How Filipino WWII Soldiers Were Written Out of History by Rosie Cima

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How Filipino WWII Soldiers Were Written Out of History This post was written by Rosie Cima. You can follow her on Twitter here. Original Link: https://priceonomics.com/how-filipino-soldiers-were-written-out-of-the/ American and Filipino officers in the USAFFE in World War II (U.S. Army) From 1941-1944, hundreds of thousands of Filipino soldiers fought and died under the command of American generals against the Japanese in the Philippines. This struggle included one of the worst military defeats in U.S. history, and a grisly period of imprisonment and occupation. In exchange for their service in the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), Filipino soldiers were promised American citizenship and full veterans benefits. But Congress and President Truman reneged this offer in 1946. Only four thousand Filipino war veterans, out of an estimated 200,000 who survived the war, were able to get citizenship before the retraction was signed into law. You didn’t sleep through this section of US History. It was never taught. The role of Filipino soldiers in WWII has largely been erased from the history books. Building a Philippine Army In 1941, the United States suspected war with Japan was imminent. Whether they ‘knew’ Japan would strike Pearl Harbor is a matter of debate, but Japan had expanded its assaults to American allies. The Imperial Japanese objective was domination of all of Asia, and, having conquered Korea, parts of Russia, China and Taiwan, many of the countries that remained were colonial holdings of Western nations. According to an article in Salon: “[Roosevelt’s] administration had adopted the objective of defeating all the Axis powers and had begun the military and the economic planning to achieve it. He had shared that objective publicly with the American people, a large majority of whom now accepted war as inevitable.” The Philippines was a large American holding in the South Pacific. And what’s more, it was vulnerable. The Philippine army circa 1936 (Wikipedia) At the start of 1941, the Philippines had a meager army. It was a commonwealth of the United States from 1935 to 1946, and the US government was stewarding the archipelago's transition from a territory of the United States into an independent nation. Part of that transition should have involved amassing a Filipino military -- to replace the U.S. forces that had guarded the Philippines when it was a territory. But development of such a force was slow. Had the Japanese attacked the Philippines in January 1941, eleven months before Pearl Harbor, they would have encountered a few thousand American troops and a few thousand Filipinos. Which is why, in the summer of 1941, following the 1940 Japanese capture of French Indochina, the U.S. started recruiting a Philippine defense force like crazy. For the first few decades of the 20th century, because the U.S. “owned” the Philippines, Filipinos were considered U.S. “nationals.” U.S. nationals can work and reside in the U.S. without restriction, carry a U.S. passport, and apply for citizenship under the same rules as other resident foreigners. As a result, in 1940, there were about 45,000 Filipinos in the United States, most of them service-aged, male farm and factory laborers. Military service was then, as it is now, one of the shorter and more reliable paths for an alien to achieve citizenship. From 1941 to the end of the war, the government streamlined the hell out of that path. Filipino men were recruited into the U.S. military and given citizenship in mass naturalization ceremonies. Nearly one third of draft-age Filipinos in the continental U.S. volunteered for the Army. “When I reported to Los Angeles,” one Filipino-American WWII veteran is quoted in the book Filipino American Lives, “they swore me in as a U.S. citizen. I did not even have to file an application.” But the U.S. also recruited different branches of Philippine defenders from within the Philippines. Many of these individuals, and the Filipino immigrants who enlisted in the continental U.S., were motivated by a desire to protect the Philippines, their home, from an attack by the Imperial Japanese. Filipino soldiers in basic training (US Army) But the United States government sweetened the deal: President Roosevelt promised U.S. citizenship and full veterans benefits to Filipinos who took up arms against the Japanese. By late November, the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) was formed as the merger of the Philippine Commonwealth army and the US Armed Forces stationed in the Philippines. General Douglas MacArthur was made commander of the USAFFE. Ultimately, the allied forces in the Philippine campaign from 1941-1942 consisted of 120,000 Filipino troops and 30,000 American troops, some of whom were Filipino Americans. 8 Hours After Pearl Harbor The USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor … [Read more...]

On Bataan, a 26th Cavalry Troop, consisting mostly of Filipino Troopers and led by Lt. Edwin Ramsey performed the last U.S. Cavalry horse mounted charge to engage an enemy in warfare.

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U.S. Philippine Cavalry Scouts at the 2017 Pasadena Rose Parade. California, USA. On Bataan, a 26th Cavalry Troop, consisting mostly of Filipino Troopers and led by Lt. Edwin Ramsey performed the last U.S. Cavalry horse mounted charge to engage an enemy in warfare. This charge occurred at the town of Morong, Bataan on January 16, 1942.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVCZrg-xQxo&feature=share 26th Cavalry Regiment (PS) Link to original site: http://www.philippine-scouts.org/the-scouts/regiments-units-bases/26th-cavalry-regiment-ps.html Original coat-of-arms for the 26th Cavalry (PS), courtesy of First Sergeant Charles Aresta (USA Ret.). The red and white mantling signifies that the unit was originally formed from Field Artillery personnel.   History   The 26th Cavalry was formed in 1922, at Fort Stotsenburg, Pampanga Philippines from elements of the 25th Field Artillery Regiment and the 43d Infantry Regiment (PS). The regiment was based there, with the exception of Troop F (which was based at Nichols Field). In addition to horse mounted troops, the regiment had an HQ Troop, a Machine Gun Troop, a platoon of six Indiana White M1 Scout Cars and trucks for transporting service elements. Scout Cars of the 26th Cavalry (PS), 1937.   On November 30th 1941, the Regiment had 787 Filipino Enlisted Men and 55 American Officers. For the rosters of the 26th Cavalry Regt., please click here. Captain John Wheeler leading the Machine Gun Troop of the 26th Cavalry Regiment (PS) prior to the Japanese invasion. From the cover of the March/April 1943 issue of "The Cavalry Journal".   After the Japanese invasion on December 8, 1941, the 26th participated in the Allied withdrawal to the Bataan Peninsula. In doing so, the unit conducted a classic delaying action that allowed other, less mobile, units to safely withdraw to the peninsula. During the delaying action the 26th provided the "stoutest and only" serious opposition of the withdrawal. In the initial landings of the Japanese Imperial Army invasion, the Regiment alone delayed the advance of four enemy infantry regiments for six hours at Damortis, a town in the Lingayen Gulf, and on December 24 repulsed a tank assault at the town of Binalonan, Pangasinan. However, the resistance was not without cost, as by the end of that day, the Regiment had been reduced down to 450 men. Colorized photo of Capt. John Wheeler's troopers. Photo appeared in Life Magazine in 1941. Colorized by Sean Conejos.   Following these events, the Regiment was pulled off the line and brought back up to a strength of 657 men, who in January 1942 held open the roadways to the Bataan Peninsula allowing other units to prepare for their stand there. 26th Cavalrymen pass an M3 tank, December 1941.   On Bataan, a 26th Cavalry Troop, consisting mostly of Filipino Troopers and led by Lt. Edwin Ramsey performed the last U.S. Cavalry horse mounted charge to engage an enemy in warfare. This charge occurred at the town of Morong, Bataan on January 16, 1942. Lt. Edwin Ramsey on Brynn Awryn prior to the beginning of WWII. He led the last wartime U.S. Cavalry charge. Col. Edwin Ramsey recounts how the Last Cavalry Charge came about.   Following this, due to a shortage of food, their mounts were butchered and the regiment was converted into two squadrons, one a motorized rifle squadron, the other a mechanized squadron utilizing the remaining scout cars and Bren carriers. Other actions of the 26th Cavalry are; Following the delaying action down the central Luzon plain, 26th Cavalry Troop C was cut off from the rest of the Regiment, having been ordered into Northern Luzon in an attempt to defend Baguio by Major General Wainwright in late December 1941. In January 1942, the unit, with assistance from 71st Infantry and elements of the 11th Infantry raided Tuguegarao Airfield, destroying several planes and causing enemy casualties. Eventually the unit was supplemented by other soldiers and guerrillas, and remained an effective fighting force well into 1943. The remnants of Troop C would later be integrated into the United States Army Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon. Other guerrilla organizations were led by Officers of the regiment like Lt. Edwin Ramsey who ignored the surrender orders (and other Filipino enlisted men) who escaped from Bataan to form a substantial guerrilla resistance force against the Japanese Imperial Army. Rudy Cabigas, a retired San Jose Fire Department Captain, representing a Filipino trooper of the legendary 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts. His father and uncle served with the 26th.        … [Read more...]

