Earle L. Velasco (1945/01/31)
Earle Velasco was descended from Pajaro Valley pioneers and joined them after Luzon.
Earle Leonard Velasco was born in Watsonville in 1919 to Albert and Ethel Velasco. His Velasco and Moot grandparents were pioneer settlers in the Corralitos district of the Pajaro Valley. Earle and his sisters, Melba and Esther, were raised and educated in local schools. Velasco completed one year at Watsonville High School before leaving school to work as a commercial vehicle driver.
Earle was inducted into the US Army at San Francisco on March 3, 1941, and sent to Camp Roberts, California, and Fort Lewis, Washington, for his basic and advanced training. Following his training period, Private Velasco was assigned to the 160th Infantry Regiment of the 40th Infantry Division. Earle received his orders for deployment to the Pacific in the summer of 1942.
During his tour of duty, Velasco's unit performed guard duty in Hawaii, patrolled at Guadalcanal and trained in New Guinea in preparation for the Philippine invasion.
“On 9 January 1945, the 160th and 185th Infantry regiments landed in the Baybay-Lingayen area of Luzon, Philippine Islands, and on 9 January seized Lingayen Airfield virtually unopposed. After consolidating in the Dulig-Labra- dor-Uyong area, the 160th Infantry Battalion began pushing down Route 13 and on 21 January, took Tarlac without resistance. On 23 January, it forced a bridgehead at Bamban and there encountered the main Japanese lines in the Bamban hills.”
On January 31, 1945,4 Earle Leonard Velasco was killed in action while fighting on Luzon. He was buried in the Manila American Cemetery in Manila; his awards include the Purple Heart.
(ABMC, NARA2; WRP February 21, 1945 1:2; Global Security. org, 40th Infantry Division, 2000, http://www.globalsecurity.org/ military/agency/army/40id.htm, [16 September 2008])