Feb 20, Tuesday—Walked to Chinese Hospital, terrible, floors covered with the wounded so thick cannot walk without carefully stepping over them, many dying, wounds undressed or tied with bloody rags; thought had found Arthur but it was a boy named Chase, same size. One nurse said she remembered a boy like Arthur who died, but Chief Nurse said no record of a boy of his name. Walked from Chinese Hospital to San Lazaro; it’s worse than the other, something terrible to see the hundreds of wounded, many dying, horribly mangled, not enough Doctors or nurses to care for them, I was glad he is not in there.
Feb 21, Weds—Stayed in Camp, boys went out to look for Arthur in hospitals but did not find him. Battle of Manila still rages, in Walled City and Post Office district. Major Carl Goodrich was looking for me.
Feb 22, Thursday—Repatriation of prisoners started today. Family is now well settled in Camp, boys find many of their friends here; heavy fighting, batteries near us firing shells over camp into walled city; Japs still drop an occasional shell into the Camp.
Feb 23, Friday—Shelling from behind our Camp into Walled City is a continuous roar.
Feb 24, Sat.—It is reported that Japs in Walled City surrendered; I got a pass and went with Private Henry Lanigan of the First Cav. Div., by jeep, truck, ambulance, banca, and much walking to the war torn district East and Southeast, Queson City, San Juan, and Mandaloyan, to every Hospital we could find, out as far as the firing line; the wounded from Walled City were arriving at Mandalayon Hospital, I knew some of them, a terrible sight; no record of Arthur.
Feb. 25, 26, 27, 28—No word of Arthur. Hundreds of refugees coming into Camp.
Monday, March 1st—Went to Far Eastern University to report the Civil Service employees of the Quartermaster Department, could find no one who knew what to do about us.
Feb 4, 1945—The liberated part of camp had good field rations this breakfast even though the soldiers were very short of food; but we (still held hostage by the Japanese inside Santo Tomas) had no breakfast; we are a sorry looking bunch after a night of being breastworks (i.e., human shields)in a machine gun battle; that tank cannon was fired so close once that it nearly threw me out of my bunk.
A great cloud of dust and smoke hangs over the city, explosions and firing continue outside; some Japs in the school house at the southeast corner of our wall were firing at any one inside the compound, so one of our tanks went there and fired tracer bullets into them and soon the schoolhouse and Japs were making a nice bonfire (I think he means the American tank blew up said schoolhouse and the Japanese soldier inside); also snipers in other buildings are being cleaned out by tank and machine guns; a Jap officer came to our window and looked out at our tanks, he had an American revolver, two hand grenades and was chewing Wrigley Spearmint gum, probably stolen from Red Cross box of food supplies.
The explosion of time bombs is more today, there is continuous firing of cannon and machine guns, the sky is hid by dust and smoke, looks like all the city this side of the river was on fire.
About 2:00pm the Japs allowed some food to be brought to us, corn, beans and meat stew, more and better food than we have had for over a year; I went to the Japs barricade over the lobby to carry the food pots; it was sure a sight, torn mattresses, broken furniture, blood and soiled bandages, rifles, machine guns, hand grenades and dirty Japs; and they had the nerve to smile at us and ask for the food we had left over. We gave them some and they allowed more to come for our supper.
It looked pretty bad for us this morning but Mr. Stanley, the interpreter, called to us that evening “Don’t worry, they will surrender tomorrow”.
The grounds in front filled up with soldiers, more and larger tanks, and a battery of 105’s Howitzers, all looks better but we are still at mercy of the Japs as this day comes to a noisy close.
This First Cavalry Division are the best looking soldiers I ever saw and brave, tough, and efficient, go about fighting in a business-like way; OH how I would like to be one of them and be able to work on some Japs with one of those machine guns they carry.
My life has been full of adventures and I am proud to be in this one, am sure seeing history being made, written in fire and smoke, blood and noise.
At first, when we realized we were hostages, we were all no doubt scared stiff, but as things looked worse during the night of the 3rd, we got past the scared stage, just sort of dumb resignation to the outcome, we were mostly past the limits of fear.
But tonight the Japs are more inclined to be friendly, ask food, allow us to go to the bathroom, and many of them lay down in our hallway and sleep, some are drunk and that makes them more dangerous; we cannot go to the balcony when their sentries are in the room. Some of our fellows tried to escape down a rope; “Ski” made it, but Johnnie Elam fell and broke his leg; two soldiers ran in covered by fire of other and carried him to Hospital.
