A Brief History of the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas FAIT
The Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrilla Unit was one of many units of the large Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) organized by the retired American Colonel Hugh Straughn at the onset of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. This guerrilla organization had many such units operating in other towns of Batangas, including the town of Balayan. The Balayan unit was organized by Majors Rodolfo Bahia and Amador de Guito. Hence, it was also referred to as the Bahia-Deguito unit. In this document1, a brief history of this guerrilla unit is provided as an attachment to its application for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces during the liberation of the Philippines.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
PIONEER BALAYAN TOWN GUERRILLAS
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
MAJOR GARCIA’S TREACHERY
THE AMERICAN PRISONERS
ARREST OF LEADERS
DEATH OF LEADERS
(b) Medical Assistance
(c) Radio Stations
GUIDING GEN. MacARTHUR’S OPERATIVES
SAVING AMERICAN FLIERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR
MAPPING JAP POSITIONS
SMUGGLING ARMS AND TRANSMITTERS
A JAP NAVAL OFFICER CAPTURED
STEALING JAP Q-BOATS
JAP Q-BOAT BASE DESTROYED
SABOTAGING THE ENEMY
CAPT. LORENZO GALVEZ KILLED IN ACTION
SAVING THIRTY AMERICAN CREWMENA
THE JAPS RETALIATE
REQUEST FOR ARMS AND AMMUNITION
ATTACK ON MAKUKAK
DRIVING AWAY JAPS FROM SAMPIRO
MOPPING UP STRAGGLERS
Notes and references:
1 “Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas, Deguito Unit FAIT,” File No. 110-42, downloaded from PVAO.
PIONEER BALAYAN TOWN GUERRILLAS
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
The fall of Bataan and Corregidor did not mark the end of the Filipino armed resistance to the Japanese invaders. Although the organized stand of the valiant Fil-American troops collapsed with the surrender of the two above-mentioned fortresses, yet sporadic and passive, at times, active resistance against the new masters continued with unabated force till the day of reckoning. The “death march to Bataan” and the so-called “release” of thousands of emaciated, starved prisoners the more convinced Filipinos to continue the fight, to the sweet or bitter end for the things that they have learned to love so dearly and which were taught to them by America — freedom and democracy, freedom of expression, freedom from fear, etc. It was not a gamble on their part in an effort to choose between the good and the bad. They knew before hand that they were fighting a worthy cause.
Thousands died in the prison camps of Capas and elsewhere. The Filipino people were aroused to pent-up fury by the successive appalling crimes committed by the ruthless Japanese invaders and it is no exaggeration to say that all Filipinos, with a very few negligible exceptions, men, women and children, young and old, learned or ignorant, rose up to the occasion to find expression to the pent-up fury engendered
in their hearts and joined whatever movement, no matter how feeble it might have been, to hasten the day of redemption. The freedom of the Philippines rose up “like a Phoenix” from the ashes of their dead at Capas, Bataan and Corregidor.
On the day of the occupation of Manila, the enemy seemed to have inaugurated a policy of attraction with the too much abused, sugar-coated slogan: “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” In an attempt to attract the best elements of the Filipinos to their side that they might set an example to their followers to join them to accede to the arrangement where Asia would not be for all nor for the Asiatics but for the Japanese alone, the Japs created a puppet government that would be at their beck and call in the furtherance of their imperialistic designs. The Japs tried to pull the wool over our eyes. But the Filipinos would not be fooled. For underneath the honeyed coating, we saw that it was, in reality, a vigorous policy of blood and iron against the tremendous majority of recalcitrant groups of Filipinos who, although unorganized and not militant, would not swallow the principles and mode of living of the Japs. It would be too much to say that the Japanese really believed that the Filipinos had been cowed into submission. The contrary was true. The Filipinos were beaten in an open battle, but the Japanese were not able to subdue the inner spirits that found expression in the sporadic killing of several Japs here and there, in giving a helping hand to some escaped American prisoners, who were clothed and fed at the risk of the very lives of their keepers, of the financial
and moral support of orphans and widows of soldiers who gave their all in the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor. This emotion found crystallization in the formation of underground societies and guerrilla organizations so that the hardhips and difficulties that are often the lot of a beaten but rebellious people, may in some way be ameliorated in order to prepare them morally, mentally, and physically, for the day when the sun of freedom will once more shine on these blessed shores — hence the formation of the PIONEER BALAYAN TOWN GUERRILLAS, BAHIA-DEGUITO UNIT, FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS.
