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First Palauan to Join U.S. Armed Forces Laid to Rest in Peleliu; Leaves Family Legacy of Military Service



(January 2012) The first Palauan national to join the U.S. Armed Forces in 1954, retired Army SFC Francisco Masato Kumangai, passed away in Koror, Palau in December 2011. During his career in the U.S. Army, he served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.  Of Mr. Kumangai's seven children, five followed his example and joined the U.S. Armed Forces:  one graduated from West Point, two graduated from the Naval Academy, one from Citadel, one served in the Air Force and one is still in active duty in the Army Reserve.  Approximately 500 Palauans currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces – five have been killed while on active duty since 9/11.  The funeral was held on Peleliu on December 11, 2011 and was attended by numerous Palauan government officials, including Palau President Johnson Toribiong as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Palau Helen Reed-Rowe.  U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, visiting Palau at the time, attended and delivered a condolence letter from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.  Major General Benny Paulino, Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard, led an Honor Guard from Guam to honor the deceased.  (Source: U.S. Embassy Palau)

 Palauan laid to rest.  The first Palauan national to join the U.S. Armed Forces in 1954, retired Army SFC Francisco Masato Kumangai, passed away in Koror, Palau in December 2011.


The first Palauan national to join the U.S. Armed Forces in 1954, retired Army SFC Francisco Masato Kumangai, passed away in Koror, Palau in December 2011.