January 19, 1942 – Monday

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Got up at 6 a.m. Shaved & dressed. Took launch Baler at 7 a.m. for Cabcaben. Arrived there 7:30 a.m. Lieutenant Monsod aide to General Francisco & Major Javallera came to meet us. Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Nieto, and Major Romulo were with me. We took the command car and proceed to General Francisco’s Command Post we had breakfast there. Then we left on our inspection tour.

The first place I inspected was the Philippine Constabulary collecting station. I saw Colonel Luna and all the other Medical Officers with him. It is the best place of all I have been. Nice clean running water; good large trees which serve the double purpose of shade from the sun and from enemy airplanes.

From there I visited the Headquarters of the Philippine Army which is just across the road. Very nice and quiet place also. Well protected from Airplane attacks. I discussed some matters with them. I saw all the officers there. The morale is excellent, the spirit is high.

They were all anxious to know how soon would the help come. I told them that I have the pre-sentiment, the hunch, that I will return to Manila at the end of February this year.

It was already 11:20 a.m., so we decided to have luncheon at Colonel Luna’s place. After luncheon we proceeded on our tour of inspection. The first Command Post. we stopped was General Selleck’s. He was reconnoitering. This is the second time I missed him.

Then we went to General Segundo’s Command Post. near Morong. It is situated a few kilometers from Morong, on the side of the mountain. We had to do some steep climbing to reach his place. It was about 2:30 p.m. We found him eating his luncheon as he had just returned from the battle line. He explained to us the situation. “During the morning”, he said “a group of about 300 Japanese tried to make a landing in the beach. Our artillery saw it and let them have a taste of our shells. They ran away leaving about 150 dead and their guns”. At 3 p.m. he took us to his main battle line. We reached our line which was in the south-side of the Morong river. I visited all the machine gun nests and spoke to the boys. The morale was excellent. They were anxious to see the enemy and let him have it. Then we climbed the hill and saw our batteries of 75mm and 155mm guns. I spoke to Lieutenant Menties an American in command of the batteries. He said that he would stick to his gun alive or dead and “Believe me”, he added “when this baby (155) starts firing someone is going to get hurt.”

As I was afraid to be caught by darkness in the mountain road, we returned to General Segundo’s Command Post, dropped him at the entrance and the proceeded to General Steven’s Command Post at Km. 148, Pilar Bagac Road Trail 7, 3 Km. South to the Interior. We arrived there 5 minutes after a Japanese plane had circled the place and dropped 4 bombs. No damage done, only two telephone wires cut. No casualties. I saw him, Major Velasquez, Captain Papa, and other officers. I did not see General Bluemel as I had been informed that he had left with his division for the main battle line at Abucay.

We proceeded then to General Capinpin’s Command Post at Guitol — six kms to the interior of Balanga. We had to cross an extensive sugar cane field. After we had driven about ten minute, some Filipino soldiers yelled at us: “Be careful for snipers.” I paid no attention. A little farther we were stopped by an American soldier, who warned us that some snipers had infiltrated our lines and were shooting from the sugar cane. I saw some Philippine Army soldiers and one officer waiting. I asked them what they were doing and they replied that they were waiting for a truck to take them to General Capinpin’s place. I told them to stand on the running boards of my command car and shoot at the first sign of snipers. After a few minutes my guide (2nd Lieutenant Subido) said “there is the entrance to General Capinpin’s Command Post”. I jumped out of the car and suddenly I saw a large number of our soldiers attacking from my left. Unknowingly, I was standing two yards in front of a machine gun. The gunner said “Sir, please move away, I am going to start shooting.” Then firing came from our right. I then realized that we had been caught between 2 firing lines. I jumped back into the car, and my guide suggested that we escape through a back road leading to Balanga. We did. Nieto and I held our pistols in our hands ready to shoot in case of necessity. We were able to leave unhurt from that danger.

Earlier, in the afternoon, I had been informed that Lieutenant Primitivo San Agustin had been wounded, so I went to Limay where Hospital N-1 is located. I found that he was admitted on January 6, and left on January 12. No one could inform me of his disposition. I concluded that he had been transferred. As I was in the Limay Hospital, the ambulance arrived bringing Colonel Hudson, who had been wounded at Guitol, just in the place where we had been standing. He was bleeding profusely from his side. We then returned to General Francisco’s Command Post arriving there at 11:15 p.m. It is very hard to drive in those roads at night with black-out lights. The roads are not wide and the traffic is tremendously heavy.

