music it was only a rattle. However, they danced to this noise and seemed to think they were giving a fine show. I do not know how true the report was, but I heard that the President sent them to the Fair so that they could learn some manners, and when they went home teach their people how to dress and how to behave





Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic


Dec 29, 2008 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Researchers have found out what made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly -- a group of three genes that lets the virus invade the lungs and cause pneumonia.


They mixed samples of the 1918 influenza strain with modern seasonal flu viruses to find the three genes and said their study might help in the development of new flu drugs.


The discovery, published in Tuesday's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could also point to mutations that might turn ordinary flu into a dangerous pandemic strain.


Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin and colleagues at the Universities of Kobe and Tokyo in Japan used ferrets, which develop flu in ways very similar to humans.


Usually flu causes an upper respiratory infection affecting the nose and throat, as well as so-called systemic illness causing fever, muscle aches and weakness.


But some people become seriously ill and develop pneumonia. Sometimes bacteria cause the pneumonia and sometimes flu does it directly.


During pandemics, such as in 1918, a new and more dangerous flu strain emerges.


"The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most devastating outbreak of infectious disease in human history, accounting for about 50 million deaths worldwide," Kawaoka's team wrote.


It killed 2.5 percent of victims, compared to fewer than 1 percent during most annual flu epidemics. Autopsies showed many of the victims, often otherwise healthy young adults, died of severe pneumonia.


"We wanted to know why the 1918 flu caused severe pneumonia," Kawaoka said in a statement.


They painstakingly substituted single genes from the 1918 virus into modern flu viruses and, one after another, they acted like garden-variety flu, infecting only the upper respiratory tract.


But a complex of three genes helped to make the virus live and reproduce deep in the lungs.


The three genes -- called PA, PB1, and PB2 -- along with a 1918 version of the nucleoprotein or NP gene, made modern seasonal flu kill ferrets in much the same way as the original 1918 flu, Kawaoka's team found.


Most flu experts agree that a pandemic of influenza will almost certainly strike again. No one knows when or what strain it will be but one big suspect now is the H5N1 avian influenza virus.


H5N1 is circulating among poultry in Asia, Europe and parts of Africa. It rarely affects humans but has killed 247 of the 391 people infected since 2003.


A few mutations would make it into a pandemic strain that could kill millions globally within a few months.


Four licensed drugs can fight flu but the viruses regularly mutate into resistant forms -- just as bacteria evolve into forms that evade antibiotics.


(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Will Dunham and John O'Callaghan

Pilipinos WW1 US Military Service