Japanese Occupation – Panay Resistance Supplied by American Submarines

Japanese Occupation – Panay Resistance Equipped by American Submarines



USS Narwal equipped anti-Japanese guerrillas on Panay Island

 By Peter Parsons

This is a story about my father, Commander Chick Parsons, who was instrumental throughout WWII for organizing a fleet of submarines to source the resistance in the Philippines. He was the connection involving Basic Douglas MacArthur’s GHQ and the guerrillas.

War Commenced

I was born in the Philippines and was almost 5 when the Japanese marched previous our dwelling on then-Dewey Boulevard to start out their profession of Manila. This was early January of 1942. It still runs right before my eyes like a film: a team of us community little ones was swimming in our pool as the troopers lifted their arms to us and shouted Banzai, we raised our arms and Banzai’d them back again.

Inside of a handful of minutes of that cheerful introduction to the Occupation, a platoon of troopers and a Japanese officer in a automobile with minor Japanese flags fluttering over the two entrance-wheel fenders, came to our gate on Roberts Avenue. The entire spouse and children gathered in the driveway. The officer approached and said he preferred my father to go with him.

My grandmother, Blanche Jurika, protested, saying that Chick was a Panamanian Consul and experienced diplomatic rights. She pointed to the quite substantial flag hanging from our porch. The officer walked up to her and strike her throughout the face. Down she went. For me, this was the beginning of the war. The before bombings experienced just been a prelude. I stood there shivering in the warm sunlight.

peter at age 5

We had gotten rid of all my father’s Navy uniforms and machines soon after he was deserted in Manila. The past PT Boat to Corregidor remaining without him a week previously. Considering that that time he had commenced speaking only in Spanish and hoping that his title of Honorary Consul to Panama (section of his operate as manager of the Luzon Stevedoring Co.) would gain him some advantages of remedy and even expatriation. He ended up receiving dealt with terribly, but expatriation, miraculously, was granted, mainly thanks to the efforts of Swedish Consul, Helge Janson.

Before the War

Chick had worked and traveled extensively during the Philippines. He had been non-public secretary to Governor General Leonard Wood in the early 1920s. He experienced worked in: the telephone company the La Insular Tobacco corporation a lumber lawn in close proximity to Zamboanga and in 1931 turned supervisor of Luzon Stevedoring. Though in this ability he commenced functioning with both the Mitsui and the Mitsubishi firms, sending them molasses. In 1932 he joined the USNR, and was hooked up to submarines.

Simply because of his company’s mining passions, he had in fact come to be president of a Japanese company. Some of his very best buddies before the war had been Japanese. A single in individual was E. Namikawa of Pacific Mining Co. It is fairly ironic that a man who experienced so significantly prewar workings with Japanese would close up becoming captured by them, questioned roughly by the Kempeitei in Fort Santiago and then later on to be a primary figure in the resistance against them. He had even been tempted to perform for Japanese companies during the Profession in order to be nearer to valuable intelligence details.

A lot of Japanese understood of Parsons’ routines inside of the US Navy Reserve, like one particular “Pete” Yamanuchi, a photographer. But no 1 turned him in. The night just before he was to go away the Philippines on the Japanese vessel Ural Maru, Parsons was paid a check out (about June 5, 1942) by Yamanuchi, now a Japanese naval officer. He had a circumstance of beer with him and they put a good bit of it absent. Yamanuchi wished his close friend a risk-free vacation.

The Japanese firm Parsons was president of was the “Nihon Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha,” literally Japanese mining Corporation. How this came about is that a overseas company wanted to be 60% American or Filipino and someway Luzon Stevedoring created the needed arrangements.

Performing with MacArthur and the Guerrillas

When Parsons arrived in New York on the Swedish trade ship, Gripsholm, he was sequestered by the FBI and questioned pertaining to his currently being freed by the Japanese. They felt he experienced no diplomatic privileges or rights, and he had been president of a Japanese business. In shorter, they suspected him of currently being a Japanese spy. Mates in Naval Intelligence and in the Point out Section arrived to his rescue. But prior to he went ashore to independence, he remarked to his interrogators that they were just about as terrible as the Kempeitai!

