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.


December 30, 1941

Ft. McKinley,

Command Post

 

Our division has been ordered to move to San Fernando, Pampanga. The general said that very heavy fighting continues on the northern front. Troops under Generals Capinpin, Stevens, Shalleck and Brower are fiercely resisting the enemy’s full-dress attack.

Meanwhile the enemy has increased intensity of his raids in Luzon. Local air force however has struck back with increased fury. The 11 a.m. communique from MacArthur’s headquarters said that a Filipino pilot and two American airmen show down eight planes in engagements over southern Luzon during the past few days. Cesar Basa of the Ateneo died in one of these raids. His plane was attacked by 50 Japs. (Cesar and I used to swim together.)

Tuned in on radio with Signal Corps boys. Japs seem to be gaining ground in all fronts. Hong Kong’s governor has surrendered. Japanese troops on Malay east coast are reported approaching the Kemmanan area, 225 miles from Singapore. Contact with Kuching, capital of Sarawak has been lost since last Wednesday. Tokyo radio claims they have not bombed Santo Domingo Church.

Just found out there are many Ateneo boys with our division. Among them are Gonzalo Gonzalez, Alex Albert, Fermin Fernando, Henry Burgos, Gregg Anonas, Bert Misa, Saturn Velasco and others. Will try to find out how they are if the general gives me permission. He always wants me to be near him with all his maps and plans. Yesterday he told me that in addition to my duties as aide, I was assigned to also write the history of our division.

Heard the 26th cavalry was annihilated in Pozzorubio. They charged against tanks and artillery. An eye witness claims he saw “headless riders charging onward.” Another said that some members of said unit “jumped at tanks, pried open their turrets and hurled grenades.” MacArthur awarded DSC’s to members of this brave unit. Most decorations were posthumous.

Our division observers reported huge columns of smoke rising into the sky around Pandacan. No information on the cause or source was available in command post this morning. Apparently the Japs are not paying much attention to Open City declaration. However the general said that when we move to Pampanga we shall not cross Manila to abide by provisions of Open City.

Reports received in command post this morning indicate that troops under Gen. Segundo are also moving to Pampanga. Japs are apparently entering Laguna preceded by strong aerial and tank formations. Several young Baguio cadets, recent graduates of the Academy, were reportedly killed in action in the beaches of Tayabas. Capt. Fusilero who was in Camarines said the Japs were well acquainted with the terrain and they carried accurate maps.

Can hear Col. Garcia shouting at truck drivers. He is ordering them to park the trucks under cover of trees. “Do you want us to be bombed?” he is telling the chauffeurs.

Officers of the division spend their spare time discussing about the convoy. Some think it will arrive in a week’s time. Others say it will be three weeks. Fred said “Oh, maybe two months:” and everybody branded him a “low-down pessimist.” Fred explained: “Don’t get excited, fellows. I was only fooling. I think it will be three months.” The chaplain told Fred to pipe down because he was not funny. I ventured the opinion that the convoy would be here in three days and everybody cheered me. Fred said: “What’s your reason for thinking three days?” I said it was not ‘reason’ but ‘intuition’. I also pointed out that Roosevelt said “Help is on the way.” “If it’s the family way,” said Fred, “it’ll take nine months.”

Now Fred’s got me doubting…….