July 1941
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Month July 1941

July 27, 1941

I did not pay so much attention when Lt. Sid Huff, USN, our OSP Advisor on the Staff of Gen. MacArthur, told me last month that his Boss may be Called to Active Duty.  Today, its impact is manifested after reading the front page news about Pres. Quezon’s Proclamation No. 740, announcing the Military Orders of US Pres. FDR dated July 26, 1941 that the Phil Army is called into the service of a newly formed United States Army Forces Far East  (USAFFE) and  Lt Gen MacArthur CAD and designated as Comdg. General. We read the announcement with serious trepidation but glad the USA is reacting to the realities of what is happening in the area with the Japanese building its military forces in French Indo China.  It is also reported that Japanese troops are flooding Cambodia and Thailand with the consent of the French Vichy government.

I  had dinner at Tom’s Dixie hosted by Lt. Tony Chanco USMA ’38 and with him were Lts. Vicente E. Gepte USMA ’40 and my Mistah and Tocayo, Ramon Olbes.  The main topic of our discussion was the USAFFE whose new HQ will be at Victoria St, Intramuros a few blocks from OSP Hq at Port Area, Manila.

July 21, 1941

Our training during the past week on the 1st Q-Boat Squadron was hectic and very extensive. Torpedo firing exercises were conducted under the watchful eyes of our torpedo mentor William Mooney. I really do not know how I fared during my turn during those exercises. I know I scored several hits.  Manila newspapers today says the German advance smash near Leningrad but the Soviets claimed the Nazi column crushed.  London BBC Broadcast to Europe encourages resistance against the Nazi under the slogan “V for Victory.”  Meanwhile, it was reported French Vichy gov’t yields military bases to the Japanese in Indo-China to prevent the British from gaining complete control of the area which consisted of Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. 

My Mistah, Maning Acosta reported to me the feverish training activities of the FA in Camp Dau. The early pioneers of the FA were trained at the FA School at Ft. Stotsenburg under Lt Col Ralph Hirsh, USA FA, a product of the FA School, Ft Sills, OK. Some of the early pioneers were Jesus Vargas, Alfonso Arellano, Luis Villareal, Zoilo Perez, Felipe Pilapil, Francisco Adriano, Simplicio Rivera and my seven classmates. Later an FA School was established in Camp Dau.  I have touched on the early pioneers of PAAC, OSP, INF, CAC,QM, SigC and now the FA.

The Med Corps was pioneered by Maj. Joseph Weaver USA MC, thence Victoriano Luna, Diño, Roman Salacup, Hospicio Solidum. Early DCs were Fernandez and Hawkins (forgot their first names).  JAGO were Fred Ruiz Castro, Delfin Jaranilla, Luis Torres, Sixto Carlos. The AGS were Federico Oboza and Luis Florentin.  Let me touch on the other branches of the PA as I recall them.  The early pioneer of the CE was a certain Maj Torres from the USA CE, thence Antonio P. Chanco, Rigoberto Atienza, Pollard, Clemente Guerero, Benjamin Mata, Ramon Olbes, Licurgo Estrada, Washington Sagun, Cipriano de Leon, Reynaldo Bocalbos.

July 12, 1941

Today’s front page news says Germany and Italy announced plans to divide Yugoslavia and Croatia to be independent. FDR announced the appointment of  William Donovan to head the newly formed Civil Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Britain and  USSR  pledge  mutual aid for war effort.  And William Holden married today, in Las Vegas, Brenda Marshall.  I remember Brenda as a young student at Brent School across Leonard Wood Drive from our White Hall Barracks.  Lt Luis Villareal, then Jr. aide to Pres. Quezon introduced me to her during a social at Quezon’s home at Legarda Road summer of 1937.  She attended our Sunday evening parade twice at Teachers Camp same year.  Now she is a famous Hollywood star. Sayang!

My Mistah Rey Mendoza of CAC, Ft. Wint reported to me how busy they are with their training in Grande Island. CAC was built on solid foundation by its pioneer, US Army Maj Marquart who taught early PA officers like Lts. Silvino de Goma, Carlos Gatmaitan, Jose Fernandez, Jose Cardenas, Fidel Llamas and my seven classmates Caballero, Joe Mendoza, Job T. Mayo, Conrado Nano, Francisco Lumen and Ricardo Foronda.  I remember Maj. Marquart as the Ft Wint Comdr. during our first class trip when we fired the CAC guns with disappearing carriage.  CAC Training was also available at Ft Mills in Corregidor.

July 6, 1941

Today’s Manila News says Gen Castroux proclaimed Syrian independence on behalf of Free France.  USSR checked main German drive, hurling the Nazis back  at Latvian border.  In New York, Joe Dimaggio of the Yankees, is setting baseball record by hitting safely in 45 straight games so far.   In nearby IndoChina, the Japanese continue to mass troops which are alarming to me. We continue our military training in all our cadres according to the master plan.

Did you know the first officer picked by Pres Quezon to start the OSP was Maj Rafael Ramos ’17 because he was a Nautical School graduate before PCA. However, before he could do anything, Rep. Manuel Roxas of Capiz recommended a relative, Jose V. Andrada USNA 31 then Phil Nautical School Director. Commissioned as a Captain, Andrada gathered fellow USNA alumni Lts Alfredo Pecson ’33; Enrique Jurado ’34; Marcelo Castillo ’38; and Carlos Albert ’39 to start the OSP at Muelle del Codo, Port Area, Manila in Feb. 9,1939. Major Ramos together with Maj Miguel Aguilar went on to pioneer the Quartermaster Service after undergoing training in US QM School.

July 1, 1941

Manila News today reveal about massive Nazi attacks on USSR stretching 2,000 miles front from Arctic region to Black Sea. This is a massive confrontation considering USSR has more than 4 million active troops and 3 million in reserves, total 7.15 million world’s largest. Germany has 3.5 M active, 3.35 M reserves; Romania 1.8 M; Finland 401,000 both on Nazi side. Both sides claim victories in attacks or counterattacks.

Italian East Africa surrenders to the British allowing King Hailie Selassie to returned to his throne in Ethiopia. French Vichyites also surrenders Syria to the Allies. The British put down uprising in Iraq to gain complete control of the region.

Cadre training in all the 10 Mil Districts are continuing according to the master plan. Each military district is supposed to train 4,000 yearly or a total of 40,000 per year and theoretically, after 10 years we will have 400,000 trained men. The Infantry is the biggest PA branch of service and PCA alumni easily filled the required officers.  Col William Dosser ’08 and Major Mateo Capinpin of the Phil Scouts who was given the assimilated rank of Col are the early pioneers of the Infantry that saw birth in Camp Murphy where the Infantry School was established.  Col Dosser had two lovely daughters, Helen and Ruth, who used to attend our socials at Teachers Camp. I wonder where they are now.