The story

San Felipe YFB-12 - History


San Felipe

(YFB-12: dp. 298.8; 1. 111'6"; b. 21'8"; dr. 9'9"; s. 10 k.)

San Felipe was built in 1907 for the United States Army by the Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co., Hong Kong, B.C.C., as the steel tug Engineer. She was taken over by the United States Navy on 28 December 1917 for duty within the 16th Naval District. While underway in Manila harbor on 9 May 1918, she was rammed and slightly damaged by the steamer, Isla de Leyte. Engineer was returned to Army custody following the end of World War I.

Following a United States Army letter of 22 June 1922, requesting transfer of Engineer to the Navy, the tug was accepted by the Navy on 9 October to replace Callao (YFB-11), then operating as a ferry between Cavite and Manila, and was classified YFB-12. The tug was renamed San Felipe on 1 November. While standing out of Pier No. 1 in Manila Harbor on 25 August 1924, San Felipe was rammed and slightly damaged by the passenger liner, President Grant. San Felipe was again in a collision on 2 August 1936, with the motor ship, Attilla, when the tug's tiller chain failed.

San Felipe was still in active service when World War II broke out although scheduled for replacement during 1942. San Felipe was lost on 2 January 1942 incident to the Japanese occupation of the greater part of Luzon Island. She was struck from the Navy list on 24 July 1942.


WEB OF EVIL (& ENNUI)

THU 9 APR 1942
Pacific
Luzon Force (Major General Edward King, USA) on Bataan peninsula surrenders to Japanese. Gunboat Mindanao (PR-8) rescues soldiers attempting to escape from Bataan to Corregidor.

U.S. Navy facilities at Mariveles are demolished to prevent enemy use: Navy forces scuttle submarine tender Canopus (AS-9), minesweeper Bittern (AM-36), tug Napa (AT-32), and drydock Dewey. Ferry launches San Felipe (YFB-12), Camia (YFB-683), and Dap Dap (YFB-684) motor launches evacuate men and equipment to Corregidor.

Submarine Snapper (SS-185) delivers food to Corregidor.

Motor torpedo boats PT-34 and PT-41 engage Japanese light cruiser Kuma and torpedo boat Kiji in a running fight off Cape Tanon, the southern tip of Cebu, P.I.

Kuma is hit by a dud torpedo and machine gun fire. Later that same day, PT-34 is bombed and strafed by floatplanes from Japanese seaplane carrier Sanuki Maruand beached off Cauit Island, P.I., 10䓐'N, 123䓴'E. A second bombing and strafing attack by Sanuki Maru's planes destroys PT-34, which suffers two dead and three wounded from her six-man crew in the action.

Indian Ocean
Japanese Operation C continues: carrier striking force (Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi) raids Trincomalee, Ceylon, which has been cleared of shipping in expectation of the attack. Notwithstanding the precautions taken by the British, Japanese carrier bombers attack the ships they find returning to Trincomalee. British carrier HMS Hermes is sunk, as is Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire, British corvette HMS Hollyhock, depot ship HMS Athelstane and RFA oiler British Sergeant.

Atlantic
Unarmed U.S. freighter Esparta, en route from Honduras to New York, is torpedoed by German submarine U-123 about 14 miles south of Brunswick, Georgia, 30䓮'N, 81䓋'W one man perishes out of the merchantman's 40-man crew.

Unarmed U.S. freighter Malchace is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-160 about 50 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, 34䓜'N, 75䓸'W Mexican freighter Faja De Oro rescues the 28 survivors (one crewman drowns when Malchace is abandoned).

Unarmed U.S. tanker Atlas is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-552 off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, 34䓛'N, 76䓐'W two of the 34-man crew die attempting to escape the fires fed by the cargo of 84,239 barrels of gasoline. Coast Guard cutter CG 462 rescues the 32 men who survive the inferno. Later the same day, U-552 torpedoes tanker Tamaulipas at 34䓙'N, 76䓀'W British trawler HMS Norwich City rescues the 35 survivors (two crewmen perish when the tanker is abandoned). Tamaulipas, gutted by fires, sinks the following morning.

Unarmed U.S. tanker Eugene V.R. Thayer, en route to Caripito, Venezuela from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is pursued and shelled by Italian submarine Pietro Calvi at 02䓔'S, 39䓞'W 11 of the tanker's crew are killed in the engagement that ends when Eugene V.R. Thayer is abandoned (see 10, 11 and 13 April).

Motor torpedo boat PT-59, on practice run in upper Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, accidentally torpedoes cargo ship Capella (AK-13) tugs are on the scene immediately and anchor the damaged auxiliary in shoal water. Eight crewmen are injured in the mishap.


San Felipe YFB-12 - History

CHAPTER X: PERMANENT SETTLEMENT

The first permanent residents arrived at San Felipe during the period 1910 to 1915. Northern Baja California offered them the Mexicali Valley's rich soil for agriculture in addition to the gulf's fish resources. During this time towns and villages of permanent residences took form, and the village of San Felipe was established.

I. BEGINNINGS OF THE TOTUAVA FISHERY

San Felipe first attracted fishing folk from Guaymas. The totuava was held in high esteem by the fishermen of Guaymas. Chinese residents of that Mexican mainland port discovered that the sound or swim-bladder of the fish was of unusual character, and not dissimilar to that of fishes in the Orient, which, when properly dressed and dried, sold for astonishing prices. [George Roger Chute, "The Totuava Fishery of the Gulf of California," California Fish and Game XIV (October, 1928), p. 276.] The product secured from the swim-bladder is called "buche" and is made simply by removing the bladder and as much of the peritoneum as possible and drying it in the sun. Sometimes as much as three pounds of this dried material is secured from one fish. Today's market for "buche" is not as large as it was fifty years ago, but the $1.50 to $2.00 price per pound still remains the same. The Chinese consider it a great delicacy, and use it in chop suey and other dishes. [Craig, loc. cit.] [Chute, op. cit., p. 277.]

