Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: November 25th to December 15th, 1944

Nov 25 1944—As we crowded the windows we could see our dive bombers slide down without any Jap resistance except maybe a few ack-ack and machine gun bursts; no Jap planes, they were all hiding out somewhere in the brush. Our planes would fly low almost to and then bank and show the big white star, my how we yelled and the Japs threatened but did nothing about it, then; but later put more restrictions and cut down more on the chow. After the all clear, just at dusk, we sat on the roof and watched the Jap planes coming in with lights on, only a few could land, others went elsewhere.

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Not exactly sure if these are the right type of fighter planes my grandfather was referring to, but they were from the World War 2 era; Douglas SBD Dauntless Scout/Dive Bomber.

Dec 5—Air field bombed at night, 9:40pm

Dec 7—Relieved from kitchen hot water detail, no gas, not enough wood; Japs forbid cutting any more trees in front compound as they use them to hide supplies and troops. Sometimes have no wood to cook the noon soup.

Several hundred more prisoners sent to Los Banos Camp, some were drafted, others volunteered, believing the rumor that more food there.

Dec 11—Japs moved us out of our old room 209 into room 214, only 18 could move in as room is small. The sick old men were sent to the gym, as were some of the well ones, the Japs having taking all of the second floor except the four northeast rooms. I was lucky and drew bunk space at the window on the balcony, looking out toward the front compound, I can see out over the City, the Steel Church just south across the roofs and I know that it’s in a straight line to our house.

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San Sebastian Church; I’m assuming this is the church my grandfather was referring to when he mentioned being able to see the “Steel Church”; it would likely have been close enough to the intern camp at Santo Tomas to see.

The compound in front is full of looted supplies. In this room are: Thompson, Young, Warner, Fink Graham, O’Toole, Rogge, McEntire, Cuzner, White, Nelson, Webb, Wilson, Saturnian, Boyer, Bonet, Wing, Rice (himself). Room next to us on the the right is 212, and then the Japs; we have one toilet room. Are under continuous air raid, Japs get up at about 6am, Tokyo time,go through their morning worship and setting up exercises under our window, march up in front of the main building, shout Banzai three times then go about their day’s duties. We are allowed to leave for breakfast after the seven o’clock roll call, have on hour to tend to food, generally get back to room before 9am. I can lay on my bunk from then till about 11:45, the sun sure is good medicine for me, others also come to the balcony for sunshine to warm our starved bodies.

Dec 14—Big raid at 7:56 until thru the night, much machine gunning of Grace Park and all north of Manila suburbs. Japs raided our room and took out Rogge, stood him at main gate all day with others for looking at our planes, he had to stand in an ant hill without moving and was in terrible shape when released, he also has legs and feet swollen by beriberi, is 73 years old and it’s a wonder he survived the torture.

Dec 15—Bombers are back at 7:45am, all day affair, little resistance, our building frequently trembles and threatens to fall.

CHOW GETS LESS AND LESS

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Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: November 1st to November 25th, 1944

Nov 1, 1944 to Nov 25—I will pause in the battle reports and pick up a few incidental routine items:

November 14 received letter from Ada (my great-aunt and my grandfather’s sister) dated April 3, 44 soap, tooth powder, thanks a lot Charlie (my uncle, then about 18), wish I could send you something useful, but you will just have to wait (this little gift cost him 500 Mickey Mouse pesos).

I sure looked like a millionaire for a few days smoking those long cigars, of course I had to give half of them away and it was a pleasure to see how they were enjoyed.

Tobacco is about as serious a problem as food, in many cases is more serious. Smokers cannot get much real tobacco; use mostly dried papaya leaves; also leaves of various trees; dope these leave with any kind of spice they can get or lotion or onion or garlic leaves; hard on the throat but answers the purpose. Women  just as bad or worse than the men; have their five year old kids out early looking for cigaret butts the Japs have thrown out the windows; no doubt some of the collaborators do just to get some real tobacco from the Japs.

