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January 7, 2018

Tanauan Guerrillas Journal after Attachment to the 11th Airborne Division

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 is contained a journal of activities after the Tanauan Guerilla Organization was attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army. This is actually a continuation of the history of the organization posted in a separate page.

[p. 1]

JOURNAL OF ACTIVITIES AFTER OUR UNIT HAD BEEN ATTACHED
TO THE AMERICAN OUTFIT

March 11, 1945 – Attached to the 11th Airborne Division. Identified as “Ambush Troops.” On same day, ordered by Major Schommer, C. P. Commander, to patrol between Tinurik and Balele, barrios of Tanauan. No enemy encounter.

March 12, 1945 – Patrolling continuing in same places. Extended mission to Bagongbayan and Bungcalot, also barrios of Tanauan. No enemy encounter, even as far as near the poblacion.

March 13 – Had enemy encounter, but failed to ambush Jap trucks (Jap convoy). Major Santos, 2nd in command, laid out plan for proper ambush of enemy convoy; gave strong order to accomplish it any cost.

March 14 – Ambushed 2 enemy trucks. Enemy reinforcements arrived and put up a fight, but checked with aid of our mortars and grenades.
Result: One casualty on our side – Simplicio Saludo killed in action; sent to C.P. of Major Schommer for burial.
List of enemy equipment captured:
1. One battle flag
2. Dog tags and several books and diaries
3. 12 uniforms (Japs’)
4. 12 Jap blankets
5. 1 sack, sugar
6. 2 bayonets
7. 2 canteens
8. 1 burned rifle
9. 2 raincoats
10. 2 steel helments
11. 1 bag, ammunition
12. 3 drums, alcohol
13. 2 Jap grenades
14. Several civilian clothes looted by Japs.
The two Jap trucks were burned. Fourteen (14) Japs killed as shown by their charred skulls in vicinity of both trucks.

March 15 – Slight encounter with superior enemy force; unit forced to withdraw.

March 16 – Enemy more cautious; posted guards at place of ambush and at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Darasa, and in Darasa School building, Tanauan, along the national road. Estimated 420 truckloads of enemy troops seen arriving in Tanauan. No encounter.

March 17 – 2300 hours 75 empty enemy trucks passed by our Ambush Troops going to Tanauan. At 0300 hours, same truck convoy returned southward loaded with troops and followed by foot troops. Ambush Troops received reports about 1000 Japs arrived at Malvar 1330 hours. Sighted enemy patrols in vicinity of Bungcalot, barrio of Tanauan,



[p. 2]

at boundary of Malvar late in the afternoon. No encounter.

March 18 – Japs continued evacuating Tanauan. 16 truckloads of enemy troops seen bound southward. No encounter.

March 19 – At 2230 hours, we ambushed one Jap truck. Jap foot troops following put up a fight. Several Japs killed. On our side: 1 killed, 2 wounded. Ambush Troops leader wounded in right arm; other one, private, seriously wounded in head. Both taken to hospital. Our list of casualties in this encounter:
1. Basilio Mercado – seriously wounded in back of head.
2. Quiterio Villarino, (Ambush Leader) – wounded in right arm.
3. Vivencio Masongsong – killed in action w/ wound on left side of chest.

March 20 – Uneventful; not much to report.

March 21 – Patrol work. No encounter.

March 22 – 11th Airborne moved out. We were attached to another unit of the U. S. Army, the 8th Cavalry. Assigned purely to reconnaissance patrol. Identified as Zebra Troops.

March 23 – On reconnaissance w/ one American soldier. No encounter with enemy.

March 24 – At 1100 hours, we were ordered to move to town – Tanauan. Mission: take railroad bridge and hold it. We proceeded through Natatas-Sambat Road. About 500 meters within market place of town, advance guard sighted Japs crossing the road. We deployed along sides of road. Firing from both sides followed. 4 Japs killed. Unable to penetrate, we withdrew 150 yards from place of deployment. The radio operator of our unit radioed to C.P. Soon Jap place being mortared. At 1500 hours, unit ordered back to C.P. No casualties on our side.

March 25 – At 0800 hours, ordered to advance to town. We covered right flank of advancing 8th Cavalry troops. At center were tanks, American troops following. At 1000 hours, advancing troops were in boundary of Poblacion and Bagongbayan. At 1500 hours, our unit was near Railroad Station. We sent out scouts to front as far as the Municipal Building of Tanauan and as far as Darasa barrio. We returned to C.P. at 1700 hours as per order of Capt. Landry (American).

March 26 – Early in the morning, we moved into town again. Reached heart of Poblacion at 1200 hours. Had dinner in Mr. Silvestre Carpio’s house. Then moved toward Malvar.

