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Monday, April 26th 2021, 1:26am

Philippine News and Events, 1950

Butuan Naval Shipyard, Monday, 2 January 1950

Capitaine de corvette Arsène Couturier stepped off his flight from Manila and walked across the tarmac towards the car waiting to take him to his destination, the naval shipyard. A visit had been arranged some weeks ago to afford him an opportunity to assess the Philippine Navy’s ongoing construction program. Butuan, on the northern coast of Mindanao, had the reputation of being a highly efficient and productive shipyard. What he would see on this visit would confirm its reputation.

At the yard’s fitting out basin he saw a quartet of Numancia-class ocean escorts in various stages of completion; his guide advised him that they were due for completion by mid-May. The big graving dock held the growing form of the heavy cruiser Samar. The slipways swarmed with work crews – two more escorts had been laid down, and he could see the keels of the two seaplane tenders that Admiral Salazar had been demanding for years. His guide advised that work on two tugs was also under way on the smaller ships.

In the next several days he would have the opportunity to observe the work up close. His report to Paris would be filled with observations and conclusions.


Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 5:12pm

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Friday, 13 January 1950

Units of the Philippine Navy continue to patrol our territorial waters in the Kalayaan archipelago. Two more Chinese fishing craft, taken while engaged in illegal activities, were sent to the Admiralty Court of San Jose, Mindoro, and four condemned as lawful prize by the Admiralty Court of Puerto Princesa. These actions are much to the relief of the fishing communities of Palawan and Mindoro, who have seen their catches much diminished by the over-fishing practiced by Chinese commercial captains.


Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 11:45pm

I like how the only difference beteew real life Philippines and WW Philippines is the date


Monday, June 21st 2021, 1:14am

The Manila Chronicle, Tuesday, 24 January 1950

Yesterday’s celebrations to mark the anniversary of Philippine independence still echo in the ears of the citizens of our fair city. Commencing with a thundering early morning fly-past by MiG-15 interceptors of the Second Fighter Wing that awoke even the sleepiest Manileño the day was marked by parades by units of the Army’s Fifth Infantry Division and the 1st Mechanized Brigade as well as the Marine Corps’ First Base Defense Regiment. The Northern Fleet assembled a mighty task force in Manila Bay that was reviewed by the President of the Council and members of Senate with the battlecruiser Mindanao serving as their ceremonial barge. In the early afternoon a memorial mass was celebrated by his Eminence Cardinal Reyes at Manila to remember all those who have fallen in the cause of Philippine Independence since 1898. The Air Force closed out the official program of the day with a mass fly-over by elements of the Eleventh, Fourteenth, and Sixth Bombardment Wings, whose B-24 and A-26 bombers seemed to blot out the sun. Informal celebrations among the city’s citizenry continued late into the night.


Tuesday, July 6th 2021, 11:33pm

The Freeman (Cebu), Wednesday, 25 January 1950

Authorities in Manila have confirmed that Philippine Airlines Flight 082 has disappeared enroute to Manila. The aircraft, a DC-3 registered PI-C22, was on a scheduled cargo flight from Iloilo-Mandurriao Airport to Nielsen Field with a crew of three and one passenger. The Air Force and Navy are cooperating with the Philippine Constabulary in the search but no wreckage yet been found.


Thursday, July 15th 2021, 1:38am

The Manila Times, Monday, 30 January 1950

The Philippine Constabulary has ended its search for PAL Flight 082. Despite an intensive search, no wreckage has yet been discovered, and it is theorized that the DC-3 ditched or crashed at sea. Rumors suggesting foul play, either by agents of Chinese intelligence or by operative of the Abu Sabaya separatist group, have been discounted by the authorities.


Saturday, July 24th 2021, 7:37pm

Philippine News and Events, February 1950

The Manila Herald. Thursday, 2 February 1950

The light cruiser Batangas has completed her operational training and working up, and is scheduled to make a good will cruise to Pacifica, calling at Guam and Saipan before taking up her duties with the Northern Fleet.


Monday, July 26th 2021, 9:31pm

The Freeman (Cebu), Monday, 6 February 1950

In the wake of the loss of PAL Flight 082 the Senate has taken up for debate a proposal to establish a central investigative organization within the Civil Aviation Authority.


Monday, August 9th 2021, 7:47pm

The Manila Times, Monday, 13 February 1950

The Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Dong Sen Kim, delivered a formal protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the actions of the Philippine Navy in arresting Chinese commercial fishing vessels operating in the South China Sea. Responding. Foreign Minister Carlos Rómulo said,

“The Philippine Navy will continue to aggressively enforce Philippine sovereignty over its territorial waters and Chinese vessels are warned to cease their poaching activities within those waters and avoid all such incursions.”

Disputes over fishing rights have been perennial since the conclusion of the South China Sea War but in recent years the number of Chinese vessels caught within Philippine waters has been on the increase, a fact attributable to the growing size of the Chinese fishing fleet and the concomitant expansion of the Navy’s patrol forces in and around the Kalayaan Archipelago.


Tuesday, August 17th 2021, 12:23am

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Friday, 17 February 1950

According to reports from the Malacañan the Philippine ambassador to Beijing has been recalled for consultations. This move comes at a time when relations with China have reached a new low.


