Newspaper Article from 1945 about Uncles’ World War 2 Experience

Rice Boys are Veterans of Manila Campaign

The Manhattan Mercury, Sunday, June 3rd, 1945

Charles and Henry Rice had planned for years to come to the United States this summer to be with their aunt, Miss Ada Rice of 917 Osage, and to enter Kansas State College this fall. They arrived almost a month ago, but under different situations from what they had anticipated. The boys, 18 and 17 respectively, are veterans of the Japanese occupation of Manila and of the American capture of the city this spring.

The father of the two boys, Carl E. Rice (my grandfather), and their mother (Maria), two sisters (Ellen and Norma) and a brother (my Dad) are also coming to America, and may be on the ocean now (actually not for another two months). Mr. Rice was sent to the Philippines when he was 20 in the Spanish-American War, and has been there ever since.

The American Push

The Rice family lived in the Malate district of south Manila near the University of the Philippines. In February of this year when the Japs began to feel the American push, they started driving through Manila from the north and east. The Japs crossed the Pasig River which runs through the heart of the great city, and burned all the bridges.

They ravaged the business and residential districts, burning everything they could. The newer buildings of concrete were still standing after they left, but were full of shell holes and burned out inside. According to the boys, the residential sections fared worst, especially in districts where the houses were all of frame construction.

Churches were transformed into munition dumps, the pillboxes were converted from all sorts of buildings. The Japs had holes dug in the streets for mines but hadn’t put the dynamite in them yet when the Americans arrived.

Then came the house to house burning in the Malate district. One morning about two o’clock the Rice family awoke with fire on three sides of their house. Grabbing food and a few belongings which had been packed in anticipation of such an event, the family ran out of the back door and into a vacant lot where the fire could not reach them. They dug foxholes and tried to get everyone in them, but hundreds of people were gathering there for safety.

Two Killed

The Japs were pumping bullets right and left as well as lighting more fires. It was then that the 14-year old brother of the boys (Arthur) and their maternal grandmother (Anding) were killed by artillery barrage.

For five days and nights the group existed with little or no food. They were under heavy overhead artillery barrage between the Jap stronghold south of their home and the Santo Tomas camp in the northern part of the city which had been captured by the Americans.

Charles, the eldest son, left the family, saying that if he hadn’t returned in half an hour for them to follow him. He was to try to steal his way to the north and meet the American forces, but he had no idea whether he would run into Japs or Americans.

A Turkey Dinner

Two days after he left the family, he arrived at the camp with but one shrapnel wound. Three days later the rest of the family arrived. Charles said that after not eating for five days and five nights, constantly dodging snipers and artillery, it seemed funny for him to arrive at Santo Tomas and be given a turkey dinner.

Within 18 to 21 days Manila was fairly well cleaned out by the Americans, and within a month even the walled city pocket, a downtown business section, was cleared.

Charles and Henry were at Santo Tomas camp for one month before sailing for Los Angeles. During that time Charles gained 25 pounds and Henry 17. During the Japanese occupation of Manila Charles grew in height from 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 8 inches and Henry from 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 5 inches.

Conditions in the camp after the Americans had taken over were wonderful, according to the boys. They saw movies straight from American production lots. They were amused when they got to Los Angeles and went to the movies to see the shows in Manila were billed in Los Angeles as coming attractions.

Japs Intern Their Father

Back in January of 1942, all the men in Manila were picked up. Carl E. Rice, the father of the boys, was picked up on January 3 and released the same day. On January 5 he was again taken to Santo Tomas camp, and released within two weeks with the understanding that he was to report back to camp every three months.

In April of 1943, he was again put into the camp when the Japs called back all the older and ill men. This time he was kept there until liberated by the Americans this February. The Japs had planned that all the men in the camp over 15 would be shot on February 4, but on February 3 they were liberated by the American First Cavalry.

Their father weighed 180 pounds when he entered the Santo Tomas camp, and weighed only 128 when he was liberated. During the first month after his liberation he gained 20 pounds and is beginning to straighten up, say his sons. For a time Charles was taller than his father, because he was so bent over, but now his father is almost back to his original height of almost 6 foot.

