Philippines’ oldest WWII veteran dies at 111

Sep 5, 2012, 12:02 PM

Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippines said Wednesday its oldest World War II veteran, who escaped from Japanese troops before the infamous Bataan Death March and became a guerrilla fighter, has died at age 111.

Alfonso Fabros died Aug. 9 in northern Nueva Ecija province, said Jet Rivera, spokeswoman for the Philippine Veterans’ Affairs Office.

Fabros’ daughter, Ella Gandalera, said her father, a farmer after the war, died of pneumonia.

Fabros was a private in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East in December 1942 when Japan invaded the Philippines, which was then a U.S. colony. He fought on the front lines during a three-month Japanese siege and blockade of Bataan province west of Manila, but escaped before the U.S.-led forces surrendered in April 1942.

Gandalera said her father told stories of how he and his comrades would “squeeze their shirts to drink their sweat because of a lack of water and eat whatever leaves they could find” during the siege.

The Japanese forced about 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers who surrendered to hike about 100 kilometers (63 miles) to a POW camp in the brutal Bataan Death March. Thousands died along the way and thousands more in the concentration camp in northern Tarlac province’s Capas township.

Fabros joined guerrillas in Central Luzon, attacking Japanese troops until the end of the war in 1945. He was a rice farmer until the early 1970s.

Gandalera said she met three of her father’s fellow veterans, including one who was 95, during ceremonies at Capas National Shrine in April when her father was given a plaque from the veterans’ affairs office recognizing “his wartime service and honorable performance of duties.”

Fabros’ funeral was without fanfare and with no military honors. Except for a flag draped over his coffin, there was no indication he was a veteran, much less the country’s oldest, Gandalera said.

Rivera said veterans’ administrator Ernesto Carolina offered full military honors for the funeral but that it was too late because Fabros had already been buried.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

A fisherman watches smoke rise after Russian forces launched a missile attack on a military unit in...
Associated Press

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit by drone strike

An explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.
12 days ago
Medical syringes are seen with 'Monkeypox' sign displayed on a screen in the backgound in this illu...
Associated Press

Monkeypox declared a global emergency by UN health agency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.
20 days ago
Chinese paramilitary policemen march in front of the Japanese embassy where the Japanese flag is fl...
Associated Press

Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

TOKYO (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s […]
1 month ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

One scandal too many: British PM Boris Johnson resigns

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]
1 month ago
Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Philippines’ oldest WWII veteran dies at 111