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December 30, 2017

Letter Informing Tambauan of Suicide Bn’s Non-Recognition, March 1947

The Suicide Battalion was purportedly a guerrilla outfit organized in the barrio of Santor in Tanauan by one Crispulo Tambauan, who would himself become its commander, and later set up its headquarters in Wawa, same municipality. This guerrilla outfit failed to obtain official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces, with some notable guerrilla figures stating that they had never heard of either Tambauan or his alleged guerrilla outfit. The documents about this unit are nonetheless included for posterity and for the benefit of researchers about World War II in Batangas. In this particular document1, the US Army’s Adjutant General’s office wrote to Tambauan to officially inform him that his outfit was not favorably considered for recognition.

[p. 1]

HEADQUARTERS
PHILIPPINES-RYUKYUS COMMAND
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL
APO 707

GSCPU 091 PI / 325 3 MAR 1947

Mr. Crispulo Tambauan
1036 San Andres, Malate
Manila, P.I.

Dear Mr. Tambauan:

The Commanding General has directed that you be informed that the Suicide Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, purporting to be a guerrilla organization under your nominal control, is not favorably considered for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army.

A set of general requirements for guerrilla recognition, established by General MacArthur during the liberation of the Philippines, has been used as a guide in considering the record of this unit. After careful investigation and full consideration of all substantiating records and testimony of witnesses having pertinent knowledge, recognition of this guerrilla unit is not deemed to be warranted because of reasons mentioned below:

a. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.

b. The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy.

c. Activities of this unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.

d. A definite organization was not established.

e. Adequate records were not maintained (names, ranks, dates of enlistment or joining, dates of promotions, and necessary related information).

f. Performance of this unit did not indicate adequate control by its leaders, because of desertion of personnel to join other units.

[p. 2]

g. Sphere of operations and unit strength claimed by this unit were not commensurate with the nature of the terrain, limitation of communication facilities, and the degree of anti-resistance activities of the Japanese in the area during the period concerned.

h. Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization.

i. Frequent change of geographic location was not justified.

j. Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations.

k. Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits, and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only.

This decision on the proposed unit roster does not preclude submission for individual and casualty recognition by those individuals who are qualified and feel justified in entering such claims. Upon request by interested individuals, appropriate forms will be forwarded.

It is requested that you comply with the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, by the President of the Philippines, dated 26 September 1945, copy attached.

Sincerely,

R. E. CANTRELL
CAPTAIN, AGD
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL

1 Incl

Executive Order No. 68

[p. 3]

Colonel Gerald F Lillard:

1. The Suicide Bn., 3rd Inf. Regt, consisting of 249 members, has not been favorably considered. No members have previously been recognized.

2. This unit does not fulfill the requirements of the five basic points for recognition. See attached Team Leader’s Report.

3. No useful purpose will be accomplished by further investigation of this unit.

4. There are no members worthy of recognition and a casualty roster has been submitted.

Lt G. H. Kemper Lt R. R. Roth

1. Concur: Major Vincent K Coates, Chief, Southern Luzon

2. Concur: Major C H Wentzell, Chief, Unit Investigating Section

3. Concur: Lt Col S J Palos, Chief, Unit Branch



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Notes and references:

1 “Suicide Bn., 3rd Inf Regt, FAG,” File No. 134, online at the United States National Archives.


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