Our Manila Bay Q-Boat Patrols continue, nothing unusual to report –no hits, no runs, no errors, so to speak. Our general situation is “lumalaon bumubuti, sumasama sa dati” as we say in Bulacan. The Japanese forces gained a foothold in Aparri, Vigan and are expanding them. For as I see it, the enemy now have superiority in the air and at sea. Enemy systematic bombings since Dec. 8 have decimated our planes. Jap planes are virtually unchallenged. The big ships of the Asatic Fleet are gone, only nine torpedo boats remain to support the USAFFE. However, morale of the people specially the military remain high due to Pres. Quezon and Gen. MacArthur as our leaders. We have faith in them. And in America.
Several Air Force personnel made up for our many setbacks. Aside from Capt. Kelley’s bombing a Jap battleship during the Northern Luzon landings that made him our first war hero, our PAAC pilots have their share of accomplishments to be proud of. Captain Jesus Villamor PAAC Comdr., 6th Pursuit Squadron, is credited with shooting down two enemy planes todate and was cited by Gen. MacArthur. Lt. Alberto Aranzaso PAAC, also a member of the 6th Pursuit Squadron of Villamor, is also credited with shooting down a Jap plane and was awarded the Silver Star.
Unfortunately, during the enemy strafings of Nichols Field, Lt. Cesar Basa who had just landed his plane and was running for cover was fatally hit in the head. Lt. Victor Osias who was nearby came to the rescue to no avail. Lt. Basa died in the arms of Osias. I know Lt. Basa personally during our O’s basketball league rivalry. He was the star of the PAAC Team while I played for the OSP Team. Another Atenista, Jose Syjuco played for the ROTC Team. Lt. Cesar Basa was an Ateneo basketball star before he became a pilot. He died a star, a hero.