History of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team, Rillo-Neri Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore History of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team, Rillo-Neri Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

History of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team, Rillo-Neri Unit

The Rillo-Neri Unit was a guerrilla organization that was allegedly formed in the town of Balayan, and again allegedly by the authority coming from Col. Hugh Straughn, founder of the Fil-American Irregular Troops. It was supposed to have conducted intelligence work, kept peace and order and helped in the evacuation of the citizens of Balayan, Lemery and Tuy. Its combat team was also said to have participated in combat during the liberation of Batangas. While this guerrilla group failed to obtain full recognition from the United States Army, 130 of its members were recognized as a combat team and another 400 gained recognition with another guerrilla outfit, the Blue Eagle Brigade. In this document1 is contained a brief history of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team, as the Rillo-Neri Unit Combat Team was renamed during the liberation period. This component of the larger Rillo-Neri Unit, unlike its mother organization, obtained official recognition from the United States Army.
Guerrilla Files jpeg
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PART I - Brief History of the Unit

The Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team was the combat team organized by the RILLO-NERI Unit, Fil-American Irregular Troops, following the Memo issued by the Hq Guerrilla Forces, Tagaytay City, by Col Alex Williams Jr, on 19 February 1945, to quote:

Tagaytay City

19 February 1945

To: All Guerrilla Units

1. Purpose: The purpose of this memorandum is to prescribe operation of Guerrilla Troops within the 11th A/B Division’s zone of responsibility.

2. Composition: Only those Guerrilla Units authorized and inducted by this headquarters (through Maj Vanderpool, GSC) will be recognized.

3. Organization: Authorized guerrillas will be organized into companies with numerical or alphabetical designations, and administration shall be in accordance with pertinent United States Army Regulations.

By Command of Major General Swing,

s/ Alex Williams Jr.
Colonel, GSC.
Chief of Staff

Following this order, Capt Schommer, Guerrilla Coordinator at Tagaytay City, called a conference of all representatives of the Guerrilla Units inducted by Maj Vanderpool, GSC. For the western part of Batangas province, the following Guerrilla Units were told to organize:

HUNTERS ROTC –the Staff and 3 Combat Companies
RAINBOW REGIMENT, AUSA – The Staff and a Combat Company
RILLO-NERI UNIT – the Staff and a Combat Company
Gagalac Unit - the Staff and a Combat Company
LICOPA UNIT – the Staff and a Combat Company

Later on, following the order issued by Maj Robert Glieden, S-3 of the 158th REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM, Apo 70, the above stated Combat Companies passed to the control of [the] General Guerrilla Commander of the 158th Regimental Combat Team effective 0015 5 March 1945, to quote:

APO 70

4 March 45

TO: Commanding Officer, 187th P/G Regiment, 11th A/B Division, Apo 463

1. General Guerrilla Command in Balayan area passes to

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CO 158th per WOCG 11th A/B Division effective 0011 5 March 1945.

2. Hunters ROTC; Rainbow Regiment, AUSA, Rillo-Neri Unit, Gagalac Unit; Licopa Unit pass to control of General Guerrilla Commander per VOVG 11th A/B Division effective 0011 5 March 1945.

For the Commanding General,

s/ Robert Glieden
Major, Infantry


1 Org above
1 158th RCT File

Once more, the Rillo-Neri Unit was transferred to the 11th A/B Division, U. S. Army, and on 9 May 1945, Lt A P McDonald, Guerrilla Coordinator, Taal Hq 11th A/B Division, officially informed Capt Horacio L Ilagan, that the RILLO-NERI Combat Company was officially designated as the LIPA GUERRILLA HEADQUARTERS COMBAT TEAM, effective 1 April 1945, to quote:

11th Airborne Division

9 May 1945



: Official Unit Designation
: Capt. Horacio L Ilagan
   CO Rillo-Neri Unit

1. In accordance with instructions from higher headquarters, the Rillo-Neri Unit is officially designated as the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team effective 1 April 1945.

