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Lim  Vicente

Vicente Lim
Brigadier General
Serial Number:
41st Philippine Infantry Division
Date of Death:
Manila American Cemetery, McKinley Road, Fort Bonifacio, Philippines
Wall of the Missing
Legion of Merit, Purple Heart

Brigadier General, Philippine Army, he was the first Filipino graduate of the US Military Academy, Class of 1914 (graduate no. 5282), and served with the Philippine Scouts, being promoted from Second Lieutenant up to Lieutenant Colonel, and retiring as disabled in 1936. The following year, he joined the Philippine Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, becoming the Deputy Chief of Staff in 1939 with the rank of Colonel, and in 1941, was made the Division Commander of the 41st Philippine Infantry Division, with the rank of Brigadier General. When war broke out on December 8, 1941, his division was ordered to Bataan, where it was surrendered on April 9, 1942 along with the American Army on Bataan. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March, but had to be hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the march. With the help of his attending prisoner physician, who was also his brother-in-law, Lim was able to coordinate resistance activities from inside the POW Camp while persuading the Japanese authorities that he was still sick (the Japanese delighted in "humbling" officer prisoners by making them do menial hard labor; by being sick, a prisoner could escape the work details; generals were not exempt from this form of torture). In late 1942, Lim was freed in a Japanese scheme to alienate the Filipinos from the Americans by freeing many Filipino soldiers while keeping the American soldiers in the prison camps. Lim immediately became active in the Philippine guerilla resistance. In mid-1944, he was ordered to leave the Philippines to join General MacArthur's headquarters in Australia. While attempting to leave the islands, he was captured, and turned over to the Kempetai (Japanese secret police and intelligence service), tortured, and finally executed by firing squad on 31 December 1944 in Manila, at the age of 56, along with one of his sons, who was serving in the guerilla movement with him. Their bodies were never recovered. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Defense of the Philippines Campaign Ribbon. BG Lim's son, Vicente Jr, also attended the US Military Academy, graduate no. 14039.