Lt. Col. Jesse T. Trayvick USA, Wainwright’s emissary traveling under a flag of truce accompanied by a representative of Gen. Homma, did not find difficulties delivering the “surrender orders” to Visayas-Mindanao USFIP CG, W. F. Sharp who, in turn, immediately issued written surrender orders to all his subordinates: B/Gen. Albert Christie, Panay; Col. Roger Hilsman, Negros; Col. Irvin Schrader, Cebu; Col. Arthur Grimes, Bohol and Col. Ted Carrol, Samar-Leyte. It is reported that all USA personnel and a few hundred Filipinos surrendered in compliance with Gen. Wainwright’s orders but many PA units led by their O’s, specially in Panay and Negros refused to surrender. In Panay where the bulk of the 61st Div. is assigned are my classmates Lts. Amos Francia, Ramon Gelvezon and Pedro M Yap who believe Gen. Wainwright had no more authority to give orders after he became a POW. Apparently, they were able to convince their Philippine superiors like Majors Macario Peralta and Nick Velarde and so when their Div. Comdr. Christie told them about the surrender at Mt. Baloy, Peralta and Velarde categorically replied their refusal stating their plans to continue to fight the enemy. Gen. Christie seemed to understand and even left the remaining funds to the Div. Fin. O. Meanwhile, in Negros my classmates there are Lts. Uldarico Baclagon, Abenir Bornales and Epifanio Segovia and they also were able to convince their superiors, Captains Ernesto Mata and Salvador Abcede, to disregard the surrender orders of Col. Hillsman. In Southern Luzon and Bicol Area, surrender emissary B/Gen. G. Francisco delivered the orders and like in the Visayas, only the Americans and a few Filipino USFIP members complied and surrendered.
Despite Hitler’s nightly air raid, Churchill’s England keeps fighting back. Their radar system are a great help. The PA’s two elite branches, the OSP and PA Air Corps (PAAC) are busy with their training programs. Because they are located in Manila area our classmates easily maintained contact and found ethos sympathetic to our PMA experience. I became a sort of message center being stationed in Port Area and residing in Manila, among my classmates from the different PA branches far and wide.
My classmate who kept me abreast of the goings on at PAAC is Cav Alberto “Kabayan” Aranzaso, a close chum at PMA. PAAC Hq is located at what was popularly known as Nichols Field but their specific base is called Zablan Field (now Villamor AB) named after an early pioneer, Maj Porfirio Zablan PCA ’15, who died in a plane crash. Out of the 32 class ’40 that tried out, 17 finally got their wings. Tomas Tirona was the first to solo flight while Nolasco Escobar with his instructor Maniquis, crashed, killing Maniquis and an Air Field was named after him. Escobar survived and got his wings.
To date, my 17 PAAC classmates are assigned to various post participating in rigorous training. Alberto Acena and Pedro Baban are with the 9th Obsvn Sqdn in Cebu; Mariano Punzalang, Pedro Bartolome, Crisosostomo Monta, and Damian Pavon are with the 7th Adv Trng Sqdn Maniquis Field, Cabanatuan, as flight instructors: Bartolome Cabangbang, Alberto Aranzaso, Urbano Caldoza, Horacio Farolan, and Pedro Aragon are with the 6th Pursuit Sqdn under 1st Lt Jesus Villamor; Tomas Tirona was appointed Comdt PAAC Basic Flying School with Lauro Ello, Nolasco Escobar, Victor Osias, and Epifanio Segovia as Flight Instructors.
After getting his wings and qualifying as an air pilot, Francisco Vitug, crashed his plane, survived but lost an eye. He transferred branch of service to Finance Service (FS). PAAC is proud of the fact that then Maj. Dwight Eisenhower while on the staff of MacArthur and helped establish PMA, learned to fly and earned his wings under the of PAAC, particularly credited to Lt Pelagio Cruz ’35 of Bulacan.