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.

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.

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.



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