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December 31, 2017

Captain Cesar Fernando’s Investigative Report on the Luansing Unit

The Luansing Unit Fil-American Batangas Guerrillas were commanded by one Galicano Luansing and known loosely as the “Luansing’s Unit.” This guerrilla outfit was at one time or the other during the Japanese occupation affiliated with the Fil-American Irregular Troops and also the President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas. By the time the Allied forces return to the Philippines, it was operating independently. This unit assisted the United States Army in campaigns against the Japanese forces from Balayan, Batangas Town, Lipa, Rosario and San Juan. In this document1, one Captain Cesar Fernando, presumably the officer assigned to investigate the Luansing Unit for official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Forces in the Western Pacific, filed his findings.

[p. 1]

REPORT ON THE “LUANSING’S UNIT, FIL-AMERICAN GUERRILLAS

1. On 9 February 1947, Capt C G Fernando and 1st Lt L J Sonders proceeded to Rosario, Batangas and investigated the Luansing’s Unit, Fil-American Batangas Guerrillas under the command of G. Luansing Jr.

2. ALLEGED HISTORY. (See attached unit history.)

3. FINDINGS: The following named individuals were interviewed and their statements together with other evidence presented are reflected in the findings.

Col T Adevoso, CO, Hunters-ROTC Col Q Gellidon, CO, Guerrillas atchd w/ 11th AB Col V Umali, CO, PQOG Maj V Coates, GAD, G-3, PHILRYCOM G Luansing Jr, CO, Luansing Unit, FABG J Recto, Mayor, Rosario, Batangas E Mayo, Mayor, Lipa, Batangas

a. Record of service was substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.

The services rendered with the 158th Regtl Combat Team on 11 March 1945 was substantiated by a certification signed by Maj Boysie E Day. (See Incl. #1).

A certification from Maj William J Schloth of the 11th Airborne Division was also presented by the unit for their services with the 11th Airborne Division. (See Incl #3.)

The subject unit, because of lack of attachment certificate with the Boat Building Command, presented sworn statements of Cols T Adevoso and Q Gellidon, Guerrilla leaders who cooperated and operated with the American Forces in the Province of Batangas, to substantiate their claim of attachment to the Boat Building Command. (See Incl #4 & 5.) In these sworn statements, they also mentioned the services of the subject unit with the 54th Evacuation Hospital.

The unit commander claimed that although his unit was released from the American Forces, they continued to maintain combat and security patrols in the towns of Rosario and San Juan, Batangas up to the end of September 1945, after which he disbanded his unit in the middle part of October 1945. He further claimed that his unit was able to clean these two towns of Japanese stragglers who were harrassing the civilians. He said that he took the responsibility of guarding these towns because he deemed it necessary to protect his townspeople who helped and aided him in his operations during the Occupation.

[p. 2]

Interview with Colonels Adevoso and Gellidon revealed, however, the 11th Airborne Division pulled out of Batangas Province in the latter part of July 1945 and all guerrillas attached were subsequently released from attachment.

b. Activities of the unit contributed materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.

The unit, while serving with the 2nd Bn, 158th RCDT, actively participated in the capture of the towns of Batangas, San Jose and Ibaan, Batangas. The Unit’s participation in these operations were acknowledged by Cols Adevoso and Gellidon during the interview. This unit performed guard duty in the perimeters, fought patrols, occupied road blocks and carried out patrolling. (See Incl 1.)

While under attachment with the 2nd Bn, 188 Para-Glider Infantry, this unit performed combat duty and cooperated with the operations of the Americans using unit in the liberation of the towns of Lipa and San Juan, Batangas and in mopping up operations in the town of Rosario. (See Incls 2, 5 and 6.) The unit’s participation at Lipa operation was known also to the mayor of that town.

This unit, while under the operational control of the 11th Airborne Division Guerrilla Coordinator, also cooperated in the mopping up operations in the towns of Balayan, Bauan and Mabini. (See Incl 5.)

This unit furnished guard detail to the Boat Building Company. (See Unit History.)

Prior to the coming of the 188th Para-Glider Infantry to the town of Rosario, this unit occupied the said town as per order of the Commanding Officer of the 158th RCT. This unit was the first one to raise the American and Filipino flags in that town. The first incident was acknowledged by Col Adevoso and Col Gellidon and the second was known to the present Mayor of Rosario, Batangas.

On or about December 1944, this unit maintained liaison with the Guerrilla Coordinator, Major Jay Vanderpool, who established his headquarters with the headquarters of the Hunters-ROTC under Col T Adevoso, at Cutad, Batangas. The submission of intelligence and operational reports were certified by Col Adevoso. On the other hand, this unit received and carried out orders and instructions from the Guerrilla Coordinator. (See Incls 4 and 5.)

Before the contact with Major J Vanderpool’s Headquarters, this unit rescued and effected the safe conduct of a navy pilot, one Lt Clyde McCornell, to the headquarters of Commander Charles W Rowe, in charge of the Advance CP, SWPA at Abra de Ilog, Mindoro. (See Incl 8.) The rescue and safe conduct of this navy pilot were known and testified to by Col Adevoso, Lt Col A Laurel of the PQOG (See Incl 6), and P Pasia of the Folsom’s. (See Incl 7.)

