Had another bad night with four air raids. Attended 7 a.m. Mass and received Holy Communion.
I retired at 8:30 p.m., foreseeing another bad night. At 9:30 p.m. the air raid signal was sounded followed by a raid, another at 11:30 p.m. which lasted one hour. At 1 a.m. as I lay awake in bed I heard someone knocking at the door on the street. I went to the window. There was a jeep in the street and an officer asked me if that was the place where General Valdes lived. I answered this is General Valdes The he said “I have important information to give you.” I went downstairs and he told me that G-2 had received information of a heavy air raid between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. and for me to stay in a dug out or fox hole. I told the Losa family to stay in the dug out. Two Australian war correspondents, Private Marias and I went to the Capital building where the basement constitutes a good dug out. At 2 a.m. the Japanese dropped 500 pound bombs, fortunately no one was killed and only few were wounded including Lieuenant Katz C.I.C. a good friend of mine. Had lunch at the Officers Mess and later saw the huge crater just outside the house occupied by Colonel Finley, Head Quarters Commandant Advance Echelon.
Quite a bad night. At 11 a.m. President Osmeña told me that he received reports that the guerillas were shooting and killing civilians in Tanauan and Burauen and asked me to investigate. I left at 1 p.m. Arrived at Dulag. Conferred with Colonel Nitz & Major Brooks G-2 XXIV Corps. They told me that the rumor was absurd & false. I called on Major General Hodge, the Commanding General, who asked me to see the men taken by the guerrillas in Tanauan & Burauen. They were kept in a enclosure at Dulag. I went and spoke to all the men and the two women. They all denied the rumor. I returned to Tacloban stopping at Tanauan where the acting Mayor also denied the rumor. I arrived at Tacloban at 7:30 p.m. I took a bath and retired early as I was very weary. At 10:30 p.m. I was awakened by an air raid, which was repeated three times until morning. Note: While I was taking a bath a 50 caliber bullet went through the partition.
A bad night. The Japanese took advantage of the beautiful moon to raid us several times. At 2 a.m. as I lay awake in bed I heard the peculiar noise of the bombs falling through space. I rushed out of bed grabbed my helmet and rushed to the staircase to go downstairs. While I was still at the top of the staircase, two explosions were heard about 300 yards from the house. One family of five was killed. The second bomb fell on the corner of a street nearby wounding a man in a nearby house.
Two air raids…An uncomfortable night.
My mother’s death anniversary. Had a Mass said for her intention which I attended. Had a good night’s rest. Only one air raid alarm at 8 p.m.
I went to Mass at 7 a.m. and received Communion. At 9 a.m. left for Palo with Major Lambert 1st C.A.D., to inspect the post-office there. The town was full of soldiers, trucks, and tanks etc. The First Cavalry Division has a Squadron bivouac in Palo. The Church is being used as a hospital where army as well as civilian casualties are treated. Met Lew Ayers who is doing excellent work. Called on Bishop Manuel Mascariñas of Palo. He received me very cordially. He has accommodated civilian refugees in his convent and he himself at times sleeps in a chair.
The bombings continue but with less frequency as our P-38’s and Navy Hell Cats have been shooting down several enemy planes every day.
5:20 a.m. I woke up with the sound of two airplanes flying low over our house. I thought “It’s nice to have our planes patrolling”. A few seconds later I was startled by two explosions nearby. The concussion blew away my mosquito net. I jumped out of bed. I took a quick bath, as I was wet with perspiration, dressed and went to the place where the bombs had exploded. The first one fell over a nipa house killing the whole family who were asleep. A woman and six children. The husband was out working for the U.S. troops unloading. When he returned home he found his home destroyed and all his family killed. Poor man. The second bomb fell about 60 yards from the house occupied by the other members of the Presidential party. The President slept elsewhere. Some small shell fragments went through the house. About 20 yards from the explosion, a house occupied by the War Correspondents was badly hit by bomb fragments killing Mr. Hazel Bush Associated Press correspondent and mortally wounding Mr. Gunn of Texas. Two other War Correspondents had minor injuries.