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This page includes research materials and information pertaining to World War II in the Philippines and the Pacific.  It is a work in process, with the first items posted in February 2005.  We have started with a few immediately available items of interest, and are adding more material as time permits:

Philippine Scouts.   Description of the Philippine Scouts.

Military Units  List of military units in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked.

Guerrillas and Underground.  Lists of guerrilla units and underground organizations in the Philippines during World War II.

"Hell Ships." Links to web sites that have information on the Japanese "Hell Ships."

The Philippine Scouts.  Added January 29, 2005

Sometimes referred to as "America's Colonial Army," the Philippine Scouts were part of the United States' regular Army from their organization in 1901 until the Scouts were disbanded after World War II. 

Scout units were part of the regular U.S. Army and consisted of Filipino enlisted men commanded by American officers.  A few Filipino officers who had attended West Point or U.S. colleges with ROTC programs also served in the Scouts.  The men enjoyed a well-earned reputation as professional, dedicated soldiers, and there was a long waiting list of men throughout the Philippines who applied to enlist in the Scouts.  Those lucky enough to be accepted generally made service in the Scouts their life-long career.  Similarly, American officers assigned to the Scouts considered themselves fortunate to be part of this elite organization, one of the U.S. Army's top units at the outset of World War II.  Service in the pre-war Philippines was one of the Army's most desirable assignments.

The Philippine Scouts lived up to their reputation in combat, and were the backbone of General MacArthur's United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).  While the Japanese swept through the rest of Southeast Asia at the beginning of the war in the Pacific, General MacArthur's troops held out on Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island for more than four months, spearheaded by the Philippine Scouts.  When the U.S. Army on Bataan surrendered on April 9, 1942, and Corregidor surrendered on May 6, 1942, virtually all of the Philippine Scout soldiers and officers became prisoners of the Japanese.  Large numbers of them, more than half, would die in Japanese prison camps over the next three years.

In 1945 General MacArthur's forces liberated the Philippines Islands and surviving Scout soldiers reported again for active duty.  The Scout units were reconstituted, and men referred to as “New Scouts” were recruited from the guerrilla forces that had operated in the Philippines throughout the war.  After World War II, the United States' armed forces were reduced to peacetime status and the Philippines gained their independence from the United States.  The Philippine Scout organizations were disbanded.  Individual Scout soldiers were offered the opportunity to remain on duty in the regular United States Army and to become United States citizens, which most did.

The Philippine Scout military organizations are listed under "Military Units in the Philippines"  For more information on the Philippine Scouts, visit the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society web site at

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Military Units in the Philippines.  Updated June 10, 2005

This is a list of the major military organizations (regiment and above) in the Philippines at the time of the Japanese attack.

The Philippine Department was the U.S. Army's overall administrative Philippine Department structure in the Philippines until July 26, 1941.  The department commanded all U.S. military units in the islands except the U.S. Navy.  All of the units wore the Philippine Department's blue and white "Mer-lion" patch, except the Philippine Division.

Military Districts.  For administrative purposes, the Philippine Department divided the islands into ten districts.  The district designations are stilled used in some cases today:
1st Military District --North Luzon
2nd Military District --Lingayen/Central Plain
3rd Military District --East central Luzon, including Bataan and Zambales
4th Military District --South central Luzon, including Manila, Batangas, Palawan, Mindoro
5th Military District --East and southeast Luzon, Catadecanes
6th Military District --Tablas, Panay, Macabete
7th Military District --Negros
8th Military District --Bohol, Cebu
9th Military District --Leyte,Samar
10th Military District --Mindanao

USAFFE.  On July 26, 1941, President Roosevelt recalled General Douglas MacArthur into the U.S. Army and placed him in charge of a new organization, the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).  The Philippine Department became the service structure within USAFFE.  General MacArthur had command of all military organizations in the islands except the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Fleet:

The Philippine Division, about 10,000 men commanded by Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright, was the only regular U.S. Army Philippine Division division in the Philippines at the onset of hostilities.  It consisted primarily of Philippine Scouts (PS).  The Philippine Division had its own distinctive "carabao head" patch, and included the following regiments:
12th Medical Regiment (PS).  Philippine Scout medical support.
12th Quartermaster Regiment (PS).  Philippine Scout logistics.
14th Engineer Regiment (PS).  Philippine Scout combat engineers.
23rd and 24th Field Artillery Regiments (PS).  Philippine Scout field artillery.
31st Infantry Regiment (US).  American infantry.
45th Infantry Regiment (PS).  Philippine Scout infantry.
57th Infantry Regiment (PS).  Philippine Scout infantry.
After the war the Philippine Division was re-organized as the 12th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

26th Cavalry Regiment (PS) was the last horse-mounted cavalry in the U.S. Army.  The independent regiment was stationed at Fort Stotsenberg next to Clark Field in central Luzon.  After the Japanese landed at Lingayen Gulf, General MacArthur assigned his most mobile unit, the 26th Cavalry, to cover the withdrawl of the USAFFE army into Bataan. 

