The “Lull In Bataan” continues on its 28th day but let me continue with more additional details learned from Major Romulo’s office about the dramatic escape of MacArthur from Corregidor eleven days ago. Immediately after Gen. MacArthur’s arrival at Del Monte on March 13, Gen. Sharp gave a briefing about Vis-Min Area and fresh reports say Pres. Quezon is still wavering on whether he will leave the Philippines or not and is hiding somewhere in Negros Oriental about 100 miles north. Alarmed and greatly disturbed by this report MacArthur summoned Lt. John Bulkeley and ordered him to locate and “persuade” Quezon to join them at Del Monte with Lt. Col. Andres Soriano as guide and a few men of Gen. Sharp to assist. Using PT-41 and PT-35, Bulkeley and Soriano were able to locate Quezon hiding in Bais, Negros Oriental. At first, Quezon refused to budge and it took some “persuasion” by a pirate looking Bulkeley for Quezon and party to finally relent and board PT-41 & PT-35.
On their way to Cagayan de Oro, PT- 35 went aground and her passengers were transferred, packed like sardines that upset Quezon, to PT-41. Military Honors was rendered by Gen. Sharp on Quezon upon arrival at Cagayan de Oro Wharf. MacArthur lost no time placating the hurt feelings of his Compadre and so before midnight of March 16, Quezon and party boarded a B-17 at Del Monte and headed for Australia. Shortly, thereafter, MacArthur and party boarded another B-17 that took them to Bachelors Field where he declared his famous “I Shall Return” on March 17.
By this time, of the original 6 PTs, only PT-41 of Bulkeley’s PT Squadron remains. Lt. Bulkeley was left behind and given instructions by MacArthur to reconnoiter the Southern Cotabato Coast for possible Allied landing sites when MacArthur returns as he intended.