PSHS President Larry Pangan
Philippine Scouts Heritage Society President Larry Pangan passed away suddenly on November 18, 2004 while visiting his eldest daughter in San Diego. Larry was one of the founders of the Society and served for many years in various capacities in the Golden Gate-Bay Area Chapter and at the national level. In 2002 he became National President and held that post until his sudden passing. His stewardship was notable for the support he gave successor generation members as they began to take over leadership positions. He also was supportive of efforts by this new leadership to standardize and make more business like the policies and practices of the Society.
Larry was born in Arayat, Pampanga, but moved to Manila in 1938 to attend business college. He joined the Philippine Scouts in March 1941 and was assigned to the 57th Infantry Regiment. He survived the Bataan Death March and incarceration at the infamous Camp O'Donnell. Although seriously ill with malaria, dysentery, beriberi and malnutrition, Larry was able to escape. Upon regaining his health, he joined an American-led guerrilla group in central Luzon. For his combat service in WWII he was awarded the Bronze Star and several other medals. He later would receive a second Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1961 and has been very active in various veterans' organizations.
Larry's wife Lucina predeceased him in 1995. He is survived by his nine children, Angelita, Esther, Manual, Ofelia, Zeniada, Rosemary, Patrick, David and Ricky, 10 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, and his companion of many years, Lourdes Escala.
His sudden death is a terrible loss to his family, his many friends and to all of us who came to know him over his years of service dedicated to preserving the memory and heritage of that legendary group of fighting men, the Philippine Scouts. His family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, c/o Treasurer Nora Warren, 92 Russell Drive, Antioch, CA 94509.
Bataan Survivor Heads Philippine Scouts Group
If Larry L. Pangan survived the death march, he can wing anything.
The Fairfield, California war hero was recently elected national president at the 18th annual reunion and general membership meeting of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society held at the Villa Hotel here. He is the third to occupy the post since the inception of the society in 1989. The first president is retired Brigadier General Royal Reynolds, Jr. of Arlington, Virginia; followed by Jose "Joe" S. Aquino of South San Francisco, California, from 1996 to 2001.
Pangan was born in Arayat, Pampanga, and moved to Manila in 1938 after graduating from high school. He was attending the Philippine Harvardian Business College when he was drafted in the Philippine Scouts at Fort William McKinley in March 1941 and assigned for training to the 57th Infantry Regiment. He was taken as prisoner of war when Bataan surrendered on April 9, 1942. A survivor of the infamous "death march," he was incarcerated in Camp 0' Donnell in Capas. Four months in the camp, he was afflicted with malaria, dysentery, beriberi, and malnutrition. From a healthy 135 pounds when he entered the army, he crashed to 70. The Japanese guards usually go out with a truck once a week taking at least four or five prisoners with them who can still walk and help them gather live stocks, like pigs, and chickens, and vegetables from the village farmers. They never pay for the food they take. Pangan was on one of the details one day in September 1942, when he managed to escape with another prisoner by running into the nearby sugarcane field while the two guards were busy fooling around with some young village women.
He returned to his hometown where he received medical attention. Within three months, he was able to regain some weight and strength. He then joined Col. W. Fertig's guerrilla unit as an intelligence officer operating in central Luzon, reporting to his friend and fellow scout Captain Jose Flores from Zamboanga. For his service in World War II, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, American Defense Medal, American and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medals, Philippine Liberation Medal and the Victory Medal. His unit received three Presidential Unit Citations during the battles against a superior enemy in Bataan. Pangan received his second Bronze Star Medal during his service in Korea in 1951 to 1952. When he retired from the U.S. Army in 1961, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his excellent service as a senior enlisted adviser to the USAR School at the Presidio of San Francisco. He is very active in the various veterans' organizations. Even at 82, Larry Pangan has not slowed down. He was past President of the Retirees and Veterans Association in San Francisco; past commander of the American Ex- POW Luzviminda Chapter in San Francisco; and currently post commander of American Legion Manuel L. Quezon Post 603 in Vallejo, California.
Last modified: 07-Apr-2013