Fifty-seven years ago, a group of Filipino boy scouts who were on their way to Greece to represent the country in the 11th World Jamboree has perished in a plane crash.
On June 25, 1963, the boy scouts had a courtesy call with then Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal. Two days later, they took a flight for Hong Kong to catch a connecting United Arab Airlines flight to Athens.
Then, on July 28, 1963, the entire delegation perished with passengers and crew members of United Arab Airlines Flight 869 after the plane crashed into the Arabian Sea near India. (Read: Cardinal Tagle leads national conference for Filipino youth)
Eyewitnesses (fishermen from Mahd island off Bombay, India) said that the plane plunged into the sea in one piece. Among the members of the Philippine scouting delegation, only five bodies were positively identified from the remains that were recovered in the Bay of Bombay.
The scouts who died in the plane crash were:
- Air Scout Observer Ramon Valdes Albano (Manila Council)
- Senior Scout Pathfinder Patricio Dulay Bayoran (Pasay Council)
- Air Scout Observer Gabriel Nicolas Borromeo (Manila Council)
- First Class Scout(FCS) Roberto Corpus Castor (Quezon City Council)
- Senior Scout Pathfinder Henry Cabrera Chuatoco (Manila Council)
- FCS Victor Oteyza de Guia (Baguio Council)
- Life Scout Jose Antonio Chuidian Delgado (Manila Council)
- FCS Felix Palma Fuentebella (Manila Council)
- FCS Pedro Hermano Gandia (Manila Council)
- FCS Antonio Mariano Limbaga (Zamboanga Council)
- Rover Scout Roberto del Prado Lozano (Dagupan Council)
- Senior Scout Pathfinder Paulo Cabrera Madriñan (Pasay Council)
- FCS Jose Fermin G. Magbanua (Negros Oriental Council)
- Star Scout Romeo Rafael Rallos (Quezon City Council)
- Senior Scout Pathfinder Filamer Santos Reyes (Cavite Council)
- Star Scout Wilfredo Mendoza Santiago (Manila Council)
- FCS Benecio Suarez Tobias (Tarlac Council)
- Eagle Scout Antonio Rios Torillo (Cavite Council)
- Star Scout Ascario Ampil Tuason (Manila Council)
- FCS Rogelio Celis Ybardolaza (Quezon City Council)
Messages of Honor
Filipinos mourned the deaths of the 24 scout and scouters. Pope Paul VI and President Sukarno were among the world leaders who sent their messages of condolence. At the world jamboree in Greece, all the flags were flown at half staff. (Read: Dear Young People: Pope’s Message to the Youth)
On April 24, 1964, the City Council of Quezon City renamed streets in the Kamuning and Roxas Districts after the 24 scouts and scouters. The “scout” streets in Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City were named after them. The 11th World Scout Jamboree Memorial Rotonda, also known as the Boy Scout Circle can be found at the intersection between Timog and Tomas Morato.
President Corazon C. Aquino, in 1988, declared the 28th of July every year as Scout Memorial Day.