by SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

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Philippines Flag

American Flag

Note: NIAS Press, an academic press based in Copenhagen used images from this article in their book "End of Empire: 100 days that changed the world." Bonnier Publications requested and received permission to use images from this article in a series of books titled "En verden i krig," (“The world at war”), book number 10, Det totale kollaps (“The Total Collapse”). Professor Satoshi Ara, Ph.D. of Fukushima University, Japan, requested the use of photographs for his book on "Collaboration in the Philippines during WWII." In 2017, the Cultural Center of the Philippines requested images from this article to be used in the re-publishing of the CCP “Encyclopedia of Philippine Art.”

When we think of newspaper editors we envision editor Perry White of Superman’s Daily Planet or J. Jonah Jameson, editor-in-chief of Spiderman’s Daily Bugle. These are just cartoon characters of course, but there are real newspaper editors and they do important and meaningful work producing the news on a daily basis.

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WWI Leaflet Balloon

In wartime, newspapers are an important part of American psychological operations (PSYOP), and help to both motivate the American military and civilians, and demoralize enemy military and civilians who learn the truth about their current military and political situation. These newspapers are usually written and printed by Army personnel working in various PSYOP units. There are very famous propaganda newspapers going back to WWI when the British mastered the art of dropping the newspapers from unmanned balloons. The Allies prepared a host of newspapers for the enemy. In March 1915, the British began the airdropping of the newspaper Le Courrier de l'Air for civilians in German-occupied France and Belgium (this newspaper would be revived in WW2). The French were already publishing a propaganda newspaper, La Voix du Pays (The Voice of the Country). In January 1917, the Belgian Army (in Britain) began publication of La Lettre du Soldat (The Soldier's Letter) for the Germans occupying Belgium. The Germans retaliated with the Gazette des Ardennes, a weekly newspaper written in French distributed both by airplane and by balloon.

In WWII the propaganda newspapers were printed once again for use against the enemy. The American Office of War Information was very busy in the Pacific printing one million copies a week of the Marianas Jiho (Marianas News Report) and dropping them over Japanese troops. In addition, they printed the Hawaii Weekly News, Makoto (Truth), Rakkasan (Parachute News), the Korean-language Chosen Weekly News and Chosen Liberty Weekly and the Chinese-language World Weekly News. At the same time, the U.S. Army in the Pacific was printing Free Philippines and Ji Ji Shu Ho (News of the Week).

This is just a small sampling of the dozens, and perhaps hundreds of propaganda newspapers printed during the war. We have not even mentioned Europe where there were many more newspapers produced for all the nations occupied by Nazi Germany.

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Captain Theodore L. Sendak

In early 2011, Peggy Sendak told me about her father-in-law who had been a U.S. Army newspaper editor in the Philippines during WWII. I have already written about the Philippines in an article entitled U.S. Army PWB Leaflets for the Pacific War and I thought that telling his story would round out the story of U.S. PSYOP efforts in the Philippines. His family was reluctant, but Peggy’s husband Tim took the bull by the horns and saw that a box containing the military papers and archives of Theodore Sendak was mailed to me. I used as a main reference source of Captain Sendak’s military history his book, A Pilgrimage Through the Briar Patch, Guild Press of Indiana, Carmel, IN, 1997.

Theodore (Ted) Sendak received his draft notice on 31 March 1941, was sworn in 14 April 1941 and assigned to the 38th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby, Indiana. He was assigned to a medical battalion as a bugler, but the Army soon discovered that his musical talents were wanting. By April 1941 he was “promoted” to drum major and reporter of the camp newspaper. Ted had made the mistake of telling the Army that he could type. He took part in the biggest training maneuvers in American history, 500,000 soldiers in Louisiana from August to October 1941.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor he was nominated for Officers Candidate School, he thinks because he was one of the rare soldiers with a college degree. He reported to Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and a short 90 days later on 28 March 1942 was commissioned and went from a Private First Class to a Second Lieutenant. While at Carlisle, some of his articles were published in The Medical Soldier. You start to see a pattern here. Wherever he went, he was writing articles for newspapers and magazines. He received a temporary promotion to First Lieutenant on 25 July, 1942.

He was next sent to Camp Barkeley, Texas, as an Assistant Medical Supply Officer where he was responsible for storage, assemblage and issue of medical supplies and equipment. Besides his appointed position, he was assigned as a Public Relations Officer and Special Services Officer. His duties included writing articles about the soldiers stationed at the base and sending them to their hometown newspapers. On 21 May 1943, Lieutenant Sendak was promoted to Captain. He volunteered for assignment to Military Government – Civil Affairs training and was sent on 27 August 1943 to Ft. Custer, Michigan, for a two month military police / military government course. Many of the students there were elected officials and politicians. He studied past Civil Affair actions and one of his textbooks was The Allied Military Government of Occupied Germany 1918-1920.

