Memorandum for President Osmeña on the Award of the Distinguished Service Star to Colonel Arthur F. Fischer, November 7, 1945

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His Excellency Sergio Osmeña
President of the Philippines
Colonel Alejando Melchor
On the Award of the Distinguished Service Star
to Colonel Arthur F. Fischer, United States Army

[Released on November 7, 1945]

  1. It is recommended that the Distinguished Service Star be awarded to Colonel Arthur F. Fischer, Military Intelligence Service, United States Army.
  2. Colonel Fischer, then Director of the Bureau of Forestry of the Philippines from 1917 to 1936, was solely responsible for the successful development of the cinchona plantation in Mindanao. Through his initiative and tireless energy a government pilot plant for the extraction or totaquina from the cinchona bark was established in Manila. Thus by providing the people with cheap and efficacious totaquina for the prevention and cure of malaria, Colonel Fischer has immeasurably aided the control of the tropical disease which was a great drawback in the development of the natural resources of the Philippines. In March 1942, fired with determination by the desperate plight of the malaria stricken defenders of Bataan, he flew at great personal risk from Bataan to Mindanao where he organized a group composed mostly of his former old staff of foresters, for collecting the cinchona bark. The skill, resourcefulness, loyalty and courage shown by this group of men who continued operation and maintenance of the plantation and distributed the cinchona bark throughout Mindanao and the Visayas under most difficult conditions during the Japanese occupation, thereby saving thousands of lives of guerillas and civilians, reflected outstandingly the inspiring leadership and unselfish devotion which Colonel Fischer has given to this highly important project. By his exceptional foresight, technical skill and courageous determination in providing the Philippines with local source of raw material of quinine, Colonel Fischer has rendered an outstanding service to the Commonwealth of the Philippines and an invaluable contribution to the war effort.
  3. Colonel Fischer has been awarded the Legion of Merit by the War Department for his work in directing the harvesting of cinchona seeds under battle conditions in Mindanao from March 26, 1942 to April 13, 1942, transporting the seeds to the United States, and collaborating in the work of organizing an American Cinchona Plantation for the production of quinine. The award of the Distinguished Service Star would be a well deserved recognition of the exceptionally meritorious service rendered by Colonel Fischer to the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Colonel, C.E., Philippine Army Military
and Technical Adviser to the President


President of the Philippines.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Melchor, A. (1945).  [Memorandum of Award of the Distinguished Service Star to Colonel Arthur Fischer]. Osmeña Collections, Rare Books Section. National Library of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.