Coast Artillery Corps.  The coastal artillery, commanded by Major General George F. Moore, was responsible for manning the fortified islands in the mouths of Manila Bay and Subic Bay.  Their base island, Corregidor, was the last Allied fortification to fall to the Japanese at the beginning of World War II.
59th Coast Artillery Regiment (US)
60th Coast Artillery Regiment (US)
91st Coast Artillery Regiment (PS)
92nd Coast Artillery Regiment (PS)

The Far East Air Force (US), commanded by Major General Lewis Brereton, was rapidly being upgraded when the Japanese attacked.  U.S. Army plans called for Clark Field, in the center of Luzon Island, and other facilities to be enlarged to accommodate 272 state-of-the-art B-17 bombers making Clark Field the U.S. Army Air Corps' biggest bomber base.  If hostilities broke out, military planners expected the B-17 fleet to be able to defend the shores of the Philippines and also control Japanese shipping in the South China Sea.  107 new P-40 fighters were shipped in to replace older aircraft which were turned over to the Philippine Army Air Corps.  The first thirty-five B-17 bombers arrived in October 1941, and more were en route from the U.S. West Coast when Japanese bombers destroyed Clark Field on Dec. 7, only hours after the Japanese Navy destroyed Pearl Harbor.  The surviving bombers flew south to Australia.  By the time USAFFE retreated to Bataan, all but eighteen of the P-40 fighters had been destroyed or shot down by Japanese Zeros, and most of the men of the Far East Air Force fought as infantry on Bataan.
2nd Observation Squadron
3rd Pursuit Squadron (P-40)
17th Pursuit Squadron (P-40)
28th Bombardment Squadron (B-17)

The Asiatic Fleet, based in Manila Bay and commanded by Admiral Thomas Hart, was only a fraction of the size of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.  Its surface ships presented no real obstacle to the powerful Japanese Navy, and the day after the Japanese attack the surface fleet sailed for the East Indies to join the Dutch Navy.  The Asiatic Fleet's twenty-nine submarines remained behind to guard the Philippines, but proved helpless when their torpedoes all turned out to be defective.

The Philippine Army (PA) was constituted in 1936, to be trained and built up over the next ten years.  General Douglas MacArthur, having retired from the U.S. Army, was appointed "Field Marshall" of the Philippine Army and assigned to design and build up the Philippine forces.  He drew up plans for two regular army infantry divisions, the 1st and 2nd Divisions, and ten reserve infantry divisions numbered 11th, 21st, 31st...etc.  The three infantry regiments in each reserve division were numbered beginning with the division's number, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Regiments in the 21st Division, for example.  The Philippine Army was expected to take over defense of the islands on July 4, 1946, when the Philippine Commonwealth would be granted its independence from the United States.  At the outbreak of hostilities, the 1st Regular Division had been activated but it was at little more than half strength.  All of the  reserve divisions had been activated but their training was well below military standards, they were poorly equipped, and they were all under strength.  The 2nd Regular Division was activated after the retreat to Bataan and consisted primarily of the Philippine Constabulary regiments.  (The book Battle of Bataan by Richard C. Mallonee chronicles the 21st Infantry Division, PA.)

North Luzon Force/I Corps.  The North Luzon Force was commanded by Major General Jonathon "Skinny" Wainwright, and was assigned to meet the Japanese at the Lingayen beaches and prevent them from landing on Luzon.  After the beach defense failed, the North Luzon Force retreated south down the Luzon central plain in a brilliant withdrawal movement engineered by General Wainwright and covered by the Philippines Scouts' 26th Cavalry.  Losses were heavy, but the organization re-grouped on the west coast of Bataan and on January 6, 1942, was redesignated I Corps.  The North Luzon Force included the 1st, 31st, 71st and 91st Divisions (PA).  Brig. Gen. Albert Jones took command of I Corps after General Wainwright was given command of all Luzon forces on March 11, 1942.

South Luzon Force/II Corps.  The South Luzon Force was commanded by Major General George M. Parker and was assigned to defend Luzon Island south of Manila.  In the retreat to Bataan, the lead elements of the South Luzon Force were shuttled by civilian buses to Bataan where they were re-designated the "Bataan Defense Force," while the remaining elements held off the Japanese forces that landed on the Bicol Peninsula.  The forward elements had to get into position to defend Bataan before the North Luzon Force arrived, and the remainder had to get over the Calumpit bridges before the North Luzon Force completed their retreat and blew up the bridges.  On Bataan, the South Luzon Force took responsibility for the east coast of the peninsula, and was re-designated II Corps.  The South Luzon Force included the 11th, 21st, 41st and 51st Divisions (PA).

The Philippine Constabulary (PC).  The 1st Regiment of the Philippines' national police force was inducted into USAFFE on October 15, 1941, and the 2nd Regiment was inducted on November 17.  Each regiment had three battalions, consisting of three rifle companies and one machine gun company.  Their assigned mission was to guard against sabotage of essential infrastructure such as power plants and water supplies, and to arrest and incarcerate Japanese nationals when hostilities broke out.  The 1st and 2nd Constabulary Regiments were responsible for north and south Luzon, respectively.  The 3rd Constabulary Regiment was stationed in the southern islands.  A 4th Constabulary Regiment was constituted on Bataan in January 1942, made up of members of the palace guard and individual constabulary stations that retreated to Bataan with the USAFFE army.  On Bataan, the 1st, 2nd and 4th Philippine Constabulary Regiments were assigned to the 2nd Regular Division under Major General Francisco.