The people of China took so well to the new product that a regular sound-drying business arose in Guaymas at the turn of the century. Many Mexicans, induced by the high prices offered for sounds of "buche", set to sea in dug-out canoes in quest of the fish. Eventually, so many of the totuava were caught that to capture more became exceedingly difficult. A group of former German seamen also were attracted to the Guaymas fishery. When local scarcity reduced their revenue, these eager men went sailing into virgin waters to discover the "buche"-yielding fish where it might be plentiful. These Germans found rich fishing grounds far to the north on the opposite side of the gulf, fifty miles from the mouth of the Rio Colorado.

II. SETTLEMENT AT SAN FELIPE

At the foot of a high rock headland, in the curve of San Felipe Bay, the German fishermen built shelters of desert brush and adobe. They found fresh water available and commenced work. This settlement, about one-quarter of a mile north of the present-day site of San Felipe was called Campo Uno (plate 9).

Plate 9. Site of Campo Uno at the Base of San Felipe Point.

Fishing was rich and the venture highly productive. The Germans sailed back to Guaymas with canoes loaded with bales of "buche". The spectacle of their splendid success so emboldened the natives that each year thereafter increasing numbers of them followed the pioneers across the gulf to San Felipe. Only men went the first season but during the second, wives and children were brought in this way the village grew. San Felipe grew from an original five Germans to many hundreds of Indians and Mexicans. [Ibid.]

Analysis of recent photos of Camp Uno reveals five or six remnants of the original shelters. Some of the adobe walls have been weathered to ground level, leaving only a square discolored pattern visible in the soil (plates 10-13). Water was piped from the lowland area behind the beach ridge at the present site of the village today. [Statement by Jose Hernandez Limon, personal interview.] The Campo Uno site at the base of Point San Felipe offered the settlers good protection from northerly winds. Affording further protection, was a small inlet which fronted the site within the larger bay of San Felipe.

Plate 10. An Old Spanish-built Wall at Campo Uno.

Plate 11. Rubble at the Site from Adobe Walls that once stood at the first Camp.

Plate 12. Further Evidence of Dwellings at Campo Uno.

Plate 13. Ruins on the Beach.

Soon Camp Uno could no longer support the sudden arrival of great numbers of people who flocked from Guaymas. The settlement expanded southward to encompass the present-day site of San Felipe adjacent to the small tidal estuary. Shelters were made of desert bush, adobe, and tents. The number of shelters gave San Felipe its first semblance of permanent settlement.

III. FISHING AT THE SETTLEMENT

The equipment used in catching the totuava was small. In 1927 the largest boat in the fleet was a sailboat about thirty-eight feet long, with a small auxiliary gasoline engine. The smallest boat was a flat-bottomed skiff which could accommodate two fishermen (plate 14). Between these two extremes were round and flat-bottomed row boats, very small launches propelled by small gasoline engines, and Indian canoes or skiffs were commonly used. The skiffs were made from huge logs hollowed out by the Indians on the mainland. They averaged from twenty to twenty-five feet long, and were about two feet in diameter. These canoes were equipped not only with sails, but three or four fishermen, each of whom worked a paddle. [Wiley V. Ambrose, "New Game Fish Lures Sportsment to Gulf," Touring Topics, XIX (January, 1927), p. 39.]

Plate 14. An Original Log-hewn Fishing Vessel.

The tackle used by the fishermen was a line composed of quarter inch rope with heavy wire leaders and on the end was a hook about seven inches long. They used a fish called Corvina as bait. Corvina resembles sea trout, being about twenty inches long and weighing up to four pounds. When the large hook was baited with one of the Corvina, the line was carried to the bottom with heavy sinkers, and the fisherman waited for results.

During a day's catch, some of the boats would take as many as six or eight of these fish. That was all that could be carried in boats of that size. Each fish would bring one to two dollars worth of "buche". The carcass of the fish was left to rot. Only the swim bladders or sounds were saved, these being cleaned with exact care and dried in the intense heat of the desert sun.

IV. AMERICAN BUYERS

It is impossible to calculate the tons of fish these people wasted securing only the swim bladder. News of the presence of the fishing camp and the waste of fish reached the border town of Calexico. In 1924 two wholesalers from the United States struck south in their Model T trucks to investigate San Felipe and the story of the large fish. They finally arrived after two and a half days of hard traveling over the sand dunes and salt flats of the Colorado desert. [Statements by J. J. Camillo and Harry Orfanos, personal interview.] The wholesalers, recognizing the possible value of the totuava in United States markets, bought some of the fish at five cents apiece from the eager Mexicans. In the United States the excellent eating fish sold well, encouraging the wholesalers to continue the business. Soon afterwards other fish buyers came to San Felipe and engaged in the business of buying and selling totuava. By 1927, San Felipe had become a well-known fishing port to fish wholesalers in the United States. By this time the Mexican fishermen were selling the totuava at four cents a pound, thereby realizing a good profit from their fish catch.

In 1927 there were fifteen trucks hauling totuava from the small gulf port to the United States border. Short traveling time with a full load of totuava was important to prevent spoilage. Within a short period of time the fish buyers were able to negotiate the trip to Mexicali with a full load of fish in ten to twelve hours. At the border an ice truck waited to carry the totuava to processing plants at San Diego and San Pedro.

The following is an account of a traveler who in 1927 made a run to San Felipe:

"It would be hard to describe realistically the road across these flats. Generally speaking, it was nothing but two ruts, and the travel had cut them down about to the depth of our axles. As may be imagined, the roads were winding, full of chuck-holes, and a speed of over six miles an hour was impossible. In various places turnouts are found where vehicles may pass without sinking in the spongey earth.

This entire barren waste glittered in the sunlight like silver, on account of the white salt which had dried on it, and the only signs of human touch in the whole great distance were piles of decaying fish which we found in great numbers. These fish had been unloaded from trucks coming north from the fishing camp of San Felipe, the trucks having broken down or become stuck and forced to unload. We also ran across a number of trucks and machines that had broken down and had been abandoned, standing out, as great derelicts, against the horizon. [Ambrose, op. cit., p. 38.]

The records of the United States Customs at the entry port of Calexico show that a sportsman brought the first totuava across the border there in 1923.

