Bataan Vet Who Had Nail in Head Has Real Thanksgiving with Family


DENVER, Nov. 27 (INS) — Virgil Gomez, 27-year-old war veteran, had special cause for Thanksgiving as he joined his family for their holiday dinner in Denver today.

Gomez, a survivor of the Bataan death march and the hardships of a Japanese prison camp, faced paralysis and a lingering death three months ago.

He came from his little farm near Cerro, N.M., to the veterans hospital in Denver, where examination disclosed a two-inch nail lodged between the hemispheres of his brain. Physicians told him he had only two choices — a dangerous operation to removed the nail, which had been pounded into his skull by a sadistic captor four years before, or paralysis and eventual death.

The surgery was performed last September and doctors said he will not even have to wear a silver plate in his head, though he must remain under medical care for at least six more months.

While he was still in the hospital his first child, Dianne was born. Yesterday his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Moses Gomez arrived in Denver to share Thanksgiving dinner with the young veteran and his pretty wife, Isabel.

Today, Gomez was almost completely recovered from the unusual operation, and despite his bandaged head was cheerful and full of hope for the future.


Virgilio Gomez remained in ill health for the rest of his life. He died in 1956.