Memorare Manila 1945 Monument. Dedicated to the over 100,000 Civilian Filipino’s killed by Japanese Troops and American Bombing

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Memorare Manila 1945 Monument Courtesy of: http://malacanang.gov.ph/75085-briefer-memorare-manila-1945-monument/   The Memorare – Manila 1945 Monument commemorates the lives lost during the battle for the liberation of Manila, waged by Filipino and American forces against Imperial Japanese troops from February 3, 1945, to March 3, 1945. The monument was unveiled on February 18, 1995. It stands at the center of Intramuros, in Plaza de Sta. Isabel at the corner of General Luna and Anda Streets. It was constructed mainly through the efforts of the Memorare – Manila 1945 Foundation Inc., a private, non-profit organization founded by the civilian survivors of the Battle of Manila and their descendants. Sculpted by Peter de Guzman, the monument’s main feature is the figure of a hooded woman slumped on the ground in great despair for the lifeless child she cradles in her arms. Six suffering figures surround her, a glimpse of the great despair brought about by the gruesome massacres that were perpetrated all over the city inflicted by Imperial Japanese soldiers on civilians during the liberation of the city. The inscription on the base was penned by Nick Joaquin, National Artist for Literature: This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or never even knew a grave at all, their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins. Let this monument be a gravestone for each and every one of the over 100,000 men, women, children and infants killed in Manila during its battle of liberation, Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945. We have never forgotten them. Nor shall we ever forget. May they rest in peace as part now of the sacred ground of this city: The Manila of our affection. February 18, 1995.” … [Read more...]

World War 2 U.S. Army’s 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, 2nd Regiment receiving “Bolo” knives in a special ceremony.

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World War 2 U.S. Army's 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, 2nd Regiment receiving "Bolo" knives in a special ceremony. In the annual 1943 yearbook of the U.S. Army's 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, this page featured the 2nd Regiment receiving "Bolo" knives in a special ceremony. This took place in 1943 at their training location of Camp Cooke, California. Prominent Los Angeles businessmen visited the "Sulung" Regiment to make this presentation. Receiving their weapons were the officers and senior Non commissioned officers (NCO's). The enlisted personnel had already training with their weapons which had been previously issued. The entire regiment paraded waving their weapons in the air past the regimental staff, dignitaries and visitors. Music was provided by the "Sulung Band" and it was indeed a day to remember for families and their guests. — at Camp Cooke, CA (near Lompoc, CA - now Vandenberg AFB).       … [Read more...]

August 1942 Newsreel: US ARMY 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment

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August 1942 Newsreel: US ARMY 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment Video at this LINK: https://archive.org/details/ARC-38917           … [Read more...]

World War 2 Filipino-American “Bolo” knife fighting during a unit practice. U.S. Army’s 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment.

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World War 2 Filipino-American  "Bolo" knife fighting during a unit practice. U.S. Army's 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment. Photo property of: Community Relations Liaison for 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments and 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (Special), U.S. Army, 1942-1946 https://www.facebook.com/pelagio.valdez?fref=nf   #LagingUnaBoloMatchUp This platoon was assigned to the U.S. Army's 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment. It conducted "Bolo" knife fighting during a unit practice. The regimental commander, Colonel Robert H. Offley authorized that the members of his unit add "Bolos" to their combat inventory. When the 1st Filipino Battalion was formed on April 1, 1942, many inductees who were farmhands in civilian life brought their own field machetes with them to training. In this photo, "Pinoy" soldiers awaited their turn in a large circle. This was like modern day "pugil stick" fighting. In the rear, you can see more soldiers also waiting their turn. This took place at Camp Roberts, California which was a major field training area of the 1st Regiment in 1943. "LAGING UNA" - "ALWAYS FIRST" "SULUNG" - "FORWARD" "BAHALA NA!" - "COME WHAT MAY!" "IN HONOR OF OUR FATHERS!" "74TH ANNIVERSARY (1942-2016)"     1st Filipino Infantry Regimental Headquarters Camp San Luis Obispo … [Read more...]

WORLD WAR 2 SOLDIER JUMPING TOWARDS CAMERA WITH BOLO KNIFE/MACHETE DURING TRAINING MANEUVERS AT SAN LOUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA ON 27 MARCH 1944.

