November 27, 1944 — Monday

Another wet day. I met General Willoughby going to his quarters at 12:20 p.m. He told me that early this morning 3 a.m. three Japanese transport planes crash—landed on the beach south of Dulag, loaded with troops that were armed to their teeth. They had bombs, hand-grenades and small weapons. Our men thinking that it was one of our own planes, did not shoot until they realized that they were Japanese. They killed two-thirds and the rest escaped. They caught some at noon on road No. 1. This afternoon General Head Quarters issued a memorandum to all officers and men to be on the alert and to carry a firearm and a helmet. I sent for Major Gaviola Commanding Officer of the local constabulary and instructed him to post his men around the building ready to fire at the first indication of landing. I stayed all night up.


November 23, 1944 — Thursday

We had thanksgiving dinner. I invited General Willoughby to dine with us. Dinner was considerably delayed due to an air raid warning. Finally we decided to eat. With the help of a small light covered with a black cloth we disposed of the turkey & salad, caramel cake and pumpkin pie. At 9:45 p.m. the all clear signal was sounded. General Willoughby left and I took a hurried bath. At 10:30 p.m. while I was in bed I was startled by three explosions each one nearer. Suddenly we heard the whizzing sound of the bombs falling through space. I tried to dress but realizing the impending danger, I rushed to the staircase to go to the ground floor. My companions and I had scarcely reached the bottom steps when three explosions occurred almost simultaneously. They all fell less then 100 yards from our quarters. One hit a civilian’s house killing one and wounding five. The others fell on the tent occupied by the personnel of the enlisted men’s mess killing the Mess Sergeant and eight cooks. The other landed on an empty lot. After this raid we returned to bed and were rocked out of bed five times by earthquakes. Fortunately they were mild and of short duration.


February 1, 1942

The conference at USAFFE HQ presided by Col. R. Marshall G-4 that I attended addressed the acute food shortage of our Bataan troops.   Among others present in that conference were Lt. Col. Andres Soriano of San Miguel (CAD & asgd. w/G-4) and my friend Capt. Juan Panopio OSP (Res.) former Capt. of Pres. Yacht “Casiana” and now CO, M.S. Kolambugan, a freighter.  In that conference, it was decided that Q-112 escort M.S. Kolambugan break through enemy blockade under cover of darkness and sneak to Looc Cove, Batangas where a G-4 officer will deliver to us the foodstuff he procured. This mission is difficult as there are no aids to navigation and the approaches to Corregidor is blockaded.  After giving detailed instructions to Capt. Panopio and lending him my signalman, Q-112 with Kolambugan following shoved off Corregidor after sunset Jan. 30  darkenship, radio silence.  After passing the mine fields, I headed to Cavite coast hugging the coastline 2 miles off until we reached Looc Cove.

By prearranged signals, I contacted the G-4 Officer who turned out to be my townmate, Maj. Jose Ruedo ’27.  He directed us to a concealed anchorage where loading of rice and cattle started at once, continued the whole day of the 31st up to 1600 when 5,000 tons of rice and 300 heads of cattle were loaded aboard the M.S. Kolambugan.  In addition, Maj. Rueda gave me a gallon of pancit molo (native dumpling noodle soup) for Pres. Quezon. We left Looc Cove at 2000 tracing back our former route. The moon was bright and about midnight, my lookout reported seeing the snorkel of an unidentified sub, confirmed by my Exo, Lt. Gomez.  I signaled the Kolambugan what to do, sped to the reported location and dropped four dept charges, after which Q-112 and M.S. Kolambugan resumed  course to Corregidor arriving thereat 0700 today.  Col. Marshall and Lt. Col. Soriano were so glad to welcome us back bring food stuff whose weight is equivalent in gold for our starving Bataan troops.

