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January 6, 2018

Activities of the Rainbow Regiment during Attachment to the US Army

The Rainbow Regiment was a guerrilla organization founded by patriotic citizens from western Batangas. To learn more about the group, please refer to this article on Batangas History, Culture and Folklore. This document1 is the third of a three-part series on the organization and activities of the guerrilla group. This transcription has been edited here and there for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

[p. 1]

RAINBOW REGIMENT
MALAKAS DIVISION (AUSA)

ACTIVITIES DURING ATTACHMENT TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY

Before the American landing at Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines at attack order was issued for all guerrillas.

30 JANUARY 1945
IN THE FIELD
SUBJECT
TO
: ATTACK ORDERS
: ALL GUERRILLAS
(Excerpts)
TWO EIGHT JANUARY PD
VANDERPOOL FROM MACARTHUR PD
ALL GUERRILLAS WILL ATTACK UPON NOTIFICATION REPEAT NOTIFICATION FROM THIS HQ PD DESIRE YOU COORDINATE ALL GUERRILLAS WEST OF LAGUNA DE BAY END

(Followed Instructions A to J)
(j) CABARRUBIA AND BORBON WILL ATTACK AND DESTROY ALL THE ENEMY FORCES ALONG THE IMPROVED ROAD OF BALAYAN (INCL) LEMERY (INCL.). HE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ROAD. PATROLLING WILL BE DONE IN TUY. ALL ENEMY FORCES WILL BE ATTACKED WHEN ENCOUNTERED.
(Followed by Instructions No. 3 to 16)

s/ Jay D. Vanderpool
t/ JAY D. VANDERPOOL
Major, GSC
Coordinator

In compliance with this order, the Rainbow Regiment attacked the Japanese concentrations at the barrio of Tuy but was repulsed. Other combat patrols attacked the Japanese bridge detachments at the three bridges of Palico, Cacawan and Bayudbod. The Japanese were driven and the bridges saved from destruction. Patrols were sent to Balayan and the 4th Bn was ordered to mobilize and go into action.

On 31 January 1945, the 11th Airborne Division landed at Nasugbu, Batangas. At hour 1000, Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia, accompanied by Majors Ceferino Inciong and Bonifacio Cunamay, reported to Major Jay D. Vanderpool at the ground floor of the Municipal Building of Nasugbu. One regiment of five battalions, consisting of four thousand men (4,000) with two fully-armed companies of three hundred (300) officers and men, was presented for service. Request made for more arms. Major Vanderpool ordered that the men must be assembled the following day.

On 1 February 1945, Major Jay D. Vanderpool informed Colonel Cabarrubia that, henceforth, the Rainbow Regiment was attached to the United States Army and that it would receive direct orders from him. The following orders were given:

1. PROTECT THE RIGHT FLANK OF THE 11TH AIRBORNE DIVISION ADVANCING TOWARD MANILA.
2. SECTOR OF RESPONSIBILITY FROM PALICO JUNCTION TO TUY AND BALAYAN, BOTH TOWNS INCLUSIVE.
3. LIBERATE TUY BY HOUR 1200, 2 FEBRUARY 45.
4. DRAW ALCOHOL RATION FOR FUEL OF TRUCKS ASSIGNED TO HAUL THE SUPPLIES OF THE RAINBOW REGIMENT; 600 LITERS A WEEK FROM CENTRAL AZUCARERA DON PEDRO.

[p. 2]

On 1 February 1945, strong combat patrols were placed along the right side of the Nasugbu-Tuy and Nasugbu-Tagaytay roads to protect the right flank of the 11th A/B Division.

On 2 February 1945 early in the morning, the combat battalion advanced along the highway from Palico Junction to Tuy. Two assault platoons dispersed the Japs’ resistance along the highway and killed two Japs. The Japanese retreated southward then veered to the west. Tuy was occupied before the hour 1200. CP was established at the municipal building where the American flag was hoisted. Civilians asked to return. Patrols sent to all directions from Tuy to detect enemy locations. Major Vanderpool’s orders were accomplished.

On 3 February 1945, strong Japanese concentrations at the barrios of Malibu and Palingkaro were attacked by the combat battalion. The enemy was routed. Twenty-six (26) Japanese were counted dead and one (1) captured. Said battalion was under the personal command of Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia. The captured Jap was turned over to the Hq of the 11th A/B Division. The following were captured from the JAPS: One (1) 77 mm howitzer, one (1) mortar, thirty-three rifles, three (3) cartloads of supplies and nine (9) horses. The captured Jap revealed the locations of land mines along the road to Calatagan. The action eliminated the menace of a Japanese attack on the right flank of the American Army.