FEB 3, 1945, continued—We here in the Education Building with freedom within 30 feet of us are the hostages, to be killed if Japs think it will save their face; at least they are going to try to use our lives to make a deal for theirs. There is much noise in the other parts of the camp, some scattered shots and much shouting; we told the tank men who we were and where to shoot at the Japs; there is much machine gunning, the 50 cal (sic; “caliber”?)bullets from the tanks come right through the concrete walls, the glass windows downstairs are broken, the Japs shoot from behind barricades of desks and mattresses; the prisoners on the third floor are getting it worse than we as the bullets fired upwards go through the floor and are hitting some in the legs; the tank in from of the main door to the lobby fired its cannon once; only one Jap that I saw came out, the little one with a mustache supposed to be a doctor, we can look out from behind the pillars on the balcony right down on our tanks and also see the flashes from the Jap machine guns only a few feet from us at the windows over the main stairs; the machine gun bullets come through about five inches of concrete like it was cheese, the concrete chips and ricochets fly past us and some are hit but not hurt much.
The Japs made a barricade just outside our door in the hall, of boxes and mattresses; we are not allowed to pass thru it to the bathroom.
We can hear our men in the tanks talking to each other about where to shoot; infantry are deploying behind the rolls of air strip webbing and the shacks, the town this side of the river is being destroyed by terrific explosions of Jap time bombs, the sky reflects the great fires, the Japs yell “Banzai” and other different words, and our boys keep on with bursts of machine gun bullets, outside the camp also firing and much yelling;
The Japs finally made us all lie down in our bunks and said “You sleep”, we stayed in bed alright, did not sleep all night. We were expecting to be slaughtered any minute; if some screwball had grabbed a Jap’s gun or struck one we would have been massacred; a Jap sat on the foot of my bunk where he could peek over the balcony railing and shoot at our tanks, later he got a stool and sat on it beside me. If our infantry had rushed the building we would have been killed by the Japs before our boys got up the stairs.
The Jap cars parked in front were loaded, some with chow, and prisoners from the liberated part of camp lost no time in raiding the chow truck and even waved at us with beer bottles, the fighting could not keep those starving ones from chow.
The long night passed somehow, the shooting was in spurts only and the FOURTH of Feb, 1945 dawned on the toughest spot I have ever been in; being used as a breastwork and hostage by crazy Japs is no fun, any way you look at it; there is sort of a truce evidently between our tanks and the Japs, the boys in the tanks now look out, smoke and talk to us, they are not infantry but are the 8th Cavalry of the First Cavalry Division, say they are known as MacArthur’s Butchers and take no prisoners.
(This was actually a small advance force of American soldiers, who had raced to Santo Tomas ahead of the main American army in order to free the American internees, for reasons which will soon become clear…)
All last night great explosions of oil and ammunition dumps in the Maraquina Valley; Terrific fires the length of the valley; This is a very noisy morning, explosions of bombs and blasting demolition charges fill the air with fumes of high explosive; crude oil and gasoline;
AT 4:30pm, just after supper, ten fighting planes came over, just above the roofs, only about 100 ft high there were more STARS than we have seen in three long years; they circled and dipped and signaled to show us that help was indeed at hand; one dropped a note in a wrench saying army would be in Monday morning, we were all crazy and paid no attention to the frightened demoralized Japs; some of their officers were in the path below our window looking at our planes, no smiles now, only fear and sullen looks; only a day or two more of starvation by these s—-b. THANK GOD.
Not a shot was fired at our planes, we have complete control of the air, our boys were telling us by their stars that victory is complete, nothing these yellow murderers of helpless people can do to stop our army (pardon the racial language); WE cheered and cried, as sorry a looking bunch of skeletons as can be seen anywhere in this war; but most of us still have the guts our brave ancestors gave us and can see this finished.
We were all too excited to sleep early, and were all talking and arguing about the planes we heard the tanks to the north, but many tanks had been going back and forth past the camp, Jap tanks, for tanks (sic); the Jap guards rushed out of their cars parked in front of the Ed. Bldg., and the Filipinos were outside yelling “The Americans are here”; Shorty Strongman was the first to see our tanks at the gate and we were trying to keep him quiet when the tanks crashed through the front gate, with lights on and machine guns flashing; the Japs at the gate threw some hand grenades and fired a few shots but were wiped out; this was a little after 8:00pm, FEB 3, 1945.
