100-year-old Clemson alumnus to receive Congressional Gold Medal - FOX Carolina 21

100-year-old Clemson alumnus to receive Congressional Gold Medal

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Ben Skardon. (Source: Clemson University Relations). Ben Skardon. (Source: Clemson University Relations).
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

100-year-old Ben Skardon, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, will receive a Filipino World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal for his service on Saturday in New Mexico. 

Skardon is a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He was the commander of Company A of the 92nd Infantry Regiment Philippine Army. 

He has previously earned two Silver Stars and two Bronze Stars for valor in combat. Skardon also earned a Purple Heart during the first four months of World War II. 

He became a prisoner of war on April 9, 1942 along with tens of thousands of other soldiers who then suffered through the Bataan Death March. 

Skardon spent three years in Japanese POW camps, battling many ailments including malaria and beriberi. Fellow soldiers Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan, who were also Clemson alumni, spoon fed Skardon to keep him alive and traded his gold Clemson ring for food. 

While in New Mexico, Skardon will also walk in the Bataan Memorial Death March for the the 12th time, honoring those who did not return after the war. 

“I am honored to receive this award in the memory of the Filipino soldiers that I commanded,” said Skardon. "These soldiers were loyal and dedicated under the stress of close combat. I am delighted they are finally receiving the respect and recognition they deserve.”

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