On June 10, 1942, at the Balayan Post Office, some met as though casually to map out plans for a guerrilla organization. Present were Dr. Rodolfo G. Bahia, a physician, Mr. Vicente Galvez (pharmacist), Mr. Amador Deguito (chemist), Mr. Ceferino C. Deguito (postmaster), Mr. Galicano Afable (USN Res.), and Mr. Domingo Tuguigui (Protestant Preacher and alter Regional Guerrilla Commander). Dr. Bahia, who had been with the USAFFE in Bataan, and Amador C. Deguito, with ROTC training, were designated to recruit men and organize their respective battalions. Both leaders began working with zeal and easily enlisted hundreds of Balayan citizens for underground work. Having completed the organization of the unit by affiliating with Col. Hugh V. Straughn commanding the Batangas division No. 02515, Fil-American Recognition also was extended by the Batangas Unit commanded by Col. Espina.
Sometime in 1943, Messrs. Jose Arrieta and Francisco
Montalbo, both from Col. Espina’s staff at Batangas, came to Balayan, with the intention of placing the BAHIA-DEGUITO Battalions under a united command. Failing in this, the matter of reorganization was left to Col. Domingo Tuguigui, who was appointed regional commander over all units in Calaca, Balayan, Tuy, Lian, Calatagan, and Nasugbu. Col. Tuguigui divided Balayan into three sectors each under a CO as follows: the eastern sector in [the] charge of Major Deguito, the western sector in [the] charge of Major Bahia, and the rest of the town in [the] charge of Major Jose Adlaw Garcia, a former PC sergeant.
Major Jose Adlaw Garcia had been a PC before the war, a local policeman, and chief of the Balayan Volunteer Guards at the outbreak of the war. When the Dai Nippon Boseki KK (The Jap Cotton Co.) established its office in Balayan, nobody wanted to work for it. The Japs, finding it hard to enlist the services of the Filipino employees, took advantage of Garcia’s glib tongue to induce other Filipinos to work for the DNBK which he helped organize. His underground activities, like helping Americans cross over to Mindoro, and guiding and sheltering intelligence operatives coming over from that island, had convinced Major Tuguigui to appoint him as sector leader in Balayan. Moreover, his connection with the Japanese Company placed him in a position to know the plans of the enemy. It turned out, however, that Major Jose A. Garcia was double-crossing his fellow commanders. He was acting as a Japanese spy.
In September, 1942, Harold Guentner and Patrick Melody found their way to Toong at the foot of Mt. Batulaw, Tuy, Batangas, after the fall of Corregidor. They were members of the battery team in Carabao Island. They were later joined by two other Americans, Bob Cramer and Eugene Hurgissen [other documents say Jorgensen]. Harold had fallen ill with lung ailment. To their mountain refuge, successively went Capt. Ireneo Sison, Maj. Jose Ilagan, and Maj. Rofolfo G. Bahia who gave all the possible medical and financial assistance needed by Harold. Tiring of their mountain hideout, Harold and Patrick left for Balayan and found lodging with Sgt. Apolonio Lopez in Lanatan. Here in Lanatan, Harold was still suffering with lung ailment, and was treated by Capt. Emilia Alaras and Maj. Rodolfo Bahia, Col. Galvez, Capt. Lorenzo Galvez, Lt. Col. Marcelino Maningat, Lt. Col. Pedro Bahia furnished them with bread, cigarettes, and food.
