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Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS (Read 21736 times)
Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Aug 29th, 2011, 4:49pm
 

Today, from a fellow local American Veteran, I received this email about the above MOH Recipient. I never heard of this trooper but I like to share it with you. Maybe you know of him. The email claims that today he is recognized as the first Asian and Filipino to receive the United States Congressional Medal of Honor.    Wikipedia has a page on him.

Here is the text of the email:

Please read and render (in your own way) a salute to an American/Filipino HERO!


August 26, 2011
Yesterday I received a request on China Post 1-Philippines “Facebook” from Mrs. Maridhel Turzar who lives in San Fernando, LaUnion.  She is the great grand- daughter of the first Asian and Filipino to be awarded the Medal of Honor by order of the President of the United States.  His bravery saved his fellow US Army soldiers, including his Commanding Officer on Sept. 24, 1911, during a fierce battle against the Moro outlaws in Basilan.  Her plea to seek recognition for her “Great Lolo’s” heroism moved me.  She informed me he was buried in a simple public grave yard in San Fernando and neither the Philippine nor US Govt. agencies had ever paid attention to get him properly honored and his gravesite cared for.  After a few hours of research, I found a few sparse articles and US Army Records site that verified this young man’s extraordinary valor in combat. I assured Mrs. Turzar that I would make sure he will be properly honored.
 
I contacted brother Legionnaires and VFW Commander and Senior Vice Commander Frank Hilliard and Tom Darkus at Post 9892 in Bauang La Union, and, to my great pleasure, they enthusiastically informed me they had hunted for his gravesite and were frustrated in their pursuit of the location of his grave in San Fernando.  Commander Hilliard got in touch with Mrs. Turzar almost immediately to begin the process of properly honoring this great Philippine and American Hero. 

In addition at our regular China Post 1 meeting upcoming Sept 11, 2011 at Bali Hai Resort in Bauang, La Union, we will coordinate an honors ceremony celebrating the 100th Anniversary of
Private Nisperos’ action of Sept 24, 1911.  The following information is provided:
 

 PRIVATE JOSE BALITON-NISPEROS
(December 30 1887- September 01 1922)
United States Congressional Medal of Honor
General Order No. 64 United States War Department
Dated November 25, 1912
For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Jose B. Nisperos, United States Army, for most distinguished gallantry on 24 September 1911, while serving with 34th Company, Philippine Scouts, in action at Lapurap, Basilan Island, Philippine Islands. Having been badly wounded (his left arm was broken and lacerated and he had received several spear wounds in the body so that he could not stand), Private Nisperos continued to fire his rifle with one hand until the enemy was repulsed, thereby aiding materially in preventing the annihilation of his party and the mutilation of their bodies.
 
There were only a handful of Filipino soldiers in the past who were bestowed with the highest military distinction given by the United States government– the Medal of Honor. One of these distinguished Filipino wartime heroes was Private Jose B. Nisperos. Today, he is recognized as the first Asian and Filipino to receive the United States Congressional Medal of Honor.

Jose B. Nisperos grew up in the province of San Fernando, La Union and was later recruited to the 34th Company United States Army Philippine Scouts Division. During this time, the Philippines was a territorial property and colony of the United States and was engaged (alongside the American colonizers) in a battle to suppress the Moro Resistance (1899-1913) in the Southern Philippines.
In 1911, Private Nisperos along with the Philippine Scout’s 34th Company was sent to the Basilan Island to subdue the ‘rebel forces’ there resisting the US takeover of Basilan and the whole Mindanao.  On September 24, 1911, Nisperos together with his mother unit, the 34th Company, was ambushed in Lapurap, Basilan Island by a large group of rebels armed with bolos and spears. Nisperos’ unit gained a handful of casualties during the ambush but because of Private Nisperos’ action at the time of the siege (He fought the raging rebel forces until they retreated back to the hills using only one hand – his left hand was badly wounded and he received several spear wounds on his body), the 34th Company Philippine Scout was spared from total annihilation. For his gallant action, bravery, and valor in the battlefield, Private Jose B. Nisperos was awarded on November 25, 1912, the United States Congressional Medal of Honor. He was medically discharged due to the severity of his wounds and given a pension of $55.00 /month.  He died in 1922  after a long illness at the age of 34.
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frank
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #1 - Mar 5th, 2012, 7:49pm
 
http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=30565.msg302625#msg302625

Click above link for update on another forum.

