Salutes & Awards

February 21, 2014

Bataan Death March survivor receives final military honors

Tags:
Senior Airman Jason Couillard
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

Retired Maj. Fredric Foz passed away Feb. 7 in Las Vegas. He was a Bataan Death March Survivor and a decorated World War II Veteran. Soldiers were marched down the only paved road in Bataan until they reached Camp O’Donnell, which was 65 miles away from their starting point. Each group of 100 soldiers took approximately four to five
days to complete the Bataan Death March.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEV. — Airmen from the Honor Guard here paid their final respects to a retired Army officer who was a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
Retired Maj. Fredric Foz, president emeritus of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, passed away Feb. 7 in Las Vegas. He was born in the Philippines.

Foz was a decorated veteran of World War II and survived the Bataan Death March. He was one of the thousands that fought for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.

American and Filipino soldiers held out for four months against the Imperial Japanese Army during the battle of Bataan., The Philippines were the only part of the western Pacific not under control of the Japanese. For four months, soldiers lived in the hot tropical jungle of Bataan on half rations. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, former United States Army chief of staff, planned to defend Bataan until the U.S. Navy could bring reinforcement troops and supplies from the U.S.

MacArthur was originally going to defend the entire island of Luzon but pre-war plan Orange 3 called for United States Army Forces in the Far East to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula, where troops would hold out until the U.S. Navy arrived. Due to the losses sustained at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy would not send reinforcements.

The Japanese navy blockaded Bataan and prevented any food, ammunition or medicine from reaching the U.S. troops. Medical supplies soon ran out and Malaria, Dysentery and other tropical illness’s started to affect the troops.

Rather than let any more of his troops to starve to death or die from illness, Maj. Gen. Edward King, who was commanding general of the Philippine-American forces on the Bataan peninsula surrendered to Japanese Gen. Masaharu Homma. Approximately 75,000 soldiers became Prisoners of War after the surrender.

Airmen assigned to the Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard render military honors during retired Maj. Fredric Foz’s Funeral at Palm Mortuary and Cemetery, Feb. 18 Las Vegas. Foz was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. During the battle of Bataan, American and Filipino soldiers held out for four months against the Imperial Japanese Army. The only part of the western pacific that was not under control of the Japanese was the Philippines. For four months, soldiers lived in the hot tropical jungle of Bataan on half rations. Gen. MacArthur’s plan was to
defend until the U.S. Navy could bring reinforcement troops and supplies from the U.S.

Soldiers were gathered in groups of 100 and marched down the only paved road in Bataan toward Camp O’Donnell 65 miles away.

Any man who fell or tried to escape during the march would be shot on the spot. Each group took five days to get to Camp O’Donnell. Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 men died during the march.

Foz retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and shortly after started an import and export company in San Francisco. He later retired to Hawaii in 1981.

Although he faced the combat of war and dealt with hardships in his earlier years as a soldier, his family remembers him as a wise man with a lot of knowledge who lived his life to the fullest.

Foz wrote a letter filled with advice to all of his grandchildren. In the letter he said, “Get your diploma, a diploma is your passport to higher education. There should be no distractions. Gain skill to support yourself. Remember, your health is your wealth and knowledge is power.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

Red Flag 15-3 wraps up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lands during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 21. A typical Red Flag exercise in...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell

Ground testing for F-35 gun conducted at Edwards AFB

Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell An F-35A Lightning II, tail number AF-2, fires a burst of rounds down range at the Edwards Gun Harmonizing Range on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 17. The F-35 Joint Strike Figh...
 
 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am...
 

 

Mishap prevention 101

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Here is something I would like to share with my readers. This information is geared toward supervisors, but we all play a part in the mishap prevention program, and when we know better, we tend to do better. I will discuss a few things supervisors should do within their...
 
 
raptor

Raptor pilots reach 1,000 flight hours in F-22

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Majs. Ethan Waitte and Thomas Borrego, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron pilots, stand with Lt. Col. Matt Allen, 422nd TES F-22 Raptor test director, after returning from ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech Airmen showcase RPA at Canadian airshow

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Airman Kaitlyne LaRocque, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-1 Predator crew chief, left, and Staff Sgt. Craig Stewart, 432nd AMXS MQ-1 crew chief, prepare a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>