January 9, 1945

Mush, coco-milk, and coffee, so called for breakfast. Forty seven of our B-24’s came over this morning. They done their bombing and as far as we know, none of them was hit. So glad. Earlier in the morning our dive bombers were operating over near Caloocan. I believe the R.R. shops. Another bunch did some bombing way out in San Francisco del Monte.

Still later fifteen of our planes came in from the direction of the Bay. They flew very low over Grace Park and San Francisco del Monte barely missing the tree tops. When they reached Marikina Valley they gave them the works. The Jap anti-aircraft batteries cut loose but to no avail. They were caught napping with another Yankee trick.

Just before that a big Jap plane came in flying very low over San Francisco del Monte trying to keep out of sight. Three of our planes that were high on the air over Quezon City spotted him and gave chase. They were going on him when they passed over the Marikina Valley. The Jap guns opened fire but our planes went through unscathed. The last I could see they were chasing him over the Antipolo mountains and were right on his tail. He was a lost ball.

We had thin soup for lunch. Maybe none tomorrow. There were no vegetables, soy bean cake or anything else came into camp today.

The Jap commandant broadcast that he has our welfare at heart but it is impossible to find food in Manila. Still they took rice out of camp for their own use yesterday. Oh well.

There has been a lot of explosions in the city this p.m. Sounds as if the Japs are wrecking things.

We had a ladle of rice and another of soup for supper. About one third enough.


January 8, 1945

Breakfast — thick lugao made of rice and rice flour and a small ladle of coco milk. Made hot water and made soup of coco milk, lugao, and salt. Had something hot although it was not so good. The camp is about out of salt. They never put any in the mush and I have just enough for tomorrow morning.

A flight of our big planes came over this morning and I saw a sad but also terrible and awe inspiring sight. One of the planes was hit and soon caught fire. One man bailed out at once and drifted down through a screen of anti-aircraft fire. The plane left the flight and fell in pieces over near the San Juan river, either on the Santa Mesa or Mandaluyong side. Big fires where it fell. The air was full of burning pieces. Saw what appeared to be three parachutes on fire. Pretty tough on the boys. The crew of those planes are from 9 to 12 men. Well, such things must be but I don’t like to see our boys get it like that.

There are three landings on Luzon today, San Fernando, La Union, Nasugbu, and on the Tayabas side.


January 7, 1945

Sunday started out fine. Bombing started early this morning with dive bombers. They shook up Grace Park and what appeared to be along the river in San Francisco del Monte. The real fun started later when the four motored bombers came over. They sowed small demolition bombs over that area like scattering seeds. Never saw anything like it. It seemed that the whole place was blowing up at the same time. The windows shook here in Santo Tomas like in a heavy thunderstorm.

That is one thing we got out of this. We, on the third floor have a fine view of Grace Park, Quezon City, Camp Murphy, Zablan Field, and the Marikina Valley in the distance. We have a box seat that many people would gladly pay thousands of dollars to see. And it is quite safe in here. Our planes silenced a lot of Jap anti-aircraft guns today. The last time our planes were over today (that is about 3:30 p.m.) there was very little gunfire anywhere.

The Japs have been very busy all day. Packing up boxes and other baggage, loading it on carts and trucks and leaving the camp. It sure looks good now.

The story is that there will be 20 Jap soldiers to guard the camp and only six rifles for the men who are actually on post. The Internee guards will take over inside the fence. Maybe a rumor. We’ll know more later. Note: Lots of the Japs left but there are plenty of guards left.

We had rice and camotes fried together for supper — pretty good. But we will have good chow in a very few days.

Oh, the Japs killed the beef that we were in hopes of getting and took it with them. They also killed their pigs. Oh hum, we’ll get some one of these days


January 6, 1945

Air raid alarm at 7:45 a.m. Eight planes bombed and strafed Nichol’s, Neilson, and Zablan; later a whole bunch of dive bombers worked on them again including Grace Park. Two flights of B-24’s came over during the morning — no bombing close by — probably farther south.

Plenty of raids throughout the day. Our boys mean business now. Won’t be long now.

Note: Grennell, Dugglby, and Larsen were taken outside last night and were told to and did dress in winter clothing. Looks like Japan for them. Not so hot.

Had a rounding ladle of boiled camotes with gravy tonight. Not enough but they tasted good for two reasons. It was a change and they were sweet.