SOLDIER JUMPING TOWARDS CAMERA WITH BOLO KNIFE/MACHETE DURING TRAINING MANEUVERS AT SAN LOUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA ON 27 MARCH 1944. Photo property of: http://www.ww2online.org/image/soldier-jumping-towards-camera-bolo-knifemachete-during-training-maneuvers-san-louis-obispo       1014. Photograph. Soldier jumping towards camera with Bolo knife/machete during training maneuvers. “3-27-44. Allen. Sgt John Petarsky, Bat B 506 AAA Bn wastes no time in rushing the enemy. Sgt Petarsky is squad leader of an Ambush Squad. Photo taken during a Division problem near Morro Bay Calif. 168-L-44-1086.” Army Signal Corps photograph. Photographer: Allen. Camp San Louis Obispo, California. 27 March 1944   DATE: 27 Mar 1944- LOCATION: Morro Bay HOMETOWN: BRANCH: Army … [Read more...]

Book: USAFFE by Poweleit, Alvin C., M.D., Major, U.S. Army Medical Corps (Ret.)

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USAFFE by Poweleit, Alvin C., M.D., Major, U.S. Army Medical Corps (Ret.) (Author) USAFFE, the loyal Americans and faithful Filipinos: A saga of atrocities perpetrated during the fall of the Philippines, the Bataan Death March, and Japanese imprisonment and survival Hardcover – 1975 Title USAFFE, the loyal Americans and faithful Filipinos : a saga of atrocities perpetrated during the fall of the Philippines, the Bataan Death March, and Japanese imprisonment and survival / by Alvin C. Poweleit. Subject Poweleit, Alvin C. World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Philippines. World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, Japanese. World War, 1939-1945--Health aspects. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American. Description Wartime diary of the American Surgeon of the Provisional Tank Group, from arrival in the Philippines through the battles for the defense of the Philippines, the Death March, prisoner of war experiences and liberation. Poweleit was a reserve officer called to active duty in 1940, and attached to the 192nd Tank Battalion; he arrived in the Philippines less than a month before the war started. He was with the tank men from the start of the war through the surrender of Bataan; imprisoned in Camp O’Donnell, Cabanatuan and other camps, and then moved to Taiwan in September 1944, where he stayed till the end of the war. The book is not a verbatim publication of his diary proper, but has added information taken from post-war sources. He also recounts the other hell ships and the Palawan Massacre. Creator Poweleit, Alvin C. Publisher [s.l.] : Poweleit, c1975 Date 1975 Format 24 x 16 cm. Type Hardbound Call Number D 767.4 .P68 1975 Accession Number 13978 Pagination vii, 182 p. Illustration ill., maps Keywords Poweleit, Alvin C.; World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Philippines.; World War, 1939-1945--Health aspects.; World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.; World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, Japanese. Collection Diaries Citation Poweleit, Alvin C., “USAFFE, the loyal Americans and faithful Filipinos : a saga of atrocities perpetrated during the fall of the Philippines, the Bataan Death March, and Japanese imprisonment and survival / by Alvin C. Poweleit.,” FHL - Roderick Hall Collection, accessed January 30, 2016, http://rodhall.filipinaslibrary.org.ph/items/show/933.   -----   United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) was a military formation of the United States Army active from 1941 to 1946. The new command's headquarters was created on July 26, 1941, at No. 1, Calle Victoria, Manila, Luzon, the Philippines, with General Douglas MacArthur as commander. The Chief of Staff was Brigadier General Richard K. Sutherland and the Deputy Chief of Staff was Lieutenant ColonelRichard J. Marshall. The core of this command (including MacArthur, Marshall, and Sutherland) was drawn from the Office of the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government.         … [Read more...]

WW2: Liberation That Destroyed: The End of Manila, Queen of the Pacific By HECHO AYER:

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Liberation That Destroyed: The End of Manila, Queen of the Pacific   By HECHO AYER: https://hechoayer.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/liberation-that-destroyed-the-end-of-manila-queen-of-the-pacific/ An Insult to Religious Filipinos' Sensibilities: Nuns Being Rounded Up by Japanese Soldiers (http://img51.imageshack.us/i/image005wn.jpg/) With no applause, but with artillery fire, American bombs, Japanese lust and death, Manila, Queen of the Pacific, made her inglorious bow to the world in February 1945. Iconic Photo of an American Tank Forcing Its Entry Into For Santiago, Once Impenetrable (AHC) In a single month, what was built for centuries to being Asia’s first and genuine melting pot was destroyed and forever erased from the world. The capital city of the Philippines became the stage for not only bodily massacre but also, spiritual, cultural, artistic and national eradication. It was in 9 January 1945 when Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger arrived in Lingayen Gulf, Pangasinan in what would become a United States campaign to recapture the Philippines from Japanese claws. By the end of January, much progress has been made by the Americans in reaching the outskirts of Manila namely that of Tagaytay and Nasugbu. They began to make their way up north to Manila. American Tank Inspects Intramuros' Ruins. Notice the Walls of Sto. Domingo (AHC) Backside of Once Marvelous Sto. Domingo Church (AHC) The Manila Post Office (Where my Great Grandfather was Post Master General Before the War) (AHC) On the other hand, the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese mission to the Philippines, General Yamashita, has moved his headquarters to Baguio. He gave specific orders to make Manila an “Open City” and to simply destroy bridges and other critical infrastructures that may aid the Americans. He had no intention, whatsoever, of keeping Manila. However, Rear Admiral Iwabuchi Sanji disobeyed the orders of his superior and launched a bloody and diabolical campaign to “defend” Manila to the end. With his motley group of Japanese soldiers, a month of suffering and sheer darkness engulfed the city of Manila, victimizing its citizens, its art, its culture, its heritage, its very soul. The Intact Facade of San Francisco Could Have Still Been Restored (AHC) When the Americans were making much advances into the city, the Japanese blew up Manila’s very historic and beautiful bridges, thus virtually dividing Manila into two: the Northern and Southern banks. In the eastern suburbs outside Manila, like Cubao, Kamuning and San Juan, the resistance against the Americans was minimal. My own lola and her two sisters and their mama moved to Cubao during this time precisely because they had a bad feeling of what would happen to Manila during those tense days. All girls, they were luckily spared. They were said to have only witnessed one violent act: the neighbor peeked while the Japanese were making the rounds when suddenly, he was shot in the head by a Jap who saw him. Survivors of Intramuros Try to Escape The Place By Crossing the Pasig (AHC) The National Assembly (AHC) Likewise, although not without giving a good fight, the Japanese were unable to hold on to the northern banks of the Pasig. The areas here were the districts of Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, etc. In 3 February 1945, the US infantry, led by Atenean Manuel Colayco, managed to reach the Allied Internment camp that was actually the University of Santo Tomas’ sprawling campus. Its main building became the prison for around five thousand foreigners and Filipinos. The interment camp was captured the following day. UST Concentration Camp's Liberation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santo_Tomas_Internment_Camp_Liberation_.jpg) The situation, however, at the southern banks of the Pasig was far different. What is considered Manila’s most heavily concentrated area of rich architectural masterpieces, from ancient Spanish intramuros, to the American’s Neo-Classical corridor, as well as genteel Ermita, this area of Manila became the hiding place of the losing Japanese soldiers who became insanely cruel, killing people with no mercy. The Navy Club on Fire, While Letran Being Heavily Attacked by the Americans Since There Were Japanese Hiding Inside (AHC) According to the eminent Dr. Fernando N. Zialcita, my own professor in cultural heritage studies, the remaining soldiers in Manila, a good 10,000 marines, proceeded what would become infamously known as the “Manila Massacre”. Every morning, the soldiers would get heavily drunk before the roamed the city to kill civilians found in the streets. They began to set beautiful Filipino homes on fire (Ermita, Singalong and Malate became the worst hit residential areas), raid schools, kill orphans and even the mentally challenged. Legislative Building Ruins (AHC) Refuge in a Church (from LIFE Magazine) Suddenly, Manila … [Read more...]