We hope to meet the family of Nisperos at the April 2012 Reunion at Clark, Pampanga.
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Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #2 - Mar 7th, 2012, 5:53pm
 
An update about this MOH Recipient
The Family and I will attend

From our VFW comrades up north:

March 6, 2012

Greetings Comrades, Associates, and Friends,

Col . B. J. Smith VFW Post 9892

National Hwy, Paringao, Bauang, La Union 2501, Philippines

Tel: (072) 607-6660 – Email: vfw9892@yahoo.com.ph

Beginning in 2008 VFW Post 9892 became aware that the very first Asian, and first Filipino, recipient of the Medal of Honor, Private Jose B. Nisperos, hailed from San Fernando City, La Union. In keeping with our Congressionally directed mandate to "perpetuate the memory and history of our dead…" VFW Post 9892 set in motion efforts to find and honor his resting place.

Almost one year ago, post member JD Keller (American Legion China Post 1 Commander), found contact on Facebook with one of the grandchildren, Maridhel Turzar, of the object of our search. Subsequent meetings with the family, physically finding the actual unmarked grave, and motions to improve and honor his remains, are finally coming to fruition.

The City of San Fernando government recently approved a plan for construction of an appropriate monument, in a highly visible area of the same Lingsat Cemetery for his Re-Internment. The planned date for the services and actual Re-Internment are now set for April 2, 2012, at 0900 hours.

As equally caring Comrades, associates and friends, you are hereby invited to attend and grace this ceremony to finally properly honor this highly deserving veteran. Help us to give this deserving veteran a worthy ceremony by counting yourselves among those in attendance. All attending in uniform should be in garrison cap, barong, slacks and shoes. Wives, families are invited also.

There will be a reception and snacks provided by the City government after the completion of the honor ceremonies. All are invited to remain and visit with the family and dignitaries present. (The U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas is among the invited.)

Yours in Comradeship, and Cheers,

Frank B. Hilliard IV



 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Frank Hilliard

Greetings Comrades, associates, and friends,

By way of the attached, I cordially invite all of you to attend and add to the significance of this event.  All addressees may feel free to invite their friends to accompany them.  Please advise me if you will be able to attend, so I can give the City government an estimate of numbers of chairs, snacks, etc.  All veterans organizations are invited to embrace this occassion: VFW, American Legion, VVA, FRA, DAV, you name it!  Yours in Comradeship, and Cheers,

--
Frank B. Hilliard IV
Commander VFW Post 9892
All American 2008-2009
All State 2008-2011
Grand of Pacific Quartermaster
63 999 998-3002
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Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #3 - Apr 4th, 2012, 9:06am
 
The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos has taken place as planed on the 2nd April 2012  9am at Lingsat Cemetery, San Fernando, La Union.
My family and I were guests and here are my observations and images of this event.

The people of San Fernando City and the Province of  La Union made a great effort to recognize and honor this hero from 1911, almost 101 years ago. I was impressed and I’m very thankful the people and their leaders, the Governor, the City Mayor, the City Councilors, the Regional National Police and the many other participants for organizing and rendering such an impressive Honors of one of their sons.

This thread tells us how it all started. The City and the Province consulted the Nisperos family and together with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9892 formulated a plan to honor this hero and son of the La Union Province, a Military Scout. VFW Post 9892 invited other US Military Associations to participate.

I rather let my pictures tell the story, the pictures have the names of the major players and the Memorial Honors program is also included it also has names of people involved. Here is the album with 79 images:
http://tinyurl.com/k6mqsmx
The above URL is active again as of today, 2014 April 3rd . I had to shift all the pictures to a different image sharing account.

PS: Here is another great forum page about MOH Recipient Cpl. Jose B. Nisperos; it has more information:
http://pinoyhistory.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=history1900morowars&action=dis...
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« Last Edit: Apr 2nd, 2014, 10:50pm by Karl-Wilhelm Welteke »  
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #4 - Jun 11th, 2012, 3:13am
 
Medal of Honor returned to family of Nisperos.  Grin

See update:
http://pinoyhistory.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=history1900moro...
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Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #5 - Apr 3rd, 2014, 12:07am
 
IMAGES OF THE REBURIAL AND MEMORIAL HONORS OF AND FOR CORORAL JOSE BALITON NISPEROS.

