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A sharing experience with Master Sergeant W.J. (Wally) Harpen

I had been trained as a radio operator at several service schools and later at Camp Crowder. I was an instructor in field radio operations.

Overseas in New Guinea I was assigned to the 99th Signal Batallion and at once, became part of a ten man detachment made up mostly of young and smart college types on ‘Detached Service’ (DS), to operate where needed.

We were placed in 2201st Provisional Signal Company, a paper only unit. We had no officers or noncoms except me, a Buck Sergeant.

Our first assignment was to provide radio operation for the Filipino guerrilla organizations which had developed after the American surrender in 1942. Our call sign was N8F.

We were in constant communication with Col. Wendel Fertig’s headquarters on the island of Mindanao . His call sign then was LW2. Fertig commanded the guerrilla army on Mindanao. He was aveteran of the U.S. defeat in the Philippines in 1942. The guerrilla organization on Mindanao is a gripping story in itself.

My purpose here though is to tell my story as a small part of this larger picture.

In late 1944 our detachment was assigned to Mindanao to support various units engaged in primarily gathering intelligence and communication to CINPAC for General MacArthur.

The 41st Infantry Division attacked Mindanao in Early 1945. At that time our detachment was assigned to the 41st in Zamboanga Province to operate as communication people as required; also in action with the 41st Division were elements of the Filipino guerrilla force in that area. Our detachment occasionally operated as liaison between the Filipinos and the U.S, forces.

It was on one of these liaison operations that this story occurred. (continued)


It’s a pleasure to have Master Sergeant as a contributor here at PRonlineNews since he bring real world experience to the table and can be reached at wharpen@earthlink.net

Short URL: http://pronlinenews.com/?p=1582

Posted by on Sep 30 2010. Filed under Lifestyle, News Summary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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