He was referred to as, in September of 1942, to provide in Standard MacArthur’s GHQ in Brisbane as the person to set up and preserve get in touch with with the resistance movement in the Philippines. To that intent Parsons “borrowed,” from the Navy, 20 boats, known as Unique Mission submarines Parsons’ little group in just MaCarthur’s larger Philippine Regional Portion was named Spyron. MacArthur despatched Parsons on the USS Tambor to southern Mindanao in March, 1943 this was the commencing of 49 distinctive missions to source the guerrillas and develop coastline watcher radio stations through the islands. Sooner or later there have been about 350,000 guerrillas and more than 200 radio stations.

When in captivity of the Japanese in Manila in 1942, Parsons began his “Manila Intelligence Group.” This was produced up of very well-identified civilians which include monks and laborers who fed facts to MacArthur until 1944 when a Filipino spy for the Japanese, Franco Vera Reyes, was in a position to eliminate many of the group. Bundled in the roundup and eventual execution was Parsons’ mom-in-law, Blanche Jurika and quite a few of his ideal good friends.

10 times in advance of the MacArthur’s renowned “Return” (the Leyte Invasion of Oct. 20, 1944) Parsons was flown to Leyte by “Black Cat” PBY. His job was to scout the invasion landing places, make contact with community guerrillas, and warn civilians away from planned bombardment areas—all this with out revealing news of the imminent invasion.

Parsons was introduced to Manila in the course of the Battle of Manila. As quickly as the Santo Tomas (civilian) Internment Camp was liberated (February 3, 1945), Gen. MacArthur set Parsons in demand of airlifting its inhabitants food on a everyday basis.

It was during his numerous excursions into all locations of the battered metropolis of Manila that he was to uncover the extent of the massacres that experienced been conducted by the Japanese forces there. He observed the total family members of an previous friend and company spouse, together with many of their family members and guests, lying slashed and burnt at their residence on Vito Cruz St. Later on the exact day he observed the nuns and clergymen at the Malate Columban compound likewise slain.

He was not to discover the destiny of his intelligence group right until their continues to be had been located a 12 months afterwards.

Immediately after the War: Assisting the Japanese

Practically promptly immediately after the hostilities were in excess of, Parsons began reconstructing Luzon Stevedoring Co. and concentrating on the activities of the Significantly East Molasses Co. These efforts introduced him to Japan wherever he assisted in placing organizations back again on their toes again. He equipped molasses to Mitsubishi, Mitsui and to the large chemical worry (and alcohol producer), Kyowa Hakko. He was in a position to get permissions from the GHQ for these corporations to operate and to import merchandise from the Philippines. He was instrumental in providing considerably-necessary funds expenditure at the very least for Kyowa Hakko.

He became quick good friends with a member of the Japanese Diet plan, Takizo “Frank” Matsumoto and via this person and his wife, Mary, Parsons realized of the issues of the Japanese swimmers who experienced started to set environment data but could not travel abroad.

Again, Parsons convinced the GHQ that these young men would only aid in the reconstruction of Japan. Two of these athletes were Hironoshin Furuhashi (now head of the Japanese Olympic Committee) and Shiro Hashizume. They in fact have been specified vacation documents and when competing in Los Angeles, they commenced to set globe information for just about every single distance from 200 to 1500 meters.

In the meantime back again in the Philippines, Parsons also committed himself to searching just after the Japanese prisoners who ended up becoming held at the New Bilibid Jail in Muntinglupa, just south of Manila. Parsons been given letters from Nobuhiko Jimbo, Takaji Wachi, Shizuo Yokoyama, thanking him for his aid in calling their people and in furnishing medications.

Wachi many thanks Parsons for elevating his household in Japan from “beggary” and helping treatment his son’s health issues (a many thanks echoed by Masako Wachi who wrote her letter just after a visit to her husband in Muntinglupa jail.)

In 1953 many Japanese swimmers arrived in Manila as Parsons’ company. By this time I realized them all personally as I experienced skilled with them in May possibly,1952, at their pre-Olympic camp in Usuki (Kyushu). I was then just a young boy starting to swim competitively, and I had been invited to sign up for these Olympic hopefuls.

A group of my workforce mates from the American University and I went with Furuhashi, Hashizume, the diver Mori,  mentor Murakami, and sprinter Hiro Suzuki (silver medal in the 100m in Helsinki) to entertain the Japanese prisoners. The swimmers also introduced offers of Japanese foods and mail from dwelling.