The Rainbow Regiment maintained strong combat patrols along the road from Palico Junction to Tuy and from Tuy to Balayan. Patrols engaged the Japanese in combat actions in the barrios of Tuy and east of Tagaytay highway. During the period from 1 February to 16 February 45 when the HQ of the Rainbow Regiment was at Tuy, it had accounted for fifty (50) Japanese dead, three (3) captured and turned over to the HQ of the 11th A/B Division and various arms and supplies from the enemy.

On 16 February 1945, the Guerrilla Hq at Tagaytay City thru Capt. Schoomer ordered Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia to liberated Balayan and hold it at all costs. At 3:00 P.M., the town of Balayan was liberated. Different sectors of defense were prepared against Japanese attack which might come from the west (Sampiro stronghold) or from the east (Makukak fortification). Barrio folks and other civilians were urged to stay within the perimeter of defense. CP was established at the Periculture Building and the American flag was raised for the first time in three years. The Japs repeatedly attacked the town but were always repulsed. In the evening of the same day, (11:00 PM), a strong force of Japanese attacked in the west from the Binambang River. The Japs were repulsed. One Japanese found dead in the morning and a civilian was killed by the Japs.

On 17 February 1945, the Japs in a big and strong force launched the attack at 12:30 PM. They used mortars, machine guns and rifles. After an exchange of fire for one and a half hours, the Japs retreated in the direction of Sampiro. The enemy suffered a casualty of twenty-five. A force of thirty Japanese, vanguard of a strong force from Makukak, tried to penetrate the eastern sector. The enemy retreated and burned the house of Jose Lopez Manzano.

After two weeks of operations, the Commanding General of the 11th Airborne Division found out that he had forty-two thousand (42,000) guerrillas in the area. To feed them would exhaust the supplies of the army in two weeks. On 19 February 1945, the following memorandum to Guerrilla Units was released:



[p. 3]

MEMORANDUM: Guerilla Troops

1. Purpose:- The purpose of this memorandum is to prescribe the operation of Guerrilla Troops within the 11th Airborne Division zone of responsibility.

2. Composition:- Only those Guerrilla Units authorized and inducted by this headquarters (through Major Vanderpool) will be recognized.

3. Organization:- Authorized guerrillas will be organized into companies with numerical or alphabetical designations, administered in accordance with pertinent United States Army regulations.

4. Armament and Equipment:- Only members of Guerrilla Units recognized by this headquarters are authorized to carry weapons and use U.S. equipment. Identification credentials needed (excerpt).

5. Operation:- (a) Guerrilla companies will be attached to regiments by division order.
(b) Initially, each infantry battalion will have one guerrilla company attached for operations, administration and supply. Ultimately, guerrilla battalions of four companies each will be organized and subject to call of the Philippine Army.
(c) Normal administration records (MR’s, Sick Book, etc.) will be maintained by each company.

6. Unauthorized:- Commanders are directed to confiscate all weapons and government property found in possession of unauthorized Filipino groups or individuals within their zone of responsibility.

By command of Major General SWING.

s/ Alex Williams Jr.
t/ ALEX WILLIAMS JR.
Colonel GSC.
Chief of Staff

Following this order Captain Schoomer, Guerrilla Coordinator at Tagaytay City, called a conference of all representatives of the Guerrilla Units inducted by Major Vanderpool, GSC. On 22 February 1945, the following units were ordered to organize corresponding combat companies:

Hunters ROTC – Staff with three combat companies
Rainbow Regiment – Staff with two combat companies
Rillo Neri Unit – Staff and a company
Gagalac Unit – Staff and a company
Licopa Unit – Staff and a company

[p. 4]

It was further agreed in the conference that all rosters of troops of the combat companies would be submitted on or before 3 March 1945. Together with the roster of the combat companies, the Unit commanders were required to submit an Alphabetical Roster of Troops for the members who were disbanded effective 5 March 1945, so that whatever compensation or remuneration the US government would give in the future, those claims might be adjusted accordingly.

In compliance to this order, the Rainbow Regiment submitted the required rosters. The CO expressed his regret that the services of the rest of his men were dispensed with. The Rainbow Regiment operated with the authorized strength.

On 26 February 1945, the following instruction was issued by Major Jay D. Vanderpool.