2. See footnote of the letter of Maj Jack P Barton dated 8 May 1945.

s/ A. P. McDonald
1st Lt. CAC, AA, U.S.A.
Guerrilla Coordinator


Col Salvador Rillo and Lt Col Jaime Samperino Neri, SJ, were the founders of the Rillo-Neri Unit, Fil-American Irregular Troops, under Col Hugh S Straughn. To designate the Unit from the other Fil-Americans, the Rillo-Neri Unit was added in honor of the two founders.

I – After the fall of Bataan, Col Rillo called some of his close

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friends to a meeting for the purpose of organizing a group for the following activities:

1. To organize a group to direct dissemination of the American propaganda in the City of Manila and the Southern Provinces;

2. To raise funds and aid – clothing, food, medicine – for the American stragglers and escaped prisoners for:

a. Master, Lavesky and Barual – American employees of the Finance Department of the Quartermaster – staying with Mr Nazario in the barrio of San Jose del Monte at the foot of Ipo Mountain, Riza;

b. American Officers Capt Schalby, Lt Schaefer, Lt Moor, at Lt Silhavy, who were under the care of Mrs. Gertrudes B LaDuc, widow of an American; and

3. To do some sabotage works and, if possible, to resist small groups of Japanese patrols with what small weapons we had.


HORACIO ILAGAN, ROTC Officer [of an outfit] disbanded in Manila, was requested by Col Rillo to bring to Balayan, Batangas forty-seven (47) Springfield rifles [that] Col Rillo was able to get from the Alejandro Albert Elementary School, Dapitan, Manila. On 15 April 42, Horacio Ilagan (appointed later on as res S-2 with the rank of Major) with 30 volunteer ROTC disbanded soldiers, started from Manila to bring the rifles to Batangas. By passing thru corn fields, under the coconut trees and later on crossing Mt Batulao, Maj Ilagan was successful in bringing the rifles to Balayan, Batangas.

III. COL RILLO CAUGHT on 6 June 1942 by JAPANESE MILITARY POLICE: Before the progress of the organization of the guerrilla unit in Balayan, Batangas could be reported in Manila, Col Rillo was arrested by the Japanese Military Police on 6 June 1942 at Balinwatak, Rizal, while trying to bring some supplies to the Americans at Ipo Mt. Because of this, the first try to organize a guerrilla unit under Col Rillo was foiled.

IV. MR. HORACIO ILAGAN AS GUERRILLA LIAISON OFFICER: While it is true that Col Rillo was imprisoned, yet his wife was able to get instructions from him. Maj Ilagan was told to contact Col Espina, Overall Commander of the Fil-American Irregular Troops under Col Straughn in Batangas – thru his son-in-law Maj Medrano. Maj Ilagan was appointed as Liaison Officer for the western part of Batangas Province, especially to Maj Deguito and Bahia, founders of the Pioneer Guerrillas of Balayan. Thru the efforts of Maj Ilagan, the following guerrilla organizers attached themselves to Col Espina:

Maj Distresa, founder of guerrilla movement in Nasugbu, Batangas
Maj Vicente Calingasan, guerrilla leader in Tuy, Batangas
Maj Tugegue, guerrilla leader of [the] eastern barrios of Balayan
Maj Amador Deguito, Maj Rodolfo Bahia and Maj Jose Unzon, organizers of the Pioneer Guerrillas in Balayan, Batangas
Capt Gagalac and Capt Licopa, organizers of the Glint in the towns of Calaca, Lemery and Taal, Batangas
Col Amando Ilagan, organizer of the Canluran Regiment in Taal, Batangas

V. RILLO-NERI UNIT ORGANIZED ON MILITARY FOOTING on 12 January 1945: After the killing of the different guerrilla founders and when Col

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Rillo was released on 25 December 42, Col Rillo went directly to Balayan, Batangas. There, he found out that most of the guerrilla organization was paralyzed because of the untimely death of the different guerrilla leaders, especially in the sector of western Batangas. The killing of Maj Deguito, Maj Bahia, Maj Tuguegue, Maj Distresa, Maj Evangelista and, finally, of Col Espina totally demoralized the different guerrilla organizations. Col Rillo ordered both Maj Pedro ZuƱiga and Maj Rafael Ilagan, ex-USAFFE soldiers, to organize two BATTALIONS in the towns of Tuy and Balayan.