"Seventy-five pounds sea bass-two fish." reads the meticulous record, and that ended the business for the year. [Chute, op. cit., p. 278.] The following year, with the arrival of fish wholesalers from the United States, the importations rose to 170,000 pounds. The following season's annual increment exceeded one million pounds.

"Totuava Catch of the Gulf of California by Seasons, July First of One year to July First of the Next. [Chute, op. cit., p. 281.]

1923. None

1924-25. 171,000 lbs.

1925-26. 664,000 lbs.

1926-27. 1,039,000 lbs.

1927-28*. 1,838,000 lbs.

*To April 25

During the summer months many of the fishermen of San Felipe would wander away from the bay, following the migrating schools of totuava down the gulf. But in autumn, once again the men would straggle home to San Felipe. Again the truckers would begin their seasonal hauling of the totuava to ports in the United States.

Probably no other food fishery has sent its product to market by so strikingly a method. It is believed that the four hundred mile Gulf-to-San Pedro route is the longest motorized fish transit known. [Ibid.]

The superior food fish and wholesale price made the transit very profitable for the wholesalers and pleasing to the Mexicans who made extra money. Perhaps the most important effect was the encouraged permanent settlement of San Felipe Bay.

V. STABILIZATION OF THE VILLAGE

The initial boom of the totuava industry began to level off in the 1930's, but the demand for the excellent food fish continued. Mr. J.J. Camillo, a seafood broker, is credited with introducing totuava to restaurants in San Diego and Los Angeles. The totuava became a prized delicacy, with initial demands exceeding the supply. Originally, all the totuava was hauled to California markets, but the mid 1930's found increasing amounts sent to Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other inland cities.

Little is known about San Felipe during the 1930's and 1940's. Reports of the fish crossings at the border and population of the village were the only subjects printed about San Felipe during these years.

Totuava was the basis for other small mainland fishing camps on the gulf. These villages also sent their fish to the United States across the border at Calexico. Generally speaking, San Felipe accounted for 85-90% of the total totuava catch passing the border, and today San Felipe still enjoys this same percentage.

The period 1930 to 1940 was rather static in the life of San Felipe. The village was still isolated from much of Mexico and California. The inhabitants resided in rather crude habitations made of adobe, desert brush, some wood, and occasionally metal secured from auto skeletons. The village had no electric power. Water was available from wells easily dug in the ground. No tourist accommodations existed, for only the hardiest of vacationers attempted the route to San Felipe. Village supplies were obtainable at a bay-front grocery owned by a Chinaman who lived at San Felipe since 1916. Of course, the most popular spot in town was the cantina that helped the menfolk of San Felipe pass many idle hours. Similar to most Mexican villages the life in San Felipe stabilized to a slow pace as the residents became permanent.

No population statistics exist for the years 1910 or 1920 in 1930 the census of population classified San Felipe as an "Embarcadero" or port, with a total population of 287, of whom 192 were men and 95 women. [Censo de Poblacion 15 Mayo: Baja California Distrito Norte (Mexico,, D.F. Estados Unidos Mexicanos 1932).] The 1940 census reclassified San Felipe as a "Pesquiera" or fishing village, with a total population of 427 284 men and 143 women. [Estados Unidos Mexicanos 6º Censo de Poblacion 1940 Baja California Territorios Norte y sur (Mexico, General de Estadistica 1948).] In a ten-year period from 1930 to 1940 the population of San Felipe doubled. However, the 1930 population was quite small, therefore, the 1940 doubling of population is not particularly unusual.

VI. THE VILLAGE, 1940 TO 1950

The mid 1940's found a new highway to San Felipe under construction. This Mexicali-to-San Felipe link guided the village from isolation. The completion of the highway was one of the most dramatic occurrences in the history of San Felipe. The village was in ready access to the large cities of Baja California and the United States border. This easy access to the north immediately offered the village better and swifter transportation of its number one resource--fish. The village also gained greater attention of fish wholesalers from the United states who helped San Felipe develop and expand its fishing industry. Easy passage to the gulf coast village offered San Felipe the greatest opportunity for future development with the arrival of tourism.

VII. FISHING BECOMES BIG BUSINESS

United States interests saw profits to be made in San Felipe's fishing industry. The village was not only in proximity to the totuava fishing grounds, but also near the shrimp of the upper gulf. With the proper negotiations, the United States' interests agreed to supply the fishermen of San Felipe. Large, thirty-five to fifty foot long diesel fishing boats and equipment were given in return for fifty per cent of the catch.

In order to aid San Felipe and other fishing communities of Mexico, the Mexican government initiated fishing cooperatives. The cooperatives were organized on three levels: local, regional, and national. The government also organized a bank from which the local cooperatives could borrow money at low interest to improve their methods of fishing. But today in San Felipe, as in other fishing villages, most of the needed funds come from the foreign interests rather than the government banks.

In order to fish commercially at San Felipe, a fisherman must belong to one of the four local co-ops in the village. The local co-ops are composed of a group of twenty to eighty fishermen who unite and pool their resources. Through the cooperatives the catch is sold. Without the co-ops fierce competition among the individual fishermen results in very low prices for their catch. By means of the co-ops, fish prices can be somewhat regulated and equipment can be purchased easily by the greater cash reserves of the co-ops.

Each local co-op called "Cooperativa de Produccion Pesquiera," pools its members' catch and sells it to the regional co-op known as the "Federacion de Cooperatives de Produccion Pesquiera," who in turn sells to wholesalers. Each regional cooperative may administer ten to twenty local cooperatives. Owners of the fishing vessels receive approximately fifty per cent of the vessel's catch. The other fifty per cent is then shared among seven to eight crew members on the vessel. The captain receives one and one-half shares the engineer one and one-quarter and the crew receives one share apiece.

