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Chicago's 70th Bataan Day Commemoration 04.04.12


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#1 FriscoHare

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share what went on during Chicago's 70th Bataan Day Commemoration - The Platinum Jubilee.


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Three Bataan survivors posing with three Chicago Police officers at the State Street / Bataan-Corregidor Bridge, April 4, 2012.

The event took place on Wednesday, April 4. It began at the State Street Bridge over the Chicago River. It is named the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge in the 1940s to honor the gallant men and women who served during the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign.

Last year, I met 1st Sergeant Jose V. Juachon at the 69th Bataan Day Commemoration by the Bataan-Corregidor Bridge. "Mang Joey" was a member of the 1st Philippine Regular Division. He was Bataan Death March Survivor and actually escaped the Death March before boarding the boxcars at San Fernando, Pampanga. I saw him about three weeks ago and I promised him I would be at the commemoration. However, he wasn't able to make it this year. I'll recount the stories that he told me in a different post.

As I looked out for "Mang Joey," members of the Philippine Consulate, veterans, family members, and guests gathered for the annual wreath laying ceremony. Pictures were then taken with some of the veterans (see above).

Mang Joey at last year's Commemoration:

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#2 FriscoHare

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

After the ceremony at the bridge, the Bataan Day Commemoration continued at the Philippine Consulate on Michigan Avenue.

At the Consulate, there were twice as many people as last year's Commemoration. Great speeches were given by Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim, Deputy Consul General Orontes Castro, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, City of Chicago Representative William Schmutz, and Marie Ann Limpoco of Representative Jan Schakowsky's office.

Attorney General Madigan then gave Letters of Recognition to each veteran.

The Philippine Government even bestowed decorations to the family of Mr. Sidney Adelson and to Ms. Cleopatra Dulay-Pactol.

#3 FriscoHare

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

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3rd Lieutenant Cleopatra Dulay-Pactol, an "Angel of Bataan"

Ms. Dulay-Pactol was one of the "Angels of Bataan," serving as a nurse with the rank of 3rd Lieutenant in the Philippine Commonwealth Army. Here is a transcript of Deputy Consul Castro's introduction of Ms. Dulay-Pactol:

"The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor were the nurses who served on Bataan and Corregidor, while being detained themselves continued to serve the Filipino and American soldiers in various Japanese prisons in the Philippines. For meritorious achievement in connection of military operations against the enemy in the Southwest Pacific Area from 8 December 1941 to February 1945, the awardee received the Bronze Star Medal from the Government of the United States of America. In fact, she is wearing the Bronze Star this morning.

Ms. Cleopatra Dulay-Pactol will receive the following awards: the Philippine Independence Medal, the Philippine Defense Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Badge. We would like to request Ms. Cleopatra Dulay-Pactol and her family to please come forward to receive the awards..."


Ms. Dulay-Pactol then gave a brief speech, which can be seen here:



Here is the transcript:

"I am so delighted to have everybody with us today. And, I am so impressed with the enthusiasm of the members of the group who initiated this gathering. Every year, there has been, I think, a get together during Bataan Day, but only during the last two years I joined them is because I did not have anybody with me before, but now my children are here with me to accompany me to this event.

"And, I am so glad. And, I am glad to be with all of you here. It is nice to be here again. It is a reminiscence of what had happened to me when I was in Bataan, but it was not a failure. I am 94, and I am reaping all the happiness now because of the turmoil that we had when we were at that war. So, thank you very much and thank you for the enthusiasm. "


#4 FriscoHare

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:03 PM

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Colonel Emilio Hidalgo, Bataan Survivor and witness of Maj. General King's surrender

Later in the program, Colonel Emilio Hidalgo, a survivor of the Bataan campaign and commander of Post 509, gave a brief speech as well.



"The song 'God Bless America' was sung today and I was reminded as early as 1945 when [inaudible] sung 'God Bless America' in the back of the headquarters of the Philippine Armed Forces at Camp Aguinaldo.

"I want to remind you also that there were three major battles that were fought on Bataan. We never gave [way to the Japanese.] They were not able to break through. We resisted everything and threw them back. Until we could not do it anymore.

"I was personally present during the negotiation and surrender made by General King. I was tied to a fire hydrant near a tent where the actual surrender took place. I can still remember it.

"But, to tell you frankly, the memorials to the surrender were erected at the wrong place. It was erected at Balanga, Bataan, which was 6 or 7 kilometers from the place where the actual surrender took place. I was personally present. I am still alive and, so long as I am alive, I will remember that.

"It must be corrected. I have wrote already the governor of Bataan, but I have never been answered. So with the VA, they have not even answered. They did not even investigate what I am telling them.

"But, I have to tell you, the memorials were erected in the wrong place not at the actual place where the surrender took place in 1942. I was personally present. That is all I want to impress upon you people.

"And, during WWII was strictly the business of the United States of America. The Philippines had nothing to do with it, but we still volunteered and fought beside them. Even up to the days when Bataan surrendered, we continued the battle against the Japanese, even for another three more years after Bataan surrendered. We paid a lot of blood. A lot of lives were lost. Thousands have been lost. And it should be a sacrilege if the memorials were not erected in the right place. I thank you."


