Eye-Deep in Hell: A Memoir of the Liberation of the Philippines, 1944-45

William A. Owens, Author Southern Methodist University Press $24.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-87074-279-8
During WW II, Owens, an Army counterintelligence officer, gathered evidence of collaboration by Filipinos who served in the puppet government during the Japanese occupation. This assignment, described in detail, presented unique problems as he became involved with officials of a government dominated in turn by Spaniards, Americans, Japanese and again by Americans. His reflections on the ambiguities of collaboration in connection with his cases are well worth reading. A more dangerous assignment brought him in contact with the Communist Hukbalahap. Sent to arrest the Huk leader of this guerrilla force, which fought the Japanese and was now turning anti-American, Owens learned much about a Vietcong-like movement that in postwar years nearly toppled the government of the Philippines. A lieutenant, Owens devised a plan to recruit a Huk regiment into the U.S. Army. To his surprise, the plan was put into effect and the unit won a commendation for its operations against Japanese troops. The memoir ends on a bitter note as the author recalls how the work of the Counter Intelligence Corps was largely negated by the amnesty declared by General Douglas MacArthur and president Sergio Osmena. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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