The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a large guerrilla organization founded by the retired United States Army Colonel Hugh Straughn and had many affiliate units in Southern Luzon, including Batangas. The 6th Infantry Regiment, McKinley Division, which operated in the town of Lemery, was one of these. In this page is a transcription1 of the initial investigative report on the regiment submitted to the United States Army by 2nd Lt. Leonard Aubuchon (US Army) and 1st Lt. Eliseo Sta. Romana (Philippine Army).
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3 GUERRILLA AFFAIRS BRANCH
Report on “6th Inf Regt McKinley Div FAIT”
28 June 1946
In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenants Leonard J. Aubuchon and Eliseo Sta.Romana proceeded to Lemery, Batangas to contact the “6th Inf Regt McKinley Div, FAIT” in order to determine whether or not this orgnization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the findings and the basis for the recommendtion.
Sometime in December 1942, Dominador V. Baquilar, who claimed to represent Col Hugh Straughn, contacted Faustino E. Vargas, Perpetuo L. Venturanza and Dominador R. Encarnado of Lemery, Batangas and authorized them to form a unit under Col Strauhn’s FAIT organization. The expansion of this unit was very rapid and, by 1943, they had formed a regiment which became the 6th Inf Regt, McKinley Division, FAIT. Perpetuo L. Venturanza was made CO of the Unit.
During 1943 and most of 1944, the unit confined its activities to morale boosting, minor sabotage and protection of the civilian population. In December 1944, Perpetuo L. Venturanza, CO of the unit, and about 300 other members, deserted the 6th Inf Regt FAIT and joined the Canluran Regt of the Blue Eagle Command that was then being organized. Faustino Vargas was then made Commanding Officer of the unit.
During the liberation, the unit claim to have furnished 60 men to the 158 RCT and 40 men to the 11th Airborne Division.
The following named persons were interviewed and their statements are the basis for the findings:
Col Marking Agustin PA - Overall Commander, FAIT
Vicente Salazar - Mayor of Lemery, Batangas
Chie of Police Atienza - Lemery, Batangas
Braulio Sedano - CO McKinley Div FAIT
Dominador Encarnado - Ex O 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Ricardo Mayuga - S-2 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Honrado Encarnacion - Comm O 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Jose Morano - Co CO 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Ciriaco Macalad - Co CO 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Glicerio Mendoza - Co CO 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Antonio Malabanan - Co CO 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Dominador Bardoza - Co CO 6th Infantry Regt FAIT
Jose Encarnacion - Plt Ldr th Infantry Regt FAIT
Marcelino Paala - Plt Ldr th Infantry Regt FAIT
Pio R. Marasigan - Plt Ldr th Infantry Regt FAIT
Jovencio C. Magsino - Co CO th Infantry Regt FAIT
Mario I. Rosales - Pfc th Infantry Regt FAIT
Leoncio Maneja - Pfc th Infantry Regt FAIT
Prior to and during the investigation, every effort was made to contact Faustino Vargas, CO of this unit, but no contact with him was ever made because his present address is not known. The investigation of the unit was carried on through Exec Off Dominador Encarnado.
The 6th Inf Regt was organized in December 1942, made up of members from the towns of Lemery, Taal, San Luis and the surrounding barrios. During the period of occupation, the unit had very few arms, so their activities were of a passive nature. These activities were confined to minor acts of sabotage and protection of the civilian population. The unit also claims that it did intelligence work. However, this intelligence was never more than just talking about the activities of the Japanese.
The unit at no time operated as a combat organization; no evidence was found that a headquarters was ever maintainted on a military basis. The members of the unit lived in their homes, carrying on normal civilian occupations and devoted little time to the guerrilla organization.
In December 1944, Perpetuo Venturanza, CO of the Regt and approximately 300 of his men joined the Canluran Regt of the Blue Eagle Command. This act on the part of the CO shows poor organization and lack of faith in his own unit. No evidence was found that the unit was ever reorganized after Venturanza left it, and it is believed by the investigating officer that the only reorganization was on paper in the form of rosters submitted for recognition. The unit claims to have had approximately 100 men attached to American units during the liberation, but they could produce no evidence of such attachment, nor were any members of this organization recommended for recognition by Headquarters Sixth Army.
The findings of this FAIT unit follows the pattern of other FAIT units in Batangas province. They were organized in 1942 in the hope that the American forces would soon return and give them arms to assist in the liberation. As the months passed, the units, never well organized, began to lose hope and added to this increased pressure by the Japs against guerrillas and the death of Col Straughn, caused the FAIT units to disintegrate. In late 1944, Eduardo Alabastro began organizing the Blue Eagle Command and the people of Batangas, then knowing that the arrival of the Americans was imminent, joined the Blue Eagle. A large percentage of the Blue Eagle officers and men were former members of FAIT units that had become dormant. When the leaders of the FAIT units that existed during 1942 and 1943 learned that the Blue Eagle had been recognized in the strength of a brigade, they believed this to set a precedent and that it was only necessary to submit a roster to be recognized as a guerrilla.
Each FAIT unit felt that they had as much claim to recognition as the Blue Eagle so they created large organizations on paper and submitted them for recognition.
Braulio D. Sedano, former CO of the McKinley Div FAIT, states that the 6th Inf Regt had approximately 1000 men whereas the unit roster contains the names of 2252 men. Sedano further states that the 6th Inf Regt had arms for only one company whereas the unit claims they had 500 arms.
Col. Marking Agustin, PA, former overall commander of the Fil-American guerrillas, states that he does not believe the 6th Inf Regt McKinley Div ever had more than two companies.
It is concluded that the 6th Inf Regt McKinley Div FAIT was poorly organized, had very few arms, and members were not on full time status. The activities of the unit contributed very little to the eventual defeat of the enemy, and before the liberation, the unit had disintegrated.
This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.
After careful consideration of the statements made by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that the “6th Inf Regt McKinley Division FAIT” be not favorably considered for recognition.
[Sgd.] LEONARD J. AUBUCHON
Notes and references:
2d Lt., FA
[Sgd.] ELISEO STA. ROMANA
1st Lt Inf (PA)
Infantry Regt, McKinley Division, FAIT,” File No. 275-13, online at the United States National Archives.