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December 30, 2017

Memo Recognizing the Pioneer Balayan Guerrillas, February 1947

The Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrilla Unit was one of many units of the large Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) organized by the retired American Colonel Hugh Straughn at the onset of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. This guerrilla organization had many such units operating in other towns of Batangas, including the town of Balayan. The Balayan unit was organized by Majors Rodolfo Bahia and Amador de Guito. Hence, it was also referred to as the Bahia-Deguito unit. In this document1, one Major John Spark of the United States Army issued a memo to the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army to inform the latter of the official recognition of the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrilla Unit.

[p. 1]

HEADQUARTERS
PHILIPPINES-RYUKYUS COMMAND
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL
APO 707

GSCPU 091 PI/247 19 FEB 1947

SUBJECT

TO

: Recognition of Guerrilla Unit

: Chief of Staff, Philippine Army, Camp Murphy, Quezon City

1. The unit listed below is recognized by the Commanding General, Philippines-Ryukyus Command, as having been an authorized element of the Philippine Army, serving with the Armed Forces of the United States from 15 July 1944 to 15 February 1945:

Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas,
Bahia-Deguito Unit, FAIT
Strength
42

2. Under the provisions of Executive Order No. 21, by the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, dated 26 October 1944, the status of the members of this unit, during the period above specified, was that of officers and enlisted men of the Philippine Army.

3. Under the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, by the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, dated 26 September 1945, all officers and enlisted men of this unit, other than those who are members of the Regular Force or the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army, will be considered as having been discharged from the Philippine Army as of 15 February 1945.

FOR THE COMMANDING GENERAL

JOHN R. SPARK
MAJOR, AGD
ASST ADJ GEN

1 Incl:

Roster of the Unit (In Dup).

[p. 2]

Col. Gerald F. Lillard:

1. The Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas, Bahia-Deguito Unit, FAIT, consisting of 1,587 men, has been favorably considered for partial recognition, at a strength of 42 men. These men should be recognized for [a] seven month period, from 15 July 1944 to 15 February 1945. No members have previously been recognized.

2. 42 members of this unit satisfactorily fulfill the requirement of the five basic points for recognition. See attached Team Leader’s Report.

3. No useful purpose will be accomplished by further investigation of this unit.

4. All worthy members have been recognized and there is a separate casualty roster.

2nd Lt. Grant S. Wilcox

M/Sgt. Sebastian Songsong

1. Concur: 1st Lt. H. H. Burnett, Actg Chief, Unit Investigation Section

2. Concur: Lt Col. S. J. Palos, Chief, Unit Branch



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Notes and references:

1 “Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas, Deguito Unit FAIT,” File No. 110-42, downloaded from PVAO.


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