Later, I proceeded to the Lateral of the Quezon Family to deliver Maj. Rueda’s pancit molo.  Mrs. Quezon was delighted saying it is the favorite soup of her husband. Mrs. Quezon brought me before the Pres. who was with Col. Charles Willoughby G-2. After thanking me for the pancit molo, Quezon resumed his talk with G-2. He seemed upset that no reinforcement was coming. I heard him say that America is giving more priority to England and Europe, reason we have no reinforcement.  “Puñeta”, he exclaimed, “how typically American to writhe in anguish over a distant cousin (England) while a daughter (Philippines) is being raped in the backroom”.


January 26, 1942

HQ, MIS

Bataan

 

Maj. Gen. Basilio Valdes and Major Carlos Romulo dropped at our Command Post this morning. Romulo said they would go to the command posts of Generals Lim and Segundo. They want to see “a little bit of action”.

They got a bit of it when they docked at Cabcaben this morning. The Japs bombed the docks again just when they were jumping out of the torpedo boat.

The General informed Romulo and Valdes that snipers have penetrated lines of Segundo. He told them to proceed with caution. I accompanied Valdes and Romulo down the steep hill leading to Base Camp.

We walked through a small trail skirting the side of a hill, crossed a narrow stream by jumping on boulders amid the stream so as not to get our shoes wet.

Valdes and Romulo rode in a Command Car. They had the driver put the top down so they can watch planes. Japs generally strafe cars in Bataan roads. I told them they would get a lot of dust in their faces. Valdes said: “Never mind the dust. What counts are the bullets.”

Romulo shook my hands before riding the command car and then he looked at the hill we had just descended. “Quite steep,” he said. “Quite steep.” I felt like saying “STEEPENDOUS.”

 

(later)

 

Col. Willoughby was just here. He talked with the general. He was wearing a doughboy’s cap. I thanked him for the uniform. In fact, he noticed I was wearing it.

Raid from three to six this morning. Saw some of the wounded piled on trucks being rushed to field hospital. Many died.

 

(later)

 

Missing mama terribly. Prayed for her.


January 21, 1942

Corregidor

President Manuel Quezon is sick again. He coughed many times while I talked to him. He was in bed when I submitted report of the General regarding political movements in Manila. He did not read it.

The President looked pale. Marked change in his countenance since I last had breakfast with his family. The damp air of the tunnel and the poor food in Corregidor were evidently straining his health.

He asked me about conditions in Bataan –food, health of boys, intensity of fighting. He was thinking of the hardships being endured by the men in Bataan.

He also said he heard reports that some sort of friction exists between Filipinos and American. “How true is that?”

The President’s room was just a make-shift affair of six-by-five meters in one of the corridors of the tunnel. He was sharing discomfort of the troops in Corregidor.

The President’s stenographer said “The Castila got sick again because he was wet in the rain.” Quezon visited artillery men in coast batteries of Rock and he personally distributed cigars to the boys. He was caught by the rain but he did not seek shelter.

Mrs. Quezon is slightly thinner. She says she cannot sleep well at night because her son who sleeps in the upper deck of her bed “moves too much.”

Mrs. Quezon showed great concern over hardships suffered by boys in Bataan. She said she was proud of the great stories of heroism of Filipino troops in Bataan. “The whole world,” she said “is talking about it.”

The President’s wife showed me the fuse of the first bomb dropped by Japs in Baguio on Dec. 8, 1941. “I’m keeping this,” she said in her slow, calm manner, “because this is historical.”

She said she was in Baguio when Japs first bombed Philippines. “We thought the planes flying were U.S.,” she said.

Mrs. Quezon told me to send some of our operatives to Arayat to find out what has happened to her farm. I said there were men in Arayat now looking into the matter.

Mrs. Quezon recounted how she and her family went to Corregidor, how they crossed Manila Bay and how an air-raid signal was sounded in the City when their boat left Manila.

She told me to see her before I leave for Bataan because she had some canned stuff for me.

Mrs. Quezon spends her time in the Rock reading, sewing, visiting some of the sick and praying. I think she prays most of the time. She is a very holy woman.

Fr. Ortiz, the chaplain in the Rock, said: “I think she’s a saint. I shall recommend her for canonization.”

