200th/515th Veteran Deaths 2012
Robert M. Malone, F Btry 200th CA(AA), died March 26, 2012
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Malone and his brother,
Richard, were New Mexico National Guardsmen living in
Clovis, New Mexico, both assigned
to the 200th's F Battery. The brothers were captured when Bataan fell. Richard passed away in 1998.
Timothy H. Smith, A Btry 515th CA(AA), died in March 2012.
An Albuquerque native, Mr. Smith joined the National Guard
while a Senior in High School. He was attending the
University of New Mexico when the Regiment was federalized. His brother, George, was transferred to the 515th's A
Battery when that unit was formed the night of December 8,
1942, and while Tim Smith would make the Death March on
Bataan, George escaped to Corregidor. George was liberated
from Sendai Camp #8, and passed away in 2001. Tim
Smith told of how he and other prisoners ate charcoal to
fight dysentery, and in 2007 said, "I think that's why I like
burnt toast so much today." Tim Smith was liberated
from Maibara in the Osaka area. He went to work for
the postal service in Gallup, New Mexico following the war
and was the last living survivor in Gallup at the time of
Vincent Silva, G Btry 515th CA(AA), died February 16, 2012
in Antioch, California. Mr. Silva, a survivor of the Death
March, with his daughter, told his story in the book, "Senso
Owari: The War is Ended." In 2010, at the Bataan Memorial
Ceremony in Albuquerque, Mr. Silva recited his poem, "The
Defenders of Bataan." The ellipse whereon the podium was
placed is flanked by the columns bearing the names of the
men, and so, Mr. Silva was in the middle of them (the men)
speaking in a clear and strong voice. As his voice
cresendoed, the wind came up out of nowhere, the elms
showered buds over the crowd like snow, and the flags
snapped to their full extension, and the crowd was
whispering excitedly, "They're here," and "He's calling
them." When the reading was over, the wind died away and the
flags relaxed. One veteran asked later if anyone had noticed
the contrails over the park from a high flying jet during
the poem — the contrails had made a perfect cross over the
park. People have been recalling that day since news of his
passing reached us.
Morgan T. 'Tommy' Jones, Jr., HB2 515th CA(AA), died
February 1, 2012 in San Rafael, California. Mr. Jones played
Center for Clovis High School's 1934 New Mexico State
Championship-winning football team, and was a 1938 graduate
of Texas Tech University. He was a survivor of the
Death March and was liberated from Sendai Camp #8 at Kosaka. He authored two books, "MacArthur Went South We Went North
or Return to Kosaka" and "Ensnared in a Spider's Web, A
World War II POW Held by the Japanese".
200th/515th Veteran Deaths 2011
Thomas P. 'Tommy' Foy, Jr. passed away October 8, 2011 in
Bayard, New Mexico. Tommy Foy was a long time legislator,
Representative for Grant County, New Mexico. A graduate of
Notre Dame, Foy returned to New Mexico to begin his law
practice and joined the National Guard just prior to its
begin federalized in January 1941. Following the Death
March, at Camp O'Donnell, he heard the shots that killed
Captains Gonzalez, Thwaits and Schuetz and 10 other men of the
Regiment after they were found with items of Japanese origin
in a shake down. For Jim Terr's, "In Their Own Words" he
said, "A lot of the New Mexico boys had a lot of stamina
because of their home training and because of their
upbringing. They were stronger than most of the city kids,
and they were the ones who were able to live on a little
less. They helped each other. It depended on a man's nature,
as to whether or not he could get through the Death March.
And a lot of luck and the good Lord taking care of you." Mr.
Foy spent time in Zentsuji prisoner of war camp in Japan,
and was liberated from the camp at Rokuroshi.
Max M. Casaus, H Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Albuquerque, New Mexico June 13, 2011. He was 95 years old.
A survivor of the Bataan Death March, Mr. Casaus was
interned at the Hirohata prison camp in Japan, and slave
labored for Seitetsu Steel (aka Nippon Steel). He was
liberated in September 1945. Many testimonies are left to
the harsh and brutal treatment suffered by prisoners of war
at Hirohata. Mr. and Mrs. Casaus were portrayed by
Performing Arts Department students Diego Maureira and
Corinne Sharlet at the College of Santa Fe under the
direction of Documentary Theatre Class Instructor Victor
Talmadge in the documentary play, "Sacred Mistakes (The
Bataan Project)" which premiered at the Greer Garson Theatre
in March, 2010. Mr. Casaus was a lifetime member of American
Legion Post 99, VFW Post 401, the Military Order of the
Purple Heart, and the German-American Club.
Jose S. 'Chaveta' Chavez, Regimental Headquarters Btry 200th
CA(AA), the last 200th Coast Artillery survivor living in
Valencia County, New Mexico, died at his home in Los Lunas,
New Mexico March 17 2011. A survivor of the Bataan Death
March, Mr. Chavez was transported to Japan on the Nissyo
Maru and interned at Kamioka where prisoners slave-labored
in the Mitsui lead and zinc mines. At Kamioka, he was given
up for dead and buried alive... twice. In a newspaper
article written when Chavez was 68 years old, on display at
the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts -- exact date and
paper unknown -- Chavez recalled for reporter Frank Duran,
"The Japanese threw me into a grave and dirt was thrown over
me and the rest of the dead, decaying soldiers. I don't know
how, but I managed to crawl over many dead bodies and saw a
light opening at the top of the grave. It took me two hours,
but I made it out. The Japanese were totally stunned. My
buddies carried me back to the barracks. Two weeks later,
they buried me again." That time, it began to rain, and
Chavez was revived.
