Pomona Family Receives WWII Veteran’s Medals 60 Years After His Death – Daily Bulletin

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A World War II veteran who died 60 years ago finally got his due recognition this week, including a slew of medals and ribbons he was never awarded.

In a ceremony Monday, August 15, U.S. Representative Norma Torres presented Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena’s Pomona family with eight medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star and the Prisoner of War Medal.

About twenty members of the family gathered for the posthumous award ceremony at Post 12 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne.

  • Claro Cartagena looks at the folded American flag presented to her and her family by Congresswoman Norma Torres during a posthumous medal ceremony for her late father, Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, at the post 12 of Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne on Monday, August 28, 2019. 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The sons of Lieutenant Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, Manuel Cartagena, left, 77, and...

    The sons of Lieutenant Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, Manuel Cartagena, left, 77, and Antonio, right, 75, sit with their respective wives, Lutching and Nora, after the family was awarded eight medals, including the Star of bronze, for their late father during a posthumous medal ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Station 12 in La Verne on Monday, August 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine military under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Claro Cartagena, left, holds a folded American flag given to...

    Claro Cartagena, left, holds a folded American flag presented to her and her family by Congresswoman Norma Torres during a posthumous medal ceremony for her late father, Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Station 12 in La Verne Monday, August 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Claro Cartagena, left, receives a folded American flag offered to...

    Claro Cartagena, left, receives a folded American flag presented to her and her family by Congresswoman Norma Torres during a posthumous medal ceremony for her late father, Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Station 12 in La Verne Monday, August 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific . (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Claro Cartagena, right, receives the eight medals and ribbons from his father,...

    Claro Cartagena, right, receives his father’s eight medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star, from MP Norma Torres during a posthumous medal ceremony at Post 12 Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne on Monday, August 15, 2022. Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Claro Cartagena, right, receives the eight medals and ribbons from his father,...

    Claro Cartagena, right, receives his father’s eight medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star, from MP Norma Torres during a posthumous medal ceremony at Post 12 Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne on Monday, August 15, 2022. Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • MP Norma Torres presents a binder containing the service records...

    Congresswoman Norma Torres presents a binder containing the service records of the late Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena to her family after presenting the family with eight medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star, during a graduation ceremony posthumous medals at Post 12 Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne on Monday, August 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A folded American flag is waiting to be...

    A folded American flag waits to be presented to the family of the late Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena during a posthumous medal ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Station 12 in La Verne on Monday, August 15, 2022. Cartagena, who died 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A family member of the late Lieutenant Adriano Barcelona Cartagena...

    A family member of the late Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena holds a binder containing his service records during a posthumous medal ceremony at Post 12 Veterans of Foreign Wars in La Verne on Monday August 15, 2022. Cartagena, died 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A family member holds an American flag and a program...

    A family member holds an American flag and program during a posthumous medal ceremony for the late Lt. Adriano Barcelona Cartagena at Veterans of Foreign Wars Station 12 in La Verne on Monday August 15, 2022. Cartagena, deceased in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Cartagena, who died in 1962, served in the Philippine Army under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II in the South Pacific.

Despite the Imperial Japanese Army’s early defeats in World War II, Cartagena continued to fight with the Philippine Army. He was eventually captured and served time as a POW. He then escaped and continued to fight as a guerrilla, according to a press release.

It was only recently that Torres’ office was able to obtain Cartagena’s service records and the medals and ribbons he was owed. When the late veteran’s son, Claro, contacted the Veterans Affairs Bureau to find out the middle names of his paternal grandparents, he learned of the missing honors.

“Lt. Cartagena has served our nation with pride and honor,” Torres said in the press release. “Unfortunately, he was not able to receive all his due during his lifetime.

“This case reminds us of the debt we owe to all of our veterans.” she continued.

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