World War II
Philippines Campaign (1941–42)
Japanese Occupation of the Philippines (1942-1944)
Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Douglas MacArthur (USAFFE)
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon (1935-44)
Sergio Osmeña (1944-46)
Major General Jose J. Delos Reyes, AFP (1936)
Major General Paulino Santos, AFP (1936)
Major General Basilio J. Valdez, AFP (1939–1945)
Major General Rafael Jalandoni, AFP (1945–1946)
Military operations of the Philippine
Army during World War II
Japanese invasion (1941-1942)
Army was established in December 1935.
It was founded on December 21, 1935 with a general headquarters in
Manila, and units and formations based throughout the provinces of the
Army was initially organized under the National Defense
Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No. 1) that formally created the Armed
Forces of the Philippines.
Certain components of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Armed Forces of the Philippines were under
the control of the
Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE)
from 1941 to 1946, after the entry of the U.S. into World War II.
World War II
World War II (1935–41)
2.2 Mobilisation as part of U.S.
Army Forces Far East
6 Further reading
Before the establishment of the Commonwealth Government in 1935, no
effort was made for self-defense by Philippine forces since the United
States assumed responsibility for the defense of the islands. An
immediate concern of the commonwealth government was the defense of an
emerging nation. President-elect
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon convinced his
Douglas MacArthur (Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army),
to organize a national army with Franklin D. Roosevelt's agreement in
the summer of 1935. MacArthur had unusually-broad authority to deal
Secretary of War
Secretary of War and the Chief of Staff as military adviser
to the commonwealth government to organize a Philippine national
MacArthur had broad authority to deal with the
United States Secretary
of War, his successor as the
Army Chief of Staff, and the United
Philippine Department and its commander Major General
Lucius R. Holbrook (who had been told that his most important
peacetime mission was to assist MacArthur in forming a Philippine
force capable of defending the islands). MacArthur selected Majors
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower and
James B. Ord
James B. Ord as his assistants; they and a
committee at the
Army War College prepared plans for the defense of
the Philippine Commonwealth, with a target of independence in 1946.
The plan called for a small regular army with divisions of about 7,500
men, conscription of all men between twenty-one and fifty years of age
and a ten-year training program to build a reserve army, a small air
force and a fleet of torpedo boats capable of repelling an enemy.
The Philippine National Assembly's first act was the passage of the
National Defense Act on 21 December 1935, with initial plans for a
10,000-man regular force based on the incorporation of the Philippine
Constabulary and a 400,000-man reserve force by 1946 and a
West-Point-type military academy in
Baguio on Luzon. Quezon noted
that there was inadequate funds and time to build an effective naval
defense force; the act provided for no navy, but an Offshore Patrol
within the army. The offshore patrol would be based on
British-designed fast torpedo boats, with an anticipated thirty-six
boats under contract by 1946. The Philippine
Army Air Corps would,
by that time, have about 100 bombers and additional tactical aircraft
in support of the offshore patrol in coastal defense. The
Commonwealth would have ten military districts (comparable to corps
areas in the United States), each able to provide an initial reserve
division (growing to three) with full development of the reserve
force. In a 1936 speech MacArthur described the force's function as
making an invasion so costly that no nation would make the attempt,
emphasizing the islands' terrain as making penetration nearly
Development was slow; 1936 was largely devoted to building camps and
facilities, with the first conscripts called up on 1 January 1937.
A major problem was the formation of a military-officer corps, with
constabulary officers trained in law enforcement and limited numbers
Philippine Scouts officers becoming senior officers in the new
force. By the end of 1939, the reserve force numbered 104,000 men
and 4,800 officers. The Philippine
Army Air Corps had about forty
planes and a hundred trained pilots by 1940. The offshore patrol's
development was more problematic, with only two British boats
delivered before the war in Europe cut off further deliveries and a
struggle to build boats under license locally produced only one boat
by October 1941. President Quezon and others recognized that the
naval defense was inadequate protection against a first-rate naval
power, but the Philippines had neither the money nor industrial base
to provide adequate naval force and relied on the assumption that the
United States Navy would not idly stand by if the Philippines were
When the war with Japan began, the Philippine
Army was six years from
its founding in December 1935 and about five years from the 1946 date
at which it was to be fully operational. The naval force which was
to protect it against a first-rate naval power was in ruins at Pearl
Harbor; the Japanese had pilots standing by fueled-and-loaded
bombers in Formosa, prepared to strike the Philippines.
World War II
World War II (1935–41)
Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines was formed on November 15, 1935 as
a step towards independence from the United States, which had governed
the islands since 1898. The
Army of the Philippines was initially
organized under the
National Defense Act of 1935
National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No.
1), which specified that presidential appointments to grades above
third lieutenant should be made from former holders of reserve
commissions in the
Army and former
Philippine Scouts and
After the establishment of the commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon, its
first president, sought the services of General
Douglas MacArthur to
evolve a national-defense plan. On December 21, 1935, the
Army of the
Philippines was established. The act set forth the organizational
structure of the army and enlistment and mobilization procedures.
