Yesterday I visited the town of Aritao, hometown of Cpl. R. Salazar one of my BC escorts and met the town officials including the Chief of Police who briefed me on the peace and order situation. They were all happy to receive me. The Mayor tendered a dinner for me and we stayed overnight at Cpl. Salazar’s spacious family residence. I learned that the 14th Inf. Grlas. was initially organized in this town in Jan. 1942 from units of the 11th and 71st Divs., USAFFE, that retreated here after superior Japanese landings in Lingayen Gulf and could not make it to Bataan.
Early today we went to the strategic town of Santa Fe and met the town officials. This town is the northern most town where Balete Pass is located and acts as a cork to a bottle. Access to this province is controlled here. The Chief of Police and the Mayor briefed me of the apparent peaceful situation. In my remarks I always stressed faithful service for our people and the importance of peace and order to normal life.
By early evening I arrived back in Bayombong, happy to have completed my reconnaissance visits to all N. Vizcaya towns. I am pleased to have met all the officials I have to work with. I am, more or less, impressed with the province and the people which made me decide to bring my family to Bayombong as soon as I can.
Received word from USAFFE to Sabe your command. Take to Mt. Trails” ordered Col Bonnett to take all PA troops with him to Bobok by motor, thence over the easy ten percent old Spanish trail to Aritao where buses would meet him. He should have arrived there by the 27th. Hope he made it. I personally took the CJH personnel to Itogan and thence down the Agno River and up the Mt. to the Jorgensen saw mill on Mt. Lusod. I sent the Americans officers and Enlisted men ahead and waited for the 43rd to come in from Kennon rd and Naguilian trails. When Co A was ready and Co B distributing their loads I started off with Lt. Gasperini. The trail was not bad as far as the Agno. Then it was sure hell. Straight up an old Igorote trail. There was a ten percent easy new trail but it was pitch dark and we could not find it. Our group hiked until 6:00 AM when we reached the first piers of the cable way from Station D. Heall Lumber Co. Here we found Maj Fellows, Lt. Simpson, and Lt Jensen. They had been sleeping since midnight. (They went on and our group spent an hour or two sleeping.