VI. SCHOOL FOR OFFICERS ORGANIZED: Under Col Fortunato Borbon, ex-Bataan veteran and Maj Basilio Fernando, and later on Capt Lino Inciong, other USAFFE OFFICERS, a school for officers’ training was organized at the Hq of the unit at Dao, Balayan, Batangas.

VII. REGIMENTAL HQ COMBAT TEAM ORGANIZED: Armed with the forty-seven of April 1942, a Regimental Hq Combat Team of 50 EM and 4 Officers under Capt Gregorio Arcalas was organized. This Combat Team increased in number every time the Japanese sent out patrols of less than 10 men. Such that its members were 170 EM and 6 Officers when the Americans landed in Nasugbu, Batangas on 31 Jan 45.

VII. SABOTAGE MISSIONS: On 5 August 43, Col Rillo was arrested for the runners of Col Nakar, CO of the Northern Luzon Guerrillas. Thanks that Maj Ilagan was caught him. [?] In November 43, while a strong storm was passing [over] Manila, 5 simultaneous fires started at the different depots of the Japs. Maj Ilagan, together with 10 Hunters ROTC [men], set fire to the Japanese gasoline depot at Paco, Manila. At the same time, another one was burning the depot at Grace Park and the other one at the Chinatown. A big one was eating up the supply depot near the Manila Railroad and a beautiful one destroying the ammunition depot along the seashore of Tondo, Manila.

IX. AMERICAN SOLDIERS RESCUED, CARED [FOR] AND LATER ON ESCORTED TO FREDOM: Following the surrender of Corregidor and Bataan, many American stragglers tried to cross to Looc, Batangas. Some of them found refuge at Calan, Tuy. While it is true that the Lopez family of Balayan was feeding these Americans, yet it was the RILLO-NERI UNIT soldiers who were guarding night and day these Americans. Later on the members of the Unit [took] these Americans to Mindoro for them to enjoy once more freedom. The following Americans were taken care [of] immediately after their escape from Corregidor in May 1942 up to November 1944, when they were escorted to Mindoro:

1. Capt. Bert C Fuller (Bataan escapee)
2. Major Raymond Humphrey (Bataan escapee)
3. A R M 2 C John W Montgomery (6345666) VB-15, USN Down Nov 6, 1944
4. Lt. J. G. Dondero, Donald (Bataan escapee)
5. Lt. J. G. W. Resing (251421) VB-15 USN Down on 6 Nov 1944
6. Lt. J. G. W. E. Miller (158079) VF-32 USN Down Sept 21, 1944
7. Capt Whitecomb, Airforce of USA (Bataan escapee)
8. Marine Corps Reid Chamberlain (Bataan escapee)

X. INTELLIGENCE REPORTS: Col Rillo and Fr Neri were among those lucky prisoners of war who were able to escape from Muntinglupa Bilibid Prison together with about 200 political prisoners. Both Col Rillo and Fr Neri immediately proceeded to Balayan, Batangas. By this time, the Combat Team had a strength of 141 EM and 5 officers fully armed. For the purpose of ensuring that all intelligence reports of all the guerrilla units would reach Col Nicholson (Commander Rowe), Fr Neri was sent to Mindoro in Sept

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1944 to be the Liaison Officer of the Unit to Col Nicholson. From time to time, regular intelligence reports were sent to Mindoro thru runners on small sailboats that crossed the ocean from Balayan, Batangas to Mindoro. Jap strength, movements of the enemy, the garrisons and fortifications, the airfield constructions, the arms of the Japs and the positions of the different artillery guns were continuously reported. Later on, Fr. Neri proceeded to Leyte.

XI. ENEMY CASUALTIES: In spite of the general instruction that the guerrilla units should avoid armed contact with the enemy, every time that the Japs gave an opportunity to inflict casualties, the Unit Regimental Hq Combat Team did not hesitate. Every time the Japs sent out patrols of not more than 10 men, no one would be able to return alive to report about what happened. Those Japs would really get their desire to reach heaven. Every time a Jap was killed, another arm was added to the unit and new recruits were accepted. Before the American landing in Nasugbu, Batangas on 31 Jan 45, the Combat Team, which started with 50 EM and 4 officers, had already a strength of 170 EM and 6 officers. Or an increase of 129 arms which naturally represented 129 Japs killed. Too bad the Japs learned their lessons quite so fast so that they never dared to send another patrol composed of 10 men only.



