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December 29, 2017

Historical Background on the Lone Wolf Intelligence Unit

The Lone Wolf Intelligence Unit was purportedly a guerrilla organization that operated out of the then-town of Lipa, Batangas. It was supposed to have been commanded by one Hermenegildo Lopez and supposedly affiliated with the Anderson’s Guerrillas of Bernard Anderson. This unit failed to get official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. However, a number of its members gained recognition as part of the “Anderson’s Guerrillas Batangas Military Chapter.” In this document1 is provided a historical account on the Lone Wolf Intelligence Unit was written to support the organization’s application for official recognition by the United States Army.

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“LONE WOLF INTELLIGENCE UNIT”
(Batangas, Manila & Laguna)

Headquarters: 331 Raon,
Manila, 14 March 1946

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Before the outbreak of the war on 8 December 1941, I was an Agent of the Division of Investigation, Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. This organization, which was patterned after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice of the United States, was formed in November 1937. During the first years of its formation, the activities of the Division of Investigation was limited to investigation of criminal and administrative cases. But when world events began to show signs of the inevitability of the U.S. and the Philippines becoming involved in a war that then seemed to be global in proportion, the division concerned itself, in addition to its routine job, with the ticklish task of breaking down cases of crimes against national security. At that time, espionage, sabotage, and treason were cases given top priority in the Division. The handling of these cases, which was carried in conjunction with the United States Army through Colonel Evans and, later, Major Reynolds of the G-2 proved satisfactory to all concerned. Thus, the Division once again lived up to its already well-earned distinction of being an efficient law enforcement agency.

On or about 28 December 1941, the Japanese were getting very near Manila; [the] civilian population started mass evacuation of the city. The agents of the Division of Investigation were commissioned CEA (Civilian Emergency Administration) Police and they helped a great deal in the mass evacuation of these civilians. The Philippine American Forces started pouring into Bataan for its final stand. In the midst of this unprecedented restlessness, uneasiness and confusion, it became imperative to disband the Division. Before the decision to this effect was announced, our Chief, Mr. Joaquin Pardo de Tavera, gave us, his agents, instructions to form our respective underground units so we could spy on the movements and activities of the enemy and Filipinos of pro-Japanese tendencies. We were further instructed to make our reports direct to him.

On 1 January 1942, the enemies occupied Manila. I fled to the province.

On 2 January 1942, I reached Sta. Maria, Laguna. It is the smallest town in the province. Secluded and nestling amidst mountain ranges as it is, it can be considered an ideal place for retreat. On 3 January 1942, I conferred with the Municipal Mayor of that town, Jose Velasquez. I found him to be loyal to our cause so much that he yielded to my idea of resisting the enemy with whatever force we then had. He headed a combat unit and, in collaboration with him, I organized my intelligence group known as “LONE WOLF.” I named my intelligence unit “Lone Wolf” because of my isolation from my companions in the Division of Investigation, who were also active in their assigned works in different sectors.

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Purposes of the “LONE WOLF” organization:

(1) To detect the movements and activities of the enemies and those Filipinos and Chinese of pro-Japanese leanings.
(2) To determine enemy strength.
(3) To undertake counter-propaganda movement to counter-act the Japanese propaganda.
(4) To feel and determine the real attitude of the public officials appointed by the enemy, whether they remained loyal to the U.S. and Commonwealth Government or became collaborators.
(5) To discover:
(a) enemy concentration camps and airfields
(b) enemy supply
(c) enemy ammunition depot
(d) enemy fuel dumps and all other enemy military installations.

To accomplish the ends of this organization, I had contacted and formed alliances with several guerrilla organizations, such as the Anderson’s Guerrillas, Guerrillas of Wendell Fertig, United States Philippine Islands Underground Movements, the Lipa Regiment, the A.I.B. under Lt. Col. Smith, and the different other guerrilla organizations in Batangas. While it was true that there were jealousies and rivalries among guerrillas during those days, the “LONE WOLF” intelligence unit was able to succeed in securing the cooperation and help of the above-mentioned guerrilla organizations.

The area of operation of this unit comprised Batangas, Laguna province, and the City of Manila. I established my general headquarters in the barrio of Pagolingin, Lipa, Batangas. From this headquarters, I sent my network of intelligence operation concerning the province of Batangas. In Manila, my headquarters was at 148 Anda, Intramuros, and in Laguna, at barrio Cambuha, Sta. Maria, Laguna.

I organized fleet couriers taking and receiving messages from one sector to another. I sent men to be employed by the Japanese in the airfields, digging dug-outs, working as boys in the houses of Japanese officers, others were employed as nurses, mechanics, while others sought employment in the office of the Japanese Kempei Tai.

As my organization increased in size, I converted and assigned some members to compose a combat unit and prepared them for any emergency.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Pre-liberation period:

(1) With the contact I made with the United States-Philippine Islands Underground Movements, I was able to secure shortwave news about the real situation of the war, especially the success of the American forces of liberation in the Pacific area and I disseminated them, through my men, to the people – thus uplifting or maintaining their morale.

