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Condolences to R. Lapham's family (Read 5068 times)
Liza Garcia-Salarzon-Cruz
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Condolences to R. Lapham's family
Jun 15th, 2004, 11:57pm
 
I am the grandaughter of Capt. Antonio C. Garcia, commissioned as 1st Lt. Reserve Force, Philippine Army. In my possession is his WWII autobiography detailing how he met and helped Lapham and Ramsey on July 1943 when their banca was found at the bank of a river near his HQ in the mountains of Pangasinan (a province in Northern Luzon). The two American soldiers were served dinner and thanked my grandfather by saying "the best foods they have tasted for months". Prior to Lapham and Ramsey's visit, Capt. Garcia's five children, including my mother were taken hostage by Japanese soldiers and brought to Dagupan Kem Pe Tai for three months. The American soldiers stayed with my grandfather for two days and two nights. During this meeting they verbally promoted my grandfather to Major. In January 1945, many battle ships appeared in the Gulf of Lingayen. Canons from these ships began firing to the shores hitting only civilians because the Japanese soldiers have retreated. My grandfather knew that the firing must be stopped so with two men he took a small leaking banca carrying an American flag and managed to reach the nearest ship "The Currituck". Then the firing stopped. One officer noticed my grandfather's sandals which were made of sliced car tires. He went to his cabin took a pair of shoes and gave them to my grandfather and said, "Those sandals are my souvenir. Wear these shoes." My grandfather and his men were given boxes of food, cigarettes and other things. They were conducted to a small motorboat which brought them and their small leaking banca to shore. During the mopping operations my grandfather's guerilla unit was attached to the US Army.

Most of my grandfather's WWII memorabilias were lost when his house was burned in 1979. In this regard, I would like to address this message to Col. Ramsey to ask him if he remembers anything about his meeting with my grandfather. I also would like to know if the promotion they gave to my grandfather is valid. I am sad to know about Col. Lapham's passing last December. My condolences to his wife. If I had only made my inquiries sooner at a time when my grandfather was still alive then he could have surely contacted the two American soldiers that he once helped. He passed away at the age of 87 on June 1991. I pray that my message would reach Mrs. Lapham and Col. Ramsey. I am currently employed here at the Asian Development Bank, Manila. Pls email at mlscruz@adb.org. Thank you and God bless. - Liza -
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« Last Edit: Jun 17th, 2004, 8:05am by Editor-at-Large »  
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Edwin P. Ramsey
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Re: Liza S. Cruz concerning Antonio Garcia.
Reply #1 - Jun 17th, 2004, 6:11pm
 
Dear Ms Cruz;
I remember being in Alaminos, Pangasinan with Major Lapham at the time you mentioned. At that time I appointed then Capt. Charles Uziel Putnam as Commander of the Pangasinan-Tarlac Military District of the East Central Luzon Guerilla Area (ECLGA), under my overall command, and authorized those guerillas under his command as part of the ECLGA. Sadly, Putnam was captured a few months later and executed.  If your grandfather had any written order making him a Major, it would be valid. But, if he did not present himself and report for duty as a member in the PTMD of ECLGA when the Americans arrived, it is unlikely that anything can be done about it at this laate date. I don't  remember specifically meeting your grandfather because it was so long ago and I had so many people, but all of those we met there were wonderful and you can be very proud of your grandfather and his friends as they were very brave.

Warmest regards,

Edwin P. Ramsey
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« Last Edit: Jun 20th, 2004, 1:11pm by Editor-at-Large »  
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Victor S. Verano
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Re: Condolences to R. Lapham's family
Reply #2 - Jun 18th, 2004, 11:49pm
 
Col. Ramsey,
It is an honor to chance upon your post online. It just so happens that I am currently on page 251 of your book "Lieutenant Ramsey's War". (After you had just gotten the radio from AIB).

I must say that "seeing" you online while reading your book takes my appreciation of the book to a much higher level. Thank you for everything that you had done for my country.

Incidentally, here are photos of 26th Cavalry reenactors from a recent reenacting event I've been to:
http://home.comcast.net/~victor.verano/ww2weekend/ScoutReenactors.htm

Warmest Regards,
Victor Verano
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Edwin P Ramsey
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Re: Condolences to R. Lapham's family
Reply #3 - Jun 19th, 2004, 8:22pm
 
Dear Victor Verano;
Thank you for your message and I'm happy you are enjoying my book. Those photos you included were excellent. By the way, you might like to look at my website at   www.edwinpriceramsey.com.
Warm regards,

Edwin P. Ramsey
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Liza Cruz
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Re: Condolences to R. Lapham's family
Reply #4 - Jun 21st, 2004, 9:55pm
 
Dear Col. Ramsey,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I didn't quite expect to get anything so soon. I'm so happy and really excited.

I learned from the website that Col. Lapham wrote a book entitled Lapham's Raiders: Guerrillas in the Phil 1942-1945 published in 1996 where he wrote something about my grandfather, Antonio Garcia. Unfortunately, the book is not available here in the Philippines.  That book might help you remember him. It may even contain information that can be used as proof about his military service. I have no documents regarding his membership to the PTMD of ECLGA. And I don't even know if he was able to accomplish all his exit papers. Although, I was able to make a request on-line for a copy of his military records. I hope that helps.

My grandfather was a lawyer and had nine children. All professionals comprising of doctors, engineers, lawyer, accountant and medical technologist. Compiling his WWII experiences would be the best way to commemorate his 100th bday last 9 April (the Fall of Bataan).

My mother mentioned that during the liberation, American soldiers were taking pictures of them, probably for documentary purposes regarding their three-month captivity as hostages. Would this still be around today? How do I search for it? Could Col. Lapham have kept it in preparation for the book?

I am glad to have this opportunity to know a great person like you. Thank you for those nice words about my grandfather and his men. Our world has changed tremendously. The nature of today's wars are not about soldiers against soldiers but terrorists against innocent civilians. I support the Society's mission of preserving history, heritage and legacy not only because my grandfather was part of it but also because the next generation must know their past to enable them to achieve a peaceful future.

More power to the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society! And I wish the best for you too.

Best personal regards,
 
Liza S. Cruz
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