Friday, August 20th 2021, 3:37pm

The Manila Times, Tuesday, 21 February 1950

The Philippine Aircraft Development Corporation has developed an improved version of the Douglas A-26 light bomber, which it has produced under license for the Philippine Air Force. Christened “Manlalaban”, Cebuano for Defender, the new aircraft features uprated engines, a battery of six 12.7mm machineguns in a solid nose – replacing the bomb aimer’s position – strengthened wings permitting the carriage of additional ordnance, and deletion of the defensive gun turrets in the dorsal and ventral positions. The prototype will be submitted to the Air Force for evaluation later this month.


Friday, August 20th 2021, 3:50pm

Looks good, should be a pretty potent performer.


Sunday, August 29th 2021, 8:55pm

Manila, The American Embassy, Friday, 24 February 1950

Colin Kelley, the air attaché, paused as he composed his report to Washington. He’d covered all the latest factual developments, but was of two minds about whether to include some unverified items. He slipped his draft into the drawer of his desk and locked it, then when downstairs to the embassy mess to get a cup of coffee and think.

Rumor had it that the Philippine Air Force was sending a delegation to England; that much he could confirm; but the alleged purpose of the delegation – some of his hosts’ best pilots – was to evaluate the new British ‘Canberra’ jet bomber. He had thus far come up short in his efforts to confirm this. The acquisition of the ‘Canberra’ would make sense – with the Philippine Air Force extending its technological edge over their potential opponent, the Chinese. Indeed, it could almost put them a leg up on Japan, since no one knew for certain what the Japanese had in their inventory.

He drained his coffee, and having chatted momentarily with some of the catering staff, made his way back to his office. He’d pass the item on Washington but hedge it as ‘reputed’. The appearance of a jet tactical bomber in the Far East would impact the strategic balance, and failure to inform the Air Staff would be taken as 'unfortunate'.


Saturday, September 4th 2021, 12:06am

The Philippine Gazette, Monday, 27 February 1950

The Honorable Abraham Tolentino has been named Chargé d'affaires and temporary chief of mission of the Philippine embassy in Beijing. Ambassador Enrique K. Razon was recalled from Beijing some days ago for consultations and has now been hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment.


Monday, September 13th 2021, 12:49am

Philippine News and Events, March 1950

The Malacañan Palace, Office of the Minister of Defense, Wednesday, 1 March 1950

Colonel Florentino Ballecer, though having served more than a year on the Air Staff, was not used to being called before the Minister of Defense, and was troubled as to what the summons might mean. Beside him was Kayvin Santos, one of the minister’s trusted assistance, but even he was unaware of the reason behind the minister’s call. They arrived at the door of De la Vegas’ office from opposite corridors and suffered a moment of confusion. This was swiftly quelled by a peremptory summons, “Come in gentlemen”.

As soon as the two took their seats de la Vega rapidly explained the situation. “Gentlemen, an opportunity has been presented that might permit us to significantly upgrade the Air Force’s bomber force. You have perhaps heard of the British Canberra bomber?”

Ballecer’s eyes widened in anticipation. “Yes Minister! It is one of the most modern bomber aircraft in production in Europe. It would totally outclass anything operational in the Chinese inventory.”

“The British have signaled that they may be willing to supply us with a significant quantity of this new bomber and offered to provide a demonstration for us. Colonel, I want you to select four pilots to participate in the demonstration. Senor Santos, you will accompany the mission to participate in any discussions that touch upon financial and administrative arrangements. Acquisition of these aircraft, if suitable for our needs, will be of vital importance to our national defense, but we cannot mortgage the country blindly.”

Santos nodded. “Yes Minister. I understand completely.”

“Your written instructions will be issued before the close of business today. The demonstration is scheduled for the twenty-fifth of the month, in England, so you and the rest of the delegation will need to make arrangements to attend without delay. Colonel, make your pilot selections quickly.”


Monday, September 20th 2021, 12:27am

Nielsen Field, Manila, Monday, 6 March, 1950

The Air Force evaluation team boarded the Philippine Air Lines flight for Singapore in a happy if still surprised mood. Ballecer had tapped four of the Air Force’s best pilots – Caravara from the 15th Bombardment, Robles from the 26th, and Garcia from the 27th, each with hundreds of hours on the Douglas A-26, and Silayan of the 12th Fighter, who before transitioning to the MiG-15 had flown A-26s with the 25th Bombardment. Santos, the civilian rounded out the team.

They had the first-class section of the DC-4 to themselves, and would have plenty of time to discuss the technicalities of their mission on their long journey to England. The first leg would take them to Singapore, they would take a British Overseas Airways flight to Europe – the pilots began a betting pool on which would end up being their exact route. So hasty were the arrangements that even Ballecer was uncertain of the exact details. The important point was to get to England well before the 25th of the month.

The Mindanao Post, Wednesday, 8 March 1950

The harbor tugs Maayon and Mambusao were launched today at the Butuan naval shipyard. Two sister vessels were expected to be launched at the Puerto Princesa naval shipyard in Palawan.


Monday, September 27th 2021, 5:59pm

The Philippine Herald, Wednesday, 15 March 1950

Legislation expanding the scope of the Civil Aviation Authority was adopted yesterday. It will now be responsible for operating and maintaining all Class 1 airports in the country, and for inspecting and overseeing the activities of all Class 2, Class 3, and Class 4 airports. Under the CAA will be the Aircraft Accident and Inquiry Investigation Board (AAIB), which will be responsible for investigating the loss of any civil aircraft throughout the nation. These changes were prompted by the loss of PAL Flight 082 earlier this year.