Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz

May 31, 1941

Due to the fact that OSP top leadership are all USNA graduates ranging from Capt Jose V Andrada ’31 to Lt C J Albert ’39, the Os consider themselves the elite in the PA.   When Capt E L Jurado USNA ’34 reported from Aberdeen Prov Grds, he replaced Capt A Pecson ’33, to become Ex-O, OSP.   This pride syndrome is fortified when we learned that the Phil is among the few countries having Torpedo Boats in their arsenal, the others being England, USA and Italy.   England and Italy had their Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) after WW I.

USN started theirs only two years ago called Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats.   We call ours Q-Boats to honor Quezon.

Torpedo boat assignment seems attractive and glamorous as your naval officers in the Italian, British and US Navies register their preference. Perhaps, the best known among them is a certain Lt (jg) John F Kennedy, CO  PT 109. To give you an idea, here is part of what Life reporter Carl Mydans wrote after he had a ride aboard Q-113 last March: “If you stood atop a car racing down a flooded highway at 65 miles per hour, you would experience the sensation of being aboard one of the smallest, fastest, roughest and most exciting fighting ships of the Commonwealth of the Phil, if not the world.”

“Pound for pound, this ‘mosquito suicide boat’ is by far the deadliest then afloat, for as a vest-pocket sea raider, it could be used for daring David-and-Goliath attacks on superior forces.   Its torpedoes can sink the proudest dreadnought.   It could glide silently on its cruising engine to make stabbing thrust.   Its 4-ft draft could skim over minefields and maraud enemy harbors.   Speed, surprise and three 50 Cal cannons are its main protection . . . . . . .”