WWII Bataan Death March Survivor Dies
CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA – Ponciano R. Mauricio, Jr. a resident of Cape Coral since 1985, passed away on February 13, 2023, at the age of 105. Mr. Mauricio was born in the Philippines on November 17, 1917.
After graduating college in Civil Engineering, “Pancho” served in the Philippine Commonwealth Army during WWII. Under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur, his unit was to retreat in Bataan (an island in the Philippines) to build roads, repair bridges, and destroy other bridges to slow down the Japanese. While in Bataan, the Japanese were bombing the American and Philippine forces night and day until General MacArthur gave the order to surrender to the enemy. The Japanese made their prisoners walk hundreds of kilometers without food or water from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac, where the concentration camp was. This was known as the “Bataan Death March” in April 1942.
After surviving the war, in late 1949, Mr. Mauricio went to the U.S.A. and enrolled at Tri-State College of Engineering in Angola, Indiana. He continued his studies and graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. After graduating, he worked in the District Engineers Office, U.S. Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration (GSA), and later worked for the Federal Government in Washington D.C.
After retiring Mr. Mauricio moved to Cape Coral, Florida.
On December 15, 2017, Mr. Mauricio at 100 years old received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon civilians as a POW in WWII and survivor of the Bataan Death March in 1942.
Mr. Mauricio, a widower, also a volunteer at the Cape Coral Hospital, and is survived by two sons, David Mauricio of Cape Coral, Florida and Conrad Mauricio of Las Vegas, NV.
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