January 3, 1942

Bataan

51st Division C.P.

(Provisional Brigade)

 

Slept last night in a deserted nipa shack beside a lazy river. It was very windy and I missed my soft, warm, spring bed. Bothered by mosquitoes the whole night. This morning the doctor gave me quinine. He said “mosquitoes here are anopheles. You might get malaria.”

Spent morning looking for C.P. of Gen. Jones. nobody knew where it was. Major Mascardo gave me a good suggestion. He said: “Follow the telephone wires and they will lead you there.”

My general and Jones had a long conference. I was outside talking to some of the officers who were having fox-holes dug. Officers in this C.P. believe the convoy will arrive in two weeks time. The general opinion is that the USAFFE will be back in Manila “by the end of the month.” Very few think “maybe by next month.”

Concrete impression is that Japs were not such good fighters and that they were very poor in hand-to-hand fighting. Everybody ended conversation about Japs with sigh: “If only we had the planes, not a single Jap would have been able to land.”

Chaplain Quadra caught a chicken and he fried it for the general and staff. I am ashamed I had such a good meal because I know that up to now some of the troops have not yet eaten. I have a feeling food will be a problem here unless the supply system is organized. Col. Caluyag, G-4, said the food for the troops is being cooked right now. My sergeant asked me for a banana. He said he had not yet taken his breakfast.

Saw Gonzalo Gonzalez. He looked very tired. He said: “Phil, the troops have not yet eaten since last night and we have been working and working.” I could not talk to him for a long time because the general was in a hurry. I also saw Fermin Fernando and Alex Albert. They did not say anything to me but they just waived because they were rushing to a truck. They looked very dirty and their blue-denim uniforms were covered with dust. I told the general: “I think, sir, the troops have not yet eaten.” “I know,” he said, “it’s the fault of the damned supply trucks. Nobody knows where they have bivouacked.”

Col. Garcia just came in and told the general that our lines have been stabilized, sector strengthened, enemy not in sight, but that he’d feel better, “if we had more machine guns.”

G-2 section reported that Japs bombed Gen. Segundo’s sector this afternoon. The enemy is evidently massing his troops for a thrust in Mt. Natib. So far he is limiting himself to aerial reconnaissance and bombardment. No fighting in front lines.


December 30, 1941

Ft. McKinley,

Command Post

 

Our division has been ordered to move to San Fernando, Pampanga. The general said that very heavy fighting continues on the northern front. Troops under Generals Capinpin, Stevens, Shalleck and Brower are fiercely resisting the enemy’s full-dress attack.

Meanwhile the enemy has increased intensity of his raids in Luzon. Local air force however has struck back with increased fury. The 11 a.m. communique from MacArthur’s headquarters said that a Filipino pilot and two American airmen show down eight planes in engagements over southern Luzon during the past few days. Cesar Basa of the Ateneo died in one of these raids. His plane was attacked by 50 Japs. (Cesar and I used to swim together.)

Tuned in on radio with Signal Corps boys. Japs seem to be gaining ground in all fronts. Hong Kong’s governor has surrendered. Japanese troops on Malay east coast are reported approaching the Kemmanan area, 225 miles from Singapore. Contact with Kuching, capital of Sarawak has been lost since last Wednesday. Tokyo radio claims they have not bombed Santo Domingo Church.

Just found out there are many Ateneo boys with our division. Among them are Gonzalo Gonzalez, Alex Albert, Fermin Fernando, Henry Burgos, Gregg Anonas, Bert Misa, Saturn Velasco and others. Will try to find out how they are if the general gives me permission. He always wants me to be near him with all his maps and plans. Yesterday he told me that in addition to my duties as aide, I was assigned to also write the history of our division.

Heard the 26th cavalry was annihilated in Pozzorubio. They charged against tanks and artillery. An eye witness claims he saw “headless riders charging onward.” Another said that some members of said unit “jumped at tanks, pried open their turrets and hurled grenades.” MacArthur awarded DSC’s to members of this brave unit. Most decorations were posthumous.

Our division observers reported huge columns of smoke rising into the sky around Pandacan. No information on the cause or source was available in command post this morning. Apparently the Japs are not paying much attention to Open City declaration. However the general said that when we move to Pampanga we shall not cross Manila to abide by provisions of Open City.

Reports received in command post this morning indicate that troops under Gen. Segundo are also moving to Pampanga. Japs are apparently entering Laguna preceded by strong aerial and tank formations. Several young Baguio cadets, recent graduates of the Academy, were reportedly killed in action in the beaches of Tayabas. Capt. Fusilero who was in Camarines said the Japs were well acquainted with the terrain and they carried accurate maps.

Can hear Col. Garcia shouting at truck drivers. He is ordering them to park the trucks under cover of trees. “Do you want us to be bombed?” he is telling the chauffeurs.