This pace of the History of the Unit, the periods are divided into three distinct groups of different dates and attachment to different American Units:

a. FIRST PERIOD: From 30 Jan 45, when the unit received two ATTACK ORDERS FROM MAJ JAY D VANDERPOOL, Guerrilla Coordinator, up to 0011 March 45, when the unit was attached to the 11th AB under Maj Vanderpool and Captain C Schommer;

b. SECOND PERIOD: From 5 March 45, when all inducted units by Maj Vanderpool were ordered to pass in control to the CO of the 158th REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM, APO 70, by order of General Swing, signed by Maj Robert Glieden, Chief of Staff up to the time when the unit was ordered to report to Maj C Schommer, CO of the 187th 11th A/B Division, USA at Cuenca, Batangas; and

c. THIRD PERIOD: From 1 April 1945 to 4 July 1945 under Lt A P McDonald, Guerrilla Coordinator, 11th A/B Division with Hq at Taal, Batangas.

I. ACTIVITIES UNDER THE FIRST PERIOD: Before the American Landing in Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines on 31 Jan 45, the RILLO-NERI received two attack orders from Maj Jay Vanderpool, GSC, Coordinator of the United States-Philippines Forces, Joint Intelligence Luzon.


(The Order) 30 January 45
In the field




: All Guerrilla Units


Two Eight January Pd

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xxxxxxxxxx (Followed by instructions D. to J.) xxxxxxxxxx

(j) CABARRUBIA AND BORBON (ADVISER TO RILLO-NERI): Will attack and destroy all enemy forces along the improved road of Balayan (incl) Lemery (incl). He will be responsible for this road. Patrolling will be done in Tuy. All enemy forces will be attacked when encountered.

xxxxxxxxxx (Followed by instructions from 3 to 16) xxxxxxxxxx

s/ Jay D Vanderpool
Major, GSC


1. The Rillo-Neri Unit complied with the order. The Regimental Combat Company patrolled the entire area from Tuy to Balayan. The Japanese were attacked in the towns of Balayan, Tuy, Calaca and Lemery, province of Batangas, thus forcing the Japs to stay in their prepared garrisons in Himalas and San Piro, Balayan, Batangas. Tuy, Batangas was liberated before the landing of the Americans in Nasugbu, Batangas.

2. Col Rillo ordered Maj Horacio Ilagan to destroy the Japs at the foxholes along the Himalas Shores of Balayan Bay. Maj Ilagan was able [to] occupy the foxholes in the shores of Himalas, Balayan after an encounter for an hour which resulted to the killing of 11 Japs.


(The Order) 31 Jan 45


: Rillo Guerrillas
   ATTACK INSTRUCTIONS : All Guerrilla Units

1. You will immediately, upon receipt of this order, direct all efforts of all available men in the performance of the following sabotage missions:

a. Attack and destroy every truck now being used by the enemy.
b. Cut and carry away every telephone line in your sector. Cut the wire into one meter pieces.
c. Burn or destroy all enemy supplies especially gasoline and ammunition.
d. Destroy all means of transportation available to the enemy or hide same so that he will be denied the use thereof.
e. Bridges will not be destroyed without authority of the GHQ, SWPA or the undersigned.
f. Attack and destroy small enemy forces now guarding radio transmitter stations.

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2. You will report immediately to the undersigned for transmittal to GHQ, SWPA those sabotage missions that have been completed.

S/ Jay D Vanderpool
Guerrilla Coordinator


1. In compliance with these orders, direct all efforts of all available men – the Unit mobilized all the members of the Unit. Seven hundred (700) Em and 47 Officers were mobilized so that the Unit has a strength of 923 EM and Officers.