On February 5, 1944, Maj. Rodolfo Bahia and Captain Tomas Panaligan helped the ailing Harold Guentner cross to Mindoro from Hukay in Calatagan. They were spied upon by Major Jose Adlaw Garcia who informed the Japanese Military. The hunt for Guentner started. Trying to contact Major Phillips in Mindoro, he was surrounded at Paluan, Mindoro, by the Japs, who brought him back to Nasugbu, Batangas. His arrival was the signal for the arrest of the leaders of the Bahia-Deguito Unit.
On March 7, 1944, at midnight, the Kempetai swooped down on Dr. Bahia’s residence to arrest him; but not finding him there, they took his brother, (now Lt. Col.) Pedro G. Bahia. An hour later, they seized Major Amador G. Deguito in his house. At the offices of the Cotton Co., they were tied, kicked, and slapped and questioned regarding the guerrilla movement and its organizers. Major Deguito stuck to his story that he was not a guerrilla, but a special agent of the constabulary. Apparently convinced, the Japs released Major Deguito and Lt. Col. Pedro G. Bahia the next morning. As Major Deguito was leaving the office, Major Bahia was coming in led by Japanese soldiers. Major Deguito had a chance to whisperto him “No squealling” to which Major Bahia replied, “Never.” Upon arriving home, Major Deguito informed the members of his staff who had come to visit him that the organization had been completely discovered, and that all of them were in dangerof their lives.
On March 10, 1944, Major Deguito was re-arrested. In the garrison, Deguito and Bahia were subjected to diabolical tortures. On the night of March 10th, Friday, Bienvenido Garcia, son of Jose A. Garcia, called at Dr. Bahia’s house to inform the family that the doctor had “escaped” and that the Japs could not locate him. The significance of the cryptic message was lost on the members of the family who were frantic in their efforts to save him. Later, part of Major Deguito’s pants and parts, undershirt, and sock
were found scattered by dogs on a vacant lot where the two had been buried. The body of Dr. Rodolfo Bahia, in a state of advanced putrefaction was examined under Lt. Col. Bahia’s order under the very noses of the “nosy” Japs, and transferred to a private family vault.
In the morning of April 4, 1944, Japanese soldiers arrived in Balayan in a number of lorries. They went to several houses and in true Jap fashion arrested those whom they wanted. These men turned out to be officers of the underground movement in Balayan. The Japs loaded them in the lorries and brought them to the Nasugbu garrison. The names of these officers confined in the Jap garrison were the following:
Col. Vicente Galves
Lt. Col. Marcelino Maningat
Lt. Col. Pedro G. Bahia
Maj. Francisco Hernandez
Maj. Bienvenido Martinez
Capt. Simon Castillo
Capt. Generoso Buhay
Capt. Lorenzo Galvez (K.I.A.)
Capt. Sergio Alino
Capt. Dominador de Guzman
Capt. Meneleo Maningat
Capt. Santiago de Guzman
Lt. Gregorio Jaime
Lt. Candido Ferrer
Lt. Agustin Martinez
Lt. Recaredo Novales
Lt. Aurelio de Guzman
Lt. Tomas Butiong
Lt. Primo Bautista
Lt. Constancio Esteron
Lt. Alfonso Balacana
Lt. Nicanor Buhay (K.I.A.)
Lt. Napoleon Alino
The B-D Unit did not by any means die a natural death with the killing of its original founders. Some of the officers and members of the Unit shifted and were absorbed by the Blue Eague Command under Lt. Col. Jose Unson. Those left, who constituted the bulk of the organization, and new members who affiliated themselves with the Unit, passed under
the command of Lt. Col. Pedro G. Bahia, Lt. Col. Marcelino Maningat, and Lt. Col. Nemesio Maningat. The commands of these battalions were unified under Col. Vicente Galvez, who from then on, guided the destiny of the organization.
(a) Propaganda and Financial Aid
To bolster the morale of the members of the Unit and the civilian population by exhorting them to have faith in the final triumph of our arms, the Unit, through Lt. Col. Casiano T. Calalang, disseminated KGEI news by grapevine telegraph. The Unit also engaged in financing guerrillas and their activities, supplying them with medical supplies, food, clothing, and other necessities of life, organized squads to search for hidden arms and to sabotage the enemy war efforts.
