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28/09/2008: Ambassador Gaa Awards Members of the U.S. Army 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion

On 28 September 2008, Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America Willy C. Gaa, awarded Philippine Liberation Campaign Medals to members and family representatives of the U.S. Army’s 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion at a breakfast reception in honor of the members of the Battalion and their families at the Philippine Embassy.

The U.S. Army 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion spearheaded the liberation of the Japanese POW camp in Los Baños, Laguna on 21-23 February 1945 in what is famously known as the “Los Baños Raid.” Assisted by Filipino guerillas, the battalion successfully rescued 2,147 POWS composed of Filipinos, Americans, British, Australians, Dutch, Norwegians, Poles, Italians and a Nicaraguan, hundreds of whom were civilian businessmen, bankers, teachers and missionaries.

Ambassador Willy C. Gaa with surviving members of the U.S. Army 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion and their families

Philippine Liberation Campaign Medals to be awarded to members of the U.S. Army 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion

Ambassador Gaa pinning the Philippine Liberation Campaign Medal on Major Clark Bullard, Jr.

Ambassador Gaa being presented a copy of the book “CAPTURED“ by Arlene Hess Elkins. The book is a chronicle of the Hess Family’s struggles during World War II, the captivity of Hess’ brothers, Bruce & Hudson (in photo) and their eventual liberation.