Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: March 13th to June 22nd, 1945

March 1945—We are being well taken care of by the Army, more food than we can eat, each of us receives a 14 oz can of evaporated milk each day, the small children receive special food, prepared in Hospital kitchen, we eat under a tent fly near Dormitory; Col. Gregory, the Camp C.O., comes often to see if we are getting enough to eat; the camp has been sprayed with insect powder inside and out; not a bedbug anywhere, and very few flies.

The women and children have been issued a few clothes, mostly of Australian origin, but the men have received little or nothing from the Red Cross, and except for some items of clothing received from army QM, or soldier friends, we are still wearing the old clothes of prison days.

On March 13 us Spanish War Veterans were processed, required to make new applications for pension, to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S.A., as if we were a bunch of aliens and also take oath that we had not collaborated with the Japs. This was an insult and a humiliation, to require such oaths from as patriotic a group as we Spanish War Veterans, who have been prisoners for over three years, many of us still being in the service of the Army.

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Officials of Spanish War Veterans, August 13th, 1930. My grandfather is standing far left.
spanishwarvets_1932_web
That is indeed the son and namesake of President Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1908), the son himself was an accomplished diplomat, seated next to my grandfather. The younger Roosevelt at the time of this photo in 1932 was Governor-General of the Philippines.

It may be a sample of the kind of government we now have back in the States, if so, it must be a hell of a place.

March 25—I applied for part payment of salary at the office of the Recovered Personnel Branch of the Army, Lt. Johnson in charge, some were paid, but my records are so far not found.

March 27—Charlie and Henry left for the States on the Transport John Lykes, with many other young fellows, as repatriates. They could have gone to work here at very low wages or gone as seamen on shipping board boats which would require joining the rotten C.I.O. Union, which would be worse than being prisoners of war.

unclesfriend1945
Handwritten captions say it all; May 1945, my uncles Henry and Charlie with a friend in this photo taken in Los Angeles after they arrived from the Philippines. They’d both end up joining the Navy, as would my dad once he came of age.

April 5—Mary, Nena, and I were taken by soldier friend of Nena in jeep to visit ARTHUR’S grave.

April 9—Nena left on the repatriation ship Montery, with more than two thousand others. The Camp looks very empty now. We have all been moved from the main building to shanties or tents. Mess lines are not so long now. It’s beginning to get lonesome as so many of my friends have gone to States; others who still have some sort of a home to live in are leaving the camp and drawing rations.

We live in a bamboo shack, neighbors of Fred Cornelius, Bill Seten, Josh Floyd, Crumrine, Krick, Highsmith, Jones, Sewell.

Some of the others live in the Gym, Fink, White Rogge, Logge, Coullette.

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Photo of my grandfather taken April 1945 at Santo Tomas, with my Dad and aunts.

May 14—received $575.00 on arrears in pay ($7,721.90 in 2016 dollars); sure need it for many things. Sent $100.00 to the boys in U S A ($1,342.94 in 2016 dollars).

Army is tearing down shanties. We moved to San Carlos Camp June 22nd.

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