2. Sabotage.

Southwest Pacific Area

1 Feb 45
In the field

: Maj [J] D Vanderpool
   Chief Liaison Officer

a. One abandoned truck fully loaded with palay confiscated by the Japs from the people of Balayan was seized by members of this Unit. The palay will be used for the consumption of the members and the truck will be for our use;

b. Telephone lines in our sector cut.

s/ F. Borbon
CO. 83rd Inf. PA (USAFFE)
Commanding Officer


4 Feb 45
In the Field

Maj Jay D Vanderpool
Guerrilla Hq, Nasugbu, Bat.

My dear Maj Vanderpool:

I am sending you one wounded prisoner who needs medical assistance. Besides this prisoner, we have killed three Japs by my unit in the barrio of Taktak, Balayan, presumably part of the party that fled from Malibu, Tuy which Lt Cabarrubia attacked. The tags of the three dead Japs will be sent to you later as soon as they are received by our Hq.

s/ S. B. Rillo
t/ S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander

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4. INTELLIGENCE REPORTS: The unit continued to send its daily Intelligence Reports to the Guerrilla Affairs Hq under Maj Vanderpool and Capt C Schommer. For the fine and good Intelligence Reports of the unit, the following letter was received.

Tagaytay City

5 Feb 45

Col Rillo –

Your intelligence report of Feb 3 and 4 is very good. It verifies and gives us valuable information that we badly needed. Both Maj Vanderpool and I appreciate it much. Good work like that will bring sure victory so much sooner.

Maj Vanderpool awaits word on what rice you can sell to us (₱7.30) per sack, too. Send your answer to me at Guerrilla Hq.

Your courier tells me they captured a Jap saber you now have that may have a family seal and unit identity on it. Could I see that saber for intelligence information? It may give me good information on what troops are left still fighting us.

Keep up the good work and intelligence reports.

S/ Capt C Schommer
U.S. Task Force

5. ENEMY CASUALTIES: The enemy killed from 30 Jan 45 to 28 February 45 in the assigned sector of the responsibility was submitted. Patrols were sent from time to time to check enemy in the sector:

Fil-American Irregular Troops
Southwest Pacific Area

28 Feb 45

: Report of Enemy Casualties
   Guerrilla Hq, Nasugbu

The following is a tabulation of the list of Jap casualties in chronological order:

Japs Killed
1 (prisoner)
77 Total Killed up top
28 Feb 45
31 Jan 45
2 Feb 45
3 Feb 45
3 Feb 45
4 Feb 45
7 Feb 45
7 Feb 45
7 Feb 45
12 Feb 45
13 Feb 45
26 Feb 45
27 Feb 45
28 Feb 45
28 Feb 45
Himalas Shore, Balayan
Dao, Tuy
Taktak, Balayan
Taktak, Balayan
Magabe, Balayan
Balocbaloc, Balayan
Sampaga, Balayan
Kaybunga, Balayan
Baoc, Balayan
Balocbaloc, Balayan
Pook, Balayan
Pitogo, Tuy
Dao, Balayan
Makukak, Balayan
Lukban, Balayan

s/ S. B. Rillo
t/ S. B. RILLO

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C. ORGANIZATION OF AUTHORIZED GUERRILLAS INTO COMBAT COMPANIES: From the time [of] the American landing in Nasugbu, Batangas, because of the order of Maj Vanderpool to mobilize all available men, the 11th A/B Div, USA found out that they had too many guerrillas for the Balayan area. Thus, on 19 February, Gen Swing ordered the organization of the authorized guerrillas into Combat Companies, to wit:

Tagaytay City

19 February 1945

TO: All Guerrilla Units

1. Purpose: The purpose of this memorandum is to prescribe operation of guerrilla troops within the 11th A/B Division zone of responsibility.

2. Composition: Only those guerrilla units authorized and inducted by this headquarters (through Maj Vanderpool) will be recognized.

3. Organization: Authorized guerrillas will be organized into companies with numerical or alphabetical designations, and to be administered in accordance with pertinent United States Army regulations.

