During World War 2, there were non-Filipinos soldiers who decided not to surrender with some running off to safety and others being cut off in their location at the time of surrender behind Imperial Japanese Army's line. These men chose to serve along the side of their Filipino allies during World War II in the resistance against the Japanese thus becoming guerrillas. This list of men also include those who were inserted through submarines on various Philippine islands. These men were sent there to conduct different intelligent functions most commonly radio operators or coast watchers, but they fought with guerrillas and served beside them as well. These Filipino and American soldiers went through inhumanity and deprivation at the hands of the Japanese who were responsible for transporting them. The Guerrillas also fell subject to horrible torture by the Japanese followed by beheading usually after being forced to dig their own graves.
The American forces situated in the Philippines were largely defeated by an operational plan conducted prewar. If an invasion occurred, this plan involved them declaring Manila an open city, withdrawing onto Bataan and setting up a defensive line as they waited for supplies and reinforcements to come from certain US locations. This was known as Plan Orange and it was declared once the US Pacific Fleet arrived. However, the Japanese ruled this possibility out with their precautionary strike on the fleet’s Pearl Harbor base in 1941, December 7. Even though Plan Orange required the US forces to hold out on Corregidor and Bataan for roughly 6 months as they waited for reinforcements, the rations stored on the Peninsula were not enough to sustain a large force for a sufficient period. The troops did not have enough supplies to keep them going beyond a few months.
General MacArthur carried out Plan Orange with the belief that assistance was on the way but President Franklin Roosevelt had already written off the Philippine Islands just before Christmas as a gesture of support of the War happening in Europe. The American airmen, sailors, and soldiers who were in the Philippines and their Filipino charges were deserted without any knowledge of it. They held out against the Japanese for weeks as their supplies continued to dwindle and it was not long until they were living on starvation rations. In March 1942, President Roosevelt ordered Gen MacArthur personally to go to Australia to plan for a relief force that would save the men he was abandoning under protest. Before leaving, Gen. Macarthur told Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, who was his successor that he was not to surrender regardless of the circumstances. Wainwright honored this command for as long as it was humanly possible.
Guerrilla forces had already begun forming even prior to the initial surrender of the US forces in the Philippines, more specifically in 1942, April 9 AT Bataan. Major Claude A. Thorp, with General MacArthur’s approval in 1942, January 27, directed a group of roughly 2 Filipinas and 12 Americans evading past Japanese lines situated in Bataan to set up a Guerrilla headquarters located in the Zambales Mountains. On February 18 of the same year, this small beginning was fortified when a PT boat was sent over with Major Llewellyn Barbour along with a radio transmitter, some supplies, and five more men to Botolan. They hired guides from this point to lead them to Thorp’s Guerrilla headquarters across the Zambales Mountains.
These Guerrilla forces all through the Philippine Islands made brave efforts which ended up impeding the Japanese severely. They also assisted the US forces significantly during the period of Philippine liberation in 1944 and 1945. Many officers including Lieutenant General Kreuger and General MacArthur, have expressed their gratitude to the guerrillas for their efforts and described how they reduced the casualties to the liberating forces and accelerated the liberation. Shortly after General Macarthur came to Australia in March of 1942, he started planning for the organization of Guerrillas in the Philippines. His first effort involved evaluation of the available leadership and forces and encouragement of any extra organization required. The plan involved providing submarines for the delivery of supplies such as radios, ammunition, and arms to the forces with the necessary organization and leadership. Guerrillas were given the order to focus on gathering information and providing reports to the Japanese. Additionally, they were given instructions to preserve civil order and avoid taking any significant actions against Japanese forces, which could cause retaliation against the Filipino civilians. At times, the submarines would bring back evacuees on their return trips to Australia.
General Macarthur’s Australian headquarters was known referred to as General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, abbreviated as GHQ SWPA. The Intelligence Section of his headquarters also referred to as G-2 comprised of the AIB or Allied Intelligence Bureau. The PRS or Philippine Regional Section was created in May 1943 as a section of AIB and tasked with the coordination of any activities in the Philippines. General Macarthur contacted the Pentagon and asked that Lt. Cdr. Charles Parsons, whom he used to know in Manila, be sent to the GHQ SWPA immediately. Parsons was then assigned to the PRS and became actively involved in the organization of submarine operations with the aim of supporting the guerrillas located in the Philippines. He supervised a large number of the operations personally and many times he would insert and extract himself. The Japanese then caught wind of Charles Parson’s activities and placed a high reward on his head (dead or alive).
Wendell Fertig centralized the Guerilla forces on Mindanao and GHQ SWPA recognized these forces officially in February 1943 as the 10th Military District. This became one of the most organized guerrilla forces in all the Philippine Islands.
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