Japanese were burning papers up till 10:00 p.m. and packing boxes and hauling them out of the camp in trucks. Some of our men who went out to the Insular Cold Stores yesterday to get camotes saw the Japanese burning papers on the Plaza in front of that plant. Looks good.


January 5, 1945

No planes today. Everything very quiet. Too much so, I think something will happen soon. Heard today that our rice is cut again. Instead of 600k per day it will now be 550k.

While it is on my mind I will note here. On Dec. 28, the J.A. arrested and put in jail under their control. Mr. Gremmell, who was the Chairman of the Internee Committee (and who by the way was a “Big Shot” since the start and practically run this camp to suit himself), Mr. Dugglby, the Chairman of the Family Aid Committee, and two others named Larsen and Johnson. Johnson was taken to Santiago and hasn’t come back. Today they too Gremell, Duggleby and Larsen to Santiago. We don’t know the exact charges, but it doesn’t look good for the Big Shot. Well, I have no use for him. He has expressed himself too plainly on several occasions. He seemed to think that he owned this camp and ran it until this Commandant came. Gremmell once said, “he did not care for the opinion of the other internees”; nice words, especially as they came from a supposed American. There are plenty more like him in this camp, and some of them are to a great extent to blame for the starvation. There is a big steal going on and nothing done about it. Yet, when they catch old John Doe getting an extra helping of food –15 days in the camp jail. That is Democracy as it is practised today. Oh, this camp is a wonderful place for showing up preachers, missionaries and the upright Americans.

Three years today since I came into camp. All quiet today. None of our planes and one a few Japs.


January 4, 1945

Mush made of rice and rice flour for breakfast and milk (coconut). Mush very thin and no salt. I have enough salt for about a week — but then what ? Soy bean soup for lunch and rice, gravy and greens for “dinner”. The gravy tasted good because we haven’t anything else. I sure would like to have some of Mama’s good old gravy or say, some curried shrimps.


January 3, 1945

Coconut milk, weak coffee and weaker rice mush. Mostly water. Weighed myself this morning. Weighed 119 lb. When I was in the Gym, I held at 170 lb. and now, the extreme low. Oh well, it won’t be long now.

Had soy bean soup for lunch. Not very much but it was hot. for supper, one rounding ladle of camotes boiled with skins on and a ladle of vegetable and mongo bean soup. Gee, was I hungry last night. Couldn’t sleep. My stomach kept inquiring why there was no food. It thought that my throat has been cut so that I couldn’t swallow anything.

We haven’t had a calamansi for about 15 days, nor a banana for over a month and we have forgotten what an egg looks like. The last banana that I had was a little surly saba that never got ripe. Well, I baked it in a fire and ate it “mas que”. Now as to camotes, it takes three times the weight of camotes to equal the same amount of rice, so if we had three ladles of camotes last night, we would have bloated up like a balloon. Now you see why I was hungry.

About 5:45 p.m., saw 4 of our dive bomber type planes fly over Grace Park and Quezon City. The Nips shot at them but the planes did not stop. So that ended a perfect day.


January 2, 1945

10:45 a.m. Another flock of our planes just passed over. No air raid alarm and no rough stuff.

We had a tasty dinner yesterday. Two scoops (small) of rice, camotes and carabao meat fried with garlic and leeks. mmmm! tasted mighty good. Also a fair sized ladle of meat gravy. Would have liked to have had double the helping. Then my poor little tummy would have been full for once.

Breakfast this morning — just mush. I got some hot water and mixed some of the mush on the hot water with salt and had a hot drink. Trying to fool myself, but no can do.

At 3:30 p.m. 10 B-24’s passed over Quezon City, going east. Anti-aircraft batteries shot at them but no hits. (They drove them away.)

Rice and mixed camote and talinum greens with meat gravy. No taste.


January 1, 1945

Started the day with weak lugao and still weaker coffee.

Air raid alarm at 10:30 a.m. Forty of our big planes, flying very high. Went north. No rough stuff around here.

The Japs celebrating today. They killed a pig last night.

Had a cup of fairly good soup for lunch.

All clear went before 1:00 p.m. The Japs must be getting drunk. They have been shouting “Banzai” and singing up until about 2:30 p.m. Maybe they all most all “plastado” now. They’re in their office on the whole ground floor of the Ed. Bldg. and use part of the second floor as a store room. They take anything they want –even the papayas and bananas we planted. If one of our people are caught taking anything from the garden, they are given 15 days in jail. That is justice.