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Early Years

The Philippine Fleet

traces its origin to the
pre-war Off Shore Patrol
(OSP) - the forerunner of
the Philippine Navy.

In 1934, United States Congress passed a law granting Philippine Independence in 1946 after a
10-year Commonwealth period. Newly elected President Quezon hired retired US Army Chief of
Staff, General Douglas MacArthur to prepare the Philippines’ Defense System. With the help of
his two staff officers, Majors D Eisenhower and J Ord, General MacArthur drafted Commonwealth
Act No.1, better known as National Defense Act which was approved by the Congress and
became Law effective December 21,1935. Basically, the defense system was patterned after the
Swiss Citizen Army conscript idea that by 1946, 200,000 citizen army along with 250 planes of
the Philippine Army Air Corps and 50 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) of the sea going Off-Shore-
Patrol (OSP) would be acquired. In 1937, MacArthur asked the US Navy if they could provide
MTBs and since they had none, negotiations were made with V. Thornycroft Inc, England. On
April 15,1938 when Thornycroft started construction of the initial two MTBs, Major Rafael Ramos,
a Nautical School graduate known personally by Quezon was designated the first Chief, OSP to
recruit personnel. On 18 June, Lt Jose U Andrada USNA ’30 replaced Major Ramos who was
sent to US Army School to later head the Quartermaster service . Capt Andrada recruited two
Annapolis graduates, Lieutenants Alfredo Peckson and Marcelo Castillo and seven Philippine
Military Academy (PMA) graduates by the end of 1938. The first MTB renamed Q-112 "Abra"
arrived March 1939 and the second later known as Q-111 "Luzon" on June 1939. As WW II
started in Europe in 1939, arrangements were made with Thornycroft Inc., to provide the engine
for the local building of the hull by the Engineer Island. In 1940, two more US Navy and seven
PMA graduates joined the OSP and on March 1941 the locally made MTB was completed and
successfully tested and named Q-113 "Agusan". For the next six months, intensive training
aboard the Q-Boats were held, permanent officers and crew were selected and the 1st Q-Boat
Squadron was organized while war clouds were starting to gather . On September 1941, USN PT
RON 3 under Lt J D Bulkeley composed of six Patrol (PT) Boats arrived in Manila. The Q-Boats
and PT Boats conducted joint training on October to November 1941. On Dec 4, 1941, Capt
Enrique L Jurado USNA '34 relieved Major Andrada as Chief, OSP. Andrada was assigned to
command the Coast Artillery Battalion at Fort Wint.