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.
Last night about 8:15 three men were seen to crawl under Bldg. #13 by a corps man. Captain Wallace (OD), Captain Bruce and Nasr and myself, investigated and put guards on #13, held emergency tenko and Col Trapnell and Captain Wallace went under the Bldg. A civilian named Gray was missing on the count. Col Trapnell and Captain Wallace found a bucket and many duck feathers and duck heads under the Bldg. Six ducks from the Japanese duck pond have been missing the last two days.
Examination this morning forced a showdown with Gray and he admitted to taking three ducks on the 28th, and three more the 25th or 26th and “quaning” them an Wd #17. I admitted him to Wd #17 until disposition of
the case. The Japanese sentries permitted the search, and Mr. Kuboda came up last night, so I notified him this morning and am waiting for further instructions.
Conference with-Captain Nogi yesterday and he took up the “plan” which I had submitted as to how long the present supply of drugs would last the 761 patients at Bilibid, Cabanatuan and Ft McKinley. Also he wished to know total number of RC boxes necessary to box all medicines from all sources in Bilibid. This report is out this date.
Request for X’mas carols and mass preparatory to X’mas sent in today. 118 individual mosquito nets issued – 51 for wards, other “sabis”.
Had a staff meeting and party at 8:00 PM in honor of the day. Everyone well pleased with dinner. – lugao with corn, mongo beans stew, gabi and camote pudding flavored with eugenol.
Sgt Perkins and Pvt Laudin admitted from Ft Drum via Ft Mills with beri-beri and malnutrition.They report bay shows over 45 hulls but no active ships.
Working on duck case still. Monthly sanitary report is being framed. Captain Brennon, SLQ, with dengue. Major Houghton and Lt Barrett, USN, to relieve him pro temp. on Wd #3. Late this afternoon called to Japanese office where S Sgt Sato stated that Lt Oyogi(QM) wanted 25 khaki shirts, 25 pistol belts, and 20 field caps immediately. After some dickering, he gave me 20 short sleeved P.A. shirts for bargaining and promised rice or
tobacco or other produce soon. All was procured by 6:00 PM. Had a talk in quarters in the evening by a Captain telling of all the gifts, citations. etc. which we are suppose to receive.
One pkg. Manila whites @ P1.35 ea. issued by commissary. Also 5 bulbs garlic and l prem can of salt per man. This amounted to 25 sacks of salt for issue and 25 more were given to the mess and perhaps there will be another 8 sacks left over.
Talked with Hr. Kuboda who promised to try for some more mosquito nets for compound. Also requesting exchange instruments from Cabanatuan and some of their books.
There is another batch of mail being censored, some going back to 1942. This is last of the Cabanatuan lot.
Over 4000 letters are being censored and 1000 were distributed today. I received one of June 16, 1944, indicating my uncle’s death.
Captain Nogi came in and wanted a microscope, 6 bed pans and 6 urinals for McKinley. He also wanted 5 scalpels but changed his mind on the latter. He agreed to allow superflous equipment for exchange between Bilibid and Cabanatuan.
Emergency tenko at 7:15 PM when alarm bell went off but apparently due to a cat on the wires.
Front of stoves caved in this morning. This was inevitable and have spoken to Japanese about 3 times. They report that they have no cement but will try to bring in a couple of truck-loads of clay with which we can rebuild stoves.
Death last night, Robert N. Null, S Sgt USMC, ante mortem diagnosis – lymphoblastoms (a biopsy of a node sent to Phil. Gen last week). Post-mortem diag-Questionable carc.-head of pancreas. Burial was at Del Monte Cemetery, Chaplain Taylor officiating. The body was taken out by push-cart.
No patients fran Cabanatuan altho the group on the 20th implied more would come today schedules for Ft. McKinley. I regret that they didn’t since they might have brought some more cassava. We have had the latter fried the last two days which is a substantial adjunct to a deficient diet but are now out again.
Still on alert. Bldg. #18 personnel moved to Bldg. #11 this morning by Japanese order as they are moving Japanese personnel in #18 and requested 70 wooden beds. Move consumated with minimum of disturbance.
Conference with Captain Nogi who wishes a plan showing how long present supply of medicine will last based on patient census of october 31/44 for all patients in Bilibid and at Cabanatuan, and McKinley with a break-down according to disease classification as of that date.
23 mattresses given to field officers in Bldg. #1. There are 52 Lt Cols there, and over a hundred total. All clear at 2:30 PM.
Awakened by Mr. Schwizer at 5:00 AM as the detail plans were changed and they were to leave at 6:00 AM. After seeing detail off, after tenko, things were again quiet. Many people had been talking to friends on the detail who reported bombing of Cabanatuan airport yesterday, considerable activity on raids and food holding up at Camp #1 with usual 3 meals a day.
Checked special diets this morning, making a survey, personally of all wards. We have 30 now on special diet of 3 small rice meals a day instead of 2 large ones, with added milk, fruit, sugar and other items when issued. Few others have a supplementary milk ration – milk issued at rate of three men per 2 can per day and we have enough for another 60 days at present which is better than at any time here and is due to Captain Nasr’s diplomatic contact with the Japanese QM.
Talked with Mr. Kuboda a minute and he okayed protestant mid-week service.