We had dinner at 11:30 p.m. and then we went to bed. I was so tired that I just washed my face and hands and went to sleep.


January 15, 1942

Ignorance is really bliss. Walked right into the American concentration camp in Santo Tomas, without knowing the Japanese prohibited such visits. Saw old friends: Sam Cronin of the Associated Press, Arthur Evans, Duggleby, Dr. Leach, Turner, Stevens, Sam Gaches, Calhoun, Farnsworth, Stewart, Grove, and Duckworth. They ganged around me anxious for news, news, news. “How’s Bataan?” “Corregidor?” “What about the convoy?” “How about food, clothing?“ “How’re the Japanese treating the Filipinos?“ “How’re you? “How’s everybody?” “How long do you think it will last?“ “Oh very short, of course.” “It’ll be over in a minute when the convoy gets here.” “They just got us by surprise but when they wake up back home, you’ll see.” Americans will always be Americans. Concentration camps can’t dampen their spirits. A flight of bombers droned high above, like silver specks. “They might be U.S. planes!” remarked a young lad.

The food and finance committees of the concentration camp have ₱1,000,000 with which to purchase supplies. Dr. Brusselle is in charge for the Red Cross. The Red Cross has six weeks supply. They want to make arrangements with the Japanese regarding an appeal to the United States or Roosevelt or Red Cross for essential food. I mentioned this point to Mr. Noya and he thinks the Japanese Army authorities will not consent. “That’ll be beneath their dignity,” he opined. He gave me a friendly advice: “Avoid dealing with the Americans in the camp.” He implied something about “hostile act.”

Had to report the number of trucks, jitneys, cars, gasoline, and oil NARIC has in stock and how many and how much will be needed for its operation, to secure the necessary permits and passes from the Army authorities.

Vic said he saw our Buick parked near Villamor Hall. It’s now in the hands of the Navy. “I felt like stealing our car,” he said. “It was just parked there without a chauffeur.” Only in war can absurdities like stealing your own car occur.


January 11, 1942 -Sunday

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Got up at 7:30 a.m., dressed with the same wet clothes and wet shoes, took breakfast and proceeded on my journey of inspection of the front. We drove South to Mariveles, and went to the camp of Philippine Army Headquarters ten kilometers north of Mariveles hidden under a forest. I talked to the officers who met me at the road. As I was talking with them 3 Japanese planes arrived and flew over us. We ordered all officers and men to remain quiet under the trees so as not to attract their attention. A few minutes later we heard the Anti-aircraft guns in action in Mariveles, followed by the explosions of the bombs dropped there. Half an hour later, I proceeded. I visited the Command Post of Colonel Castañeda in the interior of the forest. While we were talking to him, 3 Japanese planes flew very low, quite close to the tree tops. We remained very quiet. Colonel Castañeda pointed out a small foxhole to me just in front of me. “Sir”, he said, “jump in if necessary”. The planes continued.

From Colonel Castañeda’s post we went to General Selleck’s Command Post. It was being installed and arranged. I warned the men not to cut too many branches from the trees as that would expose their situation to the enemy. I told them to cut the under-brush only. We saw Colonel Salvador Reyes.

We missed the Command Post of General Steven’s 71st Division which we passed because General Francisco’s aide was not familiar with the Command Post. The road from Mariveles to Bagac is mountainous and beautiful. The dust was terrible. I passed General Wainwright’s Command Post. I was informed that he was out on inspection. When we were near Balanga we saw a Philippine Army car on the road. I asked the driver what he was doing and he informed us that he was pumping his tire. He warned us to be careful as the Japanese were bombarding the airfield at the entrance of Balanga. As we reached the landing field which is close to the road we saw eight big craters in the runway. We believed that we were safe and continued to Balanga two kilometers away. No sooner had we stopped our car to speak to the Captain commanding the Philippine Constabulary at Bataan, when a bomb dropped nearby. We rushed to a nearby house for shelter. Two thirds of the town has been destroyed by incendiary and demolition bombs. A few minutes later we decided to proceed to Limay. As we started, several bombs fell again near the place. Instead of stopping we rushed out of the town. We saw several U.S. army cars hiding under trees waiting for that plane to leave.

We reached Limay where the U.S. Army Field Hospital is. We proceeded to Lamao Point where our off-shore patrol is stationed, arriving at 2:30 p.m. Captain Jurado prepared an impromptu luncheon with tinapa of Bangus and rice. At 4:30 p.m. our launch Baler arrived and we left for Corregidor. On our way back we suddenly heard Anti Aircraft gun shots. I looked up and saw a solitary Japanese plane flying very high en route to Manila. How I envied that Japanese pilot. We arrived Corregidor at 5:30 p.m.