The Japanese army personnel were fat, as were the guards at the camp—“fat and insulting,” as Charles put it. Civilians were thin and undernourished.

Red Cross food packages were distributed to Japanese officers, and quiet frequently the Jap soldiers were issued American cigarettes and sold them to the internees and prisoners of war for American money. Food prices, when food was available and anyone could buy it, doubled within a week, then doubled again the next week.

POWs Beaten

“The prisoners of war were beaten, tortured and kicked around like dogs,” according to Charles and Henry. They were not given any clothes at all, there was no meat, no bread, no corn for them—just a little rice. All the high American officers, especially aviation officers, were taken to Japan.

The Santo Tomas camp was a little city within itself—with a hospital, police, KP, garbage detail—about fifty acres in all. The first year of imprisonment in the camp was lots of fun, the boys said. There were organized games, football, and school went on as usual. Had the boys been in the camp they might have completed two more years of schooling, because all of the best American teachers were interned there. During the last year or so, however, few of the children tried to go to school because it took too much precious energy to climb to the fourth floor. Food was scarce, and energy was not to be wasted.

For propaganda purposes one elementary school was opened, Japanese teachers were brought there who taught the Japanese language. Pictures were taken of the school and used to show what good treatment the children of Manila were given in Japanese hands.

Japanese Propaganda

All the news that the people of Manila got during the period of Japanese occupation was through the Japanese Propaganda Agency. They always admitted landing, but played down losses. They made much of Nazi rocket bombs, and according to the agency, the Germans never retreated—they just withdrew to new lines.

All the short wave attachments in the city were removed several years ago, but a few showed up later. When good news from elsewhere was heard via these radios, it was spread by the grapevine system all over the city.

The boys confirmed the opinion of many regarding Japanese warfare. They say that their strength depends on numbers, not on strategy. “They are fanatical and will hold out in numbers no matter what the cost, but they are not much good on tactics. They’re just like rats, and even a rat is hard to kill.”

Both Charles and Henry admire the Jap machine gun and knee mortar, but say that their tanks are no good and that their 25 caliber rifles will not compare to the American 30 caliber.

They Like America

When asked if America was what he thought it would be, Henry grinned and exclaimed, “More!”. Charles said he was surprised that Manhattan is this large, because when they were coming through Utah and Wyoming the time table would list a city in large print and then there would be but fifty buildings in the whole town. Both say that Manila is quite like the United States except for the weather.

Charles speaks three languages, English, Spanish, which he learned from associated with the Spaniards in Manila, and Tagalog, the native language which they both learned during the past few years.

Charles is interested in radio or aviation, but Henry hasn’t decided what he’d like to take up yet. Since both boys were freshmen in high school when Pearl Harbor was bombed and they have not attended school since, they are catching up by going to summer school at the high school. They hope to enter Kansas State College as soon as possible.

In referring to their experiences of the past few years, the boys say, “I don’t see how we got through it all,” but are very happy to be in the United States and they intend to remain here “forever”.

Advertisements

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: Oct 14th to Dec 30th, 1943

It’s been a while since I posted from my grandfather’s WW2 memoirs; I’ve found the blog gets more hits when I actually transcribe the pages instead of simply posting scans of the actual pages, and transcribing takes a while, even as fast a typer as I am. So today I am just going to go ahead and post a scan of the next page so we can get back on track with the saga. This page covers October 14th, 1943 through December 30th of that year.

This page basically continues the day to day routine of life in an internment camp under the Japanese during the war. A lot of it is very mundane but informative in conveying a vivid picture of the conditions at the converted camp that was the University of Santo Tomas. Through this point, the Japanese left the internees to their own devices with relatively minimal supervision, leaving it to the internees to develop their own governing body and hierarchy. As long as they didn’t cause trouble, the Japanese left them alone (this was to change in due course as the Japanese began to reel from successive defeats to the Allies as the war progressed).

