Guy O Fort

Guy Osborne Fort, born in Keelerville, Michigan in 1879, joined the regulars of the 4th U.S. Cavalry as a teenager and came to the Philippines in 1899 with the unit. He remained there in 1902 when the regiment shipped back home and joined the newly-formed Philippine Constabulary as a 3rd Lieutenant, eventually rising to the rank of colonel in the PC by 1941. Promoted to the rank of brigadier general shortly after Pearl Harbor, the 63 year old former horsesoldier was given command of the freshly stood up 81st Division (Phililpine Army) in the Lanao province of Mindanao as part of Brig. Gen. (U.S.) William F. Sharp’s Visayan-Mindanao Force. Formed largely from local Moros, the understrength unit was soon known as the Moro Bolo Battalion for obvious reasons. While Fort prepared his division to wage guerrilla warfare against the Japanese, he was ordered by Sharp to surrender on 10 May 1942. Fort did so under protest on the 28th, the last divisional sized unit to strike their flags, but paroled his men with their weapons, many of whom promptly faded away to the hills. While a prisoner Fort would be shot by a Japanese firing squad in November after he refused to work with them to bring the holdouts down from the mountains, reportedly yelling, “You may get me but you will never get the United States of America,” just before the firing squad went to work. General Fort’s remains are “buried as an Unknown in Manila American Cemetery Grave L-8-113,” and he is the only American-born general officer to be executed by enemy forces. Meanwhile, Col. Ruperto Cadava Kangleón (Phililpine Army), who had commanded the 81st Divion’s 81st INF Regt (Provisional), would escape capture and become the acknowledged leader of the Resistance Movement in Leyte during the Japanese occupation.

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