Another World War II patriot and hero has left us. Dan (Dominador) Figuracion, F Troop, 26th United States Cavalry (Philippine Scouts), passed away in Lakewood, April 3, 2017 at the age of 97.
During the early, dark days of World War II, Dan Figuracion was a skilled cavalry soldier fighting on the Bataan Peninsula with General Douglas MacArthur’s trapped American forces.
On January 16th, 1942 near the village of Morong, Japanese infantry were attempting to push down the Bataan Peninsula toward Corregidor. The only thing blocking their way were scattered troops of the American 26th Cavalry (Philippine Scouts). A young Lieutenant named Edward P. Ramsey decided to take matters into his own hands and organized a daring horse mounted cavalry charge.
Soon Dan Figuracion and other members of the 26th Cavalry found themselves mounting their horses for the last time and joining Ramsey in a wild charge against an advancing Japanese infantry unit. Surprised by the boldness of the charge and the fast moving horses, the Japanese troops scattered and ran for their lives.
This bold, daring charge went into the history books as the “last American horse mounted cavalry charge against an enemy force” and Dan Figuracion was there. Figuracion was later taken prisoner when Bataan surrendered to the advancing Japanese and was forced to endure the horrors of the infamous “Bataan Death March”. After a year in captivity, Figuracion escaped into the jungle and joined up with a Philippine guerilla group.
While with the guerillas, Figuracion participated in several attacks on Japanese road and rail supply convoys. Also, it was during this time that he met his wife Ely while obtaining supplies in a nearby village. Figuracion and Ely were married 72 years and the proud parents of seven children.
At the request of the Figuracion family, Brigadier General Oscar Hillman, (ARNG, Ret), served as Commander of the Memorial and Interment Services. Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson and City Council member Mike Brandstetter attended the memorial services held at St. Frances Cabrini. Doug Richardson, Lakewood resident and Chair of the Pierce County Council was also in attendance. Interment with full military honors took place at the Lakewood Mountain View Cemetery.
The Philippine Scouts date their American Army history back to 1899 and were granted American citizenship following the end of World War II.
Dan Figuracion was a true patriot and hero of both the Philippines and the United States. God Bless his memory, his surviving wife Ely and their children.