By Command of Maj General Swing,

s/ Alex Williams Jr.
Colonel, GSC


1. Following this order of the Chief of Staff, Col Alex Williams, Capt Schommer called a conference of all authoritized representatives of the guerrilla units inducted by Maj Jay Vanderpool, GSC. The following units were assigned to form their respective combat companies:

Hunter ROTC – the Staff and 3 Combat Companies
Rainbow Regiment – the Staff and one Combat Company
Rillo-Neri Unit – the Staff and one Combat Company
Gagalac Unit – the Staff and one Combat Company
Licopa Unit – the Staff and one Combat Company

2. It was further agreed in the conference that all the rosters of the Combat Companies were begun on or before 3 March 1945. Together with the roster of the Combat Companies, the Unit Commanders were required to submit an alphabetical roster of troops for those members who were disbanded so that every compensation or remuneration the US Government would give in the future, those papers would be used for adjustments.

3. In compliance with this order, the Rillo-Neri formed a Combat Company of 144 EM and 6 Officers and on 2 March 45, the Roster of Troops of [the] Combat Company was submitted to Maj Vanderpool at Tagaytay City together with the disbanded Roster of Troops of 773 EM and Officers.

4. With the Roster of Troops, Col Rillo wrote his letter of regret that only a Combat Company could be of service to the United States Army. In

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reply to this letter of Col Rillo, Capt C Scommer wrote Col Rillo a very nice letter written in his own handwriting, to read:

Tagaytay City

March 3, 1945

TO: Rillo-Neri Guerrilla Forces

1. I wish to express my gratitude to the RILLO-NERI UNIT for the memorial work they, and all guerrilla units of Batangas and Cavite Provinces, have done.

2. I salute you as patriotic civilians turned guerrillas to protect your homes, and work side by side with the U.S. in eliminating the Japs. I gave you my assurance that your vigil yet remains only a matter of hours, before you can again stroll in your fields and cities. Other sectors of your province yet await the joyous time. We are turning our attention now to their needs.

3. As such, the need you had of a strong guerrilla organization to protect your homes now ceases to be a dire necessity. May the Philippine people ever know the sacrifices you have made in time of need, and may God grant you peace for the rest of your lives.

s/ C. Schommer

This letter was the last under Maj Vanderpool and Capt Schommer, Guerrilla Affairs Hq, at Tagaytay City of the 11th A/B Division.



I. COMMAND OF GUERRILLA ACTIVITIES PASSED TO THE CONTROL OF THE 158th RCT: On 4 March 45, the S-3 Maj Robert Glieden issued order passing the control of all guerrillas to CO of 158th in the Balayan area, to read:

APO 70

4 March 45

TO: Commanding Officer, 187th R/C Regiment, 11th A/B APO 463

1. General Guerrilla Command in Balayan Area pass to control of CO 158th per WOCG 11th A/B Division effective 0011 5 March 45.

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2. Hunters ROTC; Rainbow Regiment, AUSA; Rillo-Neri Unit; Gagalac Unit; Licopa Unit pass to control of General Guerrilla Commander per VCOG 11th A/B Division effective 0011 March 45.

For the Commanding General,

s/ Robert Glieden
Major, Infantry

1 each orga above
1 158th RCT File

(Compliance) Following this order, Maj Ilagan submitted a copy of the Roster of Troops submitted to the 11th A/B Division on 2 March 45. Capt Gregorio Arcalas, Executive Officer of the Combat Company, was sent to contact Maj Glieden on 6 March 45.

I. HIMALAS GARRISON, Balayan, Batangas OPERATION: on 6 March 45, the 158th RCT came to Balayan and attacked the HIMALAS GARRISON. Maj. Ilagan, with his Combat Company, advanced with Company A under Capt Dwight. The attack of the garrison was under the command of COL. SHOEMAKER. Attack commenced at 0800 6 March 45 and the garrison was occupied 2330 6 March 45. 79 Japs killed and 1 prisoner taken.