We were so busy watching the tanks come up the road toward the Main Building that we forgot about the Jap guards; after some shooting near the Main Building, where they killed the Lt. Abuco, who was the meanest officer in the Camp, the tanks came to our building, three of the tanks came into the driveways to the front door and began firing machine guns; then we saw that the Jap guards had not gone away in the cars but had retreated into the second floor and were barricading themselves at all the stairways and the halls and rooms; some came into our rooms, they were armed with rifles, machine guns, bayonets, had grenades and swords. Our tanks stopped firing and the officer in the center tank, just below us, about thirty feet from us as a bullet flies, ordered “COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP, I’LL GIVE YOU FIVE MINUTES”; we knew we were still prisoners of the Japs, hostages of sixty-five desperate savages. There were about three hundred of us, some women and children from Shanty Town having come upstairs.
Dec 24, 1944—We have a loud speaker broadcasting by which Camp orders are announced, it tells us when can go to chow and how, announces time for roll call, reville (sic)and curfew; used to play record tunes for our entertainment evenings but not now; at morning reville it plays a tune and sometimes the tune gives us an idea of what’s happening outside these walls; and we can now see aplenty.
*******This is CHRISTMAS EVE, 1944:
Bombings continue, and in the far distance can see reflections of fires, can hear distant explosions; also many explosions in and around Manila when no planes are near, indicating that Japs are destroying supplies that cannot get away with. Sometimes these explosions are very heavy and shake the whole camp and columns of smoke and fire rise thousands of feet.
WE ARE STARVING; THERE IS A RUMOR OF A LITTLE EXTRA FOOD TOMORROW. WE HAD XMAS SONGS ON THE LOCAL LOUD SPEAKER, WHILE DISTANT BOMBING COULD BE HEARD FAR TO THE SOUTH EAST, SOME PLANES DIVING AND MACHINE GUNNING; the announcer, “DON BELL” said—-
“TOMORROW IS XMAS, WE HAVE NOT ENOUGH TO EAT, WE ARE IN BAD TIME, BUT WILL DO OUR BEST AS AMERICANS TO OBSERVE THIS DAY”; and ended the broadcast with “COURAGEOUS CHRISTMAS”
***XMAS, 1944—Today for breakfast we had mush, coconut milk, SUGAR, Chocolate flavored hot drink, and a spoonful of jam. Tasted real good for we have not had any sugar for a long time.
At reville the broadcaster played “ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER” in the dim light of the early morning, as the Japs finished their morning worship, and flares from distant fires lighted the sky. At noon we had a small ladle of soy bean meal soup and while drinking it our planes came over and bombed the bay.
For supper we had hardboiled rice, sweet potatoes and a little corned beef mixed into a kind of Hash, were given two ladles of it, sure was the best meal have had since Feb 7, 1944.
CRUMRINE and I ate the last 3 oz. can of pork loaf at noon, we have made our meat from the ’43 Red Cross kit last until now by only eating a tin every Sunday. We no longer work in the kitchen, and are very weak but we have not lost our nerve, nor our sense of humor: that is what will bring us through, neither one has any idea of dying, and we laugh at ourselves and at other things which, bad as they are, still have a comic side if you are not too sick and weak to see it—such as the cat skins in garbage cans, the skeleton trying to catch a rat, the disappearance of Tom Poole’s fat chicken, the fat dogs that have disappeared; and the demand for cooking recipe books that can figure future menus from, we laugh and growl, at, and with other old skeletons and feel better for it, there is no thought of dying. We often stagger on our way to and from meals, many fall down and are carried to Hospital, the stretcher bearers are busy these days, some one dies every day, sometimes three or four. And are hauled out to the front gate in a cartela (sp?) or push cart, in a rough wood box, often too short and the feet stick out. All pass our window and often it’s an old friend.
Dec 15, 1944—Bombings continue, very little resistance, even machine gun air fields and bay, also the district east of town; distant fires and explosions; rumors of landings in Mindoro, Marinduque and Masbate. Japs are building barbwire and sandbag barriers in the streets near Camp, many Jap civilians also moving into houses near us. The Commanding General, Yamishita, has stored his car in here back of the kitchen; one of the prisoners has identified it as his car.
Dec 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21—Bombing and machine gunning. We are in very poor condition, when we line up for roll call many stay in bed and are tipped off to get up if we wee Jap officers coming to our building; we line up in the hall just outside our door but some of the Shanty Town people have to walk a long distance to the front of the main building, if we have to stay in line until all are checked, weak as every one is this is a great hardship.
