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January 7, 2018

History of the 1st Regiment Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops

The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a guerrilla organization founded in 1942 by the retired American Colonel Hugh Straughn, who would unfortunately be captured and executed by the Japanese. The FAIT had many units operating in Batangas, including Nasugbu, where its 1st Regiment would be attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army after the Nasugbu Landing of 31 January 1945. In this document1, a history of the organization is provided likely in aid of its application for official recognition by the United States Army.

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HEADQUARTERS
NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
UNDER COLONEL HUGH STRAUGHN USA, O-2515
Guerrilla Infantry

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HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION

In Nasugbu, Batangas, in the quiet and secluded village of Balaytigue where whispers are muffled by thick forests and roaring sea, there was born bedded on solid rocks, just before the historic fall of Bataan and Corregidor, a secret organization now particularly known as the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops, fathered by a group of humble and patriotic Filipinos.

The original and real founder of the father organization was the late Col. Hugh Straughn, USA, O-2515, who thru secret agents was able to disseminate and plant the seeds that grew into a united and powerful organization of Fil-American Troops.

Under threats of Japanese atrocities, torture and death, Jesus Perucho, Technical Sergeant; P. A., Juan M. Villegas, Civil Engineer and Surveyor; Leon S. Lagos, Vice-Mayor; Gregorio C. Panganiban, Lawyer and Surveyor; Enrique S. Umali, Lawyer; Marcelino Enriquez, Physician; Longinos A. Desacola, Law student; Francisco Oriondo, Sergeant, Philippine Scouts; Jose Samaniego, proprietor; Jose M. Rustia, Surveyor; Vivencio Sapico, School Teacher; Crisogono Bayani, Bookkeeper; Mario Salanio, Tomas Fernandez, Roman Garcia, Miguel Catapang, fishermen; Domingo Baguilar, newspaperman and runner; and with Congressman Miguel Tolentino, Major Jose Razon and Major Jose

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Rueda, both of the Philippine Army as advisers, assembled together and helped one another in rearing the infant organization until it matured and became a real defender and champion of freedom, liberty and democracy.

The Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops, henceforth, was formally founded on December 2, 1942. The organization, like a tidal wave, rose and membership spread to the four corners of the town and the remotest barrios. Barely a year had passed when almost the entire male population of the town became registered members of the organization.

A staff of officers was created which formulated rules and regulations for the organization. A company was formed, then a battalion, a regiment and another followed. Assignments were made and the roster was prepared and kept for future reference. [A] Copy of the roster was furnished Col. Ortega of the 6th Infantry, McKinley Brigade, Fil-American Irregular Troops under Col. Straughn, and Col. Dikit of the Mandik [or Handik, word blurred] Division of the same organization was later contacted sometime in 1943.

The first problem that confronted the organization was the procurement of arms. Secret conferences were held, the purpose of which was to study the ways and means of securing and accumulating arms for the men. Finally, this problem was solved! Contributions from members were solicited and voluntary contributions from several well-to-do families in town were received. Thus, the organization was able to accumulate arms little by little. We can never forget the efforts exerted by the supply officer, Jose Samaniego, and Majors Razon and Rueda of the Philippine Army, who with devoted cooperation



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helped so much in the finances of the organization. The Roxas y Cia., thru the intermediation of Major Razon, responded to the call of the hour and brought about the construction of evacuation centers and maintenance of food to the laborers and men.

The Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops hereby humbly and respectfully present its activities before, during and after the landing of the American Forces of Liberation on the shores of Nasugbu.

ACTIVITIES BEFORE THE LANDING

Just after the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops was organized and respective assignments of officers made, the underground passive resistance was begun. Simultaneous with the fall of Bataan and Corregidor on April 9 and May 7, 1942, respectively, American and Filipino prisoners of war from Fort Carabao were brought to the concentration camp by way of Nasugbu. While in Nasugbu, the war prisoners were let [left?] to starve. Members of this organization bravely took chances to face the deadly thrusts of Japanese bayonets when they provided the war prisoners with drinks, food, cigarettes and some words of faith and encouragement.

Q-Boat Agusan III made a daring escape from Corregidor but, unfortunately, the attempt was frustrated by the timely interception of the Japanese Navy. The Q-boat made a forced anchor in Maniba, Nasugbu, Batangas. Again, the members of the crew were given food, shelter, clothing and harbored in the mountain fastness of Balaytigue by Major Barrios (guerrilla) and his men. At the first opportunity, they were guided back

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to their respective homes.