What were the duties of the Civil Affairs Officer during WWII? In part they were:

1. Advise the commander and staff on matters involving supervision and control of civilians in the theatres of operation.
2. Supervise military government and civil affairs activities.
3. Coordinate with other staff to control civilian population with actions affecting military operations such as maintenance of order, prevention of sabotage, etc.
4. Make recommendations as to size and responsibilities of civil affairs units.
5. Coordinate operations with the supported command.
6. Control the civilian population, displaced persons, refugees, coordinate supply, shelter, transportation, and medical services for civilians, etc.

And of course, in the military, your duties also include whatever the Commander thinks falls under your authority and supervision.

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A July 1944 day out at the Chicago Civil Affairs School. Officers Glacken,
Sendak, Goldsmith and Good with instructors John Suzuki and Paul Sugawara

After successfully completing the course, on 28 November 1943 he was sent to Far Eastern Civil Affairs Training School at the University of Chicago.

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Hyojun Nihongo Tokuhon – The Standard Japanese Reader

At this school he worked in small groups learning to speak Japanese. The students were warned that even if they understood Japanese, they should never let their interpreters know it. They were to use this knowledge to check on the accuracy and loyalty of the interpreters.

I should stop here and mention that interpreters are always a problem in the military. People are hired and used in very important and confidential discussions and often the American officer has no idea what they are actually saying. I could mention a dozen cases where the interpreter went off in his own direction, but we actually have an anecdote from Ted that occurred in Leyte after the invasion.

He tells us that a group of refugees were brought in seeking aid. None spoke English. One of the Filipinos tried to present the captain with the gift of a freshly severed Japanese head. The disgusted Sendak told his interpreter to tell the Filipinos to immediately remove the head and get the hell out of his office. He found out later that his interpreter had told the Filipinos:

The captain thanks you for you expression of appreciation. But he would rather you present the barbarian’s head to the Mayor of Ormoc as a symbol of your revenge against the savage oppressors.

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Japanese language Instructors Mr. Sehchi Niwa and Mrs. Michi Myamoto in Chicago
Dec 1943 - July 1944

The instructors were “relocated” Japanese-Americans (Nisei). Each day they attended classes on Japanese culture, religion, government, politics, propaganda, geography, commerce and other aspects of their daily life. The students also learned several hundred Japanese picture characters just to get acquainted with their language. I have seen a number of the books that were used in this training. Just a very small sampling includes; the English-Japanese Conversation Dictionary, The standard Japanese Reader, and an Introduction to Kana Orthogtaphy. I also notice a workbook entitled Charts for the Writing of Chinese Characters where he practiced copying hundreds of such characters in pencil.

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The Graduation Booklet


Upon graduation the students received a booklet that described their training course. The Booklet was entitled Far Eastern Civil Affairs Training School – University of Chicago – Class II. This tells us that Ted was in the second class that was offered and his dates of training were 29 November 1943 to 15 July 1943. We discover that there were eight “sections” or groups of students and Ted was in Section II. His section consisted of 12 students, Nine Army and three Navy officers. Among their specialties were Price control, Public Safety, Legal, Engineering and Public Relations, to name a few.

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Civil Affairs Class – Section II

We find that a number of the faculty of the University of Chicago was assigned as instructors to the Civil Affairs School; Page four of the booklet identifies eight such faculty members. There were 23 Japanese language instructors, the majority from the United States, two from Hawaii and six from Japan. There were 47 visiting lecturers on subjects such as; Japanese Psychology, Tokyo since Pearl Harbor, Experiences in the Marshall Islands and Experience in China and Japan. Most were military but there were many civilians including several Ph.Ds. In an editorial entitled “In Retrospection,” the experiences of the students are described. Some of the text is:

We were a heterogeneous lot – both Army and Navy officers. We were of all branches and Bureaus of the service – some of us were line officers, and others had received direct commissions because of special qualifications. Some of us had seen service in 1918, and others, by comparison, were hardly dry behind the ears. Some of us had lived, worked. And travelled in the orient and had a vast store of practical knowledge, and others were specialists in other fields, and had yet to set foot on anything larger than a row boat. Some of us had asked to come, and others had been selected…

We started to learn to read and write Japanese. We felt like first graders…Classroom doodling began to take on a constructive aspect, and we eventually learned to make sense from scribblings that had been absolutely meaningless…

Notwithstanding all of our complaints about being overworked and underpaid, and our wonderings about where we were going from here, we were gradually getting to know a lot about Japan. Some of us could talk about Japan without knowing what authority we were quoting – Japan was becoming a part of us.

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The Civil Affairs school highlights some of the subjects discussed in class

I have looked through Ted’s workbooks from the school. Curiously, already showing an interest in psychological warfare he wrote a paper entitled “Japanese Export Propaganda.” He says that the Japanese try to fool their target audience with lots of detail that imply, though not guarantee the truth:

Like his Nazi cohort, the Japanese propagandist utilizes precise sounding little details to make his stories sound good. He tells us exactly on what day and at what time of day some movement of troops took place, what are the distances between places named, the names of divisions and military leaders, the terms of demands made and rejected, and so forth. His account, as far as it goes, because of this exactness of statement, is a convincing one. But, that is as far as it goes…

Continuing to look through his workbook to see what he was being taught, I see lessons on Japanese deities, Buddhist holidays, and official vocabulary (Zaibatsu is the “financial clique and Gumbatsu is the “military clique.”).

