Organizational History of the 2nd Regiment Nasugbu FAIT - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Organizational History of the 2nd Regiment Nasugbu FAIT

[TRANSCRIPTION]

The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a large guerrilla organization that operated in Luzon during the Japanese occupation. It was founded by the retired US Army Colonel Hugh Straughn. It had many affiliated units in many towns of Batangas, including two regiments in the western Batangas town of Nasugbu. The 2nd Regiment is the second of these. In this page1 is a transcription of the organizational history submitted to the United States Army as part of the regiment’s application for official recognition.
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UNITED STATES PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FORCES
NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN TROOPS
HQS SECOND REGIMENT, NASUGBU, BATANGAS

H I S T O R Y

The first days of January 1942 found the intrepid USAFFE forces falling back into the Bataan Peninsula for a determined and furious last stand. So unexpected was the treacherous attack of the Japanese invaders and so rapid their advance because of their overwhelming superiority in manpower and equipment [that] the USAFFE high command wisely decided on such [a] strategic movement to make the most out of a desperate situation.

In Nasugbu, Batangas, just after General Vicente Lim hastily left with his crack 41st Division USAFFE to encounter the Japanese forces somewhere in Tayabas, a handful of twenty-five Filipino leaders drew blood from their veins and with it wrote their names in a blood pact and swore vehemently to fight for American and [the] native land against the invading hordes of Nippon. These intrepid Filipinos in that dark night of January 10, 1942, like ghosts stealthily hiked from the town of Nasugbu up to Palico Bridge seven kilometers away and gathered all the dynamite left there by the retreating USAFFE forces. In spite of the presence of Japanese sentries, they boldly left unnoticed carrying with them all the dynamite which, if not stolen, would have been used by the enemy against the Fil-American forces in Bataan. These explosives were presented to the USAFFE headquarters in Barrio Looc, Nasugbu, under the command of Major J. P. Rueda, USAFFE. And those men became the guerrilla officers who gave birth, or rather, created the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu, Fil-American Forces. Under the leadership of Col. M. T. Enriquez, the 2nd Regiment Nasugbu Fil-American Forces gradually rendered valuable assistance to the noble cause by coordinating its command with the beleaguered USAFFE forces. From January 18, 1942, our guerrilla operatives were sent throughout Batangas province, Laguna, Cavite and Southern Manila, gathering military intelligence reports despite enemy vigilance and known cruelty and rushed their findings to the USAFFE HQ in Barrio Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas under the command of Major J. P. Rueda who, in turn, relayed all these to the G-2 USAFFE in Corregidor and Bataan under Colonel Willoughby and General Simeon de Jesus, respectively.

As the fight in Corregidor and Bataan grew thicker, the subsistence supplies and stores of the gallant defenders dwindled, thereby seriously threatening famine and starvation in the already badly battered USAFFE rank and file. A frantic appeal for food was issued by G-4 USAFFE and our own unit


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was given the responsibility for procuring whatever food supplies were available. Our men, one battalion strong, combed day and night every nook and corner of the countryside and, with USAFFE funds provided by G-4 USAFFE, thru Majors Rueda and Razon of the Philippine Army, vital food supplies were purchased.

February 15, 1942 - The Organization was able to procure 3,000 sacks of rice and palay, 80 hogs and 120 heads of cattle. For two days, a battalion strong of guerrillas hauled all these precious food supplies aboard the USAFFE ships “KOLAMBUGAN” and “BOHOL” lying [in] anchor at Kalayo Beach.

February 25, 1942 - Information reached us that all those valuable food supplies were received by G-4 USAFFE in Bataan thru Majors Razon and Rueda. A message of acknowledgement and appreciation for our patriotic assistance was received from G-4 USAFFE in Bataan thru Majors Razon and Rueda again. During those days of G-4 activities, the organization S-2 daily sent intelligence reports to Major Jose P. Rueda, USAFFE. Likewise, voluntary contributions of food supplies for the USAFFE in Bo. Looc, was given by the guerrilla organization and among the recipients were American officers like Lt. Garfield, Sgt. Harry and other American officers. All these activities were done under the very noses of the wily Japanese.