The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos has taken place as planed on the 2nd April 2012 9am at Lingsat Cemetery, San Fernando, La Union.
My family and I were guests and here are my observations and images of this event.

The URL for my picture album in my reply (entry) of April 4, 2012 in this thread had become dead because the image sharing company -Multiply- just quit on me. As of this date it is an active URL again since I reloaded all the pictures to another image sharing account.
Here is the album with 79 images:
http://tinyurl.com/k6mqsmx

At that time I had not mastered posting images in the forum, but I do know now how to do it. Here are some sample Images from that album:



X149-- 2012 April 2nd  The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site.



X150-- 2012 April 2nd  The program for the Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient.



X151-- 2012 April 2nd  The information board for the Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient.



X152-- 2012 April 2nd the Philippine Scout flag showing is Philippine Division insignia. The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site.



X153-- Visitors and Veterans. 2012 April 2nd  The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site.



X154-- 2012 April 2nd  The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site. My family.



X155-- The 21 Gun Salute by the Philippine National Police. 2012 April 2nd  The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site.



X156-- Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Family member Maria Delilah V. Turzar. The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient, his new grave site.



X157-- Both, the Hon. Manuel C. Ortega Provincial Governor of La Union and the Hon. Pablo C. Ortega City Mayor of San Fernando, La Union, spoke at the ceremony.



X158-- Philippine Scouts Heritage Society representative Philip Garcia with VFW Post Commanders. Perhaps he brought the PS flag showing is Philippine Division insignia.



X159-- Military Honors were performed by the US Veterans Multi Organizational Honor Guard led by Commander led by Frank Hilliard. 2012 April 2nd  The Reburial and Memorial Honors of and for Corporal Jose Baliton-Nisperos, Medal of Honor recipient.



X160-- Military Honors were performed by the US Veterans Multi Organizational Honor Guard led by Commander led by Frank Hilliard. 2012 April 2nd.
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Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Re: Medal of Honor; Jose Baliton Nisperos, PS
Reply #6 - Apr 10th, 2014, 3:22am
 
AFTER 90 YEARS OF SEARCHING, MISSING MEDAL FOR VALOR (MOH) OF FILIPINO HERO IS RETURNED

Here are three captured images from a news release by the City of San Fernando, La Union, Information and Tourism Office dated 2012-06-14. I cant find the URL for this article now but I have it on my hard drive:



X193



X194



X195


Here are some pictures from the Facebook page of the City of San Fernando, La Union, Information and Tourism Office

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.475542302471921.130721.258965577462929...




X196
MEDAL OF HONOR- Shows the back-to-back medal for valor of the late Corporal Jose Baliton Nisperos, the first Filipino recipient of the US Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal has been missing for 90 years since Nisperos' death in 1922 and was recovered recently with the help of Ortega's friends who are antique collectors. The medal will be donated to the San Fernando City government's museum. (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)



X197
MEDAL OF HONOR- Mayor Pablo Ortega of San Fernando City, La Union shows the medal for valor of the late Corporal Jose Baliton Nisperos, the first Filipino recipient of the US Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal has been missing for 90 years since Nisperos' death in 1922 and was recovered recently with the help of Ortega's friends who are antique collectors. Also in photo is Nisperos great granddaughter Ma. Delilah Viduya Turzar, who said that they will donate the medal to the San Fernando City government's museum. (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)



X198
MEDAL OF HONOR- Mayor Pablo Ortega of San Fernando City, La Union shows the medal for valor of the late Corporal Jose Baliton Nisperos, the first Filipino recipient of the US Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal has been missing for 90 years since Nisperos' death in 1922 and was recovered recently with the help of Ortega's friends who are antique collectors. The medal will be donated to the San Fernando City government's museum. (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)



X199
MEDAL OF HONOR- Mayor Pablo Ortega of San Fernando City, La Union shows the medal for valor of the late Corporal Jose Baliton Nisperos, the first Filipino recipient of the US Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal has been missing for 90 years since Nisperos' death in 1922 and was recovered recently with the help of Ortega's friends who are antique collectors. Also in photo is Nisperos great granddaughter Ma. Delilah Viduya Turzar, who said that they will donate the medal to the San Fernando City government's museum. (Photo by: ERWIN G. BELEO)



X200
Jose Baliton Nisperos 1888-1922
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