Diary of John P. Burns

December 24, 1941 

Raided Port Area today. Started to evacuate all Air Corps troops from this vicinity. Blew up Nichols. Spent Xmas eve getting things ready to go myself. Took off about 11:00p.

The personnel of the Far East Air Force were ordered to move to Bataan peninsula. All MacArthur’s forces were being evacuated to Bataan for a last-ditch resistance until the arrival of reinforcements. Col. Harold “Pursuit” George, CO of the 5th Interceptor Command, was taking over what remained of the FEAF following Brereton’s orders to take his Headquarters to Australia. Engineers were ordered to blow up the runways at Nichols and set afire thousands of gallons of stored gasoline.