Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: Directory of Links to Entries

Carl E. Rice World War 2 Memoirs Directory

  1. December 1st, 1941
  2. December 8th and 9th, 1941
  3. December 10th to 24th, 1941
  4. December 25th to 31st, 1941
  5. January 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, 1942
  6. January 4th to 17th, 1942
  7. January 16th to May 15th, 1942
  8. May 15th to September 1st, 1942
  9. September 1st, 1942 thru May 17th, 1943
  10. May 17th to October 30th, 1943, Part 1
  11. May 17th to October 30th, 1943, Part 2
  12. October 14th to December 30th, 1943
  13. November 1st to December 31st, 1943
  14. January 1st, 1944 to April 30th, 1944
  15. May 1st to August 1st, 1944
  16. August 1st to September 21st, 1944
  17. September 21st to November 25th, 1944
  18. November 1st to November 25th, 1944
  19. November 25th to December 15th, 1944
  20. December 15th to December 23rd, 1944
  21. December 24th and Christmas 1944
  22. December 26th, 1944 to January 11th, 1945
  23. January 11th to January 29th, 1945
  24. January 30th to February 2nd, 1945
  25. Newspaper Clippings Attached to Page 24 of Memoirs
  26. February 3rd, 1945
  27. February 3rd, 1945, continued…
  28. February 4th, 1945
  29. February 4th, continued, to February 6th, 1945
  30. February 6th, continued, to February 8th, 1945
  31. February 8th and February 9th, 1945
  32. February 10th and February 11th, 1945
  33. The Battle of Manila, February 1945, Background
  34. Lost World: The Rice Family in the Philippines Before World War 2
  35. February 12th to February 19th, 1945
  36. February 19th, 1945, continued…
  37. February 20th to March 1st, 1945
  38. March 2nd to March 9th, 1945
  39. March 10th and March 29th, 1945
  40. March 13th to June 22nd, 1945
  41. June 22nd to August 23rd, 1945
  42. Epilogue, Part 1
  43. And Last…Looking Back
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Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: February 19th (cont.), 1945

Feb 19, Monday (cont.)—Family escaped afternoon of Feb. 14, Weds., Henry carried Arthur part way on his back, Choly Garcia (family friend; I think my dad described her as the family maid) bandaged and dressed his wounds; they ran through the machine gun fire, snipers and artillery barrage, hundreds being killed, fragments of bodies strewn everywhere, had to leave the body of Anding (my great grandmother) where she died; finally met an American soldier with rifle who smiled and motioned them to pass. Had to stay all night near Singalong Church as no ambulance was near; carried him next morning on an old bed toward Paco and met an ambulance, it was weapon carrier, Capt. Hoffman told Henry would take Arthur to Chinese Hospital near Camp, Arthur was in very bad shape, they gave some sulfur medicine, would not allow Henry to go with him, no room as too many wounded.

Well, the family are in Camp, Mrs and Ellen, Norma, and Jim are in the Dormitory, Charlie and Henry in Room 49 on third floor and Nena on 2nd floor with some women and girls.

(Text continues below pics…)

unclesfriend1945
Uncles Henry and Charlie with a friend in this photo taken three months after the battle.

Flash Forward

So this where I detour again from the memoir so I can recount some of what my dad remembers of that week. As you can see from the photo above, taken just a year later, he was just a little boy when it all went down. He recalls sirens going off every night for months, bombs and explosions, and as the previous post mentioned, his family’s house was burned down on February 9th.

He remembers bullets whizzing by their heads as they raced towards the American lines, as in hearing the bullets zip by them (not unlike the opening battle from the movie Saving Private Ryan). One particularly harrowing moment was when, as they were running, I think along the street, they were ambushed by a Japanese soldier…just one soldier, with a gun, in the middle of a battle where Japanese soldiers throughout the city are brutally and intentionally massacring defenseless civilians, including women and children (see stock photos below), and there’s my dad, five years old, with his siblings and mom (I think by this point my great grandmother Anding had already been killed)…

…and the Japanese soldier motions to them not to go that way because more Japanese were over there, but to go the other direction towards the Americans…

So in all of that brutality and death, they happened upon a Japanese soldier with the humanity to spare and save their lives by sending them in the right direction.

