Hunter’s ROTC

Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas, “The Unsurrendered”

The Hunters ROTC was a Filipino guerrilla unit active during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, and was the main anti-Japanese guerrilla group active in the area near the Philippine capital of Manila It was created upon the dissolution of the Philippine Military Academy.

Cadet Terry Adevoso and others, refused to simply go home as cadets were ordered to do, and began recruiting fighters willing to undertake guerrilla action against the Japanese.

When war broke out in the Philippines, some 300 Philippine Military Academy(the Philippine West Point) and ROTC cadets, unable to join the USAFFE units because of their youth, banded together in a common desire to contribute to the war effort throughout the Bataan campaign. They worked to protect civilians and to assist the USAFFE forces by way of intelligence and propaganda.

Philippine cadets

After the surrender of American and Filipino forces on Bataan The Hunters ROTC relocated to the Antipolo mountains.
The Hunters originally conducted operations with another guerrilla group called Marking’s Guerrillas, with whom they went about liquidating Japanese spies. Led by Miguel Ver, a PMA cadet, the Hunters raided the enemy-occupied Union College in Manila and seized 130 Enfield rifles.

They were among the most aggressive guerrillas in the war and made the only guerrilla raid on a Japanese prison, Muntinglupa (New Bilibid), to free their captured members and to obtain arms.

Philippine guerrillas

During the Battle of Manila (1945), the Hunters ROTC, under the command of Lt. Col. Emmanuel V. de Ocampo, fought with the U.S. Army from Nasugbu, Batangas to the Manila General Post Office. The Hunters also jointly operated with the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary and the American soldiers and military officers of the United States Army in many operations in Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Tayabas (now. Quezon), including the area of Tagatay Ridge for the 11th Airborne troopers to jump on.

Jay Vanderpool

This force provided intelligence to the liberating forces and took an active role in numerous battles, such as the raid at Los Banos where Jay Vanderpool coordinated with the guerrillas to get the ground forces to the camp.

According to Major Henry Burgess, Comdr. of the 1st Battalion/511th Reg./11th Airborne, “… the guerrillas’ greatest contribution was furnishing the intelligence information about the camp, locating guard posts and guiding Lt. Skau’s reconnaissance platoon into position…”

Children of the original Hunters ROTC

On the other hand, Col. Francisco “Kit” Quesada, a member of Hunters-ROTC, said, “this daring rescue was staged by the well-known Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas, in coordination with the 11th Airborne Division.”

The operation was performed byway of land, sea and air, so therefore, in my personal opinion, it depended on where you were during this mission as to the extent of each unit’s contribution. They ALL deserve to be proud of their accomplishment.

Click on images to enlarge.


Military Humor – 




Farewell Salutes – 

James Barden Sr. – Citrus Heights, CA; US Navy, WWII, PTO USS Alabama

William Carlton – Foam Lake, SK, CAN; RC Army, CWO (Ret.), 1st Can. Para Batt.,Queen’s Own Rifles & PPCLI

Rueben Dockter – CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, aircraft mechanic

Vincent Foley – Sydney, AUS; RA Army, WWII

Henry Gutkoski – Worchester, MA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, gunner’s mate, USS Roamer

Walter Harrell – Lake Wales, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, (Ret. 24 y.)

George LePore – Rochester, NY; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Jack Moore – Dayton, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 pilot / Korea

Wilbert Ranta – Virginia, MN; US Army, WWII

Eugene ‘Mike’ Vecchi – Des Moines, IA; US Navy, WWII, Korea, USS Radford


About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 26, 2018, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 93 Comments.

  1. Good day. I would like to request your permission to use the image found on this web page: The image will be featured in a social studies textbook for grade school students. Please send your reply to this email address: Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I luckily discovered this image on the internet, so it is not copyrighted by me or this website. I am happy to hear that a school textbook will help students in learning about these brave people.


