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Monday, September 18th 2017, 6:04pm

The Freeman (Cebu), Monday, 26 April 1948

The coastal escorts Alcotan and Halcon were launched today at the San Fernando naval dockyard. These vessels are intended to secure the nation’s internal waters against hostile raiding submarines and assure communications within the archipelago in time of war. It is expected that they will be followed by more vessels of the type, with plans announced for two additional ships to be laid down in mid-summer.


Tuesday, September 26th 2017, 12:59am

Manila, The Ministry of Defense, Thursday, 29 April 1948

Intelligence officers pored over the latest photographs obtained of Chinese defense preparations in the vicinity of Canton – while not immediately troubling, they were suggestive. Poor logistics had been the Achilles’ heel of Chinese efforts in the last conflict over the South China Sea; now China was pouring resources in to developing improved transportation linkages between the Yangtze Valley and the areas nearest the Philippines.

A Nordish freighter had offloaded more than twenty freight locomotives of unknown origin – quite possibly German, or perhaps Bharati – which would significantly increase the amount of traffic that could be handled by the railway north of Canton.

New commercial air routes were also being opened. One of the photographs obtained showed three airliners – seemingly bought second-hand in the United States – being assembled and tested. Certainly they carried civilian livery, but they could easily be pressed into service as troop or cargo transports.

The implications were clear – with improved logistics even the existing Chinese forces deployed in the region became more formidable.


Sunday, October 22nd 2017, 3:58pm

Philippine News and Events, May 1948

The Manila Times, Saturday, 1 May 1948

The logistics vessel Cruzado, having completed its formal operational training, departed the Naval Operating Base at Cavite for Puerto Princesa, where she will deliver a full load of vehicles, construction equipment, and machinery to support the development of the mining industry of Palawan.


Wednesday, October 25th 2017, 4:18pm

The Manila Herald, Thursday, 6 May 1948

The aircraft carrier Linguyen arrived at the Naval Operating Base at Olongapo to begin the work of preparing her for transfer to Japan. The first step is the landing of her aircraft and other aviation equipment. The Douglas Dauntless dive bombers seen in this photograph will be assigned to maintenance units for storage pending their ultimate disposition.


Wednesday, November 1st 2017, 12:33am

The Freeman (Cebu), Sunday, 9 May 1948

Sources in the capital report that Philippine Airlines has entered into negotiations with the Douglas Aircraft Company of Santa Monica, California, for the acquisition of several of the firm’s DC-6 long-range civil airliners. It is believed that the new aircraft, if acquired, will permit PAL to expand its regional services.

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Wednesday, 12 May 1948

The escort tanker Aurora is due to be launched today at the Puerto Princesa shipyard. She is the third of four such ships planned for the Philippine Navy.


Friday, November 3rd 2017, 12:24am

Naval Operating Base Cavite, Saturday, 15 May 1948

Kapitein-luitenant ter Zee Eugène Lacomblé returned to his office to draft his latest report to his superiors in Batavia. That morning he had attended the ceremonies surrounding the launch of the destroyers Pola and Pontevedra at the Cavite shipyard; he knew too that similar ceremonies were ongoing at the Butuan shipyards for the destroyers Solano and Socorro. The remarks of Don Joaquin de la Vega, delivered to the assembled crowds, promising a defense second to none, were punctuated by the launch of such fine vessels. Nor was this all. At Butuan the new antisubmarine gunboats Descubierta and Atrevida were due to complete today; the minelayers Caloocan and San Pablo had formally joined the fleet on Thursday.

He included as well what he had uncovered regarding the Philippines’ new coast defense program, based upon the recommendations of the Englishman Maunsell. Given the opportunity, such innovative sea forts could add another layer to the East Indies’ ‘tar-baby’ defense strategy. Unfortunately, his hosts still kept the details of their plan a closely guarded secret. He hoped that in time he might learn more.


Sunday, November 5th 2017, 12:49am

The Malacañan Palace, Monday, 17 May 1948

The thunderbolt from Peru had jolted the Philippine Council of Ministers and inspired the emergency meeting that opened in the early hours of the morning. The thought of China rapidly acquiring no less than sixteen warships from the supposedly-friendly South American nation sent waves of concern throughout the Government and the Senate. It roused tempers in all corners, and it was with some effort that President Cayetano Arellano was able to gavel the meeting to order.