There are also discussions on Japanese attitudes such as “America attacked us,” Japanese slogans “Cut the enemy’s flesh by letting him cut our skin, and cut the enemy’s bone by letting him cut our flesh,” the virtues of the Japanese soldier (loyalty, trustworthiness, courage, decorum and simplicity), and what will be expected of a Civil Affairs Officer once America has occupied Japan.

It appears to have been a very detailed course of study and I am sure any graduate was thoroughly knowledgeable on Japan and its people.

On 1 August 1944, Ted reported to Fort Ord, California, the Civil Affairs staging area, to prepare for deployment overseas. The rumor was that General MacArthur was being his stubborn self again and did not want civil affairs officers from the United States; he preferred to use his own people. At some point MacArthur relented and the new civil affair officers departed Hamilton Air Field on 1 November 1944. Ted flew first to Honolulu, and then Guadalcanal. There he trained groups called Philippine Civil Affairs units. His first unit, PCAU 15 consisted of eight officers and 39 enlisted men, mostly Filipino Scouts.

On 8 December 1944, Captain Sendak boarded the SS David F. Barry and sailed for Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, to join with other ships for a convoy to the Philippines. They sailed with 48 other ships and a Navy escort and reached the Philippines on Christmas day. At Tacloban, because of his background he was offered a job in psychological warfare but decided to stay with civil affairs. Curiously, because the two specialties are so similar in mission, he would be working with Psywar people again in the near future. On 1 January 1945, all the unit’s equipment arrived and they convoyed by truck to Ormoc.

Major General Charles A. Willoughby explains MacArthur’s interest in the importance of Civil Affairs in the Philippines in MacArthur 1941-1951, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1951:

It is essential in my plans for the control of civil affairs that the measure of freedom and liberty given to the Filipino people be at least comparable to that enjoyed under the Commonwealth Government before the war. It would be a matter of gravest concern if restrictions were imposed. If any impressions were created that the United States is curtailing rather than expanding liberties, the most unfortunate repercussions might be expected. I repeat, utmost care should be taken that an imperialistic attitude not be introduced into the situation under the guise of military necessity.

I found a document entitled “Public relations and Information Section” in Ted’s records which seems to be local guidance. Some of the comments are:

This section is involved with all matters involving contact and communications (a) between the military forces and the civilian population and (b) within the civilian population…The section contains the following sub-sections – communications, education and propaganda.

I found it interesting that a civil affairs document mentions propaganda. Some of that section is:

The work of this subsection will be of a highly specialized character. It involves matters of high policy, for propaganda includes the formulation and direction of public thinking, which is the basis for international relationships. This subsection will plan the organization for collecting, collating, and editing special information intended for public consumption, and the methods of transmitting such information to the public.

The guidance goes to tell the civil affairs officer to examine all information to be disseminated to the public, to examine all proclamations, ordinances, press, radio, and motion pictures, to supervise all relations with the foreign and domestic press, and to maintain an office for accredited journalists and authorized personnel.

Writing to his wife in January 1945, he mentioned his daily routine:

We’re on the job before 0730. There’s already a half-hundred Filipinos at the headquarters steps with many headaches, complaints, pleas and requests. The place quickly resembles the scene back home at the main entrance of a department store just before opening time when some rationed item like 1000 pairs of nylon hosiery are to go on sale…each PCAU now has 10 officers and 39 enlisted men. The other eight officers specialize in medical legal, engineering, welfare, finance, transportation, supply and public safety.

Ted was under fire on and off until about mid-February. He was then moved to PCAU 26 in Western Leyte. He first moved to the island of Cebu, and then took part in the invasion of the island of Panay and Negros. He went ashore with the invasion troops on Panay on 25 March 1945.

The mission of the PCAU was to control the civilian population, displaced persons, and refugees; to assist the combat troops in every possible way by caring for the civilian population and keeping them out of harm’s way. To arrange service for supplies, shelter, transportation, medical services, and labor recruitment. To rehabilitate utilities, communications, transportation, industry and agriculture and restore civil government, fiscal controls, and economic stability. Behind the velvet glove was the ability to declare martial law if needed.

It was here that he met the man who was printing propaganda for the guerillas. Abe S. Gonzales was a newspaper editor who had gone to the hills to fight with guerilla leader Tomas Confessor. He had been printing news sheets and leaflets in the hills (see the section below on Guerilla leaflets).

