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Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, 26th Cavalry (PS) (Read 18484 times)
Carol Merrill Miller
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Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, 26th Cavalry (PS)
Sep 17th, 2004, 5:23pm
 
Dear Sirs; I am the only grandaughter of Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, of the 26th Cavalry.  I am searching for any information regarding him, good or bad!  I never met him, and my own father, Cushing Jack Merrill (Gyle's only son) passed away when I was 11, so I have not even been able to find out when and where my grandfather passed away.  Please email me at millerfarm@earthlink.net
Thank you, Carol Merrill Miller
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« Last Edit: Apr 12th, 2005, 1:01pm by Editor-at-Large »  
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Malcolm Decker
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill
Reply #1 - Sep 19th, 2004, 8:45pm
 
I have written a book about my father's group the 155th Provisional Battalion on Luzon. There are several other books that mention your grandfather. One by Robert Lampham and Bernard Norling, "Lapham's Raiders, Guerrillas in the Philipines 1942-1945."

Your Grandfather was the recognized leader of American forces on Luzon during the war. He had a headquarter with at least two executive officers and several others that worked with him.
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Chris Schaefer
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill
Reply #2 - Sep 20th, 2004, 12:18pm
 
My book, "Bataan Diary," will be out in October, and it contains a good deal of information about Colonel Gyles Merrill during the war.  Most of the information in the book came from documents found at the Indiana Historical Society, the National Archives, and the MacArthur Memorial; and from interviews.  Send me an e-mail (ccsch@ix.netcom.com) and I will be sure you get a copy of "Bataan Diary" as soon as it is available.

Colonel Gyles Merrill escaped from the Death March and was taken to Fassoth's camp.  As more people came into the camp he struck off on his own and hid for a time in the fishponds at the north end of Manila Bay, where he was joined by several other American escapees.  Eventually, he ordered all of the officers in Fassoth's camp to come join him--some did, but others went their own way.

He stayed for a while at the Jingco plantation near Natividad, Pampanga, and was in contact with Colonel Claude Thorp.  On Sept. 1, 1942, he, his officers, and one private moved back into the jungle on the west side of the Zambales Mountains where they remained for most of the war.  In 1943 he made contact with the Chinese underground in Manila, apparently through Captain Ramon Magsaysay.  Early in 1944 he was briefly in contact with Colonel Marcario Peralta's guerrillas on Panay.

As MacArthur's forces approached the Philippines late in 1944, Colonel Merrill sent out notices to Americans he knew of who commanded guerrilla forces, and ordered them all to come to his headquarters for a planning meeting.  These various leaders, including Lapham, Major Edwin Ramsey, Major Bernard Anderson, and others who had been on their own for three years, refused to recognize Colonel Merrill's authority, leading to several personal disagreements as you might imagine.  Capt. Magsaysay, however, continued to work under Colonel Merrill, and his men effectively drove the Japanese garrisons off the Zambales coast before MacArthur's 11th Corps landed there.  Once the Philippines were liberated, Colonel Merrill recommended that Magsaysay be appointed provisional governor of Zamabales.  Magsaysay later became President of the Philippines.  Colonel Merrill, as far as I know, returned to the U.S. and retired.  I would certainly be interested in any additional information you might have, or be able to locate, about him.
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Carol Merrill Miller
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill
Reply #3 - Sep 20th, 2004, 1:17pm
 
Mr. Decker, I appreciate your response, and look forward to reading your book.  

Through the Philippine Scouts website, I was able to gather the idea to search the Veterans Death's site, and finally, after years of searching, three days ago I found out when and where my grandfather passed away and where he is buried.  Col. Gyles Merrill died 7/11/1954 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetary.  My brother and I are so thankful for the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society.

While I understand veterans might hesitate to share anything negative about a deceased veteran, my brother and I know that there were some controversial aspects of our grandfather: but history should be truth and the only men who know the truth are those he served with.  The first Merrill in America settled in Massachusetts in 1638, my great-grandfather Samuel (Gyle's father) wrote the geneology book "Merrill Memorial", but all the information about our family stops at the book, and we would love to fill in the blanks. If anyone has any information about Gyle's widow Anne, who passed away in El Paso in 1971, that would also be appreciated.

God Bless all of you veterans
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Carol Merrill Miller
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill
Reply #4 - Sep 20th, 2004, 1:32pm
 
Mr. Schaefer,
I posted my last response before I realized another response had been posted.  To have found a source like yours that is unquestionably honest and straighforward is exactly what I had been hoping for.  I know that my grandfather must have been an extremely autocratic individual, from the scarce personal knowledge my brother and I were passed on, my own father left home at 16 because of the extreme strictness of my grandfather.  But whatever the history is, it is facinating to my brother and I.  I would be happy to share information with you, I will be alerting my brother to also respond because he does have some more information.
I would be honored to read your book.

Carol Merrill Miller
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debbie
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, 26th Cavalry (PS)
Reply #5 - Aug 10th, 2010, 8:24pm
 
Dear Sirs:  I just wanted to correct my cousin's statement made in earlier emails.  Carol is not the only granddaughter of Gyles Merrill.  My mother Barbara was his daughter although he did give her away when she was little, having no use for a daughter, and kept his son, my Uncle Jack.  His first wife's,(he divorced her) name was Helen Morton Moore and she died in 1924.  Gyles abandoned them when my mother was very young. So you see Gyles Merrill has two grand daughters and four grandsons.  We are proud of the work he did during WWII and would be interested in anything you have on his contributions.  Sincerely, Debbie Scully Kuennen
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Chris_Schaefer
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, 26th Cavalry (PS)
Reply #6 - Aug 11th, 2010, 2:31pm
 
Hi, Debbie.

If you have not read it already, get a copy of my book "Bataan Diary," published in 2004.  There is a good deal of information on Col. Merrill, beginning with the Death March.  It is available for the Kindle reader, at Amazon.com.
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Robersabel
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Re: Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill, 26th Cavalry (PS)
Reply #7 - Apr 22nd, 2011, 11:22am
 
Understand Lt. Col. Gyles Merrill lead a number of Americans that escaped and joined the fight as guerillas.
One such combatant was Pvt. Hayden R. Lawrence a former member of the 17th Ordnance Company (Armored).
He was captured and tortured to death.
In the process of preparing paperwork for NOK to posthumous award Lawrence what is due.
Appreciate information regarding Colonel Merrill's activity during the period of 10 May 1942 to 23 September 1943.

Robert
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