My quick time with the Japanese swimmers in 1952 was a most crucial event in my lifestyle. I fulfilled and produced lifelong good friends they fundamentally taught me how to swim and coach, both of those of which pursuits I continue on to do now and that Japanese persons have been not monsters. I wept when I left these pals. I was able to revisit them on several visits to Japan though my father was continue to undertaking a great deal of small business there and in 1964 for the duration of the Tokyo Olympics and then yet again when I interviewed Furuhashi for the documentary on my father, Solution War in the Pacific. At that time the Kyowa Hakko men and women hosted a awesome supper and claimed heat things about my father, calling him a gentleman of legitimate samurai spirit. I sensed a real admiration and passion for him.

Letters of Japanese Troopers

It was not right until a pair of decades ago that I observed among the several papers in my father’s scrapbooks a couple merchandise prepared in Japanese characters. There were letters and postcards intended to be despatched dwelling, but obviously created way too late for any outward mail assistance.

My father experienced observed these in an abandoned Japanese outpost at the outdated Luzon Stevedoring shipbuilding facility in Santa Mesa (Manila). He instructed his secretary to put these products absent for scrapbook filing.

I had the assistance of regional historians, Rico and Lydia Jose, who instructed me that these were being letters to family members prepared just ahead of the Battle for Manila. I spoke to a consul of the Japanese Embassy in Manila. The embassy showed no desire in any way in assisting me find the meant recipients.

Pay attention to the now-silent voice of a young Japanese soldier in Manila, 1945, about to enter into a ferocious fight that would close his everyday living:

“After staying wounded, I acquired frightened, but it was a fantastic encounter. When I hear the audio of bullets and smell the smoke, no make a difference exactly where I am, I drop down on the ground (conceal). Appears cowardly but it is the genuine experience of any person in the battlefield.”—Tsuji Kyoshi to Tsuji Shizue.

Then Kiyoshi Nishiha, a Japanese particular person who maintains a internet site known as “Enable War Memorabilia Occur Property,” acquired in contact with me and available to attempt and obtain the supposed recipients. I sent him pics of the postcards and letters. I experienced no illusions about having any of these missives obtaining a home, but within a fairly short time he informed me that he experienced positioned a identify-nephew, Shinji Kidoguchi, of a person of the writer’s. With the appropriate address, we sent off the objects that had been penned by the deceased soldier (Arata Kidoguchi).
(True letters can be observed at: http://www.rose.sannet.ne.jp/nishiha/iryuhin/techo.htm )

My have joy at this relationship was absolutely nothing as opposed to the emotions of the household in Japan (Yamagata City). They sent me a most heartwarming letter and a box of a Japanese delicacy. A “happy ending” for one particular item but so considerably no hits on the others.

My father experienced seen the Japanese at their greatest and their worst he even bore a scar on his neck from a stabbing that nearly killed him. He was fast to put powering him everything adverse and pursue his company, his existence, renewing aged friendships, creating new kinds. At the conclude, I believe he had additional good friends in Japan than in the nation of his start, the Usa.

People have frequently questioned me and my brothers how my father could just proceed immediately after the war as if it hadn’t happened. I feel it is mainly because he experienced these a huge heart He noticed things as they were—the war was above! He was swift to forgive and neglect. And as a extremely realistic man he saw the have to have to get on with his life and operate. When he saw his previous enemies lying prostrate, he presented them kindness and a supporting hand. I noticed him do this time and once more. He did not do this from spiritual mandates, but out of  a legitimate and generous humane instinct. Their abject condition must have reminded him of his personal incredibly weak and humble beginnings in Tennessee.

I would like to conclusion this with the light voice of Tsuji Kyoshi once more:

“Things I find out right after just one yr in the Philippines is how to prepare dinner rice and how much h2o to increase. I didn’t know I should really set h2o! Hahaha. How to wash clothes with no damaging them. How to place the mosquito internet at evening. No person can beat me how rapid to do this.”

Commander Chick Parsons’ lifestyle was chronicled in “Mystery War in the Pacific,” a documentary film which his son Peter used 10 a long time to  produce.  Specifics are offered at:


Mr. Peter Parsons is now doing the job on a new documentary film on the Fight of Manila, Manila 1945: The Forgotten Atrocities.”