Childhood Memories of the Philippine Scouts
A letter from Colonel Burton F. Hood, Jr., Ret.
Gentlemen of the Philippine Scouts:
My memories of the Philippine Scouts date back to 1924-26, but there may be some faint memories of that period still existant. My father, Captain Burton F. Hood USA arrived in Manila in 1924. He was initially assigned to a headquarters in Manila, but in 1925 he was reassigned to the 45th Inf(PS) in Camp John Hay. I believe that he was assigned to Company A of the PS. A Captain Larry Myers commanded company B. The post commander was a Major Garfinkle.
I was only a small boy 5 or 6 years old, at that time, but the adventure of living there is still fresh in my mind. About once a month the companies laid aside their native uniforms and the troops dressed out in their native garb. With their shields and head axes, this made quite an exciting sight for a boy. Eventually, my mother made me a small US officers uniform that I wore continually. One day, an American Congressman, Mr Maas, saw me strutting around in my uniform, and he was so impressed that he promised me, on the spot, that when the time came, he would award me with an appointment to West Point. Many of the soldiers in my Dad's company adopted me and took me on hikes around the reservation. I also remember that once a month the mess sergeant brought over to our quarters, a steaming bowl of bake beans--I still love baked beans.
There were about 10 kids living on the post so we did not have a school. But a Mrs. Icard took it on to organize a school and we all attended. Mrs. Icard promoted me several times, but when we left for the USA I still was illerate, and had to do a lot of catching up at my first school in Iowa. Eventually I did catch up to my grade level and managed to graduate from high school with honors. Unfortunately, Mr Maas had alzheimers disease and I had to make it to West Point through the National Guard. I graduated in 1943, served in Europe in the infantry, then later, two tours in Viet Nam.
I have enjoyed the history and information your Group has gathered about the Philippine Scouts. I always knew that the Scouts would give a very good account of themselves in WWII, and your accounts bears out my confidence.
Burton F. Hood, Jr.
Colonel USA Ret.
Last modified: 11-May-2007