The Philippines and the United States have had a military relationship for a long, long time. During World War II the soldiers recruited from the Philippines helped the United States fight the war and win. The Filipinos were captured by the Japanese and had to suffer the same atrocities that are spoken of now by many a U.S. veteran.
The Buffalo Soldiers were sent to the Philippines to put down many insurrections and did it with great bravado. The Buffalo Soldiers adapted to the thick jungles of Southeast Asia and developed their own tactics to deal with the enemy. In World War II they fought the Japanese and very little is told about their excursions all over Southeast Asia.
Buffalo Soldiers loved the Filipinos and many of them stayed in the Philippines long after World War II. Today there are many children born of the Buffalo Soldier and the indigenous women who embraced the brave Buffalo Soldiers. Back home in the United States racism was raging and the Buffalo Soldiers were treated, as second class citizens even though the White Officers who commanded the Buffalo Soldiers knew they were second none in the world when it came to warfare.
Many Filipinos will tell you how the Buffalo Soldiers sided with the rebels in the Philippines and befriended them. Some of them were executed. We can go in detail about these stories but then it would not do this article justice. During the Spanish war in the Philippines the Buffalo Soldiers played a key role and even to this day historians tip their hat to the brave deeds of many a Buffalo Soldier.
Lt. Henry O. Flipper - 1877.
The Buffalo Soldiers played an important role in the Burma Theater. They were in China and helped play an important role in those battles.
They were in Malaysia and Japan. They were also in the Philippines and many of them who fought and lived there for years have told me they loved the people of the Philippines and the genuine love bestowed on them.
Here is San Francisco we have a large Filipino population. Among them are many Filipino veterans who I have had the distinguished honor of meeting all through the years I worked for Sixth United States Army and Presidio of San Francisco. Many of them are proud to have served in the United States Forces and many of them remember very clearly that they were promised United States citizenship.
Today even as the Buffalo Soldiers are fading away. Most of these Filipino Veterans who served the U.S. are in their late eighties and nineties - they still dream of their U.S. citizenship. The fact is that nothing much is done and these great veterans are fed up with the empty promises that have not been kept. A Nation that makes a promise should keep it. A Nation should win the respect of the world by keeping their word.
Buffalo Soldier Ralph Hobson.
Recently Buffalo Soldier Ralph Hobson passed away. He was married to a Japanese woman whom he loved very much. In fact soon after she died I saw very clearly how much he loved his Japanese wife. I spent some quality time watching and talking to this lovely couple. It was amazing the love they had for each other and humanity.
Mrs. Hobson must have always loved to go back to Japan but had to adapt to the United States. She bestowed her love on her neighbors who treated both Mr. and Mrs. Hobson as living Saints. Even at the funeral which I attended mention was made again and again about Mrs. Hobson and her saintly ways. I can still see them in that back room with all the paraphernalia busy doing their daily chores and yet when interrupted by guest giving them their undivided attention.
Some years ago I saw a woman who chanced to speak to me in San Francisco. She told me she was from the Philippines and that her father was Black and a Buffalo Soldier. She did not expect me to know anything about her Father and the Buffalo Soldiers. But, when I stated my love for the Buffalo Soldier and my connection with the Filipino Community in San Francisco her eyes sparkled and she begun to talk.
I gave her my business card and requested that we meet to talk so that I could record some of this history that practically no one really cares to know about.
There is a certain bond created by destiny between the Filipino woman and the Buffalo Soldier. This tryst with destiny has not been written about but it plays an important role in the understanding of the Buffalo Soldier all over Southeast Asia.
Sergeant Major Ulyssis Moore who is still alive can still recall his adventures as a Buffalo Soldier in Japan and the Philippines. There were incidents when they captured gold and money and had to follow orders - some times to save the treasure chest and at other times to destroy it.
There were times when no one would dare challenge the enemy and the Buffalo Soldiers went in daring to challenge and win. Not much has been written about the Buffalo Soldiers in the Burma Theater, Malaysia, China, Japan and the Philippines. The reason is very simple the more you write about the Buffalo Soldiers the more the Whites fear history is being rewritten.
I see it at the Presidio of San Francisco, which happen to be in the United States. The more you talk about the Buffalo Soldiers the more the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service which consists of Whites fear the truth will be told and another more interesting aspect of history revealed. These Whites fear the rewriting of history as much as they fear death.
I have many names that I could have mentioned about Filipino citizens but it is not appropriate to mention their names in a general article such as I am attempting to write to whet the appetite of those who know next to nothing about the adventures of the famous Black Buffalo Soldiers.
I would love to hear from friends in the Philippines who visit my website and they can surely e-mail me. May be I will be fortunate to hear from families who were fathered by Buffalo Soldiers. Nothing surprises me any more and in this world other stranger things have happened.
Here is San Francisco we keep the flame burning and pay the highest tribute to our Buffalo Soldiers. Recently, as has been mentioned we laid to rest Buffalo Soldier Ralph Hobson. I am in touch with about 16 Buffalo Soldiers. We have over 600 buried at the Presidio Cemetery which comes under the jurisdiction of the Veterans Administration.
Remember Buffalo Soldiers never die they just ride away! I have met many Buffalo Soldiers and they remember well the good that came from their stay in the Philippines and the love showered on them by the Filipino people. This bond brought about by destiny has changed the lives of many and revealed another great facet about warfare and international communication.