Preserving the history, heritage, and legacy of the Philippine Scouts for present and future generations

Scouts in Today's News



WWII veteran in Bataan passes away


(Manila Times, 03/12/16) SAMAL, Bataan: A leader of the few remaining World War II veterans in Bataan was laid to rest following his death at the age of 92. Luis Siasat was president of 370 living WWII veterans in District I of Bataan. He was a member of the Philippine Scouts before and during the war years. Rep. Herminia Roman, chair of the House committee on Veterans Affairs, and Mayor Gene de la Fuente led the Luksang Parangal given by the municipal government to Siasat on Friday.

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Janesville families still eager to learn about heroes of Bataan


(GazetteXtra, 03/05/16) JANESVILLE—Janesville mothers gathered on Sundays during World War II to share news about what happened to their sons after the Japanese invaded the main Philippine island of Luzon. Almost 74 years later, Janesville families still thirst to know about the local men who endured the Bataan Death March halfway around the world.

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Cletis Odell Overton: Bigger than life’ survivor of WWII


(Arkansas Online, 03/03/16) Cletis Odell Overton saw his share of horror as a young man, but he never let those experiences affect his relationships with others. Overton, who died Monday at 95 at his home in Malvern, is being remembered by friends and family as a World War II hero who survived the Bataan Death March, years of abuse in prison and labor camps and the 1944 sinking of the Shinyo Maru in the Philippines, which killed hundreds of Americans and thousands of Filipinos.

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Tony Reyna, Bataan survivor and Taos Pueblo tribal elder, turns 100


(Taos News, 02/05/16) Reyna is a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, after which he endured three and one-half years of brutal captivity during World War II. His captivity ended in 1945 when he and other prisoners of war were liberated by Allied forces. He is the last of 11 men alive from Taos Pueblo who were captured at Bataan.

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Local vet captured as a child prisoner of war


(Pensacola News Journal, 08/15/15) Lt. Cmdr. Dave Sanders, 78, spent his elementary-aged years in the Philippines with his parents, who were missionaries since the early 1900s and throughout WWII.

At just 4 years old, Sanders and his family found themselves amidst the unrest of the battles of Bataan and Corregidor during WWII before they were captured by the Japanese. They’d spend the next three years as prisoners of war in an internment camp.

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Exhibit, confab on WWII in PH set for San Francisco Main Library


(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 07/29/15) SAN FRANCISCO – A four-month exhibition that includes a conference in this city’s Main Library will recall the story of World War II in the Philippines and the country’s occupation by the Imperial Japanese Army on December 8, 1941, just hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Bataan Legacy Historical Society, Memorare Manila 1945, the San Francisco Public Library and the Philippine Consulate General present World War II in the Philippines are holding the exhibition conference on Saturday, September 12 this year at 10:30 a.m. through January 9, 2016 on the Third Floor of the San Francisco Main Public Library located at 100 Larkin Street.

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WWII Army Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder, home, finally, after 73 years


(Chicago Sun-Times, 07/17/15) Pvt. Bud Kelder’s last letters to his parents are heartbreaking. The Schurz High School graduate volunteered for the Army before the United States entered World War II. He was stationed in the Philippines during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Within hours, Japanese forces invaded the islands.

He wrote to his worried parents in Norwood Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side, assuring them he was getting plenty to eat and lots of rest and that he’d be home soon to start a business with his father.

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For Memorial Day, a look at war memorials across Chicago


(Chicago Sun-Times, 05/23/15) Few people streaming across the State Street bridge downtown even notice the old plaque on the bridgehouse near Wacker Drive.

“May the courage and fortitude displayed by this group in the face of adversity be a constant inspiration to our citizens,” it reads, explaining the bridge, dedicated in 1949, is officially named the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge.

It honors Chicago natives who died in a months-long World War II battle against Japanese forces for control of the Philippines on the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island, a battle that culminated with the Americans’ surrender in 1942.

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Filipino Freedom Fighter to U.S. Army Officer - Bataan Death March Survivor


(Rush PR News, 04/07/15) On December 7, 1941, while a sergeant with Troop A 26th Calvary, Pablo E. Gonzales was stationed at Fort Stotsenburg, Pampanga, Philippines. At 0830 the following morning, commanding officer Captain Gerome McDavitt alerted the base that the Japanese Imperial Army had invaded the Philippines and was advancing on their location.

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Duluth veteran talks about surviving three years in enemy territory


(WDAZ-8, 11/10/14) DULUTH, Minn. -- Seventy years ago, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his famous “return” to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese, a ragtag band of malnourished, disease-ravaged American soldiers walked out of the jungles to greet the American forces.

