LTC E. H. Bowes assumed command of the Ist Battalion, 31st Infantry, at Cuartel de España, Manila. The battalion was tasked with providing the anti-paratroop guard for the Headquarters, United States Forces Far East. The battalion headquarters and the motor vehicle park were located at Santo Tomas University, the Rizal Stadium near Luneta, etc.
The unit was prepared to act in case of local disorder and was so employed until about 12 December, when one rifle company and one platoon of machine guns of Company “D” moved to the Manila Post office to investigate small-arms firing by alleged fifth columnists. No overt acts were observed by the military on this occasion. The battalion bivouaced on the Luneta and Wallace Field during the period 10-24 Dec. Intensive training was carried on when guard duties permitted.