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December 29, 2017

A Brief History of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 1st Batangas Regiment

The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was organized by the retired US Army officer Hugh Straughn after the surrender of American forces to the Japanese in 1942. The FAIT would become a large organization with various units operating in many parts of Luzon, including Batangas. The 1st Batangas Regiment was one of these, supposedly founded by one Major Gutierrez in 1943. Upon the major’s capture by the Japanese, command of the unit was assumed by one Maximo Bool of Pallocan in the then-town of Batangas. In this document1, a brief history of the alleged organization and activities of this guerrilla outfit is provided as part of the requirements for its application for official recognition by the United States Army.

UNITED STATES FORCES IN THE PHILIPPINES
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
1st Batangas Regiment, 1st & 2nd Bns.
HEADQUARTERS, PALLOCAN, BATANGAS, BATANGAS

B R I E F       H I S T O R Y

1942 March – Japs in Batangas very abusive. Formed a company of able-bodied men to counteract Japanese blunder. In the same month, this group of men were led to ransack the Japanese garrison in the town of Batangas at the Batangas High School Building. One of my men was killed in this sabotage work.

May 1942 – Japanese movement studied and a few men assigned to find out their gasoline dumps. Found. In May and June, men underwent gasoline sabotage. Gasoline drums stolen from plant and poured into the Calumpang River. Clothing materials, petroleum, etc. confiscated by the Japs were stolen and they were distributed to the people in the country free.

October & November – I was in Mindoro observing guerrilla work there. Met Espina there also for same purpose. Returned on Dec. 5 and back to Mindoro on the 15th. Spent Christmas in Batangas and so with the rest of the year.

Jan. 1943 – Heard of a guerrilla leader from Manila, by the name of Florentino [de la] Peña, who came to organize an outfit. Joined said organization and got sworn Jan. 15, 1943, to the rank of 1st Lt. Began formally recruiting men under Fil-American Irregular Troops led by Col. H. Straughn and F. Peña, recruiting officer.

April 1943 – A company was established; training for the men was given by the men assigned for the purpose. Men volunteered and by May, June and July, almost a battalion was recruited. May 6, Espina contacted me. Our work and his coordinated.

July and Aug. 1943 – Began intensive campaign for underground movement. Different men were assigned to different work. Aug. 20, 1943, I was promoted to Capt. and was made in charge of the company.

October 1944 – Promoted to Battalion Commander October 15, 1944, assumed the post to take charge of the whole sector of Batangas, Batangas.

ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

INTELLIGENCE SECTION

1943-1944 – Jovito Santos – Chief; Protacio Tolentino – Asst. Chief

1945 – Rogarciano de la Peña – Chief; Jovito Santos & P.T. – Asst. Chief

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Mar. – Dec 1942 – See the first two paragraphs of this page.

May 1943 to Dec. 1945 – Men assigned disguised as common laborers, tailors, shoemakers, merchants, etc. were able to gain admittance into different Jap establishments, dumps and camps. Came out of said places with maps and necessary information needed from time to time. These maps and information were sent to the Gen. Hq. FAIT.

Sept. 1943 to Dec. 1944 – Sent Captain Rosendo Atienza to P.C. Garrison to enlist for duty and to undertake underground vigilance there. Data and observation taken were reported to the Gen. Hq. FAIT.

[p. 2]

June 1943 – Secured the cooperation of foodstuff men – Ricardo Santos, A. Reyes, M. Miranda, and P. Guieb in the destruction of foodstuff confiscated by the Japs. Their cooperating in stealing of these foodstuffs for the consumption of the poor starving people.

Sept. to Dec. 1944 – Furnished the following outfits with maps and information they requested for thru their secret agents sent to this Headquarters for this purpose:

1. AUSA – Leodovigilio Soretes – Mindoro
2. Pandita – Gregorio Limjoco – Panay
3. Marking – Capt Villanueva – Rizal
4. PQOG – Balagtas – Batangas
5. All these Units – Get Radio news

Mar. to Nov. 1945 – Supplied S-2 Officers of the following units or outfits of the American forces that occupied Batangas, Batangas from the liberation time to date with maps and information about Japanese strength, camps, trenches and tunnels, hideouts and Jap constructed roads.

