Wake Up, Philippines!

WWII Filipino Veterans: From 1941 to 2010

Posted in Heroism/Martyrdom, Veterans Affairs, Wars by Erineus on March 6, 2009
March 06, 2009

1941

Filipinos heeded the call of then President Delano Roosevelt to become defenders of democracy in the Pacific when he issued executive order on July 26, 1941, incorporating the Philippine Army into the USAFFE.

1944

The late President Carlos P. Romulo, who served as Resident Commissioner of the Philippines to the United States Congress from 1944 to 1946, expressed disgust over the discriminatory act saying that the Philippine government stood by its position not to accept the appropriation.


Heavy cruiser HMAS Australia was first hit by kamikaze, a Japanese suicide plane, on October 21, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is considered to be the largest naval battle with at least 850 ships involved.. It was repaired at New Hebrides, now Vanuatu, only to be hit again five times by kamikazes at Lingayen Gulf in January, 1945.

1945

It was on January 9, 1945 when Les Kennedy of the Royal Australian Navy, arrived in the country onboard HMAS Manoora that was part of the 850-convoy that waged amphibious warfare against the Japanese during WWII.

1946

There were more than 400,000 Filipino WWII veterans who were promised to receive the same military benefits given to American soldiers, including the disability compensation, full health care coverage, and survivors’ compensation from the US government when the First Supplemental Surplus Appropriation Rescission Act was approved by the US Congress in 1946 and stripped the veterans of their benefits for service rendered under the US flag.


It was on July 4, 1946 when the Philippines became an independent state.

1948

US Department of Veterans Affairs verifies if those who applied were included in the list of the US Army Roster of WWII Filipino veterans stored at the US Army Archives in St. Louis, Missouri state or known as Missouri list of 1948, which makes the vets eligible for the US package.

2009

This particular provision was successfully included in the Senate version by US Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii when the Stimulus Bill was introduced at the US Senate floor on February 2 this year.


At the wake of economic slowdown gripping the US and other rich economies, President Barack Obama signed the Stimulus Bill into law on February 17 in Denver.


US embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said so far, over 2, 500 Filipino veterans have applied since it started accepting applications on February 18, 2009.


“As of 11 a.m., February 24, the embassy allowed the veterans to mail their application because most of them are in their 80s and 90s. We do not want to give them unnecessary burden of lining up in this hot weather,” PVAO Claims Division Head Melinda Luna said.


2010

In accordance with the new law, for an individual to be eligible for payment, the US Department of Veterans Affairs must receive the individual’s claim no later than February 16, 2010, which is one year from the date US President Barack Obama signed the historic legislation.

Special Report
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/node/197966

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