The Pandita Unit was a guerrilla organization organized in the town of Bauan, Batangas. It was supposedly affiliated with the 6th Military District under Col. Macario Peralta which was based in the island of Panay in the Visayas. Also affiliated with this district is the Lobo Unit, the documents of which are also posted in this web site. In this particular document1, one Vicente Conti, a Regimental S-1 (personnel officer) of the Pandita Area unit, narrated his own history and activities while with the Pandita Area Guerrillas. This was submitted to the United States Army as among the “evidences” needed to obtain official recognition.
7 March 1946
: Personal History and Activities in the Organization.
: Whom it may concern.
1. The following reports and personal history of the undersigned in connection with the organization is submitted:
“In November 1943, the undersigned was contacted by Captain Deny P. Flores at the town of Bauan, Province of Batangas. He was identified by me as a guerrilla officer who belonged to the organization of Col. Macario Peralta Jr. (now Brigadier General, PA) of Panay and was sent to our place under the command of Maj. Hocson for the purpose of organizing a guerrilla unit.
“Subsequently, after two weeks of careful study of the sincerity of Capt. Flores to carry out his mission as an organizer and after gaining intimacy with him, I consented to be inducted into his force as S-1, Adjutant, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. As an adjutant, I also acted as executive officer. In addition to my duty as the one in charge of all papers and records, I saw to it that all orders and assignments were being complied with. I also did the typing of induction papers and service records blank. Our headquarters were temporary in nature as we had to move from place to place to evade the Japanese Kempei. For the first two months, my duty was to induct the men and do the typing of propaganda aside from the one mentioned above to counteract Japanese propaganda. After having inducted some capable men to take charge of more responsible positions, such as the one in charge of propaganda, espionage, sabotage; doctors, lawyers and able-bodied men, the main duty that I had was to release assignments and orders to all personnel under the command of Captain Flores. Our unit was named “Pandita Area.” After the organization was already completed with the different members of the staff such as S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4, operatives were sent to different places of the province to obtain info — such as Japanese military movements and their strength. These reports we submitted to the Hqs in Manila and later to Panay, then to the forces in Mindoro under Col. Horado [Jurado]. We made contact with Manila only for two times and with Panay for also two times. We made contact with Mindoro simultaneously after losing our contact with both Manila and Panay. Although there were some obstacles, our mission was made a success.
“Sometime in the early part of January after the landing of American forces in Nasugbu, Batangas and in San Jose, Mindoro, we sent operatives with pertinent intelligence reports and info on Japanese military movements in the unoccupied areas, which we submitted directly to the American forces in these places. Aside from these, we also helped the civilian populace of Bauan and the wounded evacuate to Mindoro for treatment and security.
“On March 8, 1945, the advance unit of the 158th Regimental Combat Team occupied Bauan from Lemery. We made
(contd; Pers Hist)
no delay in offering all that we could to help facilitate their steady advance going [to the] north and eastern parts of Batangas. We had some of our men under Lt. Gregorio B. Fider of our organization join the “L” Company of the said regiment. Lt. Fider worked with Capt Welkie in his CP. In addition to giving our men, we gave them also all pertinent info regarding the positions and activities as well as strength of the enemy. Our men helped as guides and assisted in patrol and guard duties. We had also some 30 men under Lt. Castillo who joined the 3rd Bn of [the] same regiment who went to Cuenca from Lemery. We had our main headquarters located at Aplaya, Bauan, where most U.S. Army officers, some from the 11th Airborne, made their contact to get men and all the necessary aid that we could give them. We served the 158th Regimental Combat Team for around four weeks. Thereafter, we were attached to the “B” and “D” Btry of the 382nd AAA AW Bn, under Capt Berg and Capt Preslock, respectively. Capt Preslock, CO of Btry “D,” had his headquarters in Aplaya, Bauan. To facilitate communication, they connected our headquarters with a single telephone line. I worked with Lt. Laumoreaux, Ex-O of Capt Preslock. We had some two hundred men who were attached to the said batteries. Their assignments were made in rotation. We had 30 men in Btry “D” and 30 men in Btry “B” on active duty every day for nine weeks. The last group of our men under Lt. Gregorio B. Fider was released from this unit last 22 May 1945.”
[Sgd.] VICENTE H. CONTI
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of March 1946 at APO 73, Headquarters 867th Engineer Aviation Battalion.
[Sgd.] JOHN O’MEARA
Notes and references:
2nd Lt., CE
Adjutant, 867th EAB
“Pandita Area, Free Luzon Intelligence Echelon, 6th
MD, [Folder 4],” online at the United States National Archives.