National Guard Units (US).  As part of the massive military build-up in the Philippines after July 26, 1941, a number of U.S. National Guard units were shipped to Luzon for a temporary tour of duty.  The following units had arrived in the Philippines by the time the Japanese attacked, on Dec. 7, 1941:
192nd Tank Battalion, Wisconsin (A Co.), Illinois (B Co.), Ohio (C Co.) and Kentucky (D Co.--assigned to 194th Tank Battalion in the Philippines.) National Guard. 
194th Tank Battalion, Minnesota (A Co.), California (C Co.) National Guard.  (B Co. was sent to Alaska instead of the Philippines.) (The book Bataan Uncensored by Col. E.B. Miller describes the actions of the 194th Tank Batallion on Bataan.)
200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard
515th Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft), New Mexico National Guard.

In addition, the 131st Field Artillery Regiment was enroute from the U.S. aboard the USS Republic in the Pensacola convoy.  On Dec 7, the convoy was diverted to Brisbane, Australia, and the 131st was ultimately shipped to Java in the Dutch East Indies due to the Japanese naval blockade of the Philippines.  The men of the 131st were captured by the Japanese in Java and many of them were shipped to Burma where they worked as slave laborers on the Burma railway, including the infamous "Bridge over the River Kwai."

USFIP.  On March 11, 1942, General MacArthur and his key staff officers departed the Philippines for Australia, leaving General Jonathon Wainwright in command on Luzon.  MacArthur was still in command of USAFFE, the United States Forces in the Far East.  On March 22, 1942, the War Department designated Wainwright's command the United States Forces in the Philippines, USFIP, placing Wainwright in charge of all forces in the Philippines.

Luzon Force.  When he assumed command of USFIP, General Wainwright moved his headquarters from Bataan to Corregidor.  He left Major General Edward P. King in charge on Bataan, and designated King's command "Luzon Force."  Luzon Force consisted of I Corps and II Corps on Bataan, plus a few battalions in the northern mountains that had, thus far, continued to hold out against the Japanese.  On April 9, 1942, General King surrendered his starving and emaciated forces to the Japanese. 

One month later, on May 6, 1942, General Wainwright surrendered Corregidor--the last Allied stronghold in Asia .  Japanese intelligence officers had intercepted the War Department message placing Wainwright in command of USFIP, and they forced him to surrender not just Corregidor but all of the Philippine Islands.

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Guerrilla Units.  Added June 10, 2005.

A variety of guerrilla organizations sprang up in the Philippine Islands during the Japanese Occupation.  The following list begins with the LGF, the first major guerrilla organization in the Philippine Islands, then lists the major units on Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao arranged in order of their locations, approximately north to south.  Other units also existed on Luzon and almost every inhabited Philippine Island.

Luzon Guerrilla Force (LGF). During the Battle of Bataan in January, 1942, Lt. Col. Claude Thorp, former Provost Marshall of Fort Stotsenberg, was authorized by General MacArthur to take a party of volunteers and infiltrate through enemy lines to establish a spy station in the Zambales Mountains above Clark Field.  Thorp and his men observed Japanese activity on Clark Field and radioed reports of Japanese bombers taking off to attack Bataan and Corregidor.  Thorp was also authorized to organize Filipino guerrillas to sabotage Japanese operations.  After the American surrenders of Bataan and Corregidor, he formed the LGF, the original "USAFFE guerrilla" organization in the Philippines.  Col. Thorp divided Luzon Island into four areas and appointed a commander over each, who was charged with recruiting guerrillas and forming an effective anti-Japanese guerrilla movement in his area of responsibility:
North Luzon Military District, Capt. Ralph Praeger until his capture in August 1943.
East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area (ECLGA), Captain Joe Barker until the Japanese captured Colonel Colonel Thorp in October 1942, then Lieutenant Edwin Ramsey.
Western Luzon Guerrilla Area, Captain Ralph McGuire until he was killed in April 1943, then Captain Gualberto Sia (aka Ernest Neuman).
Southern Luzon, Captain Jack Spies.  However Spies was killed on his way to South Luzon, and this part of the organization never materialized.

The Japanese captured Colonel Thorp in October, 1942 and his deputy, Captain Joseph R. Barker took command of LGF.  In January 1943, Barker went into Manila disguised as a Catholic priest and was also captured, after which the LGF began to fall apart.  There was never a unified guerrilla command in the Philippines after Barker's capture.  Even though Colonel Thorp and all of his appointed commanders were captured and executed by the Japanese, several of the guerrilla organizations he established continued to grow and became quite effective in intelligence gathering and in harassing the Japanese. The story of Colonel Claude A. Thorp and his men is included in Bataan Diary.

North Luzon Military District.  Captain Ralph Praeger, 26th Cavalry, was commanding officer of Troop C near Baugio in northern Luzon.  After the Japanese landings at Lingayen Gulf in December 1941, he marched his troop to Tuguegarao Airfield in the Cagayan Valley and attacked, destroying several Japanese aircraft.  He and his men refused to surrender to the Japanese in May 1942, and Col. Thorp appointed him to organize Filipino guerrillas in North Luzon.  He established his headquarters in Kabugao, Apayao and joined Marcelo Adduru's Cagayan-Apayao Force in July 1942.  Praeger made radio contact with General MacArthur's headquarters in Australia late in 1942, and came under the nominal control of Lt. Col. Martin Moses in February 1943, until Moses was captured on June 3, 1943.  Praeger was captured by the Japanese in August 1943.  The remnants of his guerrilla organization were picked up and re-organized by Major Russell Volckmann and Capt. Donald Blackburn.  Ralph Praeger was executed in Manila in December 1944, as General MacArthur's forces approached Luzon.  More information on Ralph Praeger can be found in Bernard Norling's The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon.

