Sgt. Narcisso Ortillano was born on the year 1920 in Gapan Nueva Ecija . He enlisted in the US Army on Feb 1941 and joined the Phillipine Scouts, 57th Infantry, at Ft William McKinley, Rizal, Philippines. He was Trained as clerk typist and soon became an infantryman. His data says that he stood 5’3″, weighed in at 118 pounds. Had black hair and brown eyes.
On January 6, 1942 in Balanga, Bataan the 57th was on maneouvers when Sgt. Ortillano sustained wounds in the head and arm from a Japanese aerial bomb, some shrapnel fragments were embeded on his femur. He was patched up and quickly returned to his unit who was now deployed in the Abucay line.
US Marines instructing Filipino aviation cadets on the use of a water-cooled .30 caliber Browning machine gun, circa 1941. Sgt. Ortilano used a similar machine gun when he won his Distinguished service cross.
In Abucay, Sgt. Ortilano was assigned to a machine gun nest and manned a M1917A1 .30-caliber Water-cooled Heavy Machine Gun. There, the 57th bore the brunt of the Japanese attack. In the thick of battle, most of Sgt. Ortillano’s crew were either dead or wounded leaving Sgt. Ortillano alone to man the machine gun nest.
He was on a water-cooled heavy machine gun when Japanese troops burst out of a canebrake in a banzai charge. He mowed down dozens of the Japanese with his machine gun, then pulled out his M1911 Colt.45 pistol and shot down five more when the machine gun jammed. A Japanese soldier who manage to get near the machine gun emplacement was able to lunge at Ortillano with his bayonet tipped Arisaka rifle and wounded him. Ortillano grabbed the Arisaka rifle and in the process got his thumb cut off. But he still held on, and with a sudden burst of adrenaline he turned the gun on the enemy soldier and stabbed him in the chest. Another Japanese soldier suddenly appeared and swung a bayonet at him, he turned his captured Arisaka rifle on the soldier and shot him dead. For his gallant stand against the Japanese, Narcisco received the Distinguished Service Cross.
Sgt. Ortillano and the rest of his comrades were captured on April 1942 at the surrender of Bataan and endured the Bataan Death March. He suffered 4 months as a prisoner of war with the rest of the surrendered soldiers. The Japanese, wanting to win the hearts and minds of the Filipinos released all Filipino soldiers leaving American and Allied POWs in captivity.
Discharged honorably as a Private 5th Class Specialist Clerk Typist from Service Company, 57th Infantry Regiment, Phillipine Scouts, United States Army. This was a discharge to enlist in the Army of the United States, as stated on his DD214. He was sworn in as an American Citizen in 1946.Upon his release, Ortilano hooked up with the guerrillas as a spy as most of the Filipino scouts were again hunted down by the Japanese when they realized that the scouts unlike the newly formed Filipino USAFFE soldiers were extremely loyal to the Americans.
Upon the return of the American forces in Leyte, Sgt. Ortillano fought on as a guerilla in, then became part of the re organized 57th Infantry, Philippine Scouts who took on the task of rooting out Japanese holdouts all over the country.
He served with the 3rd Military police Battalion, Manila, 1946 and promoted to 2nd Lieutenant from 1946-49. He was reverted to NCO in 1949.
He again fought in Korea during the Korean war. Landed at Inchon. and fought his way out of the Chosin resorvoir.
He Retired from the US Army as Master Sergeant on August 1968.