By Frank Trejo
Having grown up in rural South Texas during the Great Depression and having lost his mother when he was only 10, Ramón Villa Sr. knew hardship.
But he was unprepared for the struggles he faced in World War II as part of the U.S. Army’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, being captured by the Japanese and forced on the Bataan Death March. Villa endured more than three years as a prisoner of war.
Villa was born on Jan. 9, 1920 in Donna, Texas. His family moved a short time later to Yorktown, Texas.