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23 May, 2009 The Pacific’s Audie Murphy is a Cuban By Humberto Fontova, on May 23, 2009, at 12:35 pm When Japan's ferocious General Tomoyuki Yamashita ("The Tiger of Malaya") finally emerged from his headquarters on Luzon to surrender he handed his pistol, samurai sword and battle flag to the nearest U.S. soldier he saw. This was Cuban born, Manuel Perez-Garcia. At war's end the 82nd Airborne presented a special trophy to the U.S. soldier who had racked up the most enemy kills in the Pacific theater. Today that trophy sits prominently in Miami's Bay of Pigs Museum, donated by the man who won it, Bay of Pigs veteran and Cuban born, Manuel Perez Garcia. (Who started with the 82nd but fought in the Pacific with the 11th Airborne) The trophy sits alongside the three purple hearts, three bronze stars and three silver stars Mr Perez-Garcia earned in the Pacific. At age 51 Perez-Garcia volunteered for the Bay of Pigs invasion and gave the Castroites a thrashing as bad as he'd given the Japanese. Manuel Perez-Garcia still lives in Miami, at age 101, and is active in the Bay of Pigs Veterans assoc.

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