March 27 – Advanced our C.P. from Balon, Natatas to corner of Bungcalot Road and Provincial Road. Then, we advanced to Malvar; thence to Barrio Pucil, Lipa; and from Pucil to Tigbig [Tibig], also Lipa.

[p. 3]

March 28 – Advanced from Pucil to Tigbig [Tibig], both barrios of Lipa. No encounter.

March 29 – At 0830 hours, we advanced into Lipa City from Tigbig [Tibig]; entered heart of the city at 1000 hrs. We were the first to enter it – at least two hours before the main troops entered. Placed our C.P. in churchyard of city. Before dark, our men saw Jap snipers climbing a tree from some distance. At 2030 hrs, the Japs began artillery pounding of our position from the eastern side of the city. No casualties on our side.

March 30 (Good Friday) – At 1000 hrs, we were relieved by the 11th Airborne troops and given three days’ rest.

March 31 – All the boys ready for much-deserved and needed rest. But we were just about a kilometer from the C.P. when a Jap sniper shot and killed one of the boys, Dionisio Lirio, shot through the chest. We killed two Japs in an exchange of fire, the same day.

April 1 – Before breakfast, civilians brought in news that Japs were around. Only one was found and killed by our men. At 1300 hrs, we moved towards Calicañgan, barrio of Lipa. Too bad for our boys, it rained heavily the whole day. In the evening, there was a Jap firing around our bivouac area. No return fire from our side so as not to expose our position.

April 2 – Sent out patrols to Bulacnin, Lipa. No encounter.

April 3 – Early in the morning, some civilians reported Japs coming towards us. Palmer, American with us, did not wait; took two squads with him and met the Japs. About 200 yards from our position, there was firing engagement. Results: 2 Japs killed. On our side: Anastacio Gonzales and Vicente Navaira wounded; and we mourned the death of our kind friend Palmer.

April 4 – Still in Caligañgan. Sent out patrols to San Juan. No encounter.

April 5 – Sent 20 men to San Juan and vicinity. Sent out 8 men to main road to see bridge and Jap communication lines. Sent out 3 men to patrol 300 yards around our area. Men reported everything clear.

April 6 – Sent out patrols to San Juan and one to Bulacnin and Pucil. Reported all clear. Some civilians reported 5 Japs seen near their place. Sent out 10 men; did not overtake the Japs. No encounter.

April 7 – Patrol sent out to San Juan and road leading to main highway. No report of Japs.

April 8 – Sent out patrol to San Juan and from there to Balete, another barrio of Lipa. No report of Japs.

April 9 – All men intact in camp. Stood by for orders to move.

April 10 – At 1000 hrs, upon orders, moved toward Sta. Clara, Sto. Tomas, very strong Jap stronghold. 1200 hrs.



[p. 4]

Had dinner at Sta. Clara. Placed perimeter in Sta. Clara Barrio School. Graves of massacred civilians and many rotting cadavers scattered around were seen. Passed the night in Sta. Clara. Nothing eventful.

April 11 – Prepared to move toward the mountain of Sta. Clara at 0900 hrs. At 1000 hrs, advance American troops encountered Japs. At 1100 hrs, advancing troops stopped by bad road which had to be made yet. Advance toward the foot of the mountain maintained. On reaching coconut plantation some distance from foot of mountain, we were fired at by Jap machine guns. We engaged the enemy. Results: several Japs killed; one Jap heavy machine gun captured, including several rounds of ammunition. Our advance was kept up. Two platoons sent out to patrol. Japs opened fire from stronghold with mortars, machine guns, grenades and rifles. Results too bad for us; as per following list of casualties:

1. Enrique Roxas – Killed
2. Gregorio Viñas – Killed
3. Andres Trinidad – Wounded
4. Potenciano Rosales – Wounded
5. Ruperto de Leon – Killed
6. Eligio Catela - Killed

Bodies of Enrique Roxas and Eligio Catela not yet recovered. We were ordered to retreat because that enemy flank was believed to be heavily fortified. That night, there was heavy Jap artillery fire.

April 12 – Sent out patrols around perimeter up to where the Americans held. One of patrols taken by the Americans to patrol up to the foot of the mountain with them. They encountered the Japs heavily entrenched in the area. The Americans suffered some casualties; none on our side.

April 13 – Sent out patrols around American perimeter. That night, there was a furious firing from both sides with artillery barrages and small arms in area of mountain.

April 14 – 30 men sent out to patrol overnight in mountain with Americans for duration of two nights and two days. At 1200 Hrs, we were ordered to return to the scene of our first encounter with Japs because the Americans would move toward mountain passing our left flank. At 1400 Hrs. we set up our new perimeter.

