monterey cemetery photo courtesy of JC Bautista
Today I remember both of my grandfathers who served in the Philippine Scouts and came to the US after surviving the Bataan Death March. Once the American troops arrived in the Philippines, they both reported to the US Army Control and were eventually stationed at Fort Ord and settled in Monterey, CA.
..excerpts and stories from my Grandpa Bautista's autobiography...
After his second quarter studying free law at the University of the Philippines, he decided to join the Service to support himself. He writes.."I enlisted in the 12th Medical Regiment Battalion, Ft. William McKinley, Rizal Philippines." He tells his story of deciding that he would become a Co. Clerk and do clerical work because he had only seen a typewriter but never had the pleasure of using one. So he paid another file clerk $2.00 a month to teach him how to type. His main job at the time was to keep up a current casualty records of the division.
He says he was not satisfied with his job, so he went to the Co. Commander and Regimental Commander and told them he wanted to volunteer and join the Infantry, so he could fight. The request was approved and he was assigned to the the Medicine Gun Co. Without any infantry training he was a
machine gunner. He was told he did very good. He continues to write, "Now here is some of the bad part of what's happening, the surrender of all Armed Forces of the Far East. In the field I was promoted to T/Sgt and a battle field Commission as 2nd Lt. Captured at the fall of Bataan we took a 14 day death march to a Japanese Concentration Camp at Capas Tarlac, about 225 miles east of Manila. After seven months in prison, I was freed by Philippine guerrillas until the liberation of the Philippines in 1945. Within that period I escaped twice and was caught twice. "
There is a lot more to his story... eventually he reported to the US Army Control in Pangacinan. He was ordered to proceed to England, so he moved with the family and lived there for four years. Army records indicates he was the first Filipino to be appointed 1st Sgt. in the whole US Army. Both of my grandpas were eventually stationed in Fort Ord and settled in Monterey, CA.
the Bautista family September 1951, England
a commissioned painting done of my grandpa Elarmo (I don't know the artist)
My dad also served in the US Army. He was stationed in Italy for most of his service and wrote letters back home often...here's one...
I am humbled and honored to hear the stories and sacrifices made by my grandfathers. Growing up all I remember were the fun and loving times I had going to visit them in Monterey, little did I know back then about their journey to the US. So today I remember and celebrate them and all those have served and currently serve in our Armed Forces. grandpa Bautista, grandpa Elarmo, Daddy, Uncle Larry, Uncle Rolly, Uncle Wally...I love you..thank you...