News of soldiers in
Philippines is varied for family
APR. 3, 1945 — Good and
bad news came yesterday to the family of
Pvt. Celso Lucero, who had been reported
missing in action in the Philippines.
From the soldier, who
was a cook with Battery D of New Mexico’s
200th, his wife and parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Elojio Lucero of Albuquerque, received a
letter saying, “I am well and on my way
home.” It gave no details. The letter was
their first word from Lucero in more than
But the soldier’s
relatives also were notified by the war
department that his brother-in-law, Pvt.
Uvaldo Garcia, died last Sept. 7 in a
Philippines prison camp. He was the son of
Miguel Garcia, Albuquerque.
The elder Lucero said
there had been no word since the fall of
Bataan to indicate his son was captured by
the Japanese, and he felt sure the soldier
had been fighting as a guerrilla.
At Santa Fe, Cpl. Henry
W. Day, Barnsdale, Okla., another member of
the 200th, told friends that “quite a few”
of the New Mexico regiment fled to the hills
rather than surrender.
“One of them came into
the lines the day before I left Luzon,” Day
He said there were
others out in the hills.
* * *
Albuquerque Mayor Martin
Chavez declared April 7, 2002 “Celso Lucero
Day.” The proclamation was presented to Mr.
Lucero during the Bataan Memorial dedication
ceremonies at Bataan Memorial Park.