II. SAN PIRO GARRISON, Balayan, Batangas OPERATION: After the fall of the Himalas Garrison, the Balayan town proper was liberated. But the big gun at the San Piro Garrison always endangered the people of Balayan. With one American platoon for the purpose of artillery support, the capture of the San Piro Garrison was done by the Guerrilla Combat Teams of the area of Balayan. The units which participated in the capture of the San Piro Garrison were: Hunters ROTC, under Maj Sebial and Maj Kasilao; Rainbow Regt under Col Cabarrubias and the Rillo-Neri Unit under the command of Maj H Ilagan. The attack commenced at 0012 10 March 45 and the San Piro Garrison was taken by 1330 11 March 45. Mopping up the area was over at 1900 11 March 45. The advancing party was spearheaded by the Rillo-Neri Unit as the pointer; the main body of attack under Maj Sebial Hunters ROTC; the right flank was taken care [of] by [the] Rainbow Regiment; and the rear guard, 2 American platoons. Over [at] the other side of the mountain was another ROTC company under Maj Kasilao. Japanese killed: 96. Sgt. Arcadio Avena, wounded in action.

III. MT ITEAM GARRISON, Calatagan, Batangas OPERATION: At 0600 12 Mar 45, the Rillo-Neri Unit, with Maj Ilagan, together with the Hunters ROTC under Maj Sebial, crossed the mountains from San Piro to Mt Item, Calatagan. Mt Item was occupied at 1400 12 Mar 45. Japs killed, 16. The two companies continued to liberate Calatagan, Batangas were the American company and the guerrillas met at Calatagan Proper. Calatagan, Batangas liberated on 13 March 45.

IV. PATROL AND MOPPING [UP] OPERATIONS: After the liberation of the towns of Calatagan, Balayan, Lian, Tuy and Calaca of the province of Batangas, the Rillo-Neri Combat Company was assigned to mop up the towns of Balayan and Calaca, Batangas. In two different patrols of the Combat Company, 19 Japs were killed, to wit: 11 Japs killed in Dao, Balayan on 14 Mar 45 and 8 Japs killed at Matipok, Calaca on 15 March 45.



I. On 16 March 45, the company received orders to go to Cuenca, Batangas to report to [the] 187th A/B Division. Together with the Hunters ROTC, the Rillo-Neri Unit Combat Company was stationed at Mt. Dita, San Jose, Batangas, under the Guerrilla Coordinator Lt Parker, 187th 11th A/B Div. In

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San Jose Proper, 36 Japs were killed on 18 March 45.

On 26 March 45, Maj C Schommer, CO of the Operations at Cuenca, Batangas, ordered Maj Ilagan, Rillo-Neri Unit, to proceed to the Guerrilla Hq of the 11th A/B Div at Taal, Batangas and report to 1st Lt McDonald, CAC, AA USA, Guerrilla Coordinator.

II. RILLO-NERI UNIT OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED AS LIPA GUERRILLA HQ COMBAT TEAM: On 6 May 45, Lt McDonald informed Capt Ilagan (Maj Ilagan rank was reduced to Capt to follow T/O & E of US Army) that Gen Swing desired to have 60 guards for his Hq at Lipa, Batangas. Lt McDonald informed me that he had suggested the Rillo-Neri Unit Combat Team for the job. Thus, on 9 May 45, Lt McDonald received words from the higher Hq from Lipa, Batangas, the Rillo-Neri Unit Combat Team, was officially designated as the LIPA GUERRILLA HQ COMBAT TEAM, to wit:

11th Airborne Division

9 May 1945

: Official Unit Designation
: Capt Horacio L Ilagan
   CO Rillo-Neri Unit

1. In accordance with instructions from higher Hq, the Rillo-Neri Unit is officially designated as the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, effective 1 April 1945.

2. See footnote of the letter of Maj Jack P Barton dated 8 May 1945.

S/ A P McDonald
1st Lt CAC, AA, U. S. A.

III. ASSIGNED SECTOR OF RESPONSIBILITY – Operating Memo No 28: Two operating memos were issued by the 11th A/B Div assigning Sector of Responsibility for each attached unit to the 11th A/B Div. Memo No 28 assigned sectors of responsibilities for the different units. In my sector of responsibility, the Rillo-Neri Unit killed 42 Japs in its different patrol operations. After clearing the area, the unit was assigned to help the other units mop their respective areas.