Invariably, as a consequence of war, peace and order in the community was at its worst. Thievery and cattle rustling was rampant and became a daily occurrence. The Nasugbu Fil-American Troops, thru its Military Police, helped in the extermination of bandits who robbed and plundered the people and abused women.

The organization, by sabotage work, managed to cut communication lines and supply lines of the Japanese Army. The railway track in the vicinity of Pansin between the Poblacion and the barrio of Looc was destroyed, thus preventing the Japanese soldiers from frequenting the barrio of Looc which was one of the best hideouts of the members of the Nasugbu Fil-American and the R. O. T. C. Hunters.

To discourage feverish unrest among civilians resulting from Japanese propaganda of their successes, some members of the organization who had access to radios that were not reconditioned by the Japanese, listened and wrote the broadcasts from San Francisco and spread the news of American advances, victories and various [missing word] made in the Southwest Pacific Area.

For purposes of concealing the administrative machinery of the organization, several Command Posts were constructed for the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops. A regimental C. P. was built in Natipuan and battalion C. P’s were also constructed at Balaytigue and Utod.

For civilian security, the administration of the organization devised means and ways to help the civilian popu-

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lation escape and evade the barbaric and inhuman tortures practiced by the Japanese soldiers. Several commodious buildings in sitio Alas-as, Nasugbu, Batangas to accommodate the civilians who sought the protection of the woods during the haunting days of the zonification, were constructed. When the town was zonified on January 16, 1945, the intelligence operatives of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops saved the necks of many male residents by giving them notice of the zonification in due time and requiring them to vacate the place immediately.

During the first aerial assault of Manila by the U. S. Army Air Corps from Leyte, some planes of the U. S. Navy made forced landings around the waters of Nasugbu as a result of anti-aircraft fire from the enemy. Three American pilots by the names of Lt. William Rising, V-F U. S. N., Lt. William R. Miller, V-F U. S. N., and Lt. John Montgomery, A. R. M. 2/c VB – 15 U. S. N., were rescued by the officers and patrol of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops. The said pilots were given food, shelter and protection at the Regimental C. P. at Natipuan. At the first opportune moment, they were escorted by the members of the organization to Mindoro on December 5, 1944.

The Commanding Officers of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops executed orders from Major Jay D. Vanderpool, who then had contact with the headquarters of General MacArthur. Intelligence reports were sent to Mindoro thru Major Vanderpool concerning location, position and movements of Japanese troops in the vicinity. Likewise, sketches of enemy positions

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and parachute-drop site maps were received by Lt. Col Jesus Perucho of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops.

On January 29, 1945, Col. Marcelino Enriquez and Maj. Jose Samaniego were ordered to proceed to Panagsagan sitio for an important conference with Maj. Jay D. Vanderpool. Right then and there, the “SABOTAGE” and “ATTACK ORDERS” from General MacArthur was handed to them by Major Vanderpool, as there was an imminent landing in Nasugbu! They returned hastily to the town of Nasugbu, issued the “SABOTAGE” and “ATTACK ORDERS,” while tersely advising the civilian population to go to the mountains, or at least one mile away from the shore of Nasugbu.

ACTIVITEIS DURING THE LANDING

In the early morning of January 31, 1945, the residents of Nasugbu who were then already in hiding in the barrios away from the poblacion, were awakened by sounds of cannon, bombs and machine guns and the deafening drones of U. S. Army planes flying low over the town. Our redeemers had come at last! The 11th Airborne Division of the American Forces of Liberation had landed on our shores! The Nasugbu Fil-American Troops responded with great enthusiasm! A party of daring young men of the organization rowed on a banca to welcome our liberators and at the same time advised them to cease firing as there were no more Japanese soldiers in town. Thus, Nasugbu was saved from total destruction! A labor battalion was created and another followed which helped unload the vast Army supplies from the giant transports. Intelligent guides were provided the American spearheads which pursued the retreating disorganized Japanese

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Army. Pocket Japanese units and stragglers were harassed and killed. Day and night, the labor battalions of the Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops were on beach detail. Patrols were sent to different parts of the mountain wilds of Nasugbu. First aiders were busy on their jobs. The medical corps of the organization assisted in protecting the health and sanitation of the landing forces and of the civilian population in accordance with the order and instructions of Lt. Col. Jordan, C. A. C., 11th Airborne Division, U. S. Army. In compliance with the order of Captain Caruso of the 11th Airborne Division, a watchtower was constructed on the beach by our Corps of Engineers. Fencing of the restricted areas at the beach was done by the organization thru its labor battalion as per order of Captain Whitehead, C. E., 11th Airborne Division. Rewiring of communication lines were done by the Nasugbu Fil-Americans from the Sugar Central to Palico Bridge as per instructions of Captain Mabatt of the Signal Corps, 11th Airborne Division, U. S. Army.

