(Press Release by Mike Baños)
The Cagayan de Oro Historical and Cultural Commission is urging residents to participate in the upcoming General Douglas MacArthur Week by joining the casting call for the reenactment of the General’s arrival at Macabalan pier and convoy to Del Monte, Bukidnon .
In March 11, 1942 MacArthur, along with his family and general staff left Corregidor aboard four PT Boats after he was ordered by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to leave the Philippines and proceed to Australia to lead the Allied Forces in pushing back the Japanese Imperial Forces.
They arrived in Macabalan Pier in Cagayan, Misamis at 7am of Friday, March 13, 1942 and proceeded to Del Monte Airfield to wait for their ride to Australia. Finally, the group left for Australia aboard two B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. After landing in Batchelor Field, MacArthur’s family was proceeding to Melbourne by rail when they stopped at the small town of Terowie, South Australia where he first uttered to some journalists his immortal vow: “I shall return.”
The Hiscom will reenact MacArthur’s arrival and convoy on March 13, 2017 starting at 7am. Hobart Savior, the reenactment director, has issued a casting call for those interested to participate as any of the following characters:
General Douglas MacArthur, 62 years old
Mrs. Jean MacArthur, 44 years old
Arthur MacArthur IV, four years old
Ah Cheu (Arthur’s nurse, real name Lo Cheu)
General Richard D. Sutherland, Chief of Staff
Capt. Harold G. Ray, Chief of Staff for Admiral Rockwell
Lieutenant Colonel Sidney L. Huff, Aide
Major C. H. Morehouse, Medical Officer
Lt. John D. Bulkeley, skipper of PT-41 and commander of MTB Squadron 3
These are nine of the eleven main characters in the reenactment since they were the ones who rode with MacArthur in PT-41 Patrol Torpedo boat skippered by Bulkeley.
The 10th character is Maj. William P. Morse, commander of the hastily formed honor guard from the 30th Bombardment Group based in Del Monte, who was tasked by Brig. Gen. William F. Sharp, Visayas-Mindanao commander, to meet the General at Macabalan Pier and escort them to Del Monte.
Not the least, the reenactment will feature a touch of local color with the role played by Boy Scout Abelardo “Loloy” Neri Queppet, who personally saw MacArthur at Macabalan Pier while he was going about his duties helping direct traffic and enforcing the blackout.
However, the Hiscom has requested the Queppet family to have a grand nephew play the role as a gesture of recognizing not only Scouter Queppet’s place in history; but to honor the Boy Scouts of the time as well, for playing a no less heroic role in doing what were, in fact, dangerous men’s work during wartime.
Here are some photos of the characters for reference from actual photos taken during their brief stay on March 13-17, 1942 at Del Monte.
Interested parties who wish to join this reenactment may contact any of the following numbers for more information: 0917-439-7000, 0915-699-8769, 0917-714-8484.