This is a significant day for our young 5-year old Phil. Army. In consonance with Pres. Roosevelt’s order last July 26, the Phil. Army Air Corps (PAAC) is the first unit of PA inducted to the USAFFE today. What is remarkable is the inducting officer is Gen. MacArthur himself who swore the PAAC under the command of Maj. Basilio Fernando with his 141 air pilots, 17 ground O’s, 1,200 EM’s and 64 planes. Aside from Maj. Fernando and my 17 Classmates led by Lts. Victor Osias, Tomas Tirona, Bartolome Cabangbang, Pedro Baban, Horacio Farolan etc, among the others I know personally inducted today are Capts. Pelagio Cruz, Eustacio Orobia; Lts Benito Ebuen, Bienvenido Ferrer, P. Q. Molina, Jonas Victoria, Renato Bareto, Godofredo Juliano, Augusto Jurado, Manecio Raventar, Juan Guevara, J B Ramos, Jose Basa and Jesus Villamor.
It may be pertinent to remark here that PAAC was given early priority among the PA branches of service. It was organized in 1936 with Major William L Lee, USAAC on detail with MacArthur’s Military Advisors Office as its first Comdg O until 1938. It was Maj Lee who trained our early Phil pioneer air pilots like Majors Zablan, Fernando, etc. It was also during his time that Major Eisenhower earned his wings with PAAC.