December 27, 1941

C.,OSP conscripted a 40 ft boat, armed her with two .30 Cal. MGs christened “Danday”, Mrs. Jurado’s namesake, for use by the OSP Lamao Beach Defenders of Bataan.  Today my ExO, Lt. Abraham ‘Abe’ Campo (USNA ’40) was rel’d. to be CO, “Danday” and to replace Lt. Campo, I selected Lt. Manuel Gomez ’41, my former classmate at MIT before we entered PMA.  The bulk of OSP shore personnel transferred to Lamao, Bataan after Manila was declared Open City three days ago and so the beach defense of Lamao eastern Bataan becomes an OSP responsibility.

The 1st Q-Boat Squadron found a suitable place called Sisiman Cove east of Mariveles Bay that conceals our boats from the air.  One mile up Sisiman River is our Support Gp. –Engineering under Lt. Jose Zulueta; Torpedoes, Depth Charges, Ordnance under Chief William Mooney, USNR; Adm., under Lt. Carlos J. Albert (USNA ’39). Since Christmas, our mission is primarily ferrying VIPs from Manila to Corregidor, the seat of government.

Today, all PAAC planes are gone.  The planeless PAAC is organized as PAAC Provincial Regiment that is proceeding to Bataan.  My province mates Capts. Pelagio Cruz and Eustacio Onrobia as well as my classmate Lt. Vic Osias are among with this Regiment.  Also, the 700 PAAC Cadets were organized as an Infantry Battalion under Maj. Jose Francisco (USNA ’31) and proceeding to Corregidor.  My classmates Lts. Bartolome Cabangbang and Alberto Aranzaso are among this Battalion.

The Jap invasion forces from Lingayen Gulf and Lamon Bay are slowly advancing towards Manila.  They have to fight every inch of ground despite their air superiority.  And if you think our situation is bad, Hongkong is worst. It was a sad christmas for the British in Hongkong.  The British garrison retreated to Kowloon but after intense bombings for three days Gov. Sir Mark Young of Hongkong gave up easily and  surrendered to Japanese Gen. Sakai on Christmas Day.


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.


December 17, 1941

The disaster in Pearl Harbor resulted in the silent quick relief of its top commanders. Today without ceremony in his office, Gen. Walter C. Short, USA Hawaiian Departmental Commander read his orders relinquishing command to Maj. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, USAAC.  Likewise, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel USN CinCPAC relinquished his command quietly to VAdm. William Pye USN, as temporary Commander .

In the Philippines, our military commanders knew immediately when Pearl Harbor was bombed and yet some ten hours later when a hundred Japanese bombers escorted by Zero fighters came over Clark Field, all of FEAC B-17 bombers except two, and 90% of its P-40s were destroyed.  It was a tragedy! The only saving grace is PAAC’s 6th Pursuit Squadron of P-26 under Capt. Jesus Villamor whose exploits are becoming legendary.  The remaining two B-17 were moved to Mindanao.

By night time, the tragedy was compounded by the sinking of S.S. Corregidor in our own defensive minefields guarding the entrance to Manila Bay west of Corregidor Fortress.  S.S. Corregidor is one of the best among our inter-island commercial vessels with civilian and military personnel aboard bound for Visayas and Mindanao.

Loaded also are Artillery pieces, equipment and supplies of the 101st FA, and other Vis-Min Units.  From initial scant report I got from my Mistah Alano, ExO of Q-111 that participated in the rescue, he said the ship hit a mine and sunk so fast virtually all passengers went down with the ship including her Captain.  There were very few survivors.  The mined area is under the responsibility of the Harbor Defense and PT RON 3.  I should know more details about this tragedy after I talk with some of my comrades on duty then at PT RON 3.


November 27, 1941

I  perceived diplomatic talks in Washington between Japan and USA is not progressing well after Adm. Thomas Hart USN Commander of Asiatic Fleet issued today an “Alert Warning” to all his surface units, copy furnished 1st Q-Boat Squadron and C,OSP which substantially stated “all surface units in port shall be at their assigned anchorage before sunset with no three ships in line.”

