History of the 4th Battalion, Golden Regiment - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

History of the 4th Battalion, Golden Regiment

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The Golden Regiment was one of the sub-elements of the Blue Eagle Brigade operating in Batangas during the Japanese occupation and the subsequent liberation period. One of its smaller units, the 4th Battalion, filed its own application with the United States Army seeking official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. In this page is a transcription1 of a short history of this unit which accompanied the application for official recognition.
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HEADQUARTERS
4th BATTALION GOLDEN REGIMENT
CALACA, BATANGAS

30 March 1945

HISTORY OF THE 4th BATTALION GOLDEN REGIMENT

On 1st November 1943, [the] late Lt. JORGE ESPINA (killed by the Japs), with [the] late Lt. MARCIANO EVANGELISTA and Mr. NANY REYES, all of Batangas, Batangas, at about 11:00 P.M., contacted Lt. ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION in Calaca, Batangas. The men all being ex-USAFFE officers except the latter, were on a guerrilla mission, they were connected with Lt. Col. STRAUGHN’s guerrilla forces at the Sierra Madre. After [a] brief explanation of the mission, Lt. ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION was made to understand that guerrilla forces were to be organized in the province under the leadership of Lt. ESPINA. It was understood that everything was to be kept secret.

On 23 November 1943, an organization known as the Fil-American Irregular Forces gave birth in Calaca, Batangas under the command of Lt. ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION with Lt. OLIGARIO DE JOYA, Lt. GODOFREDO ESPINOZA (deceased, shot by [the] Japanese on 11 February 1945), and others. Under the very noses of Japanese civilians as well as [the] Japanese Military Police, the organization began its secret mission of organizing the men of Calaca into a real combat team minus the arms which were badly needed that time, although it was dangerous to have one. Plans were made and men were given assignments.

On 24 December 1943, contacts were made with all units from Lemery, Batangas to Nasugbu, Batangas. Different leaders were selected and designated commanding officers of the different units in the different towns.

On or about 15 June 1944, an intelligence group was organized under Sgt. JOSE MERCADO, the mission of which was to furnish information about the currency in Calaca. This information was turned over to Lt. ESPINA in Batangas, Batangas.

On or about 30 January 1944, Lt. Col. DOMINGO V. BAKILAR, [a] known contact man from the McKinley Brigade, came to Calaca and made contact with our unit. Believing that the mission of this man was the same as ours, we made a connection with him. Rosters were prepared by us for higher headquarters to know who were we and what we were. With this connection being made, weekly contact with Lt. Col. STRAUGHN was made through courier furnished by this organization. Expenses were incurred.

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When the Japanese made a final drive against guerrillas in the latter part of March 1944 against our unit in Calaca, there were a few who suffered death at the hands of the Japanese Military Police. Until now, none was known as to what had become of them. Lt. ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION, then in command of the Fil-American Irregular Troops in Calaca, was brought to the Japanese garrison in [the] Nasugbu Central. Fortunately, he was not killed. Japanese spies became so active in Calaca that the men had to travel by night; the officers and men had to have conferences in the mountains; women had to act as guards and couriers had to be suicide men to carry rosters and information about the enemy. All these, our organization had gone thru.

On or about 15 April 1944, Major RAMSEY (US Army), with one other American EM from the Central Luzon Guerrilla Forces, went to our place seeking help as to how to go to Mindoro. It was this unit that made possible their safe transportation to the island of Mindoro, with risk of life. On the return of Major RAMSEY from Mindoro, it was also this unit which made possible his return to Central Luzon. Lt. BAYANI S. ESGUERRA, PA, a companion of Major RAMSEY, in his work made contact with our unit knowing full well how this unit helped [the] Americans go to Mindoro.

It was also about this time that Lt. ESPINA and Lt. EVANGELISTA, with the rest of the officers and men of the Batangas Irregular Troops died in the hands of the Japanese Military Police. Nothing was heard of them. The guerrilla forces under our organization was left without any higher headquarters, nevertheless the organization labored day and night under the life risk to function as a guerrilla unit. The organization depended upon the McKinley Brigade of the Fil-American Irregular Troops for morale support. Finally, units of different guerrilla outfits came to our organization to ask us for information regarding enemies in our sector. Our unit was just too willing to give out information about the enemy.

Under the directions of Lt. ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION, with the rest of the staff, we made our way thru until 31 January 1945. This was the only time that our organization came [out] into the open.

Japanese telephone wires were cut under the orders of Major VANDERPOOL (Guerrilla Liaison Officer). Encounters with the enemy were made.

On 3 February 1945, our unit encountered the enemy in Calaca. Although we suffered some casualties (Sgt. JULIAN PANGANIBAN, deceased), we were able to drive the enemy away from our sector.

Contacting the landing party (Americans) was made prior to this event. In this contact, this organization of our in Calaca was made part of the Golden Regiment, being made the 4th Battalion. This transfer

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of the unit was made with the intention of giving a more coordinated command inasmuch as Lemery, a nearby town of Calaca, belonged to the same division. Beginning 1 February 1945, this organization took commands from Lt. Col. EDUARDO C. VILLADOLID, the Regimental Commander of the Golden Regiment.

On 10 February 1945, the organization suffered a setback. With barely enough arms, the organization was not able to hold the drive of about 500 Japanese soldiers against the town of Calaca. Staying in the nearby barrios, the organization continued to fight Japanese patrols most of the time.

In the mopping up operation in the barrios of Lemery, a platoon of armed men from our unit joined the combat team of the Lemery unit on or about 15 February 1945.

Although this organization could not act as a whole unit, men of this unit in a way or another tried to harass the enemy. It was also this unit that made possible the evacuation of civilians in Calaca, which would have caused massacre in this town. Although there were some people killed, it was entirely not their fault. Most of the people killed in Calaca were members of our organization doing secret missions for the American forces which were about to push the drive to our town.

On 6 March 1945, with all armed men in our organization and units in Balayan and Tuy and the American unit, the town of Calaca was liberated after a minor encounter with the Japanese.

Our organization, though unarmed, tried its best to help in the fight against the Japanese. When guerrilla units were attached to the American combat units, men of our organization volunteered their services. Most of those people are now processed in the Philippine Army, but not under our organization.

This organization is part of the Golden Regiment until this date. Roster and history records have been submitted to the Golden Regiment.

[Sgd.[ ANTONIO M. ENCARNACION
1st Lt., Inf. (PA)

Notes and references:
1 “4th Bn, Golden Regt, Malakas Div, Blue Eagle Brigade,” File No. 213-11, online at PVAO.

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