VIII. MODERN FISHING METHODS

The fishing boats are from thirty-five to fifty feet and use gill and trammel nets. These net boats have replaced skiffs and canoes of earlier days. The nets used in the fishery are usually from 1000 to 1500 feet long and the gilling mesh between ten to fourteen inches stretched measure. The nets are generally fixed perpendicular to the shore in shallow water, being set at high tide and left in position from one to three days, depending on the availability of totuava. During the set, the boat lies at anchorage just beyond the offshore end of the net. Two crew members in a skiff run the length of the net every two to three hours removing totuava, sharks, and porpoises.

"Camaron" or shrimp are captured by a purse net, which is dragged near the ocean floor while the fishing boat maintains a speed of about four miles per hour. A small net is lowered while the boat is working and then raised every half hour to check on the amount of shrimp in the area. A heavy catch indicates what is happening in the big purse nets and they are raised and emptied accordingly. By law, one-third of the shrimp harvested in the gulf must remain in Mexico, but the other two-thirds usually goes to the United States where prices are higher than domestic markets.

IX. OUT OF ISOLATION

The one hundred and twenty-five mile long highway between San Felipe and Mexicali was completed in 1950. This highway put the village within easy and direct communication with Mexicali and the United States border. The trip to the border requires two hours auto traveling time, a far cry from the two and one-half day journey that the first buyers experienced.

The highway opened new economic horizons for the village. Now tourists could easily travel to San Felipe, taking advantage of the pleasant climate and excellent sport fishing. The first to see the future possibilities was Sr. Jose Hernandez Limon, now residing in San Felipe. In 1946 Sr. Limon had heard of the pending highway construction to San Felipe. Realizing the attractiveness of San Felipe to tourists, Sr. Limon and his partner purchased thirty-two thousand acres of land surrounding the bay. Included were the village lands, which he turned over to the government in order that the villagers could claim their land holdings legally. [Discussion with Jose Hernandez Limón.]

The village was not prepared for the influx of tourists that came in the first few years after 1950. The village offered nothing to the visitor. There were no tourist accommodations, no electricity, and poor sanitary conditions. These initial tourists were telling others about the poor conditions they found at the village. Therefore, the future of tourism for the village was bleak. Sr. Limon and others approached the Mexican government and pleaded for financial support to help San Felipe acquire electricity and proper sanitary conditions. The result was a study in 1952 by the government of the existing conditions found at San Felipe. [Enrique Santos de Prado Rojas, Estudio e Informe General Sobre las Condecciones Sanitarias en el Puerto de San Felipe, Territorio Norte de la Baja, California. (Mexico, D.F. 1952), p. 17.] The report well illustrated the problems of the village. The 1952 study estimated the population at seventeen hundred inhabitants, thirteen hundred fixed population, and four hundred transient. The inhabitants of San Felipe were in the immense majority Mestizo with a small nucleus of Chinese.

According to the report, the village was not formed according to any preconceived plan. The majority of the streets were, and still remain, sinuous and narrow, crossing the land freely within an idealistic grid pattern. Much dust invades the houses contaminating the air and drinking water. In 1952 there was no public lighting. The majority of the dwellings were illuminated with petroleum or gasoline lamps. Only a few shops possessed auxiliary generators. The report found that a majority of the houses were fabricated from the trunks of ocotillo with the gaps filled with mud. The soil was the floor.

The report summed up the section on housing:

"The hygienic conditions of these inhabitations leaves much to be desired each one houses about eight persons, including the elders, a transmissible disease will be felt in a major or minor part by the total family. [Ibid.] A major portion of the inhabitants in 1952 consumed the local well water. This water is hard, and contains many carbonates that tend to discolor the teeth. Only a few of the inhabitants bought decanters of purified water at a price of three pesos (25 cents) brought from Mexicali. The report discovered that the well water produced many digestive problems. The dominant maladies of the population at that time were respiratory problems, digestive ailments, and venereal diseases. [Ibid., p. 28.]

In 1957, five years after the Sr. Limon's initial plea, work was begun on a one million peso (80,000) electrification project for the port of San Felipe. Cost of the power plant, distribution lines and other facilities were underwritten jointly by the local businessmen and the state government. [News item in the San Diego Union, November 14, 1957.]

In subsequent years Limon's partnership was dissolved, and the vast land holdings were subdivided and sold. Sr. Limon retained a beach front tract of land just south of the village, and there began construction of a trailer court for tourists. Soon other villagers followed in Limon's footsteps by constructing motels, hotels, and trailer courts, thereby offering appropriate tourist facilities and enhancing the future of tourism at San Felipe.


San Felipe

The schooner San Felipe was purchased in New Orleans by Thomas F. McKinney to supply his tradinghouse in Quintana. The American-registered ship was coasting between Brazoria and New Orleans as early as March 23, 1835, when McKinney sailed on her to Louisiana. Lorenzo de Zavala arrived at Velasco aboard the San Felipe in July. In August 1835 Stephen F. Austin returned to Texas from his imprisonment in Mexico by way of New Orleans aboard the San Felipe, commanded by Capt. William A. Hurd. Although not a warship, the San Felipe was then heavily armed and laden with a cargo of munitions. Upon approaching Brazoria on September 1, she was taken in tow by the steamer Laura. Austin, his fellow passengers, and much of the San Felipe's cargo had been removed to the Laura for transshipment across the bar when she was approached by the Mexican revenue cutter Correo de México. The Mexican cutter attempted to come within cannon range of the San Felipe, and Hurd attempted to bring the San Felipe alongside the Mexican ship to board her. The ensuing heavy exchange of cannon and rifle fire lasted from about 8:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M., a battle in which two of the Correo's guns were dismounted, most of the crew were wounded, and her captain, Thomas M. (Mexico) Thompson, was shot twice in the legs. Thereupon Thompson put to sea, and the San Felipe gave chase through the night. On the morning of September 2 the Laura towed the San Felipe into range of the Correo, and Thompson surrendered unconditionally. Hurd then escorted his prize back to New Orleans. Because Thompson did not have a copy of his commission on board, he and his crew were charged with piracy, and a comic-opera trial ensued.

