Diary of Basilio J. Valdes

January 15, 1942 – Thursday

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Heard Mass & received Holy Communion. At 10 a.m. I invited Major E. C. Cruz, Medical Corps to the Treasury Vault for a good cool bath. We went. We stayed rather long. At 1:30 p.m. when we were driving home, Major Cruz shouted “Alarm, Sir”. I had to act quickly because we were in a place which had been bombarded several times. I knew that if we continued we would not be able to reach the tunnel in time. So I ordered our driver to turn around and return to the vault. As we reached the vault we jumped out of the car. Major Cruz pointed upwards. “Sir, look what a beautiful formation of nine planes.” That was no time for sight-seeing! I pushed him into the vault and I followed. We had scarcely entered when three explosions were heard nearby followed by three more distant. As the noise ceased we went out. I found my driver lying flat in a ditch. He got up and entered the vault. Then we saw three pieces of shell where we had been standing. The large piece was so hot that it could not be touched. The raid lasted forty-five minutes. On our way home we found that the place where we had turned had been badly hit. The trees were badly cut up. Major Cruz remarked: “Sir, that was a narrow escape. I admire you for your quick decision.”

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