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January 1, 2018

Certification from M/Sgt Benjamin Harder on the Major Philips Unit, October 1945

The Major Phillips Unit was a guerrilla unit that was founded and operated in or around western Batangas town of Calatagan. It was commanded by one Emilio Macabuag and took its name from a United States Army intelligence officer from whom the guerrilla outfit took directions until the latter was caught and killed by the Japanese. In this October 1945 document1, one M/Sgt Benjamin Harder, one of the operators of a clandestine radio station operated by the Allies in Calatagan, attested to the Major Phillip Unit’s cooperation with his intelligence group.



[p. 1]

5 October 1945

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

1. On 22 October 1943, together with eight others, I was sent on a secret mission to the Philippines by GHQ, SWPA, arriving at Mindoro on 18 November 1943.

2. That on or about 8 December 1943, I met one Emilio Macabuag and some of his men to whom Major L. M. Phillips, leader of the party, assigned some intelligence work covering Batangas and Manila.

3. That on 17 January 1944, Emilio Macabuag and some of his men conducted S/Sgt Ramon D. Vitorio, 39097646 and I from Mindoro to Cape Santiago, Batangas where we set up a radio station and an intelligence network covering both naval and military intelligence.

4. That said Emilio Macabuag, who is commanding officer of the Calatagan, Batangas Guerrillas with rank of Captain, funished me the necessary security and aided me in no small degree in the accomplishment of my mission.

5. That the following men of his unit rendered valuable service and require the mentioning of their names:
Dalmacio Candelaria, Eduardo Macabuag, Apolonio Gusano, Jose Coz, Ramon Antena, Mariano Binala, Dalmacio Aytona, Sixto Buceta, Buenaventura Arquileta, Edgardo de los Reyes, Pedro Ramos, Marcelino Mailig, Timoteo Hernandez, Matias Carnacete, Amado Ansaldo, Benito Ansaldo, Margarito Aytona, Marcelino Panganiban, Eulogio Panganiban, Hilarion Cajayon, and Pablo Alcaraz.

6. That Emilio Macabuag furnished us civilian clothes and food on his personal account when the Japanese were hot on our trail.

7. That Emilio Macabuag planned and executed the evacuation of four Americans from Batangas to Mindoro about the middle of January, 1944.

8. That to the best of my belief and knowledge, Emilio Macabuag was one of the most trustworthy, hardworking, and daring among our operatives. Emilio Macabuag rendered very valuable service to our party.

(Signed) BENJAMIN HARDER
32423772, M/Sgt
1st Fil. Inf., APO 72

Certified true copy:

[Sgd.] EMILIO MACABUAG
CO, Major Phillips Unit



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Notes and references:
1 “MAJOR PHILLIPPS UNIT,” File No. 83, downloaded from PVAO.

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