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December 29, 2017

Various Documents in Support of the 1st Batangas Regiment's Application for Recognition

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 page1, various documents submitted to the United States Army in support of the unit’s application for official recognition are transcribed.

[p. 1]

HEADQUARTERS
Battery “B”
382nd AAA AW Bn

APO #468
13 April 1945

SUBJECT

TO

: INTRODUCTION AND RECOMMENDATION

: WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

Major Bool, leader of guerrillas in Batangas area. He is cooperative with this headquarters both in supplying us with reliable workers and any information which he thought might prove of value to our unit. Any assistance which you might lend him will be appreciated.

[Sgd.] Charles R. Garrett
1st Lt., 382nd AAA AW Bn
E.O. of Battery “B”

[p. 2]

HEADQUARTERS BASE R
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
Office of the S-2

APO 73
3 October 1945

Major Bool
Fil-American Irregular Troops
Batangas Unit

My dear Major,

I was deeply grieved on receiving the report of one of your men’s death. I took occasion to look over the circumstances surrounding his death and it is with pleasure that I am writing this letter to convey to you my strongest pride for the sacrifice he so unselfishly gave for the cause we all fought for. The death of Maj. Mercado stands a symbol of Filipinos’ loyalty to the cause. No countryman whose devotion to the cause is unwanting would wish for a better way of proving it.

Please convey to Maj. Mercado’s family my deepest grief for the loss of a dear one who was so brave and patriotic.

To those [of] his comrades who remain, also, please convey my earnest wish that they continue on the fine work and cooperation they have been extending to us in connection with our operation against Japanese stragglers.

[Sgd.] CORSINO C. KAYANAN
Captain, Infantry
Ass’t. S-2

[p. 3]

HEADQUARTERS SUB-BASE R
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
Office of the S-2

APO 73
21 Dec 45

SUBJECT

TO

: Recognition of Batangas Unit, FAT

: A. C. of S., G-2, AFWESPAC, APO 707
   Attn: Lt. Col. Perry

1. It is requested that serious consideration be given towards the recognition of the Batangas Unit, FAIT, under the control of Maximo Bool, Major.

2. This request is predicated on the work done by the unit in cooperation with American troops during hostilities in the Batangas area and on their work prior to [the] entrance of U. S. troops in Batangas.

3. To the personal knowledge of this officer, the Batangas Unit has been of definite assistance in the control of Japanese patrols and groups since the arrival of Base R and has provided accurate information when called upon. To the knowledge of this officer, there has been no act of misconduct by any member of the command detrimental to the unit or the individual.

4. Major Bool and some of his men are employed as guards at present in the Ordnance depot. They were brought there especially to curb pilfering of weapons both by U.S. troops and natives. Major Bool, as chief guard, has succeeded in halting the pilfering by his energetic efforts and strict guards.

5. In is felt by this officer that recognition is due this group not only for its part in operations against the enemy but also for the high morale manner in which it conducted itself during and after hostilities.

[Sgd. PHILIP J. LAWRENCE
Captain, Infantry
Ass’t Exec., S-2

[p. 4]

HEADQUARTERS SUB-BASE R
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
Office of the S-2

APO 73
26 November 1945

SUBJECT

TO

: Commendation

: Major Maximo Bool, Commanding, Batangas Unit,
   Fil-American Irregular Troops

1. It is my pleasure, as S-3 of Sub-Base R, to extend to you my appreciation of services rendered by you and your unit during the period of open hostility against the Japanese and during the period of straggler roundup following the signing of peace terms.

2. In addition to the credit due your organization for its acts of loyalty and patriotism, it is worthy to note that no instance of misconduct of a nature derogatory to your unit has come to my attention at any time.

3. Your acts of patriotism denoting your sincere desire to maintain a democratic way of life for your people, have served as an indelible monument to the youth that liberty must be won by blood and kept by honesty. Your unit has won the respect of the people who know it.

