Guerrillas in the Philippines

    This web page is intended to provide information about non-Filipinos that did not to surrender in 1942.  Some "headed for the hills" rather than surrender and others had been cut off behind Japanese lines at the time of surrender in their location.  These men served alongside their Filipino friends in the resistance movement against the Japanese during World War II.  They became "Guerrillas".  The list also includes some men that were inserted on various islands of the Philippines via submarines.  Those men were intended to perform various intelligence functions (mostly "coast watchers" or radio operators) but they served alongside, and fought with, guerrillas - so they are rightfully included here.

    Even before the first surrender of U.S. Forces in the Philippines (at Bataan on April 9, 1942) guerrilla forces had begun to develop in the Philippines.  On January 27, 1942, with the approval of Gen. MacArthur, a group of about 12 Americans and 2 Filipinas headed by Major Claude A. Thorp slipped through Japanese lines on Bataan to establish a guerrilla headquarters in the Zambales Mountains.  This meager beginning was reinforced on February 18, 1942 when Maj. Llewellyn Barbour (with five more men, some supplies and a radio transmitter) was sent by PT boat to Botolan (24 miles NW of Mt. Pinatubo).  From there, they hired guides to lead them across the Zambales Mountains to Thorp's guerrilla headquarters.

    The efforts of the brave Guerrilla forces throughout the Philippine Islands severely hampered the Japanese and greatly assisted US forces as they liberated the Philippines in 1944 and 1945.  Many officers from Gen. MacArthur, Lt. Gen. Kreuger and others on down the line have written their gratitude for the efforts of these guerrillas and described how they expedited the liberation and significantly reduced casualties to the liberating forces.

    Unfortunately records for these guerrillas are scarce.  I hope this file will help descendants of guerrillas find leads to information that will tell them more about their guerrilla relative.

    Click on Guerrillas in the Philippines to see a chart listing all guerrillas found so far.  The file is large, so give it plenty of time to load.  The chart may be too wide for your screen.  If so, use the scroll bar at the bottom to view the right portions.  Another solution is to change the "View" or "Zoom" setting.

    Soon after Gen. MacArthur arrived in Australia in March 1942, he began planning for guerrilla organization in the Philippines.  The first effort was to evaluate the forces and leadership available and to encourage additional organization as needed.  Then the plan was to provide submarines to deliver arms, ammunition, radios and other supplies to those forces that had the necessary leadership and organization.  Guerrillas were ordered to concentrate on gathering and reporting information about Japanese.  Also, they were instructed to maintain civil order and not to take any significant action against the Japanese that could cause reprisals against Filipino civilians.  Submarines sometimes brought evacuees back to Australia on their return trips.

    Gen. MacArthur's headquarters in Australia was know as GHQ SWPA (General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area).  The G-2 (Intelligence) Section of this headquarters included the Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB).  In May 1943 The Philippine Regional Section (PRS) was created as part of AIB and given the task of coordinating all activities in the Philippines.  When Gen. MacArthur learned that Lt. Cdr. Charles "Chick" Parsons, whom he had known in Manila,  had gotten to the USA, he contacted the Pentagon and requested that Parsons be sent to GHQ SWPA as soon as possible.  Parsons was assigned to PRS and became deeply involved in planning submarine operations in support of guerrillas in the Philippines.  He personally supervised most of the operations; "inserting" and "extracting" himself many times.  The Japanese became aware of Chick Parsons and placed a very high reward on killing or capturing him - a reward they never got to pay.

    Click on Guerrilla Submarines to see a chart showing submarine missions to the Philippines.  The chart includes a column with information about the location of the rendezvous.  The first line of each entry contains the geographic coordinates of the rendezvous.  Use the coordinates to see where the rendezvous took place.  Just copy the coordinates (using "Ctrl" and "C" buttons of your computer keyboard) and paste them into the "Search" box of Google Earth (using "Ctrl" and "V" buttons).  If the satellite view is in too close, just zoom out as needed.  Google Earth is a free download.  If you need instructions for obtaining this software, look at the "Viewing Satellite Images of POW Camps and Related Sites" heading on the main page of this web site.

    Guerrilla forces on Mindanao were consolidated by Col. Wendell Fertig and GHQ SWPA officially recognized this force as "10th Military District" in February 1943.  This was one of he best organized guerrilla forces in the Philippine Islands.  To see the structure of the 10th Military District, click on Command Structure.

    Chris Schaefer has a list of guerrilla organizations in the Philippines posted on his Bataan Diary web site.  The list includes a brief discussion of each guerrilla unit and names the leaders of each unit.  To see this list, click on, and then click on "Guerrillas and Underground".

                    END OF GUERRILLAS MAIN PAGE