Cagayan Force.  Founded Dec. 10 1941, immediately after the Japanese attack, by Major Marcelo Adduru who was governor of Cagayan province in north Luzon.  Adduru's guerrillas consisted primarily of Cagayan Philippine Constabulary personnel.  Adduru was captured and imprisoned in April 1943.  As soon as he was paroled in October 1943, Adduru revived the Cagayan Force.  He was re-captured on July 5, 1944, and a Col. Gonzalo took over, but most of the personnel went over to the 11th Infantry Regiment under Volckmann.

Cagayan-Apayao Force.  Governor Marcelo Adduru formed this organization on July 6, 1942, by combining his guerrilla force, men from the 14th Infantry Regiment, PA, and Capt. Ralph Praeger's 26th Cavalry, PS, Troop C.

United States Army Forces in the Philippines--Northern Luzon (USFIP-NL).  Having escaped from Bataan, Lt. Col. Martin Moses and Lt. Col. Arthur "Maxie" Noble founded their guerrilla command in the northern mountains near Baguio.  They contacted Philippine Army commanders in the area who had refused to surrender and guerrilla organizers from Col. Thorp's organization, and began to plan a major strike against the Japanese.  On October 15, 1942, they attacked the Japanese-owned Itogon Mines near Baguio and held the area for more than a week.  The Japanese counter-attacked with infantry and tanks and drove the guerrillas back into the mountains, then took heavy reprisals on the civilian villages in the area.  Moses and Noble retreated into headhunter country, and began to collect intelligence data to send to General MacArthur.  They were tracked down by the Japanese and captured in June 1943, then executed.  Elements of their command became independent units or were taken over by Russell Volckmann's USAFIP-NL and Bernard Anderson's Kalayaan Command.  Their officers and commanders included Capt. Ralph B. Praeger, Maj. Thomas S. Jones, Col. Marcelo Adduru, and Ali Al-Rashid.  The story of Colonels Moses and Noble is included in Bataan Diary.

14th Infantry Regiment.  After the Japanese attack in 1941, Captain Guillermo Nakar and his Philippine Army battalion held out in the mountains of north Luzon under the auspices of Major Everett Warner's First Provisional Guerrilla Regiment, authorized by General MacArthur. When General Wainwright and Major Warner surrendered, Nakar refused to surrender and developed his unit into a guerrilla force of about 1100 men.  He was in radio contact with General MacArthur's headquarters in Australia until August 1942, carried out a number of operations against the Japanese, and MacArthur promoted Nakar to Lt. Col.  Nakar was betrayed and captured in September 1942, and subsequently executed by the Japanese.  His organization was taken over by Capt. Manuel Enriquez, and continued to operate independently until November 1943 when it was absorbed into Major Russell Volckmann's USAFIP-NL.

Captain (Guerrilla Lt. Col.) Manuel Enriquez was a controversial, and some would say daring, leader who was arrested in January 1944, but this may have been a ruse on Enriquez' part, as Enriquez suspected that guerrilla agent Franco Vera Reyes was a Japanese spy, and attempted to get the Japanese to arrest Reyes.  He was not successful.  Franco Vera Reyes and his story are described in
Bataan Diary.

United States Forces in the Philippines--Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL).  Organized by Major (guerrilla Colonel) Russell Volckmann, USAFIP-NL became one of the largest and best organized guerrilla operations on Luzon, and one of the most ruthless.  In August 1943, when Capt. Ralph Praeger was captured, Volckmann took over his North Luzon Military District.  In November 1943 Volckmann took over the remnants of Capt. Guillermo Nakar's 14th Infantry after Nakar was captured.  In August 1944 he made radio contact with General MacArthur's headquarters, and in November and December of 1944 received 60 tons of supplies and a U.S. Army penetration team, in two deliveries made by the submarine USS Gar.  On January 9, 1945, Volckmann and his men met General MacArthur's invading forces on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf.
11th (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Cagayan Valley; Maj. Donald Blackburn
14th (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Nueva Vizcaya; Lt. Col. Manuel Enriquez until his capture on January 25, 1944, then Maj. Romulo Manriquez
15th (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Ilocos Norte; Maj. Robert Arnold
66th (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Baguio area; Maj. Parker Calvert, Maj. Dennis Molintas
121st (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Ilocos Sur; Lt. Col. John P. Horan until ordered to surrender on June 2, 1942, then Capt. William Peryam until his capture on January 4, 1943, then Maj. George Barnett until his capture on January 25, 1944.