In October the San Felipe returned to Brazoria, and when the Mexican schooner-of-war Montezuma appeared off the coast on the twenty-seventh, the Columbia Committee of Safety ordered Lt. William J. Eaton of the Texas militia to take charge of the San Felipe and give chase. Hurd's schooner overtook the Mexican ship in Matagorda Bay on November 3. The San Felipe, with a crew of seventy men (including McKinney) and a complement of seven cannons, attempted to close with the Montezuma but ran aground on the morning of November 4. A part of the crew returned overland to Brazoria the rest remained with the ship. On November 6 the San Felipe became the target of the Mexican man-of-war's broadsides. "No blame can be attached to Captain Hurd either from want of skill or attention," wrote Franklin C. Gray, one of the ship's volunteer crewmen. The mate had, however, "indulged too freely with the bottle," Gray believed. The San Felipe's guns and part of its cargo were returned to Brazoria aboard the schooners Congress and William Robbins (later named Liberty), and the ship, at first reported as a total loss, was refloated on November 11 and arrived at Quintana on the fifteenth. Deprived of the protection of the San Felipe, the citizens of Brazoria fitted the William Robbins for war and retained the services of Captain Hurd as its commander. The San Felipe was the first ship to transport munitions into Texas after Stephen F. Austin made his decision to support the cause of Texas liberty. The duel between the San Felipe and the Correo was the first engagement in the Texas Revolution, and the victory of the San Felipe cleared the Texas coast of the Mexican naval presence, thus guaranteeing, at least for a time, the unhampered importation of arms and volunteers for the struggle for independence.

Alex Dienst, "The Navy of the Republic of Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 12–13 (January-October 1909 rpt., Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army Press, 1987). Jim Dan Hill, Texas Navy in Forgotten Battles and Shirtsleeve Diplomacy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937 rpt., Austin: State House, 1987). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973).


Spanish three-deckers around 1700 (by Dr. Markus Leber, 20 July 2009)

Many ship modellers are fascinated by three-deckers. Heavily armed and with compelling decorations they were symbols of power, representing their nation and royal dynasty. Unfortunately on Spanish three-deckers around 1700 there is only sparse literature in English or German, and part of that is not always correct. Spanish literature sources and talks with Spanish historians give new interesting insights on that topic.

1. The „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas” (1688)

The first proven three-decker of the Spanish navy was the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“. Construction of that ship began in 1682 by the shipbuilder D. Antonio De Amas at the Colindres (Cantabria) shipyard. The displacement of the ship might have been about 1500 tons.

In 1687 José Antonio de Gaztañeta (1656 – 1728) visited the shipyard to catch up on the work at the new flagship. As admiral of the Spanish Armada Gaztañeta did influence the Spanish ship building markedly, till the 18th century. His book „Arte de Fabrica Reales” of 1691 [1] contains detailed drawings of the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“. There is a view of the stern, a side view and a detail drawing of the stern gallery (see Fig. 1 and 2). The ship is shown as small three-decker without elevated forecastle, carrying 90 to 94 guns.
After launching in 1688 the ship was transferred to Santoña and completed. In May 1690 the masts were set in place. The ship’s painting by Martin Amigo is from that year (see Fig. 3). It is an oil painting on canvas 210 * 135 cm. Today that painting is in the parish church „Iglesia de la Asunción“ in Arcenillas, Zamora.

Figure 1: Side view of the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“ by José Antonio de Gaztañeta

Figure 2: Stern views of the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“ by José Antonio de Gaztañeta

Figure 3: Oil painting of the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“ by Martín Amigo in the year 1690


The painting is consistent with the drawings by Gaztañeta. Both contemporary sources show that the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“ was designed and built as a three-decker. In the Museo Naval in Madrid there is a model of the Nuestra Senora that has been built to these sources. It is interesting to compare the stern section of the painting of Martin Amigo with the high resolution photos of the corresponding page of Gaztañeta's manuscriptum and the stern of the model.

The contemporary sources contradict statements that the “Real Felipe” of 1732 was the first Spanish three-decker [2, 3].


Little is known about the subsequent use of the „Nuestra Señora de la Concepción y de las Ánimas“. On 15 October 1690 the ship left Santoña for Cadiz, escorted by the ships of the line „San Carlos“ and „San Juan“, and some merchant ships. In the years thereafter she was mainly used in Cadiz. The ship took part in an expedition, in 1700, to expel the Scots from the Gulf of Darien in the Caribbean. In 1702 she was in Cadiz when the city was besieged by an Anglo-Dutch squadron [10].
During the War of the Spanish Succession the ship was in a bad shape. Because of that her guns were taken from her and used by other ships of the line. In 1705 the ship was finally broken up in Cadiz.


2. The „Real Felipe“ (1732)

The ship was named after Philipp V of Spain, the first Bourbon ruler of Spain, who in the War of the Spanish Succession managed to defend his throne against the claims of the Austrian Habsburgs.
The ship was built by Ciprián Autrán and Pedro Boyer using the system and the new design specifications of Antonio de Gaztañeta. The work on the shipyard of Guarnizo in Santander was finished in 1732. This three-decker was a giant of 1965 tons that could take up to 114 cannon. At that time only the French Foudroyant was larger.

In a register of 1740 the crew was stated to be 1152 men. The “Real Felipe” proved to be a firm vessel of great firepower. In the battle of Toulon on 22 February 1744 she was repeatedly attacked by British ships [4]. She could repulse all attacks and fought “like hell”, according to English sources. However, the ship was damaged so badly that she was never completely repaired, due to high cost. In 1750 she was finally broken up.

The „Real Felipe“ is supposed to be the largest and most beautiful ship of the Spanish fleet at that time. Strangely, despite of that there is no proven contemporary illustration of her. In books, articles or Internet one can find many depictions, but they are all different and none of them is contemporary. Jose Ignacio Gonzales-Aller Hierro, the former curator of the Museo Naval in Madrid, provided some information. He has published several books about the Spanish fleet, and about the inventory of the Museo Naval. In his publications „Navío Real Felipe“ [5] and „El navíos de tres puentes en la Armada española“ [6] he in detail outlined the history of the ship. So he should know about contemporary sources. He told me that there are indeed no proven contemporary drawings or paintings of the ship. Even with the most prominent drawing of the ship (see Fig. 4) one does not know when the drawing was made and by whom.

