VIRGINIA

Maj. Alberto C. Bacani, oldest Filipino American World War II vet in U.S., dies

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The oldest Filipino American World War II veteran known living in the United States has died, according to a release from the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans.

Bacani was the first Filipino veteran recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Law. Photo: American Coalition for Filipino Veterans

Maj. Alberto C. Bacani was born in the Isabela province in the Philippines on Jan. 14, 1911. He died on Tuesday in Alexandria at the age of 102.

After surrendering to Japanese invaders after the Fall of Corregidor in 1942, Bacani spent 10 days as a prisoner of war. He was later honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. 

After the war, Bacani worked as a principal and teacher in the Philippines. He retired as a registrar at the University of the East in 1976 before immigrating to Virginia. 

Bacani worked as a librarian for 34 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Crystal City. He retired at the age of 98. 

In his nineties, Bacani was an active member of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, regularly lobbying for veterans equity bills. 

Bacani was the first Filipino veteran recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Law. He was presented the first U.S. government equity check of $15,000 in April of 2009 during the anniversary of the Bataan Day of Valor reception at the Philippine Embassy.

Bacani had three children, 15 grandchildren, and 31 great-grandchildren. His wife, Saturnina, died last year.

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