Army personnel in Davao
The army's development was slow. In 1936 a general headquarters and
camps were built, cadres were organized and instructors, drawn largely
from the Philippine Constabulary, were trained. The commander of the
Philippine Department provided
Philippine Scouts as instructors and
Army officers to assist in the inspection, instruction
and administration of the program. By the end of the year, instructors
were trained and camps (including general headquarters) established.
The first group of 20,000 to 40,000 men was called up on January 1,
1937, and by the end of 1939 there were 4,800 officers and 104,000 men
in the reserves. Infantry training was provided at camps throughout
the Philippines; field-artillery training was concentrated near the
Fort Stotsenburg (near
Angeles City in the province of
Pampanga, about fifty miles north of Manila) and specialized training
was provided at Fort William McKinley, south of Manila. Coast
artillery instruction was carried out at
Fort Stotsenburg and Grande
Island, in Subic Bay, by personnel supplied largely by the American
commander at Corregidor.
Mobilisation as part of U.S.
Army Forces Far East
With the threat of war with the
Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan imminent, on July 26,
1941 a new U.S. command in the Far East, the
Far East (USAFFE), was created under
Douglas MacArthur (who also
became a Philippine Field Marshal). That day, Franklin D. Roosevelt
issued a presidential order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) calling "all the
organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines" into the service of the U.S. armed forces. Despite
the order's wording, it did not order all the military forces of the
Philippine Commonwealth government into the service of the United
States; only those units and personnel indicated in orders issued by a
general officer of the
Army were mobilized and made an
integral part of the USAFFE, and only those members of a unit who
physically reported for duty were inducted. With an annual
appropriation of almost ₱16 million, the mobilized units trained new
Filipino members in defense.
Army was drawn from local Christian and Muslim
Filipinos, including native Filipinos, Filipino-Mestizos,
Chinese-Filipinos and Moro-Filipinos. By the time
of the Japanese invasion the 10 reserve divisions were about
two-thirds mobilized, for a force of 100,000 "poorly equipped and
trained" troops. The
Philippine Scouts numbered about 12,000. The
army was primarily infantry, with some combat engineers and
At that time there were two regular and ten reserve divisions in the
Army of the Philippines, spread across officers in general
headquarters, camps in
Manila and across the country. This included
the North Luzon Force under
Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright); the
South Luzon Force, activated on December 13, 1941 under Brig. Gen.
George M. Parker; the Visayan-Mindanao Force under Maj. Gen. William
F. Sharp in the southern islands (61st, 81st, and 101st Infantry
Divisions and three other infantry regiments), and the reserve
force. The North Luzon Force included the 11th, 21st, and 31st reserve
infantry divisions. The
South Luzon Force
South Luzon Force included the 1st (regular)
Division and the reserve 41st, 51st and 71st Divisions.
After the war ended, the
Army was reorganised into the Philippine
Main article: Commanding General of the Philippine Army
^ Jose, Ricardo Trota (1992). The Philippine Army: 1935–1942. Ateneo
University Press. pp. 23–49. ISBN 978-971-550-081-4.
^ "Commonwealth Act No. 1". Philippine Laws, Statutes, and Codes. Chan
Robles Law Library. December 21, 1935.
^ Morton 1993, pp. 8—9.
^ a b c d e Morton 1993, p. 9.
^ Morton 1993, pp. 9—10.
^ a b Morton 1993, p. 10.
^ Morton 1993, pp. 10—11.
^ a b Morton 1993, p. 11.
^ Morton 1993, pp. 11—12.
^ a b c Morton 1993, p. 12.
^ a b c Morton 1993, p. 13.
^ a b Morton 1993, p. 79.
^ Morton 1993, p. 80.
^ Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1941). Public Papers of the Presidents of
the United States: F.D. Roosevelt, 1941, Volume 10. Harper.
^ Chapter III: The Reinforcement of the Philippines The Fall of the
Army in WWII: The War in the Pacific p50
^ Chapter IV: Prewar Plans, Japanese and American p58
^ "Sharp, William Frederick (1885-1947)", The Pacific War Online
Encyclopedia, archived from the original on October 12, 2007,
retrieved January 13, 2016
Gill, G. Hermon (1957). Royal Australian Navy 1939–1942. Australia
in the War of 1939–1945. Series 2 – Navy. 1. Canberra: Australian
War Memorial. LCCN 58037940. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
Morton, Lewis (1993). The War in the Pacific: The Fall Of The
Army In World War II. Washington, D.C.:
Center Of Military History,
United States Army. LCCN 53063678.
Retrieved 4 November 2014.
Ricardo Trota Jose. Philippine
Army (1935–1942). Roderick Hall
Cesar P. Pobre (2000). History of the Armed Forces of the Filipino
People. New Day Publishers. ISBN 9789711010416.
Bell, Walter F. (December 30, 1999). The Philippines in World War II,
1941–1945: A Chronology and Select Annotated Bibliography of Books
and Articles in English (First ed.). Greenwood.
Lee, Ernesto (May 27, 2010).
World War II
World War II Philippines. Xlibris
Corporation. [self-published source?]
Marquez, Adalia; Romulo, Carlos P. (March 15, 2014). Blood on the
Rising Sun: The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. CreateSpace