  2. EPCH:- The design and looks of the wooden kitchenware depend upon the wood’s type and the crafting technique of the locality. These techniques differ from one state to another. Hence, the handicraft exporters of India take a variety of wooden kitchenware to the handicrafts buyer seller meet. The artisans of East and South Indian generally use rosewood or Sheesham wood to manufacture the wooden utensils. These woods are both flexible and durable. Hence, it is possible to use these woods in the making of spoon, forks, ladles, spatulas or other kitchen accessories. The craftsmen of North India mainly use the wood from walnut tree to manufacture the kitchen utensils. The Indian artisans manually carve these utensils to decorate them. The artisans of Uttar Pradesh use metal inlaying to decorate the wooden utensils with the motifs of flower or leaves. The craftsmen of South India are famous


  3. I’ve been researching an article about which guerrilla groups operated in specific parts of Batangas Province but cannot find anything definitive. I know Hunters and FAIT operated in western Batangas, but cannot find anything on eastern Batangas other than a passing reference to Markings being in the town of Rosario. Any suggestions?


    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great find, GP. Hope you don’t mind if i repost. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Certainly not! It is good to see these stories still circulating – I understand the school systems don’t teach much in the way of history anymore – so I think it’s up to us to do it!!


    • Thank you, Penny. They did a lot to help the US in the Philippines!


    • True to what you said. My boss looked thru your posts yesterday while New York was snowed in. “Hunters ROTC” fascinated him. “Pillboxes”:there were NO Pillboxes in Viet Nam. However there where some in Indiantown Gap (ROTC training). NCO’s used to go there to “coop out”. Before he deployed to Viet Nam, he was at Fort Riley, Kansas and there some in the training areas. Same “usage” as Indiantown Gap. Not to derograte NCO’s. Without them we would have not done as well as we did!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Please thank the Boss for visiting, it means a lot. I have deep respect for anyone who entered that hole of a war and came home. In Nam, they opted for tunnels like rats.


  5. Another group of young men who did their part in the war effort. So many different groups contributed to the cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very educational story


  7. so just who is sniper squirrel taking aim at, hhhmmm?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting and awe-inspiring story. I knew nothing of this before reading your article. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. deze groep blijkt bijzonder belangrijk geweest te zijn in de strijd.Zulke moedige mannen die door hun toedoen zoveel levens wisten te redden,verdienen deze herkenning.


  10. For some reason, this article I came across today seems to fit here. In the midst of so much conflict and cruelty, there still were instances where respect was shown, and right decisions made. In war, it’s easy — and perhaps necessary — to ignore the fact that those on the other side are people, too. But both the Japanese research who left the note and the ROTC young men are signs of humanity in the midst of such terrible circumstances — not to mention the Allied troops who honored a request to spare a scientific research station!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Excellent post gp, what an outstanding unit The Hunters ROTC, Cadets who volunteered to continue using their training, and it appears, were invaluable all round in that theatre of War.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Excellent coverage for a group of heroes, GP

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It takes a lot to be a guerrilla fighter. The occupying forces have such a huge hold over you. In Europe, German army policy was to kill 50 people from the nearest village for every incident. The Japanese would be disappointed not to do something even worse than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They thought everyone would be happy to have an ‘Asia for the Asian’ and to be rid of the US and Europeans. So when things didn’t go well, they retaliated. I can not imagine what being a guerrilla during a war like this would have been like. Thanks, John.


  14. Commitment and courage seem to be vital to successful guerrilla operations, G. Interesting post. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Interesting. I can’t imagine standing by while my country was conquered. So I think I’d be right along with these folks. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a great group of brave kids/MEN.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Collecting names of Farewell Salutes. Ti never gets old and each day I
    feel more and ore connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. To fight for your country, in your own land, seems like a natural thing to do. But I’ll bet for these guerillas it involved a level of intrigue, due to some of their fellow citizens who helped the invaders.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Die hebben heel goed werk geleverd als hebben ze vaak die herkenning niet gekregen die ze verdienden.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is not a nasty question, is my simple question 😀
    Why did American bombard Guerrilla and ppl who were American side and fight with ( in the Manila city struggle) Virtually of indiscriminate by heavy gunfire,
    Also why not to buried fellow guerillas in the Arlington Cemetery?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Hunters guerrillas were Filipino and as would be expected, were buried in their nation’s cemeteries. General Yamashita had ordered Japanese military out of Manila and declared it an ‘open city’ as MacArthur had done years before, but Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi thought he knew better. He disobeyed Yamashita’s orders and kept his naval force in Manila to defend it. Hence, the city was bombed by the Allies.
      [I know you do not ask nasty questions, Nasuko. This was a huge war with so many ins and outs of military, political and civilian movements going on. It is difficult for anyone to have a complete view of it.]

