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61

Wednesday, September 11th 2019, 2:37pm

The Manila Times, Friday, 27 May 1949

Minister of Defense Don Joaquin de la Vega is due to oversee the completion and commissioning ceremonies of the escort tanker Albay at the Puerto Princesa naval dockyard on Palawan. The importance of such support vessels has been brought into greater focus in the light of recent Chinese adventurism in the China Sea.

62

Thursday, September 12th 2019, 12:46pm

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Sunday, 29 May 1949

The commercial registrar in Cebu City reports the incorporation of a new air transport firm, Pacific East Asia Cargo Airlines of Iloilo, Cebu. The firm has acquired a quartet of refurbished Curtiss Commando twin engine cargo aircraft from the United States, which it will operate on scheduled cargo services between Luzon, Cebu, and Mindanao, in addition to undertaking freight charters for both commercial and military customers.

63

Saturday, September 14th 2019, 6:04pm

Naval Operating Base Cavite, Tuesday, 31 May 1949

The mood was somber among the visitors invited to witness the launch ceremonies for the cruiser Sorsogon. As she was towed to the fitting out wharf for the next phase of her construction, the attention of those assembled shifted to the horizon where the escort destroyers Solano, Socorro, Pola, and Pontevedra, in line astern, where headed out into Manila Bay past the rock of Corregidor beginning an operational deployment in a time of high tension. They had orders to join the Western Fleet with all possible speed; their guns manned and ready for any eventuality.

64

Wednesday, September 25th 2019, 12:20am

Philippine News and Events, June 1949

The Mindanao Journal, Thursday, 2 June 1949

The naval shipyard at Butuan saw a banner day today with the completion of the final quartet of Cabanatuan-class escort destroyers – the Sevilla, the Sebaste, the Calatrava, and the Valladolid. Over the next six months the ships will be undergoing a series of trials and operational training before joining the fleet in the late autumn.

65

Sunday, September 29th 2019, 8:57pm

The Freeman (Cebu), Friday, 3 June 1949

Philippine Air Lines has introduced the first example of the PADC 900 “Papan” feederliner into service, using it for route-proving on low-density flights from Cebu City to destinations on Leyte and on Negros. Deliveries of the initial production batch are scheduled to be delivered in September but already the “Papan” has demonstrated its popularity with travelers in the central Visayas.


66

Tuesday, October 1st 2019, 2:00pm

Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Indochina, Saturday, 4 June 1949

Lieutenant Commander Juan Divarola’s orders had specified his flight to Indochina as ‘soonest’; and the enterprising officer had wangled himself a space on a PB4Y shuttle flight over the South China Sea. True, he had little to do but watch the whitecaps on the ocean below him during the long flight from Mindoro but it got him to Indochina two days before the first available regular transport. His orders said, ‘Soonest’. At least had taken the precaution, while in flight, of having the patrol bomber’s crew advise the French that the naval liaison officer assigned to them was en route.

He found that his French hosts were as adept at improvisation as he was. A reception party comprising a trio of naval officers greeted him with a hearty welcome and utility vehicle with which to carry his limited luggage all the way to the naval base at Cam Rahn Bay, where he would take up his duties. That Divarola spoke good French was no accident – it was one of the reasons he had been selected for the post – and his new companions were happy enough to fill him in on the local scene – what with the Russian and German naval elements operating from the port it was most cosmopolitan.

67

Wednesday, October 2nd 2019, 7:32pm

The Manila Times, Monday, 6 June 1949

The Ministry of Defense announced today that a squadron of the Royal Thai Navy will visit the capital in the near future. The Thai flotilla, on a training and goodwill cruise, is likely to remain in port for several days before continuing its voyage. Specific details of the visit are to be provided at a later date.