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The Eighth Army Magazine "Free Philippines"

The 8th Army Psychological Warfare Officer, Major Alfred Hall was publishing a newspaper and magazine called Free Philippines. Once again we see PSYOP and Civil Affairs crossing paths. Major Hall recommended that Captain Sendak publish a local edition of the newspaper. Ted called on the services of Aurelio Servando, a local Philippine printer. He and his staff produced the Bacolod City Free Philippines for a peso and a half. The U.S. Army supplied the ink and local guerillas supplied the paper from factory stocks they had taken from the Japanese. The newspaper was published each Wednesday and Sunday from 4 June through 15 August 1945. We depict the first and last issue below.

It is interesting to note that at some point major Hall apparently proposed that Ted Sendak take over his position as 8th Army PWB Officer. He says as much in a letter to Hall dated 18 June 1943:

I am much interested in the proposition of being your replacement. I would feel it an honor and privilege; and I would make every effort to perform the job successfully…Prior to this war I collected a great deal of propaganda material directly from original sources, i.e., various ministries of information (Allied and Axis), news services, etc., which material I collated and studied.

Eighth Army provided general guidance for all of the local editions of Free Philippines. In a classified confidential letter dated 10 June 1945 it was stated that local newspapers were now being published in Bacalod, Dumaguete and Cebu City. The guidance called for a unity of print, asking that each newspaper mail copies to all the other newspapers and to headquarters. To help with the publication, 8th Army offered to send photographs, provide for distribution, provide a uniform newspaper banner and provide other assistance as required.

Major Hall gave the PCAU guidance that included eight positive points that should be stressed. Some of them were: tell the truth, stress items of current and local interest, feature Filipino personalities, never mention future plans, compare true facts to Japanese lies, and follow national policy. There were also eight points that should be avoided at all costs: Don’t distort the news, don’t mention collaborators or get involved in controversial political arguments, don’t mention independence, don’t talk about other war fronts, don’t mention or attack the Emperor, and PWB does not set policy.

Ted says:

I seemed to have two bosses. One was my PCAU Commanding Officer; the other was the Psychological Warfare Board.

As the war came to an end, Ted had volunteered for occupation duty in Japan. However, he had accumulated enough points to be sent home so found himself on the Navy transport Admiral Sims in November 1945.

He returned to his family on 7 December 1945, four years to the day since the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Colonel Ted Sendak is inaugurated into the "Legion of Hoosier Heroes" at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, on 17 April 1972. Admiring the plaque presented to COL. Sendak are (L/R) General Taylor, Mrs. Sendak, Colonel Sendak and Colonel West.

Ted went on to join the active Army Reserve and retired a full bird Colonel on 26 April 1972. His military decorations included the Asian-Pacific Theatre ribbon with three battle stars, the American Defense ribbon, the American Theatre ribbon, the World War Two Victory medal, the Philippine Liberation ribbon with one star, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He prospered in civilian life and served three terms as Indiana’s Attorney General between 1969 and 1981.

After his retirement he wrote a newspaper column for The Star Register in which he called himself “The Propaganda Analyst.” His column of 12 September 1991 is entitled; “The Techniques and Proper Definition of Propaganda.” He actually carried a business card that identified him as “The Propaganda Analyst.” He really did love the art of winning hearts and minds.

Theodore Sendak passed away of heart failure on 22 January 1999 at the age of 80 years. Looking back on his career we see a strange dichotomy, although he was trained for civil affairs it seems he always had an interest in psychological warfare and journalism and the two came together in time of war and made him the perfect propagandist, although that was never his primary duty.

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Map of the Philippine Islands

I should note that Civil Affairs is still an important function of the U.S. Army in combat. As I write this, U.S. Civil Affairs (CA) troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are helping those people by digging wells, bringing electricity to the outlying villages, building schools, repairing roads and bridges and a host of other projects to make the civilians self-supporting and improving the quality of their life.

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A Japanese Propaganda Poster still visible in the Philippines several Days after the 1945 American Return.

Sendak’s specific duty seems to have been the rebuilding of the Philippine court system and the recruiting, training and equipping of its police and fire departments.

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We Return to the Philippines

As Captain Sendak prepared to deploy to the Philippines, he was issued this information booklet. The Army issues these booklets for every place they deploy and today some of the WWII booklets are collected by military historians. In my article on Desert Storm I depict some of the dozen or so booklets we were issued on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, as well as other books on the climate, weapons, land mines, desert lessons-learned and local customs. Notice that the captain placed his name at the top of the booklet. In the army that is how we make sure that reference books and manuals don’t “take a walk.”

Some of the chapters in the 34-page booklet are; why we are going into the Philippines, the fall of the Philippines, what does the Filipino think of you, and Tagalog language guide.

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Captain Sendak in Battle Gear

Seeing Civil Affairs Detachment Commanders in battle gear during combat operations is not a common site. Here Captain Sendak takes part in the battle for Ormoc from December 1944 to January 1945. He set up PCAU 15 adjacent to the 7th Infantry Division units and is depicted here with the Mayor of Ormoc, Mr. Catalino Hermosilla.

