Harman Patil (Editor)

BRP Miguel Malvar (PS 19)

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Name  PCE(R)-852
Commissioned  26 May 1944
Construction started  28 October 1943
Length  56 m
Builder  Pullman Company
Laid down  28 October 1943
Decommissioned  1 November 1965
Launched  1 March 1944
Beam  10 m
BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Renamed  USS Brattleboro (PCE(R)-852), 15 February 1956
Fate  transferred to Republic of Vietnam Navy, 11 July 1966

BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19) is the lead ship of the Miguel Malvar class of corvettes of the Philippine Navy. She was originally built as USS PCE(R)-852, a PCE(R)-848-class rescue patrol craft escort for the United States Navy during World War II. She was acquired by the Philippine Navy in April 1976 and later on commissioned as Miguel Malvar after Miguel Malvar y Carpio. The ship is in active service. Along with other World War II-era ships of the Philippine Navy, Miguel Malvar is one of the oldest active fighting ships in the world today.


US Navy

Commissioned in the US Navy as the USS PCER-852 in 1944, she was first assigned in the Atlantic theatre of operations engaged in patrolling and training. On 1 August 1944, PCER-852 stood out of Bermuda bound for Norfolk, Virginia with 26 prisoners of war—sailors from the German submarine U-505, captured in June by a “hunter-killer” group formed around escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60).

Relocating to the Pacific theatre of operations, her duties included treatment of wounded sailors and soldiers, and ASW patrols during the invasion of the Philippines at Leyte Gulf and Lingayen Gulf, and in the operations at Okinawa. During her six months in the war zone, her medical staff and crew handled over 1300 dead, critically wounded, and ships' survivors. After the war she was placed under the Atlantic Reserve Fleet but was not decommissioned.

Early in 1946, however, she was converted into an experimental ship to test infrared equipment for the Bureau of Ships. She had her armament removed and her hospital facilities converted to work spaces for test equipment. At that time, she was redesignated E-PCER-852. She completed the conversion in May 1946. In September 1947, the Bureau of Ships shifted the infrared test program to the Underwater Sound Laboratory at New London, Connecticut, and E-PCER-852 operated from that base.

For the next 18 years, the ship continued to do experimental work. By the early 1950s the nature of her test work expanded from infrared gear to include optical communications equipment, sonar apparatus, weather gear, and various other items of hardware. In addition to the Bureau of Ships, she did test work for both the Bureau of Ordnance and the Office of Naval Research. On 15 February 1956, the ship was named USS Brattleboro. She continued her experimental duties for nearly a decade after receiving her name. During that time, her zone of operations also expanded to include the coastal waters along the southeastern United States and thence into the West Indies. On 1 October 1965, Brattleboro was ordered to Philadelphia to begin inactivation. Decommissioned at Philadelphia and struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1965.

Republic of Vietnam Navy

She was then transferred to the Republic of Vietnam on 11 July 1966. She served the Republic of Vietnam Navy as Ngọc Hồi (HQ-12) up until her escape to the Philippines in 1975, together with other South Vietnamese Navy ships and their respective crew.

Philippine Navy

After she was cleaned, repaired and made ready for service, she was formally acquired by the Philippine Navy on 5 April 1976, and was commissioned together with other ex-RVN ships on 7 February 1977. She underwent extensive overhaul and refitting of armaments, and was commissioned into the Philippine Navy as RPS Miguel Malvar (PS-19).

Service with the Philippine Navy

She initially served the Philippine Navy as RPS Miguel Malvar (PS-19) until she was renamed to BRP Miguel Malvar effective 23 June 1980. Between 1990 and 1992 the Miguel Malvar underwent major overhaul, weapons and radar systems refit, and upgrade of communications gear.

She is currently assigned with the Patrol Force of the Philippine Fleet, and is considered as one of the most decorated ship of the Navy.

Notable Operations / Exercises

On August 2011, the Miguel Malvar conducted rescue operations on a distressed vessel in the province of Tawi-Tawi. She rescued around 60 passengers from the wooden-hulled vessel M/L Virginia and towed the said ship to a pier in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

The Miguel Malvar was one of the participating ships in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2012 - Philippines exercises from 2 July to 10 July 2012.

Technical details

There are slight difference between the BRP Miguel Malvar as compared to some of her sister ships in the Philippine Navy, since her original configuration was as a rescue patrol craft escort (PCER), while the others are configured as patrol craft escorts (PCE) and minesweepers (Admirable class).


Originally the Miguel Malvar was armed with one 3"/50 caliber dual purpose gun, two single Bofors 40 mm guns, four Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, one Hedgehog depth charge projector, four depth charge projectiles (K-guns) and two depth charge tracks.

During its overhaul and refit between 1990 and 1991, the Philippine Navy removed her old anti-submarine weapons and systems, and made changes in the armament set-up. Some sources claim the loss of its two Bofors 40mm cannons during the 1990-1991 overhaul and refit period, but photos [1] at of 2002 show the Bofors guns still present. Final armaments fitted to the ship are one Mk.22 3"/50-caliber gun, two single Bofors 40 mm cannons, three Mk.10 Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, and four M2 Browning 12.7 mm/50 caliber machine guns. This made the ship lighter and ideal for surface patrols, but losing her limited anti-submarine warfare capability.


Also during the refit the ship's SPS-21D surface search radar and RCA SPN-18 navigation radar was replaced by a Raytheon AN/SPS-64(V)11 surface search and navigation radar system. Later modifications included the installation of a satellite communications system and GPS system standard to all Philippine Navy ships.


The ship is powered by two GM 12-278A diesel engines with a combined rating of around 2,200 bhp (1,600 kW) driving two propellers. The main engines can propel the 914 tons (full load) ship to a maximum speed of around 16 knots (30 km/h).


BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19) Wikipedia

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