Request for on Reconsideration on Decision Regarding Change in Recognition Date - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Request for on Reconsideration on Decision Regarding Change in Recognition Date - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Request for on Reconsideration on Decision Regarding Change in Recognition Date

The Gagalac Guerrilla Group was one of the groups operating in Batangas that was given official recognition by the United States Army after World War II. In this December 1947 document1, one Lazaro Malabanan writes to the Commanding General of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command on behalf of the Gagalac Guerrilla Unit Commander asking for reconsideration regarding the change of date of his organization’s recognition by the US Army.

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Guerrilla Files

Batangas, Batangas

15 December 1947
: Request for reconsideration of decision, letter 8 November 1947, retarding date
of recognition.
: The Commanding General
Philrycom2, APO 707 (Attention: Guerrilla Affairs Branch)

1. Reconsideration of the decision rendered in your letter dated 8 November 1947 relative to the request of the GAGALAC GUERRILLA UNIT to set back the recognition date to 2nd June 1942, is requested.

2. The 1st Company, Gagalac Guerrilla Unit, was attached to the 11th Airborne Division on 8 March 1945, recognized as of that date, and utilized in combat and mopping up operations against the enemy up to the date when the Japanese surrendered. The U.S. Army kept the company in the service up to 9 February 1946, the date when the company was demobilized at Tagaytay City. The compensation received by the men of this company for this period of service cannot and should not be taken as a reward or acknowledgment of the military service rendered by the company before the liberation as is being seemingly insinuated in your letter of 8 November 1947.

3. Without being solicited, the recognition date of said 1st Company, Gagalac Guerrilla Unit, was set back to October 5, 1944, a matter of just five months and three days of additional remuneration to the members thereof, which, according to your letter, is considered by your office as a just and adequate acknowledgment of the military service rendered by this Unit. This, however, does not seem to be just, taking into consideration the facts narrated hereunder.

4. Major R. S. Kramer of the U.S. Army, in his statement dated 8 September 1945, the original of which is attached to the records of the Unit in your office and a true copy is herewith attached, under comment (a) says: “As mentioned in the historical account, I was cognizant of the Gagalac Unit and in the summer of 1943, joined the Unit to assist the training and to give advice. Assisting me was Lt. Eugene L. Georgennsen, later captured by the Japanese in Mindoro.”

5. Summer in the province of Batangas, the area over which the Gagalac Unit carried on their operation during the Japanese occupation, starts in January and ends in April of each year. The above statement of Major Kramer clearly shows that he and Lt. Georgennsen joined the Gagalac Unit either January, February, March or April of 1943 and that said Unit was already in operation earlier than that year.

6. Major R. S. Kramer, Capt. William Farrell, Lt. Eugene L. Georgennsen and Capt. Paul Gregory came to my house on the farm where I evacuated with my family at the start of the war, on April 29, 1942 and lived with me up to about the middle of July 1942. This short period of time that these American officers were with me marked the beginning of the

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organization and operation of the Gagalac Unit. Captain Paul Gregory died of pneumonia in the hut of one of my tenants and was buried right on my farm in May of the same year. (See receipt of the removal of the remains attached to the records of the Unit.) Capt. Farrell was captured by the Japanese in August 1942 and was, perhaps, killed.

7. It is with deep regret that of the four American officers mentioned above, only Major Kramer was able to survive. The reliability, then, of his statement about the Gagalac Unit is beyond question as he is well cognizant of the activities of the Gagalac Guerrillas, having joined and stayed with them for more than a year and a half. What is more important in the present case is the date when the Gagalac Unit started operation against the enemy. This is well admitted by Major Kramer when he said that he and Lt. E. L. Georgennsen joined the Unit in the summer of 1943 to assist the training and to give advice.

8. The next question, perhaps, is: Has the Gagalac Unit done any active work against the enemy in 1942 and 1943? The records of the Unit will answer this question. Attention is also invited to the casualty report of the Unit. And it may not be out of place to state here that to keep American Officers in a specific area, feeding them, giving them clothing and other necessities, at the early stage of the last war as in 1942 and 1943 when the abovementioned officers were under the care of the Gagalac Unit, was a very serious matter. The Japanese and the PCs were already after the Gagala Guerrillas in their effort to capture the Americans who were with them. Under this precarious condition of the Unit, combats against the enemy were inevitable and frequent, resulting in the capture of many of the Unit’s men who were then subjected to severe punishment. In this connection, attention is invited to comment (a) of Major R. S. Kramer, which says: “Under trying circumstances, lack of firearms and continual harassment by the Japanese patrols, the Unit maintained its organization and existed until it was able to give assistance to the Americans.” Major Kramer and Lt. E.L. Georgennsen left Batangas in January 1944. (See comment (c) of Major Kramer.) This further proves that the Gagalac Unit was in active operation against the enemy in the year of 1943, which service of the Unit, in the interest of justice, merits recognition.

9. In view of the foregoing narration of facts, supported by evidences attached to the records of the Unit, more particularly the statement of Major Kramer of the U.S. Army, who was one of those who did not surrender to the Japanese when Bataan and Corregidor fell, it is hoped that the recognition date of at least the 1st Company of the Gagalac Guerrillas, will be set back to any date between June and December of 1942. The men of this company were the first to enlist when the Gagalac Unit was organized in June 1942 and the first in the unit to have started operation against the enemy.

Executive Officer
Gagalac Guerrilla Unit
Notes and references:
1 File Number 278, United States National Archives, downloaded from page Gagalac Guerrilla Unit, Philippine Veteran Association Office.
2 Philrycom is short for “Philippines Ryukyus Command.”
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