December 17, 1941

The disaster in Pearl Harbor resulted in the silent quick relief of its top commanders. Today without ceremony in his office, Gen. Walter C. Short, USA Hawaiian Departmental Commander read his orders relinquishing command to Maj. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, USAAC.  Likewise, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel USN CinCPAC relinquished his command quietly to VAdm. William Pye USN, as temporary Commander .

In the Philippines, our military commanders knew immediately when Pearl Harbor was bombed and yet some ten hours later when a hundred Japanese bombers escorted by Zero fighters came over Clark Field, all of FEAC B-17 bombers except two, and 90% of its P-40s were destroyed.  It was a tragedy! The only saving grace is PAAC’s 6th Pursuit Squadron of P-26 under Capt. Jesus Villamor whose exploits are becoming legendary.  The remaining two B-17 were moved to Mindanao.

By night time, the tragedy was compounded by the sinking of S.S. Corregidor in our own defensive minefields guarding the entrance to Manila Bay west of Corregidor Fortress.  S.S. Corregidor is one of the best among our inter-island commercial vessels with civilian and military personnel aboard bound for Visayas and Mindanao.

Loaded also are Artillery pieces, equipment and supplies of the 101st FA, and other Vis-Min Units.  From initial scant report I got from my Mistah Alano, ExO of Q-111 that participated in the rescue, he said the ship hit a mine and sunk so fast virtually all passengers went down with the ship including her Captain.  There were very few survivors.  The mined area is under the responsibility of the Harbor Defense and PT RON 3.  I should know more details about this tragedy after I talk with some of my comrades on duty then at PT RON 3.

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Comments

One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Aaron,

    Is there a document showing the list of casualties in the sinking of SS Corregidor? My grand-uncle and grand-aunt were among those who did not survive. We just would like to see a document that shows their names on it. Thank you.

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