National Archives at St. Louis

Philippine Army and Guerrilla Records

This collection of records covers only those individuals who served in the Philippine Commonwealth Army of the United States Armed Forces Far East (USAFFE) including recognized Philippine Guerrilla forces (NOT the Army of the United States or Philippine Scouts) during World War II. This collection DOES NOT include records of Americans who served in the Philippines during World War II.


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). On the same date, President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued Presidential Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) which called the Philippine Commonwealth Army into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Presidential Order of July 26, 1941, did not order all the 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 of the United States Army were mobilized and made an integral part of the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE). Only those members of a unit who physically reported for duty were inducted. (Inductions were not automatic, nor were personnel inducted into the Army of the United States).

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 Douglas MacArthur's General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area. A recognized military force is defined as a force under a commander who has been appointed, designated or recognized by a general officer of the United States Army.

Service of the Philippine Commonwealth Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces terminated as of midnight, June 30, 1947, by authority of General Order #168, Army Forces Western Pacific.

Reasons for Requests

Listed below, but not limited to, are some of the reasons that the National Personnel Records Center (based upon prior Human Resources Command procedures) will research the "Philippine Army" collection to provide service certification:

  • naturalization purposes
  • application for veterans benefits
  • other Government agency applications
  • verification of awards and decorations

This collection is only used to provide information on the service of a particular individual, not to provide the history of a guerrilla unit or units, or battles or skirmishes participated in.

Sources of Requests

Requests for information from the "Philippine Army" collection are generally received from the individuals involved, family members, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, other government agencies and congressional offices.

Requirements for Submitting Requests

As a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran serving in the Philippine Army, we prefer that you use eVetRecs to submit your request. If you wish, you may submit your request using an SF-180 or by sending a written request, dated and signed by the subject of the record, to the following address:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

The next of kin of the subject individual must provide proof of death (a copy of the death certificate) and proof of relationship (copy of birth certificate). Other requesters (third parties) must have signed authorization of the individual or next of kin when a veteran is deceased, along with a copy of death certificate and birth certificate of next of kin.

Requests must contain sufficient information to identify record material on the subject individual. In the case of Philippine Army or Guerrilla service, the following information is required:

  • Full Name (First and Last Names and Middle Initial)
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Service number, if available

Files Used

There is no consolidated "Personnel File" available for most of the individuals who served in the Philippine Army or guerrilla unit. The collection consists of the following types of material:

  • Enlistment records
  • National Service Life Insurance Records based upon applications made prior to May 7, 1942.
  • Casualty Records
  • Prisoner of War (POW) records and death certificates from POW camps
  • Other archival material, such as rosters, payrolls, general and special orders, etc.
  • Authentic call to active duty orders (applicable only to Philippine Army USAFFE members)supported by an acceptable affidavit by a person who is a member of the same unit and whose service is established by archives.
  • Approved reconstructed guerrilla troop rosters, casualty rosters, or individual recognition letters
  • Authentic guerrilla archive records

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."

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