GENERAL GUERRILLA HEADQUARTERS
Central Luzon

26 FEB. 1945
SUBJECT
TO
: LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS
: ALL GUERRILLA UNITS OF THIS COMMAND
1. Due to the fine combat record established by the Guerrilla Organizations in this area, Major General Swing, Commanding General of the 11th Airborne Division, has directed that all the Guerrilla Units now under his Command be attached to his division immediately.
2. All Guerrilla Organizations will be immediately attached for Command, rations and supply as indicated below:

Attached to 187 AB Inf.                                           (Col. Hidebrand)
Markings
AUSA
Fil-American (Erne)
Golden and Rainbow Regts
(Followed by other attachments and Instructions 3 to 17)

s/ Jay D. Vanderpool
t/ JAY D. VANDERPOOL
Major, GSC

After this instruction, the Rainbow Regiment was attached to the 187th AB Inf. of the 11th Airborne Division and drew rations from the same.

On 21 February, 1945, the first attack at the Makukak stronghold was begun. The Rainbow Regiment was reinforced by an ROTC Hunters detachment under Major Sebial. The Japs’ position was shelled by mortar. The men advanced from the west and the south. In spite of intense enemy fire, the first line of defense was occupied. On account of darkness and [the] advantageous position of the enemy, the attack was not pushed through. Several Japanese were killed and wounded, three of them counted in the outer defenses. On our side, three were seriously wounded. The attack was resumed four days later but it was called off on account of the interference of another unit.

On 5 March 1945, the 158th Regimental Combat Team established HQ at Balayan and the guerrilla units in the area passed to its command.



[p. 5]

HEADQUARTERS
158TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
APO 70

4 March 1945

TO: Commanding Officer, 187th P/G Regiment, 11th A/B Division APO 468

1. General Guerrilla Command in the Balayan Area, pass to control to the CG 158th RCT per VOUG 11th A/B Division effective 00011 5 March 1945.

2. Hunters ROTC; Rainbow Regiment, AUSA; Rillo-Neri Unit, Gagalac Unit, Licopa Unit pass to control of General Guerrilla Command per VOCG 11th A/B Division effective 00011 5 March 1945.

For the Commanding General:

s/ROBERT BLIEDEN
t/ ROBERT BLIEDEN
Major Infantry
S - 2

The same day, the CO of the Rainbow Regiment received the following attack orders from Major Blieden.
1. ATTACK SAMPIRO AND TAKE ENEMY POSITION ESPECIALLY GUN EMPLACEMENTS.
2. FURNISH 25 MEN TO SPEARHEAD THE ADVANCE TO LEMERY UNDER MAJOR DAY.
3. FURNISH 25 MEN TO MOP UP ENEMY POSITION AT MAKUKAK.

The first battle of Sampiro began at 00011 when a company of Rainbow Combat Bn under Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia established his company 800 meters from the enemy positions. He was accompanied by twenty Americans under Lt. L. Nivels, who would direct the artillery fire from the town five kilometers away. The shelling started at 11 o’clock until noon. At 2:00, the assault began. The first gun emplacement was captured in spite of the enemy resistance. The firing pin of the cannon was removed by Lt. Nivels. Due to the approach of night, the company prepared to retire. Enemy reinforcements arrived from Calatagan and Mt. Pintong Itim. Our side sustained heavy casualties with two missing and ten wounded, one dying later on. Seven Japs dead were accounted for.

Lt. Venancio Daquigan spearheaded the advance to Lemery. One of his men was seriously wounded and brought to the Leyten Hospital by plane. Another twenty-five men under Lt. Manigbas mopped up the Japanese position at Makukak. A patrol at Magahis under Maj. Calingasan attacked the Japs, killing two of them, but his men suffered a casualty of one dead.

On 8 March 1945, the second attack order for Sampiro was received for the following day.

1. PREPARE LARGEST NUMBER OF MEN AVAILABLE FOR COMBAT ACTION AT SAMPIRO.
2. TAKE SAMPIRO AT ALL COST.
3. OPERATION OFFICER – MAJOR KILLING

The second attack at Sampiro was made on 8 and 9 March 1945. The attacking force was composed [of] a company of Americans under Capt. Green, a company of the Rainbow Regiment under Col. Mariano H. Cabarrubia and a company of Hunters ROTC under Lt.

[p. 6]

Col. Juanito Ferrer. The commanding officer was Major Killing. On the first day of the attack, the Japanese position was not taken. The force had to bivouac for the night at the village. On the second day, after a heavy artillery barrage, the assault was started in the afternoon. The Rainbow Regiment, occupying the right flank and hear the mountainside, advanced and reached the first gun emplacement in spite of the fierce resistance. [Missing text] to the next gun emplacement which was also captured. The Americans destroyed the cannons. The Rainbow Regiment sustained a casualty of two killed and one wounded, while a total of seventy-six (76) Japanese were killed.