Dec 23—Here is the real thing, now we know the rumors were true, the boys have landed in P.I. —for today the big four motored bombers came over with two motored fighters and came back at night and but on a great show of fireworks, the Japs are sure afraid of the bombings.
Dec 23, 1944—(he repeats this date)Jap Military Police from Ft. Santiago came into camp today and arrested Camp Chairman Grinnell, Duggleby, Robison, and Larsen, we don’t know the reason, they are in the Jap jail in the main building, under Jap guard.
I went today to visit Hospital, I don’t go often any more, is too hard work climbing stairs and it’s such a horrible place, so many crowded in, mostly diseases caused by starvation; Beriberi, Heart, Dysentery, intestinal obstruction, insanity, ulcers and what have you.
I talked a while with F.G. (Woody) Wilson my chief clerk and friend; his body is horribly swollen and legs so swollen cannot bend them, eyes swollen nearly shut; his is game and we talked of the families and agreed that this Xmas we would do without the turkey but would make up for it in ’45.
We are a grouchy bunch, quarrel and argue about anything, sometimes would fight if they were strong enough. Most of us spend the time on our bunks, we get up many times during the night to urinate, but most of us are very constipated; a nurse game me a bottle of castor oil and I take a dose every third day which keeps me from getting too bad. And nearly every one has a list of recipes for cooking wonderful meals, trade with others and tell about the things they used to have and are going to eat when they get out; it really makes their hunger worse; I have a small amount of salt and pepper I take a taste several times a day, it seems to relieve my hunger.
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.
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.
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.
Special two page update today. The end of the first page kind of spilled over into the next page and I was just going to finish the sentence, but it was kind of a long run-on paragraph by the end of which I decided just to finish the whole next page. Daily air raid sirens and bombings by the Americans are now a daily fact of life as word reaches the camp that U.S. General Douglas MacArthur has landed on Philippine soil, on one of the islands (Leyte) towards the south.
And it’s easy to forget, but keep in mind that my father was then a five year old boy with the rest of the family in residential Manila during these very same events while my grandfather was interned in the prison camp.
Sept. 21st, ’44—There was a blackout and we all were kept in quarters but some of (them) sat out on the roof of lobby, behind the parapet, and watched the fires in the bay, heavy explosions all night.
Sept. 22—Planes came back at 7:17am and bombing and air fighting all day, was worse than the 21st. One small shell hit just outside my window, I just happened to be leaning over my bunk, but most of it went through the sheet iron roof into the lobby which is now a hospital for sick old men. No one was hit.
I could not get to work on account of raid. We sure had plenty of excitement, and how our boys can dive. Many Jap planes shot down and probably some of ours, can’t tell very well, unless see the Jap red spot. Confined to quarters, we spent evening on the roof watching the fires and explosions; evidently more damage today.
The Japs are tougher now, we have to stand two roll calls, and must stay in line until all different parts of camp are checked; this sometimes takes two hours, as people die or go to hospital or stay sick in shanties.
Sept. 23—Air raid alarm, no bombing
Oct. 15—At 8:39 planes came back and dropped many bombs, sure is exciting; I was on duty when they came and stayed till 1:36pm, so I was right there at soup time.
Nearly every day have raid alarms, are confined to quarters most of daytime, allowed to go get food if any is served. I keep one set of mess cans in gas house and one set in quarters. I carry a soup spoon in my hip pocket all the time. We are slowly starving.
The hospital is full and four rooms of our Education Building have been turned into wards for feeble old me who are considered incurable.
(Entry jumps backwards a couple weeks now…)
SEPTEMBER 29, 1944, MY BIRTHDAY: PRISONER OF WAR
Sixty seven years of age, weight 155 lbs (weight at beginning of year was 162 lbs); Hungry, bent over, have no sickness; have not seen any member of family since April, have receipts for money I sent through relief committee so I believe they are well; Breakfast, half of mess pan of corn mush, spoon of coconut milk, piece of corn bread 2″ x 2″; NO DINNER; Supper at 4:00pm. (He evidently considers the two terms as distinct from each other.) one dipper boiled rice, one large spoon of thin gravy, one small spoon of dried fish, old and wormy. Lights out at 7pm.