IV. MATIPOK (86.7-169.8) Calaca, Batangas OPERATIONS: On 16 April 45, 30 EM of the Rainbow Regt, under Lt V Daguigan; 30 EM of Co “C” Hunters ROTC; 42 EM of the Batangas Fil-Americans under Lt Real; and 50 EM of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, under Lt Baylosis, conducted the Matipok Operation in Calaca, Batangas under the overall command of Capt Ilagan. These different guerrilla units started from different starting points from the town proper passing thru different barrios and merging at one point at Mt Matipok. While the operation did not encounter much enemy opposition, yet the operation was successful for it was the cause for the return of the evacuated farmers to their fields. Operation was for 3 days from 16 to 19 March 45. 11 Japs encountered and killed.

V. BARRAGON (87.4-170.1) Lemery, Batangas OPERATIONS: After 4 days of patrolling with 30 EM, Capt Horacio L Ilagan cornered about 50 Japs on a hill-mole of Baragon, Lemery. There was only one lone trail two feet wide

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to the position of the Japs. The trail was covered by two Jap 30 cal machine guns. After trying the enemy for e [a few?] minutes, Capt Ilagan decided to withdraw 400 yards from the enemy to a good place protected by natural terrain. Capt Ilagan could not penetrate the enemy line, but the Japs, too, could not go out [of] their position. So, Capt Ilagan asked for reinforcement and artillery support. At about 1660, the Reconnaissance Patrol of the 188th Reg A/B Div was directed by cab to where Capt Ilagan was. This American unit had already received 3 false alarms during the day, so that the American Lt and 1st Sgt refused to believe that there were Japs in the area pointed by Capt Ilagan. In spite of Capt Ilagans advice to attack the Japs by that time, the operation would [be] overtaken by darkness, the American Lt ordered the attack. Covered by trench mortar fire and one machine gun, the Americans and 30 EM of Capt Ilagan attacked the Japs’ position. [The] Japs held their fire until we were 20 yards from their position. They opened fire and Sgt Besas, the American 1st Sgt, were terribly wounded. The American Lt was shot in the left arm. Darkness overtook operations. The Cab ordered Capt Ilagan to go back to his former position and to watch the Japs for the whole night. On 21 May 45, the 188th Bat 11th A/B Division under Maj Alexander and the Rillo-Neri Unit of 5 EM under Capt Ilagan, attacked and got every Jap. Japs killed and counted, 39. [The] Operation covered up 4 days from 18 to 21 May 45.

VI. CACAWAN TO CAHEL (85.7-169.4) Calaca, Batangas OPERATIONS: Patrol reports sent by the guerrilla units stationed at Calaca, Batangas verified the reports of the civilians that the Japs [had] driven from Matipok Operation went to contact the Japs covering the area around Cacawan and Cahel, Calaca, covering an area of about a square mile. Lt McDonald sent Capt Ilagan with 30 EM to check the report. After an encounter with the enemy for about 10 mins, Capt Ilagan decided to retreat because the enemy was now in numbers, in a better position, and with better and bigger arms. Lt Conlon, Unit Training Officer, refused to believe Capt Ilagan’s reports. So, on 3 June 45, Capt Ilagan and Lt Conlon with 3 EM, decided to try once again the enemy. This time, Lt Conlon agreed with Capt Ilagan.

On 17 June 45, the entire 188th Bat 11th A/B Div under Maj Alexander together with 80 EM and officers under Capt Ilagan, decided to attack the Japs. The Jap position was shelled for two continuous nights and days with 105 cal guns before the 188th and the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team could get [to] the Japs’ position. Japs killed and counted 108 with several more which could not be determined because the bodies were scattered into pieces.


Japs Killed

20 Jan to 28 Feb
7 Mar
10 Mar to 11 Mar
12 Mar
14 Mar
15 Mar
18 Mar
1 to 15 April
16 to 17 April
18 to 21 May
17 to 20 June 45

Place and Mission
Tuy and Balayan - Patrols
Himalas, Balayan - Combat
San Piro, Balayan - Combat
Mt Item, Calatagan - Combat
Dao, Balayan - Patrol
Matipok, Calaca - Patrol
San Jose, Batangas - Combat
Assigned Sector Memo 28 - Patrols
Matipok, Calaca - Combat
Baragon, Lemery - Combat
Cacawan to Cahel, Calaca - Combat




Notes and references:
1 “Rillo-Neri (Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team),” File No. 110-9, online at PVAO.
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