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

The End: Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: June 22nd to August 23rd, 1945

June 22, 1945—Moved to San Carlos Camp, on a hill in Mandaloyan, an old Spanish Convent. Spent first night in a tent with Mr. Jones, rained and hard wind blew the tent down on us. Moved in a few days to the lower floor of convent, good room occupied by about all the old timers.

July 12, 1945—Received from the finance section of Recovered Personnel Branch, U S Army, the arrears in pay due me. $10,223.74 ($137,298.58 in 2016 dollars). Bought seven $1000.00 “E” War bonds. Numbered Series E, M-10091547, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53. In name of myself and Mrs. Rice.

July 24—Received Spanish War Pension Checks for period July 1st, 1944 to April 30, 1945, total $500.00.

July 31—Put on repatriation list #15. I don’t like to do it. Mrs. also does not like it although she wishes to be with Charlie and Henry; my friends here are all against it; but the three children here with me must have school, which they have been deprived of for three years and need food they cannot now get here. I know that as far as I and Mary are concerned it will be a hardship, and a costly trip. Also we all need better food and a change in climate so we are hoping we do not find such bad conditions as we hear about in States and that we will soon be able to return to Manila (they eventually would two years later).

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Union Pacific Railroad Depot in Manhattan, Kansas, from a postcard circa early 20th century. This is where my dad and his family disembarked upon arrival from the Philippines. Though no longer in use, the building is still there and is a historical landmark.

Aug 1, 1945—Embarked on the Navy Transport Gen. John Pope, by way of San Bernadino Straits, Saipan, Marshall Isles, to Seattle; the Atomic bomb fell and Japs surrendered while we were on the sea.

Seattle Immigration made it hard for all on board, we arrived on Aug 17, left by Union Pacific Aug 20, arrived in Manhattan (Kansas) about 9pm, Aug 23, the boys and Sister Ada met us and HERE WE ARE.

SO WHAT OF THE FUTURE?

THE END


Next: Epilogue with some post-war photos…

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.
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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.

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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.

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: March 2nd to March 9, 1945

March 1st, Monday (repeated here from previous post for continuity)—Went to Far Eastern University to report regarding the Civil Service employees of the Quartermaster Department, could find no one who knew what to do about us.

March 2 to 9, 1945—Some were sent to U.S.A. as repatriates; many are now applying to go as their homes are burned and business or occupation no longer can operate and for a long time will be no opportunity here to live as before the war; many have no funds and nothing to borrow on; so there seems to be no way except to go back; of course some of the internees don’t belong here, having been transients caught here by the war; these people naturally want to get back as soon as possible, but the real old time residents would rather stay if conditions were not  so impossible; this the permanent home of most of us and most of those going back intend to return here as soon as conditions permit. (Indeed, my grandfather himself was to do exactly this two years later.) I put my name on the list but do not intend to go soon but may send the boys back to schools, they have missed three years.

Mary is in the hospital with asthma (she suffered from this her whole and died young at 55 twenty years later; also her given name was Maria but he called her Mary for short) and general poor physical condition due to hardships suffered during the battle of Manila. (Remember, in addition her third child Arthur being currently missing after being wounded and taken to an unknown hospital during the battle, she lost her mom—my great-grandmother—during the same fighting and they had to leave her body where it lay.) 

Am looking for Arthur and still hope to hear of him in some hospital but am afraid he is dead; he surely would have got word to me somehow if alive.

Feature pic: Raon Street, Manila, April 28, 1945

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: February 8th and February 9th, 1945

Thursday, Feb 8, 1945 cont.—The fires do not appear to be on our Leviriza St yet (where my dad’s family lived) as they appear to be in Paco and Ermita, also this side of the River. Our guns are firing over the Camp from near the Cemetery; Food comes into our Camp: butter, fresh bread; the soldiers do so much for us, they sacrifice their own rations so that we may eat meat and vegetables we have been deprived of so long; they are so shocked at our pitiful condition; most of us have begun to get some strength, but some were too far gone and every day some die; some seem to relax, to let go; they held on till the FLAG came back with their last bit of strength.

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American soldiers of “C” Company of the 148th Infantry move toward the Legislature Building in Manila, February 1945.

Friday, Feb 9th—Had a night’s sleep last night in spite of shells flying overhead toward the Japs south of the river; this morning the roar of battle is continuous, our troops have crossed the river and are attacking: planes, tanks, infantry, artillery, the sky is dark with smoke; sniping continues from houses near camp but we go about our routine affairs, mainly eating, are getting so much rich food that are having intestinal troubles, some have gone to hospital and I know that Cook, died from it.