The first illustration of the „Real Felipe“ was made in the second half of the 18th century by José Manuel de Moraleda y Montero. The artist was born only in 1750, the year when the ship was broken up.
In 1796 a series of engravings about the battle of Toulon 1744 was made by some artists. The “Real Felipe” is depicted differently each time, depending on the artist. Jose Ignacio Gonzales-Aller Hierro stated to me that the ships depicted do not correspond to Spanish ships of the line during the first half of the 18th century.
In the 20th century some drawings of the ship were made by Rafael Berenguer Moreno de Guerra. However, his drawings differ from the one shown in Fig. 4. In the book „El Buque en la Armada Espanola“ [8] of 1981 one can find a somewhat sketchy reconstruction of the “Real Felipe”. This depiction, too, differs from those of the 18th century and looks like being based mostly on imagination.

Figure 4: Side view drawing of the „Real Felipe“, author and time of origin unknown, Museo Naval Madrid

3. The origin of the three-decker „San Felipe“

In the English- and German-speaking countries there have only few models been built of the Spanish three-deckers that really existed around 1700. Instead, the „San Felipe” became the most prominent one and a well-known ship. The ship is often connected to the Italian historian Vincenzo Lusci as originator. Despite of that the draft is older and not of Italian, but Spanish origin. Only the dubious dating to 1690 is mentioned by Vincenzo Lusci for the first time.
The first drawing of the “San Felipe” was published in the 1950s by the Departamento de Falanges del Mar“. The Spanish historian Juan Carlos Mejias Tavero presented this drawing in his 2006 article „San Felipe, Real o Ficción“ [7].

Figure 5: Part of the first drawing of the „San Felipe“, published by the „Departamento de Falanges del Mar“.


Fig. 5 shows part of this drawing. There are marked discrepancies to the drawing by Vincenzo Lusci and the Mantua model kit drawings. The taff-rails at the stern are more elaborately decorated and the ornamentation of the stern is different. Instead of the round ornaments below the galleries there is a deck with round windows. It is not known who exactly made this drawing.

In the book „El Buque en la Armada Espanola“ [8] there is a illustration of the “San Felipe” (page 177) which was drawn by Rafael Berenguer Moreno de Guerra. Above that illustration is a commentary „Interpretation de Berenguer de un navio espaniol de tres puentes de finales del siglo XVII, o principios del XVIII“. Hoping to get some more information about the origin of the “San Felipe”, a Spanish speaking member of the “Arbeitskreis historischer Schiffbau”, Mr. Peter Böhmer, phoned the Spanish historian Berenguer. Mr. Berenguer is famous for his many drawings of Spanish ships of war that are cited in many books and articles. The meanwhile 88-year-old explained to Mr. Böhmer that the drawing was made by a Spanish ship modeller in the 1950s. According to Berenguer the draft should originally represent the “Real Felipe” of 1732. But because of the poor historical sources a draft was generated that combined some properties of Spanish ships of the line in early 1700s.

A connection of „Real Felipe“ and „San Felipe“ can be found elsewhere in Spanish literature [9]. Several times models of the “San Felipe” have been named “Real Felipe of 1732”. Mejias Tavero [7], in his article about the „San Felipe“, too, refers to the „Real Felipe“ and to drawings of the “Arte de Fabricar Reales”. One can assume that the ”San Felipe” might be just another interpretation of the poorly documented Spanish flagship “Real Felipe” of 1732.

Irrespectively of this, for a ship modeller the question remains whether the “San Felipe” has at all properties of Spanish ships of early 18th century. To judge about this we can only refer to the few contemporary drawings of Antonio de Gaztañeta. There is a lines drawing of 1712, shown in Fig 6, that is compared to the lines of the “San Felipe”.

Figure 6: Comparison of the lines of the "San Felipe" with contemporary sources,
left: lines in the original plan of the "San Felipe" of the Departamento de Falanges del Mar,
middle: lines of a Spanish ship of the line, 1712, by Antonio de Gaztañeta,
right: lines of a Spanish ship of the line, 1750, by Jorge Juan


The forms of the hulls look quite similar, indeed. At the top futtocks the “San Felipe” hull is built much narrower than at the water line. The lines of the underwater hull close to the stern are bent to midships. By that the ship looks especially wide at the waterline. This form is shown by a 1712 lines drawing of Gaztañeta, too. Even though Gaztañeta’s lines represented larger two-deckers, the documents show that the „San Felipe“ has some similarity to Spanish ships of the line in early 18th century.
As the lines of 1750 show, the form of the hull did change. The ship’s side was more vertical now and the underwater hull was bulkier towards the stern.


Some details of the „San Felipe“ can be found in other contemporary drawings. Fig. 7 shows a drawing of a Spanish two-decker around 1700 (archive of Sevilla). This ship also has the round gunports on the forecastle and the poop. The bowsprit enters the front bulkhead at some elevation and not at deck level. Someone who knows the “San Felipe” can recognize contours of the model. Mejias Tavero deduced some details of the decoration from drawings of the „Arte de Fabrica Reales.

The “San Felipe” plans and the ship models show some properties of Spanish ships of the line around 1700. However, one question remains: Why don’t the kit makers refer to a ship that did exist at that time and that has been described quite in detail?

Figure 7: Drawing of a Spanish two-decker around 1700. Archive of Sevilla.

