Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: May 1st, 1944 to August 1st, 1944

Today’s entry theme: Bed bugs.

May 1, 1944 to Aug 1—We in the Education Building have good bathrooms and toilets, also have shower bath behind the building; in our room 209 we have 30 men but 3 or 4 are in the Hospital; we have a roof of rear part of the lobby we can step out our windows and hang our laundry or take our chairs in the evening, also is a good place to put our bedding in the hot sun on the iron roof, it is sure death on bed bugs. We have them by the millions, especially those who have the wooden slat beds and hemp mattresses supplied by the Camp, they are bed bug incubators. We must kill them every day or be eaten alive. One handicap is that a few bums will not clean their beds so that makes a fine breeding place.

We have mosquito nets which protect us from those pests.

We do not have much laundry and not much soap for it. Even people who have many clothes don’t wear them, it’s too hard work washing them.

I wear a khaki shirt and pair of shorts, no undershirt or draws, army socks and shoes. Many only wear shorts and wooden shoes.

We still have a ball league; since the Davao prisoners came (another prison camp in the Philippines) have had some hot games; four teams, Tigers, Lions, Wolves and Bears. Also have some good basket ball games (yes, he spelled it as two words).

We now have roll call morning and evening.

We get up before 6am to rush to the chow line, are not allowed out of the buildings until 6am. Six o’clock is really five natural time, so the stars are shining and some times the Moon, we can see both the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross; but when the big clock strikes six, the hungry gang runs toward the kitchen line to be as near first as can be; there are several who are great contenders for first place.

June 11—The Daily Tribune was prohibited, the news from the Normandy landing was not good for the Japs. (Obviously D-Day was the week before.) We have script which comes over the wall with black market supplies and have some idea of how the war is going.

June 14—Received letter from J.G. Michelson dated Oct 28 ’42 and from Ada (his sister; see previous entry) dated Dec 10, ’42 and Feb 8 ’43 and May 11 ’43, they came on the Grisholm (assuming that’s some kind of cargo ship that was allowed to deliver supplies?) in Nov. ’43.

June 17—Sent Ada a radio.

July 4—Was my day off from kitchen work.

June 15(entries seem out of chronological order here) Family place on Camp relief, 60.00 pesos per month but this won’t buy them much food.

July 9, 10, 12—Japs brought in several hundred missionaries, priests and nuns, in covered trucks, kept them in the Gym, incommunicado overnight and took away next morning, probably to Los Banos; it was raining hard.

July 21—We were photographed by Japs, my # is 2104, would like a copy.

The Japs are getting tougher and tougher.

August 1st—We had to turn in to the camp all money over 50 pesos Jap. But I sent out the 400.00 I had to the family through Mr. Duggleby.

We are getting down to slow starvation; I have some tinned meat (entry continues on next page)

University of Santo Tomas, where my grandfather was interned during World War 2.

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