Nichols Field, Tuesday, 7 June 1949

The Air France flight from Saigon touched down easily and taxied to the terminal where its passengers deplaned. For Capitaine de corvette Arsène Couturier there was a sense of homecoming – he had done a three-year tour in the Philippines as assistant naval attaché before returning to sea duty in the latter part of 1945. During the aircraft’s landing approach he could see the changes to the city’s skyline with numerous skyscrapers and burgeoning factories. He was particularly taken with the many ships anchored in Manila Bay, one of the finest harbors in all the Orient. And that was to be his particular ‘beat’, as a police officer might say.

His diplomatic credentials got him waved through Customs in a most speedy manner, and with each passing moment his command of Iberiano – the patois of Spanish and Tagalog spoken in Luzon – was returning.

“Arsène!”

He turned towards the voice and gleefully noted the approach of his old comrade, André Turcat, who when they last met was the deputy air attaché at the embassy.

“Andre! Good to see you.” Couturier noted that his friend now wore the rank tabs of a commandant. “A promotion is see.”

“I am now the air attaché in my own right. But it is good to have you back here. With all that has been happening having you assigned as naval liaison comes none too soon.”

The confrontation between France and China over the Banc Macclesfield was still sending out ripples, which had caused France and the Philippines to exchange naval officers to coordinate efforts to constrain Chinese expansionism in the future.

“Come – I have a car waiting and Ranhofer – you remember him, will see to your luggage. The ambassador wishes to see you right away.”

“Ranhofer? He is still with us? It is like things have never changed.”

68

Monday, October 7th 2019, 8:03pm

Naval Operating Base Cavite, Thursday, 9 June 1949

Arsène Couturier spent little time in getting down to business; with tensions still running high in the aftermath of the confrontation with China the Marine Nationale wished to arrange far closer cooperation with the Philippine Navy, and it was Couturier’s job to accomplish just that. After a day to begin settling in at the embassy he had been whisked to Cavite where he was afforded a series of briefings on the current operations of the Philippine Navy and its air arm, as well as the maritime patrols flown by the Philippine Air Force.

These told him that the Filipinos had stretched their resources to the maximum to cover as much of the South China Sea as could be done; and he had noted several areas in which the Aeronavale might expand its own coverage to bring a modicum of relief to the PNAS; he would push the suggestion up the chain of command. His hosts had indicated that they would arrange a tour of the Kalayaan Islands, where a network of navigational beacons and non-military observation posts had been established – officially demilitarized, the Kalayaans had bulked large in the diplomatic storm that the Chinese had brewed with their efforts at the Banc Macclesfield – and had China managed to build its ‘civilian weather station’ there, the Philippines had made it clear that they would refortify the islands, treaty or no. And for his own part, Couturier agreed with such a view. Thankfully, the crisis had passed…

His hosts did not reject out of hand his request to visit their Scarborough Station outpost – which he suspected the Chinese of seeking to emulate. He had been informed that arrangements would be made at a point in the near future. Considering what he had accomplished in the last twenty-four hours, he called it a good day’s work.


The Philippine Herald, Saturday, 11 June 1949


A squadron of the Royal Thai Navy, comprising the aircraft carrier Sri Ayuthia, cruisers Taksin and Chakri Nareubet, and six escorting destroyers arrived this morning on a goodwill cruise and the first visit by Thai vessels to the capital.

69

Wednesday, October 9th 2019, 5:09pm

The Philippine Gazette, Tuesday, 14 June 1949

As provided for in the Military Defense Act of 1949 the Ministry of Defense announced today the formation of the Philippine Army Air Corps and the appointment of Major Erik Estrada to the post of Chief of Aviation for the Philippine Army.


The Manila Times, Thursday, 16 June 1949

Details have emerged regarding the plans for development of the newly-formed Army Air Corps. The Philippine Air Force will transfer to the Army a small number of Fanaero Alpaca light observation aircraft from its present inventory; these are expected to serve in a training role, and as such is viewed as interim equipment. An order has been placed in France for six examples of the Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.22 Cigale utility helicopter, which are expected to be delivered before the end of the year.