In January 2012, retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer (E-7) Mario Yrastorza Hermosilla, wrote to me about his grandfather Catalino Hermosilla who was the Mayor of Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines during much of World War II. He saw the above photograph above and said:

The picture was apparently taken after the Liberation of Leyte sometime after October 1944. As the Mayor of Ormoc during that time, my grandfather was the acting "father of the masses," political leader, guardian, and protector of the Ormoc civilian populace during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. During his term of office, he was the catalyst in saving a lot of civilian lives from the hands of the brutal Japanese military personnel. He passed away in March 1945, right after the Liberation of Leyte. He was posthumously honored in 1972 by the Ormoc City Council with the naming of a major thoroughfare in his name.

According to the Eastern Visayas Reporter of 24 March 1972, "Cata" as he was known, started as a humble school teacher and rose to the position of Mayor. He was known for his statesmanship. During the Japanese occupation he managed to keep the Imperial Army content inside Ormoc, and at the same time he was able to deal with the guerrillas outside the city in the hills. He was able to balance and moderate both sides to the extent that there was never a bloodbath in the city.

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The First Edition of Free Philippines

The very first edition of Free Philippines was dated 6 June 1945. It mentions the end of the war in Europe and also MacArthur’s advances against the Japanese on Luzon and Mindanao.

Ted printed 21 copies of Free Philippines before being ordered to cease publication on 15 August 1945. Some of the highlights in other issues are: “General MacArthur visits Bacolod” (10 June 1945), “7000 Japs on Okinawa surrender” (24 June 1945) and “Soviet Russia declares war on Japan” (12 August 1945). There are different numbers for distribution of the newspaper, but it seems that a standard issue printing run was 1,810 copies for Bacolod, 1,825 for towns north of Bacolod and 1,215 for towns south of Bacolod. Another 250 were randomly distributed along the roads to make a total of 5,000 newspapers. Later those numbers climbed to 6,050 copies, and the final issue stating that “War Ends” was 17,000 copies.

We know a lot about this newspaper because Ted wrote about it a great deal. In fact, he sent out about a dozen bound copies to various people and places that he felt would be interested. Among others I see letters of thanks from the Governor of Indiana, The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard College and Northwestern University. Other individuals and organizations were sent a single copy of the newspaper. They include Life Magazine, Columbia University and the Chicago Sun.

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The Final Edition of Free Philippines

With the end of the war Ted printed a “victory extra” final edition of the Bacolod City Free Philippines dated 15 August 1945. Some of the text is:



President Truman announced from the White House at 8:00 o’clock Philippine time this morning that Japan has accepted the unconditional surrender terms of the Potsdam declaration…

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The Staff of the Bacolod City Free Philippines
Leopaldo Oecena (Shop Foreman), Captain Sendak (Editor),
Domingo Danao (Assistant Editor and Reporter) and Aurelio Servando, (Publisher – Nalco Press)

He sent a copy of the newspaper home that same day in a letter and said in regard to the newspaper:

As you’ll note from the enclosed copy of “Free Philippines,” the news of the day got full play. I even turned out a second extra edition, being printed right now. It’s been a long, long, but happy day…

The APO 343 and APO 40 base censors have both told me that it’s OK for the Free Philippines to go through the mails. If this one is either removed or cut up let me know by return letter and I’ll ask, officially, for some sort of explanation…

Copies of our victory extra of the “Free Philippines” were scattered everywhere. We printed 17,000 extras…to distribute papers, we had to fight off the crowds that pushed and shoved to get copies. The driver would stop momentarily at an intersection; I would stand on the hood of the jeep and scatter papers over the heads of the howling mob. Some fun! I wrote today’s whole edition, except two small items in about an hour, but the speed with which Nalco Press put the paper up (by hand) and printed it is the amazing thing. We purposely delayed the job until today (instead of yesterday) to get the vital news anticipated for our farewell edition. Fate was on our side. At 8 o’clock this morning President Truman’s announcement came over the radio. By 10:30 a.m., two and one half hours later – the Free Philippines was already being posted and distributed throughout the area….

The letter is interesting because it tell us the APO numbers of the area where the Ted was stationed. For those that don’t understand the way that the military handles mail to and from the front; it uses APO numbers instead of addresses because it makes it more difficult for the enemy to know where the mailer is stationed. The letter also implies that the newspaper was restricted and in the past removed from letters sent home, but now that the war is over the censorship has been relaxed.

We mentioned earlier in this article that retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Mario Hermosilla wrote to me about his grandfather Catalino Hermosilla who was the Mayor of Ormoc City. The same thing happened in the case of Aurelio B. Servando, printer of Free Philippines and owner of NALCO Press. In December 2012, his granddaughter Victoria wrote to say:

My cousin found your article and sent it to my aunt (youngest daughter of Aurelio Servando) and I showed it to my mother Nilda S. Rotor (eldest of Aurelio's children) and my children. Many decades have passed since WWII and stories of bravery during those difficult times have been forgotten. Your article and pictures helped me to explain to my children a good bit of our family history. It also served as proof of my stories of my grandfather. My mother is now 86 years old and she was very happy to have read your article and as a consequence, she remembered more war stories that she related to my children. Thank you again for this bit of history which means so much to my family.


