Living in The Philippines > Languages, Learning History, Politics etc.

The Philippine Commonwealth Army

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boon-docks (buen\'doks )  n. 
                              1.  an uninhabited area with thick natural vegetation, as a   
                                        backwoods or marsh. 
                             2.  a remote rural area. 
                                 [1940-45, Amer.; Tagalog bundok mountain]                                             

      When American GIs returned from Asia at the close of World War II,  besides Victory they brought home a new word to add to the lexicon -- \"boondocks\". It is derived from   bundok the Philippine word for mountain and decribes a place that is remote and inaccessible.

Information Concerning Philippine Army and Guerrilla Records

The collection of records of World War II Philippine Army and Guerrilla members (see NOTE: below), until now held and serviced by the Army Reserve Personnel Command (AR-PERSCOM), has recently been transferred to the National Personnel Records Center.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The Philippine Commonwealth Army was created by Philippine Commonwealth Act Number 1, approved December 21, 1935. With the threat of war with Japan imminent, on July 26, 1941, a new command in the Far East was created, known as the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE), and Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur was appointed the Supreme Commander. On the same date, President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, issued a Military Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) which called the Philippine Commonwealth Army into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States.

However, the Presidential Order of July 26, 1941, did not order all the organized military forces of the Philippine government into the service of the United States Armed Forces. Only those units and personnel indicated in orders issued by a general officer, United States Army, designated by the Secretary of War, were mobilized and made an integral part of the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE), and only those members of a unit who physically reported for duty were inducted. Induction was not automatic.

After the surrender of American forces in the Philippines in May 1942, independent guerrilla groups, composed of both civilian and military personnel, began to form throughout the Islands. Many of these groups worked under the control of General MacArthur\'s General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area. American liberation forces first landed on Philippine soil at Leyte on October 20, 1944. On October 28, 1944, the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeņa, issued Executive Order Number 21, which stated that -

All persons, of any nationality or citizenship, who are actively serving in recognized military forces in the Philippines, are hereby considered to be on active service in the Philippine Army... A recognized military force, as used herein, is defined as a force under a commander who has been appointed, designated or recognized by the Commander-in-Chief, Southwest Pacific Area. (A recognized military force is considered the same as a recognized guerrilla force.) Service of the Philippine Commonwealth Army in the United States Armed Forces terminated as of midnight, June 30, 1946, by authority of General Order #168, Army Forces Western Pacific.

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