******I was in to see Mr. Duggleby about Cap. Geo. Caldwell, who is sort of a responsibility of Mr. F.G. Wilson, Chief Clerk of QM, and myself. Duggleby said he is much better and getting better food and treatment than would in here; he is in the Mandaloyan Psychopathic Ward. Caldwell was the third one of us left behind by Col. Frank Brezina to be in charge of office when Japs came. He stayed out under the name of Blanco, as Spanish, and was able to get some money for our families through Father Owens of San Beda College. But he became a little off balance so Father Owens finally was able to get him sent to the Hospital. Wilson and I first arranged with Father Owens to send him a little money every month by Mrs. Wilson, but it became too dangerous and money hard to get; Duggleby put him on camp relief and now he is getting well.

Many Old-timers dying every month, some of them friends of mine for many, many years.

Food is less and less, only get about four ounces of rice or corn a day, with pig weed soup some times.

Japs have moved all prisoners out of ground floor of Education Building and made the lobby into an office, other rooms for quarter and storage of their rations and loot. Some of the finest office and house furniture in Manila has been brought in. Imagine a dirty Jap sleeping on Beauty Rest mattress and Simmonds bed***

They also now have a kitchen below us and Negro cooks. Some of the pickled fish and radishes nearly gas us, but I would try to eat some of it if got a chance.

 

Post-Election Musings

I was told recently by someone that if they see “Continue Reading” at the end of one of my Facebook posts that they ignore it and scroll on…so this week I’ve started posting paragraph sized snippets in order to retain readers on FB…so what you see below are those chunks in order. 

I unfollowed the majority of Trump supporters a long time ago, so I’ve been blissfully sheltered from what I imagine to be all the gloating right now. But you’re all entitled to be happy today, because you earned it. I don’t believe you’re stupid, or racist, or sexist for supporting him, the way most liberals are lamenting right now. I’ve always accepted the majority of Trump supporters’ sincerity in their beliefs about this campaign. I do want to say, however, that there is no “making America great again”, because America has ALWAYS been great.

And I never unfollowed Trump supporters out of spite or simply because I disagreed with them; it was just that so many have been obnoxious and would post the same old shit and stupid memes over and over that it got predictable and old. I’m tempted to name drop some of the Trump supporters who I have kept on my feed, because I always felt they were thoughtful and sincere, and have tended to have a more insightful commentary that made me think.

I made no secret of my opposition to Donald Trump. I think he has enabled and emboldened a new generation of racists and white nationalists in a way that’s very disturbing to me, and I maintain they permeate the Right in a larger proportion than those sincere Trump supporters I mentioned previously should be comfortable with. And don’t pull Black Lives Matter on me as your trump card (no pun intended); I’m not talking about the Left here; I’m talking about the Right.

And before you go crazy at my last post, I am NOT calling all Trump supporters racists; I’m saying that white nationalists make up a larger portion of his support than you should be cool with.

Having said all that, I was heartened by the graciousness of Trump’s victory speech last night. It’s true that’s considered the norm at the end of a presidential campaign, but he could easily have gloated and played to his base, but instead chose the high road. I think perhaps now he’s beginning to realize what he’s gotten himself into.

And remember, the President is not a king (despite the Right’s accusations of Obama allegedly abusing his power with all of his Executive Orders), and Trump by himself cannot turn back the clock on minority, LGBT, and women’s rights; not and expect to be re-elected in four years. It’s true with a Republican House and Senate for at least the first two years he’ll be able to affect things like Obamacare and the Supreme Court, but Justices have been known to buck expectations. This Republic was designed with checks and balances that still hold, even today.

I didn’t realize that the vote totals still aren’t completed, and that there is a solid chance that Hillary may actually still win the national popular vote; she leads by over 200,000 votes right now with 92% of the total vote tallied; the bulk of her votes are probably coming from California. Liberals, don’t turn this into a rallying cry for Trump’s supposed illegitimacy; our Electoral system is designed with the States being the ultimate electors of the President; our country’s very name demonstrates that, the United STATES of America.

And conservatives, temper your elation with the knowledge that your guy might not win the popular vote and understand how that shows just how divided this country is, and that while you will have full control of the government for the next two years, if you overreach you could easily lose it starting with the 2018 mid-term elections.

My main hope going forward, is that Trump ends up governing closer to the middle than he’s let on during the campaign; he was admittedly a Democrat for much of his life before this. I fully accept him as my next President, and I hope my previous worries that he’d be a disaster get proved wrong.