Medal of Honor citation: Jose B. Nisperos
This week – Action against Philippine Outlaws, 1911. Our recipient became the first Asian/Filipino to be awarded the MoH. I have included his back story as well, due to the obscurity of the man and the action he was involved in. Many thanks to Philippine Scouts Heritage Society for the detailed information!
Make the most of your day!
JOSE B. NISPEROS
Rank and organization: Private, 34th Company, Philippine Scouts.
Place and date: At Lapurap, Basilan, Philippine Islands, 24 September 1911.
Entered service at: San Fernandos Union, P.I.
Birth: San Fernandos Union, P.I.
Having been badly wounded (his left arm was broken and lacerated and he had received several spear wounds in the body so that he could not stand) continued to fire his rifle with one hand until the enemy was repulsed, thereby aiding materially in preventing the annihilation of his party and the mutilation of their bodies.
And the back story:
Jose B. Nisperos grew up in the province of San Fernando, La Union and was later recruited to the 34th Company United States Army Philippine Scouts Division. During this time, the Philippines was a territorial property and colony of the United States and was engaged (alongside the American colonizers) in a battle to suppress the Moro Resistance (1899-1913) in the Southern Philippines.
In 1911, Private Nisperos along with the Philippine Scout’s 34th Company was sent to the Basilan Island to subdue the ‘rebel forces’ there resisting the US takeover of Basilan and the whole Mindanao. On September 24, 1911, Nisperos together with his mother unit, the 34th Company, was ambushed in Lapurap, Basilan Island by a large group of rebels armed with bolos and spears. Nisperos’ unit gained a handful of casualties during the ambush but because of Private Nisperos’ action at the time of the siege (He fought the raging rebel forces until they retreated back to the hills using only one hand), the 34th Company Philippine Scout was spared from total annihilation. For his gallant action, bravery, and valor in the battlefield, Private Jose B. Nisperos was awarded on November 25, 1912, the United States Congressional Medal of Honor. He was medically discharged due to the severity of his wounds and given a pension of $55.00 /month. He died in 1922 after a long illness at the age of 34.