[Sgd.] PHILIP J. LAWRENCE
Captain, Infantry
Ass’t. Exec., S-2

[p. 5]

[Unreadable 2 lines]
17 February 47.

Dear Major Bool,

I have received your letter in which you described your continued fight to have your unit recognized. Incidentally, this is the first letter I have received from you. The first must have become lost. I regret I did not receive it and appreciate your thinking of me at Christmas time.

Please accept my sympathy at the loss of your wife. How it must have been a shock to you. The loss of any one dear is always a blow and words of sympathy to hold greatly to ease the sorrow, but, I do extend my condolences.

As to the assistance you requested, I am not sure of how much I may be able to contribute. We were never requested to obtain or maintain a roster of guerrilla forces in our area, hence I cannot certify to the exact number of men in your unit. To do that, I would have to have actual knowledge of the number. I could not certify to the number merely on the basis of a statement to me, no matter how reliable the statement might be, for that, you see, is not actual knowledge. I wish I could certify as you ask, but to do so would be a false certification and could only bring trouble to both of us.

I can state, however, as I believe I did previously, that your unit was of much assistance to Base R in handling wandering and raiding Japanese troops throughout the area east of Batangas. You and your unit always readily responded to our calls for assistance and I recall at least one man losing his life in combat against the Japanese. There were others, too, I believe, who died fighting the enemy.

We never had any reason to doubt the loyalty of your unit, and we depended on you for assistance. I can certify to the fact that you and your men were of great aid in controlling the roving Japanese throughout the area east of Batangas, and your unit provided immediate assistance, whereas, without your help, we could have been slayed and hampered in our mission.

The enclosures you mentioned in your letter were not included, so I am unable to prepare any other statement which might be desired. I hope that you may be able to use this letter to some advantage. I sincerely hope you are successful in your efforts to have your unit recognized, because I believe you deserve that reward.

[Sgd.] PHILIP J. LAWRENCE
Captain, Inf.
Ass’t. Exec., S-2

[p. 6]

ST. BRIDGET’S COLLEGE
BATANGAS, BATANGAS
PHILIPPINES

The Office of the Commanding General
Hq. AFWESPAC, APO 707,
Manila

Dear Sir:

As an American citizen who resided in Batangas for two years of the Japanese occupation, I wish to testify to the fact that Major Maximo Bool of the Batangas Unit of [the] Fil-American Irregular Troops carried on his underground work against the enemy with intelligent efficiency. He disseminated radio news from the United States regularly and with great risk; he was at one time taken up by the Japanese Military Police and tortured but as he continued to give no information under torture, he was released. The Batangas people have nothing but praise for the manner in which the guerrilla work was carried on in this area. The men under Major Bool did not come into town, so far as my knowledge goes, to terrorize the people with their demands for food or other support as was done in other towns; what was needful in this way was obtained by voluntary contributions and by the labor of their own hands as they wisely returned to their families and cultivated their land while at the same time carrying on their loyal work.

We sincerely hope that no political machinations may prevent justice being done to one who gave invaluable aid to our returning forces.

Very sincerely,

Sr. Mary of Dominica
Superior

June 26, 1946

[p. 7]

COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES
Municipality of Batangas
B A T A N G A S

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that Mr. MAXIMO BOOL of Batangas, Batangas is personally known to me as a guerrilla leader under the Fil-American Irregular Troops having at his command one battalion here at Batangas, Batangas. He has conducted himself creditably well during the trying years of the Jap occupation and I can vouch [for] the fact that he and his men helped a lot in the liberation of the town of Batangas, when the American 158 Infantry Regiment and the 11th Airborne entered Batangas, Batangas, in the early half of the month of March, this year.

I highly recommend to the authorities concerned that Mr. MAXIMO BOOL be accorded due credit for his services to the cause for which the Allies and our government fought.

GIVEN under my hand and Seal this 10th day of November,1945, at Batangas, Batangas.

[Sgd.] PEDRO M. BERBERABE
Mayor

MJG/ase



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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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