Feb. 4, 1945

Just after tenko last evening we heard considerable M.G. fire. This continued and increased in intensity. There was marked activity throughout the night – small arms probably tanks and light artillery demolition, pyrotechnics, fires etc. Everyone was inside from 7:00 P.M. on but little sleeping was done. The Japanese guards in the compound were on the alert all night. electricity off at 11:45 P.M.

Tenko as usual this morning. We had a double ration of corn and rice lugao. Sick rounds proceeded as usual altho there was still activity around. About 10:30 A.M. Mr. Kuhoda came and told me that Maj. Abiko wished to see me inmediately. [Mr. Kuhoda did not have information.]

We proceeded to the Japanese office and in a few minutes, Mr. Carl B. Eschboch who was in charge of the civilian internees in the outer compound joined us. The Major read a message stating that the Japanese were being transferred to other duty, that they were leaving the hospital with food and medicine and sign outside explaining who and what we are. I thanked him and Mr. Kuhoda for their courtesy, signed a roster as to number of personnel present and took leave.

Immediately I stationed guards inside the compound and about the inner sally port. Then called a staff meeting – appointed Capt. Wallace executive officer for the guard under me – with Mr. Byers, Mr. Schweizer and Capt. Gochenour as guard officers – using technicians and detachment men as guards to keep all inside and unauthorized person out.

The Japanese left the hospital area about 1:00 P.M., about 1:30 P.M. we locked the front gate with a chain and padlock and put up a red cross flag. Guards were place at sally port, outer compound gate, chapel (guard house) and west wall. I have kept the two compounds from fraternizing because they are not under military jurisdiction, however, I called on them this afternoon and we split stores left us for the Japanese – prorated their 465 to our 810 and gave them sugar, rice, tea and cigarettes to rate of 5 per person in each compound. Met the doctors including Dr. Marshall Welles formerly L.R.C.G.H.

Talked to Col. Hutson and Com. McCracken this afternoon and they were very nice. The former is the ranking army officer and the latter the ranking navy officer here.

Requested the outer compound to take down an American flag on their building as I felt this was premature.

As soon as I returned from the Japanese and had organized the guard (on pre-arranged plan) assuming command, publishing the Japanese order and explaining about the guard.


December 18, 1944

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Dec. 18th – One week until Christmas, the worst and at the same time the best we have spent in this camp – It is wonderful what the women are making for the children out of nothing –

The camp was just on an alert basis at 10:20 today, after 98 hours of airraid alarm -No siren blew, so we assume that Manila is still under air-raid – No US planes today but there were some Jap planes around –

The Japs admitted yesterday the landing in Mindoro – This is fact, as is the report of the Polillo landing – It is rumored that the Japanese language paper admitted a landing in Tayabas – But

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This is rumor –

Kit stories current again – We are to get them before Xmas – Also a rumor –

3 things hit us very hard: 1) Lack of food 2) Lack of tobacco, 3) Lack of authentic news –

A man in our room collapsed today and had to be taken to the hospital – All hospitals are full, and the rooms in the buildings are full of sick people for whom there is no hospital accommodation –

There are signs that the Japs are becoming more lenient – But I am skeptical – Perhaps Shiragi, Kamatsu & Abiko will be

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removed. Then I’ll believe it –

Have you ever read “My Antonia” by Willa Cather? It is delightful – Story of pioneer days in Nebraska and a Bohemian family – I wonder why I never read it before?

I was thinking of Paul Reif to-day – I consider him my very best friend, almost an older brother – An Austrian who went to Holland in the twenties – Charming wife – 3 little girls – I wonder where he is and what he is doing? I am looking forward to a reunion with him- I want you & Neil34 to meet him –

And so another day – The 1077th in this camp -Is it possible?