Charles F. 'Charlie' James, F Btry 200th CA(AA), a lifelong
resident of Carlsbad, New Mexico, passed away at his home on
March 13, 2011. A New Mexico National Guardsman, James'
battery was federalized for one year of active duty service
just three days after he was married. A survivor of the
Bataan Death March, James was shipped to the Yodogawa
prisoner of war camp in Japan, and when that camp was
closed, removed to Oeyama prison camp in May 1945. He was
rescued at Oeyama in September 1945. Post-war, Mr. James was
a rancher. In July 2010, [then] Congressman Harry Teague
named James, Veteran of the Month. James was the last
200th/515th Coast Artillery survivor living in Carlsbad.
Beltram Chavez, A Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Chavez was evacuated to
Australia with the severely wounded on the last ship out of
the Philippines, the Mactan, in January 1942.
Evans R. Garcia, H Btry 515th CA(AA), passed away January
29, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A survivor of the
Bataan Death March, Mr. Garcia was liberated from Fukuoka
POW Camp #17 at Omuta, Japan. He was featured in the 2002
documentary, "Colors of Courage: Sons of New Mexico,
Prisoners of Japan" by Tony Martinez, the son of the 200th's
Eddie Martinez. In 2007, the Evans Ramirez Garcia ROTC
Scholarship was established at New Mexico State University.
Mr. Garcia was 97 years old.
Lee C. Roach, E Btry 200th CA(AA), a resident of Clovis, New
Mexico, passed away January 20, 2011 in Farwell, Texas. Mr.
Roach was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He
slave-labored at Nichols Field south of Manila where prisoners worked at
extending the runways under the supervision of the sadistic “White
Angel”, before being transported to Japan. In Japan, he was
put to work in a graphite factory. He then spent time on a
"rock-moving" detail, before finally winding up on the docks
unloading ships for Tsuruga Transportation Company.
Post-war, Mr. Roach was employed by Cannon Air Force Base
for 26 years, retiring in 1978. According to his son, he
never passed up the chance to travel. Following retirement, he traveled the United States, Canada and
200th/515th Veteran Deaths 2010
Irvin R. "I.R." Butler, H Btry 200th CA(AA), of Portales,
New Mexico, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, passed
away on Christmas Day, 2010 in Lubbock, Texas. He was the
last 200th Coast Artillery survivor living in Portales.
During the course of the war, and during his 3-1/2 years as
a prisoner of war, Mr. Butler's family was notified by the
government of his death. Butler survived, weighing under 100
pounds when he was liberated in September 1945 from Sendai
Prisoner of War Camp #3 (Hosokura) where as POW #922 he
slave labored for Mitsubishi Mining Company, forced to mine
and produce lead and zinc. Post-war Mr. Butler was a
dairyman and a retired groundskeeper for the Portales Public
Schools. In 2004, Mr. Butler was honored for his World War
II service, accepting a place on the Airman Leadership
School’s Wall of Heroes at Cannon Air Force Base.
Eliseo Lopez, Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 515th
CA(AA), passed away in Atlanta, Georgia on November 11,
2010, Veterans Day. When Bataan was surrendered on April 9,
1942, Eliseo Lopez was initially put on a truck. Off-loaded
somewhere in the vicinity of Orion and Balanga, the
following day he would begin the March of Death to San
Fernando where 100 men were packed into train cars only
meant to hold 40 men for the ride to Capas, before the final
march to Camp O'Donnell. Transferred to Cabanatuan in June
1942, Eliseo Lopez would remain there until March 1944. He
was loaded onto the Taikoku Maru bound for Japan via
Formosa, where he would slave labor in the copper mine at
Hitachi, until transferred to Ashio prison camp, again to
labor in a copper mine, in August 1944. He was liberated in
September 1945. Post-war, Mr. Lopez would marry the sister
of Robert Young, also a 200th Coast Artillery man. Robert
Young was lost in the October 24, 1944 sinking of the Hell
Ship Arisan Maru, the worst maritime disaster in American
history. In 2003, Eliseo Lopez was recognized by the
"National Veterans Day in Birmingham" organization. A
non-profit organization formed in 1945, recognized
nationwide as one of the finest groups of its type, the
National Veterans Day in Birmingham hosts the nation's
oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration.
Silverio M. Garley, D Btry 515th CA(AA), passed away in
Tacoma, Washington on September 17, 2010. He was 94. Mr.
Garley slave labored in the coal mines at Fukuoka Camp #23.
He was liberated in September 1945.
Carlos R. Montoya, Regimental Headquarters Btry 200th
CA(AA), passed away August 24, 2010 at the veterans hospital
in La Jolla, California. He had been a long time resident of
San Diego. Mr. Montoya was a survivor of the Bataan Death
March, the Tayabas Detail, and was liberated from Niigata
POW Camp. For many years, he was the Commander of the
Western States Chapter of the American Defenders of Bataan
and Corregidor. He was featured in the History Channel's
“The Bataan Death March” and in an episode of “Major
Military Events”. In 2007, Mr. Montoya's story, “Carlos: A
Tale of Survival”, was published.
Edras S. Montoya, G Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Albuquerque, New Mexico July 24, 2010. Suffering from a
bayonet wound and malaria, Mr. Montoya nearly completed the
March of Death. About a mile from San Fernando, while
Japanese guards were firing on a group of prisoners
attempting to get water from a well, he escaped into the
jungle. With the aid of Filipino civilians and guerrillas he
survived mostly alone for the next three years. In January
1944, he made contact with American forces landing at Subic
Bay. Mr. Montoya is one of four men profiled in Dorothy
Cave's “Four Trails to Valor”.