Gas machine out of commission, now using a wood furnace behind shed, it’s harder work hauling the wood and keeping fire going; still have a small gas plate where I sometimes make tea or coffee for old friend Sydney Schwarzkopf and a few others who have it. I have some sugar left which I use very carefully and Crumrine and I have a few tins of meat and open one every Sunday, about 2 oz of meat for each.
The Japs sometimes give us part of a carabao, maybe 250 lbs for more than 4000 people. Somehow GILDAO, the cook, makes it up so we all get just a taste of meat in the gravy. The women on vegetable cleaning detail steal so much that have stopped peeling camotes.
We get several cart loads of camote vines a day from garden which with tulinum greens go in the water for noon soup, so called.
Everyone who has a charcoal stove is gathering any kind of weed (cont.)
(Next page continues)Oct 15—Any kind of pig weed variety plant is cooked, even leaves of trees; pigeons are trapped and are getting scarce; many have been sentenced to Camp jail for stealing food supplies (this is a camp affair, the Japs don’t interfere in this); The Japs have taken over the main food bodega and issue only from day to day; they issue some fresh fish but it is mostly so small, bony and stale that we cannot eat it; the little dried fish are more edible although very old; the Japs also have stopped all athletics, which is not such a bad thing as few are able to take part. They also forbid us to go in the front compound as they are now storing large quantities of loot supplies such as rubber, tin, machinery, air strip webbing and other stuff; we also must now bow correctly to every Jap we meet, no matter how low his rank; we must stay in quarters during air raid alerts even if no planes are in sight.
Oct 17 & 18—Air alerts but no planes on 17th, 18th had raid from 7:47am oil 5:24pm, three waves, heavy bombing; 19th from 7:23 to 5:45pm five waves, heavy bombing, we are getting to be veterans and take many chances, run and dodge through shanty town to the chow line or to work; if get caught will be beaten and made to stand in the sun all day.
Many are making raid shelters and the Japs are making some for themselves. Also making machine gun nests out of rubber bales, they also have doubled the sentries, stored gas drums around the walls and by the hospital; thousand of Jap soldiers pass daily, now going toward the piers as RUMOR is that McArthur has landed in Leyte (one of the islands south of Manila).
Oct 20 to 26— Were daily air raid alarms but no bombings, the Japs are very nervous and it’s dangerous to be caught out of bounds, many have been badly slapped around. Japs trying to force more labor out of us for garden; they allow workers in garden to buy at low prices a small quantity of cigarettes and picadura pipe tobacco; also give extra rice and food to those collaborators who work for Japs in the Japs private garden or as cooks and servants for them *** BELIEVE IT OR NOT THERE IS A BUNCH OF SKUNKS WHO APPEAR TO BE HAPPY DOING IT***
Oct 29—8:06 to 4:11pm, raid, planes and bombing; repeated waves
Nov 5—7:27am to 4:19pm waves of planes, heavy bombing near camp.
Nov 5 to 10—Raid alarms, no bombing but probably some at a distance.
Nov 13—Heavy bombing all day, many fires and explosions
Nov 14—Same as 13, must be destroying many ships in bay; also the air fields are on fire; there are not many Jap planes now to fight.
Nov 15, 16, 17—Alarms only
Nov 19—This was a big one, seven waves, bombs and machine gunning, at night also
Nov 20, 21, 22—Alarms but no bombing
Nov 25— Bombing air field at Grace Park just north of Camp, beyond Cemetery del Norte and Laloma, was indeed a circus with reserve seats, our buildings shoot worse than in an earthquake and we were often threatened for crowding the windows.
Aug 1—(continued from previous page) I also have some sugar and coffee which I use very sparingly. I get my chow at the central kitchen line so don’t have to wait so long for issue; Crumrine, myself, Cosart, Clare Cap Barton and others eat in the shed near the door to the chow warehouse and can get an idea of about what we have; there is some canned meat, vegetable stew and Red Cross ration that Japs have not taken. This is mixed a few cans at the time with our evening rice or corn tamale. Gildao an experienced Navy man now is head cook and is doing fine with what little he has left. Some big sugar caldron have been fixed up across the alley from our gas shed and most of the cooking is being done with wood as the gas is giving out. When they cook I manage to get some of the scorched rice or corn from the bottom of the pots, also “Chan” a big Lithuanian who is one of the main cooks, slips us some extra pieces of corn pone when he has it.
