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December 29, 2017

Investigators' Report on the Batangas Town Battalion, AUSA, June 1946

The Batangas Town Battalion, Army of the United States of America (AUSA), claimed to have received its authority to organize from one Major Ramon Ruffy, one of the prominent guerrilla leaders based in Mindoro during the Japanese occupation. This supposed unit was at one time affiliated with the Batangas Town Guerrillas of the Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT). It broke away from the FAIT when it was not attached to the 11th Airborne during the liberation period, since the United States Army only needed one company of the Batangas Town Guerrillas. It ultimately failed to obtain official recognition by the US Army. In this page is a transcription1 of an investigative report filed by the officers sent to investigate the Batangas Town Battalion, AUSA.

[p. 1]

22 June 46

In accordance with verbal instruction from Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3 AFWESPAC, Lieutenants Leonard J. Aubuchon and Eliseo Sta. Romana proceeded to Batangas to contact the “Batangas Town Bn AUSA” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the investigation and basis for recommendation.

HISTORY

The “Batangas Town Bn AUSA” claims to have received authority from Capt Jose Garcia, liaison officer of Major Ruffy in Mindoro in Sept 1942 to form a guerrilla unit in Batangas, Batangas under the AUSA overall command. From the time of organization in 1942 until Oct 1944, the history of the unit is blank as far as activities are concerned. In Oct 1944, this unit under Pablo Aguila joined the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT under the command of Anselmo Beredo, and Pablo Aguila became executive officer of that unit.

When the FAIT organization contacted the 11th Airborne Division, it was found that the division could only use one company of the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT, which company was headed by Anselmo Beredo, thus leaving Aguila out of the combat unit.

On 30 March 1945, Pablo Aguila broke relations with Beredo and reformed his Batangas Town Bn AUSA. At this time, Pablo Aguila, Commanding Officer of the Batangas Town BN AUSA, went to work as a paid civilian employee of the Labor Control Office 592 Engineering Boat and Shore Regt and ordered his men to also work for this Regt.

FINDINGS

The following persons are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings:

Pablo Aguila – CO of the Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Domingo E. Burog – Ex O Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Arsenio S. Espino – S-1 Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Hilario B. Untalan – S-4 Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Angel L. Serrano – Trans Off Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Pedro Dimaano – Ass’t S-3 Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Pedro M. Berberabe – Legal Adviser Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Dominador B. Rivera – Pltn Sgt Batangas Town Bn AUSA
Apolinario R. Corpus – Chief of Police Batangas, Bat.
Anselmo Beredo – CO Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT
Francisco Medrano – Ex O Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT
Gabriel Gomez – S-2 Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT
Major Ramon Ruffy – PA, Overall Commander “AUSA”

Major Ramon Ruffy, PA, formerly overall commander of “AUSA,” states that he has no knowledge of the Batangas Town Bn and no authority was given by him to organize such a unit.

[p. 2]

This unit claims to have been organized in Sept 1942, however no evidence was submitted or could be found that the unit existed before 30 March 1945, on which date they separated from the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT. Their sole claim to activity from Sept 1942 to Oct 1944 is that they helped to keep alive the hope of the people that the Americans would return; this activity, while patriotic, is not considered as a basis of claim for recognition as a guerrilla unit.

In October 1942, this unit joined the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT and from said date until 30 March 1945, they were a part of that organization. During this period, the unit did not exist as a separate unit, so activities claimed are actually those of the FAIT organization for which activity a company from the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT was recognized by the 11th Airborne Division.

Anselmo Beredo, former CO of the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT, states that when Pablo Aguila left his unit, he took only about seventeen men with him and that his group went to work as paid employees of the 592nd Engineering Regt. Anselmo Beredo further states that most of the men Aguila claims were members of FAIT and a check of the FAIT roster shows that a great many of Aguila’s men also appear in the FAIT roster.

The Batangas Town Bn AUSA under Pablo Aguila did not participate in the liberation. When Aguila left the FAIT unit on 30 March 1945, he went to work for the 592nd Eng Regt as a paid civilian employee and he states that he ordered his men also to accept employment by the 592nd Eng. Regt.

It is concluded that the Batangas Town Bn AUSA did not exist as a separate unit until 30 March 1945, and that at [the] time, the members became paid civilian employees of the 592nd Eng Regt. It is further concluded that though the unit roster contanins 542 names, most of these men belonged to the Batangas Town Guerrillas FAIT. It is the belief of the investigating officer that Pablo Aguila never had more than fifteen or twenty men in his group when they separated from the FAIT and that Aguila made up a large roster in an attempt to get recognized in the rank of Major.

POLITICAL ASPECTS

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the statements by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that the “Batangas Town Bn AUSA” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] LEONARD J. AUBUCHON, 0-1185963
2nd Lt., FA
[Sgd.] ELISEO STA. ROMANA
1st Lt. Inf. PA



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Notes and references:

1 “Batangas Town Bn, AUSA,” File No. 48, online at the United States National Archives.


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