Descripción de editorial
The Naked Soldier is the inspiring story of Jesse Mallares Baltazar, a survivor of the infamous Philippine Bataan Death March during World War II. His service to America covers three wars, four federal agencies, postings in nine countries and government travel to over 80 nations. Few choose to lead a life of service like Jesse M Baltazar. This story is an inspiration to all of us of the character, honor, and commitment required to keep our nation free.
Maj. Jesse M. Baltazar, USAF (Ret.) served in three wars: WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. For his gallantry during WWII, he was awarded the Bronze Star and belatedly, , the Purple Heart was presented to him by the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Raymond Odierno in 2015. He received awards in the other world conflicts as well.
In his book, Baltazar vividly recounts his WWII experiences in the Pacific theater of operations. He was a staff sergeant in the 71st Battalion of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) under General Douglas MacArthur. His left leg was hit by a bomb during a Japanese air raid, and he was subsequently captured. He survived the horrors of the Bataan Death March, managing to escape with the help of two villagers under cover of darkness. Later he scouted on enemy camps.
In telling his own personal story, he reminds us as well of the gallantry of other Filipino and American soldiers, many of whom never returned. He honors these men and women in his book. Likewise, he salutes today's men and women who are in harm's way, engaging in far more perilous combat conditions than in the conventional wars.
During the Korean War, Baltazar engaged in intelligence work. In 1948 he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, the first American of Filipino ancestry to earn this distinction. He served in the U.S Air Force for twenty years, assigned primarily overseas with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
In 1950-51, as a special agent for the U.S. Air Force OSI in Korea, his fluency in five languages proved valuable. He wrote the monthly Counter-Intelligence Report for Korea, Germany and France. He worked as a Russian interrogator in Korea and Berlin, Germany, interviewing refugees and defectors. After retiring from the military, he joined the U.S. State Department in 1966, starting in Vietnam as Deputy Provincial Advisor.
The book demonstrates Baltazar's indomitable fighting spirit. Against all odds, he triumphed over the vicissitudes of not just one war, but three wars. On a personal level, he endured the death of two younger brothers who were in the resistance movement in the Philippines.
Born in Manila, Philippines, Baltazar began his military career when the Japanese attacked the Philippines on December 8, 1941, hours after they bombed Pearl Harbor. He left his class that day and proceeded to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was 21. Two of his sons continued the family tradition of military service. They are U.S. Army COL Thomas Baltazar and LT Melchior of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs.
Baltazar wrote this book for several reasons. One reason, however, stands out among the rest. He himself said it best: "The lesson of any war is clear: The world can forgive, and should. But it should never, ever forget injustice–or history, at a terrible cost to human lives and the ideals of democracy–will repeat itself."
Biography of Major Jesse M Baltazar, USAF (Ret.)
Major Jesse M. Baltazar, USAF (Ret.) was born in Manila, Philippines on October 8th, 1920, and began his military career with the United States Armed Forces, Far East (USAFFE). He is a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; a Japanese Prisoner of War and Bataan Death March Survivor.
After being discharged from the army in 1945, he went on to become the first Filipino-born Officer in the United States Air Force in 1948. He served for 20 years in the Air Force, primarily overseas as a Special Agent in the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), where he authored the monthly Counter-Intelligence report for Korea (1950-52), West Berlin (1956-58) and France (1958-60). During the Korean War, he was one of a handful of American officers posted to Korea that spoke both Russian and Chinese. During the Cold War, he was stationed in Berlin when the Berlin Wall was erected.
Retiring from the military, he worked for the United States Department of State, USAID and the Department of Labor. From 1966-70 with USAID, he served in Vietnam as Deputy Provincial Advisor. During the Sandinista conflict, he served as Regional Security Officer with the Voice of America for Nicaragua, Belize and Costa Rica. He retired from the State Department in 1988 and then returned as a contract employee. MAJ (R) Baltazar continues to serve at the Department of State, where at 95, he is their eldest worker.
MAJ (R) Baltazar received his BS from Georgetown University in Linguistics and MA from the University of Virginia in Education. He speaks seven languages, including Russian, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, English and Tagalog.
His military awards and decorations include: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal, POW Medal, American Defense Service Medal, WWII Theater Campaign (Pacific), The Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, UN Service Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
Mr. Baltazar is a devoted husband and father. He has been happily married to his wife Margrit for 55 years. They have five children, Katherine, Susanne, Thomas, Phillip and Melchior, and are blessed with nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Keywords: Bataan Death March, Japanese POW, WWII, Veteran, Purple Heart, Patriot, Philippines, Vietnam