The Coming 54 Filipino Heroes, The Recommended Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipients
Another researched and exclusive article by the people of the www.epilipinas.com
A little is known about the heroism of the Filipinos during the 2nd World War
though we had suffered as much as the Americans in the Philippines under the
Japanese. It looked as in the U.S. history books that we just participated
as mere spectators in the battlefields especially in Bataan and Corregidor.
Few really recognized the valor and the heroism of the Filipino soldiers
who stood side by side with their fellow American soldiers having to endure
similarly what the Americans had endured.
We found out through our researched on the Internet that there was a review of
the Distinguished Service Cross, the 2nd highest medal for U.S. soldiers, given
to Asian Americans during the WWII and upon the recommendation of Command History
Office at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of
Monterey, California, the Army will be upgrading to the Congressional Medal of
Honor (CMH) 104 Asian Americans recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross.
Why the review?, the Congress had directed the Secretary of the Army to review
the service records of the Army's Asian Americans. The Asian Americans mainly the
Japanese Americans lobbies had used political pressure to make all of this
possible. Luckily for Filipino-Americans, the review had been for all Asian
Americans, that also includes Chinese and Pacific Islanders. The Philippines
being a U.S. colony at that time were considered U.S. citizens.It was presumed
that the highest awards had been withheld due to racial prejudiced at that time.
Before the review, there were only 2 Asian Americans that had been awarded the
CMH, A Filipino, Sgt. Jose Calugas of the Philippine Scouts, and Pfc. Sadao
Munemori, Japanese-American, of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
The review made by the a team of several historians worked during 1997-98
under the direction of a civilian Army historian, Dr. James C. McNaughton.
They interviewed veterans and scholars, visited libraries and archives, searched
personnel files, and reviewed the historical literature.
The outcome of the team's findings resulted to the following recommendations for CMH:
47 Japanese Americans
1 Korean American
1 Hawaiian/Chinese American
54 Filipinos (Philippine Scouts and Philippine Army)
The teamís findings have been presented to the Senior Army Decoration Board.
The boardís recommendations are currently being reviewed within the Department
of the Army and Department of Defense. The final results will be announced by
the White House.
The Los Angeles Times issue dated May 13,2000 reported that 21 Asian Americans
to get Medal of Honor, 19 of them are Japanese Americans, one Filipino-American and
one Chinese-American. Whatever happened to the rest of the soldiers on the list?
Not one of the 54 Filipinos recommended have been awarded the medal. We hope that
the Filipino soldiers would get there share of recognitions soon for the benefit
of those who are alive. Besides, I am sure Mr. Clinton will be too glad to award
the medals as another one of his accomplishments. What makes America great is it's
sense of fairness, no matter how late, and to correct the wrongs of the past.This
act will make the relationship between the two nations more profound and to show
the world that U.S. honor those who fought with gallantry for freedom without any
The Filipino-American is Rudolph B. Davila, 84, a retired Los Angeles high school
history teacher, he served in the European theatre. Davila's heroism saved a rifle
company from a Nazi ambush in Italy between the allied landing zone at Anzio and
Rome. He was later wounded in France.
It is important that we should know who the 54 Filipinos soldiers are so we can give
them due recognition and respect. With the awards we will be able to rewrite the U.S.
history books to show that Filipinos fought with bravery and valor for the U.S. during
WWII against the Japanese similarly as the Americans in the battlegrounds of Bataan
and Corregidor. This will show that Filipino soldiers too are as deserving of the Medal
of Honor as soldiers of any race.
Hundreds of thousand of Filipinos fought during WWII and yet it was unbelievable
that we can only cite 2 incidents that were deserving of the Medal of Honor.
The findings will vindicate the Filipino soldiers who fought the enemy with same
heroism as the others who were awarded the medals before them. These awards is from the
Army alone, what about the Navy where a lot of Filipinos have served since before the
WWII, maybe there could be more acts of heroism deserving of the Medal of Honor.
We are hoping that the Philippine government will intervene in behalf of these veterans.
President Gloria Macapagal, should lobby that those deserving will get the respect and
status that they should have been honored a long time ago. It will be one of the
Philippines greatest honors to have produced 54 new U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor
recipients. Finally, those Filipino soldiers could now fade away knowing that they
have been honored for their war time deeds of valor.
The list is not publicly accessed and the US Army Chief of Public Affairs in
Washington, DC may have the names of the Filipinos on the list.
For further information on the review itself, please contact the Public
Affairs Office, US Total Army Personnel Command, Alexandria, Virginia
22332, Telephone#(703)325-8856, or
Command History Office at the Defense Language Institute
Other related links:
US Army Center of Military HistoryU.S. Army Asian-Pacific Recipients of the medal of honorArmy Regulation 600-2-22, Military Awards, 25 Feb 95