The Americans destroyed Manila in 1945 by Ricardo C. Morales, Rappler News

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The Americans destroyed Manila in 1945 By Ricardo C. Morales Courtesy of: http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/82850-americans-destroyed-manila-1945 If the carnage of Manila in 1945 did not happen, we would have had a very different Philippines today. Our momentum ran out and the other nations in Asia eventually surpassed it. DESTROYED. Photo shows the destruction at Intramuros after the Battle of Manila. Photo from the US Army/Wikimedia Commons MANILA, Philippines – It was mainly the United States' casualty-avoidance policy that resulted in unrestrained and indiscriminate application of overwhelming firepower by forces under MacArthur, which caused the utter devastation of Manila and the loss of 100,000 Filipino lives in 1945. The Japanese forces, certainly capable of unequalled brutality and barbarism themselves, also contributed to the outcome, but could not have inflicted the same level of deaths and destruction. This cataclysmic event was a turning point in the development of Filipino society and its effects are more evident today, 70 years after. The figure of 100,000 civilian deaths is a conservative estimate. Some sources cite as high as 240,000. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki onlykilled 70,000 and 40,000, respectively. The firebombing of Dresden killed 25,000. Only the the rape of Nanking in 1937, where Japanese troops murdered 300,000 civilians, eclipses the destruction of Manila which some historians call one of the tragedies of WW2. The immediate U S objectives in Luzon in early 1945 was to rescue the POWs in Cabanatuan and the internees at the University of Santo Tomas. Once these were achieved, the Americans turned their attention to Manila and this time, it appeared, avoiding civilian casualties was no longer a concern. In the liberation of the internees, the Japanese custodial force of 150 were allowed to leave under a flag of truce. That was the only time the Americans attempted to negotiate with the enemy. Not that it would have been easy. The city of one million inhabitants was defended by a fanatical, death-seeking naval officer who had his previous command torpedoed under him in the Guadalcanal campaign. He was, quite literally, dying for payback. WEAPON. The US Army 240mm howitzer was used in action during the battle of Manila. Photo from Wikimedia Commons Armando Ang, in The Brutal Holocaust writes: "According to reliable evidence gathered from prisoners of war, military personnel, Philippine officials and civilians, and Japanese documents, the rape of Manila was not a random act of melee, mayhem and wanton destruction but an act of coldly planned atrocities by the Japanese high command from Tokyo." Even if this were true, it would have been physically impossible to carry out. The Japanese forces in Manila numbered 17,000. Approaching the city from north and south were 35,000 US troops supported by a few thousand Filipino guerillas. Knowing the impending battle they faced, the Japanese would have been intent on saving precious ammunition. Relentless attack Manual methods of execution like beheading, bayonetting and mass incineration were slow and inefficient. The battle took a month – from February 3 to March 3, 1945. Unlike in Nanking (which took place over 6 weeks) where the 50,000 Japanese troops had complete control of the city, in Manila they were under relentless attack by U S troops and Filipino guerillas. Parsons (2008) writes that “The Yanks were using portable howitzers, whereas the Japanese were using bigger guns from all land-based compass points around the city.” This is not accurate. The Americans had bigger guns and more of it. Portable, yes, but also much bigger. They trundled up their behemoth 240 mm howitzers, “the most powerful weapon deployed by US field artillery units during World War II,” versus the heaviest Japanese field piece ever deployed, the 150 mm Type 38, a 1905 design manufactured under license from Krupp. The latter were used in 1942 in the Bataan campaign but there is no record of their use in Manila. Furthermore, to deploy artillery pieces from “all points around the city” pointing inwards would render these guns vulnerable to piece-meal attacks by guerillas or US forces and such an artillery deployment would have been difficult to direct and control. One statistic that blunts the argument of Japanese responsibility is the low number of US deaths. In the Battle of Manila, “.. which culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city… was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater,” the Americans suffered their lowest casualty ratio ever – 1,010 killed out of a total force of 35,000, or less than 3%. Parsons argues further that the high casualty figures could have been part of a deliberate pre-negotiation ploy by the Japanese to discourage an American invasion of Japan, “that … [Read more...]

