The history of the post takes us back to February of 1945 when a group of twelve Filipino-American veterans from Washington DC, banded together with then Brigadier General Carlos P. Romulo, to establish the General Vicente Lim Post 5471, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
It was named after a World War II Filipino-American hero – Brigadier General Vicente Lim who was the first Filipino graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (class of 1914). After graduation, he served as an officer in the Philippine Scouts, a military unit formed by the U.S. Army in the Philippines. During the Battle of Bataan, General Vicente Lim commanded the 41st Infantry Division, U.S. Armed Forces Far East (USAFFE), under General Douglas MacArthur, fighting superior Japanese forces in Luzon. Following the Fall of Bataan and as USAFEE soldiers were forced to surrender, General Lim continued to resist the Japanese occupation by leading guerilla resistance operations in the country side. He was later captured and ultimately executed on December 31, 1944.
In 1954, nine years after VFW General Vicente Lim Post 5471 was established, the Ladies Auxiliary was created to support the various programs and activities of the post, and they do so until present time.
In 1980, another post – the VFW General Douglas MacArthur of Bladensburg, Maryland, led by then Retired Master Sergeant Francisco Salveron, a wartime aide of Gen. MacArthur – requested to merge with VFW Post 5471. Upon merging, the post then changed its official name to Generals Douglas MacArthur-Vicente Lim Post 5471. Which name - carries on until today.
The Post remained under the Department of Washington DC until recently in 2017 when the post sought affiliation with VFW Department of Maryland.
Through the years, the post proudly continues to preserve the memory of two of our nations’ revered heroes: General Douglas MacArthur of the United States and General Vicente Lim of the Republic of the Philippines.
Some noteworthy accomplishments of VFW Post 5471 are: Passing resolutions for VFW National to lobby and support legislations on restoration of hospitalization benefits for veterans living in the Philippines, Funding for maintenance and upkeep of the Veterans Cemetery at the former Clark Air Base, and the enactment of Public Law 114-265, 114thCongress, to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino and American veterans who served in the Philippines during WW II.
More recently, the post authored a resolution for the US Navy to name a US Navy warship after a Filipino Sailor and Medal of Honor Awardee, Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad. Two of the post’s officers are founding members of USS Teleforo Trinidad Campaign (USSTTC) and one is a senior advisor. This nationwide grassroots movement is mobilizing communities and political leaders at all levels and is most likely to succeed and achieve its goal in the near future.
Today, the post continues to support veterans and their families through community service programs to include Youth Service initiatives, mentorship service for high school graduates seeking military service opportunities, and other community events and assistance to widows and families of veterans.