Amusing to note is the laugh my grandfather and his pals get out of watching the internee guards argue with the women internees over access to the hot water (Oct 14th entry); “wow, the rows they have with the women about it; we don’t butt in and we just sit in our chairs and enjoy the fun”. Though trying, life under the Japanese occupation wasn’t yet so dire as it was soon to become.

Also mentioned are a massive typhoon that swept through Manila that November and visits from family, plus the elation throughout the camp upon receiving relief boxes from the Red Cross (he details the contents at the end of the page) the following month. Something of a halcyon period before the storm…

carl-ephriam-rice-ww2-memoirs-pg-11

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: May 17th to October 30th, 1943 Part 2

I am going to resume transcribing my grandfather’s memoirs for a bit. I’m noticing less of a response in my tracking stats when I just post scans of the actual pages he typed the memoirs out on. Here we resume the period of May 17th to October 30th, 1943, at the beginning of which my grandfather reported back under orders to the internment camp at the University of Santo Tomas for permanent confinement. 

May 17-Oct 30, 1943, cont.—There is much talking and joking these first few days as we greet old comrades, friends and acquaintances, some of whom have not seen in years; we all have had experiences to tell about and old times to review.

On May 17 when I came in at 1:15pm, notebook shows;
Cedula Residence Certificate #A-0122148, March 22, 1943
Resident Alien Certificate (Jap) #251645, March 25, ’43
Retirement Certificate 99690
Spanish War Pension #C-2347574
Weight 148 lbs (Dec 15, 1941 weighed 176 lbs) —effects of hunger in the year and half since the Japanese invasion taking its toll
Cash, Jap Notes 20.25 pesos.
One barrack bag containing 2 khaki trousers, 2 khaki shirts, 2 blue cotton shirts, 4 under shirts, 4 drawers, 10 socks, 1 sheet, 1 half wool blanket, 1 bed spread, 2 pillow cases, 1 pillow, 1 cot, 2 shoes, 2 towels, 4 handkerchiefs, and razor and other toilet articles. 1 mosquito net, 1 shoes wooden, 1 slippers leather Mess kit, cup, knife, fork, spoon, 1 hat.

News is hard to get, the daily Tribune is allowed in, our room buys two copies, but only Jap propaganda, all Jap victories, but we can get an idea of progress of war by location of names on the maps many smuggled in. Also the buyers who go out daily bring in radio script, and some comes over the fence along with black market food and booze; some script is written here in camp and some of it is pure fake; but by sifting all sources we can get a general idea of the situation. Rumors are so thick that we even have a dog named Rumor.

Every day the line of food comes in from friends and families, and restaurants; the gates in the fence are closes while the people delivering deposit their buckets and packages for inspection by Japs and internees, then gates are open and we go to the tables and get ours. By asking many times can go out to the side of the receiving shed and visit a few minutes with family. I get enough food in here now but the kids bring a bucket of food and clean laundry every Friday; this way we keep in touch; have two aluminum dinner pales in section and we write notes on the bottom of the section, also they put in the rice; the food sent in is a welcome change, generally eggs, chicken & meat cooked the way I like it; also fruit and real hot coffee.

June 11, 1943—Charlie (son, 17) was here and talked to me, Mamma (wife Maria, my grandmother) cannot come because is very sick with asthma.

July 2, 1943—Ellen (daughter, age about 8 a this point) was allowed to come inside to visit me about half an hour, Nena (ward, about 18) gave me a ten peso bill, but I don’t need it, as I am good at playing pitch. (Don Keifer, a gate guard, let her in.)

July 30—Saw Nena and Arthur (son, about 13), they looked thin but well dressed.

September 24—Henry (son, 16) and Arthur came to visit me, family well. Charlie works days and could not come. They report food very high (price) and Jap money very much inflated.

Aug 30—I sold two pair of army socks for 15.00 pesos

Sept 10—Sold two small cans of milk and small can of coffee for 25.00

Sept 17—borrowed 100.00 pesos from General Electric Co, Mr. Grinnell manager. This was on my QM Pay.

Oct. 30—borrowed 100.00 pesos from same source, on my Spanish War pension. I sent this money out to family by Mr. Duggleby, in charge of outside family relief.

