This event was scheduled June 21, 2024.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. Congress passed a bill allowing a Filipino combat unit to be formed. Despite a 40-year history of Philippine Scout service in the U.S. Army, Filipino men living in the U.S. had been barred from service by law.

The Army’s 1st Filipino Infantry Battalion was activated at Camp San Luis Obispo on April 1, 1942, just days before the Philippine and American forces surrendered at Bataan and Corregidor after four months of fierce resistance.

The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum Speaker Series hosts a presentation about the Battalion by historian Erik F. Brun, Lt Col US Retired, on Friday, June 21, at 2 p.m. at the the Veterans Memorial Museum in San Luis Obispo. His research has focused on the history of American Army units composed of “others,” collected by race, ethnicity or nationality.

By the end of the war, 700 Filipino soldiers became the core of Army Special Operations in the Western Pacific in reconnaissance, communications, and counter intelligence missions alongside the Alamo Scouts.