April 15 – Our 30 men w/ F troops had not yet returned within two days. We sent out patrols to our front. A few hundred yards to our front, they sighted Japs eating coconut fruit. Japs opened fire and ran away. No further encounter.

April 16 – Early in the morning ordered to form the right flank of advancing troops. We were suddenly surrounded by Japs in a furious engagement. We suffered very heavy casualties, still undetermined at 1400 Hrs. Finally, the casualties were ascertained; among them was our Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Martiniano Carandang. This was a serious blow to our troops, the Zebra Troops. Killed and wounded totaled 27.

[p. 5]

Complete list of casualties killed in the encounter on April 16:

1. Martiniano H. Carandang – Killed
2. Eleuterio de Guzman – Wounded
3. Antonio Rivera – Killed
4. Pedro Marqueses – Killed
5. Feliciano Esteveza – Killed
6. Anastacio Prado – Killed
7. Reynaldo Cabello – Wounded
8. Honesto Cabello – Killed
9. Francisco Magsino – Wounded
10. Alejandro Magpantay – Wounded
11. Brigido Ramilo – Killed
12. Isabelo Nemidy – Wounded
13. Felino Agojo – Wounded
14. Domingo Tacla – Wounded
15. Alberto Rubio – Killed
16. Martin Austria – Killed
17. Feliciano Hernandez – Wounded
18. Marciano Valencia – Killed
19. Flor de Chaves – Killed
20. Felino Magsino – Wounded
21. Dominador Velasco – Killed
22. Jorge Gonzales – Wounded
23. Jesus Gonzales – Killed
24. Celestino Moncayo – Wounded
25. Melecio Makasadya – Killed
26. Maximo Caralipio – Killed
27. Gaudencio Javier – Killed

April 17 – No mission today. An officer from Hq. took all the names of those present, missing, dead, and wounded in the action.

April 18 – Attended funeral of Col. Carandang. Went to Tanauan to identify the following men killed in action:
 1. Brigido Ramilo
 2. Jesus Gonzales
 3. Dominador Velasco
 4. Anastacio Prado
 5. Pedro Marqueses
 6. Honesto Cabello
 7. Antonio Rivera
 8. Melecio Makasadya
 9. Enrique Roxas
10. Maximiano Caralipio
11. Martin Austria
12. E. Catcho
April 19 – At 1100 Hrs., five Jap artililery shells fell and exploded 30 yards to our front and on the perimeter of Slicker How (H Troop). Several other rounds of Jap artillery shell fell in the area last night. No casualties on our side.

April 20 – We sent out patrols to the place where we fought the other day. Everything clear. The Americans had advanced another line. Planes now pounding the remaining Jap pocket holes.

April 21 – Sent out patrols around our perimeter. Slicker How called for 22 of our men to fill the vacant fox holes in their perimeter. Day uneventful.

April 22 – Detailed at Slicker How.

April 23-24 – Detailed at Slicker How.

[p. 6]

April 25 – Talk w/ Capt. Mum.

April 26 – Inspected the rifles of Zebra Troops.

April 27 – Went out to visit wounded comrades and the graves of those killed in action. Same day, our men were sent for to hold the line gained by the American troops. We were no near the foot of the mountain.

April 28 – Went out to round the Springfield rifles and other boys out on pass.

April 29 – Talked w/ Lt. Col. Conner for possibility of withdrawing our troops to our town. The Col. told me to stay just two more days because of the importance of our position and for their lack of manpower. We consented with the knowledge that we were doing a lot of help for the U.S. Army.

April 30 – Sent out patrols around our perimeter on our own initiative. Jap mortar shells were falling within 25 yards in front of our foxholes. No casualties.

May 1 – Stood by for further orders. The mountain was almost clear except for a few remaining Jap holes. Few Japs were reported. Only few Jap rifle shots and no heavy weapons could be heard. On this day was decided our going back to Tanauan.

May 2 – We went back to Tanauan. Some of our men (a platoon) were left behind with the 2nd Squadron, 8th Cavalry, U.S. Army. We learned later that they were still with the 2nd Squadron in American advance to Sta. Maria and then to Infanta, town of Laguna.

On this day was terminated our active participation with the American Forces.



NOTE:

Special mention should be made of the great indebtedness of the organization for [the] financial and moral support to [of?] Judge Modesto Castillo, Sra. Paciana Laurel, the late Dr. Juan V. Pagaspas, killed by the Japs in the massacre on February 10, 1945, Mr. Fortunato Salisi, and Srs. Josefa Pamplona, all residents and natives of Tanauan, Batangas.

PG/pgt
9/21/45

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

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