Tag Roger B. Hilsman

May 25, 1942

Lt. Col. Jesse T. Trayvick USA, Wainwright’s emissary traveling under a flag of truce accompanied by a representative of Gen. Homma, did not find difficulties delivering the “surrender orders” to Visayas-Mindanao USFIP CG, W. F. Sharp who, in turn, immediately issued written surrender orders to all his subordinates:  B/Gen. Albert Christie, Panay; Col. Roger Hilsman, Negros; Col. Irvin Schrader, Cebu; Col. Arthur Grimes, Bohol and Col. Ted Carrol, Samar-Leyte.  It is reported that all USA personnel and a few hundred Filipinos surrendered in compliance with Gen. Wainwright’s orders but many PA units led by their O’s, specially in Panay and Negros refused to surrender.  In Panay where the bulk of the 61st Div. is assigned are my classmates Lts. Amos Francia, Ramon Gelvezon and Pedro M Yap who believe Gen. Wainwright had no more authority to give orders after he became a POW.  Apparently, they were able to convince their Philippine superiors like Majors Macario Peralta and Nick Velarde and so when their Div. Comdr. Christie told them about the surrender at Mt. Baloy, Peralta and Velarde categorically replied their refusal stating their plans to continue to fight the enemy.  Gen. Christie seemed to understand and even left the remaining funds to the Div. Fin. O.  Meanwhile, in Negros my classmates there are Lts. Uldarico Baclagon, Abenir Bornales and Epifanio Segovia and they also were able to convince their superiors, Captains Ernesto Mata and Salvador Abcede, to disregard the surrender orders of Col. Hillsman.  In Southern Luzon and Bicol Area, surrender emissary B/Gen. G. Francisco delivered the orders and like in the Visayas, only the Americans and a few Filipino USFIP members complied and surrendered.


March 16, 1942 — Monday

At 1:30 a.m. Colonel Nieto woke me up to show me a telegram informing us that five enemy ships accompanied by a submarine flashing a light were ashore in Gasan, Marinduque. I told him not to awake the President and hold it for this morning. Got up as usual at 6:30 a.m. More telegrams kept on coming informing us that two enemy destroyers were in the Tanon Strait, one holding the southern end and the other inspecting from North to South.

At 9:30 a.m. we left Panubigan for Buenos Aires as the President fears a possible landing. I had luncheon with Colonel Hilsman in his headquarters and we discussed the situation. He was quite alarmed at the apparent coolness of General Chynoweth when he presented to him the serious need for more ammunition and automatic weapons. I ask him where General Chynoweth was and I was informed that he had arrived at Bacolod yesterday and had left for Cebu last night. When I arrived at Buenos Aires the President asked me what information I could give him. I told him the gist of my conference with Colonel Hilsman.

At 5 p.m. I went by car with Colonel Nieto and the District Engineer to see the new road constructed in a few days uniting Buenos Aires to La Castellana without passing Maao and La Carlota.

At 9 a.m. the following message was received from General MacArthur. Quote: “Col. Hilsman, 318 Report desired on the Military Situation at San Carlos and Negros in General stop What steps do you suggest should be taken looking toward safety of Don stop Immediate reply desired MacArthur.”

When I returned from my conference with Hilsman he phoned me that our boat The Princess of Negros had been taken by the Japanese destroyer after shelling the town of San Carlos. The President was very angry and ordered the arrest of Captain Panopio for having deserted his ship.

March 15, 1942 — Sunday

Attended Mass and received Holy Communion. We received news of destroyers (enemy) moving on the east coast of Cebu. In the afternoon we received a flash that an enemy destroyer was patrolling the channel between Guimaras and Negros. Stopped a while in front of Pulupandan. Vice-President Osmeña suggested we leave early. I tried to delay the departure to obtain more news. Two enemy planes flew twice over our house apparently observation planes trying to examine the coasts for ships. At 6:15 p.m. we left for San Carlos. When we were near Vallehermosa I saw a Philippine Army Lieutenant and two enlisted men looking at the Tanon Channel/Strait. I inquired from them if they had any news. They said that an enemy cruiser had entered the Southern portion of the Tanon strait and had anchored in front of Tampi. Two enemy planes were circling over the ship. Suddenly one of them dove into the sea and disappeared. Probably due to engine trouble.

We proceeded to Vallehermosa and went to the Headquarters of the unit commanded by Colonel Ballesteros. The information given was confirmed. They further told me that our boat the Princess of Negros had left San Carlos and was hiding behind Refugio Island. We proceeded to San Carlos. When we arrived I received two telegrams one from Colonel Hilsman advising us that the trip was not safe, and another from President Quezon ordering us to cancel trip. We saw the Captain Panopio of the boat and he told us that he would try to escape and hide the boat elsewhere.

We returned to Panubigan at 9:30 p.m. Flashes kept on coming, keeping us awake till 1:00 a.m.

March 14, 1942 — Saturday

We have been receiving flashes about movements of enemy warships in the Visayan waters. Kept busy keeping in contact with Colonel Hilsman and other units. Vice President Osmeña arrived and after due conference with the President it was decided that he and I should go to Cebu to study the places where the houses for the President and party should be constructed in case we transfer there.

March 11, 1942 — Wednesday

Attended Mass and received Holy Communion. At 10 p.m. I went to Buenavista Rest House to send a radio to General Chynoweth and phone Colonel Hilsman. Returned to Panubigan 12 p.m. After luncheon I returned to Buenavista Rest House to work with Captain Salazar in coding some messages to be sent. Returned to Panubigan at 7:30 p.m. When I gave the President a radio message [from MacArthur] expressing his distress over his illness and praying for his recovery, he became quite happy. “That man certainly loves me,” he said.

