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First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments (Read 15053 times)
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First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Feb 06th, 2005, 11:46am
 
The First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments were formed in California in 1942, consisting of Filipinos who were not in the islands when the Japanese attacked and Filipino-American volunteers. The units were part of the Army of the United States and trained at Camp Luis Obispo, Fort Ord, Camp Beale, and Camp Roberts, California through mid-1943.

Around April 1943, General Courtney Whitney flew to California from MacArthur's headquarters in Australia, and selected several hundred men out of this organization to be brought to Australia for training in intelligence gathering, radio operations, weather observation and sabotage. They were formed into coast watcher and "penetration" teams that went into the Philippines ahead of the U.S. invasion.

Many of these fine soldiers were integrated into Philippine Scout units following the war and all of them fought side by side with Scouts during the liberation of the Philippines. The Philippine Scouts Heritage Society invites veterans of these two units, as well as their families and friends to join our Society.  Message board comments on these regiments are encouraged.

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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2005, 12:47pm
 
AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH SELECTED
FOR NATIONAL BROADCAST ON PBS

HONOLULU/WASHINGTON D.C. -  The filmmakers of the award-winning documentary, AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH, which tells the story of the U.S. Army’s 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, have just received word that PBS has accepted the film for its national primetime schedule.  

PBS has scheduled the documentary to air on Memorial Day May 30 at 10 p.m.  following a repeat broadcast of the American Experience program “Bataan Rescue.”  AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH includes a retelling of the Bataan Death March from the Filipino soldier’s perspective.

Major funding for AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH was provided by the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA).  NAATA is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and presents stories that convey the richness and diversity of the Asian Pacific American experience.

The film was co-written by Izon and Hawaii filmmaker Stephanie J. Castillo.  Castillo also served as an associate producer on the project along with associate writer/humanities scholar Linda Revilla of Sacramento, California and project director Domingo Los Banos of Pearl City.  Veteran Simeon Amor of Honolulu was the project’s regiment historian.  The film's director of photography was Academy Award-winning cinematographer Chris Li of Washington D.C.  It will be presented on PBS by NAATA.

AN UNTOLD TRIUMPH illuminates the most important period in the history of Filipinos in America when more than 7,000 immigrants and sons of immigrants rallied and joined the fight for freedom after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the immediate invasion of the Philippines by  Japanese military forces.  Most were trained as infantry troops in California; a select group was handpicked and given specialized training in Australia for reconnaissance and espionage.  Together, they were General MacArthur’s “secret weapon”, an indispensable asset of Filipino soldiers and commandos to help him make good on his promise to return to the Philippines and rid it of the Japanese occupiers.  

For Los Banos, who was the project’s chief fundraiser, this is a dream come true.  He and the team struggled for eight years to get this film made.  Los Banos was part of the 1st Regiment and part of a cadre of 50 “Hawaii boys” who helped do the dirty work of “mopping up” the Japanese soldiers holding out in the mountains of Samar and Leyte.  

“We are delighted with this news, because we wanted to produce a product worthy of public television.  We are deeply grateful for the many organizations, institutions and individuals who through the eight years supported us with their donations, making it possible to complete this documentary,” said Los Banos.  Most of the $500,000 raised to make the film came from Hawaii.

“And I would like to pay special tribute to the production team for their excellent efforts. This is a fitting tribute to each of the members of the 1st and 2nd regiments and their families, especially to those men who made the supreme sacrifice in the Philippine campaign,” he said.

Finishing the film also honors the memory of director Izon’s father who on his deathbed made his son promise to finish the film.  Esmeraldo Izon was a member of the Philippine guerillas officially recognized by the U.S. armed forces and served as a member of the Philippine underground press during the war.

The film is narrated by actor Lou Diamond Phillips.   Being half Filipino, Phillips saw this film as his story as well and has expressed his willingness to support the film’s broadcast premiere.  

“It took a team of committed Filipino American filmmakers to care enough to persevere and finish this film,” says Castillo.  “With it, we hope that all Americans will feel a pride in our Filipino American soldiers who are indeed among what has been called ‘the greatest generation’.”

PBS will broadcast a one-hour version of the film.   The Director’s cut along with an extended DVD version will be available later in the year.

Izon’s director’s cut had its world premiere on November 4, 2002 at the Hawaii International Film Festival where it won the “BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO Audience Award for Best Documentary.”  It has gone on to win many other awards and recognition, including a Silver Telly, An Omni Award, A Pamana Legacy Award and an Accolade Award.

It was shown to an overflow crowd at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in January 2003 and went on to show in dozens of cities and at film festivals across the country. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the Dallas Asian Film Festival and was an Official Selection of the San Francisco and the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festivals. It was the Closing Night film for the Rhode Island Film Festival.

Upcoming screenings in the next few month are scheduled for Las Vegas, New Jersey, Philadelphia and on May 1st at the US-Asean Film and Photography Festival where it is one of three nominated documentaries.