A medical staff was created, composed of Dr. Jose Ilagan, Dr. Ireneo Sison, Dr. Emilia Alaras, Dr. Baltazar Magsino, Dental Surgeons such as Dr. Mariano Rodica and Dr. Alipio Ramos and Dr. Anastacia R. Galvez. To the medical staff was entrusted the duty of taking care of sick and wounded guerrillas and their families, and of furnishing escaped American war prisoners with free food, clothing, and medicine.
Our organization worked with Major Phillips guerrillas in Mindoro GHQ, SWPA which landed at Paluan, Mindoro. To coordinate our activities, Maj. Fransisco Hernandez of our Unit was commissioned to work with Capt. Emilio Macabuag of [the] Major Phillips Unit and given intelligence missions in Batangas and
Manila. A radio station was maintained at Cape Santiago, Calatagan, Batangas, operated by M/Sgt. Ramon Victorio 39037646 and M/Sgt Benjamin Harder 32425772 and given intelligence work of naval and military nature. This radio station accounted for the sinking of several Japanese transports.
Maj. Phillips, however, did not long continue to be the head of the Mindoro Unit for he was killed by the Japs. He was succeeded by COMMANDER NICHOLSON, whose real name is Lt. Com. George F. Rowe, HQ at Camp Nimitz, Mindoro. Our radio station at Mt. Luya, Balayan was made thru Major Francisco Hernandez, Capt. Lorenzo Galvez, and Maj. Rodolfo Bahia, Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero. Before he was apprehended and killed by the Japs, Maj. Bahia intended to go to Mindoro to work for the recognition of our organization, but he was not able to, because the boat was overloaded.
When Maj. Rodolfo Bahia was still living, Lt. Agustin Martinez used to shadow the doubtful activities of Jose Garcia, generally known as a Japanese spy, and made a report to him.
Father Jaime S. Neri, Co-founder of the Rillo-Neri Unit, FAIT, on his way to Mindoro was given all the possible assistance by this Unit. Lt. Federico Castillo had him as a guest at his home and procured [a] banca that took him to Mindoro. In so doing, Lt. Castillo was grilled by the Jap Military Police as to the identity of Fr. Neri.
During the month of July, 1944, everybody was waiting for the Americans to arrive in the islands. It so happened that the intelligence operatives sent by General MacArthur to Luzon were contacted by Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero in Barrio Baha, Calatagan, Batangas. At that very moment, Capt. Tesorero offered his services to them by acting as guide to the places where they wanted to go. Capt. Tesorero showed them the way to Patungan where they took pictures of places around Corregidor. After three days, Capt. Tesorero was back in Mindoro with full information about the place. After this, he met Commander Nicholson, USNR. He was sent again on a mission to accompany one of the radio operators of his Unit to Patungan in order to get pictures of the place and of all the ships going in and out of Manila Bay.
During the month of September, 1944, Capt. Tesorero was sent on a mission to pick up American fliers and prisoners of war who were hiding in the mountains of Marigundon, Cavite. Four of them — a flyer, Lt. John Heath J. G., one machine-gunner, Sullivan, and two war prisoners, Adams and Shorey — were taken by Capt. Tesorero the first time. The next mission was to get two war prisoners from the same place — Lt. Puller and another prisoner whose name was forgotten. The third time Capt. Tesorero went there, he took other four flyers and machine-gunners, who were from the ROTC HQ. Capt. Tesorero picked up in all fourteen American flyers and machine-gunners and four war prisoners, and brought [them] to Mindoro.
Capt. Galvez was ordered by Col. Galvez to make layouts of the Japanese positions at Makukak, Sanpiro, and Mt. Puti. As he was an architect, he was well-qualified for the mission. He was ably assisted by Lt. Agustin Martinez who disquised themselves as dog dealers. They were also commissioned to find out the Japanese positions of the Jap foxholes, tunnels, and strength of the enemy and to verify the positions of the Jap cannons of caliber 105 mm. at Talibayog. They also went there upon information of Maj. Francisco Hernandez that all the members of the Fil-American forces would be supplied with arms ammunition from an American submarine coming from Mindoro. The layouts were made, and the strength and arms of the enemy were estimated, but the arrival of the arms did not materialize.
