Post by CHRIS LARSEN on Jul 23, 2018 14:02:58 GMT 8
Friday, July 20, 2018, 2:43:52 PM CDT To: Lou Jurika
I recently wrote an article about my father's involvement with the resistance movement in Manila during WWII. According to his papers, he was recruited as an unpaid agent with the CIC - Naval Intelligence Corp. from 1936-1945. I am trying to figure out who recruited him to the CIC. Could it have been your father, Tom Jurika, who was the Naval Attache to Japan especially since my father was with Stanvac in Cebu (where I was born) for several years before the war?
Also, do you have any idea what happened to Franco Vera Reyes whom most people believe was the double agent who was responsible for the destruction of the spy network in Manila in 1944? Was Blanche Jurika, your grandmother, involved with the Mencarini spy organization?
Sent: Sat, Jul 21, 2018 8:23 am Subject: Re: ESPIONAGE IN MANILA DURING WWII
It was my uncle Steve Jurika, my father's older brother, who was naval attache in Tokyo before WWII. My father was working for Cebu Stevedoring prior to the war but had no connection to the military, nor any involvement with intelligence gathering, until he joined the army in February, 1942, in Cebu. After refusing to surrender he joined the guerrillas until ordered out to Australia on the submarine Narwhal in early 1944 to join MacArthur's staff, in charge of the re-supply efforts by submarine to Philippine guerrillas. He returned with the Leyte landings and then the Lingayen landings. By contrast his older brother Steve had very little contact with the Philippines after he left Zamboanga for the naval academy at Annapolis in the late 1920's. What little contact he did have was an occasional quick trip from Tokyo to Manila on navy aircraft in order to keep up his pilot flying hours.
What finally happened to Franco Vera Reyes is a total mystery. The best guess is that the guerrillas killed him, which they claimed to have done, but I have no written account nor ever seen any details.
I do not believe that my grandmother Blanche was part of the Mencarini organization. Able to live outside of STIC due to a medical dispensation, Blanche was working as a volunteer nurse's aide at Welfareville and Emmanuel Hospital with Darby, Wilks, and Stagg, all of whom were executed with Blanche. The loose-knit organization she was part of was called MIG-(15?), MIG standing for "Manila Intelligence Group". I'm not sure of the number 15 but it may have stood for the number of people involved. Blanche was donating her own money and raising funds for the guerrillas and even guaranteeing loans made by others. Eventually Franco Vera Reyes approached her with a letter and photographs from her daughter Katsy Parsons in Ashville, NC, which had been brought into the Philippines by her son-in-law Chick Parsons and which eventually found their way into Reyes's hands. Those bona fides were what enabled Reyes to penetrate the group.
Lastly, according to AVH Hartendorp's two-volume "The Japanese Occupation of The Philippines", on page 562 it reads: "On February 19, Schelke, Poole, and Major Jurika visited the station and on the 20th, accompanied by Lieutenant Johnson, they searched the site of the reported execution, but unsuccessfully. They went back again the next day and this time found 14 bodies wired together in groups of a few each, in varying stages of decomposition, among them the bodies which they believed to be those of the four internees."
I missed the BACEPOW reunion in Sacramento due to being in Cebu for a month and I leave again in four days for another month there. Besides seeing my Filipina fiancee I'm working on a fabulous project called The Babcock Diaries, written by an American who hid out in southern Leyte for the duration of the war. We'll have to chat about that after I get back.
Post by CHRIS LARSEN on Jul 23, 2018 14:05:42 GMT 8
Sunday, July 22, 2018, 3:23:42 PM CDT
Lou- Thanks for your email. The information you shared provides original insight into topics that are of great interest to me.
Seems like Vera Reyes as killed when the Americans entered Manila. Several guerilla groups including Ocampo claim they were the ones who who did him in.
Peter Parsons just sent me an email that said a Navy man named Evans was the one who probably recruited my father. Evans was the one who briefed Chick in the years leading up to the Japanese invasion. Peter said he thinks Evans first name is Jim but to check with Zobel who knows Evans first name. I'll contact Zobel tomorrow.
I spoke with my younger brother Roger a few days ago and he said my father told him he had been offered a Navy uniform and some sort some of commision with the option to be an agent instead. My father chose to be an agent.
I'll help any way I can with your research about your father being a CIA agent with what I know. it's always worth it "connecting the dots."
In the meantime please send me your brother Roger's email/contact info. Please tell him that you and I have been in contact since 2015 and that I would love to get in touch for old times sake in Manila. Is he living in Switzerland? Feel free to copy me any emails to him.
My cousin Peter is definitely your go-to guy about Manila intrigues, and he knows all the angles and names. He's been miles ahead of me for years.
Evans is thus your best best for tracking down if Pete says so, and Pete knows.
Post by Peter Parsons on Jul 23, 2018 14:08:23 GMT 8
Date: 23 July 2018
I am not sure I ever said that Evans was Navy. My father was USNR prior to the war and apparently was being taught intel by Evans. I don’t know what Evans’ status was. On my dad’s first mission to the Philippines in 1943 he was in radio contact with Evans, according to his shorthand diaries, which refer to him only by initials, which at one time thought might have been Joaquin Elizalde, but was corrected by Zobel. Evans was at that time already in the USA. I do not think it accurate to say he was Navy. Zobel can straighten us all out.
Neither is it accurate to say that Blanche was a part of MIG. And she was not working with Darby et al at Welfareville. She had been reluctantly taken into a convent, I think Sacred Heart (I am too far from my papers to confirm this right now). I have been to this convent, and learned it was located right across the street from a kempeitai station. Source of her coming into the convent is a writing by the French nun whose group was temporarily visiting there when the war broke out. If you want or need names and dates, you will have to wait until I return to Baguio or your next trip to Norfolk.
The nuns there knew my grandmother as a troublemaker, but were forced to accept her by the archbishop of Manila, O’Doherty (sp?).
When my family left Manila in June, 1942, Blanche was living at our house on Robert Street. The Pirovano children moved in with her. They were under the care of a French nanny. Blanche and the nanny clashed to the point that Blanche moved out. That’s when she took up residence with the nuns. She did return to our house once loudly demanding the secret radio that had been in use there. I do not know where she stashed this, but apparently this was the source of news she printed up for circulation. My dad refers to the use of this radio in his oral history at the US Naval Institute (copy at Macmem).
Nor was Blanche the person who introduced Franco Vera Reyes to resistance groups. BTW, he was excellent at his work as a double agent. And he was vouched for by no less a witness than General Lim. And he had been a regular visitor at the Emmanuel Church where Darby, Stagg and Wilk (sp?) worked and where the son of one of the church members, Stagg, had actually worked raising funds for Vera Reyes. Many of these details can be found in the letter to my dad by Schmelke who warned Blanche about FVR, BUT TOO LATE, and who escaped himself just in time. This letter also with Zobel.
I can’t give you too much more at this time unless I can dig up my book beginning.
In my dad’s collection (now at MACMEM) there is an envelope with no letter or any enclosures. It had been mailed to Blanche care of the Red Cross, I think. Undeliverable, but mailed in 1942. I have often wondered what that envelope might have contained.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8
faulkvi2: Hi! My name is Vickie. I am here to learn more about the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and to honor the life of my Uncle, Pvt Eugene Mott, who has not been returned to us after his death on the Oryoku Maru.
Jun 20, 2020 10:59:59 GMT 8