Guerrilla Intel Report on Jap Activities in Lipa and Nearby Towns, Feb 1945
The Intelligence Group, 3rd Batallion, 49th Regiment, 47th Division is an affiliate of the Hunters-ROTC guerrilla organization commanded by Eleuterio Adevoso and one of the largest outfits that operated in Southern Luzon during the Japanese occupation and subsequent liberation. This intelligence group operated from the then-town of Lipa and was commanded by one Jose Alex Katigbak. In this page is a transcription1 of an intelligence report on Japanese military activities in Lipa and parts of Santo Tomas in February of 1945
THE HUNTERS OR ROTC GUERRILLAS
ATTACHED TO THE 6TH U.S. ARMY
3rd Bn. HEADQUARTERS
From February 16, 24:00 P.M.
To: February 23, 24:00 P.M.
February 24, 11:00 A.M.
Map: Refer to the map of Southern Luzon published by the Bureau of Coasts and Geodetic Survey, Manila, 1936.
2. We have no reports on the enemy’s disposition and strength in the Malarayat military area because the people outside the town are not permitted to get into the town and the people in the town are not permitted to leave the town. Much less are they permitted to approach Japanese military areas. Our last reports from our agents this week say that the Japanese in Lipa are located in these barrios: Sabang, Marauoy, Inosloban, Dagatan, Balagbag, Guinting, Lumbang, Talisay; and in the town of Santo Tomas, the enemy has his concentration in the barrios of Suloc, Butho, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, San Fernando, and San Luis. These places have been completely evacuated by Filipino civilians.
b. A Japanese colonel is residing in Sabang in the house 522 meters from the Catholic church 52 degrees northeast. Reports on this point are incomplete. There are no Japanese elements. They are members of
c. The Japanese Army uses only land routes in this area. Its supplies and troops pass along the national highway and the roads the army has built towards its defensive installations. There is a bridge between Calamba and Santo Tomas; between Santo Tomas and Tanauan; between the barrio of Sabang and Lipa; between Lipa and Cuenca; between Lipa and San Jose. The bridge between Rosario and San Juan and the bridge between San Juan and the Province of Tayabas have been blown up by the enemy. Northeast of Santo Tomas is Mount Maquiling. East of Tanauan is Mount Olila. East of Lipa are the Malarayat Mountains. Southeast of Lipa is the Lipa Hill standing on the Lipa-Rosario road. Northeast of Rosario is Tombol Hill. And dominating the road between the barrios of Laiya and the town of San Juan are the mountains of Sampiro. National roads are in parts asphalt and in parts of gravel and sand. They are in poor state but available in all seasons. The roads built by the Japs will not be available during the rainy season because they are surfaced with ordinary soil. Their motor vehicles are all in dilapidated states. They number is inadequate to meet the army’s need so they are forced to commandeer any kind of vehicle in the community where they happen to be.
d. The major defensive works of the enemy in Lipa are those gathered at the base of the Malarayat range with its center in the barrio of Suloc. The next is the airfield between Lipa and Mataasnacahoy and the dispersal areas in Santo Toribio and Malvar. The defenses in Anilao Hill have been weakened during the past weeks. The Malarayat defenses are fully-manned. The airfield has been abandoned.
e. Most of the enemy’s bodegas in the town have been emptied. The rest are only partially filled. It is the present practice of the enemy to loot houses in the towns and barrios for food and personal supplies.
f. There is none.
g. I notice no new equipment nor new adaptation of old equipment.
h. The morale of the Japanese Army is very low. To the Japanese soldiers, the most demoralizing weapon of the enemy is the airplane.
i. I have none.
4. a. The airfield in Lipa is situated between Mataasnacahoy and Lipa lying on an area of more than 500 hectares. The dumps within the airfield are empty. The airplane hideouts are located near the airfield under tall coconut trees. The secondary landing fields in Santo Toribio and Malvar are in reality dispersal areas. The runways in the Lipa airfield are each 800 meters long. One is concrete and the other is not. They cross each other at a point 200 meters from their west ends.
c. There are no enemy air activities.
d. The airfield has not been raided for quite a time.
e. The air force has evacuated the landing field. All targets in the airfield have been removed.
f. In this season of the year, the weather is generally dry. The winds are mostly fair. The mornings are frequently misty.
c. All guerrilla units are friendly to the Hunters.
d. This unit requires no definite qualification for admission.
Notes and references:
1 “Intell Unit, 3rd Bn, 49th Regt, 47th Div, Hunters-ROTC,” file number 307-42, online at the United States National Archives.