Luzon Guerrilla Armed Forces (LGAF) (Lapham's Raiders).  1st Lt. (guerrilla Major) Robert Lapham was a member of Lt. Col. Claude Thorp's original infiltration party.  Thorp placed him in charge of recruiting guerrillas in Western Tarlac and Pangasinan provinces.  When the Japanese captured Thorp, Lapham kept his own guerrilla organization intact and independent.  When Volckmann claimed him as part of USAFIP-NL, Lapham told General MacArthur's headquarters that he reported to Major Bernard Anderson's Kalayaan Command.  At its peak, Lapham's organization was reported to include about 10,000 men.  Lapham's Raiders
, by Robert Lapham and Bernard Norling documents the activities of the LGAF.  Behind Japanese Lines, by Ray Hunt and Bernard Norling documents Ray Hunt's escape from the Japanese and subsequent union with Robert Lapham.
Nueva Ecija, Capt. Harry McKenzie
Western Tarlac, Capt. Albert S. Hendrickson
Pangasinan, Capt. Ray Hunt.

South Tarlac Military District (STMD).  Formed by Sgt. (guerrilla Capt.) Al Bruce in the mountains near Capas, Tarlac.
O'Donnell Regiment, Elisio V. Mallari.

East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area (ECLGA).  After the fall of Corregidor on May 6, 1942, Lt. Col. Claude Thorp appointed Captain Joseph R. Barker, 26th Cavalry, to recruit Filipino guerrillas in the Luzon central provinces.  Barker's organization was dubbed the East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area.  When the Japanese captured Thorp in October 1942, Barker took command of Thorp's organization, turning ECLGA over to Lieutenant (guerrilla Major) Edwin Ramsey.  The Japanese captured and executed Barker, but Ramsey continued to expand ECLGA and by October, 1944 may have had command of as many as 45,000 Filipino volunteers, including the Bulacan Military District and the Bataan Military District, one of the largest guerrilla organizations in the islands.  ECLGA had continuing problems with the Hukbalahap, who were also located in central Luzon, and their differences erupted into gunfire on multiple occasions.  The Huks attempted to assassinate Ramsey, and on at least one occasion Ramsey issued orders that Huks be shot on sight.  Ramsey was in regular contact with the Manila underground, including Manuel Roxas in Manila, and had frequent courier contact with Major Jesus Villamor's "Planet" spy network and radio station on Negros Island.  Colonel Ramsey has documented his activities and the history of the ECLGA in his book, Lieutenant Ramsey's War.  The relationship between Major Ramsey and John Boone's Bataan guerrillas is described in Bataan Diary.
Pampanga Military District, Col. Abelardo de Dios
Bataan Military District, Cpl. (guerrilla Col.) John P. Boone
Bulacan Military District, Col. Fausto Alberto

Hukbalahap.  The Hukbalahap (literally, "the army to fight Japan") was formed by a Francisco Lava (or Lara) and Luis Taruc as a union of the Philippine communist and socialist parties at the outset of the war.  It was a large, well organized and most ruthless guerrilla organization numbering 100,000 members at its maximum strength.  The Huks had on-going contact with members of the Free Philippines underground in Manila, although there was no formal relationship with that group.  Based at Mount Arayat in Pampanga Province, the Huks made it clear that they intended to form a communist government in Pampanga and eventually to take over the government of the Philippines.  Disagreements, and even battles, between the Huks and the USAFFE guerrillas were common.  After the war, the Huks refused to disarm and continued to fight the Philippine government forces well into the 1950s.  The Huk district political leaders were:
South Pampanga, Maj. Jose Banal (aka Jose Poblete).
East Pampanga, Felipe Culala (aka Dayang-Dayang), a female guerrilla.
North of Mt. Arayat, Esuebio Aquino.
Nueva Ecija, Jose "Dimasalang" de Leone.
West Pampanga, Abelardo Dabu.
Bulacan, Ramon Robles.
Laguna, Pedro Villegas (aka Carlos Hassim).

Militarily the Huks fielded combat "Squadrons" of 100 men each, divided into platoons and squads.  Two squadrons = a battalion, and two battalions = a regiment.  Each squadron had a commander, a vice-commander, a political instructor, a supply officer, and an intelligence officer, although there were no ranks.
Sqdn 25, Nueva Ecija, commander Leon Estares.
Sqdn 48, Manila, a Chinese squadron called "Wa Chi," commander Col. Ong.
Sqdn 58, Manila, a Chinese squadron, commander Alfonso de la Rosa.
Sqdn 77, Bulacan-Pampanga, commander Dante.
Sqdn 104, Pampanga, commander Guerrero (a woman who often dressed as a man).

Squadron 155.  Formed by Lt. Henry Clay Conner, an Air Corps signal officer who escaped from Bataan with Major Bernard Anderson, Squadron 155 was composed primarily of Negrito natives who lived along the east rim of the Zambales mountains above Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg.  Conner originally reported to Maj. Edwin Ramsey's ECLGA, but transferred his allegiance to Col. Gyles Merrill's LGF USFIP, nearby, when the latter became active during 1944.  Conner ingratiated himself into the Negrito community and organized the spear and bow and arrow carrying natives into an anti-Japanese force.  In 1944 he was joined by Lt. Felipe Maningo who headed a group of 150 Philippine Scouts.  These men gathered intelligence data from Clark Field where many of them worked as laborers for the Japanese air corps, and passed it to Lt. Conner who passed it in turn to Col. Merrill, Al Bruce in Tarlac to his north, or to John Boone in Bataan to his south.  Much of Squadron 155's data defined bombing targets for U.S. planes during the liberation, and their reports of Japanese fortifications in the Zambales Mountains led U.S. troops to root out the Japanese defenders, averting a deadly ambush of the U.S. 6th Army.  Squadron 155 is described in On a Mountainside, by Malcolm Decker.
First Pampanga Regiment, Northwest Pampanga, Julian Mercado
Second Pampanga Regiment, Northwest Pampanga, Francisco Ocampo
Provisional Battalion of Negrito Scouts, Kojario Laxamana
1st Provisional Battalion of Philippine Scouts, Lt. Felipe Maningo