Sometime in Sept. 1944, Lt. Soriano was ordered by Col. Galvez to meet Maj. Buenaventura de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero, all of our unit, in Baha. These two officers were then connected with Commander George Rowe USN of Mindoro HQ. At about midnight, Lt. Soriano and his men received the arms and ammunition composed of carbines, Thompsons and grenades from the abovementioned officers. Sgt. Pascua, an intelligence operative from Australia who arrived with them, brought a transmitter and arms to the city on board the truck under the supervision and control of Capt. Zacarias Diaz and delivered it to Col. Ramsey. Said truck owned by Lt. Col. Marcelino Maningat was very instrumental in providing free transporation
to Manila of several transmitters, which had to be dismantled in order to avoid detection by the Japs. Guerrillas of other units, like Col. Tony Bautista, Col. Pedro Mabanta, and others, always used this truck in going to and from Manila and was also used in evacuating civilians from Balayan upon the liberation of Nasugbu.
After the landing in Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944, the inhabitants of Western Batangas were heartened by the thought that the day of redemption had come at last. The sight of American planes in the sky, of American naval boats and supplies brought cheer to the hearts of the people. So great was the happiness that the people did not care to show it outwardly even in the face of the Japs who took it on everybody who rejoiced in the glorious comeback of the liberation American forces.
During the morning of December 20, 1944, a PT captain told Maj. B. de Guzman to put a white panel on the top of St. Pedrino Mt. where two Jap 105 mm. caliber guns were located. Maj. B. de Guzman and his men were waiting on top of said mountain for the PT boats to come, because the PT captain told them that after putting the white panel, the PT boats would strike the Japs by sea while Maj. de Guzman and his men would take care of the attack by land. Maj. de Guzman and his men waited for more than one hour after putting the white panel; but the PT’s did not come, instead more than 50 Japs did. Maj. de Guzman and his men were outnumbered.
Just at this moment, Lt. Soriano and his men, who had been assigned on patrol duty in these mountains, arrived. The Japanese retreated, bearing four dead after a brief encounter. One Jap Navy officer by the name of Sgt. Johnny Alba, a half-bred, was captured. Major de Guzman detained the prisoner while Lt. Soriano made [a] verbal report of the same to Col. Galvez.
The next night, Maj. de Guzman did almost everything to contact the PT boats. After giving flash signals from his position about a mile away from Mt. San Pedrino, two PT boats came. The skipper and the whole crew were surprised when Maj. de Guzman told them that he had captured a Jap sergeant. That same night, he was taken to San Jose, Mindoro, on board one of the PT boats, with the captured Jap. They arrived at San Jose early in the morning and turned the captured Jap over to Commander Davis of the PT base.
The same morning, Maj. de Guzman told Commander Davis about the Jap suicide Q-boat base located at Pagaspas Bay. After telling him all about it, Commander Davis asked Maj. de Guzman if the latter could join the raiding party, to which he assented. Before leaving the U.S. PT base, Maj. de Guzman was given arms, ammunition, and rations including cigarettes for his men. The next evening, the PT boat arrived at Point San Pedrino and Maj. de Guzman was landed by a rubber boat in the same place, which was about two kilometers away from the Jap suicide Q-boat base.
