San Juan ‘Sam’ Antonio

“... a Japanese soldier ripped Antonio’s wallet from his shirt pocket, went through it, taking what money Antonio had. Then he flipped the wallet on the ground and looked at Antonio as if to dare him to pick it up.

‘My mother’s picture was in it but a guy told me not to go get it.’

As he stood in the dirt and stared at the only visible link to his family, he could hear shots around him. He could also hear the sound of Japanese soldiers stabbing American and Filipino troops with their bayonets.

‘They liked the sound of the way the bayonet goes into your body.’

He let the wallet lie there.”


— Jan Jonas for the Albuquerque Tribune


At the age of 82, Sam Antonio won two gold medals for archery (Men's 70+ Freestyle Limited Compound - FITA and IFAA Fields) at the World Masters Games in Melbourne, Australia in October 2002.


On December 20, 2007, Sam Antonio who escaped Bataan to Corregidor with the 200th's Jose Cata, only to be captured on Corregidor one month later, received medals he earned in defense of the Philippines in WWII in a ceremony in Grants, New Mexico.

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