Esperidion "Nino" Archibeque passed away May 2, 2010 in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Archibeque was orginally a Band
member in the 200th Coast Artillery. After the attack on
Clark Field, he was transferred to the 515th Coast Artillery
when the Regiment was split and that unit was formed from
its ranks, and made a Medic. A survivor of the Bataan Death
March and Camp O'Donnell, Archibeque joined the staff at the
camp hospital at Cabanatuan prison camp, the camp he was
rescued from in January 1945 in a daring raid by Army
Rangers, Alamo Scouts and Philippine Guerrillas.
Everette M. "Dick" Morris, F Btry 515th CA(AA), of Hobbs,
New Mexico, passed away May 1, 2010. At the time of his
passing Mr. Morris was the 200th Coast Artillery's youngest
living survivor — the 515th being born from the ranks of the
200th. Because birth dates are lacking for some of the men
in the Regiment from states other than New Mexico, we cannot
say for sure, but it may be that Mr. Morris was the 200th's
youngest soldier, only 17 when he was surrendered on Bataan.
Mr. Morris turned 18 on the Hell Ship Rykuyu Maru on its way
to Japan with its prisoner cargo, where he would be interned
at Kobe POW Camp 1B. He was rescued from Kobe POW Camp 2B
when the first camp was destroyed in a fire bombing. His
brother Jeff, also a 200th Coast Artillery man, succumbed at
Cabanatuan prisoner of war camp in 1942. The Morris' mother
was a Charter Member of the Bataan Relief Organization.
Post-war Mr. Morris owned restaurants in Carlsbad and Hobbs,
Claude A. Hatch, Headquarters Btry 2nd Battalion 200th
CA(AA), New Mexico's oldest living Bataan Death March
Survivor to date, passed away April 23, 2010. Mr. Hatch, was
sent out on air field details as a slave laborer for the
Japanese. He was not shipped north to Japan. He remained in
the Philippines and was liberated from Old Bilibid Prison by
US Army forces on February 3, 1945. When General MacArthur
came to Bilibid, Claude Hatch shook his hand. Post-war, he
and his younger brother Stewart started Hatch Brothers
Trading Post in Fruitland, New Mexico. Mr. Hatch was a
member of the Upper Fruitland Chapter of Navajo Nation.
Frank N. Lovato, Headquarters Btry 1st Battalion 200th
CA(AA), a survivor of the Bataan Death March, passed away
April 20, 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Lovato was
transferred to the Provisional Tank Group (half-tracks)
after the bombing of Clark Field on December 8, 1941
(December 7th in the US). Following liberation from Fukuoka
Camp 1, Mr. Lovato re-entered the service, in the new United
States Air Force. He retired from the Air Force with the
rank of Master Sergeant. He was a recipient of the Purple
Leo J. Padilla, B Btry 200th CA(AA) passed away at his home
in Albuquerque, New Mexico March 9, 2010. One of the younger
survivors of the 200th Coast Artillery, Mr. Padilla joined
the National Guard at age 14 (in 1937) in order to get the
“high boots” the National Guardsmen wore to keep his feet
dry while irrigating the fields. He was a survivor of the
Bataan Death March. He was transported to Manchuria via
Korea on the Hell Ship Tottori Maru in October 1942. He was
liberated from Hoten POW Camp at Mukden, Manchuria in
September 1945. Mr. Padilla was active in the Albuquerque
Chapter of the Bataan Veterans Organization. In 2002, 200th
Coast Artillery veteran/survivor, Alex Tovar of San Antonio,
Texas talked about Mr. Padilla helping him with his
disability papers, “All the way from Albuquerque!” Leo
Padilla was instrumental in the establishment of the Bataan
Memorial at Bataan Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
dedicated in 2002.
200th/515th Veteran Deaths 2009
George F. ‘Tony’ King, passed away in Artesia, New Mexico
December 7, 2009. Mr. King was member of the 200th Coast
Artillery's Regimental Band. He played the clarinet. A
survivor of the Bataan Death March, Mr. King slave labored
in the Yokohama Brick Yard. When the camp was destroyed in a
bombing, he was removed to Niigata Camp #5. He was liberated
in September 1945. Mr. King served as a Post Master for 37
years before retiring in 1981. In a special ceremony on the
43rd anniversary of the fall of Bataan, Mr. King and 12
other men received Bronze Stars for their part in the Bataan
campaign at White Sands Missle Range; four of those men
posthumously, having died as prisoners of war.
Joseph J. Bandoni, A Btry 200th CA(AA), died in Albuquerque,
New Mexico November 3, 2009. Mr. Bandoni joined the New
Mexico National Guard with Orlando DeVenzeio, Reynold Armijo
and Ernest Montoya, in 1939. Armijo died at Camp O'Donnell
just after the Death March of Bataan, while Bandoni,
DeVenzeio and Montoya would survive the 3-1/2 years of
imprisonment. Mr. Bandoni was liberated from Old Bilibid
Prison in Manila in February 1945.
Horacio H. Montoya, H Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away at his
home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 27, 2009. Mr.
Montoya and his brother Ben, also with H Battery, were
transported to Japan on board the Hell Ship Clyde Maru and
interned at Fukuoka POW Camp #17 at Omuta, Japan. Ben
Montoya died in 2007. Horacio Montoya published, "Rising Sun
Over Bataan: Memoirs Of War", in March 2009.