December 22, 1941

I had lunch at USAFFE HQ today with my friend, Sid Huff, and was surprised about his conversion from Lt. (SG) USN to Major US Army now Aide to Gen. MacArthur.  The latest info he gave me is about an armada of Japanese invasion ships heading for Lingayen Gulf.  Another enemy group is heading towards eastern Luzon.  Apparently, the earlier reported enemy landings in Aparri, Vigan, Legaspi and Davao were diversionary recon in force.

I also talked with Ens. George Cox, CO PT 41 on duty when S.S. Corregidor sunk five days ago.  He said PT 41 was leading the ill fated ship at the channel but suddenly, all at once, the S.S. Corregidor veered course towards the minefields and his efforts to stop her were to no avail.  There was a loud explosion after hitting a mine, the ship sank so fast virtually all aboard went with her including the ship captain. There were very few survivors.

The newly activated 1st Regular Div. reported to South Luzon Force under Gen. Parker two days ago.  Also, effective Dec. 20, all Div. Commanders who are not generals were promoted to Brig. Generals which included Fidel Segundo, Mateo Capinpin, Guy O. Fort and Luther Stevens — all PA Officers.

Camp Murphy is crowded with hundreds of civilian volunteers –drivers, students, laborers, etc– for the USAFFE.  I am told the same is happening in all mobilization centers, a commendable manifestation of willingness to fight against the invaders. Seeing many so eager and enthusiastic makes me proud of our people.

Late in the afternoon, the 1st Q-Boat Squadron got an “Alert Order” for a possible mission whose details are being spelled out.  With our training and preparations, I personally feel we are ready to perform whatever it will be.


November 17, 1941

The special Command and Gen. Staff Course (CGSC) in Baguio City that started last Sept. 1, graduated its students of Senior Army O’s for assgmnts. to the ten Divisions being moblilized, after a two and a half months schooling conducted by USA O’s Cols. Clifford Bluemel as Comdt., assisted by Clyde Selleck, William E. Brougher  and Albert M. Jones.

As of this date, the following O’s are assigned to their respective Divisions as Div. Commanders and Div. Chief of Staffs:

Division             Division Commander                      Div.  

                                                                                   Chief of Staff                    

11th        Col. William Brougher, USA    Col. Juan Moran, PA

21st        Col. Mateo Capinpin, PA       Col. Nemesio Catalan,

PA

31st        Col. Clifford Bluemel, USA    Col. Pastor Martelino,

PA

41st        B/Gen. Vicente Lim, PA  Lt. Col. Tomas Domaoal,

PA

51st       Col. Albert Jones, USA   Lt. Col. Ricardo Poblete,

PA

61st       Col. Bradford G. Chenoweth, USA  Col. Juan

Quimbo, PA

71st      Col. Clyde A. Selleck, USA    Col. Salvador Reyes,

PA

81st      Col. Guy O. Fort, PA          Lt. Col. Calixto Duque, PA

91st      Col. Luther R. Stevens, PA  Lt. Col. Jaime

Velasquez, PA

101st   Col. Joseph Vachon, USA  Col. Eustaquio Baclig, PA


August 21, 1941

Our Q-Boat tactical training, AA firing drone targets towed by airplanes is going on as scheduled. All hands (Os & EMs) are required to man the .40 Cal. AA guns and fire like when we were at PMA during rifle markmanships. OSP policy is all hands are supposed to be capable of being AA gun crew members. AA exercises will last during the week followed by depth charge firing next week.

The newly established Command and Gen. Staff School (CGSS) whose Commandant is Col. Clifford Bluemel USA is scheduled to open come Sept. 1 in Baguio.  Senior O’s capable of being Division Comdrs. and Div. Staff are being selected by a Board to undergo training in this School.  So far, the following O’s have orders to attend the CGSS:  B/Gen Vicente Lim; Cols. Mateo Capinpin; Fidel Segundo; Col. Luther R. Stevens; Col. Guy O. Fort; Salvador F. Reyes; Juan C. Quimbo; Eustaquio Baclig; Pastor Martelino (our PMA Supe); Bradford Chenoweth; and Joseph Vachon.

Manila news states that in France, Vichy arrested 5,000 Jews  and sent them to the Drancy Concentration Camp that opened  yesterdat.  On the USSR front, the Soviets blow up the Dneiper Dam to halt further German advances