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(2) Written reports of the Japanese activities, movements, concentrations and military installations accompanied by maps and sketches were given to Col. Bernard L. Anderson from time to time by couriers during 1943 and until October 1944, for transmission to the U.S. Army thru his transmitter.

(3) Complete map of the Lipa Airfield was set to Col. Anderson thru Atty. Gabriel Valaro of Bulacan.

(4) In November 1944, I got control of a transmitter, known as “DETACHMENT RADIO STATION C U P” and all my reports in maps and by description were sent to the front via this transmitter.

In this connection, please refer:

(a) To the history of the “Detachment Radio Station C U P” made by Capt. Alfonso Panopio; I am the Atty. Lopez cited in his report as Chief Agent in Batangas.
(b) Edie Holgado was the operator of the said “DETACHED RADIO STATION C U P.” My reports were all signed “LONE WOLF.” Edie Holgado came from the United States to Australia. From Australia, he was instructed to come to the Philippines in a submarine to establish a transmitter station.

(5) Early in 1944, I instructed sabotage work. About 10 horse load of Japanese bullets of different calibers were stolen from [the] Jap ammunition depot. About 5000 different kinds of Japanese guns and airplane spare parts were stolen and thrown into deep wells.

LIBERATION ACTIVITIES:

30 January 1945, the Japanese became furious and brutal. They conducted [a] series of raids in the barrios of Lipa, Batangas, indiscriminately killing people, men, women and children. I temporarily transferred the general headquarters to barrio San Ignacio, Rosario, Batangas. From San Ignacio, I sent my men to secure the evacuating civilians who, then, did not know where to go nor could bring sufficient food or clothing with them. I converted bamboo thickets, ravines and creeks into homes of these suffering humanity. I collected the food left in vacated barrios in order that all foodstuff [could] be considered common property. I designated men to take charge of [the] distribution of this food. In spite of great difficulty, I was able to save these evacuating populations from starvation and save them from the massacres of the enemy.

My men were attached to the 11th Airborne Division. They worked as guides, patrols, informants, others joined the labor battalion and all other military activities that they were assigned.

DIFFERENT ENCOUNTERS:

(1) On 10 February 1943, my combat unit under Capt. Pedro Mercado encountered Japanese soldiers at Mt. Bibilog situated at the boundary of Lipa, Batangas and San Pablo, Laguna. Result:

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Six (6) Japanese were killed and one (1) captured, burned machine gun.

(2) On 18 February 1945, same combat unit encountered Japanese soldiers in barrio Payapa, Rosario, Batangas. One Jap was killed.

(3) On 9 March 1945, my advance guard in barrio Malagonlong, Lipa, Batangas encountered Japanese snipers. The Japs were able to escape and one of my men was seriously wounded.

(4) On 20 March 1945, in barrio Pinagcaanuran, Rosario, Batangas, this unit a company of retreating Japanese soldiers. One Jap was killed.

(5) On 1 May 1945, my combat unit encountered Japanese snipers in barrio Pinagcawitan, Lipa, Batangas. Capt. Pedro Mercado was wounded and 2 Japanese were killed.

(6) On 7 May 1945, my combat unit encountered retreating Japanese in barrio Tipacan, Lipa, Batangas and killed 3 of them.

In Manila, my men were attached to the Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion and others were attached to the 11th Airborne.

Lest it might be forgotten, I also organized the HOME GUARD unit. Theoretically, this unit was non-combatant and its important function was the protection of life and property and maintenance of peace and order in the community. However, ultimately this unit fought the enemy side by side with the combat unit.

This unit became the supply agent and guard of the whole organization. In the guise of being members of the Neighborhood Association, they covered the organization’s movements and activities by being on the constant watch in their territory for the enemy, Jap spies, or any unknown individual who might enter or pass their jurisdiction. For an explanation, [the] Neighborhood Association was an organization founded by the government. My Home Guard unit survived and succeeded in the mission they undertook under guise of being members of the Neighborhood Association.

FINANCING AND FOOD SUPPLY:

I had spent about ₱200,000.00 as operational expenses of this unit. Some of these amounts were given free by some of my friends while the others were in the form of promissory notes promising that they would be reimbursed should the United States or [the] Commonwealth government pay me for the expenses incurred. The food consisting of camote, corn, rice and other cereals were given free by the civilian population, the fish and meat were bought out of the above-stated amount.

ARMS:

This unit acquired [a] few pistols, revolvers and several Japanese rifles. When the American forces of liberation reached Batangas, these arms were exchanged for carbines. These carbines were confiscated by the M.P. immediately after the liberation of Batangas.


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Notes and references:

1 “Lone Wolf’s Intelligence Unit,” File No. 183, online at PVAO.


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