There is no Foreign Legion in the American Army. But there is one particular group composed of daring characters who court death and who are sent on missions behind enemy lines. These are the “Rangers”. When sent on missions they do not wear the military uniform in order not to be detected by the enemy, but a special one by which they will not be mistaken for spies.
Two of these rangers, one of whom is a Mexican friend of ours, came last night from a humanitarian assignment. They narrated that there are a hundred of them, guided by 200 guerrillas who have penetrated the enemy lines sixty kilometers towards Cabanatuan where some 500 American war prisoners are being detained. After a brief battle all the Japanese soldiers were killed. They had a hard time convincing the prisoners that they had come to liberate, not to kill them. The prisoners could not believe them. Many of the prisoners had to be carried because of their weakness. Two of the rangers and twenty guerrillas were killed in the operations. The liberated prisoners were brought to hospitals in various towns of Pangasinan until they could be transported to their country.
No one can explain why there are hardly 500 prisoners in Cabanatuan when there were an estimated 10,000 of them in 1942. How many had died of hunger, sickness or torture, or brought out of the Philippines or died in Japanese boats sunk by American submarines or planes? We doubt if any satisfactory explanation could be made on this. All we have now was a cold fact, as sad as it was eloquent.
In September of last year, after the first American air attack on Manila, some 1,500 American prisoners were loaded in a boat for Formosa. The boat was sunk by American planes and only 600 were rescued. Such is the cruel and ironic tragedy of war.
Death this morning of Lee H. Shipman, Pvt 803rd Engr. – cause -beri-beri and malnutrition with bacillary dysentery – acute – confirmed by autopsy. (NB, this patient had been cooking and eating grass).
Japanese guards stopped three separate talks today. I think this was due to Americans who were not content with “bull sessions” and insisted on “speeches”. Mr. Kuboda censored the notes on a couple of them. I have not talked to him, and so have no idea what the reaction is.
Conference with Mr. Kuboda and talked over letter that I turned in regarding exchange of equipment and supplies with Camp #1 (Cabanatuan). I requested surgical instruments, liq. pet., a rice grinder, six large cuales, half soles far shoes and books.
The headaches are innumerable. – people urinating out of the windows of Wd #14 and Bldg #l3; straffing the Japanese garbage at their guard house and in the court thru the sally part; straffing the hog’s food (our garhage) constantly dealing with the Taiwans; stealing cigarettes, tobacco, shirts, rings, watches, pens, etc. and then selling to the Taiwans for quan; sending fool letters thru me, to the Japanese requesting tobacco, extra food, transfer to Santo Tomas, etc., etc. ad nauseum.
I hit the Jackpot Sat. I got three letters. One from Dixie Lee, Valree, and Mother. All the boys here got quite a kick out of Dixies letter. I wonder if the picture in Mothers letter is Bonnie Belle. If it is, she is the sweetest little thing and a cut little blonde. I love her so. News is good, and lots of troop movements. Maybe it won’t be formost longer.
Good News – Sigfried line crossed by Americans. Rumor has it that another 1000 men scheduled to leave hope. My legs are still swelling badly. I wish that there was something that could be done for them. Dr. Wallace here, is like all other medics-chisel & Prrak. I met this a.m. Dr. Wilson who came on the boat with us – Rumor has it, that our ration of fish, oil, & sugar has been increased. It is our first increase if it is true.
I now have Edema – my legs are swelling something terrible. They say that it is due to lack of proteins. We certainly are in need of that I sure hope I get a letter from my darlings soon. The one from Madget & C.C. really pepped me up. Well, Maybe it won’t be too long.
Well, I am in the dysentery ward with amoebic. What will happen next. Two more details went out of here. Some 400 men. Putnam & Cummings went. It – – – – – as though we will all go unless the Yanks & tanks do something quick. I got my first letter yesterday. It was from Madge & -—- dated Oct 7, 1943. Evidently Bonnie isn’t calling me Daddy either. Since she says that she looks like George. I do hope I’ll be able to see them soon.
Another month now started. We hope we will see something this month here. Another detail is supposed to go out this week they asked for volunteers, but our bunch just don’t respond to that sort of thing. Lt. Col. Engle heart again got another man, Capt Erick beat up without attempting to stop it. In feet he seems to uphold the J’s in it. I could shoot him with pleasure.
I sold mv pen last night for 200 P’s – have already given 100 to the men. Well it is worth it. They appreciate it. I saw a poor kid beat this a.m. and all because of one Lt. Col. Engle heart. He wouldn’t explain the missunderstanding to the Nip. If it had happened to me, I believe l would beat hell out of a yellow Lt Col ‘Nuf Sed‘. I hate these white J’s. They are actually worse than our hosts. We were railroaded over 20 P’s of our pay for welfare that would be ok ii‘ it went to E.M. but it is a racket for some officers to get on. Oh! well, we have to beat it. Someday all it will be over. I dreamed about my darlings again last nite. I am still hoping for a letter. Gave 10 P’s
each to Orta, Putnam, Watson, Mitchell, Patrick, and Gibbons. Our detail leaders today were a bunch of pricks. Capt. hope, & Capt. Moore Moore is just an ignorant farmer who plans to stay in ma army. God help our future generation with that type of officers. I hope the U. S. kicks all of us out for good. Then isn’t a man over here fit for a good army. Also this retirement for the army is the bank. I most do something about it if ever possible. The army is over paid and under worked.
We received our pkgs on the 25th. I got mine. It was the first real thing from home, and it really made me happy. It couldn’t have been better selected. I have enjoyed it all, and it made me think a lot of home. I could tell that we whole family had a hand in packing it. They’ll never know how much pleasure I got out of it. Now, I am sweating out a letter. I was hoping the pkg would have a picture or a note in it, but it said a lot in —–—–. Rumors are so good that I don’t see how it can be so long before we will be together again.