During the Occupation, this unit had several encounters with the Japanese and the Philippine Constabulary Detachments in Batangas Province. The incidents cited in the sworn statements of Lt Col A Laurel,

[p. 3]

(Incl 6), and Col P Pasia, (Incl 7), Lt Col S Guerra (Incl 9), and Col A Barredo, (Incl 10), pointed to the incidents which occurred on 27 Jan 1943 at Calicanto, Batangas; the ambushing of the Japs at Rosario, Batangas on 8 January 1944; and the disarming of the Philippine Constabulary at Sto. Tomas and San Jose, Batangas.

During the interview with Col T Adevoso, he stated that the unit of Luansing was, according to his observation, the most active and best armed among the Fil-Americans in the province of Batangas. This is proven by the fact that Luansing was among the first to contact his headquarters and Major Vanderpool’s. The disarming of the Philippine Constabulary at Sto. Tomas and San Jose was also known to him.

c. The unit was maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy.

During the period of service with the 158th RCT, 188th Para-Glider Inf, and other elements of the 11th Airborne Division, this unit maintained a combat unit with the American Forces in their operations in the Province of Batangas from 11 March 1945 up to on or about the latter part of July 1945, while also furnishing security guards and patrols in the perimeters and road blocks for the Americans using unit.

According to Major Boysie E Day, Luansing’s organization was the most useful and most successful guerrilla organization in [the] Batangas Area.

The certification of Capt Thomas Ameserau, 2nd Bn 188th Para-Glider Inf stated that this unit had been of great assistance to his unit.

Major William J Schloth’s certification stated that Luansing’s men had been working efficiently in coordination with the American Forces in this area.

d. Adequate records were maintained by the unit.

Letters of instruction and orders by the Division Commander, Jorge Espina, dated since June 1943, were presented by the unit. (See Incl 11.)

Records of affiliation with the PQOG were also presented. (See Incl 12.)

Orders from Major Jay Vanderpool’s headquarters are shown in Inclosure # 13.

e. A definite organization was established.

Col Q Gellidon, erstwhile Executive Officer of the Fil-American Irregular Troops under Col Hugh Straughn, certifies that this unit was in existence in October 1943 when it was under the banner of the Fil-Americans of Col Hugh Straughn.

[p. 4]

Col V Umali, Commanding Officer of the PQOG, stated that this unit was affiliated with his command after the capture of its Division Commander but separated sometime in October 1944. After the separation from the PQOG, this unit operated independently with Luansing assuming the command of the unit.

A copy of some records of Major Jay Vanderpool, now in the hands of Maj V Coates, revealed that this unit had 1,000 men available for combat and 70 assorted weapons as of December 1944. These figures remained unchanged until the end of January 1945.

f. [The] Unit showed satisfatory continuity of activity and organization.

This unit was under the banner of Straughn’s Fil-American Irregular Troops from October 1943 up to early April 1944, when the Division Commander, Col Jorge Espina, was captured. On or about August 1943, when Col Straughn was captured, this unit affiliated itself with the PQOG up to October 1944, on which date this unit separated and operated independently up to the Liberation pariod.

Colonels Adevoso and Gellidon stated in their sworn statements that “for the interest of justice and in recognition of the sacrifices and splendid record of the said organization, I am willing to be interviewed regarding the claim for recognition of the above unit.” They both stated that the previous recognition of the 96 members of the unit does not seem commensurate to the services of the unit during the Occupation and Liberation. They both considered and recommended two (2) companies of the unit to fully justify the unit’s sacrifices and constitute fair acknowledgement of their military service. This recommendation was also considered reasonable by Maj V Coates.

Based on the records of Major Jay Vanderpool and the recommendations of Cols Adevoso, Umali and Gellidon, the Contact Team instructed the unit commander to screen the unit’s supplementary roster of 1,960 members to two (2) rifle companies and a battalion staff. Some ranks were also screened and adjusted as they were too high for designation and assignments.

The adjusment of the ranks of Galicano Luansing Jr, previously recognized as Captain, to rank of Major and Venancio Farol, previously recognized as 1st Lieut, to the rank of Captain, were made to coincide with their duties as the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer, respectively, of the subject unit, which would constitute a skeleton battalion.

No useful purpose will be accomplished by further investigation of the unit. All worthy members are being recommended for recognition. The separate Casualty roster submitted is recommended for favorable consideration.

[p. 5]

4. POLITICAL ASPECTS:

This unit apparently has no political affiliations or aspirations.

5. RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that the Luansing’s Unit, Fil-American Batangas Guerrillas, consisting of 394 members, be favorably considered for recognition for the period from 11 March 1945 to 31 July 1945. It is further recommended that the unit’s date of recognition be revised to 8 January 1944, on which date this unit was found to be effective and started their hit and run engagement against the Japanese and the Philippine Constabulary.

[Sgd.] CESAR G FERNANDO
Capt, Inf

13 Incls

 1 - Certificate, Maj Boysie E Day  2 - Certificate, Capt Thomas Ameserau  3 - Ltr, “Identification,” Maj J Schloth  4 - Affidavit, Q Gellidon  5 - Affidavit, Terry Adevoso  6 - Affidavit, A Laurel  7 - Affidavit, P Pasia  8 - Ltr, Lt Clyde F McCornell  9 - Affidavit, S M Guerra 10 - Affidavit, Anselmo Beredo 11 - Appointments of Lt Col Jorge D Espina 12 - Orders and ltrs of “Gen V Umali” 13 - Orders of Maj Jay D Vanderpool & other guerrilla coordinator


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Notes and references:

1 “Luansing Unit, Fil-American Batangas Guerrillas,” File No. 63, downloaded from PVAO.


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