A Short History of the Gold Area Unit, Free Luzon Intel Unit, 6th MD - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Short History of the Gold Area Unit, Free Luzon Intel Unit, 6th MD

[TRANSCRIPTION]

The Gold Area Unit was a guerrilla organization affiliated Free Luzon Intelligence Echelon of the 6th Military District on the island of Panay. This unit was ordered created in Bauan, Batangas by one Mariano A. Tibay, who would also be its commander. In this page is a transcription1 of brief history of the unit as submitted to the United States Army along with its application for official recognition.
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GOLD AREA
FREE LUZON, 6th MD


SHORT HISTORY

On June 12, 1942, Capt. Mariano A. Tibay organized a guerrilla unit to operate in the city of Manila and in Rizal Province. It was known to be the “TIBAY” organization. In July 1942, an officer under orders from Lt. Col. Clark contacted Capt. Tibay. A roster of the “TIBAY” unit of about 700 men was given to Lt. Col. Clark’s officer. Losing contact with Lt. Col. Clark, Tibay’s unit was joined on 16 Sept 1942 to the 43rd Div., Panay (later the 4th Philippine Corps, ultimately the 6th MD). Capt. Tibay became the Commanding Officer of this outfit as “A” Regiment, Suicide and Sabotage Unit, Free Luzon Area with about 1500 men. It engaged in extensive satobage and intelligence work against the enemy.

In February 1944, Capt. Tibay came to Bauan, Batangas to carry out the order given to him by his immediate superior officer, then Major Hocson, to relieve Capt. Ricardo Perez and organize a combat unit in Batangas Province to be known as “Guinto” (Gold) Area under the supervision of Free Luzon, 6th MD. Early in March, he had formed a staff of officers who were assigned to organize combat companies in different sectors. Subsequently, 2 companies were formed in Maricaban Island, 4 companies in Bauan with Hqs. at As-Is and Bocal, 2 companies in Lemery and an Hqs Company which put up [a] temporary Hqs on Maricaban, Island. The men were ordered to help in the passive resistance of their sectors, to spot Jap spies and pro-Jap elements, to engage in espionage and intelligence work against the enemy. The roster of this unit would have been submitted to Lt. Col. Enrique Jurado, 6th MD officer in command of the Mindoro Combat Team and subsequently of [the] Guinto Area, Batangas, but his untimely death sometime in October 1944 and later the capture of Major Hocson by the enemy upset the plan. The unit was then named GOLD AREA. It sent many intelligence reports on vital enemy positions and emplacements to the SWPA Hqs at Abra de Ilog, Mindoro in the first week of December, 1944 to 6th MD Hqs thru Tablas Intelligence Hqs in the middle of December 1944; and in January and February to American forces in Mindoro, including beach soundings asked for by American officers for implied military landings on Batangas coast towns.

A roster of the unit was sent to 6th MD Hqs thru Lt. Lim, 6th MD Intelligence Officer in Tablas in December 1944; one copy was sent to Col. Verbeck of the American forces who came to our Hqs on reconnaissance in February 1945; another copy was sent to SWPA Hqs. at Mindoro. One copy of the roster of the unit was given to Major Schloth, Guerrilla Coordinator, then with Hqs at Alitagtag, Batangas in March 1945.

A total of 96 armed members got attached to the 11th AIRBORNE DIVISION, U.S. Army on 20 April 1945, operating at the Balayan Area, Batangas up to [the] Mt. Batulao region as its sector of responsibility. This unit’s period of birth, organization, securing of intelligence reports, arms, supplies, training and action with American forces at Bauan and Mabini (Batangas) areas was its most gallant period; but it can also boast of a clean good record with the U.S. Army Division to which it was attached, mission entrusted to it; to seek out and destroy Japs in the sector; to give intensive training to its personnel.

[Sgd.] MARIANO A. TIBAY
Capt. Inf. 0-46553
Commanding.

Notes and references:
1 “Gold Area Unit, Free Luzon Intelligence Echelon, 6th MD,” online at the United States National Archives.

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