Los Banos Liberation Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

                           11th Airborne Flag

At Los Baņos Internment Camp, Laguna Province, on Luzon, in the Philippines, on 23 February 1945, the United States Army's 11th Airborne Division, assisted by Philippine guerrilla forces, carried out a lightning-swift raid forty kilometers behind Japanese lines and rescued 2,147 American and Allied civilian prisoners of war, men, women, and children. Most of the Japanese garrison were killed; the rest scattered. Not one prisoner was killed or seriously wounded; all were transported safely behind American lines. Not one paratrooper of the battalion directly involved was killed. In a crucial blocking force to the west of the prison camp, four 11th Airborne troopers were killed. The Philippine guerrillas suffered two men killed. Tragically, shortly following this magnificent rescue, Japanese forces returned and wreaked vengeance on the town of Los Baņos, massacring some 1500 helpless Filipino civilians.

The 11th Airborne Division rightfully takes tremendous pride in the liberation of Los Baņos Internment Camp. The regional chapters of the Division Association celebrate that brilliant raid and rescue with a Los Baņos Commemoration Dinner on or about 23 February every year. That superb exploit is not forgotten in the town of Los Baņos itself. The Hunters ROTC Philippine guerrillas and other guerrilla units who supported the 11th Airborne Division commemorate the freeing of the prison camp, too.

To help keep the memory and meaning of the Los Baņos rescue alive, a small group of civilian ex-prisoners of war established The Los Baņos Liberation Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. The purpose of the Foundation is to grant scholarships to students of Philippine citizenship enrolled at The Rural High School of the University of the Philippines in Los Baņos, to encourage and enable them to complete the Rural High School program.

The scholarship awards are made in honor and memory of the the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army, the Hunters ROTC Philippine guerrilla forces who participated in the liberation of Los Baņos Internment Camp, the citizens of Los Baņos who were massacred by Japanese military units in the aftermath of the liberation, and the American and Allied civilians held prisoners of war in Los Baņos Internment Camp. To receive a grant, a student is required not only to demonstrate financial need and academic achievement but to produce and present in public some original work of scholarly or artistic nature, such as an historical essay, a painting, a dramatic script, a poem or song, an oral history interview, or an annotated display of photographs, mementos, or artifacts documenting the lives and experiences of one or another of the four groups of people mentioned above.

The Los Baņos Liberation Memorial Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt California corporation, organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Through tax-deductible contributions, the Foundation is creating a permanent endowment fund. The scholarships are granted only out of interest income generated by investment of the endowment, not out of the principal of the endowment itself. The Foundation awarded its first two scholarships in 2003, with two grants of $250 each, and it has increased the number of grants every year. In the current school year, 2007-2008, ten students are receiving scholarships, still of $250 each. Girls and boys are equally assisted.

We are appealing to all veterans of the 11th Airborne Division, to all veterans of the Hunters ROTC and other Philippine guerrilla forces, to all civilian ex-prisoners of the Japanese, to all the families and survivors of these groups, to the families and survivors of the people of Los Baņos murdered by the Japanese Army, and to everyone who identifies in spirit with the purposes of the Foundation to contribute to the endowment fund. Please make your check payable to "Los Baņos Memorial Scholarship" and mail it to 66 Tara Road, Orinda, California  94563. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible.

     

In the five years since the Los Banos Liberation Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. was established, almost one hundred different individuals and groups have built up the permanent endowment fund with their contributions, small and large.

Some donors have designated their gifts to be in honor of specific individuals, as mentioned below. All of the following were American civilian prisoners of war of the Japanese, held in Los Banos Internment Camp, starting in May 1943 or early 1944, or later, and liberated on 23 February 1945, except Pomponette de Alcuaz, who was held in Santo Tomas Internment Camp, Manila:

   

        Honored                   Honored By

Edwin C. Bogle                             Anne E. Grycz

William Lawrence Hebbard        Bruce Hebbard

George Richard Earl                   John R. Earl

Robert C. Allen                            Leonard and Alice Collier

Frederick Lauriat                        Malbea Ann Britton

Pomponette de Alcuaz               Leonard and Alice Collier

Leonard H. Collier                       Doug and Myrtle Willard

Ben Edwards                               Connie Magnusen, Jim Costello, and Tim Costello

Mary M. Arnovick                     Dr. Peter G. Arnovick, son of Mary and brother

George N. Arnovick                   of George and Charles Arnovick

Charles H. Arnovick      

Frank Innis, President, Los Banos Liberation Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

66 Tara Road, Orinda, CA  94563

(925) 258-9729   info@rememberlosbanos1945.com