Odyssey of a Philippine Scout

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dallas
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Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:22 pm

The Aberjona Press, P.O. Box 629, Bedford, PA 15522 has a new book entitled ODYSSEY OF A PHILIPPINE SCOUT, FIGHTING, ESCAPING AND EVADING THE JAPANESE, 1941-1944. It is the story of Lt. Arthur Kendal Whitehead of the 26th Cavalry Regt (P.S.). Lt. Whitehead became separated from his unit during one of the engagements against the Japanese. This is the story of his struggle to evade the Japanese forces and to eventually reach Australia which took two years. The book contains 240 pages with maps and photos and sells for $19.95 plus $4.00 for postage. I have not read the book but it sounds interesting.
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Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:26 pm

Has anyone read the above? It's been really special for me as the places that Whitehead mentions such as the Rosario-Demortis Hw # 3(first contact for Whitehead's Troop) is where my Dad's 172nd Inf fought their first major battle after landing at the Lingayen on January 9th 1945.

Ironically, it was also on this road that my Dad's(he was Pl Sgt) weapons Pl destroyed a Jap column in a night ambush a few days later. The Japs were using captured 26th Cavalry horses to move some guns at night down this HW. He told this story many times as one of his worst experiences of the War.

Of course when the .30 Cal Brownings opened up on the Column it was a terrible melee. My Dad said they were set up across the HW in a bit of a depression where the road came down to a narrow bridge. He said that he set the guns up in a X-firing position on both sides of the HW just before the bridge. He said that they had 'intell' from Filipinos that the Japs were going to move that night.

The Japs did get one of the guns in firing position and they managed to get off a round that went high over the ambush, but hit into the Regt CP further up the ridge causing a number of casualties including Lt Col Carrigan(a native Vermonter) one of the most popular Officers in the Regt.

He said he remembered one horse that went up on the ridge and was badly wounded. He said as it was breaking day you could see that the horse was slowly dieing as his head was hanging lower and lower. After daylight they secured the area and my Dad went up on the ridge and personally dispatched the horse. He said that all the horses had US brands on them. He said that the battle ground was a terrible mess of enemy and horses.
Mike K.
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Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:31 pm

For the official account fo this action see the following:

World War II: Infantry Commanding Officer Experiences ReportsThe Infantry School at Fort Benning began collecting academic monographs from .... Carney, Daniel J. MAJ, "Operations of the 172nd Infantry, 43rd Infantry ...


I now quote from page 12-13 submitted by Maj Daniel Carney AIOC 1949-50, Ft Benning: "During the night of Jan 17-18, a Battery of 155mm howitzer, Horse Drawn, was heard moving east on the Rosario-Damortis HW. (My Dad said it was dead quiet. He said you could hear the horses hoofs on the cobblestone highway and he said they were snorting and blowing as they approached as if they sensed the danger)" The column was approaching the road block held by the 2nd Battalion" (My Dad's Pl was M CO. Originally Barre,Vt National Guard CO. He was providing the MG support to 2nd Bat)" The enemy marched down the HW to within small arms range of the 2nd Batt weapons covering the aproaches from the west"

"Exercising superb fire discipline, the Batt held it's fire until it could effectively annilhilate the enemy battery" ( My Dad said the plan was that the MG's would open first. My Dad told his guys that he would fire first and then the guns would open. He had a veteran Pl. Some had been with him since Guadlcanal) "Before the battery could be destroyed, one gun crew succeeded in swinging one field piece into action..........The Jap crew succeeded in firing a single round of direct fire which burst in the trees. This single round.......killed three officers, including the Batt CO (LtCol Carrigan) and 14 enlisted men.....wounding several others. When daylight came, one Japanese A-Batt, complete with Pers, HORSES,and 5 155mm Howitzers littered the National HW. A single Jap survived and was captured. ( My Dad's Story was that Sgt Frank Rooney shot the only Jap that survived. They were looking over the battle field and as they walked past Frank looked back and saw him open one eye. Rooney shot him and as they looked him over they found he was laying on a grenade that he was going to explode after they went by).

I never heard Maj Carney mentioned by my Dad. So, I don't think that he played a major part in this action. However, my Dad was of course partial to the original Vermont National Guard Veterans such as Lt Col Carrigan.
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Pat Holscher
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Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:58 pm

Has anyone read this since it came out?
Pat

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dimarcol
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Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:20 pm

I read the draft of the book before publishing and thought it was an interesting and engaging story --that was almost two years ago so my memory is a little thin. The publishers were really focused on putting out a good project but were hampered by the untimely passing of several of the individuals involved in putting the book together. I particularly enjoyed the very good descriptions of everyday cavalry life in the P.S. prior to the war. As I recall he also goes into some detail regarding the remount services organized in the Philippines that provided the mounts for the regiment. The story of sailing from the Philippines to Australia is a classic survival against all odds sea story. I was asked to edit the picture captions but to tell the truth haven't had the time to go back to the published copy and see how it all turned out.
Lou D.
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Pat Holscher
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Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:35 pm

dimarcol wrote:I read the draft of the book before publishing and thought it was an interesting and engaging story --that was almost two years ago so my memory is a little thin. The publishers were really focused on putting out a good project but were hampered by the untimely passing of several of the individuals involved in putting the book together. I particularly enjoyed the very good descriptions of everyday cavalry life in the P.S. prior to the war. As I recall he also goes into some detail regarding the remount services organized in the Philippines that provided the mounts for the regiment. The story of sailing from the Philippines to Australia is a classic survival against all odds sea story. I was asked to edit the picture captions but to tell the truth haven't had the time to go back to the published copy and see how it all turned out.

Sounds interesting, I should add it to the list.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
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