The confusion which existed in the Philippines following the attack on Pearl Harbor
in December 1941, and the capitulation of our forces in May 1942, affected the active
service status of most Philippine Scouts and resident Filipino members of the Navy.
Some of the Scouts and resident Filipino Navy men escaped capture and returned home.
Others were beleaguered, or captured, and later released. Still others joined guerrilla
forces. In many cases the service departments determined that these men were missing
in action (MIA) for a specified period of time.
In view of the circumstances, there are certain periods of time that a Philippine
Scout or a resident Filipino member of the Navy may or may not be considered to have
been in the active service for any Sec. 217 purposes. Periods in which the serviceman
was in a beleaguered status or was a prisoner of war (POW) are deemed periods of active
service. Normally, a period during which he was in a MIA status is not a period of
active service. However, if during a Philippine Commonwealth Army (PCA) MIA period,
he had recognized guerrilla service or unrecognized guerrilla service under either
a commissioned officer of the U.S. forces or a PCA commissioned officer recognized
by and cooperating with the U.S. forces, the period of MIA during which he performed
guerilla service is considered a period of active service.
After the capitulation of our forces in the Philippines on May 6, 1942, some Scouts
and resident Filipino members of the Navy were captured and subsequently paroled by
the Japanese upon condition that they return to their homes and lead a normal and
peaceful life. The parole and resumption of civilian life constituted a release from
active service at the time of the parole, so that if death occurred within 3 years
after parole, the serviceman is deemed to have died a fully insured individual for
Sec. 217(b) purposes. A Scout or resident Filipino member of the Navy who escaped
capture and returned home to pursue a peaceful civilian life is considered as released
from service as of the date he returned home. When a serviceman was released from
service under these conditions, the release is considered as under conditions other
In addition to cases in which the application of Sec. 217(b) will result in an insured
status, there will be situations in which it results in a higher benefit.