There has finally been a shake up in the kitchen and most of the CIO gang has been kicked out and will be sent to Los Banos Camp.

japan9
Internees at Santo Tomas built huts, called shanties, outside to escape overcrowding in the dormitories inside.*

*By U.S. Army – U.S. Army, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16818297

Carl Ephriam Rice - WW2 Memoirs Pg 10.jpg

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: September 1st, 1942 thru May 17th, 1943

I’m going to continue just displaying scans of my grandfather’s memoirs for now, at least until the American military returns in late 1944/early 1945. This page covers the nine months from September 1942 through May 1943. Refreshing on names again, Charlie, Henry, Arthur, and Ellen are his children and my uncles and aunt; the boys were teenagers and Ellen about 8 at this time. Nena was his ward, now about 18. Incidentally, my dad turned 4 on May 16th of this entry, the day before my grandfather had to return to Santo Tomas.

Carl Ephriam Rice - WW2 Memoirs Pg 8

universityofsantotomas7
University of Santo Tomas, where my grandfather was to spend the rest of the war from May 17th, 1943 onward.*

*Photo via https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/UniversityOfSantoTomas7.jpg

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: May 15th to Sept 1st, 1942

Today’s entry is going to be a little bit different; instead of transcribing the text, I am going to simply display scans of the actual pages (seen in earlier posts). It starts from the very end of the last entry (“We now have to wear red arm bands to show we are American prisoners on pass.”). At this point it continues life under the Japanese occupation of the Philippines while my grandfather was out on pass (it seems the older American POWs were allowed out). To refresh on some of the names, Charlie was my dad’s oldest brother, about 16 by this point, and Nena, then about 17 and who was my grandfather’s ward. “Mama” is my dad’s mother, Maria, who suffered asthma (his reference to her being sick so much toward the end of this entry).

Carl Ephriam Rice - WW2 Memoirs Pg 6c

Carl Ephriam Rice - WW2 Memoirs Pg 7

Carl E. Rice World War II Memoirs: Jan 16-May 15, 1942

Jan 18 to May 15, 1942—I checked up, we had one hundred & fifty pesos, and enough rations to last about two months if we were careful.

Jap planes went over our house many times a day from Neilsen Airfield to bomb our troops on Bataan, when just over us would fire a few bursts from machine guns to warm up, they would be six in a group, some times they did not all come back; and often they were on fire and some fell in the bay near us.

Jan 27 some of our planes came in the night and bombed and machine-gunned the air fields, were just over our house when all (hell) turned loose and how we all cheered but that was the last raid of ours from Bataan.

The Japs are storing captured and stolen supplies in the Stadium at the end of our street. The Filipinos who live here are a tough bunch and not afraid of the Japs. Every night and some times in day, they loot the stores and many times divide the loot behind my back fence where it is shaded. Some times I get some of it. There is much shooting and shouting every night, and frequently some of our friends are killed or wounded. Several have been bayoneted on our street, even some little boys. If captured they are tied in the hot sun and beaten and tortured, without food or water, some are tied head down and Japs kick them in the face, there are many graves near the ball park. Many times I hear the bullets pop thru the trees in my yard. Sometimes Japs chase people in the day time and run by or thru my yard. It’s a great life—(sarcasm?) Some times prisoners are tied and thrown into trucks and then jumped on.

We have planed a garden and the guava trees are loaded with fruit; boys dug a well in back yard for emergency and to water the garden. The battle for Bataan still rages, more and more planes go over our house every day, from the park we can see the fires on Bataan. Armstrong, Fink, Rube Knowlton, Hard Luck Luhersen, Wilhelm and Willey are all neighbors and visit each other daily, also Rogge. I take a walk every day to market and toward the beach and meet Fred Prising, Mr. Pond, Dc. Kneedelr and others at the Market.

Japs come to house a few times but are not abusive. They are riding high and are feeling good natured toward us but are sure making it hard for the Filipinos. Food is getting harder to get. Luhersen brought news of Bataan surrender which he heard over the radio. It was a great blow but we had figured out that it must come soon.