That same night, Maj. de Guzman went to see his men in barrio Baha, Calatagan, Batangas. When morning came, Maj. de Guzman and his men did nothing but observe the Jap movement around the said suicide Q-boat base. On night fall, unable to get inside the said Q-boat base by land, Maj. de Guzman took five of his men and ordered them to swim with him and make for the Q-boat base in order to steal the Jap suicide boat. From Point San Pedrino, Maj. de Guzman and his men walked naked with ropes around their bodies. Upon arriving at Barrio Bukal, they started swimming until they reached the place. They accomplished their mission very successfully by being able to steal two Jap suicide PT boats. They reached Point San Pedrino without any trouble. It was about three o’clock in the morning when Maj. de Guzman sighted two U.S. PT boats patrolling between the Batangas and Mindoro waters. He gave the PT’s the flash signal which they apparently saw at once for they headed for the place. It didnt take the PT’s more than five minutes to reach it. Maj. de Guzman turned over one of the Jap Q-boats to the PT’s with the request to take the same to San Jose, Mindoro, and give it to Commander Davis of the PT base. Maj. de Guzman remained with his men for two days in Barrio Baha, after which he went to Mindoro by a small banca with plenty of intelligence reports about the Jap emplacement around the Balayan outpost. Arriving at the camp of Lt. Commander George F. Rowe in Mindoro the next morning, Maj. de Guzman proceeded to San Jose on board a PT boat. After giving the intelligence report about the Jap position outpost and vicinity, Maj. de Guzman was highly commended by the officers of the U.S. Army and Navy.
On New Years Eve of 1944, Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero came back from Mindoro on a PT boat. They brought with them gifts consisting of the long-awaited American cigarettes, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, etc. Boundless was the joy of the people in the face of the mass massacres of the inhabitants of other towns before the landing at Nasugbu, Batangas, on Jan. 31, 1945. Major de Guzman was also the guide of several PT boats that machine-gunned the Jap positions in Fort Santiago, Calatagan, Batangas. This attack combed Ft. Santiago of all Japanese and made them retreat to their prepared positions at Mt. Sanpiro and Mt. Puti.
After landing in San Jose, Mindoro in January, 1945, Maj. de Guzman was assigned by Lt. Commander Rowe USN as a PT boat guide on a mission to strike on the Jap suicide Q-boat base located in Pagaspas Bay. It was early in the morning when the U.S. PT’s attacked the said place with the support of two B-25 planes and three P-38 fighter planes. Maj. de Guzman was with Commander Davis of the PT base on board one of the PT’s. The raid lasted more than half an hour, after which Maj. de Guzman landed by rubber boat on Point San Pedrino to investigate the damage done. Maj. de Guzman went to Mindoro with A-1 reports about the damage they had done there during the strike. The damage on the Jap side was heavy — three hundred and fifty Jap officers and soldiers killed, and fifty Jap suicide Q-boats totally destroyed. On the U.S. side, two PT crews were wounded on account of a P-47 U.S. plane that came in very low during
the attack. Probably, the PT machine-gunner thought it was a Jap Zero fighter plane. The PT’s fired first at the plane. The firing between the PT’s and the plane did not last two minutes.
After the American landing at San Jose, Mindoro, the 1,500 Jap soldiers stationed in Balayan moved to Aga, Tagaytay, leaving a small force of 150 in the Makukak outpost,200 in Mt. Sampiro, and around 400 in Mt. Puti. The sabotage squads of our unit immediately their job by cutting the enemy telephone lines connecting the Makukak and Mt. Sampiro outposts, Balayan, Tuy, Calatagan, Nasugbu, and Tagaytay. Four Japanese warehouses filled with Japanese supplies were sabotaged by several members of our unit, and the booty was distributed among the members of the unit and the needy of the civilian population. The booty consisted of palay, clothing, soap, towels, oil, gas, etc. The palay commandeered by the Japs in a house-to-house ransacking of the people’s stored supplies, and deposited at the Municipal Building, was retained by Lt. Col. Nemesio Maningat, pre-war elected Mayor, who used his influence and turned the same for the use of our unit.
Capt. Lorenzo Galvez and Capt. Santiago de Guzman, with a civilian guide, went to Calatagan on Jan. 27, 1945 to deliver the sketches to a waiting PT boat and to secure arms and ammunition for our men. But they were given several hand grenades only. When they were going back to Balayan on the night
of Jan. 28, they encountered a night Jap patrol who fired a shot, killing Capt. Lorenzo Galvez. He was buried on the spot by his companions.