More than 500 men who had refused to surrender to the Japanese invaders had survived nearly three years in enemy territory, harassing enemy patrols, sending intelligence to U.S. headquarters in Australia, rescuing shot-down pilots and administering civil government on the islands. Duluthian Erling Jonassen, now 95, was one of them.

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Heller, Hirono, Meng Introduce Bill to Help Filipino Veterans Receive Deserved Benefits


(Sen. Heller's Office, 01/15/15) United States Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined forces with Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) by introducing the Filipino Veterans Promise Act. The bipartisan legislation will establish a process for all eligible Filipino veterans to receive the compensation they are entitled to for their service to the United States during World War II.

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Montana World War II veteran who survived the Bataan Death March given congressional citation


(Daily Journal, 01/17/15) A Montana World War II veteran who survived the Bataan Death March has been given a congressional citation. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester on Friday presented veteran Ben Steele with a copy of a tribute that Tester had read into the Congressional Record. The 97-year-old Steele, who lives at the state veteran home in Billings, says he's deeply honored. He also says it was an emotional day, seeing so many people around him for a special moment.

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US says BCDA refuses to honor cemetery pact


(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 01/12/15) Denying the accusation that it was “discriminating” against Filipino soldiers on Philippine soil, the United States on Sunday said Philippine servicemen who served the US Armed Forces and the Philippine Scouts may be interred at Clark Veterans Cemetery (CVC).

Kurt Hoyer, press attaché at the US Embassy in Manila, said in a statement late Saturday that the United States never objected to the burial of Filipinos who met such criteria, as “clearly spelled out” in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Philippines and the United States signed in December 2013.

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WWII POW recognized in Suffolk for life of service


(10 WAVY, 01/07/15) SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – He’s living history, and on Wednesday, Alcide Benini’s 93 years of life and decades of unwavering service to the U.S. military were recognized in Suffolk.

A table full of documents and adorned with pictures sat in a room full of heroes, but it still didn’t do justice to the life that the retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant lived.

“To see a living legend right here among us, someone who participated in the Bataan Death March, is a phenomenal opportunity,” said Capt. Eric Pfister, USS Bataan Executive Officer.

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Read How This Veteran Survived the Bataan Death March — and What He Thinks of the Japanese 70 Years Later


(The Blaze, 12/28/14) Late Saturday and early Sunday, a 94-year-old Filipino World War II veteran took to Reddit, answering questions and sharing the experiences and life lessons he gained from surviving one of the most harrowing experiences of the war: the Bataan Death March.

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‛Unbroken' also describes local POW


(The Times Herald, 12/27/14) In 1940, when 19-year-old Charlie Kamendat enlisted in the Army and left Port Huron, he was lean and well-muscled from a year of manual labor with the Civilian Conservation Corps. He weighed maybe 150 pounds.

Five years later, when he emerged from a Japanese prison camp at the close of the Second World War, he weighed 60 pounds.

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The Reverend Leonard Robinson; Wyoming’s Last Known Bataan Death March Survivor Passes Away At 95


(K2 Radio, 12/09/14) The day is done for one Wyoming soldier.

Staff Sergeant, later The Reverend Leonard Robinson (1919-2014), Wyoming’s last known survivor of the Bataan Death March in World War II, has passed away at age 95. Robinson’s unit was ambushed in the Philippines by the Japanese, not long after the Pearl Harbor attack, and he was taken prisoner. The 60 mile march resulted in the death of more than 10,000 prisoners of war, before they reached their final destination at Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

Staff Sgt. Robinson survived.

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U.S. Army South honors WWII centurion


(US Army, 04/11/14) SAN ANTONIO--It was April 1942 when Justo Dumlao, a 27-year-old Philippine Scout, was captured at Orion, Bataan and forced to join the rest of the Allied prisoners in what is now known as the Bataan Death March.

Dumlao survived the unimaginable atrocities that took place during the march, alongside members of Sixth U.S. Army, now designated as U.S. Army South, in which Japanese troops provided little food and water and would frequently beat and bayonet those who fell behind.

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Cards of caring: Help family honor local vet who gave century of service


(KENS5.com, 04/01/14) Justo Dumlao is a war hero who has spent the past 99 years unselfishly giving back to those around him. The one thing the Converse man really wants this year is a big celebration with family and friends to mark the biggest birthday of all -- turning 100. July 14 is the big day, but because of declining health, Dumlao may not make it.