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« Last Edit: Mar 4th, 2005, 10:40am by Editor-at-Large »  

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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #2 - Feb 12th, 2005, 2:23pm
 
The award-winning documentary “An Untold Triumph” is tentatively scheduled for showing on PBS stations May 9 at 10 p.m. following a repeat broadcast of the American Experience program “Bataan Rescue.”  “An Untold Triump” includes a retelling of the Bataan Death March from the Filipino soldier’s perspective.  This story of the WWII exploits of the First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments was produced and directed by Filipino-American Noel “Sonny” Izon.  In an e-mail to me, Izon states that “one of our major characters is Colonel Daniel Ledda, a Philippine Scout Bataan Death March survivor.  He is still alive.

Former Philippine Scout Felipe Fernandez contributed the following concerning Col. Ledda:

A  Col. Daniel Ledda that I know is a Philippine Military Academy Graduate. If this is the same Ledda, he did not  become a Philippine Scout until 1946 when the 86th US Army Division operated an Officer's candidate school. The officers who came from this school became the bulk of the officer corp of the 12 Infantry Division  (PS) organized thereafter. Ledda was assigned as adjutant. Last time I saw him was in 1949  when he was adjutant in 8135th service unit at Clark Field. He may have marched the 'Death March' as a Philippine Army Officer.

He was detailed with the Office of the Adjutant General of the 12th Infantry Division (PS) in 1946. If I could get in touch with him I might locate other officers whom I associated with  such as Malate, Ortega, Guiang and others. I lost tract of them when the Division was disbanded in 1949.

- Felipe
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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #3 - Feb 15th, 2005, 11:38am
 
Felipe Fernandez's recollections about Col. Ledda are all accurate.  He was at PMA in Baguio, a senior when the war broke out.  He was commissioned as an officer, wounded at Bataan and was one of the defenders at Bataan and a survivor of the death march.  In my film, I used Col. Ledda to provide a perspective on the Philippine situation.  It was the bravery and sacrifices of men like Col. Ledda that inspired the Fliipino Americans to enlist in droves and to push for an all Filipino unit in the US army to help retake the Philippines.  After the war, as a Philippine Scout, he was the given the option of becoming a US citizen and coming to the US for further military service.  He went on to serve in the Korean War and the war in Vietnam.  He retired a full colonel and retired in Santa Maria CA.  He will be moving to Sacramento shortly to live with his son Derek.

Sonny Izon

Contributed by the producer/director of the documentary.  Editor
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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #4 - Mar 23rd, 2006, 6:39pm
 
Thank You so much for this site!!, I have been searching for years for information about my fathers unit.  He was a member of the Philippine first regimen.   He shared with us many stories of his time in the service during ww2.  He never forgot those who fought beside him and the hardships the scouts endured.  Which I will not get into.  My father would have been so happy to know a site was dedicated to those Filipino Scouts and Not forgotten for all that they gave.
Thank You
On behalf of my Father ,
Juan Malate Cabantoy  39136961
Date of enlistment July 15, 1943
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On behalf of my Father ,
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Date of enlistment July 15, 1943
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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2006, 6:45pm
 
Quote:
The award-winning documentary “An Untold Triumph” is tentatively scheduled for showing on PBS stations May 9 at 10 p.m. following a repeat broadcast of the American Experience program “Bataan Rescue.”  “An Untold Triump” includes a retelling of the Bataan Death March from the Filipino soldier’s perspective.  This story of the WWII exploits of the First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments was produced and directed by Filipino-American Noel “Sonny” Izon.  In an e-mail to me, Izon states that “one of our major characters is Colonel Daniel Ledda, a Philippine Scout Bataan Death March survivor.  He is still alive.

Former Philippine Scout Felipe Fernandez contributed the following concerning Col. Ledda:

A  Col. Daniel Ledda that I know is a Philippine Military Academy Graduate. If this is the same Ledda, he did not  become a Philippine Scout until 1946 when the 86th US Army Division operated an Officer's candidate school. The officers who came from this school became the bulk of the officer corp of the 12 Infantry Division  (PS) organized thereafter. Ledda was assigned as adjutant. Last time I saw him was in 1949  when he was adjutant in 8135th service unit at Clark Field. He may have marched the 'Death March' as a Philippine Army Officer.

He was detailed with the Office of the Adjutant General of the 12th Infantry Division (PS) in 1946. If I could get in touch with him I might locate other officers whom I associated with  such as Malate, Ortega, Guiang and others. I lost tract of them when the Division was disbanded in 1949.

Just curious,  you mention above knowing "Malate" was wondering if possibly Juan Malate? Cabantoy or relation?
I'm researching information about my fathers participation in WW2
Thank YOu
JCabantoy
- Felipe

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Re: First & Second Filipino Infantry Regiments
Reply #6 - May 31st, 2007, 9:06am
 
Just joined this site after stumbling onto it by accident. It seems my Dad was in the first regiment. Family folklore suggests that he was one of the coast watchers, transfered via a submarine, etc. He was from Luna and met my Mom in San Fernando. I've got his service records somewhere and will dig into them.
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