(later)

Corregidor

2 p.m.

Reported to Col. Charles Willoughby, Chief of G-2 section, MacArthur’s staff. Willoughby is author of famous book Maneuvers in War. He is handsome, young, intelligent, pleasing, gentlemanly officer. He greeted me in Spanish: “Como estas amigo?”

Submitted to him reports of Intelligence Service in Bataan (I am beginning to feel like a high class messenger).

Willoughby promised to get a uniform for me. I told him I only had one. I think he believed me because I looked very dirty and my shirt was covered with the clay of Bataan.

Willoughby’s desk was littered with maps and papers. He evidently has a lot of work. A few meters behind is MacArthur’s desk and to MacArthur’s right is Gen. Sutherland’s. Sutherland is Mac’s chief of staff.

While I was waiting for papers Willoughby wants delivered to Gen. de Jesus, I kept on watching movements of MacArthur.

The USAFFE head has a dynamic personality. He is also handsome and dignified-looking. He was holding his cane with a silver knob and had on his Pershing cap.

MacArthur was talking to Sutherland from his desk. I could not hear what they were talking about but MacArthur had a serious expression on his face. Sutherland was listening attentively.

After a while, MacArthur stood up, Sutherland remained seated and MacArthur continued talking rapidly. Then MacArthur left office in direction of main lateral. MacArthur was wearing his khaki field uniform, khaki shirt and pants and his usual pershing cap. When MacArthur passed by desk of other officer nobody stood up. In Corregidor, the General has apparently dispensed with formalities of standing at attention and saluting.

After MacArthur left. I saw Major Romulo arriving. Romulo went straight to his desk beside Col. Diller and Capt. Sauer of the Press Section. He placed a paper in his typewriter and then he started talking to Col. Diller. Romulo must have told something funny to Diller because Diller started to laugh and Romulo also laughed. Then Romulo began typing.

When Mr. Romulo saw me, he asked me to see him after Willougby. Romulo wanted to know what reports our operatives had regarding Manila. He told me to send another fellow to contact his family. He gave me the address of his secretary who lives near Santo Tomas. “Tell your agent,” he said, “to ask this man about ‘Serapia’ and ‘fortune’ and other names. I was wondering why ‘Serapia’ when his wife’s name is Viriginia. He said he and his wife have code names. “Serapia,” he said “stands for Virgina.”

I ate lunch with Mr. Romulo. He said that after Bataan, he would build the new Herald at the grounds of the Jap-owned BBB. He promised to give me two cans of Tuna fish, “fresh from Argentina,” he joked. He said he was going over to Bataan “to take a look at the front.”

(later)

Corregidor

12 midnight

Filipino barracks

Played dice. Lost. Played black-jack. Lost. Played checkers. Lost. Capt. Salientes said: “That’s OK, Phil, maybe you are lucky in love.” I wonder.

Sat on stairs of barracks chattering with Sal. Filipino barracks is out in the open, made of ‘sawali’ and faces Bataan.

Sal was recalling his cadet days in West Point Academy. He still wears his class ring. He said “Nothing like school days in America.”

We talked of everything on earth and finally of the convoy. All conversation in Bataan and Corregidor ends up in the convoy. He says he thinks “it’s somewhere in Australia now.”

Beautiful evening. Plenty of stars. He and I were homesick.

I asked him about Corregidor defenses. He said they were very strong. “If Bataan does not fall,” he explained, “Corregidor cannot be attacked except by landing parties from Cavite.”

He said my brother Vic gave him a ride on New Year’s eve. “I saw a Buick,” he said. “I asked for a lift and it was your brother, celebrating New Year’s Eve.”

I wonder how Vic is. I guess he is missing me. Ever since we were kids we bunked in the same room.

G. night.


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 8, 1942

Corregidor

Malinta Tunnel

I don’t like this place. Yes, it’s safer and bombproof but the air is damp and stuffy. Give me the cool mountain breezes and the starlit skies of Bataan anytime.

