Three former service members who served honorably and well in three different conflicts were inducted Saturday into the New Mexico National Guard Hall of Honor.
First Sgt. Manuel Armijo, Chief Warrant Officer Richard J. Quigley and Col. Robert L. Sands were selected as the second class of inductees by the Hall of Honor board of directors, according to a news release.
Armijo was a member of the New Mexico National Guard 200th Coast Artillery unit that helped defend the Philippines during the early days of World War II. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March and was imprisoned at Camp O’Donnell and Camp Cabanatuan before being forced to board a “Hell Ship” to a prison camp in Japan. He spent 3½ years in forced labor camps before returning home to Santa Fe in 1945. Of the 1,800 New Mexicans in the Philippines, only about 900 returned home.
Armijo was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart among many other decorations. He co-founded the New Mexico Military Museum and established the annual Bataan surrender observances every April 9 in Santa Fe.
Quigley served in the National Guard for more than 30 years. He also served in the 118th Assault Helicopter Company, which provided air support to ground units fighting in Vietnam in 1968-69. During that time, he logged 1,039 flight hours in combat.
He joined the New Mexico Army National Guard in September 1976 and retired from military service with 12,700 flight hours, including 1,200 hours in combat. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal.
Sands served in the New Mexico Air National Guard as a pilot, flight leader, operations officer, squadron commander and group commander. He also served as chief of staff and assistant adjutant general.
He joined the New Mexico Air Guard in 1948 and flew 104 missions in the F-86 Sabre during the Korean War. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation. He retired in March 1978.
“It is a jumbling experience to look at the records of those individuals who were nominated,” said retired Brigadier Gen. Jack Fox, chairman of the Hall of Honor committee. “They are awesome men and women who have led the way for each of us.”
The New Mexico National Guard Hall of Honor is located at the New Mexico Military Museum, 1050 Old Pecos Trail. Further information on the inductees can be found at newmexicomilitarymuseum.com.