From 10 March to 27 March 1945, the date the guerrilla control passed to Lt. Col. James Farren, CO, 152nd AA Bn, our unit engaged mainly in mopping up operations, sending patrols against the Japs and guarding the bridges. In the same period, we had killed twelve Japs, captured five and lost one man in action. From 27 March to 5 April 1945, our unit was engaged in patrolling the whole sector of responsibility comprising the towns of Balayan, Tuy, Lian and Calatagan. Our combat patrols accounted for two Japs killed.

Beginning 6 April 1945, the area was under the command of the Guerrilla Headquarters at Taal, Batangas, under Lt. A. P. MacDonald. The Rainbow Regiment was assigned the biggest sector of responsibility covering the region west of the road from Balayan to Tuy comprising of the municipalities of Calatagan, Lian, Tuy and Balayan. Activities were confined to sending out patrols, mopping up operations in designated sectors, guarding bridges and helping other units at the call of the Guerrilla HQ.

On 8 May 1945, Capt. Tibay of the Gold Area Unit asked for reinforcement because his patrol at Patogo was outnumbered by the Japs. A platoon under Captain Cunamay was sent to help. On 9 May 1945, the battle of Patogo commenced. Capt. Tibay and Capt. Cunamay attacked the Japs in the vicinity of Patogo. The Rainbow detachment killed fourteen Japanese on its flank. The enemy resisted fiercely with TM, MGs of light and heavy caliber, rifles and grenades. Superiority of number and firepower forced the guerrillas to withdraw. In the engagement, two of our men were killed and Captain Cunamay was hit by a grenade and brought to the US Army hospital.

Besides taking care of our sector of responsibility, our men were engaged in mopping up operations in other sectors. Our unit participated in the campaign at the Calaca area and at the Cahil-Maragatdagat operations. The last mopping up operation engaged in by the unit was from 6 June to 8 June 1945, when our unit helped in the Cahil-Maragatdagat operation. Our detachment was able to account for eleven Japs killed with no casualty on our side.

The Rainbow Regiment was ordered to report to Camp Murphy on 13 June 1945. In the morning of that day, trucks of the United States Army picked the battalion consisting of two companies and the staff. All arms and equipment were brought. Upon arrival at Camp Murphy, the arms were turned over to the proper authority.

The Rainbow Regiment was attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the United States 6th Army through Major Jay D. Vanderpool on 1 February 1945. On 26 February 45, the Rainbow Regiment was attached for Command, ration and supplies to the 187th AB Inf. under Col. Hildebrand. On 5 March 1945, the Regiment passed to the control of the 158th RCT. On 27

[p. 7]

March 1945, it was attached to Col. Farren’s 152nd AA Bn. On 6 April 1945, the command of the Balayan area passed to the control of Lt. A. P. MacDonald of the Guerrilla Headquarters at Taal, Batangas. The Rainbow Combat Battalion remained under this control until 13 June 1945 when it was processed. The date of recognition was 21 February 1945.

During the operations under the United States Army, the Rainbow Regiment was able to inflict upon the enemy the following casualties: Killed Japanese – 199; Captured – 9. Many arms and supplies were also captured. On the other hand, the casualties we suffered were the following: Killed in action – 6; Wounded – 17. (All figures based on the S-2 Reports submitted to the U.S. Army during the period of attachment.) The arms captured from the enemy during this period were turned over to the United States Army officers.

During the entire operation of the Rainbow Regiment from the time of its inception in 1942 until the last date of attachment to the 11th Airborne Division on 13 June 1945, it had accounted for 318 Japs killed and 9 captured. On our side, it was hard to determine the casualties during the operations against the Japs for whenever our operatives failed to return to the mountain CP, he could either have been caught by the Japs and executed or just missing. There was an unwritten code among our underground that anyone caught should not involve anyone else but heroically face the consequences alone. If anyone squealed and lived, he would forever be an outcast or be eventually liquidated.

s/ Mariano H. Cabarrubia
t/ MARIANO H. CABARRUBIA ASN 0-70940
Colonel Infantry (Guerrilla)
CO Rainbow Regiment & Rainbow
Combat Battalion, Malakas Division
(AUSA)

A TRUE COPY:

RICHARD KYLE
Chief, Statistics Branch
Records and Fiscal Division

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Notes and references:
1 Box 258, Entry 1094, Philippine Archive Collection, Record Groupo 407, United States National Archives, downloaded from Philippine Veteran Association Office.

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