Diary of Natalie Crouter

Sept. 25, 1943

There were five or six parties, one of about fifty guests for a husband’s birthday. A guard with his nose pressed against the wire watched the party all evening and wanted to know what we were celebrating. Carl had a party in the ironing room with games and much glee behind a rug curtain. The sergeant went in and sat in a corner, watching the whole time. When Hayakawa [the camp commandant] is away, the guards will play.

One went in to visit with Ray, was given a piece of cake, and seemed rather hopeless. He said he left his wife expecting a baby, with three children already, in Japan. All his money goes to her, he has none for extras. If he is taken prisoner, his family will get no money at all. If he deserts, they get no money. If he deserts but kills himself before captured, his wife gets pay. In Bataan the Japanese soldiers who had been taken prisoners by the Americans were shot in front of their comrades’ eyes when they were recaptured after the surrender of Bataan by the Americans. So there is no way out for them except death. They must die fighting, and if defeat comes, all must die.