BALITANG BETERANO: EX-COLONEL MUSCLES FOR VETS' AFFAIRS
Las Vegas, Nevada, October 24, 2004 (BALITANG BETERANO: from San Francisco (PN)) By popular vote, retired Colonel Frank B. Quesada was awarded the rare American Legion International Amity Award by National Commander Ray G. Smith and by the Veterans Affairs Commission.
“Such award is very prestigious conferred annually to only a very few qualified individuals. It is in grateful recognition for the outstanding public service in the field of veterans affairs, and for contribution made in development of international goodwill between the American Legion and veterans as our wartime allies”. Smith said.
Smith offered his congratulations and best wishes to Col. (Ret.) Frank B. Quesada, past American Legion official. “May you cherish this with pride and personal satisfaction for you and your selfless services to your comrades for the last over forty years, using your own personal resources, time and effort on behalf of fellow veterans – that have made lasting impact.” Smith said.
Quesada, a retiree of the U.S. Armed Services takes pride in his long career in the U.S. military and from the Federal government. He is a no-nonsense executive who achieved goals accordingly. His last stint in the military was Deputy Chief of Staff, after serving as G-3 (Operations, Plans and Training Officer of 4 Brigades), and then as Logistics Advisor, in Fort Funston. The mother unit was the State Defense Force, which was based in the United States Army National Guard Headquarters in Sacramento, California along with the military reserves (weekend warriors).
An associate member of the Philippine Military Academy class ’44, he was psy-war consultant to the then Defense Secretary, Ramon Magsaysay, who later became President of the Philippines, that brought back dissidents to the folds of the law. He served as Senate Committee Secretary on Veterans and Military Pensions, chaired by Sen. Jose Wright Diokno, and later was a senior staff of U.S. Senator D.K. Inouye’s United States Senate Inquiry on the Unsettled Claims and Benefits of Filipino-American World War II veterans.
Part of his colorful life was being sole Fil-Am officer, as a member of the ad hoc U.S. Defense Committee, chaired by Gen. Daniel O. Graham at the White House, during Pres. Ronald Reagan’s Administration. He was Vice President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, chartered under Republic Act 2640 as the umbrella organization of all veteran’s organizations, was also Assistant Board of Director’s Secretary concurrently as Director for Public Relations of the Philippine Veterans Bank. He was past Department Adjutant and former Alt. National Executive Committee Representative of the Philippine Department to the American Legion headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana U.S.A.
Among Quesada’s outstanding accomplishments throughout his military career has made him an influential community leader and veteran’s advocate for the indentured WW-II veterans and international refugees were as follows: (a) He was a noted participant in the daring and death-defying joint assault-rescue and liberation of all the 2,146 Americans and allied prisoner-of-war from near-massacre in Los Banos, Laguna in 1945, inside enemy lines, by the little-known Hunters (PMA-ROTC) Guerrillas and by the 11th Airborne Division component; as well, (b) a participant of the narrow escape and emergency air evacuation of the Koumintang government and Gen. Chiang Kai Shek’s Nationalist Army from Lunghua, China to safety in Taiwan by Flying Tigers Transport, Chinese Nationalist Air Carrier (CNAC) and sea carriers. Quesada was granted a scholarship at the Republic of China’s Defense and Political War College, conferred with one of the highest award for exemplary service by ROC Pres. Chiang Ching Kou (son of Gen. Chiang Kai Shek ).
Quesada also actively took part in the (c) United Nation’s “Operations Airlift” of troops and in re-supplying UN forces in he Korean Conflict. No sooner, he was again tasked that (d) participated in: the mercy airlift of stateless White Russians, Estonians, Europeans, etc., in Asia from harm’s way via Guiuan Island, and then to the U.S. as expatriates to the Free West sponsored by the United Nations. (e) he was a participant in the air transportation of mass (reverse exodus) repatriation and settlement of thousands of Jews and amicable Palestinians to Jerusalem via Lydda, Israel. (f) he was once more tapped as counter-intelligence and psy-war observer in Laos, during the Vietnam Conflict, and co-produced a psy-war movie for the Laos government.
HE pursued doctoral studies in European capitals, completing the select study of “Comparative Structures of Governments and Respective Politico-Socio-Economic Systems.” While in Europe, he was a ranking delegate in the XIVth International Conference on Human Rights and Social Welfare in Helsinki, Finland and a representative member of the cultural delegation to Moscow, Leningrad, USSR, East Berlin. Germany. He was among those who initially established camaraderie with the Presidium of Soviet Veterans heirarchy of BGen. Victor Boichenko, Admiral Semjion Zhrarof, Lt. Gen. Vasily Petrenko, Col. Alexander Malov who were invited to visit the Philippines. He completed studies of Socialist Societies system at the Svenka Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and related studies in Nordic countries. He also completed Professional and Executive studies at the United Nation’s Etude Superiore Coirs Pluridisciplinaire Des Organismes Officials, at Torino, Italia and Geneve, Switzerland. (ILO Executive Management Academy).