Woodrow M. Hutchison, B Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away
October 21, 2009 in Sacramento, California. A legendary
basketball coach and athletic director at American River
College, after retiring in 1980, he was honored on campus
with the naming of Woodrow M. Hutchison Gym. Pre-war Mr.
Hutchison was offered a tryout by the Detroit Lions, was a
decathlete, and upon graduation from New Mexico Normal
College in 1940, was the third-highest scorer in collegiate
basketball history, playing AAU ball in Los Angeles until
drafted. Post-war, Mr. Hutchison played AAU basketball at
New Mexico Highlands University, and in 1946, was recruited
by the Sacramento Senators to play basketball. Recognized
nationally as a leader in college athletics, Mr. Hutchison
advised the President's Council for Physical Fitness. He
received many awards for community and athletic
contributions and was inducted into many sports halls of
fame, including the first class of the ARC Athletic Hall of
Fame in September 2009.
Benjamin E. Martinez, D Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 17, 2009. A survivor of the
Bataan Death March, Mr. Martinez was liberated from Fukuoka
prisoner of war camp #3 in September 1945. Post-war, Mr.
Martinez worked in construction, and for the US Postal
Francis Earle Bergquist, B Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away at
the age of 90 in Denton, Texas September 19, 2009. He was a
resident of Justin, Texas at the time of his death. He was a
retired CPA. Mr. Bergquist was liberated from Nagoya Camp
#2B in September 1945.
Carl A. Pasurka, C Btry 515th CA(AA), 92, passed away August
29, 2009 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. He was liberated
from Maibara POW Camp. He was a retired employee of Illinois
School District 214.
Telesforo Archuleta, G Btry 200th CA(AA), died August 20,
2009 at his home in Blanco, New Mexico. Charles Sanchez,
another 200th man, once credited Archuleta with saving his
life. Archuleta tied a very sick Sanchez to his belt to keep
him safe while the two were being transported to Japan on a
Hell Ship. Archuleta himself, would lose part of his hearing
due to the severe beatings he received as a POW — possibly
while a prisoner at Sendai Camp #7, where mistreatment of
the prisoners slave laboring in the copper mines was a daily
occurrence. Mr. Archuleta was 94.
Felix M. Salas, H Btry 200th CA(AA), from Bayard in the
southwestern part of New Mexico, passed away on July 12,
2009. Mr. Salas, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, was
liberated from Hanaoka Prisoner of War Camp in September
Lazaro A. Chavez, B Btry 515th CA(AA), died May 24, 2009 in
Farmington, New Mexico. Mr. Chavez was surrendered on
Corregidor. As a prisoner of war, he slave-labored,
barefoot, as a “fire-tender” in an iron works foundry in
Japan. Following liberation, he was a farmer and an employee
of New Mexico Natural Gas Company.
John W. Griffing, B Btry 200th CA(AA), died April 18, 2009
at the age of 93 in Beeville, Texas. Mr. Griffing was
liberated from Sendai prisoner of war camp #3 in September
1945. Post-war, Mr. Griffing earned a BS in Petroleum
Engineering from University of Texas at Austin, and was a
Registered Professional Engineer for 30 years. He retired
from Amoco in 1981 and worked as a consultant until 1985.
Louis R. "Kildee" Herring, H Btry 200th CA(AA), passed way
March 20, 2009. Mr. Herring was a resident of Fort Sumner,
New Mexico. At the age of 15, Mr. Herring drove a herd of
cattle from Muleshoe, Texas to Fort Sumner in the snow,
alone — the same gumption that would help him survive the
Bataan Death March and keep him alive for 3-1/2 years as a
prisoner of war. According to his daughter, Mr. Herring
received the nickname "Pack Rat" in prison camp because he
would gather anything he could and steal from the Japanese
to help keep his fellow prisoners of war alive.
John L. Johnson, B Btry 515th CA(AA), age 93, passed away at
the Thomas Creek Veterans Home in Amarillo, Texas. At the
time of his death, Mr. Johnson was the oldest living member
of the Portales (New Mexico) American Legion Post #31. He
was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and a recipient of
the Purple Heart and a member of the VFW. He collected and
restored antique autos and was a member of numerous antique
car clubs in New Mexico and Texas.
Heinz L. Rhee, Headquarters Battery 2nd BN, 200th CA(AA,
died February 8, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In July 1941, the
Albuquerque Journal reported that Rhee — whose father
fled with his family from Nazi Germany in 1936 and settled
in Bernalillo, New Mexico — entered the Army the same day he
filed his first papers for US citizenship. Mr. Rhee,
93, was at the time of his death, and had been since the
1950s, a resident of
Guadalajara, Mexico where he established a tool and dye
company. Mr. Rhee was liberated from an Osaka area camp in
200th/515th Veteran Deaths 2008
Morris L. Lerner, H Btry 200th CA(AA), died in San Antonio,
Texas October 27, 2008. Mr. Morris was liberated from
Fukuoka POW Camp #5 aka Omine Machi.
David N. Chapa, A Btry 200th CA(AA), age 91, passed away in
Little Canada, Minnesota September 16, 2008. Mr. Chapa, a
survivor of the Bataan Death March, in a family video,
described the death on that march and how he “kept quiet and
kept moving.” A Texas native, Mr. Chapa relocated to
Minnesota after the war. His family, with the aid of
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, applied for Mr. Chapa's
medals which did not arrive before his death, but were on
hand for his funeral service.
Albino Lopez, A Btry 515th CA(AA), died August 5, 2008. Mr.
Lopez was liberated from Sendai Camp #6 in Hanawa, Japan.
