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Source of Photo:

Ifugao

Ifugao Soldiers

Source: Ms. AURELIA BALLITOC, daughter-in-law of Pfc, VICENTE BINAY_UG BALLITOC response to a request by M.E. Embry who applied the highlights in the essay

From: AURELIA BALLITOC <xxxx>
Subject: Re: military records of Mr. Ballitoc
To:
maria.embry@sbcglobal.net
Date: Wednesday,
September 2, 2009, 2:39 AM

HERE IS ONE OF THE MANY BATTLES HE HAD FOUGHT:


                  I.   
THE BATTLE OF THE MAYOYAO RIDGE

     THE BATTLE FOR MAYOYAO RIDGE, MAYOYAO
IFUGAO WAS THE MOST FURIOUS BATTLE FOUGHT IN THE EASTERN BONTOC/EASTERN IFUGAO CAMPAIGN. THE 1ST BATTALION, COMPOSED OF "HQ" Co; "A" "B" OF WHICH PRIVATE 1st CLASS VICENTE BINAY_UG BALLITOC IS AN ACTIVE MEMBER,"C" and "D" COMPANIES SPEARHEADING TROOPS OF THE 1st BATTALION, 11th INFANTRY,USAFIP-NL to which they were attached, closed in on the enemy at 1100 hours after 20 P-38 planes delivered an air strike on the enemy positions at the ridge on 31 July 1945.

     At 1500 hours, a Japanese force with one MG positioned on the southern end of the ridge at (12.7-53) east of Mayoyao Central, attacked "B" Company advancing towards the end of the ridge, while another enemy unit in the eastern slope of the same ridge snipped at the men of "B" company who were in the center of the ridge.PVT 1st Class Vicente Ballitoc was  second man from left.Undaunted by the enemy's determination to hold their line, the attacking forces pressed forward until the Japanese were forced to withdraw from their well-prepared positions.

    At 2200 hours, 2 August 1945, an enemy force of undetermined strength armed with three MGs launched another determined counterattack in a vain attempt to hit the elements of the 11th Infantry from the rear, but it was repulsed, the Japanese leaving several dead.

   Mayoyao was defended by a force at 400 to 500 in positions along the main trail to Mayoyao and by another force of about 200 in Central Mayoyao itself.
 

   At exactly 1020 hours,on 7 August 1945 the apex of Mayoyao Ridge which was the key to Mayoyao  fell. This led to to the withdrawal of the Japanese force defending Mayoyao leaving only a small force to defend Mayoyao Central.

   On the eve of August 9, 1945, Mayoyao fell to the 11th Infantry Regiments ending the Eastern Bontoc/Ifugao campaign.

NOTE: The diary is just a partial record, apparently written before the battle at the Mayoyao Ridge.

           II. WAR DIARY 
1945

January 4,1945-
Volkman set this day for USAFIP-NL Demolition Day. Demolition missions were given  to concentrate on roads, bridges,airfields and communication facilities linking Japanese garrisons or strong points so as to effectively isolate them from each other.

January 19,1945-1st Bn of the 11th Infantry  USAFIP-NL where I belong   
                captured Babuyan in northern Cagayan.I feared Malaria so I
                did not drink water taken from the swamp or river. I drank
                rain water instead.

January 23,1945-Battle of San Mateo Bridge, between Laoag and Sarrat,
                Ilocos Norte. My companions of the 1st Bn,"B" Company
                burned the San Mateo Bridge then laid an ambush position
                for hundreds of Japanese troops moving eastward along the
                Laoag-Sarrat Road in an effort to reach Solsona town and
                move farther eastward in the northern Cordilleras for a
                possible link-up with Japanese units in Cagayan Province.
                The engagement was almost fought for 12 hours and thank God Almighty, no one among was killed,only wounded. Around  30 Japanese were killed but it could be more. We don't have the time to count accurately.

February 26,1945- Enemy rushing to Cervantes from Bessang Pass garrison
                  counter attacked but repulsed.
                - "L" Co.,121st Infantry, "D" Co., 66th Infantry and my
                  company "B" 11th Infantry consolidated to form the GHQ
                  Provisional Battalion under
Capt. Serafin V. Elizondo.

February 27,1945- The Philippine Commonwealth Government was formally returned to Manila.
General McArthur installed Sergio Osmena Sr as president without a vice president...