To facilitate the transportation and flow of army supplies, the Fil-American Troops of Nasugbu helped in the construction of roads, bridges and culverts. As per order of Capt. John Holton of the C. A. C., 11th Airborne Division, refugee quarters were constructed by the men of the organization, and a Regimental C. P. was also constructed in the barrio of Wawa, in accordance with the order of Lt. Col. Farren. All the constructions aforementioned were realized thru the able management of. Lt. Col. Juan M. Villegas.



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ACTIVITIES AFTER THE LANDING

During the days following the landing, the Fil-Americans of Nasugbu furnished the 11th Airborne Division with intelligent guides for mopping up pocket Japanese detachments in the different sectors of retreat. Detachments of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans joined the mopping up operations under taken by the U. S. Army in the mountains of the nearby towns of Lian, Calatagan, Tuy and Balayan. The 152 AA Bn. of the 11th Airborne Division, U. S. Army, was likewise provided with trained guards as far as Camp Nichols, Fort William McKinley and Los Baños Concentration Camp. Guards on the approach to the town were detailed to prevent Japanese snipers from penetrating into the town. A combat battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Jesus Perucho was attached to the 152 AA Bn., 11th Airborne Division, U. S. Army, and is now processed in the Philippine Army.

On February 25, 1945, one Japanese Q-boat was captured at Cawayan Point, Nasugbu, Batangas, by Captain Tomas Fernandez of the organization and his men. Captain Fernandez delivered the captured Q-boat to Captain Kneth [Kenneth?] Mackaid of the Landing Barge Co. C., 592 Engineering Regiment, U. S. Army.

CASUALTIES SUFFERED BY ENEMY

1. Enemies killed before the landing:

a. 60 Japanese soldiers were killed in Papaya beach by the “C” Company.

b. 20 Japanese soldiers were killed in various outposts by the “C” Company.

c. Captains Higa and Rody, both intelligence operatives of Fort Santiago, were killed in the Sugar Central.

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d. 3 Japanese soldiers were killed by the “A” Company in Muntingbuhangin and Natipuan.

11. Enemies killed during the Landing:

a. 19 Japanese soldiers were killed in Balayan, Batangas, by the “I” Company of the 3rd Battalion, Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops, under Captain Fabian Lopez.

b. 2 Japanese were killed by the men of the organization in Natipuan.

c. 2 Japanese soldiers were killed in Barak by Captain Lamberto Ureta and Lt. Rafael Salanguit of the Fil-Americans.

CASUALTIES SUFFERED THE THE NASUGBU FIL-AMERICANS

1. Maj. Jose M. Rustia was beheaded by the Japanese soldiers in Barrio Aga, Nasugbu, Batangas, on January 18, 1945.

2. Pvt. Loreto Magtaas was also beheaded at the same place and date.

3. Sergeant Ceferino Riñosa was killed in Amaralina by the Japs during the mopping up operations.

4. Pvt. Ildefonso Estolas was killed in Amaralina by the Japs during the mopping up operations.

5. Pvt. Eugenio Ramos was killed in Amaralina by the Japs during the mopping up operations.

6. Pvt. Apolonio Ilustre was killed while on guard duty at Palico Bridge.

7. Hermenegildo Diaz (Pvt) was killed in action during the mopping up operations at Canda Sector, Balayan, Batangas, under the command of Captain Fabian Lopez.

8. Capt. Mariano Panganiban was killed in action in Malusac, [the concluding part of this page was not scanned, hence this sentence ends with a comma]

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9. 1st Lt. Anastacio Militar was killed while on the way to Cavite while on a mission to secure supplies for the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas.

10. 2nd Lt. Melecio Calunod was killed accidentally by two MP’s of the organization, believing that he was a Japanese sniper, as the accident occurred during night time.

11. Sgt. Sotero Cunamay died in action at the Nasugbu Sector.

12. Pfc. Valentin Villaramas, together with 1st Lt. Anastacio Militar, were killed on the way to Cavite while on [a] mission to secure supplies for the Nasugbu Fil-American guerrillas.