Officers of the division spend their spare time discussing about the convoy. Some think it will arrive in a week’s time. Others say it will be three weeks. Fred said “Oh, maybe two months:” and everybody branded him a “low-down pessimist.” Fred explained: “Don’t get excited, fellows. I was only fooling. I think it will be three months.” The chaplain told Fred to pipe down because he was not funny. I ventured the opinion that the convoy would be here in three days and everybody cheered me. Fred said: “What’s your reason for thinking three days?” I said it was not ‘reason’ but ‘intuition’. I also pointed out that Roosevelt said “Help is on the way.” “If it’s the family way,” said Fred, “it’ll take nine months.”

Now Fred’s got me doubting…….

 


December 22, 1941

I had lunch at USAFFE HQ today with my friend, Sid Huff, and was surprised about his conversion from Lt. (SG) USN to Major US Army now Aide to Gen. MacArthur.  The latest info he gave me is about an armada of Japanese invasion ships heading for Lingayen Gulf.  Another enemy group is heading towards eastern Luzon.  Apparently, the earlier reported enemy landings in Aparri, Vigan, Legaspi and Davao were diversionary recon in force.

I also talked with Ens. George Cox, CO PT 41 on duty when S.S. Corregidor sunk five days ago.  He said PT 41 was leading the ill fated ship at the channel but suddenly, all at once, the S.S. Corregidor veered course towards the minefields and his efforts to stop her were to no avail.  There was a loud explosion after hitting a mine, the ship sank so fast virtually all aboard went with her including the ship captain. There were very few survivors.

The newly activated 1st Regular Div. reported to South Luzon Force under Gen. Parker two days ago.  Also, effective Dec. 20, all Div. Commanders who are not generals were promoted to Brig. Generals which included Fidel Segundo, Mateo Capinpin, Guy O. Fort and Luther Stevens — all PA Officers.

Camp Murphy is crowded with hundreds of civilian volunteers –drivers, students, laborers, etc– for the USAFFE.  I am told the same is happening in all mobilization centers, a commendable manifestation of willingness to fight against the invaders. Seeing many so eager and enthusiastic makes me proud of our people.

Late in the afternoon, the 1st Q-Boat Squadron got an “Alert Order” for a possible mission whose details are being spelled out.  With our training and preparations, I personally feel we are ready to perform whatever it will be.


December 19, 1941

Today is a historical day for the OSP.  The whole OSP command was inducted into the USAFFE this morning and two hours after the ceremonies at Muelle del Codo, the Japanese bombed Port Area.  OSP HQ was spared but Engineer Island where eight hulls of new Q-Boats are about to be completed was a direct hit and our hopes for those additional boats are gone with the wind.  I feel sorry for my former boss, Maj. Jose V. Andrada (USNA ’31), who fought vigorously for locally made Q-Boats since last March after the successful test of locally made Q-113.  I suspect his relief as C,OSP had to do with his issue against Gen. MacArthur.

Today is also a historical day for my alma mater PMA.  Through its officers and cadets, it was reborn from an academic institution and activated as an instrument of war renamed, First Regular Division, with Col. Fidel Segundo (USMA 1917), the Superintendent, as Div. Comdr. at UST Campus.

The Div. was inducted into the USAFFE also today.  Lt. Col.Santiago Guevara, Comdt. of Cadets, became the Div. C/S; Asst. Comdt. Capt. Alfredo Santos became Comdr., 1st Regmt.; former PMA Instructors took most of the senior staff jobs.  Among my classmates in this Div. are Lt. Job Mayo as S-1; Lt. Alfredo Filart as S-2; Lt. David Pelayo, & Lt. Jose Javier, Co. Comdrs.

It can be recalled that after Baguio was bombed on Dec. 8, PMA went down and settled later at UST Campus in Manila.

Five days ago, Classes ’42 & ’43 were graduated and ’44 & ’45 were disbanded and sent home disappointed because they wanted to fight for their country.

One of the plebes, Eleuterio Adevoso tearfully expressed to me his disappointment. Japanese forces are poised to attack and land in Hongkong which is defended by the British Forces.


August 21, 1941

Our Q-Boat tactical training, AA firing drone targets towed by airplanes is going on as scheduled. All hands (Os & EMs) are required to man the .40 Cal. AA guns and fire like when we were at PMA during rifle markmanships. OSP policy is all hands are supposed to be capable of being AA gun crew members. AA exercises will last during the week followed by depth charge firing next week.

The newly established Command and Gen. Staff School (CGSS) whose Commandant is Col. Clifford Bluemel USA is scheduled to open come Sept. 1 in Baguio.  Senior O’s capable of being Division Comdrs. and Div. Staff are being selected by a Board to undergo training in this School.  So far, the following O’s have orders to attend the CGSS:  B/Gen Vicente Lim; Cols. Mateo Capinpin; Fidel Segundo; Col. Luther R. Stevens; Col. Guy O. Fort; Salvador F. Reyes; Juan C. Quimbo; Eustaquio Baclig; Pastor Martelino (our PMA Supe); Bradford Chenoweth; and Joseph Vachon.

