Maximo Purisima Young, 97, displays photographs from his military service. He helped transport supplies and troops in World War II, then fought as a guerilla alongside American soldiers. DORIAN MERINA / AMERICAN HOMEFRONT
During World War II, more than a quarter million Filipinos fought alongside American soldiers. Many are still awaiting the recognition promised to them.
The toll was high: more than a million Filipinos died.
Roosevelt signed a presidential order in 1941 bringing all military forces in the Philippines under U.S. control. But after the war, in 1946, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that stripped recognition from Filipino soldiers. It was called the Rescission Act, and it explicitly barred “rights, privileges, or benefits” from most Filipinos who fought. That same year, the Philippines became an independent nation.