Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz

June 18, 1941

News we got in Manila today states that Washington (DC) orders all German Consulates in USA be closed.  At the same time, Canadian Prime Minister King pledges total support to British  war effort.  On the other hand, Turkey signs Friendship Pact with Hitler.

I also have seven magnificent classmates in the Civil Engineer (CE) Corps, an elite branch that qualifies only those who graduated with the first 10% bracket in academics. The CE Corps  is also a new PA branch of Sv organized in late 1936 at a remote place east of Camp Murphy at Santolan Road.  As of  this date, my seven classmates in the CE are: Lt. Licurgo Estrada, Aide to Def Sec Teofilo Sison;  Lt Washington Sagun, (my wife for two years) ExO, 31st Engr Bn;  Lt Cipriano de Leon, ExO, 81st Engr Bn;  Lt Reynaldo Bocalbos, Cadre Comdr, Engr Cadre, Calape, Bohol; Lt Pedro M Yap, ExO, 1st Engr Bn; Lt Pedro B Francisco, ExO, 71st Engr Bn; and Lt Ramon Olbes, ExO, 51st Engr Bn.  Lts Licurgo Estrada and Pedro Yap were full pledge Civil Engineers when they entered PMA.  Lt Olbes was originally with us at the OSP but due to sea sickness, transferred to CE.  He was also the Baron at PMA for two years, a record difficult to surpass.

Let me tell you about the three remaining classmates whose whereabouts have not been covered.  Two of them joined the Signal Corps namely Lt Jose Rodriguez who is presently assigned as Instructor at  the Signal Troop School in Fort Mckinley.  The other, Lt Amos Francia, a fellow Bulakenio and a relative is the Div Signal O, 61st Div.  The third, Lt Florencio Causin, the best class horseman went to the Cavalry and is at present assigned to PMA as Equitation Officer.

Just as the practice today, before graduation, we were given three choices of branch of service listing by priority.  Many of my classmate chose the PAAC, OSP, CAC. FA, Inf, etc but none the PC because we felt that one does not need to have a BS degree to do police work.  Our mind was conditioned to technical matters to apply the vast academic  knowledge we have. On my part, I chose the OSP as I predicted a maritime Philippines of more than 7,000 islands whose territorial area is 75% water needs sea power as its primary defense like Japan and England to be a great nation. Capt. Jose V Andrada, USNA ’31, then C,OSP came personally to PMA to interview the many applicants and I was lucky to be among the magnificent seven selected. This accounts for all the 79 members of Class ’40 and their whereabouts.