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January 7, 2018

Letter of Pedro Guevarra, Tanauan Guerrillas, to the Secretary of Defense, Oct 45

The Tanauan Guerrilla Organization was formed in 1942 right after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, but remained in active for long periods and concentrated in keeping peace and order in the town of Tanauan, Batangas. By March 1945, it was attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army and was active in the ambuscade of Japanese troops. In this 1945 document1, one Pedro Guevarra of the Tanauan Guerrilla Organization wrote to the Secretary of National Defense to request for an investigation for the recognition of the claims of the injured and wounded of the guerrilla outfit.

[p. 1]

TANAUAN GUERRILLA ORGANIZATION
Tanauan, Batangas

October 7, 1945

The Honorable
The Secretary
Department of National Defense
Manila

Sir:

In connection with our request for recognition of this guerrilla organization evidenced by our submission of a history of our outfit and a diary of our activities submitted September 27, 1945, a copy of which was furnished the Guerrilla Affairs Section AFPAC, we have the honor to request information as to whether other data are necessary to support our claim and what progress has already been achieved.

Our request for recognition is not prompted by any desire to cash in on patriotism because were it for the living, we would have kept silent entirely. In fact, the delay in the submission of our request was caused by a feeling of shame on our part having to claim privileges and indemnities for a service we undertook in the line of our civic duty to the community, but the blight of the casualties and the misery of the widows and the orphans of those who died in the line of duty prompted our move to seek recognition.

Other officers of this organization who outrank me by many grades have failed to prepare the papers and take action for recognition because they do not feel themselves entitled to any reward and they realize the confusion which arose from the attitude of many post-liberation guerrillas who have taken steps ahead of us and actually secured recognition and have already been processed in the Philippine Army. The community, however, cannot see any wisdom in further silence because they understand that the casualties who are today recuperating in the U. S. Army base hospitals and the crippled who walk on crutches must be attended to. Our casualties bear testimonials from competent U.S. Army officers, particularly Lt. Col. H. L. Connor Jr., C.O., 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division and Capt. Laundry of the same outfit, and Major Shoemer of the 11th Airborne Division, that they died in the line of duty, in actual combat with the enemy. Certainly, these casualties deserve more than mere passing notice. One of these testimonials is attached hereto, a true copy of the letter of condolence by Lt. Col. Conner to the bereaved family of one of our members who was killed in action against the Japs.



[p. 2]

If it is true, as the papers would have us believe, that the Army has stopped recognizing guerrillas, we have no quarrel with such a policy. We, the living, can go on because we are not eager to receive any form of aid as long as other people who do not deserve it have already claimed that for themselves, but the dead and the injured will forever remain an indictment of our acts and a slight on our government. We only want action for them.

In view of the foregoing, it is earnestly requested that an investigation of the meritorious claims of the dead and the injured who are listed herewith in a separate sheet be looked into with the view to helping them if they can prove their loyalty and service to the country at a time when they were needed. While our papers may not look complete nor our narrative flawless, we say again that it was so, because when we organized and carried on our work, we had no intention of claiming any recognition or reward. The sad plight of the widows and the misery of the crippled cry out and leave us no other alternative.

Very respectfully,


TANAUAN GUERRILLA ORGANIZATION

[Sgd.] By: PEDRO GUEVARRA

Incls:

1. Lt. Col. Conner’s letter of condolence.
2. List of casualties.

Copy furnished:

1. AFPAC, Guerrilla Affairs Section.
2. Guerrilla Affairs Unit, U. S. Army.
3. Hq. 2nd Sqd. 8th Cavalry, A.P.O. 201, San Francisco, Calif.
4. Office of the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
5. Office, President of Senate, Philippines.

[p. 3]

ATTACHMENT 1

TRUE COPY

Hq. 2nd Sq. 8th Cavalry
A.P.O. 201, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California

29 April 1945

Mr. Juan Gonzales
Tanauan, Batangas

My dear Mr. Gonzales:

Although I realize how inadequate are mere words as consolation to your grief, I wish to express my sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your son, Jesus, who was killed in action against the enemy of 16 April 1945 near Mt. Malipuyo.

He fought bravely for this country, and died bravely so that once more, the Philippines will be free of its aggressors.

Please accept the condolences of myself and the men of the squadron in your irreplaceable loss.

Yours very sincerely,

(Sgd.) H. L. Conner Jr.
Lt. Col. 8th Cavalry
Commanding



[p. 4]

ATTACHMENT 2 [Embedded PDF]



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Notes and references:
1 “Tanauan Guerrillas, Zebra Troops” File No. 255, downloaded from PVAO.

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