“Gentlemen,” he said, attempting to radiate confidence. “We cannot argue amongst ourselves; it will not change the fundamental facts before us.”

Minister of Finance Jaime Hernández slammed his fist on the table and shouted, “We must immediately cancel the sale of the Linguyen to Japan. We cannot throw away the ships we have in this hour of peril.”

Don Joaquin de la Vega, the Defense Minister, turned to his colleague and replied, “Angering Japan will not help us in any defense against China. And we should not act in haste.”

“But surely we must react,” answered Manuel Roxas, the Vice President. “We cannot do nothing?”

De la Vega laid out, again, the long-term defensive plan that the Philippine Navy had developed, which relied upon quality above sheer numbers. He pointed out that in most categories of warships the Philippine Navy held superior numbers compared with China – and these ships were more modern, formed part of a coherent whole, and were equipped with superior weapons and sensor systems. “What China has done is spent good money to acquire more rag-tag warships our doubtful utility. They will not be transferred for months yet; and our building program will counter-balance their acquisitions handily enough.”

The Defense Minister’s confidence heartened the council, but prompted Arellano to ask. “Then what is your recommendation?”

“That we proceed with our current construction program Senor Presidente,” de la Vega replied. “By the end of the year we will add no less than eight destroyers to the fleet, with more following in the year to come. We should proceed with our coast defense plan, and take this opportunity to petition the Senate for additional funding. We should look to expansion and re-equipment of the Air Force.”

“And,” added Carlos Rómulo, the Foreign Minister, “We should move to strengthen our relationships with our neighbors who share our concerns of an expansive China.”


Tuesday, November 7th 2017, 5:18pm

The Manila Times, Wednesday, 19 May 1948

The debate in the chambers of the Senate took a decidedly angry turn as senator after senator denounced the sale to China of a mass of ships by the Government of Peru. Calls were made for a vote of no confidence; however a more moderate block of senators, led by Don Rafael Ayala, Don Miguel Mercado, and Don Andres Soriano was able to channel the debate back to more productive outcomes. The Coast Defense Act of 1948 received its final reading and the vote in favor of its approval was unanimous. A rider to the bill provided funding for a final quartet of destroyers of the Cabanatuan-class, additional anti-submarine vessels, and design studies for a new type of surface combatant for construction in the next fiscal year. Proposals were also brought forward for the strengthening of the Air Force and the re-equipment of the Army; these were referred to a committee chaired by Don Jacobo Zobel, which is due to submit its recommendations by the end of the month.

In other news President of the Council Arellano announced that Vice President Roxas and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rómulo would embark on a visit to Europe to open diplomatic talks in Paris, London, and The Hague.


Thursday, November 9th 2017, 2:42pm

The Bohol Chronicle, Wednesday, 26 May 1948

The escort tanker Apayao is due to be completed today in the naval shipyard at Puerto Princesa. Her sister, the Abra, completed her trials and training and has joined the service force of the Northern Fleet. While not combatants themselves, these ships will strengthen the naval defense of the nation in many ways.


Saturday, November 11th 2017, 2:20pm

The Philippine Herald, Saturday, 29 May 1948

A high-level delegation led by Vice President of the Council of Ministers Manuel Roxas departed the capital today en route to Europe, where they will visit several countries to discuss the growing threat of Chinese aggression in Southeast Asia.

The Freeman (Cebu), Monday, 31 May 1948

The destroyers Bilogo, Bagumbayan, and Binondo have completed their operational training phase and are now serving with the Northern Fleet.


Tuesday, November 14th 2017, 2:45pm

Philippine News and Events, June 1948

The Mindanao Post, Wednesday, 2 June 1948

This week has seen much activity at the Butuan naval shipyard. Yesterday the escort destroyers Lamitan and Lucena were completed, and have now embarked on their builders’ trials. Today the antisubmarine gunboats Vencedora and Cazadora are due to be launched there. In other parts of the yard work continues on a number of ships that will soon join the fleet. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the skilled and dedicated workers of the shipyard who strive to equip the Navy with the ships required to defend our shores.


Wednesday, November 22nd 2017, 2:57pm

Transradio Press Service, Friday, 4 June 1948

A high level delegation led by Philippine vice president Manuel Roxas arrived in Paris today to open discussions with French officials regarding security developments in the Far East.


