Veterans

November 9, 2018
 

Guam son killed during World War II comes home

JoAnna Delfin
Asan, Guam

The Joint Region Marianas funeral honor detail escort the remains of Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan into the chapel at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan died Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The solemnity of Taps and smoke from the rifle volley filled the air as Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan’s casket was lowered into the ground to his final resting place at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8, 2018.

Nearly 80 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, and years of temporary internment, Farfan’s recently identified remains were returned to his island of Guam where he was born and raised.

“Petty Officer Farfan, this veteran’s cemetery will welcome you home today to your final resting place, carried on the arms of your Navy brothers and sisters, your coffin swathed in an American flag, escorted by the decendents of your family’s blood line, surrounded today by an entire community,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas. “This is where you belong, where you will be visited, where you will be revered. Petty Officer Farfan, rest easy shipmate, we have the watch.”

Farfan was from the village of Hagåtña and worked for Capt. Henry B. Price Elementary School in Mangilao before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in September 1939 at 19-years old.

He was killed in action at the age of 21 while serving aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was interred with 429 of his shipmates in unknown graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Joint Region Marianas Commander Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield embraces a grieving family member of Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan during his memorial service at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan’s remains were returned home after he was killed in action while serving aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

“To the Ignacio family, to all the people of Guam, our lost sheep has been found,” said Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said in reference to Biblical scripture. “It is now time to celebrate and welcome him home, and to give thanks to him and to so many who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for the paradise we live in. Eternal rest be granted onto Ignacio.”

Following remarks from military and local leadership, Sen. Therese Terlaje, speaker of Guam’s 34th Legislature, and her colleagues presented a legislative resolution to Farfan’s family, and a final salute was rendered by the Guam Air Force Veterans Association.

As the memorial service ended, six Sailors from the JRM honor detail donned in dress whites carried Farfan’s casket to his final resting place as a CHamoru blessing was offered.

Governor of Guam Eddie Calvo gives his remarks during a memorial service for Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan’s remains were returned home after he was killed in action while serving aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

The Guam National Guard funeral detail rendered military honors with a 21-gun salute and a bugler who performed the eight notes of Taps.

Machinist’s Mate (Weapons) 1st Class Niels Gimenez, assigned to the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), held the national ensign to his heart as he approached Farfan’s niece Julia Farfan Tedtaotao, to present her with the American flag as a symbol of gratitude for her uncle’s service and sacrifice.

“This is where he belongs,” Tedtaotao said. “God knows that he served his country well. He died for his country because he loved his country. He’s really a brave man. All the good ones go first. When the time comes, we’ll be there. We love you.”

Farfan’s remains were identified earlier this year as part of a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency project, which sought to identify the service members who died during the Dec. 7 attack. He returned home on the evening of Nov. 5, escorted by Tedtaotao, and her son and daughter.
 

Governor of Guam Eddie Calvo presents a special proclamation to Julia Farfan Tedtaotao during a memorial service for her uncle Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan’s remains were returned home after he was killed in action while serving aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

 

Members of the Joint Region Marianas funeral honor detail fold the American flag during a memorial service for Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8, 2018. Farfan’s remains were returned home after he was killed in action while serving aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

 

A member of the Joint Region Marianas funeral honor detail salutes before the American flag during a memorial service for Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan’s remains were returned home after he was killed in action while serving aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

 

The Joint Region Marianas funeral honor detail escort the remains of Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan to his gravesite at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan died Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

The Guam National Guard funeral honor detail renders a 21-gun salute at the funeral Steward Mate 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan died Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

Machinist Mate (Weapons) 1st Class Neils Gimenez, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), presents the national ensign to Julia Tedtaotao Farfan at the funeral of her uncle Steward Mate 1st Class Igancio Camacho Farfan at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti Nov. 8. Farfan died Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.




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