Sam P. Buse, F Btry. 200th CA(AA), of Palermo, California,
died in Oroville, California on July 27, 2008. Mr. Buse
joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at the age of 13. He
joined the New Mexico National Guard prior to its
federalization on January 6, 1941. In 1943, a series by
Clark Lee ran in newspapers across the country titled, “In
The Pacific”. Sam Buse was one in a group of 200th men who
described the destruction at Clark Field on December 8, 1941
to Mr. Lee. Mr. Buse was liberated from Toyama POW Camp in
Nagoya, Japan in September 1945. In the 1960s, Mr. Buse
worked on the Oroville Dam in California (the tallest dam in
the United States), setting up the turbine engines inside
Robert L. “Bob” Williams, C Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away
July 19, 2008 in Aztec, New Mexico. He was 94. In “Beyond
Courage”, Dorothy Cave wrote that Mr. Williams was rejected
by the Marine Corps when he was drafted because he had
crooked teeth, and so, he wound up in the Philippines with
the 200th Coast Artillery. A survivor of the Bataan Death
March, Mr. Williams was shipped north to Japan on the “Hell
Ship” Noto Maru. On his passing, his son Bob stated that his
father, “never thought of himself as a hero, just a soldier
doing his job.”
David Johns Jr., G Btry 515th CA(AA), of Silver City, New
Mexico, passed away June 25, 2008 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Mr. Johns re-enlisted after the war, retired from the Army,
and then from a second career in Civil Service. He was a
former Commander of the New Mexico Bataan Veterans
Robert L. Johns, Hq Btry 1BN 515th CA(AA), of Churchville,
Virginia, died May 13, 2008 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mr. Johns was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and the
December 1944 sinking of the Oryoku Maru. He was liberated
from Fukuoka POW Camp #4 in Moji, Japan at war's end.
Post-war, Mr. Johns was employed by the Atomic Energy
Commission in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He was a was a steam
engine and antique car enthusiast and a collector of Model T
Donald M. Dansby, F Btry. 200th CA(AA), of Artesia, New
Mexico, passed away on April 23, 2008. Then a resident of
Carlsbad, New Mexico, Mr. Dansby joined the National Guard
in 1940. He was surrendered on Corregidor and liberated from
a prisoner of war camp in Yokohama, Japan at war’s end.
After the war, Mr. Dansby returned to his pre-war occupation
in the frame and axle business, owning and operating his own
business in Odessa, Texas for many years before returning to
Jose Leandro Quintana, A Btry. 200th CA(AA), a survivor of
the Bataan Death March, died April 13, 2008. A lifelong
resident of Española, New Mexico, Mr. Quintana passed away
at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a
Purple Heart recipient, and when liberated from Kawasaki POW
Camp #1, weighed only 96 pounds. Mr. Quintana and his
brother built the “Club Tropicana” in Española.
Alexander H. “Koot-ooks-Tah-Kah” Mathews, former Pawnee
Tribal President (1993-1995), H Btry. 515th CA(AA), passed
away in Lawton, Oklahoma on March 14, 2008. Mr. Mathews, a
survivor of the Bataan Death March, was a Traditional Chief
of the Chaui Band of Pawnee. He was the State Commander for
the American Ex-Prisoners of War, Department of New Mexico
in 2001-02. After graduating from Haskell Institute in 1946
he went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and saw
service in many tribal agencies across the Country. He
retired in 1974. As President of the Pawnee Nation, on April
29, 1994, Mr. Mathews addressed President Clinton during a
Whitehouse Conference with Native American Leaders. He was a
former member of First United Methodist Church in Anadarko,
Oklahoma, and was a teacher for the Senior Citizens Sunday
School class for 12 years. He was also a champion
traditional Southern Straight Dancer.
Jess J. Whitted, F Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Tucson, Arizona on March 9, 2008. Mr. Whitted was
surrendered on Corregidor. He was liberated from Omi POW
camp at Hitachi.
Clyde D. Gomez, G Btry. 515th CA(AA), passed away in Las
Vegas, Nevada on March 8, 2008. Mr. Gomez was liberated from
Oeyama prisoner of war camp.
Robert Medina, H Btry. 200th CA(AA), died February 29, 2008.
He was from Cañon in Taos, New Mexico.
Edward L. Rollie, D Btry. 515th CA(AA) died February 19,
2008 in Reno, Nevada. He was originally from Gallup, New
Francis H. Van Buskirk, C Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 7, 2008. Mr. Van Buskirk
met his wife while he was a patient at Bruns General
Hospital in Santa Fe after liberation. He has been described
as a quite man, a carpenter, a man who lived a good life.
Virgil L. Aimes, D Btry. 515th CA(AA), died at home in
Albuquerque, New Mexico February 3, 2008. When the Japanese
attacked Clark Field December 8th, Mr. Aimes fought back
with a 30.06 rifle. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death
March. He began the march at Mariveles, and chose to march
on the inside of column after determining that men on the
outside suffered most of the abuse by handed out by their
captors. He was suffering from malaria, and lost all track
of time on the march to Camp O'Donnell. At Cabanatuan
prisoner of war camp, where he worked in the gardens,
growing vegetables for the Japanese while prisoners starved,
he witnessed the execution of fellow 200th man, Thomas Hunt.
Friends since their youth, through training, and after the
Regiment was split, Mr. Aimes would load onto the Nissyo
Maru in July 1944, and never see Jack Hnidak again.
