TN 16 (11-92)

RS 01702.510 Philippine Scouts and Resident Filipino Members of the U.S. Navy

A. Background

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 than dishonorable.

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.

B. Policy - Service by Filipino citizens

Service during WW II by Filipino citizens who served in the U.S. Navy or in the Philippine Scouts (which was a component of the U.S. Army), is considered active military service if performed:

  • under the direct supervision of recognized military authority; or

  • as a prisoner of war (POW); or

  • in missing in action (MIA) status while serving in guerilla service under a commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or under a commissioned officer of the Philippine Commonwealth Army (PCA) recognized by, and cooperating with, the U.S. forces.

Service in the PCA, which later became the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), is not covered. Members of the PCA, USAFFE, or Philippine Constabulary are not eligible for MS wage credits, or deemed insured status, even though proof of MS may originate from a U.S. service department.

If the Philippine Scout enlisted in October 1945 or later pursuant to the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945, his service under such enlistment is active service for purposes of MS wage credits provided by Sec. 217(a) and 217(e) of the Act. However, it is not active service for purpose of the deemed insured status provisions of Sec. 217(b).

C. Policy - Proof of service

1. Development Required for Proof of Service

Because questionable service of the Philippine Scouts and resident Filipino members of the Navy will not be reflected on the veteran's discharge certificate, a SSA-654-U4 must be completed by the Army (NPRC) or Navy in every case, regardless of the evidence presented by the claimant, with these exceptions:

  • The serviceman would not be insured even if wage credits were granted for all service shown on other evidence, or

  • the National Archives and Records Administration has provided information per RS 01701.036.

2. Completion of SSA-654-U4

In order to alert the NPRC to the need for special handling in Philippine Army cases, enter in “Remarks” following Part 2, the notation “Philippine Services.” So that the Navy will provide the required information in resident F