However, our intelligence operatives discovered that the Japanese spies had learned of the existence of the USAFFE headquarters in Bo. Looc as well as the existence of our guerrilla coordination of command with the USAFFE. Upon learning this information, no time was lost and all important papers were secured, the rest burned. All the American officers successfully retreated to Corregidor and the Japanese raided Bo. Looc, burned it to the ground, while earnestly looking for their enemies. Several innocent persons during the horrible burning of Bo. Looc on February 28, 1942 were killed by the Japs, who poured gasoline on their bodies [and] set them on fire, and many others punished sadistically.

February 29, 1942, the Commanding Officer, Capt. Antonio Zabarte and Major Pedro Zabarte of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans met Major Jose P. Rueda (USAFFE) in the mountain fastness of Limbones Mountain, Cavite. The situation was almost hopeless as the USAFFE HQ in Looc was razed, innocent civilians being killed and some tortured mercilessly. Major J. P. Rueda told us that General Willoughby was planning to supply the Nasugbu Fil-American Guerrilla Organization, 2nd Regiment, with 1,000 rifles to retake Batangas Province, but the plan failed to materialize due to the enemy’s fast advance and superiority in air power. Major Rueda took leave, passed Bo. Patongan, Cavite, which was also burned by the inhumane Japanese.


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In Nasugbu, Batangas, an intensive search was made to apprehend and capture all the guerrillas who helped the USAFFE, but the Japanese were very unsuccessful. March 1, 1942, a secret meeting was held by the Staff Officers of the Guerrilla Organization, and it was decided that S-2 communication with the USAFFE HQ in Bataan must be maintained at all cost. All available help must be rendered to those heroes sacrificing themselves for the cause. By this time, however, military communications and contact with the USAFFE HQ via Looc was impossible as the enemy instituted a death-dealing and airtight blockade in [the] Batangas, Cavite boundary. The enemy’s purpose was clear, firstly, to stop the flow of food supplies from Batangas to [the] Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor rock, and secondly, to prevent the leakage of their military operations in Batangas Province.

On March 5, 1942, to maintain said military communication, the Commanding Officer, Col. M. T. Enriquez and some of his key men as Major Zabarte, Capt. M. Vivo and Capt. SobreviƱas rushed to Manila. There, they secretly established a temporary headquarters at 922 Prudencio St., Sampaloc, Manila. An immediate contact with the USAFFE G-2 in Bataan was made thru the good office of a patriotic intelligence operative, Mr. Renato Constantino, who sent our reports via a transmitter secretly guarded in Manila. Our Guerrilla GHQ in Nasugbu, Batangas, thru the S-2 Major Sofio Ramos, sent to Manila Headquarters all reports of Japanese key positions and troop movements. All these intelligence reports from Batangas, plus the Japanese secrets in Manila, were relayed to G-2 USAFFE Headquarters in Bataan. Powerful operatives were planted in Japanese homes, acting as their spies, and from these secret guerrilla agents, we learned of aerial attacks to be made on Corregidor Island. Lt. Lorenzo Rivera, for example, was planted as secret operative in the house of a Japanese military police, Capt. Kamini. The Japanese captain, one dark night, gave a surprise wine party and revealed proudly that Corregidor would be bombed in a couple of days. Such terrific news was immediately sent via our secret transmitter and the Japanese bombers had a hot reception according to San Francisco short wave news.

To the Filipino peoples’ sorrow, despite all superhuman efforts displayed by the gallant Bataan defenders, resistance ended with its fall and capture. By this time, the Nasugbu Fil-American HQS issued an order that all efforts must be exerted to help all USAFFE prisoners of war. On April 15, 1942, Col. M. T. Enriquez, with some members of his staff, proceeded


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to San Esteban, Macabebe, Pampanga (a barrio near [the] Bataan Peninsula) and converted the house of Mr. Antonio Manansala into a veritable guerrilla clinic. It did not take long before scores of USAFFE escaped soldiers filled the clinic to capacity and were treated free, given food and civilian clothing. Said USAFFE heroes were spared from death by malaria, dysentery and inanition due to the humanitarian help of our organization.