13. Pvt. Julio Pulido died in action in Nasugbu.

14. Pvt. Buenaventura Bolito died in action in [the] Nasugbu Sector.

15. Pvt. Mateo Lirazan died in action in [the] Nasugbu Sector.

16. Pvt. Zacarias Sevilla died a natural death in Nasugbu before the American landing in Batangas.

17. Pvt. Sixto Cabasic was killed in action in [the] Nasugbu Sector.

18. Pvt. Francisco Rosales died also in action while doing patrol duty in the mountains of Nasugbu.

19. 2nd Lt. Amando Comiso died a natural death at Nasugbu before the coming of the Americans.

ENEMY PROPERTIES CAPTURED AND TURNED OVER TO THE U.S. ARMY

1. January 31st 1945 – One (1) roll of telephone wires measuring 500 meters sabotaged.

2. February 3rd 1945 – One (1) machine gun (Japanese) and four (4) boxes of machine gun rounds of ammunition captured at San Diego Point, Nasugbu, Batangas.

3. March 1st 1945 – One (1) non-commissioned saber handed to Lt. Rogers, adjutantto Col. James H. Farren of the

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ADDITIONAL LIST OF CASUALTIES OF THE NASUGBU
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS

20. Pvt. Melchor Custodio – Died in action in Sugsugin, Lian, Batangas.

21. Pvt. Florentino Delanon – Died in action in Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas.

22. Pvt. Dalmacio Bahia – Died of sickness in Dilao, Balayan, Batangas.

23. Pvt. Apolonio Ignacio – Died in action at Balayan sector.

24. Pvt. Vicente Gonzaga – Killed accidentally by dynamite while catching fish for the men.

[Sgd.] Lt. Col. Juan M. Villagas
Commanding

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152 AA 11th Airborne Division.

4. March 1, 1945 – One (1) Japanese big map having all nautical soundings and geographical positions of reference points from Batangas Bay to Manila Bay (China Sea).

5. March 19, 1945 – One (1) Japanese samurai sabre handed by Lt. Col. Enriquez to Lt. Col. James H. Farren.

6. March 24, 1945 – Turned over to the 152 AA Bn, 11th Airborne Division, S-2, One (1) Japanese flag, Six (6) pictures, five (5) dogtags and three (3) pay books.

7. March 27, 1945 – After the Fil-American Battalion attached to the 11th Airborne, attacked Limbones Height, killed 17 Japanese soldiers, the following enemy properties were handed to Lt. Col. James H. Farren:

One (1) Japanese flag.
One (1) delicate oil gadget in a handy box a huge bulk of important papers, documents, insignias of different make, cloths and metal.
One (1) radio transmitter.

It may not be amiss to state in passing that the underground existence of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops had, on several occasions, been threatened to be unearthed during the days when the Japanese Army had been in hot pursuit of anti-Japanese movements. A certain Miguel David of the organization was twice brought to the local garrison at Lumbangan, Nasugbu, Batangas for investigation. Luckily, as the Japs had no sufficient evidence at hand of the existence of any anti-Japanese movement in town, the said Miguel David was immediately released. Several months later, as the suspicions of the Japs had not yet been erased, one of the organizers, Atty. Gregorio

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C. Panganiban, was taken to the garrison and confined there for THIRTY THREE (33) days from April 1 to May 4, 1943. While in the garrison, he was given very little food and was subjected to every brutal torture which human minds could conceive, but the Japs were not able to obtain any information from him about the organization. A betrayal of the secret from Miguel David and Atty. Gregorio C. Panganiban would have caused the wholesale massacre of the entire male population of Nasugbu.

Putting aside every gesture of modesty, it is worthy to state that the NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN TROOPS composed of two (2) distinct regiments, under the respective commands of Lt. Col. Juan M. Villegas of the First Infantry and Lt. Col. Marcelino Enriquez of the Second Infantry, had contributed its bit to the early and decisive liberation of the Philippines, and also lent color and vitality to guerrilla activities in the whole archipelago. The organization also bows its head to the unselfish sacrifices of its members who died in defense of the common cause.

In closing, we could say that the history of the organization as presented is not exhaustive in itself but is a mere attempt to humbly present its foundation for the purpose of record and recognition.

Nasugbu, Batangas, March 3, 1945.

Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] Lt. Col. JUAN M. VILLEGAS
Commanding
1st Infantry Regiment
NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS

Lt. Col. MARCELINO T. ENRIQUEZ
Commanding
2nd Infantry Regiment
NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN TROOPS

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Notes and references:
1 “1st Regiment, Nasugbu, Fait” File No. 110-52, downloaded from PVAO.

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