I received some money, food and medicine from the Red Cross before it was taken by the Japs. Boys are brave kids and fish in the bay, sometimes get us a good mess of fish.

I had to report with the others to Santo Tomas and our pass was extended two months.

The battle for Corregidor is raging, the planes go over and many do not come back, we can hear the guns at Naic and Tarnate bombarding Corregidor. See the smoke of fires there.

We are getting very short of food, I bought rice and sugar with most of my money. The landlord Mr. Penalosa takes my vale for rent. “Pasing” the Meat dealer credits me for meat, and Mr. Garcia for some canned goods and hams, but cannot expect them to keep it up long.

Luhersen again brought the bad news of Corregidor falling; it broke us all up, and we thought it would hold out till relief came but looks now as though would not come for years. The “ROCK” has stood for years as the supreme symbol of American supremacy and now the flag and all it stands for is gone, and with it, hope.

A lone plane of ours dropped a bomb on Jap aviation school at the polo club and killed most of the students and instructors.

Japs are organizing local constabulary and opening Jap control schools. Filipinos are organizing guerrillas, my boys are too young yet. We now have to wear red arm bands to show we are American prisoners on pass.

(Note: My dad turned three the day after this entry ends.)

bom_01_01
Manila, pre-war*

*Photo via battleofmanila.org

 

Carl E. Rice World War II Memoirs: Jan. 4th to 17th, 1942

Jan 4—The boys and myself packed our clothes in barrack bag and haversacks, hid most of our food reserves and waited.

Jan 5—All day the Japs were rounding up Americans in trucks and taking them to Santo Tomas (pictured); the boys were out scouting, about 5pm they reported a car at Wilson’s house, I and the boys took our bags and waited for the car, when it came to me I held up my hand and told the Jap civilian I wanted to go, I motioned to the boys to go back—how I wish now that I had taken them with me. Fred Luhrsen also was in the car which took us to the Rizal Stadium, I thought the Japs were going to beat me again but they let me off with many questions, seemed to think I was an officer; about 7pm were put in a car, Wilson, Rice, Armstrong, Dutch, and a Spanish American sea Captain and a Jap officer, to Sta Tomas; arrived at about 8pm. Many were there ahead of us and there was much confusion. We went in the Museum and made our beds down on the floor but a Jap ordered us out and we went to a large room next door, were more than sixty of us in there. I and Dutch slept together on the concrete floor with only a bed spread under us. It was sure hard.

Jan 6 to 17, 1942—The Camp was slow getting started, but we each had to find our own bed and our own food. I had a car seat cushion but it was too short and I gave it to Dutch as he had some broken ribs and could use it. I slept on the concrete floor until Jan. 17. Thousands of Filipinos crowded around the fence to bring food and clothes; the boys brought me food every day, many people had too much and if could not find some one to help eat it, they had to throw it away; so many who were throwing away food in Jan 1942 were stealing from garbage cans and gutters in Jan 1945.

Friends in the same room with me were E.G. Wilson, Luhrsen, Armstrong, Mose Morrow, Shurdet, Leyerly, Robinson, McAlister, and Dutch. We got up every morning before four o’clock, to get use of bath room before the rush; we would then go out past the sleeping Jap sentry and line up for coffee and bread. The college restaurant only held about forty at at time, we older men were allowed first in line, girls waited on us, coffee and cracked wheat and hard rolls, but not much; no dinner, but about four pm some thin stew was served. The Japs did not give us any food, clothing, or bedding.

The battle was still going on north west of Manila and at night the roar of guns was very loud; most of the younger folks were sure MacArthur would be back in a week or two, any pessimist who said it would take six months was almost a traitor. (It would actually be more than three years.)

In a few days Camp became somewhat organized, and steps were taken toward releasing the older internees and sick ones. The Japs did not bother us in our daily affairs. The missionaries were first to go out on pass, several hundred were lined up one afternoon and after a lot of speeches were allowed to go out. We were not sorry to see them leave, it made more room and they were hard to get along with.