On May 1, 1942, Col. Enriquez and his staff returned to Nasugbu, Batangas and resumed command. In the GHQ of the organization at Alas-as Valley, important anti-Jap activities were being discussed and deliberated upon. On May 7, 1942, another bitter event transpired with the surrender of Corregidor – bitter as it was, it did not deter us from planning more means and ways of harassing the enemy and blocking his political and ideological propaganda. About the middle of May 1942, 200 Americans and 250 Filipino POWs arrived on Nasugbu shores. Our secret operatives discovered all said POWs surrendered in Carabao, Caballo and Fraile Islands, small fortresses at the approaches of Manila Bay. For 3 days and 3 nights, all prisoners were starved, beaten and made thirsty by the barbarians called Japs. On the 4th day, our guerrilla boys, thru orders from our GHQ, managed somehow to give food, water and medicines to the POWs heavily guarded by the Japs. Some of the guerrillas were caught in this act, tied to posts and clubbed publicly by the Japs. Nevertheless, several Filipino POWs managed to escape thru the help of our guerrillas – these POWs were fed, treated, and given civilian clothing. After recuperating at our secret CP at Alas-as Valley, these Filipino POWs were sent to their homes later. It was impossible to snatch any American POW as they were all isolated and heavily guarded when that Japs noticed that our guerrilla boys made several attempts to grab some of them and make a dash for freedom.

On June 1, 1942, a new Command Post was established in [the] Barac Valley, while the strategic terrain surrounding Nasugbu town was completely covered by our guerrilla organization. Capt. N. Serrano held the sector of Bo. WAWA, OTOD, up to LOOC; Capt. M. Bayaborda took charge of the eastern sector covering Puting Kahoy, Latag and Katandaa barrios; Capt. Vergara covering Lumbangan and Palico barrios; while Capt. Marciano Rosales was in charge of barrio Bokana and San Diego as well as the town of Lian. Such was the strategic disposition of the guerrilla companies in Nasugbu, Batangas. Requests for membership in the organization multiplied and the gradual expansion of the organization was influenced by the daily dissemination of shortwave news in the town proper. As the men increased in number, the Japanese began to feel the pressure of hostile groups in the form of sporadic ambushes of their men


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and supply convoys along the highway of [the] Batangas-Cavite boundary. Another patriotic activity of the Nasugbu Fil-American Organization, 2nd Regiment, was the intensive whispering campaign raising high hopes of the people and convincing them that Japanese imperialism would be short-lived and American democracy would return to the Philippines very soon. Recruiting of more men proceeded and a definite boycott campaign ordered by giving special directives that no sugarcane would be planted as it would be milled into alcohol by the enemy which could be used for war purposes. The Japanese were at a loss trying to understand why the former busy Nasugbu farmers during the pre-war days disappeared and, instead of sugarcane, wild grasses covered the vast agricultural lands of Nasugbu, Batangas. Sabotage was routine as Japanese telephone wires were cut too often. Japanese rifles in Bo. Wawa garrison were stolen in one instance by our guerrilla boys. The Japs considered us their poison ivy even since Bataan and Corregidor fell.

