HQ, MIS, Bataan
Back from patrol. Reconnoitered in Balanga. Met several Jap patrols. Japs not there in force.
We were very careful. Kept away from beach. Balanga church was destroyed by our artillery. Did not enter church. There might have been Japs inside.
General refuses to believe there are no Japs in Balanga. I told him there are only Jap patrols, nothing more. He shook his head. Felt like telling him: “If you don’t believe me, why the hell don’t you go there yourself.”
Encountered a squad of Japs who were lying near a nipa shack when we were returning to our lines. It was late afternoon and we had not yet eaten the whole day and we were going to eat in the nipa shack.
Sgt. Sinculan noticed that they were aiming at us. We fired first. They had rifles only. We had a Browning automatic. We were better armed but they outnumbered us.
I emplaced my men behind a fallen log with a thick trunk. I could hear the officer shouting loudly and the soldiers were also shouting. We remained silent.
Suddenly, they all shouted and advanced. Told men not to fire until they passed the other fallen tree before the log where we were emplaced. When they climbed over it, Sgt. Sinculan opened up with the Browning. Two fell. The others kept firing. Meanwhile six crept to our flank. I noticed it and I moved three men to our left. Sgt. Sinculan said that we had better retreat because they were more than thirty and we were only ten. Besides one of our privates was being attacked by malaria, making our effectives only nine.
I told the men to retreat slowly to the cogon but I shouted loudly to mislead the Japs “Attack men!” and everybody shouted with me and we fired and retreated. Then I felt something warm pierce my thigh but I did not feel much pain. Sinculan and I were wounded.
When we retreated, the Japs left us alone. Thought I would be nervous face-t0-face with Japs but now I know one has no time to be nervous during combat.
Will write about this patrol work someday.
Major Javallera opined the Japs will probably put their main effort on the western sector. He also could not believe that there were hardly any Japs in Balanga. “Japs are probably up to something,” he opined.
“Are you sure of what you are reporting?” he asked again.
“We walked through the plaza and the school house and then near the broken bridge and we entered the town and there were no Japs in force, only occasional patrols,” I said emphatically.
He said “You can have a week’s rest, even if your wound is very small.” He gave me three cans of guava jelly, hooray. He is quite a good guy.
Will visit my Pampangueña friend. Fred and Leonie were not allowed to go out during last few days because there was too much work.
The general said I am careless that is why I was hit. He always scolds me, but I know he likes me inside.
All in all, he is also O.K.