About the 15th Mr. Holland, who slept in our room tipped some of us off to ask for a pass. I and Armstrong did and were released on the 17th of Jan. 1942. I road him in carometa (sp?) with Mr. Russel of Associated Oil Co. Found family well and sure glad to see me out. (He would be out on pass for more than a year before being ordered in May 1943 to return to Santo Tomas on a permanent basis for the rest of the war.)

ustmain
University of Santo Tomas Main Building, Manila. circa 1945. Site of where American and Allied prisoners of war were kept (including my grandfather) and one of the few structures to survive the destruction of World War II. (Photo credit Arquitectura Manila, link below)

Photo link.

Carl Ephriam Rice, World War II Memoirs: December 1st, 1941

Transcript of the first entry of my paternal grandfather’s memoirs from World War 2 in the Philippines. All parenthesis in red are mine. 

RECORD OF THAT FATEFUL PERIOD OF HISTORY 
December 1, 1941 to August 23rd, 1945 
THE GREAT WORLD WAR 2, AS IT AFFECTED OUR FAMILY.

Dec. 1, 1941- We are living at 1235; #1 Interior, Leveriza Street, Malate District, Manila, just off Harrison Park, the Yacht Club and Dewey Boulevard (now Roxas Boulevard; this location is basically in the heart of Manila). We live in a small five room chalet, with yard in which are Guava, Santol, Mango, and Banana trees, also oleander and hibiscus bushes, cadena de amour vines cover the porch. There are nine of us in the Family, i.e.; Dad, CARL E. RICE (the author of this diary; referring to himself in the third person in this instance), age 64 (meaning he was born in 1877; unusual indeed for me to be barely two generations removed from the Civil War); Mama, Maria Salvador Rice, age 32 (yes, there was a 32 year age difference between my paternal grandfather and grandmother); Charles Ephriam, 15 (and yes, they had their first child when my grandfather was 49 and she 17; they were married the following year), in first year high school, Bordner public school; Robert Henry, age 14, in eighth grade, same school; Arthur Calvin, age 11, in fifth grade same school; Mary Eleanora (eventually goes by just “Ellen”), age 6, in first grade, same school; Norma, age 4; and James William (my father); age 2 (meaning my grandfather was in his sixties when my dad was born); also Magdelana R. Collins, age 16, whom I have cared for since the death of her father Wilkie Collins, she is working at the Bata Shoe Store on the Escolta, and is also an emergency nurse. I am retired from the Federal Civil Service, receiving $95.00 annuity per month ($1,557.73 in 2016 dollars), receive $50.00 per month ($819.86/2016) Spanish War Pension (meaning he served as a young man in that war, which is how he came to the Philippines in the first place). I also am administrator for the Estate of Wilkie Collins, and own half of the land of the estate in Castilla, Sorsogon Prov., which so far is a losing proposition because there are no ships available to take our copra to the USA.

I have been in Sternberg General Hospital for several days for Medical examination prior to re-entering the Civil Service; am in the ward assigned the U.S. Veterans Administration for use of Spanish War Veterans; many old vets in here, mostly filipinos; with me are William “Buck” Taylor, Messenger; and Jake Selzer;—my family come to see me nearly every day; also the families of Taylor and Selzer come. I AM NOT SICK—and Doc. says wishes to take some tests over again, but will sure let me out Saturday, the 6th. I eat at the hospital mess and better food cannot be served in any Hotel in Manila. The nurses are very efficient and the Doctors are also; the hospital is full of soldiers, many with injuries received in training for coming war which will probably come in January or February (remember, this entry is December 1st, just days from Pearl Harbor). I am anxious to get out of the hospital and get back in the Service, as Chief Clerk Wilson and Col. Brezina the Department Q.M. (quartermaster) want me as soon as possible. Every day the papers show War is coming closer. If I can I will send Mama (Maria) and the younger children down to the farm for safety.

Carl Ephriam Rice - WW2 Memoirs Pg 1
Hand-typed page from Carl E. Rice’s WW2 Memoir; presumably taken from hand-written notes during the war before being transcribed after the war in Manhattan, Kansas circa fall 1945.