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ARAW NG KAGITINGAN | How to honor Bataan heroes? Don't pander to Japanese, resist Chinese bullying


(Interaksyon.com, 04/09/14) Every year, Philip Garcia returns to the Philippines and visits Bataan as part of his advocacy to preserve the memory of one of the greatest and most tragic battles fought in our country’s soil. Although he is now an American citizen who works in Singapore, this has not stopped him from his advocacy and he is part of an organization based in the United States which is known as the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society (PSHS). The PSHS is composed of surviving Filipino and American members of the old Philippine Scouts which was a US Army unit that was originally set up as a counterinsurgency force during the early 20th Century but faced its greatest test fighting a doomed battle against the Japanese at Bataan.

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Tribute run draws fewer war veterans


(Inquirer.net, 04/08/14) SAN FERNANDO CITY, Philippines-—For the 29th time, Edmundo Paez will lead today a tribute run to honor the country’s war veterans. Paez, a lanky 71-year-old sprinter, feels lucky because there is still a living veteran who will open the two-day “Tribute Run for World War II Bataan Patriots” that will retrace the Death March starting from Post Zero in Mariveles town in Bataan province to Camp O’Donnell in Capas town in Tarlac province.

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Several special guests expected for Bataan walk


(The Herald-Star, 04/03/14) WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Public Library and its American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum again will mark the anniversary of the Bataan Death March with a community walk on April 12, and several guests are slated to appear. Author John D. Lukacs will be on hand at 11 a.m. to present the documentary, "4-4-43," which is based on his book, "Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War."

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POWs remembered in documentary presented by Jan Thompson, Loretta Swit


(Las Cruces Sun-News, 03/16/14) Two Emmy Award winners — filmmaker Jan Thompson and actress Loretta Swit (of "M*A*S*H" fame) — will be in Las Cruces this week to present screenings of Thompson's documentary "Never The Same: The Prisoner of War Experience" at the Rio Grande Theatre.

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Wayback machine: Salinas WWII hero laid to rest


(TheCalifornian.com, 03/10/14) Joseph Salvatore Amato was not Salinas Valley-born nor was he a member of the area's 194th Tank Battalion. But this future Salinas pillar was swept up in the prisoner of war web and endured more than three years in squalid Japanese prison camps, same as his Bataan Death March comrades.

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51% Show #1286


(WAMC, 04/07/14) Heroic women, tragic stories and lessons for today. History knows them as the Angels of Bataan but they can help us understand today's returning vets.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in World War II, a group of nurses who never expected to be on the front lines found themselves in a combat zone – and taken prisoner. They faced impossible working conditions, constant fear and starvation. The experience would haunt them the rest of their lives...and helps us better understand the issues faced by today's returning veterans.

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Bataan Death March survivor


(The Clemmons Courier, 04/07/14) It happened at this time of year — way back in 1942 on the Philippine islands that had been something of a paradise until Dec. 7 a couple months earlier.

Japan planes had destroyed almost the entire Pacific fleet of American ships at Pearl Harbor. The U.S. force in the Philippines was cut off with no chance of rescue. The military hunkered down on Bataan for a last stand against the Japanese army that was sweeping across the Pacific islands. In that American unit was James D. Beshears of Clemmons. He’s 94 now, but his memories of the assault on Bataan are as sharp as ever, and his health remains good.

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Makeover for ‘The Rock’


(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 01/01/14) SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Tourism and environment officials are bent on transforming the historical Corregidor island into a place that would lure not just tourists and war veterans, but migratory bird species in urban Manila and nearby provinces.

Corregidor, also known as “The Rock” way before the 1996 movie about the Marines’ siege of the Alcatraz became famous, was a barren landscape of limestone rocks that even environment officials were, at first, reluctant about growing fruit-bearing trees on the island.

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PRIMETIME: Final segment of Captain Edmund Zbikowski’s story


(The Bristol Press, 12/30/13) Some years ago, the late John J. Denehy, Jr., president of the Memorial Military Museum of Bristol, wrote a biography of Captain Edmund Zbikowski, 803rd Engineers, an American defender of the Philippines during WWII. Here is part five, the final segment.

““Handicapped by the loss of good men while on Bataan, the lack of adequate construction equipment, and frequent interruptions by shelling and air raids, A Company was still able to extend the runway 50 feet wide and 50 feet longer and complete all five aircraft revetments. They also managed to dig a well, which provided the best water on Corregidor, construct and set up the eight-inch gun which they brought over from Bataan, and string barbed-wire for beach defenses. ‘Nobody worked harder than the 803rd,’ wrote Joe Vater with pride.