Immediately following this “Alert  Warning,” Major Jose V. Andrada, Chief, OSP issued an order not only to implement Adm. Hart’s directive but also to place the 1st Q-Boat Sqdn. on “War Footing” by requiring all Q-Boats to be fully reprovisioned in fuel, food, armaments and ammunitions.

Today, I had my Q-112 fully refueled, and started checking on our food requirements, status of torpedoes, depth charge throwers and depth charges, AA Guns and ammo.  Q-111 under Capt. Alberto Navarrete ’35, and Q-113 under Lt. Santiago Nuval ’38 also started putting their units under war footing.

 Author’s note:

Above are what I knew then but what I know after WW II based on records, is that at 0600H Nov. 26,1941 Adm. Nagumo’s Hawaii Task Force secretly departed from their anchorage at Hotokappu Bay, headed east via the northern route under radio silence for Pearl Harbor.  Provision was made that in case diplomacy succeeds in Washington, Adm. Nogumo’s mission would be aborted.  Meanwhile, USN that broke the Japanese Code was reading their diplomatic messages and 1of the 8 decrypting machines was with a USN Intelligence Unit in Corregidor.  It was  strange Pearl Harbor did not have this machine.

 


October 16, 1941

The 1st Q-Boat Squadron had been training since last March and after six months tactical exercises in various scenarios, it is  confident of performing anticipated missions.  Our Joint Training with PT Ron 3, USN, bolstered not only our morale but also the number of our torpedo boats to a total of nine, a potent number to reckon with.

Yesterday, Oct. 15 Class ’40 Officers at OSP celebrated its 18th month after graduation from PMA March 15,1940 at our officers club.  We talked about  other classmates in the other branches and noted that of the total 79 members, 17 had married the cream of society in their respective communities leaving 62 of us bachelors.

Among those married are (Mistah’s last name and wife’s 1st name) Mayo & Pet; Navarro & Fe; Estrada & Trining; Perez & Virginia; Lising & Loudes; Orias & Toyang; Esguerra & Rosal; Velasco & Soty; Sebastian & Hilda; Santos & Pepay; Piccio & Llaning; Soliman & Aurora; Picar & Betty; De Leon & Marion; Yap & Betty; Iway & Lourdes; Bocalbos & Josie: The brides came from nationally known families like Guidote, Ilano, Rosales, Marino, Sison, Celi, Mendoza, Uvaz, Arrizabal, etc.

PMA graduates then had a scent of glamor and were in demand…

And so, as war clouds continue to gather, I decided to be the 18th member of the class to get married quietly this afternoon to my sweetheart, Lucille Johnson of LA.  In tune with the time, the civil ceremony was performed by JP C. Navarro at 1543 San Jorge, Manila with only close members of our family in attendance followed by dinner reception at the Johnson residence at Tennessee St.  The only non-members of the family in that dinner was Lt. Abraham Campo, my ExO and the five crew members of Q-112.  I was given a week honeymoon leave spent in Baguio City and during my absence, Lt. Campo was Actg, CO, Q-112.

Manila news report German troops took Odessa on the Black Sea.  In France, the Vichy Gov’t. sentenced Leon Blum, Edouard Deladier, Georges Mandel, Paul Reynard and Maurice Gamelin to life imprisonment


October 11, 1941

After a week-long Joint Tactical Training between our Q-Boat Squadron and PT Ron Three, the OSP Officers hosted a dinner dance for the USN Officers at the Winter Garden, Manila Hotel. I invited my good friend  Lt. Sid Huff USN to the affair.  He escorted former Miss Philippines, Miss Conching Sunico.

It was an impressive social gathering of the cream of Manila socialites and among those that graced the affair were Erlinda Kalaw; Josephine, Purita and Baby Yulo; Eva and Nina Estrada; Helen Bennett; Alice Dreyfus; Aurora Zablan; Paquita Puzon; Amparito Gutierrez; Leonor and Maxime Carmelo; Helen and Evelyn Fabella; Betty Arrastia; Erlinda Garcia, Susan Magalona etc.  This is not surprising as the Head of our Invitation Committee was Lt. Charlie Albert ’39.

