January 25, 1942

HQ, Intelligence Service, Bataan

 

Talked to some of the boys of the 21st at the front yesterday. Japs have tried to penetrate their lines during last few days but to no avail. Boys are complaining about very little food ration. Many were very anxious to get a smoke.

Japs have dropped a lot of “surrender” leaflets in front lines. Leaflets are about the size of the palm. Front sheet reads: “Ticket to Armistice”. Lower caption states: “You and any number of your friends can walk with these leaflets to our lines. We shall bring you back to your homes.” Back cover of “ticket to armistice” carries picture of some home in Manila or picture of Jap soldiers playing with Manila kids. Almost everybody in front line keeps these tickets as souvenir. There are no cases of desertion. The men know that this is a dirty Jap trick and that they will shoot any of us on sight.

Boys in 41st division are raring to attack Japs. Some of their patrols found the dead body of a young girl. She was evidently abused. Her hair was recently curled. Her dress was smeared with blood. Her finger nails still had manicure. She was a pretty Filipina. Her handkerchief was partly torn. On one side of the handkerchief was the name Erlinda. Troops under Lim have adopted as fighting motto: “Remember Erlinda!” Leonie is now writing a radio script for Voice of Freedom on Erlinda.

Corregidor censored part of our SYIM stuff for tomorrow. Fred had an article describing hard life in Rock, the damp air of tunnel as I described to him and the boxes of ammunition inside the main tunnel. Corregidor claims this gives out information to enemy. Fred explained to the General who in turn called up Corregidor that the intention of SYIM editors was to make boys in the front feel that men in Corregidor are sharing hardships with them; that SYIM editors merely want to paint Corregidor officers in better light, because boys in front think that fellows in Corregidor are having an easy life while boys in Bataan fight and starve. The article remains censored.

During broadcast this evening, I slipped into Montserrat’s tent and got some of Javallera’s canned goods. Now Javallera suspects Montserrat took it. The two majors have decided to separate tents. Major Javallera will put up another tent. He says “It’s better to be alone.” Major Montserrat feels the same way. The general is already aware of the canned stuff mystery. He told me he suspects it is Major Panopio taking the canned goods. Meanwhile Fred, Leonie and I are having the time of our lives laughing at the old fogies. Leonie suspects the doctor knows we three have something to do with the canned goods of Montserrat and Javallera because he has seen us eating in private and laughing to ourselves. Fred said “Let us plant the empty cans in the doctor’s tent.” Leonie suggested: “Let Philip put it under the general’s cot.” The plot thickens…

 

(later)

 

Heard that a certain Capt. Wermuth, an American, will be given a third or fourth decoration for distinguished service…


January 1, 1942

Bataan

41st division, C.P.

 

Dead tired. Streets jammed from Bulacan to Bataan. Absolutely no traffic order. Roads filled with dust that covered entire body, entered ears, nose, eyes, lungs. Tanks were rattling up and down the road like lost monsters. Trucks loaded with food and ammunition were moving on, not knowing where to go. Haggard, weary troops retreating from southern front straggled on, looking for their officers. Men were shouting at one another to move out of the way so that their cars could pass. Trucks that stalled were dumped on the roadside. Gasoline cans were littered on the road for everybody’s use. American MP’s assigned to direct traffic lay drunk on the fields beside the main road singing “God Bless America.” The general told me as our car wormed its way to San Fernando: “If the Japs spot this convoy we are all goners.” Neither the general nor I could find our division in the assembly area. The night was very dark but I kept shouting for the names of the company commanders but there was no answer. Men of other divisions were in our area. Troops came to me asking where to go. Some belonged to the 71st, others to the 91st, others with the 1st regular. It was a chaotic retreat but the Japs were apparently asleep. The general then decided to leave me in San Fernando while he looked for the troops in Bacolor.

