Fil-Am Domingo Los Banos, WWII vet, teacher, Filvet advocate dies at 93
HONOLULU — Domingo Los Banos, a well-known Hawaii educator, World War II veteran and advocate for fellow Filipinos who fought in the war, died Friday morning, March 15 at age 93, the Star Advertiserreported.
Hawaii-born Los Banos was one of five brothers who served in the U.S. Army. Three of the Los Banos brothers served in World War II, one in Korea and another in Vietnam.
Domingo, then 19, was sent to the Philippines with 300 other recruits from Hawaii as part of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments.
He fought Japanese soldiers in jungle combat late in the war, coming face to face with an enemy soldier. Los Banos shot first and lived, according to the Star Advertiserreport.
Todd Los Banos said his father’s greatest purpose was to promote recognition of Filipino World War II service. While fighting in 1945 in the Philippines, his father made a promise to become a teacher if he survived the war, Todd said.
Los Banos attended Springfield College in Massachusetts — where he sang with fellow student Don Ho. Todd Los Banos said his father was a Fulbright scholar and spent part of his time in Thailand coaching a Thai basketball team and interacting with the Thai royal family.
Domingo’s first teaching job at Waimea Elementary on Kauai. He became a principal and larer a district superintendent in the Leeward area on Oahu.
More than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers responded to President Franklin Roosevelt’s call to duty and fought under the American flag during World War II, including more than 57,000 who died.
Members of Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino World War II veterans at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25, 2017.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said at the time the recognition was a “long-overdue honor for hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families.”
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