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Did Americans work with the Filipino resistance in WWII?

11/5/2013 • Ask Mr. History

Dear Sir:

Where there any Americans in the Filipino Resistance during WWII, such as US soldiers that might have escaped captivity or just Americans who were living in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion and joined the local resistance?

Thank You


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Dear Brandon,

There were indeed a number of American military and civilian personnel who took refuge in the forests and mountains of the Philippines and those who could worked with Filipino resistance groups. An “Undercover” department piece in the May 2004 issue of World War II described the most prominent of them, Lt. Col. Wendell W. Fertig who, following the surrender of Brig. Gen. William F. Sharp’s forces on Mindanao in May 1942, led some fellow diehards into the hills, promoted himself to brigadier general and led the resistance forces there until the liberation.

(Editor’s note: SeeLiberating Los Banos Internment Campfor information on combined Filipino-American efforts to save the prisoners there. The March/April 2012 issue of World War II magazine carried a story, “Moving Target,” about an American family fleeing for their lives after Imperial Japan ocuppied the Philippines.)



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History


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One Response to Did Americans work with the Filipino resistance in WWII?

  1. John Reichlein says:

    Re Gerald Swick’s (11/5/2013) question: were there any Americans who worked with the W.W. II Filipino resistance. It is very important to point out the contribution made by Claire (Snyder) Phillips (see her coauthored book, “Manila Espionage”). There were others, unknown and unrecognized, but she comes readily to my mind for the following reasons: (1) she is a recognized alumnus of Franklin High School, Portland, Oregon, my alma mater (source: “FHSAA Distinguished Alumni Order of the Kite Recipients”, franklinhighalumni.org/about-alumni), and, (2) references made about Claire Phillips in several scholarly publications, as for example, the Summer, 2015, edition of: “Oregon Historical Quarterly” (Vol. 116, No. 2, p. 242).
    I would appreciate it if you would print this as a tribute to her memory and the unaccounted for others who were part of the W.W. II Filipino Resistance. John Reichlein

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