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December 30, 2017

Maj. Pablo Mendoza's Letter Requesting Review of Recognition Date, May 1948

The Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit was an outfit formed and operated out of northern Batangas, with its headquarters located on a hill in Mount Makiling near the town of Santo Tomas. The outfit was commanded by one former Captain in the USAFFE named Lorenzo Talatala and would later become affiliated with the President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG), one of the large guerrilla organizations operating in Luzon. In this document1, a Major Pablo Mendoza of the Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit wrote to the Commanding General of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command, through channels, requesting for a review of the recognition date of the unit.

[p. 1]

HQ STO TOMAS GUERRILLA UNIT
935 Kundiman St
Manila

2 May 1948

SUBJECT

TO

: Review of Recognition Date

: The Commanding General
   PHILRYCOM
   APO 707

1. Request investigation and review or recognition of this unit and setting back of its recognition date.

The Sto Tomas Guerrilla Unit was originally recognized on 1 March 1945 as an element of [the] PQOG, to which it became affiliated only in September 1944.

The unit was originally organized under the authority of General Orders No. 1 dated 4 July 1942 issued by Lt Col C. A. Thorpe, U.S. Army, as Representative of General Douglas MacArthur. Copy of the orders is attached.

The unit started with 33 members in September 1942 and gradually increased in strength as follows:

25 Sep 1942
31 May 1943
31 Dec 1943
1 Jul 1944
21 Sep 1944
31 Dec 1944
1 Mar 1945







33
63
135
160
209
209
209
Off & EM
do
do
do
do
do
do

The Sto Tomas Guerrillas operated in Sto Tomas Town, Batangas Province, at the beginning and expanded the areas of operations as the U.S. Forces drew nearer to te Philippines. The unit operated also in the Provinces of Laguna and Tayabas, now Quezon. It maintained Hq in Sto Tomas town and other places in Batangas to effectively carry the fight against the enemy.

The missions assigned were to:

1. Gather as much intelligence as possible on the enemy that would be useful to [the] U.S. Army and to [the] resistance movement;

2. Hit enemy hard when and where possible without subjecting civilians to dangers or reprisals;

3. Deny use by enemy of effective means of transportation and communications;

4. Prevent enemy from getting firm hold of the Filipino people and resources that would strengthen enemy position and prolong their resistance;

5. Deny enemy access to rich sources of war materials, and sabotage or destroy Jap works, plants, depots and other establishments;

[p. 2]

6. Maintain sufficient force in direct opposition to [the] enemy to weaken his morale and render him jumpy;

7. Organize and train personnel to assist incoming Liberation Forces and destroy Jap military installations;

8. Gather all intelligence on the enemy to enable the U.S. Army to destroy [the] Jap Army, Navy and Air Force machines, facilities, communications and transportation systems. Demolish bridges, cut roads and stop Jap military operations and movements;

9. Fight and destroy enemy units broken up and separated from main bodies;

10. Fight with U.S. troops as attached elements;

11. Perform all other tasks, missions and assignments by high Army Hq.

The Unit kept troops under rigid control. Discipline was well maintained. The Unit was held together by Officers who commanded fine respect from the enlisted men.

The Unit maintained Hq throughout the Jap occupation and through the liberation of Luzon. Officers and men rendered continuous service through the life of the organization. Alternate Hqs were maintained at different places to keep the force intact and ready to serve on short or immediate notice.

The unit was supplied with food and equipment, etc. by donations, gifts and loans and advances in kind and currency by loyal citizens.

The Unit made the following significant contributions to the defeat of the enemy:

1. Disruption of enemy communication and transportation systems and facilities;

2. Demolition of bridges and key road points and junctions to restrict enemy movements;

3. Destruction of railroads, engines, wagons, trucks, etc;

4. Burning and destruction of enemy arms, ammunition, fuel and food storages and depots;

5. Killed no less than 50 Jap soldiers during the occupation and over 300 Japs during the liberation campaigns. In Sto Tomas, Batangas alone, over 200 Japs were killed by Officers and men of the Unit in the Liberation operations;

6. Gathering of intelligence information used by [the] U.S. Army to destroy Jap positions and military installations by air and ground action;

[p. 3]

7. Fought in battles with U.S. Army units as attached elements during the liberation campaigns;

8. Investigation and punishment of anti-Allied activities of Filipinos;

9. Kept Filipinos loyal and held their morale hight.

The Unit supplied, fed and equipped its personnel out of resources that came to it by voluntary contributions of loyal citizens. Balance or requirements were met by loans and advances in money and materials by loyal Filipinos.

For effective operation and administrative purposes, the Sto Tomas Guerrilla Unit coordinated military efforts with [the] PQOG, to which it was affiliated in September 1944.

In view of the independent organization and maintenance of the Unit in the field for [a] long period and the rather limited administrative powers exercised by PQOG over the Sto Tomas Guerrillas, even when it was already operating with PQOG, it is earnestly requested that the Sto Tomas Guerilla Unit be reviewed separately and its revision of recognition date set apart from [the] PQOG.

[Sgd.] PABLO T MENDOZA
Major, Inf (Rvtd)
P & T Officer

Enclosures



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Notes and references:

1 “Sto Tomas Grla Unit, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-29, online at the United States National Archives.


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