Former Marcos Commander
SARATOGA, Calif. (AP) _ Retired Army Col. Gus C. Francis, who according to his family was the commanding officer of deposed Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos in the early days of World War II, has died at age 70.
Francis, who died Friday, was a battery commander in the Philippine Scout Division, which included American and Filipino soldiers who fought until the islands fell to the Japanese in April 1942. During that period, Marcos was his aide, family members said.
Francis, the Utah-born son of Greek immigrants, never talked much about his experiences, said his daughter, Stephanie Jewell, in an interview.
Of her father’s association with Marcos, she said, ″He told us Marcos was his aide, but he didn’t say much more about him.″
Francis was among some 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers captured by the Japanese and forced into the Bataan Death March, a 70-mile march and 23- mile railroad journey during which some 9,000 soldiers died.
In Greece, Francis served as a NATO Army liaison officer in Athens. His tour was coming to an end in 1967 when a Greek military junta overthrew the rule of King Constantine.
Francis is survived by his wife, Helen, and three daughters.
A funeral was held Tuesday.