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December 31, 2017

Letter from M/Sgt Benjamin Harder to Emilio Macabuag, August 1946

The Major Phillips Unit was a guerrilla unit that was founded and operated in or around western Batangas town of Calatagan. It was commanded by one Emilio Macabuag and took its name from a United States Army intelligence officer from whom the guerrilla outfit took directions until the latter was caught and killed by the Japanese. In this August 1946 document1, is originally a handwritten letter from M/Sgt. Benjamin Harder to Major Philips Unit Commanding Officer Macabuag. The letter was one of the supporting papers sent by Macabuag to the United States Army in the unit’s application for official recognition. Harder was one of the operators of a clandestine radio station set up by Allied intelligence and local guerrillas in Calatagan.



[p. 1]

68 [unreadable] St. Apt 12-A
Brooklyn 6, New York
10 August 1946

Dear Emilio,

How are you? I have not heard from you in many months. I hope all is well and fine with you.

How are your wife and children? I suppose the kids are pretty big by now. I hope all of them are enjoying excellent health.

How are Eduardo, Ponying, [illegible], Ramon, and all the boys who used to be with me at the lighthouse? I miss them so much. And how are

[p. 2]

the rest of men in your unit? I hope all of their services to the cause have been rewarded by now.

Remember Villasor [not sure, somewhat illegible] the fellow with the Bretaña whom you met at Mindoro and who later was captured with Victorio but managed to escape? Well, his unit has not been recognized as yet. I know he did a good job at intelligence when we were together in Manila and the Sierra Madre Mountains. It is really a shame that units who did the job are having a tough time at being recognized while bandits and lazy



[p. 3]

good-for-nothing pseudo-guerrillas got all the honors and the gravy.

And how are your relations at Hukay? They were such fine people. I owe them a lot of gratitude. Please extend my best regards to them.

If you ever go to Mindoro and Talaotao, please remember me to all my friends there. I could never forget them – the all-out aid they gave; how they suffered with us.

Enclosed is a snapshot of me taken just after my

[p. 4]

discharge from the army. It was taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. As you know by now, I have been in civilian clothes for the past 7 months. I guess I will never wear the uniform again.

I am out here to do a little studying. I hope that when I go back there, I will have something worthwhile in my head.

Well, I’ll close for now. Let me hear from you soon. My very best to you and your family.

A friend always,

[Sgd.] Ben

P.S. My regards to Perla! Ben

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Notes and references:
1 “MAJOR PHILLIPPS UNIT,” File No. 83, downloaded from PVAO.

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