The general has been relieved of his command. He has been assigned to a more important, delicate and interesting job. He will be made head of the Military Intelligence Service.

His main mission will be to secure information regarding the enemy in the occupied regions of Luzon. The service will be under the G-2 section of MacArthur’s staff.

Corregidor is a wreck. The docks have been bombed and rebombed. The chapel is partially destroyed and nothing remains but the cross and the altar. The area around the Post Exchange has been leveled by fires due to incendiary bombs and the cinema house has been razed to the ground.

In the little harbor, I saw the Casiana lying quietly under the water with only the insignia of the Commonwealth Government afloat. Had many happy hours in the good old days in the presidential luxury [yacht]. That’s where I first met Morita when she arrived from the States.

First person I saw this morning was Vice President Sergio Osmeña. He wore a white “cerrada” and he had black shoes. He looked thin, bored and worried. When he saw me he asked: “When did you arrive?” I said “Just now, sir with Gen. de Jesus and Major Lamberto Javallera.”

The Vice President asked: “How is it in Bataan? Is it safe? I am thinking of going there. When is the best time?”

I told the Vice President that the best time to cross the Bay would be either early in the morning or late at night to avoid enemy raiders.

General Basilio Valdes then arrived. He was carrying a towel and a piece of soap. The general had just taken a bath. He said: “To take a bath here, you have to go out of the tunnel.” Toilets in Corregidor are out in the open.

The general was anxious to hear news about the boys in Bataan and he told me to give his regards to several of his friends in the front.

“Who are you with?” he asked.

“With Gen. de Jesus, sir.”

“Where is he now?”

“Conferring with Col. Willoughby, sir.”

“Tell him to see me before he leaves.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have you taken your breakfast?”

“I had coffee, sir in the gunboat. When we were crossing the Bay, a Navy gunboat stopped us, sir. The Captain said it was not safe to approach Corregidor very early because the coast artillery might fire at our launch. So he invited us to take coffee with him and that was perfectly all right with the general and I because we were not able to take our dinner last night.”

In the breakfast table, I saw Major Carlos Romulo and Lt. Col. Manuel Nieto, aide to President Quezon. Romulo was growing a small moustache, a poor imitation of Adolf’s. He was slightly thinner and his eyes showed lack of sleep.

He told me to find out if his eldest son, Carlos Jr., was in Bataan. “If he is there,” he pointed out, “he is probably with Gregg Anonas.”

I assured Mr. Romulo that I would do my best to look for Baby although I don’t think he is with Gregg’s bunch because I would have seen him.

Romulo said that he was sick and tired of the canned stuff in Corregidor and that he misses the “pesa” and “adobo” he used to eat at our home and with the Vasquez family.

He also told me that before he left for Corregidor he called up my dad and told him to take care of his family. “I wonder how they all are in Manila,” he said.

He said he heard that my general was going to head the Military Intelligence Service. “In that case,” he said, “you are going to have operatives in Manila. Could you arrange to have a man find out how my family is?”

I promised Mr. Romulo that I would attend to that matter personally if the general takes me along with him. “If I remain with the 51st, I won’t be able to find out for you.”

Mr. Romulo was in the press section of MacArthur’s staff under Col. Diller. I think he should be made chief of that section because he has the most experience in propaganda.

He told me he was busy censoring the news reports of the foreign correspondents in Bataan and Corregidor and writing the scripts for the Voice of Freedom everyday.

After breakfast, Col. Nieto brought me to the President’s lateral. In one corner, I saw Mrs. Quezon seated on a bench between Dr. Cruz and Fr. Pacifico Ortiz S.J. Mrs. Quezon embraced me and she’d wanted to know how I was and if life in Bataan was very hard because of the bombings. Fr. Ortiz who was my logic professor in the Ateneo said: “I’m glad to see you, Phil.”