Western Luzon Guerrilla Area (Zambales Military District) (Zambales guerrillas).  Colonel Thorp appointed red-headed Captain Ralph McGuire, a pre-war mining engineer, to organize guerrillas in Zambales Province.  McGuire was reasonably successful until the Japanese crack-down on guerrillas in April 1943, when he was betrayed for Japanese reward money.  The Japanese cut off McGuire's head, mounted it on a pole, and paraded it through the villages of Zambales as a symbol of American weakness.  However, the Zambales guerrilla organizations continued, headed by Gualberto Sia, who reported to Maj. Bernard Anderson's Kalayaan Command.  During 1944, most of the 6,000 Filipino-led guerrillas in Zambales switched from Anderson's command to Col. Gyles Merrill, who was hiding in the Zambales Mountains and who outranked Major Anderson. 
In January, 1945, Capt. Ramon Magsaysay's guerrillas were successful in driving the Japanese off of the Zambales coast, enabling MacArthur's XI Corps to land on the beaches of Zambales unopposed.  Once the area was under U.S. control, Col. Gyles Merrill recommended that Magsaysay be appointed provisional governor of Zambales.  Magsaysay went on to become President of the Philippine Republic.
United States Philippine Islands Forces (USPIF)--Zambales, Gualberto Sia
Subic Bay Area, Earnest Johnson
Castillejos and San Marcellino, Antonio Francisco
Coastal Zambales, Capt. Ramon Magsaysay
Squadron D, H. S. Johnson.

Luzon Guerrilla Forces, United States Forces in the Philippines (LGF USFIP).  Colonel Gyles Merrill escaped from the Death March and in August 1942 gathered a small group of officers who had been in hiding at the Fassoth Camp.  He briefly offered his services to Lt. Col. Thorp (Merrill outranked Thorp), but when Thorp was captured in October 1942 Merrill and his men moved back into the Zambales Mountains and hid out until MacArthur's forces approached the Philippines in 1944.  During this period Merrill made contact with and assumed nominal command of the Zambales guerrilla organizations, and made contact with the Chinese underground in Manila.  As American forces began working their way through the Pacific in 1944, Merrill, as the highest ranking officer in the Philippines, issued orders that all guerrilla commanders on Luzon were to report to him.  A conflict developed, and only the guerrilla leaders in his immediate geographical area agreed to follow his orders  When U.S. forces landed on the Zambales coast, they found the coast cleared of Japanese--the Zambales guerrillas acting under Merrill's orders had forced the Japanese off the coastline and back to the Subic Bay area.  Colonel Merrill and his organization are described in Bataan Diary.
Zambales Guerrillas, Gualberto Sia
Mountain Group Command, Lt. Col. Eddie Wright:
        Provisional Regiment of Philippine Scouts, Lt. Col. Eddie Wright
        South Tarlac Military District, Sgt. (guerrilla Capt.) Al Bruce
        Bataan Military District, Cpl. (guerrilla Col.) John Boone (Boone also reported to Maj. Edwin Ramsey, ECLGA).
        Squadron 155, Lt. (guerrilla Maj.) Henry Clay Conner

Provisional Regiment of Philippine Scouts.  Lt. Col. Eddie Wright, 45th Infantry (PS), refused to surrender to the Japanese and hid out in northern Bataan expecting that General MacArthur would return to the Philippines with reinforcements within a few months.  When that did not happen, Wright at first became discouraged but then resolved to raise a battalion of former Philippine Scouts to attack the Japanese from the rear when MacArthur's army did return.  Late in 1944, he approached Col. Gyles Merrill, LGF USFIP, for authorization to proceed with his plan and to solicit Merrill's logistical support.  Merrill expanded Wright's planned battalion into a full regiment by assigning Philippine Scout organizations that had joined Al Bruce's South Tarlac Military District and Clay Conner's Pampanga Military District.  Merrill assigned Wright's Scouts to prevent Japanese troops from crossing the Zambales mountains from the interior of Luzon to the coast.  Wright got his regiment organized, but had no weapons with which to fight the Japanese until after the American forces landed at Lingayen beach and on the Zambales coast.  After the American forces arrived and supplied them with arms in January 1945, the Philippine Scouts rejoined the regular U.S. Army and participated in operations against the Japanese until the war ended in August.  The Provisional Regiment of Philippine Scouts is described in Bataan Diary.
1st Battalion, Lt. Felipe Maningo
2nd Battalion, Sgt. (guerrilla Capt.) Alfred Bruce
3rd Battalion, Maj. Royal Reynolds

