January 11, 1942

HQ, Intelligence

Bataan

Still aide to Gen. de Jesus. Am also assistant plans and training officer under Col. Torralba, former head of Camp Murphy. The general has also retained Fred.

Our new headquarters is located on the side of a high hill above a swift stream. There are a lot of tall trees with huge trunks and branches here.

The men are now putting up tents for the officers, building fox-holes and shelters. Signal Corps people are fixing the radio, connecting telephone lines and installing transmitters.

Our telephone-call is “Molave.” Col. Willoughby in Corregidor is Bat 102. Gen. Francisco is “Rainbow.”

Operatives for various Luzon provinces have already been selected and given instructions. I talked to agents for Manila: Gave them Mr. Romulo’s message.

The “spies” will go to enemy territory by “banca” from Limay to Hagonoy marshes. Some will pass through Corregidor, Fort Frank and Drum and then to Cavite.

Col. Manuel Roxas phoned from Corregidor and said that our service could draw as much money as needed from funds of Philippine Commonwealth Government. Part of our job is to secure information on political trends.

Went to Philippine Department headquarters this morning. Got P7,000 from Col. Fisher, G-2, chief, HPQ. I told him the money was going to be given to operatives who were leaving this afternoon for Manila.

I asked Fisher if he had any news about the convoy. He said he had none and he sounded somewhat gloomy.

While Fisher was counting the money, I sat down with a couple of American officers to listen to Radio Manila. The announcer was reading the news in Tagalog and I translated it for them. The radio announced that Kuala Lumpur, capital of Federated Malay States was in Japanese hands. The announcer said in Tagalog that the next objective was Singapore.

I asked one of the Americans when he thought the convoy would arrive. He said “I’m afraid they’ve forgotten us back home.” Then he started to reminisce about life in the States, how he used to spend the day fishing and driving his Ford coupe, which is very cheap in the States.

The other American was thinking of his wife. He said: “I know if I were in the States right now, I’d be fighting with the Mrs. and I’d be telling myself, why don’t I go over to Bataan and fight the Japs. Now that I’m here, I tell myself, why am I so far from home, and I miss my wife’s fighting after all. Oh hell, its that fellow Adam that started all this. Why did he ever eat that apple!”

Japs bombed rear areas heavily today. They hit part of supply in Rodriguez Park and destroyed Navy warehouse in Mariveles. Several trucks in Little Baguio were strafed. Heavy artillery duel in Western Sector. Wainwright must be having a busy time. Lines of Segundo, Brower, Stevens, Shalleck are holding. Japanese are trying to penetrate Mt. Natib. The enemy is adept at infiltration tactics. He crawls quietly through the lines under cover of darkness.

The general said in staff meeting this evening that Japs were using firecrackers in some sectors to “scare the boys.” In some sectors, the General said the Japs installed amplifiers and exhorted Filipino boys to turn against Americans. “the boys,” he said, “replied with machine-gun fire.” The General said that in other fronts, the Japs crawled into our lines, climbed trees and started sniping at officers. The Japs are quite good in jungle fighting because of their experience in China, according to the General.

Signal corps men have memorized new code. They will also cross Bay and establish transmitters in enemy territory to give accurate reports on Jap movements.

The General recommended me for promotion to 1st lieutenant in Corregidor.

Must stop writing. There is an air-raid.


January 7, 1942

51st division C.P.

Bataan

 

Japs are in Manila now, according to KZRH. I wonder how the family is. Seat of government has been transferred to Corregidor.

Jap successes in Luzon theater have been made possible by crippling of our airforce in first raids on Clark, Nichols, and Zablan. Many bombers were grounded. Right now, there are only seven fighters here in Bataan. Gen. Brereton, chief of airforce, has left for Australia. New air chief is Gen. George.

Saw hundred of men working on airfields in Cabcaben and Mariveles. Tractors were leveling ground. Giant cranes were roaring whole day. Labor crews were hastily building caves in mountain sides to serve as hangars for planes.

Meanwhile Japs dropped dozens of bombs in Cabcaben and Mariveles aerodromes. Huge craters made in middle of fields. As soon as Japs disappeared, men hurriedly covered bomb-holes and leveled ground with rollers.

Saw Jess Villamor and G. Juliano in quartermaster dump near Lamao field. Both fellows have been awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses for dogfights with Japs. Villamor was requisitioning for some uniforms. He had only two. They said they had no more planes and were waiting for shipments from Australia. I think the quartermaster chief denied their requisition, poor fellows. Found out Juliano is a cousin of mine. He said his dad and mine are cousins.

On my way back to our C.P., I had my sergeant sit on the engine so he can watch the sky for planes. It was a good precaution because two or three times, Jap fighters strafed the road. A truck ahead of us was hit by three bullets but the driver was uninjured.

Went to Gen. MacBride’s headquarters to arrange for a launch to bring the general to Corregidor. Col. Willoughby, MacArthur’s G-2, said the general’s presence was required in the Rock on the 8th. While I was in MacBride’s command post, AA shrapnel started raining near the Signal Corps tent. Nobody was injured. Everybody remained calm. Had a little discussion with a nasty American lieutenant while I was waiting for Major Raymond, MacBride’s assistant G-2. The lieutenant told me to stand at attention when in his presence because I did not notice him when he passed. I told him “To go to He–l”. He said he was sorry and explained that he thought I was “the fresh Filipino sergeant who was here yesterday. You look alike. Sorry.” I replied: “Your apologies accepted. Go to a doctor to get your eyes straightened.” He said: “Tough guy, eh?” I said “Nope, just been around.” “So, smart guy?” “Nope,” I replied, “just my poisonality.” The guy gave me up for hopeless and Major Raymond and Col. A. Fisher arrived. Fisher shook my hand and said: “Here’s a good friend of mine” and he introduced me to everyone. When he was going to introduce me to the nasty mutt, I said: “We’ve met, colonel.”

Missed my dinner because I arrived too late and the stupid mess sergeant didn’t keep anything for me. “I thought,” he explained, “you ate somewhere else already, sir.” I told him that from now one he must always reserve my food when I am not around because people in other divisions don’t offer food for visitors and where does he expect me to eat. The sergeant looked genuinely sorry. I guess I’ve got to stay hungry till tomorrow morning, heck. Missed Mama’s cooking more than ever.

 

(later)

 

Just arrived from lines. Reports received in C.P. that Japs have opened infantry fire. Went to the line. The men were cool and raring to fight. The night was lovely. Plenty of stars. Jap firing was very ineffective. Men asked only one question: “Where is the convoy?” They themselves answered the question with “Oh well, maybe in a week.” Must sleep now. It’s midnight. I’m hungry.