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American soldiers taking cover as they advance through Manila on Dewey Blvd, now Roxas Blvd, Manila, Philippines, February 1945.

Yesterday Mr. Amos Bellis and myself went to the emergency Hospital in Room 13 to find Tom Henderson dying from wounds received in the shelling of the 7th; later we went to the Morgue to see his body and counted eighteen who had been killed or died of wounds received then; more died later; they are bing buried in the garden, while some services were being held the Japs shelled that part of the Camp.

 

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: February 6th (cont.) to February 8th, 1945

Feb 6, 1945 Cont.—Heavy fighting continues, Jap demolition time bombs continue to explode, about 15 sq miles of the city north of the river now burned; three of our armies said to have advanced close to Manila; the First Cavalry troops who rescued us were only about 700 strong.

We are to be moved tomorrow to the GYM to make room for Hospital; Red Cross says to leave everything behind as they will give us new clothes and beds; but we know the Red Cross and will hold on to our old stuff till we see their new supplies (never did get them).

Feb 7—Shelling of Camp continues; Gen MacArthur visited Camp; at 2PM I was in Main Building to send radio, and hurried away from the crowd at the front door as we were to load our things on a truck to the Gym; just got away in time as a shell hit just over the door and killed several people and wounded many; When I finally got things loaded shells were coming our way, one hit in front of main building, killing a soldier on plaza; several just missed our roof and hit the wall behind garden, one killed some Japs hiding in a house behind camp; Nelson said, let’s get out of here, so I went down behind the building, and stayed there while shelling was heavy.

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U.S. General Douglas MacArthur (bottom center, in the hat cap) visits Santo Tomas on February 6th, 1945.

Feb 7 cont.—I did not go to the Gym with some who left our room; as they were fixing their bunks in the Gym several shells hit it and killed “Java” and fatally wounded Tom Henderson, and severely wounded several others and most of the folks ran over behind the Seminary; I finally made a run for the Main Building and lined up inside for chow, about 5:00PM; as we waited in the chow line, shells hit the rooms at south corner and killed and wounded many people, mostly women, some of the girls who dip out food for us were killed, Rev. Foley and Phil Carmen also killed.

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Living quarters at Santo Tomas; perhaps this is the gymnasium?

The dead and wounded were carried past me into room 13, for emergency Hospital; they were very badly mangled by shrapnel; after supper we stayed on the sidewalks north east side, it was raining slightly, many of us had diarrhea from eating too much, fighting was heavy, machine guns were firing tracer bullets at our guns, several soldiers were killed; an officer came by and gave me two cigars, said with compliments of General MacArthur; shells hit room above us and showered fragments; had no blankets and all in all it was a night to remember.

About 4:00AM Crumrine and I got into the back door of the Main Building, it was crowded, and as the emergency hospital was full and some wounded and died, there was much weeping and distress among the women and children; until daylight it was not a nice situation to be in.

Several soldiers were killed and wounded in the night fighting.

Feb 8—Daylight brought some lull and good breakfast; I at last got my longed for bread and butter; went to Gym and found my clothes but no cot so I used Graham’s as he is in Hospital, this is a fairly quiet day and got a little sleep. Battle still raging in Manila but only few shells near hear. Thousands of Japs are in Walled City and Ermita and Malate and our troops are attacking.

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: December 15th to December 23rd, 1944

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: November 1st to November 25th, 1944

Nov 1, 1944 to Nov 25—I will pause in the battle reports and pick up a few incidental routine items:

November 14 received letter from Ada (my great-aunt and my grandfather’s sister) dated April 3, 44 soap, tooth powder, thanks a lot Charlie (my uncle, then about 18), wish I could send you something useful, but you will just have to wait (this little gift cost him 500 Mickey Mouse pesos).

I sure looked like a millionaire for a few days smoking those long cigars, of course I had to give half of them away and it was a pleasure to see how they were enjoyed.

Tobacco is about as serious a problem as food, in many cases is more serious. Smokers cannot get much real tobacco; use mostly dried papaya leaves; also leaves of various trees; dope these leave with any kind of spice they can get or lotion or onion or garlic leaves; hard on the throat but answers the purpose. Women  just as bad or worse than the men; have their five year old kids out early looking for cigaret butts the Japs have thrown out the windows; no doubt some of the collaborators do just to get some real tobacco from the Japs.