He was conferred a Gold Medal for excellence by Dr Robert Lonati, United Nations consultant (World Tourism Organization). He completed advanced military and political courses at the Defense and Political War College (ROC), and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Course on chemical, radiological, biological warfare.
Upon return to reside again in the U.S., he was hired by the Circuit Executive Office of the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – that assisted thousands of Filipino-American WW-II veterans in their rightful bid for U.S. citizenship then as an ad hoc veteran’s consultant to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, to David Ilchert, Regional Director INS. He was awarded the U.S. Congressional Citation for excellence presented by Rep. Donald Clausen. As a senior consultant of the National Advisory Council of Fil-Am WW-II Veterans, he was adviser to Office of Veterans Affairs Office (OVA) in Washington D.C., that represents. the preponderant veterans majority of the surviving, sickly and aging 24,900 veterans out of the original 200,000 conscripted by Pres. D. Roosevelt in 1941 that rendered active and honorable military service to the U.S. flag in World War II. He served as advisor of the San Francisco, California State National Guard Council. He has been active behind the scenes in the official veteran’s lobby for compensation and benefits unpaid by the government since 1947. He was a senior research staff of BGen (Ret.). C. P. Romulo, in the official congressional lobby for complete and full equity settlement of compensation and benefits from the United States to the indentured, aging and sickly Fil-Am WW-II U.S. Army ex-servicemen dying bereft of satisfactory relief for over 50 years of neglect.
He is the Veterans Federation of the Philippines Representative to the United States who monitors the official lobby of Fil-Am WW-II lobby in congress as former Senate Committee Secretary of the Veterans and Military Pensions. He finds time to write newspaper columns and commentaries in the Internet beamed at U.S. key cities where there are war veterans in the U.S., while also assisting the current plight of U.S. Armed Forces retirees in a class action suit against the government for non-payment of their military service pension and disability benefits. (Surf: www.mrgg-ms.org in the Internet and lawsuit@/classact.lawsuit.com)
He retired from the U.S. military and the Federal service, at age 81, and have relocated in Las Vegas, Nevada, to devote writing his war-memoirs, treatises and books, (Freedom At Dawn, a true story (of his participation) in the joint rescue-liberation of 2,146 American POWs in 1945 by Filipino guerrillas and the US 11th Airborne Division; Ordeal in War’s Hell, Classic Escape to Freedom after being a POW of the Japanese dreaded (Kempei Tai) And the astounding story, “Japanese Guerrilla in the Philippines,” a Japanese captive of the Hunters Guerrillas, who was successfully won over (converted) into a belief of freedom and democracy, then fought with the guerrillas in the liberation of the Philippines. The technical book, Mechanics and Economics of International Tourism Development) having been a technical adviser to the Commission on Tourism. Likewise, writing several syndicated news columns in selected newspapers under the title “Balitang Beterano.”
He contributed in the publication of the book, “With No Regrets,” by Patricia Brooks of New Zealand,. about the deeply-moving martyrdom of Fr. Francis Vernon Douglas, as a fellow tortured by he brutal Japanese Kempei Tai (Military Police) as a POW with Quesada in WW-II and the video version “The Epitaph.” Co-produced a docu-drama video of the plight of the Fil-Am war veterans in World War II, (The Battle of Bataan/Corregidor and the infamous Bataan Death March) in the Philippines, produced by the Pacific Island Production, Inc., USA.
Of late, he was technical consultant of the video “Rescue At Los Banos” based on his story, “Freedom At Dawn.,” adopted by producer Ryan Hurst of Hollywood Greystone Pictures, Hollywood, California - being shown in a world release by the TV History Channel. He was consultant to the psy-war film, “The Bamboo Cross,” depicting the harsh Communist massacre of Christian POWs in Laos. He was a correspondent of USSR’s Moscow Novosti, a cultural Magazine, the Travel Trade News, Asian tourism publication based in Singapore, and was RP Public Relations representative of Flying Tigers Air (Transport) Line, regionally based in Hongkong.
He writes occasional treatises in the PMA Cavalier Magazine, and attends functions of the Philippine Military Academy cavalier’s association in California and Nevada whenever possible. He presently enjoys a retired lifestyle in a modest custom-built home with his wife, Lourdes Valt-Martinez, a retired Administrator of the School of Nursing, San Francisco State University of California. # # #
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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