The irony and tragedy of the deaths of my great grandmother and uncle Arthur during that battle was that my dad said they were killed by accident, by American mortars as they were advancing. What’s peculiar about that is that my grandfather’s memoirs and Arthur’s tombstone is that he explicitly states they were killed by the Japanese. So I’m not sure if my dad is misremembering it, or if my grandfather blames the Japanese for the battle and all those killed, regardless.

The memoirs are not finished, yet. But we’re very close to the end, now…

manilaescape
Stock photo of civilians fleeing during Battle of Manila, 1945.

Preceding photos pulled from the internet form the Battle of Manila, to demonstrate the humanity and the scale of devastation of the battle.

More photos of the Battle of Manila HERE…

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: December 26th to January 11th, 1945

We finally enter the critical year of 1945, and we close in on final act of my grandfather’s World War 2 memoirs. At this point of the story, as a reminder, my grandfather Carl Rice was 67 years old and had been a permanent internee at the prison camp inside the converted University of Santo Tomas main building since May 1943; my father James was 5 and living with the rest of the family in residential Manila some 35 minutes away via modern traffic, according to GoogleMaps, if I got the locations correct. I’ve sped up my transcribing of his memoirs as we approach some of the most compelling and tragic events of my family’s story during that brutal occupation…

Dec 26, 27, 28, 1944—Bombings and fires, also night and day have many explosions about Manila and suburbs, Japs are evidently destroying supplies and the piers.

***Dec 29—F.G. Wilson (Woody) died last night about 12:00, midnight, he fought a good fight but starvation, beriberi and heart disease were too much; he was one of the best and we employees of the Army will sure miss him.

Dec 30, 31—Bombings and fires, night flares and glare of distant fires.

*******
Jan 1, 1945
*******
This is not what I would call a happy new year but at least it is a hopeful one; indications are that Japs are going to pull out and may leave us behind.

I now weigh 137½ lbs, having lost 30 lbs since Feb 7, 1944 when gate was closed to food parcels and starvation began in earnest. I am not sick and am not as much of a skeleton as many.

Many of our planes passed from SE to NW, no bombs, just a Happy New Year from the boys and something hot for the Japs up north.

Jan 2—Ten large silver four motored bombers assed over, no bombs

Jan 3 and 4—Planes passed over, bombing far to south.

Jan 6—This was a big raid, bombing and machine gunning, explosions all night. Jays in here are packing up to leave; embassy has gone, they are burning many records.

Jan 7—Ate my breakfast of mush under continuous machine gun fire at the airport just north of us; 64 motored bombers made the Camp tremble and pulverized the air field at the Cemetery.

Rumors of release soon, Japs are killing some cattle and hogs, they have kept in here; the car of Yamashita’s is gone; Japs taking truckloads of picks and shovels out of rooms below us, loudspeaker says for us to remain calm, it is understood that Camp organization will carry on if Japs leave.

Jan 8—The four motored bombers were working over the bay and south side today; one plane received direct hit and went to pieces, pilot circled over camp with part of the wreck, which finally fell out toward Mandaloyan, several men parachute out, one came down in flames while others machine gunned by Japs as they floated down.

Jan 9—We are sure our troops have landed up north. Heavy bombing of Port Area and of the Maraquina Valley. Large fires and explosions. (He is correct; the Sixth United States Army Group landed on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, 135 miles due northwest of Manila.) 

Jan 10—Many bombers going north; heavy bombings here, our building trembles daily from the explosions; my bunk by the window face south east, I am too weak to move around any more than I have to, but can stay in bed and get a good view of the big show over the Mariquina Valley and South Manila.

Jan 11—Heavy bombings in the Valley; at noon as we lined up for weak soup, some of our planes flew low between buildings a few feet over our heads, we all cheered and waved and cried. What a fine sight and how scared the Japs are.