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Dan Crowley Named Veteran of the Month by Sen. Witkos


(The Maui News, 12/16/13) MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. and Philippine officials signed an agreement Monday for Washington to restore a cemetery north of Manila where the graves of thousands of American service members and dependents have been covered in ash since Mount Pinatubo's 1991 eruption.

The accord calls for the American Battle Monuments Commission to repair and maintain the Clark Veterans Cemetery for at least 10 years. President Barack Obama had earlier signed a law to finance the Philippine-owned cemetery's upkeep.

The U.S. Air Force hastily abandoned Clark Air Base, where the cemetery is located, after Mount Pinatubo's eruption. In 1994, American veterans were shocked to find the 7-hectare (17-acre) cemetery covered in ash and weeds with half of its old steel fence looted. They cleaned up the graves but have since struggled to maintain the cemetery through volunteer work and donations.

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Dan Crowley Named Veteran of the Month by Sen. Witkos


(Simsbury Patch, 12/02/13) State Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) has honored Dan Crowley as December’s “Veteran of the Month.” Crowley, a Simsbury resident, served in World War II in both the Battle of Bataan and Battle of Corregidor and was held as a Prisoner of War (POW) for nearly four years.

“Dan Crowley has an incredible story to share,” said Senator Witkos. “He endured the horrors of war and fought bravely for our country. He survived many atrocities, and today he has an inspiring motivation to serve our community” he said.

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Jessup native endures starvation, deprivation, brutality during infamous Bataan Death March of WWII


(The Scranton Times-Tribune, 11/17/13) World War II caused human suffering of a depth and magnitude greater than any other time in history. Certain chapters, of course, stand out more than others for their staggering atrocities. They come with names like Stalingrad, Auschwitz, Nanking and Dresden.

That list also includes the Bataan Death March... George Sholtis endured this hellscape of beatings, deprivation and cold-blooded murder. The Army medic survived the march only to be rewarded with a stay in prisoner-of-war camps for the remainder of the war.

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Bataan survivor, Brainerd native Ken Porwoll dies


(Brainerd Dispatch, 11/13/13) Ken Porwoll forgave those who held him as a prisoner during World War II.

He forgave his captors who forced him on a 60-mile death march.

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Ceremony held in honor of our veterans


(San Pedro Valley News-Sun, 11/12/13) Veterans Day ceremonies were held across the country Monday, honoring and thanking all who have served in the United States Armed Forces during this national day of commemoration. Wreaths are laid, color guards fire off 21-gun salutes and dignitaries deliver speeches in a show of appreciation as they pay tribute to all veterans for their service.

In Benson, about 80 people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park Monday to honor our country’s veterans. From the National Anthem sung by Zoe Federoff, the 22-year-old great-granddaughter of Paul Kerchum, a WWII veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, to the color guard salutes, to speeches by local dignitaries, Benson’s ceremony deeply touched all who attended.

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In tribute: Bataan survivor remembered as strong, kind


(Clovis News Journal, 11/09/13) Friends and family said he was strong, mostly quiet, and kind. M.C. Waltmon didn’t talk much about his experiences during the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during World War II. But he wrote that he survived through some luck, and good friends.

Waltmon, 96, died Oct. 29 in Clovis. His passing leaves just 37 Bataan survivors known to still be living.

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Locals remember relatives during Bataan Day observance


(Port Clinton News Herald, 11/09/13) PORT CLINTON — During Friday morning’s Bataan Day observance at Bataan Memorial Elementary School, intermediate school principal Geoff Halsey talked about the 32 young men in the Company C, 192nd Tank Battalion.

The young men did not know they would eventually be subjected to the Bataan Death March in World War II.

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Photos: Concord man recalls his POW experiences


(Mercury News, 11/08/13) For years, Anthony Costa didn’t talk about his experiences in World War II as a prisoner of war, and on the Bataan death march. But the birth of his grandson two years ago, on Veterans Day, changed that.

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'Give Us This Day' honors Bataan veterans: Play honor Bataan veterans


(Las Cruces Sun-News, 11/08/13) LAS CRUCES >> A story of "hope, brotherhood and survival" that deeply moved Barry Dunleavey led to a long-term project to bring Bataan Death March survivor Sidney Stewart's memoir, "Give Us This Day," to the stage.

"I read the story many years ago and thought it was great. In 1942, thousands of American and Filipino troops surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army, the devastating conclusion to the three-month Battle of Bataan that followed the fall of Manila. The prisoners then were forced to march 65 miles in the blazing heat, denied food and water and executed if they fell out of line. Survivors faced years of prison camps, transport to Japan on the infamous 'hell ships,' ceaseless torment from hunger and the daily presence of death. Yet somehow, men sustained faith, loyalty to each other and a will to grasp the gift of life," Dunleavey said.