The atmosphere was joyful with a scent of Christmas.  After dinner our guest enjoyed dancing with their new friends from Manila.  Dancing lasted past midnight with our guest expressing profound thanks for  a memorable evening.  Lt. John D. Bulkeley, Sqn. Comdr. PT Ron Three told me how much they enjoyed the honor accorded them.

Manila’s front page good news  announced USSR Red Army stopped the German advance towards  Moscow.


October 6, 1941

Our general mobilization is going according to schedule in all ten PA Military Districts. Personnel of the 2nd Regimental PA Reserve Divisions started reporting for duty in their respective Centers last Oct. 2.  By 1946, when we gain our independence, the defense plan would have trained adequate personnel with necessary armaments. OSP will have 50 Q-Boats by then but at  present we only have three.  With the mounting build up of Japanese forces in nearby Indo-China, I wonder what will happen if hostilities start way before 1946. Just wondering.

The bad news is the order by the US War Department that Plan Rainbow to be in effect in the Phil., which Gen. MacArthur as CG, USAFFE objected vigorously as it means less priority tantamount to immediate loss. He believes we can be defended successfully if given proper military hardware and logistics for training a total 200,000 troops expected to be mobilized by April 1942.

The good news is that joint naval exercises between Q-Boat RON One and PT RON THREE starts today to cover communications, basic tactics and formations.  These exercises are essential for future coordinated joint operations and will last for a week.

Manila news states that Nazi executed Czech Premier Alvis  Elias. In Paris, six synagogues  were blown up. Nazi warned Norwegians to comply with rules of the occupation or face starvation.


September 16, 1941

The OSP seems to be much ahead of their Training Program than the other branches of the  PA.  While the Training Schools for Os of the different branches like the Inf. FA, CAC, SigC, CE, MC, QMS etc only started the first of the month, OSP extensive Training Program was completed the week-end of Sept. 14 after the Depth Charge firings.

Today, the much anticipated announcement by C, OSP  Capt. Andrada as to who will be the permanent Os and Crew of the Q-Boats  is made as follows:

1st Q-Boat Squadron

Q-111 “Luzon”

1st. Lt. Alberto Navarrete ’35 Sqn. Comdr. and Comdg. O.

3rd. Lt. Heracleo Alano ’40 ExO

Crew :

Sgt.Claro Jimenez

Cpl. Anastacio Castañeda

Cpl. Felipe Donato

Cpl. Sinforose Ros

Pfc. Andres Gaceta

Pfc. Florencio Iñigo

Pfc. Jose Villamor

1st Q-Boat Squadron

Q-112  “Abra”

3rd. Lt. Ramon A. Alcaraz ’40 Comdg. O.

3rd. Lt. Abraham C. Campo ’40 ExO

Crew:

Sgt. Francisco Arbillon

Sgt. Marcos Eamilao

Sgt. Teotimo Figuracion

Cpl. Anastacio Cacayorin

Pfc. Jopse Loor

1st Q-Boat Squadron

Q-113  “Agusan”

2nd Lt.  Santiago Nuval  ’38 Comdg. O.

3rd Lt.  Liberato Picar ’40  ExO

Crew:

Sgt. Paulino Baltazar

Sgt. Francisco Sescon

Cpl. Igmidio Alejandro

Cpl. Aniceto A. Torre

Pfc. Arturo Noblezada

It is gratifying to note that out of the six slots for Os, four were given to  our Class ’40.  Today is one of celebration and rejoicing.


August 7, 1941

My Tocayo Olbes visited his former OSP chums at Muelle del Codo after coming from HPA on OB.  We had a mini-reunion dinner at Legaspi Garden. Ramon Olbes was originally with us at OSP before he transferred to CE.  He reports that his Engineering Unit at Lucena are busy with their training too.

Manila News today says Tokyo offers concessions to US demands on China and Indo China in return for end of freeze of Japanese assets in the US.  Meanwhile, from Moscow, it was announced that Joseph Stalin is the new Commander-in-Chief  of the Soviet Armed Forces