Issue of September 10, 2017
     
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10 WWII vets honored in Ifugao’s 72nd Victory Day celebration
by Daniel B. Codamon / PIA

KIANGAN, Ifugao – Ten WWII veterans were honored during the 72nd Victory Day anniversary celebration held at the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine last Sept. 2.

The commemoration marks the day when the Japanese Imperial Army led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered to the joint US-Filipino armed forces at their barracks located at the old Home Economics Building of the Kiangan Central School.

The recognition and awards were bestowed to the veterans for their contribution and gallantry during the war and after the liberation period which left an indelible mark in Philippine military history.

The awardees were Private Ognayon K. Tindungan, 89 years old; Private Benito Y. Miranda, 91; Private Tayaban L. Munliting, 91; Private Luis P. Gambong, 92; Staff Sgt. Jose A. Tiangao, 92; Private Colante T Ay-ayac, 93, Private Camilo D. Atas; Private Gaspar S. Dominguez, and Private Marcos M. Timidan, 95.

Retired Col. Henry T. Acmor was posthumously awarded.

Six personally received their awards, while the award for the four others was received by their immediate kin.

Retired Major General Alfredo Cayton Jr. of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office led the awarding  of the plaques of recognition and medals to the honorees who are now considered war heroes. He was assisted by keynote speaker Col. Ferdinand Cartujano, assistant superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy with Governor Pedro Mayam-o, Mayor Joselito Guyguyon and Councilor Michelle Baguilat.

Acmor was inducted into the US Army Forces in the Far East (Usaffe) on Aug. 28, 1941 with the rank of sergeant and assigned with the Finance Service of the Usaffe at Fort Mills, Corregidor Island on Feb. 2, 1942 and became one of the prisoners of war when Corregidor fell to the Japanese on May 6, 1942.

He was released on Feb. 19, 1943 and later employed as a teacher in Manila before he went to Tuguegarao, Cagayan where he joined the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry, United States Army in the Philippines-Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL) on Oct. 1, 1944 as staff sergeant then commissioned as 2nd Lt. in the guerilla and joined the battle in the Cordillera.

Pvt. Tindungan was in his early teens when he started his military service under the “A” Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and participated in defending Northern Luzon particularly Benguet and Mountain Province and engaged the Japanese troops in calibrated combat operations which paved the way to the eventual defeat of the Japanese forces.

Pvt. Miranda was a member of the guerilla movement under the “K” Company, 3rd Battalion, 121st Infantry of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and participated in the numerous combat operations against Japanese forces in Ilocos Sur and nearby provinces driving them towards Benguet then to Ifugao where the enemy made their last stand until their fateful surrender.

Pvt. Munliting joined the patriotic fight for national independence from the Japanese aggressors when he enlisted in the guerilla belonging to the “A” Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and his unit was tasked in the defense of Northern Luzon participating in military operations against the Japanese forces that retreated to the north which eventually led to their surrender.

Pvt. Gambong was a rifleman under the “L” Company, 3rd Battalion, 66th Infantry of the USAFIP-NL and tasked to defend Northern Luzon by participating in combat operations against the Japanese forces forcing them to retreat further to the north. They were instrumental in the seizure of enemy strongholds that hastened the surrender of General Yamashita.

Staff Sgt. Tiangao joined the struggle for Philippine liberation upon his induction into the 11th Infantry Division of USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and participated in numerous combat operations against the Japanese forces in Ilocos Sur and adjoining provinces pushing them toward Benguet then to Ifugao where the enemy made their last stand until their surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.

Pvt. Ay-ayacwas under the “L” Company, 3rd Battalion, 121st Infantry of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and tasked in the defense of Northern Luzon and participated in a series of tactical attacks on Japanese forces that retreated until their eventual capitulation.

Pvt. Atas  belonged to the “D” Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Infantry Division of the USAFIP-NL initially as a medical aid then later as a rifleman participating in combat operations against enemy forces at Bessang Pass in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and adjoining provinces driving them toward Benguet then to Ifugao where the enemy made their last stand until their surrender.

Pvt. Dominguez, unhindered by his young age, joined the guerilla forces when the Japanese atrocities became rampant and was inducted into the “K” Company, 3rd Battalion Regiment, 66th Infantry of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman tasked to defend Benguet and Mountain Province and participated in a series of tactical attacks on Japanese force that retreated to the north until their capitulation.

Pvt. Timidan was inducted on Feb. 1, 1943 under the Headquarters Company, 121st Infantry of the USAFIP-NL as a rifleman and his unit gallantry engaged the Japanese troops in calibrated combat operations in Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province and nearby provinces becoming instrumental in liberating La Union. While operating in Tadian, Kayan in Mountain Province, he sustained a wound on the but carried on the fight after recuperating.

 
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