Each squad room is divided into groups of six so that extra supplies may be fairly divided, such as soap, salt, tinned meats, lard. About once a month some issue is made and we often divide a can of corned beef or of beans between six. A can of beans is 26 beans for each one. Storm, White, Cuzner, Fink, Graham and myself are together and have no trouble but some are in a row all the time.
Many are getting sick; swollen legs, with bad stomachs, T.B. (tuberculosis?), ulcers; not so much fever; some dysentary; much constipation.
Many have taken to eating garlic, raw, in their mush, and Stink*** there is nothing like it, you can smell them for yards. But they hope it helps. I don’t eat it my self.
Some of my best friends are sick in hospital, Wilson, Blackman, Brindley, Jones, Joe Evans, Burwell, Bohanan, Webb, White.
There is something coming off soon; the Japs and planes and targets over Tondo and anti-air craft target practice, also thousands of Jap soldiers pass the camp.
On Sept 14 from 7:57 to 9:08am and 9:47 to 11:10am had air raid alarm; no planes were seen or heard. We all had to go inside buildings.
*****September 21, 1944
**The boys are here at last**
At 9:30am, about one hundred carrier dive bombers came out of the clouds, complete surprise; shot down the Japs at target practice, and kept it up all day till all clear at 6:13pm. Many fires and explosions, many Jap planes shot down; I was on duty at the gas house and saw the whole show, but no one man could see all the happenings; many dog fights; anti air craft shell fragments and small shells and machine gun bullets fell in camp but no one was seriously injured. One shell and several fragments fell near us at the gas shed and rice boilers. The Japs on guard were very excited the sentry near me was firing his rifle; Lt. Abuco the tough guy game me an awful hard look when he saw me outside but I was on duty.
And how excited we are** every body saw some thing diff.
Tonight the city is lighted by fires and heavy explosions rock the camp. Must have hit the ships in the bay very hard.
May 1, 1944 to Aug 1—We in the Education Building have good bathrooms and toilets, also have shower bath behind the building; in our room 209 we have 30 men but 3 or 4 are in the Hospital; we have a roof of rear part of the lobby we can step out our windows and hang our laundry or take our chairs in the evening, also is a good place to put our bedding in the hot sun on the iron roof, it is sure death on bed bugs. We have them by the millions, especially those who have the wooden slat beds and hemp mattresses supplied by the Camp, they are bed bug incubators. We must kill them every day or be eaten alive. One handicap is that a few bums will not clean their beds so that makes a fine breeding place.
We have mosquito nets which protect us from those pests.
We do not have much laundry and not much soap for it. Even people who have many clothes don’t wear them, it’s too hard work washing them.
I wear a khaki shirt and pair of shorts, no undershirt or draws, army socks and shoes. Many only wear shorts and wooden shoes.
We still have a ball league; since the Davao prisoners came (another prison camp in the Philippines)have had some hot games; four teams, Tigers, Lions, Wolves and Bears. Also have some good basket ball games (yes, he spelled it as two words).
We now have roll call morning and evening.
We get up before 6am to rush to the chow line, are not allowed out of the buildings until 6am. Six o’clock is really five natural time, so the stars are shining and some times the Moon, we can see both the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross; but when the big clock strikes six, the hungry gang runs toward the kitchen line to be as near first as can be; there are several who are great contenders for first place.
June 11—The Daily Tribune was prohibited, the news from the Normandy landing was not good for the Japs. (Obviously D-Day was the week before.) We have script which comes over the wall with black market supplies and have some idea of how the war is going.
June 14—Received letter from J.G. Michelson dated Oct 28 ’42 and from Ada (his sister; see previous entry) dated Dec 10, ’42 and Feb 8 ’43 and May 11 ’43, they came on the Grisholm (assuming that’s some kind of cargo ship that was allowed to deliver supplies?) in Nov. ’43.
June 17—Sent Ada a radio.
July 4—Was my day off from kitchen work.
June 15—(entries seem out of chronological order here)Family place on Camp relief, 60.00 pesos per month but this won’t buy them much food.
July 9, 10, 12—Japs brought in several hundred missionaries, priests and nuns, in covered trucks, kept them in the Gym, incommunicado overnight and took away next morning, probably to Los Banos; it was raining hard.
July 21—We were photographed by Japs, my # is 2104, would like a copy.
The Japs are getting tougher and tougher.
August 1st—We had to turn in to the camp all money over 50 pesos Jap. But I sent out the 400.00 I had to the family through Mr. Duggleby.
We are getting down to slow starvation; I have some tinned meat (entry continues on next page)