I Retired early.

(Note: We received a radio from General MacArthur that Philippine Army officers, will receive the pay of U.S. Army officers.)

March 10, 1942 — Tuesday

Got up at 12:30 a.m. to give Captain Salazar the code. Served at Mass and took Holy communion. At 10 a.m. left with Chaplain Ortiz and Captain Salazar to Buenos Aires. On the road we met Colonel Hilsman and Captain Mason who were on their way to Panubigan. I told them that the President was sick and unable to talk so they turned around and I rode with them as far as La Granja. We dropped Captain Salazar at La Granja to decode the telegrams brought by the Colonel. Chaplain Ortiz and I proceeded to Buenos Aires and then to Bacolod where we had to buy some things. At 5 p.m. I returned to Buenos Aires Colonel Hilsman’s car was waiting for me. While in Silay I visited the concentration camp for Japanese, Germany and Italians. They had no complaint and were well treated. There I saw Belloti and Bigardi.

At 6:30 p.m. I met Colonel Hilsman at La Carlota and we went to the Sugar Central where we were the guests of Mr. & Mrs. Fritz Von Kauffman for supper. Mrs. Kauffman (Amalia) was surprised and happy to see me. I was once their family physician. The little girl I had so often treated is already eleven years old. The dinner was excellent. At 9:30 p.m. I left, dropped Colonel Hilsman and Captain Mason at their Headquarters at La Granja and then proceeded to Panubigan arriving there at 11:30 p.m.

March 6, 1942 — Friday

The President bought a second hand Cadillac for himself. He asked me to accompany him to go to La Granja to see Colonel Hilsman at 5 p.m. I did. We came back in time for dinner.(6:40 p.m.). After dinner we went out again to the Maao Sugar Central. On our way back we met the USSAFFE car on the road returning from Buenos Aires. When I told him so, he ordered our car to turn around and pursue it. That was a wild chase. We did not reach it. We returned to the Maao Central and he made me phone Colonel Hilsman to inquire the contents of the telegrams that he had sent. I was told that one was in code, the other only informing about two Japanese transports were seen at 5 p.m. off the coast of Gasan, Marinduque on the way to Mindoro. This began to worry him. He insisted that the report was wrong, and that very probably those transports were coming towards Visayas to arrest him. No amount of discussion would make him change his mind. Finally he asked me to instruct Colonel Hilsman to wire the Constabulary Lieutenant at Boac for verification. Fortunately, the coded radiogram was from General MacArthur informing us that all was quiet and that the enemy had disembarked troops in the northern part of Mindoro, undoubtedly to enforce the blockade of Verde Island passage. This quieted him a little and he retired at 12:40 a.m. At 3 a.m. the wire from Boac arrived informing that the two Japanese transports were coming from the South and were heading towards the northern part of Mindoro. This coincided with General MacArthur’s report.

March 2, 1942 — Monday

I attended to the trip of Manolin, Delgado and Abad Santos with Sergeant Villahermosa. I ordered Manolin to go to Dumaguete to ask Captain Macon U.S. Army for a truck to take our baggage to Bacolod. Fortunately, the car of Governor Lizares which the President used on this trip was returning home and Manolin, Delgado and Abad Santos were able to ride in it. They left after the luncheon.

The President and his family with Colonel Nieto and myself, Chaplain Ortiz, and Lieutenant Salazar left Bais Sugar Central at 5 p.m. for Negros Occidental. We had dinner on the mountain road (sandwiches). We met Colonel Hilsman and Captain Mason on the road and they accompanied us. We arrived at Buenos Aires, summer home of the late Don Jorge Araneta, at about 11 p.m. A nice place. The President and family occupy the second floor. We are lodged in the ground floor where there are 5 small rooms. I selected a small room for myself. It is very nice.

February 27, 1942 — Friday

Left Mr. Enrique Montilla’s house at Isabela at 10 a.m. for San Carlos, Oriental Negros. Arrived at Panubigan at 12 noon, where luncheon had been prepared in the rest house. Colonel Hilsman, Captain Mason and Captain Jones were waiting for us. Left Panubigan at 1:15 p.m. Arrived at the house of Juanito Ledesma at The Hacienda Fortuna at 2:20 p.m. No one was in the house except a lady cousin.

The President and his family stayed to rest and I drove to San Carlos to look for General Villanueva as the President wanted to confer with him. On the road, I met Nieto and Soriano and I asked them to come with me. We found him with the Provincial Treasurer. Then we went to the Hacienda San Jose of the Tabacalera where I met the manager Mr. Miguel Aguirre and the Assistant Manager Mr. Buenaventura Duran. They agreed to prepare dinner for the party. Returned to The Hacienda Fortuna. Saw the race horses of Mr. Ledesma. While there the President changed all plans. Instead of taking the boat at San Carlos and proceeding to Cebu via Toledo, he decided to let Vice President Osmeña, the Chief Justice and the rest of the party proceed, while he and his family with Nieto, Salazar and I go to Bais Sugar Central at Tanjay. After dinner we left for Bais.

February 26, 1942 — Thursday

Spent morning and afternoon in the same place. At 5 p.m. we left for Isabela where we arrived at about 7 p.m. We were met by Mrs. Jesusa Lacson vda. de Arroyo, and Mr. & Mrs. Enrique Montilla, in whose house we were lodged. Major Soriano, Colonel Nieto and myself were given a comfortable room downstairs near the swimming pool. The President invited Colonel Hilsman & Captain Mason for dinner.