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December 30, 2017

Report on the Tanauan Unit, Marking's Fil-American Troops

The Tanauan Unit was a guerrilla organization affiliated with the MFA or Marking’s Fil-Americans. 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.” In this document1, one 2nd Lt. R. T. McDonald of the US Army filed his investigative report on the Tanauan Unit of the MFAT.

[p. 1]

Report on “Tanauan Unit, Marking’s Fil-American Troops”

1. Lt. R. T. McDonald and S/Sgt G. Neigum proceeded to Tanauan, Batangas on 19 January 1947 to investigate the Tanauan Unit, Marking’s Fil-American Troops.

2. ALLEGED HISTORY: (See attached Unit file)

3. FINDINGS:

This unit was previously investigated by Lt. Kostka. Lt. Kostka returned to the United States before he rendered a report. The unit was re-investigated and the recommendations of both contact teams are included in the findings.

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

2nd Lt Felipe V. Agoho
1st Lt Dominador Pecayo
1st Sgt Marcelo Terrible
1st Lt Serapio L. Niataugihan
Capt Serapio E. Tolentino
2nd Lt Leonardo Vispo
Pvt Potenciano Libutan
S/Sgt Carlos Manimtim
Pvt Isidro Vispo
S/Sgt Hilario Magnaye
Cpl Benito Mangiyat
Sgt Rufino Llarena
Pfc Aniceto Agoho
Col Marking Agustin
Platoon ldr Tanauan Unit
Combat Off
1st Sgt of the Company
Ex Officer of the Co.
CO, Tanauan Unit
Platoon ldr Tanauan Unit
Member, Weapons Platoon
Pltn Sgt, Weapons Platoon
Member, 4th Platoon
Plat Sgt, 4th Platoon
Member, 3rd Platoon
Member, 2d Platoon
Member, 2d Platoon
Overall Commander, MFAT

b. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence. This organization, under the nominal command of Capt Serapio E. Tolentino, did little in resisting the Japanese. The unit claimed small clashes against the Japanese, the ambushing of a Japanese squad, and killing of a drunken Japanese captain. Yet, this unit claims to have used 115 men and had to fight three hours to subdue the Japanese. The killing of the drunken Capt could have been done by any Filipino who was trying to protect his family, and does not necessarily constitute continued guerrilla activity by the whole unit.

c. The unit as a whole was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy. The commanding officer stated that seventy of the men were left as home guard for the town of Tanauan. The claims that the unit did make could not be proven to the contact team. All the men who claimed attachment to the 8th Cavalry Regiment, with the exception of twelve, went home on a “vacation leave” in March of 1945 when the Division was engaged in some of its heaviest fighting. The twelve who remained were the only ones maintained in the field and were subsequently organized.

d. Adequate records were not maintained (names, ranks, dates of enlistment or joining, dates of promotion, and necessary related information). The commanding officer claimed that they were destroyed by the Japanese, but

[p. 2]

Col Marking indicated that no records were kept. Insufficient evidence was presented to the contact team to establish the fact that records of the Tanauan Unit ever existed.

e. Members of this unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations. All of the seventy members that the commanding officer left at Tanauan, supported their families for the entire period of the occupation.

f. 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. All the home guards lived at home supporting their families by their pre-war occupations.

g. Twelve men of the unit stayed with the 8th Cavalry Regiment and received compensation for the services and recognition.

h. When discussing the allotment of troops from different units, Col Marking stated that no members of the Tanauan Unit would be included in the Marking’s Composite Regiment.

No useful purpose will be accomplished by any further investigation of this unit. There are no members worthy of recognition.

3. POLITICAL ASPECTS: This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended, with the exception of those twelve members previously recognized, that the “Tanauan Unit, Marking’s Fil-American Troops” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] R. T. MCDONALD
2nd Lt., Infantry

[Sgd.] GOTTLIEB B. NEIGUM
S/Sgt Infantry



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Notes and references:

1 “Tanauan Unit, MFA,” File No. 109-63, online at the United States National Archives.


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