The last Thai airman to see action against Japanese invaders during World War II has died at age 102, it was announced on Friday.
Airman Choy Lodethanong, formerly attached to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF)'s Wing 5, died of natural causes on Wednesday morning.
The RTAF expressed its condolences to his family. Funeral rites are being held at Wat Sam Roi Yot in Prachuap Khiri Khan and a royally sponsored cremation rite will take place tomorrow at the same temple.
Amn Choy was among a force of Thai airmen, local police, and civilians who tried to prevent Japanese imperial troops from landing at Ao Manao beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Dec 8, 1941.
The Japanese troops stormed the beach prior to invading what was then called Burma via the Dan Singkhon pass in the province's Muang district.
Last year, Gp Capt Pornprasert Phanphop, commander of Wing 5, visited Amn Choy at his home in the province to present him with gifts on his 101st birthday.
A remembrance service is held annually on Dec 8 to commemorate the 42 Thai airmen, policemen and local residents who lost their lives during the battle at Ao Manao.