February 1943, Col. M. T. Enriquez, in one of his frequent visits to Manila, again met Major Jose P. Rueda. Then and there, Major Rueda said that the Nasugbu Fil-American Guerrilla Organization must coordinate its command with the guerrilla outfit of Gen. Simeon de Jesus, who was prominently connected with the Allied Intelligence Bureau. From March 1, 1943 to September 1944, Gen. Simeon de Jesus, thru Major Jose P. Rueda and Capt. Romero, received intelligence reports concerning Japanese military secrets from the Nasugbu Fil-Americans, 2nd Regiment HQ in Nasugbu, Batangas. It would not be amiss to mention that Capt. Angel R. Romero of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans was a trusted man of Gen. de Jesus, who gave medical supplies to many different guerrilla outfits. Said coordination of command was secretly done by the Nasugbu Fil-American Organization, 2nd Regiment, from Nasugbu, Batangas thru the branch HQ at 922 Prudencio St., Sampaloc, Manila. (Lt. Florentino Rivera took charge of that Headquarters.) Other contact men of the organization gained the help and fatherly cooperation of Capt. Tomas S. Clemente, whose house also had a shortwave installation, where inspiring news from Europe and America gave spiritual encouragement to the boys. The military intelligence reports sent to Gen. Simeon de Jesus and, in turn, relayed to AIB in the years 1943 up to 1944 were sketches of Japanese garrisons, ammunition depots, troop movements, new fighting Japanese tactics, number of tanks and trucks in [the] Western Batangas Sector, particularly in Nasugbu, Batangas. Other activities of the organization from 1943 up to December 27, 1944 were:


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(a) Construction of a civilian refugee center near Alas-as Valley. This refugee center was used by all Filipino patriots who were wanted by the Japanese for their hostile activities.

(b) Sabotage – seizing a Japanese launch and taking all the sugar cargoes. This was made under the charge of Lt. Emilio Bauyon.

(c) Preservation of peace and order by preventing outlaws and thieves from harassing the innocent civilians in the countryside.

(d) Helping and rescuing American airmen, to wit:

1. Lt. (JG) William Elwood Miller, aged 25, Vf-32 USN; 73 Tumalo Ave., Bend, Oregon.

2. Lt. (JG) William S. Rising, Vb-15 USN, 1008E, 42nd Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

3. John Ward, Montgomery, ARM 2/c, Vb-15 USN, 807 Brown Avenue, Shebyville, Kentucky.

During the constant aerial American assaults against the Japanese military positions in Manila, two (2) Gruman dive-bombers were brought down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. These planes were brought down in Manila Bay but the airmen escaped. By means of rubber boats, the aviators paddled their way to Fortune Island, were they were picked [up] and saved by our guerrilla boys. They were brought to the CP at Balaytigue safely. They were given food, fed, and clothed. Protected from the Japanese, they were brought to Mindoro, guided by loyal guerrillas, where they reported to their headquarters there.

(e) Fatal shooting of two Japanese military police captains (Capt. Higa and Capt. Suzuki) in the town proper of Nasugbu by members of the organization. Suicide detachment under Capt. Namacio Serrano performed the above job. Sporadic ambushes against Jap troops and supply convoys along the highway from [the] Cavite-Batangas boundary to the outskirts of Nasugbu.

(f) Bolstering the morale of the people by ever-increasing the dissemination of San Francisco shortwave news, which related Allied successes in Africa and in the Pacific and European war areas as well as the brilliant speeches of President Roosevelt, who definitely gave lie to all Japanese bluffs and propaganda. In this respect, the guerrillas won a great victory, for the Japanese themselves admitted before their retreat to the mountains that the Filipinos were all and generally pro-American and very anti-Japanese.

(g) Killing of 60 Japanese soldiers at Papaya Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas, who were surrounded by Fil-American and ROTC guerrillas while hiding from American airplane strafing.

On December 23, 1944, the Nasugbu Fil-American Organization, 2nd Regiment succeeded in winning official recognition in fighting the enemy when the Commanding Officer and some of his staff officers contacted Major Jay D. Vanderpool (Liaison Officer of Gen. MacArthur) at Panagsagan Site, Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas. Orders from the American Major were at once given that all intelligence reports of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans must be relayed to him. Since then, a brisk coordination of command began with the Nasugbu Fil-American Organization and that of Major Jay D. Vanderpool’s HQ.

