Vanderpool's Letter to CG-PHILRYCOM on the Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas, August 47 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Vanderpool's Letter to CG-PHILRYCOM on the Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas, August 47

[TRANSCRIPTION]

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 communication from Vanderpool to the Commanding General of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command (PHILRYCOM) with information on the Hunters-ROTC guerrilla organization.
Maj. Jay D. Vanderpool
Left: Col. Vanderpool. Image credit:  ARSOF History. Right: Filipino soldiers being inspected. Image credit: US National Archives.

[Letter from Capt. George Smith]

[p. 1]

CONFIDENTIAL

2304 40th Street N. W.
Washington, D. C.
5 August 1947

SUBJECT

To
: HUNTERS (ROTC) Guerrillas

: Commanding General
  Philippines Ryukyus Command
  Manila, Philippines

Attention: Guerrilla Affairs Division, A. C. of S., G-3

1. I am in receipt of a communication from TERRY (MAGTANGOL) ADEVOSO, former commander of the HUNTERS (ROTC) Guerrillas, in which he has stated that your headquarters is reconsidering his claim for the services of his organization prior to and during the combat operations on LUZON. He has request that I forward to your office a report of such activities as I have a personal knowledge.

2. My personal observations were (and I believe that you will find this verified by MAJOR GEORGE MILLER, who landed by submarine with me at INFANTA, TAYABAS on 2 November 1944, and LIEUT. COLONEL BERNARD ANDERSON) that the most active and widespread organizations in area RIZAL-LAGUNA-TAYABAS-CAVITE-BATANGAS-PANGASINAN-MANILA were the HUNTERS and MARKING’S FIL-AMERICANS. MARKING had a preponderance of force in the area to the East and North of LAGUNA DE BAY while MAGTANGOL was strongest in LAGUNA and the provinces to the southwest. Both claimed superiority in RIZAL. I believe that MARKING probably had more fire power. The population was probably more nearly divided.

3. In LAGUNA and to the Southwest, MAGTANGOL definitely appeared to me to have the best coverage of any guerrilla organization. PATRICIO ERNI’S FIL-AMERICANS in CAVITE and CASTAÑEDA (with his affiliated units SAULOG IROGUIN, etc.) were preponderant in central CAVITE but the HUNTERS were infiltered throughout.

4. I am certain of the extent of the Hunters in the provinces indicated due to the fact that I travelled extensively prior to the U. S. landings in most of them and was always met by large representative forces.

5. It was this interpretation of the situation that determined the decision by Lieutenant Colonel BERNARD ANDERSON, Major GEORGE MILLER and myself to establish ourselves at INFANTA, RIZAL (MARKING’S HEADQUARTERS) and CUTAD, BATANGAS (MAGTANGOL’S HEADQUARTERS), respectively. We found that by using the forces available to these widely-spread units, we were able to maintain continuous surveillance over the entire vicinity of MANILA.

[p. 2]

6. During the period when I was Guerrilla Coordinator of all the irregular forces Southwest of MANILA (during the MIKE SIX Operation), the HUNTERS were the most reliable unit. PATRICIO ERNI probably had more arms and did outstanding fighting as did CASTAÑEDA and several of the smaller organizations. The HUNTERS were especially valuable, in addition to their combat ability, in that they furnished a very large supporting force of several battalions of their Engineers, Medical troops as well as furnishing food and dispersal centers for the flood of evacuees from MANILA.

7. In Southern LAGUNA, the HUNTERS have a very large following but due to the overlapping of MARKING’s men, PQOG, Chinese Guerrillas (both Nationalists and Reds), and some HUKBALAHAPS, it was necessary for me to send and ALAMO Scout Officer down to coordinate that effort as no unit would accept the authority of another.

8. In regards to intelligence operations, which was my primary function prior to the landing operations, there may have been nets of operatives which covered the area indicated in paragraph 2 above, as well as the HUNTERS and MARKING’S FIL-AMERICANS, but if so, this did not come to my attention nor, I believe, to Major GEORGE MILLER’S. VICENTE UMALI’S PQOG, the numerous BATANGAS guerrillas, and several of the CAVITE units were doing excellent intelligence work but my experience was that their coverage was not as broad as the HUNTERS’ or the FIL-AMERICANS.

9. Reference to numerical strength, I would not care to commit myself. I know that I received bales (literally) of rosters of guerrillas. These were forwarded to GHQ, SWPA and later to Headquarters, Sixth Army. I suspect that after November 1944, most of the male (and a large part of the female) population joined one guerrilla organization or another. There were probably 75-100,000 who were active supporters and occasional full time members, but of course, the number who were doing full-time duty was considerably smaller.

10. In conclusion, I would like to state that the HUNTERS Guerrillas were one of the largest guerrilla organizations in areas indicated in paragraph 2 above. They were, to me, the most valuable intelligence organization that I found in this area. (I am not including MARKING’S organization as I felt that Major GEORGE MILLER or Lieutenant Colonel BERNARD ANDERSON could better vouch for them.) Within small regional boundaries, there were much stronger organizations, but the majority of these did not cover more than a few towns. Several other organizations turned out as many arms for the attack on MANILA as the HUNTERS but due to wide coverage offered by the HUNTERS, we were able to call on diversionary actions in any of the areas previously indicated.

11. This is not necessarily a request for special consideration for this organization as I realize that most of the Filipinos have ap-

[p. 3]

peared before your review board as guerrillas with the expectation of receiving back-pay, and that there were possibly other and larger organizations devoted to intelligence and sabotage missions which did not come to my attention, but that this organization be established as one of the larger and earliest underground organizations in the MANILA area.

s/ Jay D. Vanderpool
t/ JAY D. VANDERPOOL
Lieutenant Colonel
Field Artillery

CERTIFIED TRUE COPY:

[Sgd.] GRANT S. WILCOX
Acting Director, Team #2

Notes and references:
1 “Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas,” Box 246, Entry 1087, Philippine Archive Collection, Record Group 407, online at the United States National Archives.

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