Bataan POW Fought for Veterans' Rights
Source: AP  June 2007

ALBUQUERQUE -- Agapito "Gap" Silva, a survivor of the infamous World War II Bataan Death March, is being remembered by his family and friends as an advocate for veterans rights.

Silva's family said he died Sunday, June 17th, 2007 possibly as a complication of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 87.

Silva and about 1,800 other New Mexicans were captured by the Japanese after the fall of Bataan in the Philippines in 1942. He was a prisoner of war for three years and was made to work as a slave laborer in a coal plant.
Silva won several medals including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and American Defense Medal.
After the war, his family said he returned to New Mexico and became an advocate for veterans.

Silva is survived by his wife, Socorro Silva; sons Jerome, Fred, Michael, Agapito Jr. and Maurice; daughters Patricia and Erlinda; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services are planned for Thursday at St. Therese Catholic Church in Albuquerque. Interment will follow at Santa Fe National Cemetery.

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