Activities of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans, 2nd Regiment, in coordination of command with Major Jay D. Vanderpool, Liaison Officer of Gen. MacArthur in


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Panagsagan Site, Nasugbu, Batangas, from December 27 up to January 31, 1944:

(a) Supplied Major Jay D. Vanderpool with military intelligence reports which he relayed to SWPA. Said reports consisted of information revealing that the Japanese Forces had abandoned Nasugbu town proper and retreated to Barrios Aga and Caylaway. Wawa Point and San Diego Point were also occupied by the Japanese. This information was virtually important because after Major Vanderpool relayed to SWPA the above reports, Nasugbu town proper was spared and the 11th Airborne Division landed without inflicting material damage to [the] said town. Wawa and San Diego Points were blasted by American dive bombers.

(b) Followed the “Sabotage and Attack Orders” by destroying Japanese communications and transportation lines. Putting out of commission five locomotive trains used by the Japanese in transporting their arms and ammunition to different parts of Nasugbu, Batangas (January 28, 1944).

(c) Holding and guarding transmitter positions in Panagsagan Site, Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas of Major Jay D. Vanderpool. This duty was performed in cooperation with the ROTC under Col. Terry Magtangol.

(d) Procuring and transporting food supplies to the headquarters of Major Jay D. Vanderpool for their consumption.

(e) In the tactical sounding of the Nasugbu breakwater, Nasugbu Bay, a member of the Fil-Americans, 2nd Regiment, helped and was killed by the Jap sentry at the beach. This victim was Pvt. Agustin Tiantez.

(f) Followed Major Vanderpool’s order to send him a Parachute Drop Site Map where supplies would be dropped by the landing forces. The Bo. of Otod was selected and readily mapped and sent to him.

January 29, 1945, Col. M. T. Enriquez and 2 staff officers were again ordered to proceed to Panagsagan Site for an important conference (Capt. Nemecio Serrano and 2nd Lt. Igmedio Barcelon, with some of their men present, too). Upon arrival at the headquarters of Panagsagan, the final sabotage and attack orders from Gen. MacArthur were handed to us by Major Vanderpool. An imminent landing on Nasugbu’s shores appeared. They returned hastily to the town of Nasugbu, issued the attack orders to all their men. The civilian population was tersely ordered to move one mile away from the shore of Nasugbu as naval bombing might occur at any moment.

And in the bright morning of January 31, 1945, naval shelling rented and tore asunder the Japanese garrison at Wawa Point and San Diego Point. Dive bombers dropped lethal bombs on all Japanese key positions which we relayed to SWPA Headquarters. The American forces of liberation landed in Nasugbu, Batangas. Every telephone wire was cut and collected while retreating Japanese soldiers were harassed by our Fil-American boys.

At about 8:30 in the morning, Major Jose Razon, P.A., upon orders of the 11th Airborne Commander, sent for Col. M. T. Enriquez and his staff of the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-American Forces, to enter the town as quickly as possible, and the latter occupied it.


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Activities during the American landing operation in Nasugbu, Batangas, 31 January 1945, up to 29 April 1945:

(a) Provided the American advance troops with intelligence guides who pointed all the Japanese pillboxes in Bos. Aga, Caylaway, Cayrilao, such that the Japanese forces were annihilated easily and with minimum casualties on our side.

(b) Forming Guerrilla Labor Battalions which unloaded the vast supplies of the 11th Airborne Division in Nasugbu Beach, such that the American forces easily mopped up and destroyed all Japanese remnants in the mountains of Nasugbu because all the work on the beach was done by guerrillas. Day and night, different labor battalions continuously worked under Col. M. T. Enriquez, under orders of Lt. Col. Joseph M. Pensack, CWS 11th Airborne Division. Lt. Col. Jose Razon PA can testify to the brilliant cooperation rendered by the Nasugbu Fil-Americans 2nd Regiment under Col. M. T. Enriquez in connection with this vital unloading of the tremendous supplies as food, arms and ammunition of the 11th Airborne in Nasugbu, Batangas.

