Vanderpool’s Letter to CG PHILRYCOM on Calixto Gasilao’s Claims, September 1947 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Vanderpool’s Letter to CG PHILRYCOM on Calixto Gasilao’s Claims, September 1947


Col. Jay D. Vanderpool was the Liaison Officer sent by Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) Command to southern Luzon, including Batangas, to coordinate guerrilla activities in the area in preparation for the Allied invasion. Transcriptions of a selection of his communications either with guerrilla units or offices of the United States Army are compiled in this section. In this page is a transcription1 of a letter he sent to the Commanding General of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command (PHILRYCOM) on the claims of one Major Calixto Gasilao of the Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas.
Maj. Jay D. Vanderpool
Left: Col. Vanderpool. Image credit:  ARSOF History. Right: Filipino soldiers being inspected. Image credit: US National Archives.

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2304 40th Street NW
Washington, D.C.
16 September 1947

The Commanding General
Philippines-Ryukyus Command
APO 707, Manila, Philippines

Attention: Chief of Claims Service

1. Reference is made to your letter of 21 August 1947 in which claims arising from the reported services of certain civilians, employed as laborers under the command of Major Calixto Gasilao, were forwarded for my comments and/or confirmation. I have studied these claims by Major Gasilao and desire to forward the following statements.

2. I know Major Calixto Gasilao personally. He was a member of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas. He was associated with myself in the fall of 1944 and in the spring of 1945 when I was on a special mission for GHQ, SWPA in the Manila-Laguna-Batangas area.

3. Reference paragraph I of your communication, I believe that Major Gasilao is in error as to the date of hiring civilian employees. The date probably was about 20 November 1944 instead of 20 October 1944 as I was not in Batangas on 20 October 1944.

4. Referring again to your paragraph I, as to the number of employees, 150 employees is probably correct as amount of work done at that time would require one or two hundred men.

5. Also in answer to your query in paragraph I, I have personal knowledge that civilians were employed for the labor indicated in Major Gasilao’s affidavit of the 19th of August 1947. (Incl #1 to your letter of 21 August 1947).

6. In reference to your paragraph 2, the “authority” for the employment of such labor is somewhat difficult to define. Colonel Terry “Magtangol” Adevoso and I had a working agreement by which he ordered the necessary recruitment of labor for the projects which we had discussed and had agreed should be accomplished. I had full knowledge and concurred with the order given by Colonel Adevoso.

7. Reference your query in paragraph 3 as to the “rate of pay promised these laborers, including method of payment if ever made,” I did not commit myself of the U.S. Government to these men (or any others) as to amounts or methods of payment for their services. As records were kept by the various guerrilla commanders, it was assumed by the men that they would in time receive some recompense for their efforts.

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8. Reference your paragraph 4, it was my custom, the custom of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas, and other resistance forces who were working directly with GHQ SWPA to recruit civilian laborers to do the necessary construction, building, bridge work, or other engineering projects essential to our operations. These projects were usually done by the “supporters” or “reservists” of the resistance organizations. These men were often brought into the military part of the organization if, and when, firearms were available. They were always considered as reserves to draw upon for either recruits for the tactical units or as laborers.

9. It is my opinion that these men rendered valuable support to the Allied Forces. I am in no position to estimate the amount of salary that should be given by present policies for such services but do feel that my mission was supported by groups of this nature. I recommend that they receive some appropriate compensation for the time that they were actually employed as laborers and for other duties.

Lieutenant Colonel
G.S.C., 0-34570

Notes and references:
1 “Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas,” Box 258, Entry 1094, Philippine Archive Collection, Record Group 407, online at the United States National Archives.

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