1. 158th Regiment, 2nd Bn. – Lt. Shirkey
2. 11th Airborne Troops – Col. Mann
3. 382nd AAA AW Bn, Btry B – Lt. Charles Garret
4. Base “R” – Capt. P. Lawrence
5. 9th M. P. Co – PA – Capt. Leongson

Nov. and Dec. 1944 – Sent Jovito Santos to accompany AUSA agents Sorretes and Gerong to Laguna, Rizal, Tayabas, Cavite and Camarines to gather information about Jap camps and movements. Maps and records obtained were sent to Gen Hq FAIT.

SIGNAL SECTION

Lt. E. Cannent – Chief; Dominador Catilo – Asst. Chief

June and July 1943 – Secured necessary equipment and apparatus for radio activities. Set up the radio station for the Unit in Sico, Batangas, Batangas.

Sept 1943 to Mar 1944 – Operated the radio. Distributed the current war news and propaganda against the enemy every two days. “Voice of Freedom.”

Sept and Dec 1944 – The successful landings in Leyte and San Jose, Mindoro and Nasugbu in Feb 1945 were announced to the people by messengers and pamphlets from our station.

SABOTAGE SECTION

Major Bool – Chief; Rafael Beltran – Asst. Chief

Mar 1942 – Japanese garrison in Batangas, Batangas ransacked. Rice, flour, sugar and clothing and other Jap properties removed from garrison and distributed to the people free. One man was killed in this job.

May – Sept 1942 – Destruction of gasoline drums and truck tires which were emptied into the Calumpang River.

Feb 1944 – The burning of Japanese copra and hemp bodega in Batangas, Batangas.

[p. 3]

SABOTAGE SECTION (Continued)

Jan 1944 – Stole Japanese arms and ammo. stored in Batangas Trade School Building.

1943 to 1945 – Destroyed cotton fields unnoticeably by watering the plants in the fields with seawater or brine at night. Gathered about ½ of the cotton balls also at night and gave them to weavers in the country where cotton was not raised. Obliged the farmers to turn over to the Jap authorities only half of what was left of their crops.

Sept 1944 to Dec 1945 – Stole meat, roots, fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs from Japanese trucks carrying those things to Manila and from the Japanese bodega.

COMBAT AND TRIGGER SECTION

Major Bool – Chief; Major Mercado – Asst Chief

1943 – 1945 – 1. Led and protected men of Sabotage Section in the accomplishment of their jobs.
2. Patrolled the barrios and other sections of the town.

Dec 1944 – 1. Men distributed proportionately among the places in the sector to counteract Japanese intention of civilian massacre.
2. Transmitted the message of the leaflets dropped by the U.S. planes.
3. Helped in the capture of 2 Japanese officers reconnoitering the country, who were turned over to Major Dickerson in Mindoro.
4. Helped in the killing of 2 Jap officers surveying the way retreat journey in Talompoc.
5. Helped in the capture of a Japanese spy (Jap civilian) who was later killed by the guerrillas of the Batangas Town Guerrillas.
6. Took part in the liberation of Isla Verde and the destruction of Japanese garrisons there.
7. Arrival of the Americans in Batangas on March 11. Mar 15, encounter with the Japanese in Wawa. Went there with Lt. Shirkey. All these Japanese stragglers were killed and we were able to get all their guns and portable transmitter. One wounded in our company.
8. Mar 16 rode in an observation plane to guide trench mortar action against the Japs in Conde.
9. Holy Week of 1944, March thru April, went after 8 Japanese in Talumpok who were trying to prey on people and animals there. Had a hard time chasing them, at last able to kill 6 of them in the ravines.
10. April 4 & 5, another encounter with Jap stragglers in Maapaz. Result, 4 killed.
11. April 3, 13, and 14th found us chasing again some eight Japanese as reported to us by residents of barrio Katandala, but only to be disappointed because the report was quite late.
12. April 14 & 16, members of the signal section and others who came to the rescue pursued ten unarmed Jap soldiers. Four killed.
13. April 12, met my men in Matuko. All Japs killed.
14. April 20 – Japs chased in Dalig reported. American soldiers on the opposite side of the river killed them.
15. April 17-30 – Patrolling in Sampaga where there were supposed to be some Japanese in the fields. Result unknown.
16. May 16 – Three Japanese killed in the boundary of Pallocan and Libjo among bamboo plants.
17. May 27 – Patrol in Tolo for four days after four Japanese.