1945: The Rape of Manila By: Joan Orendain, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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1945: The Rape of Manila By: Joan Orendain, Philippine Daily Inquirer Courtesy of: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/99054/february-1945-the-rape-of-manila DEAD bodies could not be buried as relatives fled the carnage. Photo courtesy of Albert Montilla To this day, much is heard of the Rape of Nanking when the rampaging Japanese Imperial Army killed 300,000 from 1937 to 1938, and raped 20,000 women in that Chinese capital. Pitifully few, though, in the Philippines and even fewer elsewhere, know that in Manila, in February 1945, World War II at its agonizing climax brought forth 100,000 burned, bayoneted, bombed, shelled and shrapneled dead in the span of 28 days.  Unborn babies ripped from their mothers’ wombs provided sport: thrown up in the air and caught, impaled on bayonet tips. With rape on the streets and everywhere else, the Bayview Hotel became Manila’s rape center.  After the dirty deed was done, nipples were sliced off, and bodies bayoneted open from the neck down. William Manchester in his book “American Caesar,” wrote that “Once Rear Adm. Sanji Iwabuchi had decided to defend Manila, the atrocities began, and the longer the battle raged,  the more the Japanese command structure deteriorated, until the uniforms of Nipponese sailors and marines were saturated with Filipino blood. “The devastation of Manila was one of the great tragedies of World War II.  Seventy percent of the utilities, 72 percent of the factories, 80 percent of the southern residential district, and 100 percent of the business district were razed…Hospitals were set afire after their patients had been strapped to their beds.  The corpses of males were mutilated, females of all ages were raped before they were slain, and babies’ eyeballs gouged out and smeared on walls like jelly.” From ‘Pearl’ to rubble The envy of other Far Eastern cities before the war, lovely Manila, a melting pot of four cultures and the acknowledged Pearl of the Orient, turned completely to rubble and smoldering ash, wrack and ruin in the 28 days it gasped its last.  Its face changed forever, national as well as city administrators since then have barely seen to its proper post-war urban planning and reconstruction, with the exception of a few government buildings rebuilt to their original states. (Zoning laws? What’s that?) In dramatic foreshadowing, the Irish Columban priests at Malate Church got a taste of what was to come.  An unknown volunteer worker at the Remedios Hospital wrote that on Dec. 22, 1944, “most beloved” Father Patrick Kelly and Father John Lalor, were taken away by enemy soldiers. On Christmas, Dec. 25, 1944, the priests offered dinner for 200 poor folks.  “We had to put up a brave front with smiles on our faces and lead in our heart.”  The missing priests returned to Malate on Dec. 29 to great rejoicing, but they never talked about what strife they had undergone. A timeline of bloody events as they unfolded helps to remind us that war is hell, through which Manila agonized. Feb. 1, 1945: “Roll out the barrel, Santa Clause is coming,” is the note wrapped in goggles dropped by a plane to starving Allied countries’ civilians interned at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). Feb. 3: American troops arriving from Lingayen liberate the 3,700 interns at UST. Japanese troops commence burning buildings and homes north of Pasig River. Feb. 4: Japanese marines commanded by Rear Adm. Sanji Iwabuchi retreat to Intramuros, blowing up all the bridges across the Pasig. Feb. 9: Ermita and Malate are put to the torch.  Nicanor Reyes’ living room is piled high with furniture and drapes; gasoline is poured over them.  The founder of Far Eastern University and some members of the family burn there after being bayoneted, but young daughter Lourdes who has hidden in a closet, and her wounded mother and aunt, flee to Leveriza to join her grandmother.  Against a wall, the four set up a makeshift shelter with burned GI sheets.  In the shelling, Lourdes’ mother who is shielding her, and her aunt, and grandmother, are killed. Sen. Elpidio Quirino’s wife and two daughters, fleeing to his mother-in-law’s home, are felled by Japanese machine guns. THE BATTLE of Manila left the city in total devastation and killed 100,000 Filipino civilians. Photo courtesy of Albert Montilla Jesus Cabarrus Jr. has shrapnel embedded in his skull to constantly remind him of the terror-filled days in Ermita.  Ordered by enemy troops to converge at nearby Plaza Ferguson, the men are separated from the women and children, and brought to Manila Hotel (where Jesus Sr. and other men become water boys, and where he saw Walter Loving, the Constabulary Band chief, stabbed to death). Hotel turns into hell Wives and children are ordered to Bayview Hotel where the only water is out of toilet water tanks, and females are wantonly raped.  Amid screaming when the building … [Read more...]

70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MANILA by http://www.gov.ph

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70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MANILA by http://www.gov.ph The battle for the liberation of Manila—waged from February 3 to March 3, 1945, between Philippine and American forces, and the Imperial Japanese forces—is widely considered to be one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War. One hundred thousand men, women, and children perished. Architectural heritage was reduced to rubble—the City of Manila was the second most devastated Allied capital of World War II. “The destruction of Manila was one of the greatest tragedies of World War II. Of Allied capitals in those war years, only Warsaw suffered more. Seventy percent of the utilities, 75 percent of the factories, 80 percent of the southern residential district, and 100 percent of the business district was razed.” — William Manchester, author and historian, in American Caesar “We remember them, nor shall we ever forget.” — National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, on the lives taken during the Battle of Manila, in the inscription of the Memorare Manila 1945 Monument in Intramuros Continue reading at: http://www.gov.ph/featured/battle-of-manila/       https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLIcUoXKTZ0KWXjXivC_RK5wwc084lZvsz&v=UdfxZrqvq1c … [Read more...]

Documentary: World War II: Manila Clean-Up (1945)

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http://youtu.be/NtR4UTFQOGM   A month after the 1st Cavalry Division arrived in the Philippines, the battle for Manila’s liberation finally met its conclusion. The wrath of war resulted to the deaths of 100,000 Filipino civilians and the destruction of stunning landmarks that once made Manila the Pearl of the Orient.   In 1995, a monument called the “Memorare-Manila 1945” was placed at Plazuela de Sta. Isabel in Intramuros to remember this dark chapter in country’s history. The inscription, which was penned by National Artist Nick Joaquin, says that “This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or never even knew a grave at all, their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins.”   From: http://www.filipiknow.net/rare-historical-videos-philippines/   … [Read more...]

Documentary: The End of Manila 1945, The Forgotten Atrocity (Warning: Graphic Content)

End of Manila

http://youtu.be/RzmE8H5wiC8   Battle of Manila (1945) The month-long  Battle of Manila in 1945 was one of the bloodiest moments of WWII, killing at least 100, 000 Filipino civilians who were either bombed or bayoneted–some were even burned alive.   It all started when the American forces led by Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur arrived in Manila in January 1945. Their initial goals were to liberate Allied civilians interned at UST as well as seize the Malacañan Palace, which they were able to achieve. Threatened by the advancing American forces, the group under General Tomoyuki Yamashita withdrew to Baguio City. All hell broke loose when Rear Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi refused to surrender and chose to defend the city until death. Historical buildings and bridges were destroyed, Bayview Hotel served as a rape center, and entire row of houses were burned together with their occupants. Thousands of innocent Filipino civilians were killed using the most atrocious of methods–they were massacred with the help of machine guns, katanas, and bayonets. In his book “American Caesar,”  author William Manchester wrote that the “devastation of Manila was one of the great tragedies of World War II. Seventy percent of the utilities, 72 percent of the factories, 80 percent of the southern residential district, and 100 percent of the business district were razed… Hospitals were set afire after their patients had been strapped to their beds. The corpses of males were mutilated, females of all ages were raped before they were slain, andbabies’ eyeballs gouged out and smeared on walls like jelly.”   From: http://www.filipiknow.net/rare-historical-videos-philippines/   … [Read more...]