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Centennial to honor veterans


(Casper Journal, 11/05/13) A World War II veteran will be the featured speaker at Centennial Junior High's 12th annual Veterans Day Assembly at 8:15 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in the Centennial Gymnasium.

Mr. Leonard L. Robinson is 94 years old and served our country for five years during WWII, enduring three and a half years as a prisoner of war during the Bataan Death March. After Mr. Robinson was freed, he returned to the United States, later married, and became a preacher. He has called Wyoming his home for about 40 years, but originally grew up in Denver. Mr. Robinson currently lives in Casper.

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Veteran voices: Keeping a POWs legacy alive


(Lake News Online, 11/09/13) This Veteran's Day, a local couple are honoring a family member killed in a Japanese massacre of American prisoners during World War II.

Marine Corps Private First Class George McClelland Waddell died before his nephew Dave Waddell was born, but Dave's father John Waddell kept the memory of his brother alive through the years.

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Locals remember relatives during Bataan Day observance


(Port Clinton News Herald, 11/09/13) PORT CLINTON — During Friday morning’s Bataan Day observance at Bataan Memorial Elementary School, intermediate school principal Geoff Halsey talked about the 32 young men in the Company C, 192nd Tank Battalion.

The young men did not know they would eventually be subjected to the Bataan Death March in World War II.

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Talk To The Head Honcho; He Speaks Japanese


(NPR, 10/26/13) Picture the "head honcho" of an organization and what comes to mind are boardrooms, power and wealth, an individual at the top of his or her game. But where did the word "honcho" originate?

Ernest O. Norquist was an Army medic during the Battle of Bataan in the spring of 1942. Norquist was one of the thousands of American and Filipino prisoners of war that were forced to take part in the Bataan Death March. Norquist kept a diary throughout his time as a prisoner of war, recording his days on "scraps of paper, candy and cigarette wrappers, whatever he could find," as his son John (a former mayor of Milwaukee), noted in the foreword of the published version of his father's diary, which was released in 1989.* The elder Norquist made frequent references to the "honchos" who ran the prison camp in his diary.

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Japan honors Coon during visit


(Sapulpa Herald News, 10/26/13) After nearly seven decades, World War II former prisoner of War Phillip Coon returned to Japan last week as an honored guest of Japan’s POW Friendship Program.

“Dad’s memory was sharp. He still knew the place. They showed him a map from that time and he pointed out the trails they walked and the mine entrances. He surprised the Japanese with his memory,” Mike Coon said.

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WWII Vet Honored With Long-Overdue Military Medals


(ABC News, 10/22/13) Given the choice, World War II veteran Phillip Coon probably wouldn't want the formality and fuss of being honored on a military base with men and women standing at attention, dressed in full regalia — even if it was with a fistful of long-overdue medals he waited decades to receive.

So it's fitting that the awards were presented to the humble Tulsa-area man Monday evening in an informal ceremony at the Tulsa International Airport, with family and fellow veterans in attendance and little pomp and circumstance.

The 94-year-old survivor of a POW labor camp and the Bataan Death March received the Prisoner of War Medal, Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge after he and his son, Michael, returned from a trip to Japan to promote understanding and healing with the U.S.

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Bridge dedicated to prisoner of war


(WTXL, 10/19/13) COOK COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL)--A bridge in Cook County, Georgia is dedicated to a prisoner of war.

Jim McClelland Sr. served in the United States 31st Infantry Regiment during World War II.

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Birdtown Ballpark dedicated in memory of Bataan survivor


(Cherokee One Feather, 10/10/13) EBCI tribal member Clarence “Ting” Rogers served with the U.S. Army 803rd Engineers in the Pacific Campaign during World War II. He was captured and survived the Bataan Death March and the subsequent sub-human treatment at several Japanese prison camps.

His sacrifice and service was honored during a ceremony in Birdtown on Thursday, Oct. 10 as the Clarence “Ting” Rogers Memorial Ballpark was dedicated.

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Local man's WWII experiences subject of museum display


(The News-Messenger, 07/31/13) Every Memorial Day, Keith Carr sends money to a cemetery in Manila to pay for flowers for an American soldier’s grave.

It is the least he can do for the man who saved his life almost 70 years ago, he said. Carr, of Gibsonburg, is the subject of the Northcoast Veterans Museum’s newest display, which tells the story of one man’s battle and survival against Japanese forces in the Philippines.

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Last modified: 13-Mar-2016