MILITARY POLICE SECTION

Rafael Beltran – Chief; Vicente Gonito – Asst Chief

Sept 1943 to Mar 1945 – 1. A platoon for this purpose was organized and each member was accordingly instructed.
2. Investigated espionage charges.

[p. 4]

FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
Batangas Unit
Second Battalion

Jan to Mar 1943 – Recruiting of men.

April to May 1943 – Assignment of leaders to their respective activities.

A. Commanding Officer – J. Mercado; Ex Officer – V. Amada

1. S-1 Cayo Serrano
2. S-2 Isabelo Belmonte
3. S-3 M Beril
4. S-4 Company Officers – 3 companies

B. Activities –

1. Establishment of camp and Hq, Taysan and Lobo.
2. Training of men in their respective lines.
3. Intelligence.
4. Military combat.

C. Accomplishments –

Sept 1943 – Formal induction of all members under J Espina.

Oct 1943 to Dec 1943 – Espionage of Pro-Japanese.

Jan 1944 – Instructed the civilians to make their hideouts or foxholes.

Feb to Mar 1944 – Helped the civilians to hide their food supplies from the Japanese Army.

April to May 1944 – Sending some of our members into the Japanese Garrison to find out the movements and their military objectives.

June to Aug 1944 – Stealing some of the Japanese confiscated supplies and armaments in Rosario, Lobo, and Taysan Garrisons.

Sep 1944 – Commanding Officer J Mercado contacted Major Bool for attachment of this 2nd Battalion to his unit. From this time up to disbandment, Nov. 10, 1945, activities of this Battalion were directed by the Headquarters, Pallocan, Batangas, Batangas.

[p. 5]

MEDICAL SECTION

Dr. Emiliano Aquino – Chief; Dr. Gregorio Quinio – Asst Chief

Luis Luna, Leon Servan - Members

May 1945 – Services of Dr. Emiliano Aquino for the members – for Officers and Enlisted Men secured.

Aug 1943 – Dr. Quinio, another doctor, joined the outfit as a medical man.

Sept 1944 to Mar 1945 – They took care of the health of the members. All cases handled.

[Sgd.] MAXIMO BOOL
Lt. Col., Commanding Officer
1st Bn. 1st Batangas Regiment
FAIT
[Sgd.] FLORENTINO DE LA PEÑA
Lt. Col., Commanding Officer
2nd Bn. 1st Batangas Regiment
FAIT

[p. 6]

U.S. FORCES IN THE PHILIPPINES
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
UNDER COL. HIGH STRAUGHN (02515) U.S.A. COMMANDING
BATANGAS BATTALION
PALLOCAN, BATANGAS
SIGNAL CORPS HEADQUARTERS

RADIO STATION HISTORY

Sept. 28, 1943 – Installment of Radio Station.

April 29, 1943 – Operator was raided and garrisoned by the Japanese soldiers.

May 6, 1943 – Operator was released.

July 8, 1943 – The Radio Station resumed again its work.

Feb. 25, 1945 – Japanese soldiers burned the house of the operator, thus burning the station records of Batangas including the original world war news filed.

Note: Although the original war news copies were burned, the whole people of Batangas, including other guerrilla organizations, can testify that they had read duplicate copies of those burned as, as much as 50 duplicate copies were released by the station every other day since the commencement of the station.


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Notes and references:

1 “First Batangas Regt, FAIT,” File No. 110-60, online at the United States National Archives.


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