Sunday, November 26th 2017, 5:19pm

The Philippine Herald, Monday, 7 June 1948

The 82nd Troop Carrier Squadron of the Eighth Troop Carrier Wing, stationed at Villamor Air Force Base, has completed its conversion to the PADC Kalangay, the second of the Wing’s squadrons to do so. Several of the Douglas C-47 troop transports formerly operated by the Eighth Troop Carrier Wing are now being operated by the 72nd Air Support Squadron of the Seventh Composite Wing on Mindanao. The air defenses of Mindanao have been further bolstered by the formation of the 10th Fighter Squadron, equipped with the North American P-51D, which forms a part of the Ninth Composite Wing, presently at Moret Air Force Base, near Zamboanga City.


Tuesday, November 28th 2017, 8:41pm

Transradio Press Service, Thursday, 10 June 1948

Following what were described as “very fruitful” talks in Paris, the Philippine delegation led by Vice President Roxas departed for London. It is believed that the talks will center on the acquisition by the Philippines of additional quantities of British-built aircraft to strengthen its air defenses.


Saturday, December 2nd 2017, 3:08pm

Reuters News Service, London, Monday, 14 June 1948

The Philippine vice-presidential delegation which arrived last week for consultations with the Foreign Office departed today for The Hague, where it is expected to enter into discussions with Dutch officials regarding the security situation in the Far East.

The Manila Times, Tuesday, 15 June 1948

The Ministry of Defense has announced that agreement has been reached with British authorities to confirm the previous conditional order for an additional seventy-five de Havilland Vampire jet fighter aircraft for the Philippine Air Force, as well as a number – reputed at fifty – of the new Gloster Meteor jet night fighting aircraft. This acquisition of these modern aircraft will significantly improve the national defense and counter any possible threat from aggressive neighbors. No timeline for delivery has been announced.


Monday, December 4th 2017, 3:13pm

The Manila Chronicle, Friday, 18 June 1948

Dateline Olongopo: Formal ceremonies marked the official decommissioning of the aircraft carrier Linguyen preparatory for her transfer to Japan. In the last several years she has served a training capacity but was found redundant in last year’s defense review. She is due begin her delivery voyage later this month.


Thursday, December 7th 2017, 12:03am

Hospodarske noviny (Prague), Tuesday, 22 June 1948

Vice President Manuel Roxas of the Philippines arrived here this morning to open discussions with Government officials and representatives of the Skoda Works regarding his nation’s need for modern military equipment. A Skoda subsidiary, Skoda-Davao, is the Philippines’ leading munitions firms and is a leading candidate to meet Philippine requirements for new artillery equipment. It is also expected that both sides will also discuss general economic investment and bilateral trade.


Monday, December 11th 2017, 7:19pm

The Manila Times, Saturday, 26 June 1948

Vice President of the Council of Ministers Manuel Roxas departed from Prague yesterday, as the Government’s delegation begins its homeward journey, calling at Belgrade and Athens en route to Cairo. In remarks delivered as he left Prague the Vice-President described the results of his visit as fruitful, and building better ties with those European nations who share security concerns with the Philippines.


Wednesday, December 13th 2017, 8:51pm

The Straits Times, Wednesday, 30 June 1948

In a surprise move the Philippine delegation led by Vice President Roxas departed from its previously announced itinerary, leaving Singapore for Saigon, rather than Manila. A spokesman for the vice president indicated that discussions with Indochinese officials will ensue; no further details were given.


Monday, December 18th 2017, 3:14pm

Philippine News and Events, July 1948

The Manila Chronicle, Thursday, 1 July 1948

The aircraft carrier Linguyan, manned by a skeleton crew, departed Olongopo for Japan, where she will be formally handed over to the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Mindanao Post, Sunday, 4 July 1948

A major step forward in the renovation of the Philippine Navy took place this week. On Thursday no fewer than four ships – the escort destroyers Sevilla and Sebaste, with the antisubmarine gunboats Centinela and Serviola – were laid down at the Butuan naval shipyard. . At the same time two more escort destroyers – the Calatrava and the Valladolid – were laid down at Manila’s Cavite shipyard. The coastal escorts Cernicalo and Esmerejon – were laid down at the San Fernando naval shipyard. Moreover the Puerto Princesa yard laid down a further escort tanker, the Albay. When complete these vessels will join the ever-strengthening bulwark that protects the nation from Chinese aggression.