(c) Capt. Mariano Rosales patrolled the boundaries of Malaruhatan, Mt. Miyuan, Prenza and [the] town of Lian. This detachment of Fil-Americans, 2nd Regiment, was under the orders of Capt. Hatch, 11th Airborne. February 7 up to February 20, 1945.

(d) A detachment of Fil-American guerrillas under Capt. Serrano served as train guards and intelligence guides in the mopping up of the Japanese in Batulaw Mountain (February 10 up to March 1942).

(e) The Medical Corps of the organization assisted in protecting the health and sanitation of the landing forces as well as of the civilian population in accordance with the orders and the instruction of Lt. Col. Jordan, Head of the Civilian Affairs, 11th Airborne Division. Fencing of the restricted areas on the beach was done by guerrillas thru the orders of Capt. Whitehead, C.E. 11th Airborne.

(f) Following instruction and orders of Capt. John Bolton of the CAC, 11th Airborne, refugee quarters were constructed by the Fil-American boys for refugees coming from all parts of Batangas and southern Manila.

Military property of the enemy captured and turned over to the U.S. Army:

February 3rd, 1945
One (1) machine gun (Japanese) and four (4) boxes of machine gun rounds of ammunition captured at San Diego Point, Nasugbu, Batangas.

March 1st, 1945
One (1) non-commissioned saber handed to Lt. Rogers, Adjutant to Col. James H. Farren of the 152nd, AA, 11th Airborne Division.

One (1) Japanese big map having all nautical soundings and bearings of Batangas Bay to Manila Bay (China Sea). Handed to Lt. Rogers.

March 14th, 1945
A Japanese Q-boat captured by Capt. Mauricio Lemita and turned [over] to Capt. Mackage, Head of the Amphibian Battalion.

March 18th, 1945
One (1) Japanese samurai saber handed [over] by the organization to Lt. Col. James H. Farren, 152nd AA, 11th Airborne Division.

March 24th, 1945
Turned over to the 152nd AA, 11th Airborne Battalion S-2 one (1) Japanese flag, six (6) pictures, five (5) dog-tags, and three (3) pay-books.


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March 27th, 1945
After the Fil-American Battalion attached to the 11th Airborne attacked Libones Height, Cavite, killing 17 Japanese soldiers, the following enemy properties were handed to Lt. Col. James H. Farren:

One (1) Japanese flag.
One (1) delicate oil gadget in a handy box. A huge bulk of important documents, insignias of different ranks, clothes and assorted items.
One (1) radio transmitter.

The closing chapter of our guerrilla activities came after the total and complete annihilation of all the Japanese forces in [the] Western Batangas Sector and particularly in Nasugbu, Batangas. Patrol work was in existence in the barrios of Otod, Looc and Calayo and this was done by the Fil-American boys for the very reason that they hated the enemy bitterly and following [the] orders of Major Barton, who was the Guerrilla Coordinator of the 11th Airborne Division.

Our humble cooperation and coordination of command with the American Liberation Forces goes a long way in the history of the fight against the barbaric Japanese because it was a manifestation of Filipino love for the principles and ideals of American democracy. The Nasugbu Fil-American Organization, 2nd. Regiment, began its guerrilla struggle against a bitter enemy starting alone with the intense battles of Bataan and Corregidor and ended happily with the coming of the American Forces of Liberation in the Philippines.

In passing, we appeal to the just and righteous spirit of the American authorities to recognize all the members, bona-fide and worthy guerrillas of the Nasugbu Fil-American Troops, 2nd Regiment, whose sacrifices were dedicated to the proposition of defending the democratic principles of the United States of America and those of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

[Sgd.] MARCELINO T. ENRIQUEZ
Col. 2nd Regiment, FAIT
Commanding.


Notes and references:
1 “2nd Regiment, Nasugbu FAIT,” File No. 110-51, online at PVAO.

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