Bataan Military District.  Formed by Corporal (guerrilla Colonel) John Boone, 31st Infantry, the Bataan Military District grew slowly in northern Bataan throughout the Japanese occupation.  Boone was helped by, and reported to, Major Edwin Ramsey of ECLGA.  He had regular contact with the Manila underground, specifically with Claire Phillips at Club Tsubaki, and he obtained intelligence reports from Manila Bay and from the Subic Bay area which he passed on to Major Ramsey.  When General MacArthur's forces returned to Luzon in January 1945, Boone's forces sabotaged Japanese infrastructure on Bataan and conducted harassing attacks on the Japanese forces in the Zig-zag Pass.  The Bataan Military District is described in detail in Bataan Diary.
1st (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Ceferino Regala, Dinalupihan area
2nd (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Victor Abad, bayside
3rd (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Andres Megano, seaside
4th (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Federico Lumbre, southern Bataan

Bulacan Military District/Area.  Captain Joe Barker appointed Captain Alejo Santos to recruit guerrillas in Bulacan and form the Bulacan Military District.  Major Edwin Ramsey succeeded to Barker's command after Barker was captured in 1942, and Santos decided to set up an independent guerrilla organization.  Two regiments stayed in Ramsey's organization, under the command of Col. Fausto Alberto, and kept the name Bulacan Military District.  Santos' regiment was thereafter designated the "Bulacan Military Area," and he worked loosely under the leadership of Major Bernard Anderson.

Kalayaan Command.  Air Corps Major Bernard Anderson formed this organization of about 15,000 men in Tayabas (now Quezon) Province west of Manila after Col. Claude Thorp and Capt. Joe Barker were captured.  Anderson had refused to surrender to the Japanese on Bataan, and found his way to Col. Thorp's camp where he was assigned to assist Barker in recruiting and organizing guerrillas in central Luzon.  Anderson concentrated on intelligence gathering and propaganda.  To avoid reprisals on the civilian population he refrained from attacking the Japanese until four days before General MacArthur's 6th Army landed at Lingayen Gulf.
Ball Military Area (aka Bulacan Military Area), Bulacan, Maj. Alejo Santos.
Ohio Military Area, Bicol, Maj. Russell Barros.
Texas Military District, Lingayen Area.
Salt Military Area, Tayabas, Pedro Redor.
York Military District, Manila.

Chinese Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Force.  Manila and the surrounding areas had a substantial population of Chinese merchants who had migrated into the area over the years.  Japan attacked China in 1937 and committed horrible atrocities there, so there was no love lost between the Chinese and Japanese.  Under the leadership of Huang Chieh and a Col. Sheng, among others, the Chinese population of the Philippines actively opposed the Japanese as best they could.  They raised money for relief efforts in China and for Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek's army, gathered intelligence information for General MacArthur, and fought as guerrillas in central Luzon.

South Luzon Military District.  Colonel Thorp appointed Captain George J. "Jack" Spies, 26th Cavalry, to recruit Filipino guerrillas in Southern Luzon.  As he traveled south from Thorp's headquarters in the Zambales mountains he was betrayed by a pro-Japanese Filipino and killed by the Japanese.  The South Luzon Military District, therefore, never actually got off the ground.  However, another guerrilla command was organized in South Luzon by Col. Hugh Straughn.  See Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT), below.

Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT).  During the siege of Bataan, General Douglas MacArthur authorized retired Spanish-American War veteran Colonel Hugh Straughn to organize the FAIT in the southern mountains near Antipolo, Rizal.  As MacArthur left the Philippines and Bataan fell, Straughn extended his command to cover all of the area south and east of Manila.  His was the only large, unified guerrilla command besides Col. Thorp's, and within the FAIT several other guerrilla organizations were born, including President Quezon's Own Guerrillas (PQOG), Terry Hunter's ROTC Guerrillas, and Marking's Guerrillas.  When Straughn was captured in August, 1943, most of these organizations became independent under their respective leaders.  Portions of FAIT remained in tact under nominal control of "Col. Elliot P. Ellsworth" (General Vincente Lim) in Manila, until Lim was captured.  Straughn and Lim were both executed by the Japanese.

Marking's Guerrillas.  Two of the most colorful guerrilla leaders in World War II were Marcos Villa Augustin (Marking), a former cab driver and boxer from Manila, and his deputy/mistress/wife/biographer Yay Panlillio, an American mestizo and former newspaper reporter.  Marking's guerrillas formed in the Sierra Madre mountains east of Manila under Col. Straughn's umbrella, and became an independent organization when Straughn was captured in August 1943.  Marking's organization developed a reputation for ruthlessness, and was often in open conflict with the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas, nearby.
1st Army Corps, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Tayabas
2nd Army Corps, Manila, Bulacan, Cavite
3rd Army Corps, north Bulacan, Tarlac and Pangasinan
Associated groups:
Oldtimers, Col. Leon Z. Cabalhin, Laguna-Rizal
Batanguenos, Col. Daud Mangkon, Batangas
Texans, Maj. Patricio Emi (famous ex-bandit), Cavite and Mindoro
Highlanders, Maj. Carlos Crisostomo
Saboteurs, Col. Pablo Alora
McKinley Brigade, Col. Ortega
Anilao, Maj. Juan Santiago