Mrs. Quezon brought me to President Quezon. The President was wearing a white shirt and white riding pants, a striking contrast to the khaki of the soldiers in the Rock. He was carrying a short whip. He looked thin but smart and snappy. The President said that he was glad to see me fighting for my country. He said: “I was in Bataan too during the revolution as an aide to Gen. Mascardo. I know every nook and corner of that place. I got malaria there too.”

Fr. Ortiz then brought me to a small altar in the President’s lateral. “Better pray first and give thanks,” he said. While I was praying, Nonong Quezon came from behind and he slipped a couple of chewing gum packages in my pocket. Then Nonong obliged me with a comb, soap and towel, “to look decent,” he said. And then he cracked: “Sorry, I can’t lend you my toothbrush.” I retorted: “I didn’t know you had one.”

That was the first time I looked in a mirror since Silang. I guess I must have been very dirty because Ah Dong, the President’s valet, asked me if I wanted to take a bath. The people in Corregidor are all very neatly dressed and their uniforms are well pressed. There is no dust, no fighting here in Corregidor. Chinese servants serve the officers during meal time. There are electric lights, fans and even refrigerators. Each and every officer has a decent bed with cushions and mattresses. I even noticed that the shoes of the officers here were shiny. In the main entrance of the tunnel, they even have a barber shop and near the hospital lateral is a library. In some of the empty tables, I saw several officers and nurses playing cards. Outside the tunnel, on the benches overlooking Manila Bay, I noticed several lovebirds talking in whispers. There is no war here in Corregidor except for occasional bombardments at noontime. Japs are at present concentrating forces in Bataan. I suppose they’ll attack this place afterwards.

Next person I saw was Baby Quezon. She was wearing blue slacks and it made her look sleek. “I thought you remained in Manila,” she said. Then came Nini. She was neatly fixed up, the usual pigtails and an ugly looking pimple on her nose. She said Miss Labrador, the nurse, woke her up and said that I was around but that she thought it was just a joke. Both girls asked me to join them for breakfast and so I had a second breakfast. During the breakfast, Agatona, Mrs. Quezon’s maid came along and she asked me to give a letter to her cousin in Bataan and she pinned a miraculous medal on me. Nini then gave me a crucifix and Fr. Ortiz blessed it.

At about noontime, I walked with Nini to the hospital lateral. Then suddenly the lights went out. The tunnel walls began to shake. Japs were dropping 1000 pounders. Air inside tunnel was pressing against the lungs. More bombs dropped. Detonation reverberates louder in tunnel than outside. Nurses started mumbling prayers. Salvos of AA guns shook cement under our feet. Then I saw a flashlight. It was Mrs. Quezon. She was looking for her children. Nini said: “We are here mama.” Mrs. Quezon was afraid Nini and Baby were out in the open and felt relieved. There we were —Mrs. Quezon, Nini and I— cramped between soldiers and laborers who rushed inside the tunnel when the raid started. It was the equality of war. Then came the parade of the wounded. Filipino soldiers were rushed in on stretchers. There were cries of pain. Many were unconscious. I saw Fr. Ortiz giving blessings, hearing last minute confessions. He was here, there, everywhere. I saw an American whose leg was covered with blood being rushed to the medical department. Gen. Valdes who is an expert surgeon was busy assisting the wounded. The raid continued. I tried to remain cool even as the tunnel shook with the detonation of bombs and the firing of AA guns, but inside I was getting afraid. I kept telling myself it is safer in the tunnel, not like in Bataan. But I guess fear is contagious and there something about the tunnel that makes one feel asphyxiated.

After the raid, everybody started talking about the convoy. Officers were asking: “When will it arrive?” Some said” “By the end of the month.” But Mr. Romulo whispered authoritatively that he had inside information “the convoy is very near and may be here in a week’s time but keep that under your hat, pssst.”

It’s ten o’clock now. I guess it’s time to sleep. I can see Justice Abad Santos putting on his pajamas right now and Vice President Sergio Osmeña is fixing his bed. I’m writing this on the upper deck and Fr. Ortiz is praying below me. He says its time to go to bed.

We are leaving for Bataan early tomorrow.


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.