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On Memorial Day 2008,
flowers were wrapped around both sides of
the column seen below, and the name “Tafoya”
was left. Martin Tafoya, D Btry, on the
south facing side, died at Cabanatuan
prisoner of war camp at the end of June
1942. Gabriel Tafoya, C Brty, on the
north side, died just over a week later in
For Memorial Day 2009,
flowers were left on the south facing side
of the column, and a matching bouquet was
left in front of the small 200 & 515 CAC
monument (The Mother's Memorial erected in
American Legion Post 60
was renamed, Tafoya y Tafoya, in 1954 for
the brothers who were from Cubero, New
Ferrying 20 liberated
prisoners of war out of Japan to the
Philippines, Les Miserables, with a crew of
5, radioed it was experiencing mechanical
trouble before going down at sea 50 mi SW of
Formosa September 10, 1945.
On that day,William R. Taylorfrom the tiny town of
Vaughn, New Mexico, became the last of the
200th/515th Coast Artillery men to die
overseas. He died a Free man.
Mario Tonelli had been
an “All American” football player for Notre
Dame, and played one year of pro-ball with
the Chicago Cardinals before joining the
Army. A survivor of the Bataan Death March,
in 1998, he was a recipient of the Gene
Autry Courage Award.
Members of the 200th
included brothers, cousins, in-laws, uncles
and nephews, and even a father and son.
Brothers Norval and Rhea Tow, from Central
in Grant County, New Mexico, were such a
When his buddy was
bayoneted on the Death March because he
could not go on any further, Rhea continued
on alone without rest until he caught up
with Norval. They would be together when
transported north on the “Hell Ship” Haro
Today, the brothers rest
at the beautiful Fort Bayard National
Cemetery in southwestern New Mexico.
“Survival was more a matter of
mental attitude than physical stamina — this is, if
you could avoid the bayoneting, shooting and burying
alive. I woke up this morning and saw how cold and
windy it was outside, recalled that day 19 years
ago, and said to my wife, this is a fine day.”
— Preston Triplett to the
December 7, 1960
Juan A. Trujillo
1916 - 2005
Maj. John W. Turner,
Entered National Guard
(New Mexico’s 111th Cavalry) in 1923.
Perished on the Oryoku Maru December 15,