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great Thanks,Dr.GP Cox
        > This was a huge war ~
        I completely agree!! 😀

        Philippine guerrilla “What did they fight for?”,it was Ultimate Mystery to me.

        I thought that the Philippine guerrilla fought for Philippine Independence.
        In Manila, I understand that this result was due to MacArthur’s sticking to Manila City (his father who colonized the Philippine had House).
        If he did not stick to Manila City (although there was no ” If ” in the past war), I think that Manila citizens (and guerrillas) did not have a tragic fate.

        We Japanese fight for “Japan” ( over 2,000 years have passed), people who died for Japan are buried at “Yasukuni Shrine” and we descendants are grateful for Eternity.
        No matter foreign countries pick a quarrel with us, we never forget our ancestors.

        So, if the Philippine guerrilla fought for independence, the descendants of the Philippines thank their. If the Philippine guerrilla fought for suzerain state…it would be buried in the Arlington Cemetery,I think.

        Read this Iranian news,I can not understand the standing position of the Philippines.

        Philippines, “Do not participate in the war that the United States takes” February 24, 2018

        Liked by 1 person

        • Since I can not paste URL, I took it to a pic and upload it to my blog temporarily (delete it later)
          Because I can not find an English site, it is in Japanese.

 / 27 /% e 3% 80% 82 /

          Liked by 1 person

          • Google couldn’t translate. If they choose not to help us in a war, that is their prerogative. They are a free country now to make up their own minds. Personally, I wish we did not have any war, I don’t see the sense these days, but there is always someone who wants more and more and more.

            Liked by 1 person

        • I think it is honorable that your country shows respect for your soldiers. Every army and navy has ‘bad apples’ that ruin the reputation. But Japan invaded many countries on Dec. 7-10th 1941 and those nations did want freedom from US and European rule. They did not consider Japan rule any better. Remember, Japan had been at war for many years before December 1941, they were running low on resources and food. They had trouble feeding their own troops. All this does not make for a good situation.
          I’m sorry but the link would not work, but I would not hold too much stock in what Iran says. Their history has been to say what will get them what they want – at that time. They have never held to one treaty they have signed. They have a very poor reputation – not honorable at all! The Philippines, I believe are having power struggles going on within their boundaries from different fractions, so it all depends on which group you talk to.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s great that you have paid tribute to these fighters.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post GP, always glad to hear about the derring-do of cadets.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I had the first 2 years of Army ROTC at Florida Southern College. In 1968 I was one of just 600 nation wide to be awarded a full scholarship for college and had planned to go career army like some of my fraternity brothers. I turned it down and became a teacher instead.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. The guerillas were not given much recognition although they fought as hard as the military units and knew more of the territory which was vital in some operations. The PMA cadets were an elite group in the PI and well respected.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. So brave, and so committed, just amazing, and I wonder how much longer the war would have extended had ther enot been such groups.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Part of being in command is making sure your people get credit. I think I can understand the competing views. It reminds me of the joke that has been kicking around the world of software development since I started in this field over 40 years ago:

    Six Phases of a Project

    1 – Enthusiasm
    2 – Disillusionment
    3 – Panic
    4 – Search for the guilty
    5 – Punishment of the innocent
    6 – Praise and honours for the non-participants

    Liked by 6 people

  27. You are right to say that they all deserve to be proud. Being a resistance fighter was no easy choice, and those brave men deserve recognition for their efforts.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 5 people

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