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Ramon Subejano, War Hero, Dies

September 17, 1988

BOSTON (AP) _ Ramon Simpas Subejano, a Philippine native who became one of the United States’ most decorated war veterans, died at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Boston. He was 83.

He had been hospitalized for a brief illness before his death Friday.

Subejano left the Philippines for the United States in 1927, when he stowed away aboard a freighter. He traversed the world as a seaman before buying a pool hall in Brooklyn with $32,000 he won one night in a casino.

But he lost all his money in the Great Depression and went to work as a busboy. Subejano was drafted in the Army in 1942 and became one of the most effective soldiers in Europe, killing more than 400 German soldiers from Normandy to the Rhineland.

He was wounded four times and came home disabled but covered with medals, including a Silver Star and decorations from the French, Dutch and Belgian governments.

He was awarded the Silver Star for the single-handed capture of a Nazi-held factory near Dillingen, Germany. According to his service record, Subejano crept into the ravaged factory against heavy machine gun fire and grenade explosions, killing five Germans, wounding six and forcing the surrender of 37 others.

Subejano, a lifelong bachelor who was described as polite and easygoing, made the news last year when he was involved in a slight altercation with his landlord over a rent increase.

The landlord filed a criminal complaint against 5-foot-2 Subejano, claiming that he had threatened him even though the landlord stood 6-foot-2 and weighed 250 pounds.

At the time of the incident, a neighbor said Subejano was ″still out every day in a beautifully pressed white shirt, little suit with suspenders and a spit-shine polish on his shoes. I don’t know what he did in the war but he’s still a tough little guy.″

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