On November 8, 2021, Leon “Pantaleon” Sagun was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at a presentation in San Francisco for his service as a Filipino guerilla fighter battling Japanese forces who had invaded the Philippines almost immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His mission included nighttime reconnaissance and passing along targeting information and other intelligence to Allied Forces. He came to the United States in 1947 and became a U.S. citizen. He also served as a U.S. Army infantryman during the Korean conflict. He went on to a career as a high school and junior college teacher in Santa Maria. He passed away in Santa Maria shortly after his wife, Elizabeth, in 2014. Even though he was a humble man, he would have been honored to receive this recognition.
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