Segment 10


Alex Vraciu knew that the next time they saw air action it would be part of a landing somewhere. When his group was joined by a young ensign who had just been shot down the pilot verified that there was a landing about to take place at Lingayen Gulf. Vraciu was made a brevet major in the guerilla group. He later learned that he had also been made the group administration officer. They passed by the prison there and made their way through several little villages the whole time ducking the Japanese. The villagers would bring them raw eggs and pineapples. On the journey up north Vraciu learned that there were native populations who fought each other harder than they fought the Japanese. There were about eight Americans in the group. One of them was an Army Air Force pilot who had about 10 victories in P-38s. He had crash landed and broke his back. He was picked up by the bad guerillas and turned over to the good guerillas. He survived the war and lives in California. When the last pilot was brought up to the group the Bataan survivor who was in charge of the group decided that he was going to send 150 guerillas up north to meet the Americans with all of the materials and information they had that would be helpful to the American forces. The man that was to lead the group had an attack of malaria. Vraciu had an attack of malaria while in Washington DC a year after the war. Vraciu asked if he could go along and was appointed to lead the group. The guerillas all called Vraciu major. They made their way to the north. At one small town an American lady who was married to a Filipino and the mayor of the town were taken to meet Vraciu. All of a sudden shots rang out. Vraciu did his best to make himself scarce. A young Filipino wearing a Japanese flight helmet and carrying a rifle ran up to Vraciu and pointed it at him. Vraciu told the boy to take him to the group’s leader. On their way down the hill more shots were fired and one of Vraciu's men ran out and cut him down. It angered Vraciu and he later lashed out verbally at the leader of the group they had run into. Vraciu was taken to the camp where the other group stayed. The camp was on a river bank. On the other side of the river there were Japanese troops. Vraciu was armed with a rifle in case the Japanese crossed the river.


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