4. Literature:

[1] José Antonio de Gaztañeta (1687-1691), Arte de Fabrica Reales, reprint in 1992 by Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, ISBN: 84-7782-213-1

[2] Thomas Feige (2007), Der spanische Dreidecker San Felipe von 1690 - Phantasie oder Wirklichkeit, Das Logbuch, Ausgabe 1, Seite 31 – 39

[3] Saint Hubert (1986), Ships of the line of the Spanish Navy, Warship, Volume Num 37, page 65 - 69

[4] Carlos Martínez-Valverde (1983), La campaña de don Juan José Navarro en el Mediterráneo y la batalla de cabo Sicie (1742-1744), Revista de Historia Naval, nº 2, page 5 -29

[5] José Ignacio González-Aller Hierro (1986), Navío Real Felipe, Revista de Historia Naval, nº 14, page 47 - 52

[6] José Ignacio González-Aller Hierro (1985), El navíos de tres puentes en la Armada española, Revista de Historia Naval, nº 9, page 45 - 76

[7] Carlos Mejias Tavero, Antonio Alcaraz (2006), San Felipe, Real o Ficción, Más Navíos, Nº13, page 36 – 41 and/or: Argonauta, Revista euroamericana de modelismo, 2008,
http://revistaargonauta.blogspot.com/2008/02/san-felipe-real-o-ficcin_04.html

[8] Enrique Manera Regueyra, Carlos Moya Blanco, Jose Maria Martinez-Hidalgo, Pedro Castineiras Munoz et al. (1981), El Buque en la Armada Espanola, printed by Silex, ISBN: 84-85041-50-X

[9] Josè Luis Alcofar Nassaes (1980), Los tres puentes españoles, Revista General de Marina, Nº199, 79 – 101
[10] José Ignacio Gonzáles-Aller Hierro et al., Modelos de Arsenal del Museo Naval, Evolutión de la constructión naval española, siglos XVII - XVIII, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona 2004, ISBN 84-7782-959-4, Spanish with English translation


San Felipe (Zambales) Tourist Spots, History, Festival

San Felipe is a 4th class coastal municipality of Zambales Province in Central Luzon Region, Philippines.

San Felipe Municipal Hall (Photo Credit: Wiki commons)

Profile of San Felipe Municipality (Geography)
Location –> Central part of Zambales Province in western Central Luzon Region (See map below)
Neighboring Towns –> Cabangan (north), San Marcelino (east), San Narciso (south)
Area –> 111.60 km2 (43.09 sq mi)
Population –> 23,183 (2015 Census)
Revenue (2016) –> 80,274,773.22
Barangays –> 11
Terrain –> Mountainous with hills and coastal plain
Industries –> Agriculture, Trading, Tourism
Major Products –> Rice, Corn, Fish, Vegetables, Poultry, Handicraft, Home-made Food Items
People/Language –> Tagalog, Ilocano, English
Legislative District –> 1st
Government Officials
Congressman –> Cheryl D. Montalla
Mayor –> Leo John Farrales
Vice Mayor –> Mary Ann R. Quiba


You've only scratched the surface of Sanfelipe family history.

Between 1979 and 1997, in the United States, Sanfelipe life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1997, and highest in 1988. The average life expectancy for Sanfelipe in 1979 was 58, and 37 in 1997.

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Sanfelipe ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.


Chihuahua Today

Since the advent of NAFTA in 1994, relations between Chihuahuan management and labor have been strained. Union membership has declined, and much of the state’s labor force has resisted the implementation of the agreement. Nevertheless, Chihuahua continues to have one of the fastest-growing economies in Mexico.

Today, the primary economic drivers in the state are assembly plants (called maquiladoras) that produce electronic components, automobile parts and textile goods. Manufacturers such as Toshiba, JVC and Honeywell have facilities in the state’s recently developed industrial parks.

Timber production and livestock ranching in Chihuahua were once staples of the economy however, as of 2003, they represented less than 10 percent of the total economic activity.


All About San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Located by the Sea of Cortez only 130 miles from the Calexico-Mexicali border, San Felipe is a beautiful town with islands off the coast and unspoiled waters with outstanding fishing. It is a Mexican haven and a good choice for a relaxing and serene getaway.

The beach is one of the highlights in San Felipe. The sea is warm and calm, making San Felipe a hidden Baja paradise.

There are many fun things to do in San Felipe things to do in San Felipe . Before San Felipe became popular as a tourist destination it was known for fishing. Expeditions are still readily available either choosing to catch a boat by the Malecon in the morning or go out to sea for a couple of days.

San Felipe`s entertainment hub is in downtown around the area referred to as the Malecon, which is a boardwalk along the waterfront with sports and karaoke bars, restaurants, clubs and shops. On weekend evenings, it is common for several bands to compete along the boardwalk. This is very popular with locals and visitors, of course, you are welcome to join in. If you feel the urge to dance to the band music, by all means, go ahead. Another popular activity is cruising along the Malecon, with cars circling the four blocks, jamming music and having a great time.

There is always the lively weekly swap meet on Saturday mornings at the Cachanilla at El Dorado Ranch, eight miles north of San Felipe.

Although San Felipe has an airport six miles outside of town, it is primarily used for charter flights. Most visitors to San Felipe drive down via Highway 5 Driving to San Felipe from Mexicali south along the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula.

The road conditions from Mexicali to San Felipe are good and continuously improving. For the first 30 - 40 minutes from Mexicali there are two lanes in both directions. They then merge into single lanes in both directions. In case of a breakdown there are emergency service trucks provided by the tourism board, popularly referred to as Green Angels, that patrol the highway to give assistance when needed, free of charge.

With many Americans now living in San Felipe there are many shops to meet their needs providing all the basic services such as gas stations, tire repair shops, banks and ATM machines, cyber cafes, grocery stores and a hospital.

Over the last few years several new developments have come to the area. The biggest and most comprehensive of these is El Dorado Ranch. The homes in these developments are primarily owned by Americans and Canadians as vacation homes, most of which are available for rent. San Felipe rentals are a bargain compared to hotels because of the amenities which come along with these homes. Popular accommodation choices include secluded mountain side homes, the Eldorado Ranch condos, or the La Ventana del Mar condos overlooking the Las Caras de Mexico Golf Course.

Best prices can be found on mid-week rentals.

There are two events in San Felipe where reservations are mandatory months in advance: the annual Baja 250 Race, usually the second weekend in March, and Easter weekend.


About Us

During the Spanish era, Mandaluyong was part of the province of Tondo, then Greater Manila during the Japanese occupation, and finally, Metro Manila.

