Japanese military adventurism emboldened by their treaty with Germany and Italy continues unabated in Indo-China. Finally, today there is a reaction from USA. News report states that US Defense Oil Coordinator Harold I Ickes stopped the shipment of 252,000 gallons lubricating oil from the Jap tanker, Azuma Maru loading in Philadelphia. There was strong protest to no avail. To my young mind, this is a good sign because while US Pres Roosevelt has an aggressive attitude, American public opinion is against involvement in the war going on in Europe since Sept. 9, 1939 when I was still a lst Classman at PMA and the military analyst for “The Corps.” Majority are isolationist and even think the Japanese are incapable of waging war citing the flimsy toys they manufactured.
And now, let me say something about another “Magnificent Seven” classmates who joined the Field Artillery (FA). One of the branches of the service of our young PA is the FA initially organized in Camp Dau (near Mabalacat) Pampanga in late 1936 pioneered by Capt Jesus Vargas, 29, Lt Luis Villareal ’32 and ’36 graduates of ROSS like Lts Zoilo Perez, Felipe Pilapil followed by Lts Francisco Adriano ’37 and Simplicio Rivera ’37. It was a huge Camp later named Camp del Pilar where a Reserve Officers School and Artillery trainees are trained. I have visited the place on invitation of my Mistah Manuel Acosta to attend a fiesta in Mabalacat.
My seven classmates in the FA are: Lt Manuel Acosta, ExO Hq & Hq Btr, 141st FA under Lt Francisco Adriano ’37; Lt Basilio Genson, Instrtr, SRC & FA Trng School; Lt Eulalio Jamilosa, Instrtr, FA Trng Cadre & Os School; Fancisco Jimenez, Btr Comdr, Btr “A”; Lt Gregorio Mercado, 1″ Bn, 51st FA Regmt; Lt Leon Trinidad, together with Lt Gepte (USMA ’40) are assigned with FA Units in Tagaytay; and Segundo Velasco, ExO,Btr C 140th FA Prov Bn. FA is a very vital branch in the PA and Lt Velasco reported to me the very intensive training they are conducting to produce FA Res Os and Trainees for our citizen army expected to be about 400,000 strong in 1946 when we become an independent nation.
It may be pertinent to mention that at present Capt Jesus Vargas ’29 is the Commanding O, FA Training Center with Lt Luis Villareal as his Operations O (S-3). I think this magnificent FA Camp is the first military establishment to honor our Bulakenio hero, Gen Gregorio del Pilar.