Post-war, Mr. Aimes returned home and married Jack's sister,
Eda Mae. Jack would lose his life in October 1944. Mr. Aimes
was sent to Fukuoka 23 (Keisen) where he would be liberated
in September 1945. After the war, Mr. Aimes made his living
as a carpenter, and belonged to Local Union 1319. Never
wanting to officially join the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial
Foundation of New Mexico Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Aimes were
present from its formation in 1999 up until his death.
Cipriano B. Ramirez, 200th CA(AA) Band, passed away in Pico
Rivera, California February 1, 2008. Remembering coming out
of a particularly bad episode of malaria at Christmas in
1942 at Cabanatuan prisoner of war camp in a 2002 interview,
Mr. Ramirez said, “We sang ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Noel, Noel,’
I cried and cried with joy I had survived.”
Pragedis M. Sora, B Btry. 200th CA(AA), died in San Antonio,
Texas January 18, 2008. He was liberated from Maibara
prisoner of war camp.
Reverend Cecil C. Uzzel, E Btry. 200th CA(AA), a survivor of
the Bataan Death March, died in Clute, Texas January 3,
2008. Rev. Uzzel re-enlisted in the Army following his
release from a prisoner of war camp in Niigata, Japan,
eventually obtaining the rank of Warrant Officer. While
stationed in Germany, he helped start an English-speaking
200th/515th Veteran Deaths in 2007
William P. Bunch, F Btry. 515th CA(AA), a survivor of the
Bataan Death March, died in Dallas, Texas on December 21,
2007. Mr. Bunch was one of the 200th's National Guardsmen
federalized in January 1941. He was a slave laborer for the
Yodagawa Steel Company on the island of Honshu, Japan before
Nicholas Chintis, G. Btry. 515th CA(CA), passed away in
Tucson, Arizona December 13, 2007. While a student at New
Mexico State Teachers College, Mr. Chintis was a member of
the basketball team that in 1940, beat the UCLA team on
which Jackie Robinson played. He was inducted into the
Western New Mexico University Hall of Fame in 1988, based on
his two All Conference years in 1939 and 1940 (for
football). Post-war, Mr. Chintis gave war crimes testimony.
He was supervisor of Grant County Schools from 1951-1953 and
afterwards served in many director level positions at
Western New Mexico University.
Fred M. (Federico) Brewer, Regimental Hdqtrs. Btry. 200th
CA(AA), died November 19, 2007 in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Brewer
was the assistant to the Regiment's Chaplain, Frederick
“Ted” Howden who would later die of starvation in Davao
Penal Colony on Mindanao. Post-war, Mr. Brewer was a Spanish
Professor at Texas Western College-UTEP for 29 years and was
a Founding Father of Bethany Christian Church in El Paso.
Pedro “Pete” Espinosa, D Btry. 200th CA(AA), died October
25, 2007 in Socorro, New Mexico where he had lived for the
last couple of years. Mr. Espinosa received the “Commander’s
Appreciation Award” from Gallup, New Mexico’s American
Legion Post 8, the only award of its kind in the Post’s
86-year history. Mr. Espinosa and his brother Damian were
National Guardsmen from Gallup. Damian succumbed to
dysentery and malaria in Cabanatuan prisoner of war camp.
Harold C. Hise, D Btry. 515th CA(AA), passed away October
23, 2007 in Roswell, New Mexico.
Valentine S. “Val” Santillanes, D Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed
away in Boise, Idaho October 17, 2007. Mr. Santillanes
received three Purple Hearts on Bataan. He was a volunteer
at the VA Hospital in Boise, often playing his guitar and
singing Hank Williams and Randy Travis songs for patients.
He was a past Post Commander as well as a past Post Chaplain
of VFW Post 63 in Boise and once served as Grand Marshall
during a 4th of July in that city.
Eduardo A. Sandoval, A Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away on
October 15, 2007 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Sandoval
was a slave laborer for Mitsubishi Mining Company at Sendai
POW Camp No. 3 (Hosokura). He was liberated in September
Alfredo N. Levrier, G. Btry. 200th CA(AA), died September
15, 2007 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mr. Levrier was a
survivor of the Bataan Death March. He was a prisoner at
Hoten Camp, Mukden, Manchuria and there suffered frostbite
to his feet which plagued him the rest of his life. He
weighed only 87 pounds when he was liberated.
Cecil E. Mauldin, E Btry. 200th CA(AA), a resident of
Artesia, New Mexico, died in Lubbock, Texas August 26, 2007.
Oscar A. Cox, F Btry. 200th CA(AA), died August 12, 2007.
Celso H. Lucero, D Btry. 200th CA(AA), died June 26, 2007 in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Lucero escaped capture and
spent the war fighting as a Guerrilla in the Philippine
jungles. Mr. Lucero would lose his brother-in-law, Uvaldo
Garcia, when the “Hell Ship” Shinyo Maru transporting him to
Japan was sunk on September 7, 1944. On April 7, 2002, when
the new Bataan Memorial was dedicated in Albuquerque, Mayor
Martin Chavez declared the day, “Celso Lucero Day”.
Agapito E. ‘Gap’ Silva, D Btry. 515th CA(AA), former
Commander, American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and
long-time Commander, Bataan Veterans Organization,
Albuquerque Chapter, passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico
on June 17, 2007. Mr. Silva received severe leg wounds on
Bataan when a bomb dropped directly on his battery. Avoiding
capture on Bataan when it fell, Mr. Silva made his way to
Corregidor by barge. Surrendered there one month later, Mr.
Silva was held at Cabanatuan prison camp in the Philippines.
