War Trophies : Balangiga Bells

Balingiga Massacre

Gen Jacob H. Smith ordered:
"I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the better it will please me... The interior of Samar must be made a howling wilderness...'

This resulted in the Genocide of about 50,000 Filipinos. Smith was found guilty, admonished and retired from service, but charges were dropped shortly after. He was later hailed as a war hero.

That genocide was not enough, they looted 3 church bells and a 7 foot canon as war trophies. One church bell is in the possession of the 9th Infantry Regiment at Camp Red Cloud, their base in South Korea, while two others are on a former base of the 11th Infantry Regiment at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The United States government has been adamant that the bells are US government property, that it would take an Act of Congress to return them and that the Catholic Church has no say in the matter. The Wyoming Veterans’ Commission favored the return of the Filipino-American War relics, however, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal stated that he disagreed with the Commission and opposed returning the bells.

They stole our bells and refuse to return them ...for more than a century now. What kind of stupidity is this ?

These bells belong to us!

Comments (8)

They are out of tune anyway. I will see if perhaps they can be melted down and dropped as ingots the next time a cargo plane goes by. You can make new bells then. We, the US, have a history of returning things in pieces. We did such with several Soviet Migs and tanks various defectors gave us. Why discriminate? Surely the Philippines are worthy of the same consideration we afforded the Soviets.

I can't attach a photo as a post responder (or if it can be done, I haven't figured out how yet. I have a 1902 Colt Philipppine Constabulary revolver. It has been with me since childhood. It was taken from a dead Japanese soldier on your islands. These played a somewhat important role in early American Philippine history. This video explains and shows one of them. Fewer than 5,000 were ever made.

Howling Jake Smith. The man is still on Icon of the what going to war really means. Leave no potential enemy in your rear area, not alive anyway. The Nazis understood that. So did the French in Algiers and the Khmer in Cambodia. Little children grow up to be soldiers wishing to avenge their dads. Surviving moms tell them to. So, Howling Jack had a solution. It worked too.

What it was is the Philippines were a colony of Spain. Supposedly there was mineral wealth there, or so some dreamers (Hearst, etc.) imagined. Muslim Moros chaffed under a draconian Christian dominated Spanish rule. Agents of Hearst, Dole and a few others told them that if the islands were under American rule things would be a lot better. They also lied to Teddy Roosevelt and told him the populace would love it if America threw Spain off the island and ran things there. Never mind why, but the Spanish American War soon erupted a few oceans away. Dewey's Fleet met the fleet of Montojo. Already virtually bankrupt Spain lost that little scirmish. Lost the war too. Meanwhile on the islands the 5th columnists (Moros), secretly armed by the likes of Dole and other investors successfully harassed the Spanish. Spain ceeded the islands in both oceans as part of their surrender terms. The reality was neither cluster of islands had generated much income for Spain in over a century, so giving them up actually saved them money. Spain gone, the Moros thought that meant they could rule things. The US Army was sent to pacify the new island colony. Neither the Army nor the White House had promised anything to the Moros. Weirdly the investors and speculators who had made promises evaporated away so as to secure contracts with whatever new government was created. For some strange reason the Moros felt betrayed and more so when the new Catholic dominated civil government regarded them in less than favorable fashion. Likewise some elements of the Philippine Militia (aka Army) were still a little confused about who was now in charge. Thus began what we call the Philippine insurrection. Howling Jack got ticked off when a bunch of Buffalo Soldiers (the US Army had solved the problem of what to do with them by shipping most of them off to the Philippines under the prevailing theory a savage is a savage and fighting a red skin or a brown skin should be about the same) were slaughtered at lunch by (secretly armed) Moro waiters working as contractors. Kill one, we take 10,000 in trade. This tactic worked well for Sherman when he rode through the South in our own Civil War. Smith spent much of the Civil War recruiting colored troops (aka Buffalo Soldiers), so he took the noon time betrayal and massacre personally. In spite of President Duarte's nonsense claims the actual death toll was only about 5 - 6,000. Howling Jake's orders were countermanded and the purge was haltted long before the numbers you cite were reached.
All Empires are built on such rape plunder and brutalisation.
Wont belong now until a dollar a year man will be on your blog spouting some wonky logic as to ownership.
Or how said possessions are worthless and beyond worrying about.
I put this down to the fact that as a child they most likely had a flag stuffed firmly into their skull cavity in lieu of a brain.
No doubt by repetitively being made partake with hand on heart in some sort crazy idol worship.
As that's how Empire brutalize's and maintains its loyal subjects.
I finally figured out how to post a photo as a response (well 2 ways actually), Anyways here is my WW2 bring back from the Philippines, A US m1902 Philippine Constabulary revolver, taken from a deceased enemy soldier (or so the story goes, but no question we did send it there and it was issued there to the Philippine Constabulary).Colt made fewer than 5,000 of these and all but 400 made it to the Philippines.

"Next Time"

"Such As World War Two For Instance"

"Find Someone Else To Come To Your Beloved Country"

"To Save Your Sorry Asses"

"All You Do Is Bash America"

"And Youre Sure...To Always Leave Out All The Dying"

"Americans Did Then.... For Youre Freedom There"......................detective

Don't forget Gen Douglas McArthur who liberated the Philippines from the Japanese in WW2. I haven't heard you say anything about that!scold
Frankly, this idea that the yanks saved the world (or the Philippines) is absurd. The US came into the war (WW2) extremely late and they came in after both Japan and Nazi Germany declared war on the US. Yes, their entry into the war was vital but they weren't fighting someone else's war as you all seemed to imply. They were fighting their own war and for their own survival. You did no one a favour. You saved no one but yourselves. Get real! I would have loved to see what would have happened should the US have had to stand alone against a Nazified Europe. The US would have LITERALLY stood NO bloody chance!

That aside, the Philippines was a US colony before and during WW2. The Filipino govt wanted to declare independence to avert the imminent Japanese onslaught but the US refused!! Far from saving the Philippines, the US refusal to grant the Philippines independence and the continued Filipino-US resistance is precisely what resulted in the blood-bath which the Filipino people had to endure once the Japs kicked your yankee arse out and you fled in fear!

Mind you, I often do not agree with the OP's view on the US and its policy. In my opinion, she's often way too biased against the states, but likewise, most yanks on here are way too biased in favour of the states. I have no trouble admitting that in a way, I too am biased in favour of the US given that I'd much rather have the US as a super power if I cannae have Europe due to cultural and moral compatibility with us. That does not mean, however, that I will make up history and stories just to feel better about myself! We all need a good dose or realism on here.
SimoninMark ~ I agree with you with regards the U.S. and the 'liberation of the Camps' historians seem to insist that the Americans came and 'freed' the Jews !! uh oh

Nonetheless, U.S. is a superpower, and during the Famine, many who took the ships there form Ireland, [and survived the trip] went on to make new lives for themselves, working and integrating in to American society, so I am trying to be fair.

Far too involved for a Blog, but very few Countries are 'Mother Theresa s '
This blog topic reminds me of something that took place many years ago between a grade school student and her teacher regarding a part of history assignment of a map location that that particular student was able to backtrack in another book source and prove some information to be wrong.The student and teacher went around and around about it but the student was able to show the teacher that the location of something on a map in the school book was wrong.
DamnUAll: "No title"(meet us in the poems)

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