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January 7, 2018

Letter to Ceferino Melo on Non-Recognition of Geronimo Division, November 1946

The Geronimo Division was a guerrilla outfit operating out of the then-town of Lipa. Its request for official recognition was subsequently denied by the United States Army. In this document1, Thomas J. Brown of the Adjutant’s Office of the Philippine-Ryukyus Command, United States Army, wrote to Ceferino Melo, Commander of the 4th Battalion, 143rd Infantry, Geronimo Division, to inform him of his guerrilla group’s non-recognition by the United States Army.

[p. 1]



HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL
APO 707

GSCPG 091 PI

29 NOV 1946

Ceferino Melo
Rosario, Batangas

Dear Mr. Melo:

The Commanding General has directed that you be informed that the 4th Battalion, 143rd Infantry, General Geronimo Division, ECLGA, purporting to be a guerrilla organization under your nominal control, is not favorably considered for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army.

A set of general requirements for guerrilla recognition, established by General MacArthur during the liberation of the Philippines, has been used as a guide in considering the record of this unit. After careful investigation and full consideration of all substantiating records and testimony of witnesses having personal knowledge, recognition of this guerrilla unit is not deemed to be warranted because of reasons mentioned below:

a. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence

b. Activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.

c. Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization.

d. Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations.

e. Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits, and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only.

It is requested that you comply with the provisions of Executive Order No. 68 by the President of the Philippines, dated 6 September 1945, copy attached.

Sincerely yours,



THOMAS J. BROWN
CWO, USA
ASST ADJ GEN

1 Incl
1 – Executive Order No. 68

[p. 2]



Lt Col Hugh L. Carnahan:

1. The 4th Battalion 143rd Infantry, General Geronimo Division East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area (ECLGA), consisting of 627 officers and enlisted men under the command of Lt Col Ceferino Melo has not been favorably considered for recognition. None of the members have previously been recognized.
2. Basis for non-recognition:
a. The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy (members lived at home).
b. Activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy. (resistance was slight)
c. The unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization. (no documentary evidence presented)
d. Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations.
e. Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only. (statement by the members)
f. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence. (no evidence presented)

3. Col Fausto Alberto, former G-2, MMD, ECLGA, stated that he has absolutely no knowledge of the subject unit.
4. Col Histrimundo Gregorio, former C of S, MMD ECLGA, stated that the MMD had no units outside of Manila and suburbs and that he never heard of the unit.
5. Lt Col E. P. Ramsey CO, ECLGA, stated that he knew nothing about the unit and that to his knowledge, it never existed.

Max L. Brabson
2nd Lt Inf. 0-1538706 /apa

1. Concur. Major D. C. Murray
Chief, Unit Investigation

2. Concur. Lt Col Robert Gaal [not sure, blurred]
Chief, Investigation Section

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Notes and references:
1 “4th Bn, General Geronimo’s Div, MMD, ECLGA,” File No. 308-91, downloaded from PVAO.

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