MacArthur said, "After the fall of Corregidor and the southern
islands, organized resistance to the Japanese in the Philippines had supposedly
come to an end. In reality, it had never ended. I had expected and laid plans
long before for an underground struggle by guerilla forces against the Japanese
army of occupation. I was certain that a great number of those indomitable
defenders of Bataan and Corregidor had escaped into the mountains and jungle
that they were already at work against the enemy. Unfortunately, for some time I
could learn nothing of these activities. A deep, black pall of silence settled
over the whole archipelago.
Two months after the fall of the Manila Bay defenses, a brief and pathetic message from a weak sending station on Luzon was brought to me. Short as it was, it lifted the curtain of silence and uncertainty and disclosed the start of a human drama with few parallels in military history. I knew, after that message, that my estimate of the moral fiber of the Filipino people was correct. The fire and the spirit of this indomitable nation burned as brightly as ever. I knew that the remnants of my soldiers were not abandoning the fight while they lived and had the means. The words of that message warmed my heart. “Your victorious return is the nightly subject of prayer in every Filipino home.” I had acquired a force behind the Japanese lines that would have a far-reaching effect on the war in the days to come. Let no man misunderstand the meaning of that message from the Philippines. Here was a people, in one of the most tragic hours of human history, bereft of all reason for hope and without material support, endeavoring, despite the stern realities confronting them, to hold aloft the flaming force of liberty. I recognized the spontaneous movement of a free people to resist the physical and spiritual shackles with which the enemy sought to bind them. It was a poignant moment.
Unhappily, the sender of that first message, Lieutenant Colonel Guillermo Nakar, a former battalion commander of the 14th Infantry of the Philippine forces, was caught by the Japanese, tortured and beheaded. He wasn’t the first and he wasn’t to be the last to die in the struggle, but for every patriot who thus went to a horrible and lonely death, a new leader rose to carry on the fight. The word passed from island to island and from barrio to barrio. From Aparri in the north to Zamboanga in the south, the fire of resistance to the invader spread. Whole divisions of Japanese troops that the Emperor badly needed elsewhere were deployed against phantom enemy units. Not many times in recorded history has the world witnessed a spectacle such as the struggle that now ensued. A strong and ruthless force, at times using barbaric methods, was never able to completely conquer this simple, brave people armed with very little more than courage and faith in the promise that we would return."
Sergeant Leo M. Giron of the 978th signal service company of the United States Army accounts the recruitment of Filipino Americans to fight in the Philippine war. "During the outbreak of World War II many Filipinos volunteered for service. The outpouring was so creditable that orders were issued to activate the First Filipino Infantry Regiment in Salinas, California effective July 13, 1942 and the Second Filipino Infantry Regiment November 21, 1942. The First and Second Filipino Infantry was once one division with the strength of 12,000 men, three regiments, plus other special companies. In addition, out of these 12,000 men, about 1,000 were selected for special missions. This force of fighting Filipinos was known as the First Reconnaissance Battalion and was activated November 20, 1944. This included the 978th signal service company, which was identified with the Allied Intelligence Bureau.
These men and officers were called Commandos and “Bahala Na” (Come what may) was their slogan. As part of General Douglas MacArthur’s secret force, they were dropped behind enemy lines and became the eyes and ears of General MacArthur.
These men were trained in communication techniques such as Morse code, wig-wag (flare signals), cyma four, cryptography and paraphrasing. They were also trained to shoot a carbine and a .45 and some hand-to-hand combat."
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WW II in Zambales
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