******I was in to see Mr. Duggleby about Cap. Geo. Caldwell, who is sort of a responsibility of Mr. F.G. Wilson, Chief Clerk of QM, and myself. Duggleby said he is much better and getting better food and treatment than would in here; he is in the Mandaloyan Psychopathic Ward. Caldwell was the third one of us left behind by Col. Frank Brezina to be in charge of office when Japs came. He stayed out under the name of Blanco, as Spanish, and was able to get some money for our families through Father Owens of San Beda College. But he became a little off balance so Father Owens finally was able to get him sent to the Hospital. Wilson and I first arranged with Father Owens to send him a little money every month by Mrs. Wilson, but it became too dangerous and money hard to get; Duggleby put him on camp relief and now he is getting well.

Many Old-timers dying every month, some of them friends of mine for many, many years.

Food is less and less, only get about four ounces of rice or corn a day, with pig weed soup some times.

Japs have moved all prisoners out of ground floor of Education Building and made the lobby into an office, other rooms for quarter and storage of their rations and loot. Some of the finest office and house furniture in Manila has been brought in. Imagine a dirty Jap sleeping on Beauty Rest mattress and Simmonds bed***

They also now have a kitchen below us and Negro cooks. Some of the pickled fish and radishes nearly gas us, but I would try to eat some of it if got a chance.

 

Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: January 1st, 1944 to April 30th, 1944

So now, I’m back to transcribing (for now). It obviously takes time to transcribe my grandfather’s memoirs instead of just posting a scan of the page itself, but transcribing draws a better response. It was just easier to post scans, especially since the events of 1943 were rather mundane, all things considered. But as we get deeper into 1944 the situation becomes more dire, which makes it more important to pay closer attention…especially the last entry of this page…

Jan 1 to April 30, 1944—New Year, 1944; Weight 162 lbs; Cash (Jap) 176.45 (at this point my grandfather was 66 years old)

Henry (my uncle, by this time about 17 years old) sent some food and a letter that all are well;

Feb. 1, 1944—weight 164 lbs.

Jays closed the package line Feb. 7, 1944; will now be almost impossible to contact family; family sent in supplies every day in Feb up to 7th; Arthur’s (another uncle of mine, now about 13 or 14) toothbrush was last item in, a letter was written inside the box, tell me where to look for another letter; they sent me about 30 lbs of brown sugar and a coffee can of white sugar and several lbs of coffee; the food sent in increased my weight two lbs in one week.

The Jap army now have charge of the Camp; they are putting us on what they say is the equal of the Jap soldier ration.

Meat is now very scarce, and the rice and corn meal is poor quality. Coconut milk is still issued but it is mostly water; the people who make and sell it now cannot get any more nuts.

A Jew sells hot cakes every morning; there is so much dirt in our rice and corn that we lose much of our ration when we run it through the cleaner.

Every one able has to do some work preparing the garden; are also planting bananas and papaya; vegetables are small onions, capotes; eggplant, tulinum, a green for soup.

The Japs have never given camp any money, clothing or medicine; I was detailed to work one p.m. in garden but was put to hauling rotten Jap radishes to the fertilizer dump, they were too rotten for us to eat.

March 11, 1944—First blackout.

March 25th—Sent post card to Ada (his sister; my great aunt, who was a professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, my home town).

April 1st—Had first air alert; also now have blackout every night

April 5th—Sent 100 pesos to family

April 6th—Received two letters from Ada dated Aug 2 and 25, 1943 (basically took 8 months to arrive in the Philippines from Kansas during a time of war, or rather, to be delivered). Also a letter for Nena (my grandfather’s ward, now about 19) from her Aunt.

April 25th— Shanties are now being moved back from the wall.

Many old timers are now beginning to slip; are getting discouraged and are beginning to think will not get through. Food gets poorer in quality and quantity is less.

April 29th, 1944—The generosity of the magnanimous Jap High Command on this birthday of his Imperial Majesty etc etc allowed our families to visit us for one half hour. The whole family came, they were very well dressed but were thin and are just about half starved. Have money but it is not worth much and food is very hard to get; they all acted like were afraid to tell me something I would not like to know, that would make me feel bad. When the time came to go it was hard, all of us seemed to know that terrible times were ahead, last out were Nena, crying, and brave little Arthur with a smile on his freckled face and a wave of his hand as he went from me forever, that’s the last time I was ever to see him, for he was to die in the fiery hell of the Malate Massacre (another name for the forthcoming Battle of Manila in February 1945).

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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…

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