U.S. Army 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments training in California during World War II.

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U.S. Army 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments training in California during World War II.   http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675053496_Filipino-Infantry_recreational-activities_bolo-knives_Colonel-Robert-Offley   … [Read more...]

BOOK: THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION (Kasaysayan History of the Filipino People Vol 7) by Ricardo T. Jose (1998)

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  The book tells of a dark chapter in the history of the Philippines during World War 2. Publisher: Reader's Digest Author: Ricardo  Jose Pages: 303 Contents: 1. The Zero Hour 2. The Advent of War 3. A Retreat to Bataan 4. The End of Organized Resistance 5. Under the Rising Sun 6. Independence Under Japan 7. Uniting a Nation At War 8. The controlled Economy 9. Never Enough Food 10. Reshaping the Filipino Mind 11. Free Areas and Resistnace Fighters 12. Waiting for Victory Joe     … [Read more...]

BOOK: Retaking the Philippines – America’s Return to Corregidor and Bataan: October 1944 – March 1945 By William B. Brewer.

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Retaking the Philippines - America's Return to Corregidor and Bataan: October 1944 - March 1945. By William B. Brewer. "In 1944, General MacArthur launched a series of invasions he would later call 'the boldest and most daring in military history, ' the recapture of Manila, Corregidor and Bataan in the South Pacific. Here William B. Breuer reexamines and recreates this important episode of World War II: the initial clash between MacArthur and Navy brass; the raids on Japanese prison camps at Los Banos and Manila to rescue U. S. Soldiers and civilians, the heroics of Allied spies and Filipino guerrillas.                       … [Read more...]

U.S. Army: 11 Infantry Regiment. Insignia with Philippine Bolo and Kampilan Swords (March 28 1923) – By The Institute of Heraldry

U.S. Army: 11 Infantry Regiment By The Institute of Heraldry Distinctive Unit Insignia   Description A silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Azure, Satanta's arrow in fess Argent between in chief a castle Or in base a kampilan and bolo in saltire of the second hilted of the third. On a chief embattled of the second a cross Gules. Symbolism The symbolism is that of the coat of arms. Background The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 28 Mar 1923. Coat Of Arms   Blazon Shield Azure, Satanta's arrow in fess Argent between in chief a castle Or in base a kampilan and bolo in saltire of the second hilted of the third. On a chief embattled of the second a cross Gules. Crest On a wreath of the colors a fusil Gules bearing a cross patée Argent charged with an acorn of the first. Motto SEMPER FIDELIS (Always Faithful). Symbolism The shield is blue for infantry. Service in the Spanish War is shown by the castle and in the Indian Wars by Satanta's "arrow." The most important Indian campaign of this regiment was against the Kiowas, Comanches and Cheyenne in 1874. Satanta was a noted Kiowa chief who died just previous to this campaign. His "arrow" was really a spear with feathers on the end and a handle. The kampilan and bolo represent engagements against the Moros of Mindanao and the Filipinos of the Visayas. Service in the World War is shown by the chief bearing the cross of the ancient Lords of Dun to commemorate the crossing of the Meuse at Dun. The embattled partition represents the siege of Chattanooga in 1863. The crest consists of the Civil War badges of the 1st Division, 14th Army Corps and 2d Division, 5th Army Corps, and the World War 5th Division shoulder sleeve insignia. Background The coat of arms was approved on 12 Oct 1920.   … [Read more...]

U.S. Army: 15th Cavalry Regiment. Insignia with Philippine Kris and Kampilan Sword. (6 April 1935) – By The Institute of Heraldry

15th Cavalry Regiment   Distinctive Unit Insignia   Description A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Per fess Gules and Argent in chief a lion passant Or and in base a kris and kampilan saltirewise Sable fimbriated Or. Attached below and to the left of the shield a Gold turning scroll inscribed "TOUS POUR UN" in Red letters. And attached below and to the right of the shield a Gold turning scroll inscribed "UN POUR TOUS" in Red letters. Symbolism The red and white divided shield represents the old Cavalry guidon. The regiment saw good fighting in the Philippines as indicated by the crossed kris and kampilan of the Moro and Lake Lanao campaigns. In the war with Germany, the regiment was in France in the vicinity of Bordeaux and the golden lion is taken from the arms of that city. The translation of the motto "All for one, one for all" is indicative of the spirit , which has made the regiment. Background The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 15th Cavalry on 6 April 1935. It was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized on 10 November 1944. It was redesignated on 21 January 1948, for the 15th Constabulary Squadron. The insignia was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry on 28 November 1958. It was redesignated for the 15th Armor on 13 November 1963. The distinctive unit insignia was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry on 2 August 1968. The insignia was amended to correct the description on 4 October 2002. Coat Of Arms   Blazon Shield Per fess Gules and Argent in chief a lion passant Or and in base a kris and kampilan saltirewise of the first hilted Sable. Crest On a wreath of the colors Argent and Gules a setting sun behind "the Golden Gate" all Proper. Motto TOUS POUR UN, UN POUR TOUS (All For One, One For All). Symbolism Shield The red and white divided shield represents the old Cavalry guidon. The regiment saw good fighting in the Philippines as indicated by the crossed kris and kampilan of the Moro and Lake Lanao campaigns. In the war with Germany, the regiment was in France in the vicinity of Bordeaux and the golden lion is taken from the arms of that city. The translation of the motto "All for one, one for all" is indicative of the spirit , which has made the regiment. Crest The "Golden Gate" is the portico called "through the portals of the past" which is now in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It was one of the few things left standing after the fire of 1906 and was removed and reerected as noted. The birthplace of the regiment is indicated by the crest. Background The coat of arms was originally approved for the 15th Cavalry on 2 November 1921. It was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron on 10 November 1944. It was redesignated on 21 January 1948, for the 15th Constabulary Squadron. The insignia was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry on 28 November 1958. It was redesignated for the 15th Armor on 13 November 1963. The coat of arms was redesignated for the 15th Cavalry on 2 August 1968.   … [Read more...]