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Rakkasan News, Issue Number Ten - 19 May 1945

The Rakkasan Nyuso (Parachute News) was published by the Psychological Warfare Branch in Manila from about March to August 1945. It aimed to weaken Japanese morale by showing them the true state of the war. This issue of the newspaper features President Truman’s statement on unconditional surrender, order restored in Berlin, B-29 attacks on Japan and about a dozen other stories. Besides the picture of President Truman, it also depicts U.S. landing craft massed at Okinawa.

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Pictorial News, Issue Number One - June 1945

This pictorial newspaper was also printed by the PWB. The newspaper has six photographs on each side. Among the photos on both sides of this leaflet are; “Skytrains” coming off the assembly line, a wounded Japanese soldier receives a visit from an American officer, A Japanese plane brought down near Puerto Princess and Nuns rescued from the fierce fighting in Manila’s walled city.


When you work in Civil Affairs you are in charge of many aspects of the local government that you are supporting. In an article I wrote about Hurricane Andrew I pointed out that handbills and posters were made telling the people where to get food, water, medical care and even where to leave the garbage. Civil Affairs in the Philippines was certainly the same. I am sure that hundreds, if not thousands of proclamations and educational posters were printed and distributed. Ted kept a few in his archives and I will depict some examples of what he was responsible for.

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Anti-Mine Warning

This is a very important leaflet because even today thousands of people are wounded and killed by mines. I mention this in my article Psyop and Mine Awareness. Here Captain Sendak warns the Filipinos not to touch or try to move any explosives found on the ground. This is a perfect example of Americans trying to help and protect a native population.

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Don’t Touch…

We do not know exactly what the military was trying to protect here; it could be weapons, ammunition, fuel, or items of lesser military importance and perhaps more value. We do know that the civilians were warned in English and Tagalog that they would be going to jail if they were caught removing anything.

A third leaflet which I have not depicted reminds the Locals that starting 1 June 1945 they are to drive on the right side of the road and pass on the left. That is signed by PCAU 26 and is fairly important as a driver would quickly discover running into an American tank on the wrong side of the road.

A fourth leaflet seems design to fight black marketeering. It says:


It is your duty to report all violations of President Osmena’s maximum price list to the local police or PCAU Public Safety Officer. In this way, you will help to bring down prices and reduce the cost of living.

American Propaganda Leaflets

Civil Affairs and Psychological Warfare often goes hand in hand. This is true even today in Afghanistan and Iraq. If we might give the simplest example, PSYOP uses various forms of media such as leaflets and newspapers and might say to win hearts and minds: “we want you to prosper; we will build you a bridge.” Civil Affairs comes along and instead of talking about it, they deal with contractors and builders and raise the money to actually build the bridge. We find in Ted’s records many cases where he worked hand in hand with the Army’s Psychological Warfare Branch and among his papers we find many propaganda leaflets to the Japanese. Ted says about them:

These are copies of propaganda leaflets printed and distributed by American forces on returning to the Philippines in 1944-1945. Some leaflets were dropped by planes, some were fired by canister by artillery guns, some were posted in trees in the jungle by American patrols, and some were distributed by Filipino guerillas working with the Americans.

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This is a tactical leaflet designed for the Vigan-suivee area. It is a two color map that depicts the American and Japanese positions. Some of the long text on the back is:

After the American Army landed at Lingayen Gulf you fought bravely against overwhelming American forces. You did your full duty as soldiers, but the fortunes of war went against you. You have now been forced to retreat to a corner of Northern Luzon, where you are encircled by our forces.

The American forces, constantly increasing in strength and fully supplied with every sort of military equipment, have established an impregnable position. On every battlefield in Luzon the remaining Japanese forces are being mopped up and the finish of the Philippine campaign is now only a matter of time…

Soldiers! If you decide on rebirth, in order that mistakes may not occur, throw away your weapons and approach our positions or sentries with this leaflet. The time to come is between sunrise and sunset. We hope you make your decision quickly.

As in the case of every American Army leaflet, the first number shows the number in the series (116 indicates it is the 116th leaflet printed), the alpha “J” indicates who it is for (in this case “J” indicates “Japanese”), and the final number indicates who requested or disseminated it (The number “1” indicates “1st Army.”).

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Army Psychological Warfare Branch leaflet 3-J-1 seems to be the first in a series of leaflets that depicts Japanese soldiers left behind as General MacArthur advanced using his "Island-Hopping" campaign. Other similar leaflets depicted a lone Japanese soldier standing on an island (6-J-1) or a lone Japanese soldier watching a battle take place on a nearby island (22-J-1). These leaflets all had the basic same message. You are cut off and there will be no resupply. There will be no food, no water, no ammunition and no reinforcements. Some of the text on this leaflet is:

Before you reach this miserable state, which is more than men ought to endure so far from home, we want you to keep something in mind. Those who choose to come to an honorable understanding with us will find that we treat them as human beings, not as enemies. We shall hold it a duty to see that they gave clothing food, shelter and medical care.

