Army veteran Les Traweek, a Hometown Hero

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This week we honor 86-year old Les Traweek as our Hometown Hero. Traweek was drafted by the Army when he was just 18.

"My uncle called me up and told me to go, my Uncle Sam," Traweek said.

The end of World War Two was nearing, therefore Traweek went through basic training and was shipped to the Philippines to fight the Japanese. While he was there, the US dropped the atomic bomb and Japan was surrendering.

"Japan had surrendered, but we didn't know anything about it," Traweek said. Traweek and his men were so deep in the Filipino jungle, they didn't know the war was over.

"They had no way of telling if Japan had surrendered, so planes were dropping leaflets everywhere, saying that Japan had surrendered,"Traweek said.

At this time, Traweek had been promoted Seargent. Traweek and his two privates were in the jungle when the enemy emerged from the brush, holding a white flag and asking for there mercy.

"He said, if you guarantee my troops in my unit will not be mistreated, I'll surrender them to you. And I said, I'll guarantee that they won't be mistreated," Traweek said.

Traweek agreed and called his base to tell them the good news.

"I called them and told them I had 115 fully armed, Japanese soldiers," Traweek said.

Because there were no roads, it took the Army three days to located Traweek and his prisoners.
"I was sure happy to see those trucks driving in," Traweek said.

Years later, Traweek was awarded a Bronze Star for the bravery he showed on the Filipino jungle, a keepsake that he later passed down to his great-grandson.

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