I stood under the monument at the plaza in front of San Fernando’s church, at the foot of the bridge. From afar there was a red glare that filled the skies in the direction of Manila that gave me the impression that the entire city was afire. Troops, tanks, cars, jeeps, trucks, cannons, trawlers passed by me. Some were asking where to go and I said I didn’t know and that I was also looking for my unit. Hours passed and there were no more tanks, no more troops, no more traffic. San Fernando was like a ghost city. I was all alone except for several Americans who were trying to fix their motorcycle under the starlight. In a deserted store, I could hear several drunk soldiers singing “Happy days are here again.” From the direction of Arayat came the distinct, metallic boom-boom-boom of Jap artillery. One of the Americans fixing the motorcycle asked: “Is that Porac or Arayat?” Another said: “Don’t worry bud, that’s our artillery.” They finally got their motor fixed and they asked me to join them. “We can squeeze you between us,” they said. I thanked them and explained I had to wait for the general. I was really tempted to join them but I was afraid the general might look for me. I must admit that I was getting very worried, if not afraid. I looked around for a hiding place and I kept fingering my .45 and six bullets. I must have cursed the general a thousand times and I kept telling myself: “What a way of spending New Year.” Then from a distance, I saw the hooded light of a car. It was the general and he said he almost forgot me. “We are going to Bataan,” he said. “Everybody is going there,” he explained. I was very tired and I fell asleep in the car and when I woke up, we were in Bataan and it was morning and there we were parked between two huge U.S. trucks in a dusty road, because there was another traffic jam and two tough-looking American drivers were arguing about who had the right of way.

Right now I’m here in Gen. Vicente Lim’s command post. My general and Lim are good pals. This C.P. is well-hidden on the side of a dried stream. The men have dug themselves inside the banks so that they are relatively safe from bombs and shells.

Gen. Lim is in good spirits. His belly is considerably thinner and his face is tanned. When we arrived, he said: “Don’t worry, in a week the convoy will be here.” He compared war to boxing. “They’ve won the first round,” he said, “but the war’s not over yet.” He gave us quite a good breakfast: coffee and carabao meat. Ernesto Santos and Vidal Tan, both friends of mine, are his aides.

From the conversation during breakfast, I gathered that all troops from the North and South fronts have been ordered to retreat to Bataan. This hilly spot of land, this bottle-neck will be USAFFE’s “last stand.” The principle of retreating to a favorable terrain and there engaging the enemy is going to be the strategy. The other half of the grand game will be up to the United States. Out here in Bataan, we will hold to the last ditch; the U.S. Navy on the other hand will rush the reinforcements.

Just a few minutes ago, the air was filled with the roar of many planes. Gen. Lim looked up and said “They’re ours.” Gatas Santos, his senior aide, was skeptical and his doubts were soon confirmed by the barking of AA guns. In a few seconds, the beautiful formation was broken up. More AA fire. Smoke oozed out of one plane, its wings wavered, it fell out of line and a silvery veil trailed its earthward descent. That is the first real action picture I’ve seen of a plane going down. I hope I see more.

Nice bunch out here in the 41st. Lorrie Tan said Teddy Arvisu is here too as staff sergeant. Montemayor and Henry Powers are also with this unit. Powers is in “No Man’s Land” as head of a scouting patrol. Estanislao Feria is assistant G-2 in Lim’s staff and Rufino is chief quartermaster.

The view is beautiful. Very many talls trees that give a lot of shelter. Beyond are grassy plains and little hillocks. Behind are old wooden barracks and a small training camp but Lim’s troops are not using the garrisons, In front is a flat terrain with call cogon and many clumps of bamboo and tall trees here and there. To the left of the 41st is Gen. Capinpin’s 21st which has behaved very well in the face of strong enemy thrusts in Lingayen. Johnny Fernandez, my classmate, is Capinpin’s aide. Johnny has always loved military life. Now I guess he is going to get a full dose of it.

Nice weather here. Cool January breeze. Can hear many birds chirping on the treetops. Must stop writing now. Now I think the general is going to our sector.

 

Later

 

Bataan

51st div. C.P.

 

Arranged division maps. Acquainted myself with operational plans. Noted down all field orders of General.


November 17, 1941

The special Command and Gen. Staff Course (CGSC) in Baguio City that started last Sept. 1, graduated its students of Senior Army O’s for assgmnts. to the ten Divisions being moblilized, after a two and a half months schooling conducted by USA O’s Cols. Clifford Bluemel as Comdt., assisted by Clyde Selleck, William E. Brougher  and Albert M. Jones.

As of this date, the following O’s are assigned to their respective Divisions as Div. Commanders and Div. Chief of Staffs:

Division             Division Commander                      Div.  

                                                                                   Chief of Staff                    

11th        Col. William Brougher, USA    Col. Juan Moran, PA

21st        Col. Mateo Capinpin, PA       Col. Nemesio Catalan,

PA

31st        Col. Clifford Bluemel, USA    Col. Pastor Martelino,

PA

41st        B/Gen. Vicente Lim, PA  Lt. Col. Tomas Domaoal,

PA

51st       Col. Albert Jones, USA   Lt. Col. Ricardo Poblete,

PA

61st       Col. Bradford G. Chenoweth, USA  Col. Juan

Quimbo, PA

71st      Col. Clyde A. Selleck, USA    Col. Salvador Reyes,

PA

81st      Col. Guy O. Fort, PA          Lt. Col. Calixto Duque, PA

91st      Col. Luther R. Stevens, PA  Lt. Col. Jaime

Velasquez, PA

101st   Col. Joseph Vachon, USA  Col. Eustaquio Baclig, PA


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. 