Hunters ROTC Guerrillas.  One of the more effective south Luzon guerrillas, Terry's Hunters were composed primarily of military academy and ROTC cadets.  They were founded in Manila in January 1942 by Miguel Ver of the Philippine Military Academy, and moved to Rizal Province in April where they came under Col. Hugh Straughn's FAIT.  After the Japanese captured Straughn and Ver the executive officer, Eleuterio Adevoso (aka Terry Magtanggol), also a Philippine Military Academy cadet, took over.  They were among the most aggressive guerrillas in the war and made the only guerrilla raid on a Japanese prison, Muntinglupa (New Bilibid), to free their captured members and to obtain arms.  They also participated in the liberation of Los Banos prison camp during liberation.  Captain Bartolomeo Cabangbang, leader of the central Luzon penetration party, said that the Hunters supplied the best intelligence data on Luzon.  The history of the unit is detailed in the book Terry's Hunters, by Proculo L. Mojica.
Manila & Rizal, CO: Amado Bagalay (Corporal, Philippine Constabulary)
Pasay, Pateros-Muntinglupa, CO: Juanito Ferrer (Philippine Military Academy)
San Pedro, Tuason-Caluan, CO: Justiniano Estrella (politician)
Lumbang-Pallita, CO: Lt. Col. Emanuel Ocampo (ROTC, Far Eastern University)
Tiaong-Antimonan, CO: Vincente Eustacio (ROTC, Jose Rial College)
Santo Tomas, Batangas, CO: Catalino Nera (PMTB)

President Quezon's Own Guerrillas (PQOG).  Formed by General Vincente Umali, former mayor of Tiaong, Tayabas, this organization was located in Batangas, central Laguna and west central Tayabas.  They were one of the better armed guerrilla organizations with as many as 7,000 of the 10,000 members in possession of firearms of one sort or another.  Ferdinand Marcos reportedly started out with this group, and they maintained contact with guerrilla organizations in central Luzon, Manila and the Visayan islands.  Once U.S. forces returned to the Philippines and began bombing Luzon, the PQOG was successful in rescuing a number of downed flyers and returning them to the U.S. Navy alive.

Fourth Philippine Corps (Panay).  Colonel Marcario Peralta and the 8,000 men of his 61st (guerrilla) Infantry Regiment controlled most of Panay Island except for the coastal towns occupied by the Japanese.  He captured Governor Hernandez, accused him of being a Japanese collaborator, and installed Tomas Confessor as governor.  He established an intelligence network that covered all of the Visayan Islands and established regular courier routes to Luzon to pick up intelligence data from the Manila underground.  He competed with Colonel Wendell Fertig on Mindanao for control of neighboring islands until General MacArthur ordered all guerrilla commanders to stay within their established areas and cease expanding and competing with one another.

U.S. Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) (10th Military District) (Mindanao).  Colonel Wendell Fertig, a pre-war mining engineer, evaded the Japanese after the surrender and in August 1942, pretending to be a general sent in by MacArthur, took command of the Mindanao guerrilla organizations.  His guerrillas controlled the mountainous, jungle-covered interior of Mindanao for much of the war while the Japanese held the inhabited coastal areas.  He established radio contact with General MacArthur's headquarters, and received the first submarine contact and supplies sent out from Australia.  He competed with Peralta on Panay for MacArthur's attention and for overall command of guerrilla forces in the area.  In 1943 and again in 1944, the Japanese launched expeditions to surpress Fertig, and they were fairly successful although Fertig continued to operate from the interior of Mindanao for the rest of the war.  They Fought Alone by John Keats tells Colonel Fertig's story on Mindanao, although the accuracy of the book has been chalanged by Mindanao guerrilla leader Clyde Childress.

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"Hell Ships."  Added August 15, 2005, links added April 26, 2007, July 20, 2009.

Following is a list of Japanese ships believed to have carried Allied prisoners of war.  For information, photographs of ships and POWs, and rosters, go to  Additional websites with information on specific ships are shown below:

Aki Maru  (Pacific Maru). See:
Arisan Maru.  Torpedoed by submarine USS Snook.  Of 1,800 POWs, 8 survived.  See:,
Asaka Maru.
Asama Maru.
Awa Maru.
Brazil Maru.  See:,,
Canadian Inventor (Matti Matti Maru). See:
Celebes Maru.  See:
Clyde Maru.  See:
Dainichi Maru.
England Maru.
Enoshima Maru.
Enoura Maru.  See:,
Erie Maru.
France Maru.  See:
Hawaii Maru.
Hofuku Maru.
Junyo Maru.  See:
Kyokko Maru.  See:
Lima Maru.
Lisbon Maru.
Maebashi Maru.
Makassar Maru.
Montevideo Maru.  See:
Nagara Maru.  See:
Nagato Maru.
Naruto Maru.
Nissyo Maru.
No. 1 Yoshida Maru.
Noto Maru.
Oryoku Maru.  See:,,
Pacific Maru.  See:
Rakuyo Maru.  See:
Shinyo Maru.  Torpedoed by submarine USS Paddle.  Of 750 US POWs, 82 survived.  See:
Singapore Maru.
Suzuya Maru (Otaro Maru).  See:
Tamahoko Maru.
Tatsuta Maru.
Teia Maru (Aramis).
Thames Maru.  See:
Tofuku Maru.
Tottori Maru.
Toyama Maru.
Ume maru.
Usuri Maru.
Yuzan Maru.  See:

POW Camps:
Fukuoka 4B, Moji, Japan.  See:
Fukuoka 17, Omuta, Japan.  See:
Mukden, Manchuria.  See:

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Copyright © 2004-2014 by Chris Schaefer.