PROJECT DISCOVERY WWII TUNNELS : Calang and Target Japanese War Tunnels Survey

2023 Bamban Historical Society

Bamban WWII Museum Center for Japanese Pacific War Studies

Provincial Government of Tarlac

Tarlac Provincial Tourism Office

In the pursuit of preserving WWII History, our Field Recon Team was joined by the Philippine MIA/POW Research Team and the Pacific War Stories led by Gerald Randy Anderson, Sr., Tim Beckensall, Kevin Hamdorf (the last two are geologist and archeologist) as well as our Aeta Negrito Scouts of the Mag Antsi of Bamban Hills and Target in conducting field surveys and mapping of what remains of the Japanese war tunnels in the area.

Initial results of the surveys indicated the Japanese war tunnels in the area are mostly covered with debris, especially those located near the stream and even those on the upper slope of the Nagayama Mountain.

Some bullet heads obviously from WWII era can still be seen pierced through the tunnel wall and few artifacts retrieved.

During WWII 1945, the Japanese Eguchi Shitai constructed numerous tunnel defenses behind Clark and Fort Stotsenburg, as rear line. It was the 108th Infantry Regiment coming from northwest that penetrated the Eguchi Shitai behind Fort Stotsenburg on the last day of January 1945 and early February. The Eguchi Detachment was mostly airfield battalion units and constructed tunnel defense system around Nagayama – Target Mountain area, where the battle ensued in February 1945 in what had become the Battle of Seven Hills.Our initial assessment indicated that most of the Japanese tunnels especially those series constructed on the base of wall cliffs near the streams were heavily silted inside with voluminous volcanic and ash debris from Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Some tunnels are visibly damaged due to human activity. If only the Aeta Community in the area be assisted in cleaning and clearing the tunnels and provide clear trails so that the potential tourism of the area be developed for the benefit of the Aeta community and preserve WWII History.

Our sincere thanks to our partners and the Aeta Mag Antsi people.

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