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December 31, 2017

Activities of the Batangas Guerrilla Headquarters-FAIT

The Fil-American Irregular Troops was a large guerrilla outfit founded by ex-United States Army officer Colonel Hugh Straughn. It operated in a wide area in Luzon and had many units in the different towns around the province of Batangas. The Batangas Guerrilla Headquarters, operating in the town of Batangas, was one such unit. In this document1, a sequence of guerrilla activities undertaken by the guerrilla outfit, from the perspective of Quinto Gellidon, who is mentioned in other documents pertaining to this outfit as its Executive Officer, is presented. Bullets are provided by Batangas History, Culture and Folklore to distinguish one paragraph from another.

[p. 1]

Guerrilla Activities

• Organized by Col. Hugh Straughn, USA, the Fil-American Guerrillas early part of 1942, in the Barrio of Malaya, Pililla, Rizal.

• Date inducted in the guerrillas: March 17, 1942.

• Organized and formed a battalion consisting of Malaya and Jalajala Companies, and promoted to the rank of Major (Bn Cmdr) and acting as HQ Executive Officer October 1, 1942.

• Assigned as Special Liaison Officer with duties of Intelligence operative in Manila and neighboring provinces, contacting sympathizers to the cause; helped by his three daughters and two boys transport from Manila to Col. Straughn headquarters arms, hand grenades and ammunition. Two sons, Greg and Paul, served as runners of Col. Straughn to carry special messages and shortwave news, passing thru sentry posts at the risk of their lives.

• With Col. Wenceslao Olitan worked toward the formation of Fil-American guerrilla units in Laguna and Batangas.

• Appointed Assistant Chief-of-Staff of the Fil-American Division, with the rank of Lt. Col. December 1, 1942.

• On February 1943, assigned on special mission to contact all guerrilla leaders in Central Luzon for the purpose of coordinating activities with the end in view of consolidating all guerrilla units into a single command under a senior American Army Officer.

• Covered provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, and Rizal acting as a goodwill messenger to various units and as personal representative of Col. Straughn; trasmitting shortwave news which were beyond the reach of the people to keep alive the spirit of resistance against the Jap invaders. Simultaneously did intelligence work, making sketches of Jap positions, strengths and movement and submitting them to Col. Straughn.

• In March 1943, instructed by Col. Straughn to establish liaison with Major (then Captain Anderson, AUS) in Bulacan, found that he had moved to Tayabas. Helped by Captain Mariano Tamayo (PA) to reorganize Fil-Americans in Bulacan and Bataan. Owing to the activity of Japs in building wooden ships, entrusted by Col. Straughn the delicate mission as forester and engineer to find means to delay production of lumber.

• When Col. Straughn was captured on 4 August 1943 in Barrio Malaya, Pililla, Rizal, documents in his possession revealed guerrilla connection, resulting it he capture of Col. Quintin Gellidon. Detained and brought to various garrisons at San Miguel, Bulacan; taken to Pagsanjan and Sta. Cruz, Laguna; then to Pasig, Rizal, Ft. McKinley and Fort Santiago until September 18, 1943 with Col. Straughn.



[p. 2]

• The following officers were in the same division at Fort Santiago as military prisoners under investigation: Col. Hugh Straughn, USA, Col. Mills, USA, Col. W. Olitan (Guerr), Chief-of-Staff under Col. Straugh; sent to Japanese prison at Old Bilibid waiting for sentence August 18, 1943; sentenced to death by Jap Court Martial which at the last minute commuted the sentence to eight years; sent to the New Bilibid Prison for safekeeping November 27, 1943.

• Due to torture received at various prisons, was confined to a hospital for five months. During the confinement at Muntinglupa, contacted various Fil-American guerrilla leaders thru prison employees including Gabriel Manlavi and Dr. Patrocinio Concepcion. During the early part of 1944, made secret contact (in prison) with Col. Alfredo David, former Inspector General Fil-American Guerrillas and Col. Eliseo Estaniel AJD, both under Col. Straughn, to coordinate activities with ROTC and Marking’s Guerrillas, to which the Fil-Americans finally joined in June 1944, under the name Marking’s – Fil-American Guerrillas, with Marcos V. Agustin as Commanding Officer, and Col. Justiniano Estrella (Guerrilla name of Alfredo David) as Fil-American Commander. While in prison, planned and engineered successfully, with Lt. Col. Alfonso de la Concepcion, the escape of 114 military prisoners on Aug. 25, 1944. In this escape, 200 men of the Erne Guerrillas of Cavite stayed outside the gate of the prison compound ready to protect the escaping prisoners in all eventuality should the PC prison guards pursue them. In recognition of such help given by Erne Guerrillas, worked for the reorganization of that band of undisciplined guerrillas into what is now known as the Markings – Fil-American 4th Army Corps Guerrillas which became the best organized and the strongest fighting unit, which more than any other, contributed to the liberation of the province of Cavite and which, in recognnition of such quality, is now attached to the 11th Airborne Division of the Army of the United States.