U.S. Army: 112 Military Police Battalion. Insignia with Barong Sword. (13 December 1968) – By The Institute of Heraldry

112 Military Police Battalion   Distinctive Unit Insignia   Description A silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in width consisting of a red and blue arrowhead surmounted by a spearhead of white affixed to a green shaft; overall two silver color metal Barongs in saltire. Attached below the device a silver metal scroll inscribed “GUARDIANS OF HONOUR” in black letters. Symbolism The arrowhead alludes to New Guinea, World War II. The spearhead, representative of the arrowhead on the campaign streamer, is indicative of the Battalion’s participation in the assault landing on New Guinea. The crossed Barongs refer to service in the Philippines, World War II. The colors red, white, and blue represent the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation awarded the unit for service in World War II. The blue area is also commemorative of the Distinguished Unit Citation awarded the Battalion. The green is the color of the Military Police Corps. The upright position of the spear further alludes to the capabilities of the Battalion in their current mission. Background The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 13 December 1968. Coat Of Arms   Blazon Shield Or, an arrowhead point up per pale Gules and Azure surmounted by a spear, palewise point to chief Vert fimbriated Argent barb of the last, overall a pair of Barongs in saltire of the like, all within a bordure Green. Crest That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Mississippi Army National Guard: From a wreath Or and Vert, a slip of magnolia full flower with leaves Proper behind a trident Sable. Motto GUARDIANS OF HONOUR. Symbolism Shield The arrowhead and spear, representative of the arrowhead on the campaign streamer, is indicative of the Battalion’s participation in the assault landing on New Guinea during World War II. The crossed Barongs refer to service in the Philippines, World War II. The colors red, white, and blue represent the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation awarded the unit for service in World War II. The blue area is also commemorative of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the Battalion. Green is the color of the Military Police Corps. The upright position of the spear further alludes to the capabilities of the Battalion in their current mission. Crest The crest is that of the Mississippi Army National Guard. Background The coat of arms was approved on 26 January 1998. The insignia was amended to correct the spelling of the motto on 29 January 2009.   … [Read more...]

U.S. Army: 138 Signal Battalion. Insignia with 3 Kampilans. (20 Feb 1962)

138 Signal Battalion   Distinctive Unit Insignia   Description A silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86cm) in height overall consisting of a shield emblazoned: Per pale Tenné and Sable, a pile between a mullet of eight points and three kampilans bendwise in pale Argent. Attached below the shield a silver motto scroll inscribed "SUCCESS OF COMMAND" in black letters. Symbolism Orange and white are the colors used by the Signal Corps. The three kampilans represent the unit’s campaign service in the Philippines and the star is for the award of the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. The searchlight in center suggests one of the functions of the unit. Background The distinctive unit insignia was approved 20 Feb 1962. Coat Of Arms   Blazon Shield Per pale Tenné and Sable, a pile between a mullet of eight points and three kampilans bendwise in pale Argent. Crest That for the regiments and separate battalion of the Indiana National Guard: On a wreath of the colors, Argent and Tenné, a demi-lion rampant Argent, holding in dexter paw a laurel branch Vert. Motto SUCCESS OF COMMAND Symbolism Orange and white are the colors used by the Signal Corps. The three kampilans represent the unit’s campaign service in the Philippines and the star is for the award of the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. The searchlight in center suggests one of the functions of the unit. Background The coat of arms was approved on 20 Feb 1962.   … [Read more...]

United States Military Philippines Command. Philippines Department Insignia. (July 8, 1922) – By The Institute of Heraldry

Philippine Command By The Institute of Heraldry   Shoulder Sleeve Insignia   Description On a blue oval 2 1/2 inches in length by 2 inches in width a white sea lion brandishing a sword in its right paw. Symbolism The sea lion is from the coat of arms of Spain (Aragon) and suggest the Spanish heritage as well as the maritime nature of the area where the command was operational. Background The insignia was originally approved for the Philippines Department on July 8, 1922. It was redesignated for the Philippines-Ryukyus Command on August 14, 1947 and redesignated for the Philippines Command on August 1, 1949. (TIOH Drawing Number A-1-54) … [Read more...]

The 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of World War Two

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  This article was brought to our attention by Guro Hospecio "Bud" Balani, Jr. As it turns out both his father, Hospecio Balbuena Balani, Sr., and his uncle, Martin D. Balbuena, were both members of the Regiment. He also had numerous uncles in the Regiment but to get their names, he'd have to dig deep into the darkest recesses of his mind, and it might get ugly in there. From what he understands, "The United States wanted to be at Regiment strength so they eventually merged the three Battalions into one unit and formed the 1st Filipino Regiment (keeping the First Unit's Patch). Regiments are two or more Battalions, Battalions are three or more Companies. Companies are three or more Platoons. Platoons are three or more Squads. Squads are nine strong. These are just rough estimates. Also, any unit with the spelling of "Philippines" were US Army units that were recruited in the homeland. There were many Philippine Scout units, all in the Philippine islands. Any unit with the spelling of "Filipino", was a unit formed in the United States, with the only units being Laging Una, Sulong and Bahala Na." Saturday, August 14th, 2004 The 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments By David T. Vivit, 1LT, AUS (Ret) Laging Una - Sulung The 1st & 2nd (Laging Una - Sulung) Filipino Infantry Regiments were units of the Army of the United States (AUS) inducted into service during World War II. They were wholly manned by Filipino citizens in this country and Hawaii and officered by both Filipinos and Americans, the only non citizen units in the American Citizen Army. They were similar to the Philippine Scouts in that the latter were also wholly manned by Filipino citizens with both Filipino and American officers, but the similarities ended there. The Scouts were professional soldiers in the Philippine Department of the United States Regular Army (USA). Most of the men were married and enjoyed a high economic and social status in the Philippines in contrast to the mostly single discriminated against (in the U.S.) "laborers" and students of the Filipino Regiments. Each group of Filipino soldiers played important but different roles in World War II. After the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and Clark Field, Filipinos in the U.S. and Hawaii rushed to Army Recruiting Stations to enlist only to be rejected because they were not (US) citizens (Filipinos were not eligible for U.S. citizenship before the war). As residents, however, they were registered under the Draft Law, and when the first Filipino Battalion was activated in San Luis Obispo, California in April 1942, they "volunteered" for the draft instead of waiting for their call. This unique unit was to spearhead MacArthur's liberation forces when he returned to the Philippines. But the military authorities made a great miscalculation! In three months the 1st Filipino Battalion became the 1st Filipino Regiment, activated in Salinas on July 13, 1942 and on October 14th of the same year the 2nd Regiment was activated at Ft. Ord, bringing together a fighting force of more than 7,000 men. If created earlier, the Battalion very well could have become a Division. By the time it was activated hundreds had already joined the Navy and Army Air Corps. With an average age of over 30, they more than made up this overage by their spirit and enthusiasm. In no other units of the AUS in WWII, including the much publicized 442nd Regimental Combat Team (NISEI), was the motivation greater and the morale higher than in the 1st & 2nd Filipino Regiments. About the end of 1942 and in early 1943, these Filipino soldiers became American citizens under a new U.S Naturalization Law in mass oath taking ceremonies which made headlines throughout the country. After two years of intensive training in California without a single Court Martial case, these units went to New Guinea to prepare for their landings in the Philippines. Here the 2nd Regiment was split up into the Counter-Intelligence Units (CIC), the Alamo Scouts and the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit (PCAU) all of which played important roles during the liberation. The 1st Regiment remained intact as a combat team but for some unknown reason was not with the initial landing forces in Leyte. Instead it was relegated to the minor (but more dangerous against a fanatical enemy) role of mopping-up operations in Samar and Leyte. In accomplishing this difficult mission with minimum casualties, it earned the reputation of being the "most decorated regiment in the Pacific". It remained for a "child" of the regiments, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (Bahala Na) known only as "commandos" in the Philippines, whose operations during the occupation had been kept secret until recently, to really "spearhead MacArthur's return to the Islands." But this is a story in itself. More significant than their military feats was their accomplishments in the field of romance. These gallant soldiers literally chased the shy, coy and above … [Read more...]

TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY: AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH SELECTED FOR NATIONAL PRIMETIME BROADCAST ON PBS

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AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH SELECTED FOR NATIONAL PRIMETIME BROADCAST ON PBS HONOLULU/WASHINGTON D.C. - The filmmakers of the award-winning documentary, AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH, which tells the story of the U.S. Army's 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, have just received word that PBS has accepted the film for its national primetime schedule. PBS has scheduled the documentary to air on Memorial Day, May 30, 2005 at 10:00 PM following a repeat broadcast of the American Experience program "Bataan Rescue." AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH includes a retelling of the Bataan Death March from the Filipino soldier's perspective. Major funding for AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH was provided by the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA). NAATA is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and presents stories that convey the richness and diversity of the Asian Pacific American experience. Getting on the national schedule in prime time is almost next to impossible, according to the film's director Noel Izon of Washington D.C. "Unless you have a great series, or your last name happens to be Burns or your program was produced by one of the major PBS stations, getting an independent documentary without those types of credentials into the system is truly a miracle. And I think that's what happened. "We have a lot of guys pulling for us up there. People are looking out for us. God is looking out for us. We have much to be thankful for and we give thanks!" said Izon, whose production credits with PBS go back more than 30 years. The film was co-written by Izon and Hawaii filmmaker Stephanie J. Castillo. Castillo also served as an associate producer on the project along with associate writer/humanities scholar Linda Revilla of Sacramento, California and project director Domingo Los Banos of Pearl City. Veteran Simeon Amor of Honolulu was the project's regiment historian. The film's director of photography was Academy Award-winning cinematographer Chris Li of Washington D.C. It will be presented on PBS by NAATA. AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH illuminates the most important period in the history of Filipinos in America when more than 7,000 immigrants and sons of immigrants rallied and joined the fight for freedom after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the immediate invasion of the Philippines by Japanese military forces. Most were trained as infantry troops in California; a select group was handpicked and given specialized training in Australia for reconnaissance and espionage. Together, they were General MacArthur's "secret weapon", an indispensable asset of Filipino soldiers and commandos to help him make good on his promise to return to the Philippines and rid it of the Japanese occupiers. For Los Banos, who was the project's chief fundraiser, this is a dream come true. He and the team struggled for eight years to get this film made. Los Banos was part of the 1st Regiment and part of a cadre of 50 "Hawaii boys" who helped do the dirty work of "mopping up" the Japanese soldiers holding out in the mountains of Samar and Leyte. "We are delighted with this news, because we wanted to produce a product worthy of public television. We are deeply grateful for the many organizations, institutions and individuals who through the eight years supported us with their donations, making it possible to complete this documentary," said Los Banos. Most of the $500,000 raised to make the film came from Hawaii. "And I would like to pay special tribute to the production team for their excellent efforts. This is a fitting tribute to each of the members of the 1st and 2nd regiments and their families, especially to those men who made the supreme sacrifice in the Philippine campaign," he said. Finishing the film also honors the memory of director Izon's father who on his deathbed made his son promise to finish the film. Esmeraldo Izon was a member of the Philippine guerillas officially recognized by the U.S. armed forces and served as a member of the Philippine underground press during the war. The film is narrated by actor Lou Diamond Phillips. Being half Filipino, Phillips saw this film as his story as well and has expressed his willingness to support the film's broadcast premiere. "It took a team of committed Filipino American filmmakers to care enough to persevere and finish this film," says Castillo. "With it, we hope that all Americans will feel a pride in our Filipino American soldiers who are indeed among what has been called 'the greatest generation'." PBS will broadcast a one-hour version of the film. The Director's cut along with an extended DVD version will be available later in the year. Castillo will join Izon in planning for the PBS broadcast. "On one evening in late May, AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH will enter the living rooms of America and present the heroism and sacrifices of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments. What a great day that will be!" says Izon. "Now, our next job will be to … [Read more...]

Documentary WWII: Battle of Corregidor – The Fight for Manila – Philippines 1942

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http://youtu.be/RYlEC94XgGU   The Battle of Manila - Starts with discussion from 2 Vets memories of the WW2 Japanese invasion and internment of civilians to the military incursion to rescue the civilian prisoners at Santo Tomas and Battle of Corregidor. Battle scenes in Philippines, views of rescued US civilians, street fighting in Manila at Intramuros, bridges destroyed. Destruction of buildings from cannon fire. Japanese were told 'hold Manila or burn it' so it burned. They won by taking Intramuros. The surviving Filipinos from Intramuros did a mass exodus across the river. MacArthur then returned to Manila.   … [Read more...]