This leaflet does not ask the Japanese soldier to surrender. To save face, it simply asks that he reach an "honorable understanding" with the Americans.

We usually don’t know much about how these leaflets were disseminated. In this case, we know from a sailor who kept one as a souvenir:

This leaflet was dropped by a flight of American Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers from the escort carrier U.S.S. Suwannee, on Japanese military positions in the Visayas, Philippines, on 22 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Three days later, on 25 October 1944, the U.S.S. Suwannee was the first capital warship to be hit by a Kamikaze plane, on the morning of the first day that Japan unveiled the new tactic of suicide attacks! A Mitsubishi Zero, with a bomb attached, dove from 8000 feet into the deck of the carrier and exploded into two great fireballs! The attacks killed 107 sailors, wounded 160 more, and forced the carrier to disengage from the battle for repairs.

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Grass for my Pillow

This is another leaflet that uses the theme of the cut-off Japanese soldier left on an island as the Allies pass him by. The image is always very sentimental and sad. In this leaflet, a realistic looking soldier dozes on a hillside while a dog, silhouetted against the sky lifts its head in a mournful howl. This leaflet was printed in May 1945. The text on the front is:

Grass for my pillow
And what was in the dog’s howling?
Voices in the night.

There is a long propaganda message on the back that says in part:


How long ago was it that you left your beloved homes, with cheers ringing in your ears, and came far across the sea to this distant island in the South. Because it was war and you are courageous, you must have come tense with the desire to do your utmost for your country. Did things turn out as you thought they would?

Look! Since the American forces landed on Leyte, in every battle the Japanese forces have been destroyed or beaten back. Now you infantry soldiers have been abandoned by your navy and air force. Your present condition is such that you must suffer even from shortage of food.

Look! Manila is lost! Iwo Jima has fallen! Okinawa has been invaded! Tokyo and other Japanese cities which are producing the war materials are being reduced to ashes by our constant bombings! Even the Japanese fleet, hidden as it was in the Inland Sea of Seto, has been attacked and badly damaged by American carrier-borne bombers!

Soldiers: Do you think reinforcements will come? Don’t you think further supplies are out of the question? Think hard. Is going to a useless death true courage? If you die meaninglessly in a strange land, who will rebuild the future Japan when peace comes?

Why don’t you come over to the side of the Americans and wait for the war to end? Your comrades-in-arms who are already here have completely recovered their health and are enjoying community living under the protection of the Americans.

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This leaflet seems to say 15-J-1 on the front (The image is used on more than one leaflet - in 15-J-1 it is in black and white, not blue), but the back says 135-J-1. It shows a number of Japanese prisoners of war eating a hearty meal at an American camp. On many islands the Japanese were starving so the sight of a big plate of food was thought to be very tempting for them. Notice that the eyes have been covered. This was done to reassure the soldiers that nobody would know they had surrendered. Of course, it allowed the Japanese officers to say that these were not Japanese soldiers but American actors. Some of the text is:

You have fought bravely, but fate was against you and today you are in a difficult situation.

Why not make up your minds to come over to the American side and join your friends shown in the photograph? While there are no luxuries, plenty of good food will be given to you…

It is best to have this paper with you, but you will be safe without it. When you meet the American soldiers, raise both hands and obey their signs. There is a future for you.

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This is a strange little leaflet showing some New Year’s decorations. I would not have added it except for the code. Notice that in this case the last number is no longer “1.” It is now “6,” which indicates that this leaflet was prepared by or for General Kruger’s American 6th Army in the Philippines. The back has a sketch of Kagu Mountain, south of Nara in the city of Sakurai. It is linked to Emperor Jimmu, the legendary founder of Japan. The 6th Army Psychological Warfare Branch was established in September 1944 at Hollandia. The Army consisted of the X Corps, XIV Corps and the First Cavalry Division.  The 6th Army Psychological Warfare Branch was established in September 1944 at Hollandia. The Army consisted of the X Corps, XIV Corps and the First Cavalry Division. The short text on the front is:

The New Year’s gate decorations are but a milestone on our road to Hell.

The back is in the form of a poem:

Yearning for the native land,

Forget-me-not stuck on my sleeve.

Reminding me not to forget my dear old

Homeland near the Kagu Mountain.

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Another 6th Army leaflet makes fun of Japanese claims in an attempt to embarrass and ridicule the authorities. It depicts a map of Japan with a giant red arrow pointing straight at Tokyo. This leaflet was printed on 7 March 1945 and says in part:


Domei Press reported on 12 February that General Yamashita said “The enemy is now at long last in our hands – at last Douglas MacArthur is in my trap. I have been chasing the enemy commander all over the southern seas area and each time he has slipped away from me. This time it will be different, and we will meet face to face.”