In the separate works of Fathers de Huerta, Perez, and Martin y Morales, they noted that the Archbishop of Manila and the Governor General with the concurrence of the Father Provincial of the Franciscan Order authorized the separation of San Felipe Neri or Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte with San Felipe Neri as Mother Parish from Sta. Ana de Sapa by virtue of a Decree vice Royal Pastrono date on September 15 1863. Then on October 30 of that same year, the parish was erected canonically, with Reverend Father Francisco Gimenez, OFM a 29-year old preacher, as parish priest. He finally took over the parish on December 2 1863. It could be possible that the renovated Casa Tribunal serving as Visita and school for alphabets identified today at F. Roxas corner Castaneda was his temporary parish pending the location of a better site. In 1892, San Juan del Monte was ecclesiastically separated by San Felipe Neri, according to Engineer Artiaga.

To the missionaries, Mandaluyong was an ancient village. Successes in the series of evangelization in missionary communities were believed due to the protection of San Felipe Neri, as it grew to become a Poblacion or town. In the writer’s inquiry, Fr. Sanches, veteran Franciscan missionary in the Philippines and archivist of Oriental and Iberian record in Spain noted the town’s name followed that of San Felipe Neri, Patron saint of Rome, Italy. In writings it was often referred to as San Felipe Neri de Mandaluyong. Even the vast land area of the Augustinian Fathers of Mandaluyong, San Juan del Monte, Pasig, Marikina and Quezon City was referred to as ‘Hacienda de Mandaloya.’ Due to the popular interest among the natives to present its ancient name, on November 6 1931 Act 36 of the 9 th Legislature sponsored by Rep. Pedro Magsalin, 1 st District of Rizal Province San Felipe Neri was changed back to Mandaluyong.

In 1870 or seven years after the authorized separation of San Felipe Neri to Sta. Ana de Sapa, Fr. Gavino Ruiz, the incumbent parish priest was authorized to purchase a new church site from the Augustinian Fathers for ‘475 pesos con 35 centimos’ about a hectare. Fathers Cavada, Perez and Marin y Morales mentioned that the corner stone of the church was blessed on March 25 1870, under the tide ‘La Purisima Concepcion.’

The purchase of site for the Catholic cemetery was authorized in 1875. Fr. Miguel Lucio, its parish priest, purchased the Cemetery lot from Augustinian Fathers for one hundred sixty pesos only (P160.00). He constructed the surrounding perimeter with adobe walls including the Ermita or Chapel.

The word ‘Amo 1875’ marker chiseled on adobe on the façade of the Ermita is still legible.

Mandaluyong is an ancient name. Traditional among the town folks, fragmentary as they are claim that the lowland on the west side of Mandaluyong was once the part of the shoreline of the Manila Bay centuries before the era of the Spaniards, gigantic-stormy waved lashed it hills often referred to as ‘salpukan ng alon.’ The word Mandaluyong must have been derived from the Tagalog prefix meaning much, numerous, abounding, of plenty plus the Tagalog root, daluyong meaning surge or crest of giant waves. The combined word should be MANDALUYONG. Etymologically, Spanish writers found it difficult to pronounce the word, hence they Spanized it into Mandaloyon with n. even de Huerta and Perez both Franciscan missionaries refer it as Mandaluyon without g. Missionaries and travelers gave various versions. The most authentic was that of Fr. de Huerta: its undulating and rolling topography or series of alternating plains and ridges appear as waves in the stormy sea. Today, the lowland along the Pasig River and its tidal inlets are inundated during rainy season while brackish water during dry season destroy agricultural crops. Shallow areas of old Poblacion, old and new Zaniga and Hub are underlain with sizeable remains of coral reefs, shells and skeletons of marine life- mute but eloquent testimony that once upon a time Mandaluyong must have risen from the sea.

Father de Huerta wrote that the first Christian from the genecological tree of Lakan Takhan was Martin son of Calamagin Calamagin son of Laboy Laboy son of Palaba Palaba heir apparent of Lakan Takhan and his beautiful wife Boan.

Establishment of civil authorities preceded the ecclesiastical separation of proposed parish. Years later, the authorities under the Reform Act of 1817 in the colonies under municipal autonomy were headed by Gobernadorcillo with annual election, but in the Maura Act1893 the head was changed to Captain Municipal with bi-annual election. Both local Authorities protect the parish.

1883- Rev. Gregono Azarga took over the parish, according to Fathers Perez and Martin y Morales. He obtained a permit to spend 39 100 pesos for the construction of the church.

1884- Italian white marble slab marker embedded at the front adobe wall façade above the front door of the church indicated a Cross with a hanging cloth in Symbolic M form. At the base of the cross was the inscription, ‘En ano 1884.’ Again at each of the four base corners below the circular railings of the Bodida ceiling were painted. ‘Fundada por Rev. Gregono Azarga’- super imposed by the canvas paintings of the four evangelists. When the canvasses were worn out by the elements, the inscriptions were revealed. Façade wall opening destroyed the marker area to accommodate a balcony during the term of Fr. Guzman.

1894- Captain Municipal Pascual Francisco in his catalampaper hand-written manuscript dated June 22 1894 to the Governor General to the Philippines, reported that San Felipe Neri has a Church, a convent and a rented school house with two teachers and a head teacher, that, it had two rivers, the Estero de San Felipe Neri and Estero de Dawag.

He recorded the town fiesta of the ‘La Purisima Concepcion’ was set on the 8 th day of December each year.

Within a period of 8 years Fr. Manuel de Sobrevinas, Gabriel Reyes and Francisco San Diego of the parish were elevated as bishops of the Catholic Church. They were consecrated one after another as Bishops for their meritorious, exceptional and active revival of the faith as well as for the repair, alteration and reconstruction of the Catholic Church and school.

Msgr. Salvador Jose, had constructed the new convent at the right of the church and Auxiliary Chapels at its left side. His incumbency was also credited the expansion of San Felipe Neri Parochial School, which is now administered by the Dominican Sisters the construction of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine at Maysilo St., the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, the columbaria- depository of bones and ashes at the back of the church, the renovation of patio and the construction of Pastoral Center dedicated to the youth of Mandaluyong.


Watch the video: san felipe 2 часть (November 2021).