PVT Tom Perea - 200th Coast Artillery Regiment

PVT Tom Perea of Albuquerque, NM

Private Tom Perea entered the U.S. Army from New Mexico and served with Battery B of the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment in the Philippines during World War II. The 200th Coast Artillery Regiment arrived in the Philippines in September 1941, and was stationed at Fort Stotsenburg on Clark Air Base. After Japanese forces invaded the Philippines in December, the 200th was ordered to the Bataan Peninsula where they participated in the defense of Bataan. Private Perea was with his unit when Allied troops in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. He and the other surviving members of his unit were forced on the Bataan Death March and ultimately interned at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp, where he died of malaria on July 18, 1942. He was buried in communal grave 313 in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs; however, his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan after the war. Today, Private Perea is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit. US POW/MIA Family Locating has found his maternal niece in New Mexico for a DNA Family Reference Sample.

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