Manila news states that in France, Vichy arrested 5,000 Jews  and sent them to the Drancy Concentration Camp that opened  yesterdat.  On the USSR front, the Soviets blow up the Dneiper Dam to halt further German advances


June 28, 1941

Today’s Manila News says Finland declared War on USSR.  And Louis Chevrolet, builder of my favorite car, died at age 63, but I am still very much in love with that Chevy Apple Green Coupie.  Let me continue to pay tribute by mentioning those early military pioneers.  The PC being the core of our new PA, PCA Alumni are the primary source and its roster from 1907 to 1935 only totals 508 which means there were only about 400 to select from.  Maj Porfirio Zablan and Lt Pelagio Cruz of the PAAC came from this pool.  Other sources are the Phil Scouts (PS) and US Army’s Phil Depmt (USA) at Ft McKinley.  My friend, Lt Luis Villareal, former Jr Aide to the Pres, informed me that Quezon was personally involved in the selection of these pioneers.  He first selected Gen Vicente Lim USMA ’14 to be the G-1 of C/S Paulino Santos.

Early PS recruits were Cols Fidel Segundo for UP; Pastor Martelino, Capts Rufo Romero and Emmanuel Cepeda for PMA.  These PS Os were promoted one rank higher which was termed assimilated ranks.  Maj. Paciano Tangco who had an aptitude for radio communication was picked by Quezon to pioneer the Signal Corps. He was assisted by Capt Lasseter Mason USA SigC. Then came the UP group headed by Lt Francisco Licuanan & Manuel Quiogue; thence by Manuel Syquio, Amos Francia and Jose Rodriguez from PMA. They built a great Branch of Service.

I remember Miss Rosky Santos, beautiful daughter of C/S Gen Santos who used to attend our Yearling summer hops as a drag of Cav Pedro Francisco.  I wonder where she is now. 


Wednesday, April 3, 1940

Segundo-Daily Reminder - 1940_Page_082

Meeting at Malacanang w Pres Q. Mac, Sutherland, Sec Sison and Gen. Staff re site Mil. Acad.

Meeting opens up with Pres Q & MacA talking informally as if we were not present. We were being used as background only. MacA proposes site to be Quezon City. They discuss advantages of Quezon City. Lim talks and says there is a board charged with the location and that the board has started its work. More discussion of Quezon City. I open up and tell them of our board work. I open up a map and show them where we are working. I explain the requirements of a Mil. Acad. site. MacA says something in rebuttal. P. Quezon mentions about cost of water & sewer system if we go to the mountains, and the cost of the road. Pres Q. talks about going Ipo. We will reconnoiter this place too.

Comments: Pres Q. wants the Acad. to be in Quezon City and he uses MacA to be tool for the proposition.  Mil. expert style. The plan is this. The three million pesos must go to Quezon City by hook or by crook. To justify reduction of Mil. budget

[continued on next page]

it must appear that no such reduction is being made as the supposed reduction is going to the building of a Mil. Acad. But that academy must be built in Q.C. Thus two purposes are accomplished. After this money is already spent in Q.C. it will be found without doubt that the selection was poor so that the Mil. Acad. will be moved somewhere again but the Quezon City shall have been built up. MacA is surely acting as a tool and nothing else.


Tuesday, March 26, 1940

Segundo-Daily Reminder - 1940_Page_076

Pres Q[uezon] explodes a bombshell in graduation exercises of [Philippine] Normal School. He now says that he does not believe any longer in the MacA[rthur] theory of defensibility of the islands against a major power.

MacA[rthur] should pack up and go home.

This move of Pres Q.[uezon] is interpreted by me as the first concrete move to have reexamination of independence question.

What he means by his statement is by 1946 the country will not be able to defend itself. This will then mean that we must be given more time to train an army. This could mean only one thing — extension of Commonwealth period. The confusion of thought caused by his insistent desire for independence nevertheless points to one thing — he wants others to go after the reexamination. He wants the people to lead in the reexamination problem.

The bad thing however is that the people may question the necessity & prudence of further expenditure for national defense if such is not sufficient to defend the country. As he makes or unmakes public opinion however the effect may not be so bad.


Wednesday, March 13, 1940

Segundo-Daily Reminder - 1940_Page_067

At Baguio.

Review for the President.

Incident Marching Valdes coming to the stands. Also the idiot Roxas and two others.

After review we went to the reception & tea.

Pres Q in speaking of MacA said “I have been fooled. I am sorry I did not consult you at the beginning. MacA has been bluffing all along. About his interview w Romulo on his birthday. That may be alright w Romulo but I wonder MacA ever thought that there are officers in our own army and in his who could criticize that interview.” I laughed and said the interview was all propaganda and had no value.

Pres Q said that MacA talks about great things but in reality they do not provide the defense we are looking for.

He spoke about building a real mil. academy and that we must definitely get the site now. He will give 3 million pesos to start with.

My estimate is as follows: When the army budget was reduced nothing was said of the use of the money saved. The mil. academy was not mentioned. Everybody in the Gen. Staff and Sec. S. thought the money would go to the development of Quezon City. Then the papers broadcasted criticism of the use of the excise tax for which Vargas made a weak explanation. The US Congress criticized also and Mike E had to defend the expenditure.

Pres. R probably raised hell for this extravaganza & for the neglect of the national defense and now Pres Q