Japan seems the next logical place for Yamashita to chase MacArthur. How long do you think it will be before they meet there?

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General Tomoyuki Yamashita

Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita was known as the “Tiger of Malaya” and was ordered to defend the islands against the American invasion. Though it cannot be proven, some historians think that General MacArthur wanted a quick trial and a guilty sentence and at the end of the war General Yamashita was hung as a war criminal.

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I include this leaflet because it is a very rare one coded “21.” We were not absolutely sure who produced these leaflets in the past but it was believed that they were for the 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division. However, an Army PWB data sheet indicates that they were for the 11th Airborne. On 18 November 1944, the 11th landed at Leyte Beach, Philippines. After consolidating their equipment, they moved inland to relieve the 24th Infantry and 37th Infantry Divisions. Their objective was to clear a mountain pass from Burauen to Ormoc. It took 3 months of bitter fighting to drive the Japanese defenders from the pass and surrounding heights. In the end the 11th Airborne had killed almost 6,000 enemy soldiers.

Notice that this leaflet is in the form of cartoon. Without understanding a word of Japanese the message was very clear. Surrender and you will return home to your family. This type of leaflet was often printed where it was thought that the some of the finders might be unable to read. Text on the two sides is in English, Tagalog and Japanese. The cartoon side is entitled “The wise Soldier.” It depicts an American officer telling Philippine guerillas how to treat Japanese soldiers who surrender; a soldier surrenders to a guerilla and is led to an American position; he is medically treated and fed; and at the end returns to his wife and family. I doubt many of the guerillas followed this code. They hated the Japanese for the way they were treated during the occupation and years after the end of the war a lone Japanese walking in the Philippines was liable to suddenly disappear without a trace.

The other side of this leaflet depicts a map and the message in Japanese, “You know your escape is cut off.” The message in English and Tagalog is in part:


The Commanding General of the U.S. Task Force directs that any Japanese soldier who ceases resistance and comes to you to surrender, is to be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention. That means that he will not be injured, made to suffer indignation, or in any way be maltreated.

Filipino Propaganda Leaflets

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The Government of Panay and Romblon

Ted says about these leaflets:

Printed on what appears to be (and is) school pencil pads were the products of the Filipino guerilla forces. They were usually printed on whatever paper was available, frequently with a charcoal based ink, and surreptitiously distributed in the cities and town by farmers and their families among the produce they would bring to market.

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Thomas Confessor

There are a number of Filipino guerilla leaflets in Ted’s archives. Most of them are in the form of multi-page booklets. Some of the titles are: “No Surrender,” “Thomas Confesor,” “Welcome to the American Forces of Liberation” “U.S. Planes bomb Davao,” “No surrender,” “Allied Forces land on Philippine Shore," and “The Government of Panay and Romblon.”

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Welcome to the American Forces of Liberation

My original intention was to just show one of these Filipino guerilla leaflets, but they are so rare and I never saw any of them before and will probably never see them again, so I have added three of the leaflets to this article.


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The Tribune – 27 October 1944

This pro-Japanese newspaper printed a special edition to tell the Filipino people that the Americans were all but destroyed while approaching the Philippine islands. There is a list of Allied ships on the back claimed to be sunk by the Japanese off Taiwan and the P.I. that totals 130. It is known that the Filipinos kept count of the Japanese claims and often said that they had sunk more ships than the combined fleets of every single nation taking part in WWII. The Filipinos saw the panic in the Japanese military and knew that the Americans were coming in strength.

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War News

Ted came across this Japanese leaflet and saved it. He says about it:

The 20 March 1945 sheet entitled “WAR NEWS, Yamaguti Butai Hodohan” was a propaganda leaflet printed by the Japanese Army and distributed wherever it could at that time.

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Shin Seiki – New Era

He also found this Japanese propaganda magazine for the Philippines. It is a very professional production and advertises the movie, The Fall of Singapore inside:

See on the screen how the intrepid Japanese Army charged in with lightning speed through enemy positions…it baffles expectation – staggers the imagination…Swimming through death infested rivers…It has no parallel in the annals of war…etc. etc.

There is also a photo of Tojo and the headline “Independence of P.I. is Assured.” My favorite article is entitled simply “Forget the U.S.”

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I love this Japanese document. It is the oath of allegiance which the Japanese forced all Filipino soldiers and public officials and certain other leaders to sign in order to be paroled to civilian life during the occupation. Notice that the Japanese took two thumb prints. The Japanese kept one copy, one to the Amnesty Board and the signer got to keep a copy. The document is printed on very thin paper and has Japanese writing on the back which shows through the front.

This has been a brief look at the military career of a man that was sent to the Philippines to work with General MacArthur in the support and control of the civilian population. Because he had a love for and a gift of propaganda, his work went past the normal civil affairs duties and touched just on the edge of psychological warfare.

As Always, the author enjoys hearing from readers and invites comments at Sgmbert@hotmail.com.

End - 23 June 2011