On the night of Jan. 31, 1945 [likely meant Jan 30], on the eve of the Nasugbu landing, two U.S. PT boats were sunk by a U.S. destroyer. There were thirty American survivors who were able to swim to shore and were stranded between two well-defended and heavily-fortified Jap garrisons, namely, Talin Point and Calatagan outpost. At very great risk to their lives, Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero picked up those thirty American survivors and saved them from almost sure death, boarded them on a PT boat and took them to San Jose, Mindoro.
After taking the thirty American survivors to San Jose by PT boats, Maj. de Guzman was sent back again to look for one Lt. Stillman who was still missing and considered the best swimmer of the outfit. He arrived at nighttime and went around the place to investigate everyone of the inhabitants about the missing Lt. The next day, Maj. de Guzman heard that the Lt. was caught by the Japs and was beheaded. Maj. de Guzman went back to Mindoro and told Lt. Commander Rowe and Commander Davis of the PT base and all that happened to Lt. Stillman.
On Feb. 2, 1945, Lt. Agustin Martinez, in company with several men, attempted to kill two Japanese spies temporarily lodged in Federico Gaa’s house on the main street of Balayan. Somehow, someone bungled the job and both escaped wounded,
one dying on the way and the other reaching the enemy outpost in Makukak. The next day, seven armed Japs went to town and killed Gaa.
As a punitive measure, the barrios of Pook and Lukban, Balayan, were burned by the Japs. Our unit, with practically no arms to fight the Japs, used [a] few revolvers, homemade guns, bolos, and bamboo spears. Those were days of suspense and every member of the Bahia-Deguito Unit stood ready to defend the town at all costs.
On Feb. 7, 1945, when the Americans had already made a landing at Nasugbu, Sgt. Vicente Consul killed a Jap intelligence officer who was supposedly trying to snoop on the defenses of the town, by passing thru the salt beds on the southern part of the town.
On February 8, 1945, Major Miguel Tolentino liaison officer, sent communications to Gen. Doughlas MacArthur and to President Osmeña welcoming and greeting them; offering them full cooperation, and requesting that the guerrillas and civilians be duly provided with arms and ammunition to defend the people from being massacred by the Japanese.
Before the American Army arrived in Balayan, all guerrillas in the town participated in the attack on Makukak (Jap outpost). In all these assaults, Lt. Dominador Jaime, Lt. Conrado Depusoy, and Maj. de Guzman participated with their men. The first two attacks were not able to dislodge the Japs from their position, and one of our men, Sgt. Luis
Pinili, was wounded and taken to Leyte for medical assistance. The third attack, with the aid of artillery and soldiers of the American 158 RCT, resulted in the complete destruction of the Jap foxholes and tunnels, with a casualty of around eighty Japs killed. The guerrillas had several wounded while the valiant American comrades sustained five casualties.
Balayan was not yet completely liberated. There was still the menace of the Sampiro Jap outpost, which had a greater strength. To the 11th Airborne and the 158 RCT, which were mainly responsible for the complete destruction of the outpost, our unit gave valuable support. Maj. de Guzman, Maj. Francisco Hernandez, Lt. Dominador Jaime, Lt. Conrado Depusoy, and others with their men represented our unit.
Especially valuable were the services of Lt. Aurelio de Guzman in the attack of the 158 RCT on the Sampiro Jap outpost in the early part of March 1945. Lt. Aurelio de Guzman guided the obsevation plane, pointing out the Jap position and the gun emplacement. So accurate were his directions that the Jap naval gun of 105 mm. caliber was put out of commission. The foxholes were totally destroyed and about two hundred Japs were killed. The remaining Japs left the place. Thus, Balayan was completely liberated.
There were still Jap stragglers roaming from one place to another, harrassing the inhabitants of the rural communities, demanding food and setting fire to houses. Portions of our unit under the command of Capt. Simeon Castillo were sent to annihilate them in the barrios of Dao, Lanatan, Malibo, and elsewhere.
[Sgd.] COL. VICENTE GALVEZ
PIONEER BALAYAN TOWN GUERRILLAS
F A I T
PIONEER BALAYAN TOWN GUERRILLAS
F A I T
Notes and references:
1 “Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas, Deguito Unit FAIT,” File No. 110-42, downloaded from PVAO.