He was assigned to the infamous “burial details” when
hundreds of prisoners were dying each month of disease and
starvation at Cabanatuan. He was transported to Japan in
August 1943 on the “Hell Ship” Clide Maru. While a prisoner
at Fukuoka prison camp #17 near Omuta, Japan, he
slave-labored in the Mitsui Mining Company’s coal mines
where he suffered a broken back during a mine cave-in. When
he fell ill in 2006, Mr. Silva’s doctors attributed his
condition, in part, to exposure in the coal mines and the
harsh treatment suffered while a prisoner of war. In 1999,
Mr. Silva joined the class-action lawsuit brought by
veterans across the country against the Japanese
corporations who profited from American slave-labor during
World War II. To this day, all suits have been nullified by
the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951. In 1998, angered by
the City of Albuquerque’s attempts to remove the 200th and
515th Coast Artillery monument placed in Bataan Memorial
Park in the 1960s to a new park, the City’s removal of
memorial trees planted in memory of fallen 200th and 515th
men, and the unsightly mess created by power lines and power
boxes which obscured the memorial garden originally planted
by the mothers, wives and daughters of the 200th and 515th
Coast Artillery men, Mr. Silva joined together with fellow
Albuquerque veterans to found the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial
Foundation of New Mexico, Inc. with the purpose of
“preserving the historical integrity of Bataan Memorial Park
for future generations.” Two days before the 60th
anniversary of the fall of Bataan — April 7, 2002 — the
Bataan Memorial was dedicated at Bataan Memorial Park in
Albuquerque. The memorial lists the names and batteries of
each of the 1,820 men of the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery
(Anti-aircraft). He fulfilled a promise made by the City of
Albuquerque in 1943 to the families of the men who were then
suffering as prisoners of the Japanese. He said, “One day,
my grandchildren will have children, and I want them to come
to the park and say, ‘There is Agapito Silva, my grandpa. He
was at Bataan.’”
Larry R. Sandoval, Hq Btry. 1BN, 515th CA(AA), passed away
May 22, 2007 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Sandoval lost
his right leg above the knee in Mitsui mine at Omuta
(Fukuoka 17, Kyushu Island, Japan).
Ernest D. Prehm, Hq Btry. 2BN, 200th CA(CA), died April 27,
Macedonio B. Lebya, C Btry. 200th CA(AA), a survivor of the
Bataan Death March, died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March
17, 2007. Mr. Leyba’s brother Ramon, also with C Battery,
was lost on the “Hell Ship” Arisan Maru on October 24, 1944.
Ben Montoya, H Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away in
Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 16, 2007.
Robert J. Welch, D Btry. 200th CA(AA), died March 7, 2007 in
Gallup, New Mexico. Mr. Welch a survivor of the Bataan Death
March, was a retired US Postal Service employee.
William B. Clark, B Btry. 200th CA(AA), a survivor of the
Bataan Death March, passed away in Terre Haute, Indiana on
February 13, 2007. He was a resident of Jasonville, Indiana
at the time of his death.
Joe L. Sanchez, D Btry. 200th CA(AA), died January 25, 2007
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Sanchez, a survivor of the
Bataan Death March, was a resident of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Baltazar M. Apodaca, D Btry. 515th CA(AA), died January 17,
200th/515th Veteran Deaths in 2006
Robert P. Garcia, Medical Detachment, 200th CA(AA, died
November 8, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marvin Bailey, F Btry. 515th CA(AA), died October 22, 2006
in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Wayne O. Lawrence, C Btry. 200th CA(AA), died October 14,
2006 in Rockdale, Texas.
David O. Tellez, A Btry. 200th CA(AA), died October 4, 2006
in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
William E. Jensen, G Btry. 515th CA(AA), died September 19,
2006 in Big Spring, Texas. Mr. Jensen was one of 107
200th/515th Coast Artillery men who made their way to
Corregidor when Bataan was surrendered. As a prisoner of
war, his jaw was broken in three places and most of his
teeth were knocked out when he was hit by the butt of a
rifle for not saluting the Japanese flag at Cabanatuan. Mr.
Jensen was also a combat Korean War Veteran.
Howard T. Chrisco, E. Btry 200th CA(AA), passed away in St.
James, Missouri August 24, 2006. Mr. Chrisco was
commandeered to a trucking detail after the fall of Bataan
and was not forced onto the March of Death. He and several
other men were assigned to drive and maintain American-made
trucks out of Bacolod, Negros. In July 1943, Chrisco and a
handful of other prisoners escaped. Finding refuge and
fighting with Guerrillas, Chrisco was rescued by USS
Crevalle (SS291) in May 1944. In 2003, Mr. Chrisco was
recognized as an “Outstanding Missourian” by the Missouri
House of Representatives.
Benjamin F. Williams, A Btry. 200th CA(AA), died August 17,
2006 in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Ramon Z. Corona, H Btry. 200th CA(AA), died July 18, 2006 in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Before his death, Mr. Corona was
the oldest living 200th/515th Coast Artillery veteran. He
was 93 years old.
James F. Schiffner, Hq Btry. 1BN, 200th CA(AA), died July
14, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Manuel A. Carrillo, Hq Btry. 1BN, 200th CA(AA), died May 14,
2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Carrillo was liberated
from a POW camp in the Tokyo Bay area.
Ralph E. Moore, G Btry. 200th CA(AA), a resident of
Montrose, Colorado, passed away at Casa Grande Regional
Medical Center in Casa Grande, Arizona on March 21, 2006.
Mr. Moore was a survivor the Bataan Death March.