After the ceremony, I overheard Col. Hidalgo saying, "[The National Archives in] Missouri would not recognize me as a POW... I told them, [if you don't,] it would be a disgrace to President Roosevelt. He was the one who called us to federal service and fight..."

From the stories he told me last year and from this year's speech, in my honest opinion, it is a shame not to recognize Col. Hidalgo as a POW and, hopefully, he will be given the honors he deserves.

#5 FriscoHare

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:04 PM

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Finally, Major Edwin H. Walker IV, USMC ret. and Vice President of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization (above), gave a rousing speech:



"Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor to be present on this auspicious occasion to celebrate the 70th commemoration or Platinum Jubilee of Bataan Day in the City of Chicago. The President of our Bataan Day Organization, Colonel Richard A. McMahon, Jr. is in the Philippines at present and will represent our organization at celebrations across the homeland.

"American and Filipino soldiers fought side by side at Bataan and Corregidor during the early, dark days of WWII and gave their lives during the gruesome Bataan Death March and in Japanese hellships and in prison camps. Thanks to their courageous perseverance and bravery, the Imperial Japanese Army was delayed long enough to prevent an invasion of Australia, a fact often overlooked by historians.

"Bataan surrendered on April the 9th, 1942 and the following day, some 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers as Japanese captives all became victims of the greatest atrocity of the Pacific War, The Bataan Death March. Under terrific air and artillery bombardment, the island of Corregidor surrendered on May the 6th, 1942.

"Since September 1942, the Maywood Bataan Day Organization has worked to preserve the memory of Company B of the 192nd Tank Battalion, who, as members of the 33rd Tank Company, 33rd Infantry Division of the Illinois National Guard, were federalized on November 1940 and, subsequently, sent to the Philippines on October 1941.

"Thanks to the presence and support of the Chicago area Filipino-American Community, today Filipino-Americans are an important part of the Bataan Day Organization. Indeed, one of our past presidents was Justo Alamar, whose dear wife, Estrella, whom you all know, is present with us today and she is presently one of our board members...

"Our keynote speakers at our September memorial service each year have included Consul General Emilinda Lee-Pineda, Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim, and Colonel Emilio Hidalgo.

"On this 70th Anniversary of the surrender of Bataan, let us renew our pledge to never forget the incredible valor, sacrifice, and brotherhood that the Filipinos showed in defending their homeland - shoulder to shoulder with Americans.

"May God Bless America and the Republika of the Philippines.

"Remember Bataan! Alalahanin natin ang Bataan!"


#6 Garandomatic

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

Four local men were with the 192nd, only one returned. Raymond Gheen, Clifford Gibson, and Hobart McVay are the three that were lost. Four or so more men were lost in the fall of the Philippines as well, which never ceases to amaze me, as this isn't that big of a town.

#7 Robersabel

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

There are several guidelines identifying units involved in battles of Bataan and Corregidor entitled to the Distinguished Unit Citation (Presidential Unit Citation).
AFP 900-2, Volumes I and II, and
Department of the Army Pamphlet 672-1.

For those that were assigned to units not identified in pamphlets, there are General Orders.

Maxwell AFB provided the following:
They include:
7 Dec 41 - May 1942, WD GO 22 - 42, as amended by DA GO 46 - 48.
6 Jan - 8 Mar 42, WD GO 43 - 42,
8 - 22 Dec 41, WD GO 14 - 32.

All personnel assigned to the Fifth Air Force, United States Army Air Forces in the Far East that survived the battles are entitled the PUC w/(Ist and 2nd OLC).

However, AF personnel at Randolph AFB refuses to follow the General Orders. Personnel are only recognizing the first GO.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations and several AR's i.e. AR 600-8-22, they describe the process to receive the BSM for all recipients of the PUC during the battles and/or the CIB during WWII.

A letter is required to be submitted to NPRC with evidence there are recipients of either award, if not both.

Last year a 91 year old veteran submiited a request for the BSM since he is a recipient of the PUC. No response. Several NOK of veterans have also submitted letters. Response by NPRC advises the requests are fowarded to the AF at Randolph AFB. Personnel at Randolph respond by advising the NOK material is fowarded to the Army.

Since 10 December 1948 the Army does not have the authority to issue awards and decorations for AAF veterans.

Is there a way to contact anyone to determine who enforces the Code of Federal Regulations? Nature is not going to wait much longer for these veterans.

Robert

#8 Jack's Son

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:47 PM

Having a ceremony like this in middle America is even more satisfying. The men involved in the march were not all Americans by birth, and they resettled all over our country, now their country, and have done all of us proud!

#9 FriscoHare

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 05:14 PM

Just wanted to bring this back to the top.

 

These veteran's stories are worth remembering, especially since Col. Hidalgo and Lt. Dulay-Pactol both passed within the past year.

 

This was my second Bataan Day / Araw ng Kagitingan commemoration I attended... And that was 5 years ago. There were about 9 veterans at the 70th commemoration.

 

I attended the 75th on Saturday, and only 2 were left. I'll make a separate post once I collect all the photos.


Edited by FriscoHare, 10 April 2017 - 05:15 PM.



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