September 1941
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Month September 1941

September 28, 1941

PT (Patrol Torpedo) Squadron 3, USN under Lt. John D. Bulkeley arrived today in Cavite.  PT Boats are the USN version of the British MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) like our Q-Boat acquired from England in 1939.  When MacArthur was shopping for Torpedo Boats, the USN had none, and after some serious thoughts, started their own program in 1937 at Quonset Pt, R.I. Their first operational squadron came early this year which is two years after we started OSP.

PT Ron 3 is composed of six PT Boats similar to our Q-Boats, and they are as follows with their respective COs; PT 41 Ens. George E. Cox; PT 31 Lt. Edward G. de Long; PT 32 Lt. (jg)  Vincent E. Schumacher; PT 33 Ens. Baron W. Chandler; PT 34  Lt. Robert G. Kelley; and PT 35 Ens. Anthony B. Akers. Their Sqdn. Comdr. is Lt J. D. Bulkeley.  Since Cavite did not have adequate boatsheds for the newly arrived PTs, we share our facilities initially at Muelle del Codo, Port Area, Manila.

We at OSP are jubilant with the arrival of PT Ron 3 as they bolstered the total Torpedo Boats in our arsenal to nine including our three Q-Boats. It is felt these boats will be vital in our defenses considering the inland waters of a maritime Phil. As of this date, the naval forces in the Phil. under the Asiatic Fleet commanded by Adm. Thomas Hart are; 3 cruisers (Houston, Marblehead, Boise); 13 destroyers; 29 submarines; 32 PBYs; 6 Gunboats; 3 Tenders; 16th Naval District in Cavite and the 4th Marine Regmt stationed in Shanghai. The arrival today of 6 PTs are a most welcome addition to our naval [forces].

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September 27, 1941

Army HQ issued a GO today for all regular officers below field rank (majors) promoting them one rank higher in temporary rank.  And so, 3rd Lt. R. Alcaraz became a very proud temporary 2nd Lt. today.  My promotion is not due until March 15, 1942 when I complete my two years time in grade as a 3rd “Otinant” as we were called then. Now I can be called LIEUTENANT, no longer “Otinant.”  Incidentally, from hereon, to 1947, all promotions are in temporary ranks.

C,OSP Captain Andrada became a Major which he deserved long ago. 1st Lt. Jurado became a Captain and so is my Sqdn. Comdr. Navarete became Captain “Neveready” as Sid Huff used to call him.  2nd Lt. Nuval, CO Q-113 became 1st Lt. and all our ExOs like Alano, Campo and Picar became 2nd Lts. Needless to say, morale in the 1st Q-Boat RON is very high.

Manila’s front page news state that Nazi Germany tells Belgium to enter the war or be occupied. The French Resistance National Council was formed to organize anti Nazi efforts in Europe.

September 20, 1941

The 1st Q-Boat Squadron under Capt. Navarrete started its tactical training exercises for the first time as a unit with the newly assigned permanent Os and crew. Tactical formations using new doctrines and signals are being tried.

Very good news today!  Initial reinforcements from USA that left San Francisco Aug. 27 arrived today consisting of  200th CAC Regmt. under Col. Charles W. Sage with 76 Os; 1,681 EM; 12  3″ and  24-37 mm. guns;  26-50 .cal machine guns; and 60″  searchlights.

Reinforcements that also arrived today is the Tank Group under Col. James R. Weaver comprising of:

f   192nd Tank Bn with 36 Os, 588 EM and 54 M-3 Tanks;

f   194th Tank Bn with 31 Os, 510 EM and 54 M-3 Tanks

f   17th Ordnance Co with 5 Os 150 EM

Manila News front page mention about Iran’s Reza Shah Pahlevi abdicating in favor of son Mohammad as Allied troops enter Teheran.  Berlin announced that two American pilots downed flying for RAF are held by them. Nazi also cut off Crimean Peninsula from USSR.

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.

September 3, 1941

Our Q-Boat depth charge firing exercises against submarine targets will continue during the week to finally complete the training program. Then, I understand the selection Board headed by C,OSP Capt. Andrada will announce the permanently  designated officers and crew of Q-111 Luzon; Q-112 Abra; and Q-113 Agusan. There are only six slots for Os to come from fifteen prospective candidate that are undergoing this rigid training.  I am keeping my fingers crossed. For EMs, there will be only 17 coveted slots.

Aside from the FA, CAC, and PAAC Training Schools activated two days ago, the following Training Schools are activated today to train the hundreds Os being mobilized:

  • Medical School at Ft. McKinley under Maj. Joseph U. Weaver MC USA
  • Medical School at Camp Murphy under Maj. Jack W. Schwartz MC USA
  • QM & Motor Trpt. School at Port Area, Manila under Maj. Michael Quinn QMS
  • US Signal School at Ft. McKinley under Capt. Lassiter Mason SigC USA
  •  Engineers School at Ft. McKinley under Lt. Antonio C. Chanco CE PA USAFFE
  • Infantry Schools at every Mobilization Centers in all Military Districts.

Manila News today say Nazi forces overran Smolensk after three weeks fighting Stalin’s Army and is now about 200 miles from Moscow.  Meanwhile, British and Russian forces invaded Iran announcing their intention is only to get rid of German Agents and Technicians residing in Iran. They said their forces will withdraw as soon as the threat of German invasion or 5th Column Operation is nullified.

September 1, 1941

Today is mass induction ceremonies in all PA Military Districts. All Os and EMs of the 1st Regiment and other key personnel of each of the ten Divs that reported for duty starting Aug. 28 are inducted into the USAFFE in their respective Mobilization Centers in the ten Military Districts.

Today, the C & GSS in Baguio City under Col. Bluemel opens with selected senior Officers as students to be prospective Div Comdrs and staff  to man the Divisions being mobilized, after their graduation.

To facilitate the training of other officers in the Divs being mobilized, the following Training Schools are activated:

  • Field Arty. School at Camp Stotsenburg under Lt. Col. Ralph Hirsh FA USA
  • Coast Artillery School at Ft. Wint under Lt.Col. Napoleon Boudreaux  CAC USA
  • PAAC Flying Schools at Cabanatuan, Batangas and Cebu.

Meanwhile, training of the Q-Boats on Depth Charge Firings started this week.