Photo by Aaron Ricca.
KINGMAN – Motorists may have noticed a small motorcade rolling through town Friday.
It was the Hualapai Nation Police Department and Kingman Patriot Guard Riders escorted Everett Manakaja Sr., the last living member of the Hualapai Nation to serve in World War II, who died Aug. 31, 2017. Manakaja was escorted from Sutton Funeral Home to Peach Springs where he was laid to rest.
According to his family, Manakaja joined the U.S. Army in February of 1943 and was assigned to the Indiana Army National Guard as part of the 149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division. The 38th ID took part in liberating the Philippine Islands from Japanese control, including the Bataan peninsula where thousands of U.S. service members were forced into prison camps after the infamous ‘Bataan Death March.’
According to Mike Whatoname, Hualapai Nation historian, approximately 300 members of the Hualapai Tribe served in conflicts from World War I to the War on Terror. There are currently 2,300 in members of the Hualapai tribe, with 64 living veterans, including three currently serving in conflicts overseas to include Iraq and Afghanistan.