Ramon B. Cisneros, G Btry. 200th CA(AA), died March 13, 2006
in Price, Utah. A survivor of the Bataan Death March, Mr.
Cisneros was liberated from a POW camp in the Tokyo Bay
Norman J. Chesser, Regimental Hdqtrs. Btry. 200th CA(AA),
died March 6, 2006 in Brownwood, Texas.
Joseph “Joe” F. Martinez, F Btry. 200th CA(AA), died
February 5, 2006 in Fort Garland, Colorado. Mr. Martinez was
a slave-laborer at Hirohata POW Camp. He was rescued in
Abel A. Garcia, Medical Detachment 200th CA(AA), died
January 13, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Garcia
joined the New Mexico National Guard at the age of 18. He
was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and rescued from
Hoten POW Camp in Mukden, Manchuria. Following the war, Mr.
Garcia spent 9 months recuperating at Bruns General Hospital
in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was also a veteran of the United
States Air Force.
200th/515th Veteran Deaths in 2005
Lloyd R. Byers, G Btry. 515th CA(AA), died December 23, 2005
in Magna, Utah. Mr. Byers joined the New Mexico National
Guard in 1938. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
He was liberated from Sendai #6 POW Camp in Hanawa, Japan.
Post-war, Mr. Byers worked for Kennecott Copper Corporation,
retiring after 29 years.
Raymond V. Mares, H Btry. 200th CA(AA), died November 7,
2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a survivor of the
“Hell Ship” Nissyo Maru. He was rescued from Kamioka POW
Camp (Nagoya 7-B).
Ralph M. Perry, G Btry. 200th CA(AA), died August 14, 2005
in Brownwood, Texas.
Gavino Rivera, C Btry. 200th CA(AA), a resident of Santa Fe,
New Mexico, died in Albuquerque on May 17, 2005. Mr. Rivera
was a National Guardsman in the 200th when the Regiment was
federalized on January 6, 1941. He was liberated from
Fukuoka POW Camp 17 (Omuta).
Juan Antonio Trujillo, F Btry. 515th CA(AA), passed away in
Las Vegas, New Mexico on May 8, 2005. Mr. Trujillo first
served in Headquarters Battery 2nd Battalion 200th Coast
Artillery. He was reassigned to the 515th Coast Artillery
when that unit was formed on December 8, 1941. After 3-1/2
years as a prisoner of war, Mr. Trujillo was liberated from
a POW camp in Osaka, Japan.
Robert C. Davis, D Btry. 515th CA(AA) passed away April 22,
2005 in Redding, California. Mr. Davis was the subject of
the book, “In the Shadow of the Rising Sun : The story of
Robert Davis, POW and D Battery 515th CAC, Orphan Unit of
Bataan” by Yvonne Boisclaire. He was liberated from Tsuruga
POW Camp, Honshu, Japan. Mr. Davis was also a Korean War
veteran. In 1999, he served as the grand marshal of the
Veterans Day Parade in Shasta Lake, California.
Jack W. Bradley of San Jose, California passed away on April
8, 2005 in Palo Alto, California. Bradley was a sergeant
when New Mexico's National Guard 200th Coast Artillery
Regiment was federalized on January 6, 1941. When Bataan
fell, Bradley had been advanced to the rank of 1st
Lieutenant and had been reassigned to the 515th Coast
Artillery. He was a Professor of Psychology and was one of
the founding fathers of West Valley College in Saratoga,
California (in 1964). While a prisoner of war in Zentsuji
POW camp, 1LT Bradley held psychology classes for fellow
prisoners. He was liberated from Rokuroshi POW camp in
Charles B. Gavord, B Btry. 515th CA(AA), passed away on
March 30, 2005. He was a resident of Kerrville, Texas. Mr.
Gavord was a New Mexico National Guardsman attached to the
200th Coast Artillery when the Regiment was federalized on
January 6, 1941. When the 200th was split on December 8,
1941 in order to provide anti-aircraft protection for Manila
forming the 515th Coast Artillery, the first battle-born
unit of WWII, Gavord was reassigned to the new Regiment. He
was surrendered on Bataan and survived the Death March to
Camp O’Donnell. After 3-1/2 years of captivity, Mr. Gavord
was liberated from a POW camp in the Nagano area of Japan.
He was a recipient of the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
John J. Murphy, Medical Detachment 200th CA(AA), died
February 28, 2005. He was from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Herbert J. Rolstad, H Btry. 515th CA(AA), died February 20,
2005 in Chatham, New Jersey. Mr. Rolstad was liberated from
Hirohata POW camp.
Peter J. Eresh, A Btry. 200th CA(AA), died January 30, 2005
in Saint Louis, Missouri. He was buried at Jefferson
Barracks National Cemetery.
Teodoro S. Saavedra, B Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away at
his home in Luis Lopez (Socorro), New Mexico January 28,
2005. A survivor of the Bataan Death March, Mr. Saavedra was
an honorary guest at the first-ever presentation of the WWII
Veterans Scholarship Award at Socorro High School in May
2003. In August 2004, Mr. Saavedra was again honored by
Socorro High School when he received his long overdue high
school diploma in a ceremony to honor World War II veterans
who went to war before they could graduate. A flag was flown
at half-staff in Ballad, Iraq in Mr. Saavedra’s memory at
the request of his daughter-in-law’s brother, who is
presently stationed in Iraq.
Homer Buel Hobbs Jr., E Btry. 200th CA(AA), passed away at
his home in Portales, New Mexico on January 12, 2005. He was
a survivor of the Bataan Death March.