Most Successful Rescue In History (2)


Did you know that the 2,146 Allied POWs rescued at the campus of UP Los Baños (which was then only growing up as the UP College of Agriculture) on 23 February 1945 had been imprisoned there for 3 years?

According to Col Frank B Quesada (Retired), Associate PMA 44, former Senate Committee Secretary, Veterans and Military Pension, members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) as members of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas, ‘participated as the lead ground assault force’ in the liberation of the POWs in UP Los Baños (

The daring rescue was actually a joint Filipino-American force, including the US 11th Airborne Division, Marking’s Fil-American Troops, Anderson’s USAFFE Bonn Military Area Unit, President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas, Fil-Chinese 48th Squadron, including the Hukbalahap.

According to the same source:

This liberation operation was described by military experts as one of the almost perfect assault-rescue ever attempted during wartime (in world War II) in the Philippines. It has become a model in the War College and Staff Schools.

All POWs on campus were rescued without any casualty. What is not so well known is that at the time of the rescue, Los Baños was 10-12 miles behind enemy lines, and the rescuers did not believe they would get everyone out there alive. ‘They told us later that they expected to get about a third of us out, maybe two-thirds,’ not all, said John MacDonald of Missoula ( Oh yes, there were priests and nuns among the POWs. Now then, let me just say that this was a case where all prayers were answered.

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