June 25, 1941

Front page news today says FDR pledges all possible support to USSR  under German attack on wide front since June 21.  Also, Wilhelm II, German ex-Kaiser died, age 82.  British RAF fighters shot down 26 Nazi planes showing German air superiority over England is waning with the help of their radar system.

I commented previously on the leadership and administration of our military establishment, the Commonwealth Phil Army.  Currently, I consider the leadership and administration under Gen Basilio J Valdes MC comparatively stable and normal with Gen. Vicente Lim as his G-3 and the different services manned by technically trained leaders.

To appreciate how we arrived at this stage, let me mention those early pioneers aside from Quezon’s military advisors (MacArthur, Eisenhower, Ord and Huff) who did the early work.  Maj Gen Paulino Santos was appointed as first Chief of Staff from 1936 to 1939 with Gen Vicente Lim as his G-1.  The PC with Hq at Oriente Bldg was made the nucleus of the PA.  PCA graduates like Maj Porfirio Zablan ’15 with flying aptitude was  recruited by Lim to pioneer the PAAC together with Maj Lee and Lt Jose Francisco USNA ’32.  Then came Lts Pelagio Cruz, P Q Molina, Jesus Villamor Grp and the 17 members of Class ’40 which made PAAC at present a solid organization in personnel.  I remember Miss Aurora Zablan, Maj Zablan’s daughter, a drag of my Mistah Romeo Lising during our summer socials.   I wonder where she is now?  Cav Lising  was a casualty of WWII. 


June 21, 1941

This is the third week of intensive torpedo training by the 1st Q-Boat Squadron under the supervision of Chief Torpedo man William Mooney USN.  We are not only learning a lot but more importantly, we are beginning to know the actual employment and use of this powerful weapon that can sink the mightiest battleship.  Needless to say, all hands at OSP are working very hard with lots of enthusiasm.

News headline says German troops drive into Russia in a wide front from Arctic to the Black Sea.  Meantime, the Japs are increasing their troops in French Indo-China proclaiming its right to forge a new order in the region.

Let me make a brief comment on our military leadership and administration at present which is the Philippine Army created under CA # 1, Dec. 21,1935, crafted by MacArthur, Eisenhower, Ord and Huff, mil advisors to our current CinC, Pres Quezon.  Our Sec of Defense is Teofilo Sison, Chief of staff is Maj Gen Basilio Valdes MC.  He is the second Cof S, the first being Maj Gen Paulino Santos.  HPA is at Oriente Bldg near Binondo Church and G-3 is B/Gen Vicente Lim USMA’14 and Eisenhower’s classmate.

MacArthur and staff holds office in Malacañang and in the beginning, they called all the shots through Gen V Lim who started as G-1 at HPA.  At present, HPA is well organized that minimal interference is coming from Malacanang.  At present, Ord is gone since that fatal plane crash in Baguio in 1938.  Eisenhower is also gone for a new assignment in CONUS in 1939 and replaced by B/Gen R Sutherland. This leaves MacArthur, Sutherland and Huff as the present Mil Advisors of Quezon.


Tuesday, July 16, 1940

Long and tiresome lecture of Bachus on the Schlieffen Plan.

News in Daily Bulletin re abolition of Army —

Lim calls Gen Staff to discuss this rumor. He says he knows more than was published. Unofficially the President’s stand is —

a. In view of the defeat of France he does not consider the Nat Def. of P.I. possible.

b. He wants the status quo in the Phil Army (What this means I do not know)

c. He wants to use the money for economic development.

d. He wants to build an army to prevent internal revolution and keep peace & order.

Lim wants to know our reaction. As usual he does not state exactly what he wants for lack of command of the language. So I say that the abolition of the Army is in order if the premises given above are true. The Constabulary is enough for the purposes desired by Pres Q.

Lim then says that he has asked Gen V. to find out thru the Sec what the Pres. really wants. This evasion on the lack of future of the Army, the Army being a football of politics, the Gen Staff not having any value, no prestige. I mentioned that everything is being done ass end backwards. The Pres. commits himself ahead of time to a military policy and then the Gen. Staff is consulted later. The Gen. Staff is used in repairing fences damaged by advanced commitments.


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.