February 28, 1945- Japanese recaptured Cervantes town

APRIL 12, 1945- My companions in 1st Bn,"b" Co., 11th Infantry seized and
                occupied the town of Iguig, North of Tuguegarao, Cagayan
                Province. Thank God, I was about to be shot in the leg but
                by miracle, the bullet whizzed past me and hit a tree
                instead.Thank you God for saving me once again...Please go
                with us as we moved on....

June 16 ,1945-Lt.
Col Daniel Donald D. Blackburn, Regimantal Commander,
               11th Infantry, USAFIP-NL alerted  us for an attack to
               capture Tuguegarao, capital town of Cagayan Province.We were
               deployed west of the Cagayan River up to Kalinga and Bontoc.
               Blackburn set June 20 as the day of attack.

June 17, 1945- 66th Infantry Regimental Headquarters established at Comillas.My battalion moved towards Mankayan town with the 3rd Bn, providing left security while 2nd Bn was in reserve.3rd Bn started aggressively patrolling from Mt. Malaya.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/veterans-recall-japanese-occupation-ifugao

Veterans recall Japanese occupation in Ifugao

September 9, 2009

By Vency D. Bulayungan

KIANGAN, IFUGAO -- Hundreds of veterans and their sons and daughters converged in this historic town recently to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the surrender of Japanese forces here.

Alejandro Puguon, 85, the District Commander of the Veterans Association in the province recalled the treatment of the Japanese occupation back in 1943-46.

“The Japanese were friendly to us here in Kiangan and I do not remember of any maltreatment they have shown when we were under them,” he said.

Puguon, a medical aide then, said he usually went with the Japanese company to the battle ground to treat the wounded or give them first aide. He attributed the good treatment to the leadership of then Mayor Jose Dulinayan.

He said Dulinayan knew how to deal with the Japanese forces in order to save the guerillas.

Puguon calls Dulinayan a “manyana for the manyanas” since he was excellent in delaying the plans of the Japanese forces in going after the Filipino guerillas who were hiding in the mountains by giving wrong information to the Japanese.

However, Puguon admitted that there was cruelty inflicted by the Japanese in the neighboring town of Lagawe where the Japanese let people drink plenty of water then stepped on them.

"It was a gruesome scenario that one cannot tolerate to watch," he said.

Puguon recalled that the Japanese were very strict in implementing rules and regulations such as curfew hours. You cannot see any person walking during the curfew hours with the fear of being hurt by the said forces, he said.

He also said the Japanese forces burned schools thus the first missionaries have to construct makeshift tents just to educate the people.

All of these ended when General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered to the American and Filipino forces in Hungduan here and was brought down to Kiangan where he signed his formal surrender.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 10, 2009.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/regions/view/20090203-187233

 

They came to appease the dead and living

By Ben Moses Ebreo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

02/03/2009

 

KIANGAN, Ifugao –a group of Japanese officials on 1/30/2009 paid respects to their dead in a Buddhist ceremony called the okyo, which is similar to Ifugao’s bogwa (bone washing)…the skeletal remains of 509 Japanese soldiers who died during WWII were burned. The bones were retrieved & collected from different provinces and burned on the grounds of the Kiangan Central School in Barangay Poblacion. …Enryo Sugiwaka, the Buddhist high priest who led the okyo, said the ritual was meant to free the soul of the dead soldiers so these would return to their country. It was also aimed to bring peace of mind to their families and loved ones, he said…. “The bogwa culture of the Cordillera helped us a lot since we can easily identify that the bones we dug up belong to Japanese soldiers because Cordillerans gather the remains of their dead and place them inside their houses. Definitely, the bones that we retrieved were 80 percent Japanese,” Santos Bayucca said….war artifacts dug up with the bones – metal helmets, bullets, dog tags, a machinegun, a samurai sword, medicine bottles, belt buckles, hand grenades and water bags – revealed more information….Among the important finds was a power generator believed to belong to Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, a top commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in Asia during World War II. Yamashita surrendered to American forces in Kiangan in 1945. With a report from EV Espiritu

Source of photo:

Igorots

Igorot Soldiers

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Pursuant to Title 17 U.S.C. 107, other copyrighted work is provided for educational purposes, research, critical comment, or debate without profit or payment. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner