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December 30, 2017

Lt. Bruce Bromley's 1st Report on the Batangueño Unit, MFAT

The 1st Battalion, “B” Company, Batangueño Unit was a guerrilla organization affiliated with the MFAT or Marking’s Fil-Americans Troops. The latter was a larger organization operating in Luzon commanded by one Marcos Agustin, hence the nickname “Marking.” This organization absorbed elements of Hugh Straughn’s Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) after the American commander was captured and executed by the Japanese Army. Hence, the name “Marking’s Fil-Americans.” The Batangueño Unit was commanded by one Fidel del Pilar and operated out Tanauan. In this document1, one Lt. Bruce Bromley Jr. of the United States Army filed his first report after the Batangueño Unit filed an application for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States.

[p. 1]

Report on the “1st Battalion, Batangueño Unit, Marking’s Fil-American Troops”

1. 2nd Lt Bruce Bromley Jr, after a thorough study and analyzation of the unit file of the 1st Battalion, Batangueño Unit, deemed a field investigation unnecessary and herewith submits the following report for your approval.

2. ALLEGED HISTORY: (See attached Unit file)

3. FINDINGS:

a. The following persons were interviewed and their statements are reflected in the findings:

Marcos Agustin — Comdg, MFAT
Yay Agustin — 2nd in comd, MFAT
Roger Moskaira — IAG, MFAT

b. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence. The unit history attached hereto demonstrates that the subject unit had no activities prior to the liberation. 1942 was devoted to organization; 1943, to minor intelligence; 1944, to the same with a few alleged combat encounters – for which there is no supporting evidence; the liberation period consisted of a contact with Capt Schommer and the submission of minor intelligence to his headquarters – for which allegation there is no supporting evidence; and the attachment of 24 individuals to the American Forces. In summary, prior to the liberation, the unit had no activities; and during the liberation, its activities involved 24 individuals, all recognized.

c. The unit, during the occupation, was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy. Many members apparently lived at home and devoted but spare time to the guerrilla movement. Normal civilian occupations undoubtedly continued for the support of the invidivuals concerned and their families. During the liberation, there was no drastic change to the policy concerning unit activities and there was no satisfactory maintenance in the field.

d. A definite organization was not established by the subject unit, although it appears in the attached roster as a well organized group. However, no mention is made of different headquarters of different subordinate commands, and no mention is made of any operation involving an integral unit larger than a rifle squad. This might be more easily explained by the total lack of arms and ammunition. As alleged, during the liberation that [an] unattached portion of the subject unit requested firearms from Capt Schommer. Capt Schommer stalled by telling the commanding officer that such a request would consume too much time.

[p. 2]

It is the belief of the undersigned that Schommer was well-acquainted with the fact that the unit, submitting the request, could prove of no value to the American Forces.

e. [The] Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity. As alleged, all activities pertaining to the subject unit were of minor importance and sporadic in nature. The few combat encounters that are alleged were undoubtedly circumstantial with no intent of active combat by the subject unit. The unit, in its entirety, claims to have met the 11th Airborne at Tagaytay, and further that they were then ordered to stay behind the lines, guarding civilian evacuees. This allegation cannot be supported by any evidence submitted to this headquarters.

f. Col. Marking stated that he had no knowledge of the unit during the period of resistance. He further stated that combined with the Makiling Bigaa Unit, the subject unit was to be granted at total of 457 members to appear on the composite roster of Marking’s Fil-Americans.

Lt Pete C Breaz, of this headquarters, and current investigator of Marking’s Fil-Americans, stated that the unit was of no worth and should not receive any additional recognition. Lt Breaz also stated that the recognized portion of the unit deserves no revision of present recognition dates.

4. POLITICAL ASPECTS:

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

5. RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that, with the exception of those 24 members previously recognized, the 1st Battalion, Batangueño Unit, Marking’s Fil-Americans, be not favorably considered for recognition. It is further recommended that no revision of dates be contemplated for the 24 members recognized with the American Forces.

[Sgd.] BRUCE BROMLEY JR.
2nd Lt, INF


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Notes and references:

1 “Batangueño Unit, MFA,” File No. 109-13, online at the United States National Archives.


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