• Rejoined Markings-Fil-Americans at the Sierras and appointed Chief Liaison Officer of the entire organization.

• Contacted Major Anderson at Infanta and escorted one American escaped prisoner to submarine (October 24, 1944, Sub. Nautilius), Joseph Ickard. Authorized by Major Anderson to contact units in Cavite which desired to establish liaison with him.

• Given by Markings authority to reorganize the Erne Guerrillas in Cavite and to coordinate with the Magirog, Saulog, Taparan and Castañeda [units].

[p. 3]

• Instrumental in the affiliation of the Erne Guerrillas with the Markings – Fil-Americans.

• Returned to the Sierra Mountains several times carrying intelligence reports; given mission on Nov. 17; 1944 by Capt. George Miller, Ln. O. GSC, GHQ-SWPA with Markings Guerrillas to contact and assist Major Jay D. Vanderpool, Ln. O. GHQ-SWPA in the coordination of guerrilla activities in Cavite, Western Laguna and Batangas. Established liaison and exerted all effort using all tact and diplomacy possible among the warring guerrilla factions in Cavite which paved the way for coordinate efforts against the Japs.

• Took care of the following aviators who were rescued by various units by order of Capt Miller, U.S.A.:

Rescued by Erne Markings – Fil-Americans – Three fliers
Magirog Unit – Two fliers
Taparan Unit – Three fliers

All belonging to Admiral Nimitz outfit:
Lt. Silas Robert Johnson
Lt. John E. Purdy
Lt. A. F. Summer
Ensign Ross E. McAlpine
Ensign Eric Flavian Rellis
Gunner Chester Knozek
Gunner George Bogil
Gunner Allan P. Pray – All of these were evacuated to Mindoro by direction of Major Jay D. Vanderpool.

• Under instructions from Major Vanderpool, established with the help of Lt. Col. Tabu ROTC, the Inter-Guerrilla Courier System in the provinces of Cavite, Batangas, even extending up to the Sierra Madre in Rizal, Dec. 1944.

• Assisted Major Vanderpool in coordinating guerrilla activities in this sector of southwest central Luzon, establishing intelligence centers, radio stations, inaugurated liaison office which paved the way for better understanding among various guerrilla units.

• Arbitrated between warring factions and established Pony Express Service between various guerrilla C.P.’s in Cavite and Batangas.

• Appointed Assistang Guerrilla Commander of all guerrilla units operating in sector west of Laguna Lake, entire Cavite Province and Western Batangas, February 1, 1945 (General Guerrilla Command) under Major Jay D. Vanderpool.

• In the absence of Major Vanderpool, directed the coordinated attack by all guerrilla units in Cavite on February 3, 1945, resulting in the liberation of all towns of Cavite except Ternate which was later freed of Japs with the help of the 118th Regiment 11th Airborne Division.



[p. 4]

• Assisted the 11th Airborne Division Reconnaisance under Lt. Skaw [Shaw?] in the evening of Feb. 3 after paratroopers landed at Tagaytay, following personal orders of Lt. Gen. Eichelberger and Major Gen. Swing, establishing a line of guerrillas between Tagaytay and Las Piñas protecting the east flank of the U. S. Army moving to Manila from Nasugbu, Batangas.

• Assigned to Guerrilla HQ at Tagaytay with Major C. N. Schommer and attached to the 11th Airborne Division, U. S. Army.

• Joined 1st and 2nd guerrilla attack on Ternate, February 18 and 19. Directed establishment of guerrilla hospitals in Tanza, Naic, Indang and Tagaytay, to take care of battle casualties.

• Attached to Guerrilla Affairs Office under Major Jay D. Vanderpool at Tagaytay, to prepare guerrilla records. Assisted Major Schloth of the 11th Airborne Division at the Guerrilla HQ during the months of February and March 1945.

• Assisted in care of evacuees from and to Batangas passing Tagaytay.

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Notes and references:
1 “BATANGAS GRLAS HEADQUARTERS, I CORPS, PQOG,” File No. 110-66, downloaded from PVAO.

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