13th January 1945

When, the historians get around to studying the question whether this war was premeditated by Japan, they will be puzzled by the fact that Japan apparently started to prepare for it only when it was already lost. Yesterday the 12th January 1945, with the Americans- in the Marianas and the Philippines, the Japanese government announced the following five-point program for “immediate enforcement”:

1. Increased air defence

2. Increased munitions production

3. Increased food production

4. All-out mobilization

5. “Thorough turning of materials into fighting power”

The only policy — and it was only a corollary — that might not just as well have been formulated in 1941 was one to achieve regional self-sufficiency in Japan. The main islands have been divided into regions corresponding with military defense areas and from now on “defense and production will be managed inseparably from each other” within each region as far as possible.

All in all Japanese policy seems to be paralyzed. The Yomiuri today could think up nothing better than to compare the battle of Luzon to one of the numerous history-textbook clashes between Japan’s medieval warlords and to quote a poem of General Nogi, the conqueror of Port Arthur:

Why do we pray for luck in battle?

Impetuosity is the quality proper to warriors.

Fortune will smile upon us more when we are impetuous.

May the eight million wargods give us their divine protection.

It is all scarcely less unreal than the show we went to in the evening at a neighborhood theater, one of the few still open.

We went to see a southern seas revue which one of the Filipinos in Tokyo helped to direct. We purposely missed the first part of the program, a propaganda effort which, judging from the tail-end we caught, was very German-modern. The final tableau showed the deck of a battleship off Leyte; five sailors recited heroic verses to the responses of a chorus of chaste mermaids while later a fiery spirit or god, perched on the mainmast, exhorted them to victory. It was a revelation to find that the Tokyo audience could be just as apathetic as the Manila audience would have been; there was no applause and there was even uncomfortable laughter at the wrong places.

But neither was there any applause for the revue which was tolerably entertaining. The Philippine situation, as could have been expected, was the thin thread holding the various scenes together. References to Leyte, a little belated considering Lingayen, haunted the wheat-field comedy scene in central China, the charming Java scene where Nipponized Indonesians saw a fellow-villager off to the front, the Singapore open-air cafe scene with its electric light signs “Let Us Help the Filipinos”, the Burma air-raid shelter scene and its haunting songs under air-attack, and the final mass tableau with the Philippine “Sun and Stars” in the van (but there was no Japanese flag) and the chorus singing the song for the Creation of the New Philippines.

The Philippine scene itself was naturally the least satisfactory for us. An effort had been made to dress the girls in balintawak but it was disconcerting to note that they had long woolen underwear under the camisa; in general the effect of the costumes was more Mexican than Filipino. The faint plot seemed to revolve around a nurse.

Coming home by streetcar, we asked directions from the man next to us. He gave them and asked: “Are you going back to the Nonomiya apartments?” I asked him why he thought we were staying at the Nonomiya. He stared for a while and then explained lamely that most foreigners at that particular crossing wanted to go there. I hope he enjoyed the show.

December 2, 1944

Regular Saturday AM inspection. Called to see captain Nogi about 10:30 AM who accepted the “plan” but wished us to reduce amounts due to scarcity of supplies and inability to replace. For example, A.S.A. figured
34,000 tab. (5 gr.) for 761 patients. He thinks 15,000 adquate. He thinks – 1 mg. per day adequate therapy for B-1 deficiencies and wishes us to run an “experiment for 1 mo. using his method on ½ the cases and mine on the other half. This will start immediately.

Last hearing on duck case with Lt Col Trapnell. Gray (civ.) took them, Blough and Sgt Nicholson quanned them in Wd #17. Emergency tenko at 10:00 PM last night. Lt Carper. Sgt Rheinhardt and Pfc Lotspech ate at least one portion.

November 24, 1944

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.

November 22, 1944

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.

November 17, 1944

Attached three officers this morning and moved them into officers quarters. Major Raymond McKinley Williams, MC, who has been assisting in the Attending Surgeon’s office and will continue there. Major Edw. R. Wernitznig and Major Clinton Maupin, MC, are to be Asst Provost Marshalls.

Had a conference with Captain Nogi and reported immediate need for 6 bags of cement to repair stoves or 3 truck loads of clay to build new ones. This was also pointed out to QM Sgt Yamamoto when he was in the mess this morning. Captain Nogi accepted a biopsy from a suspected case of Hodgkins’ disease and will send it it to the Phil. Gen. Hosp. He will assign a sentry at any time to go with Med. Inspector’s clean-up detail when they have to police gutters along the wall. Captain Winship has put C. S. F. Mannry in charge of the detail and it is functioning well. His Asst. Captain Gochenour is unusually conscientious and in addition is doing a fine job with the diet kitchen. Today he made some excellent salads for group I and group II. The former pomelo and banana, the latter pomelo and coconut. This for about 55 patients on special diets. Captain Nasr obtained 120 #2 cans of evaporated milk and there are 25 men now on milk at the rate of 3 men per can instead  of 2/9 of a can per man.

There was an alert at about 11:00 AM but no activity – all clear in about an hour.

Appointed a court of inquiry to check on Captain Wermuth but am holding in abeyance until tomorrow as Major Peter Koster JAGD does not think it valid under conditions here.

Usual 8:00 PM staff meeting – all officers working hard and hospital running well. We are able to keep sufficient beds ahead to admit from draft as SIQ. Dengue continues apparently unabated but only 20-25% of the personnel here have mosquito nets.

90 patients stopped enroute to McKinley from Cabanatuan. 50 patients and 25 corps men are supposed to have gone there yesterday.

Major Wernitznig touted the area and was able to clear up several petty larceny cases.

Three 45 gallons cuales (cauldrons) were issued to the mess which helps with the cooking problem. There is still rice plundering again in the Japanese QM night before last. The Japanese QM Sgt shook down Bldg. #13 yesterday, found a small amount of rice and several charcoal burners. The Provost Marshalls are attempting to prohibit this and also trading -both are similar to enforcing national prohibition.

November 15, 1944

After staying on alert all night and up until 3:05 PM we  had “all clear”. (no air activity) The officers began to arise about 4:00 AM as the first 57 men of McKinley detail were to leave at 6:00 AM. After a baggage check, the first echelon left on time, followed by the second at 8:00 AM and the third about 10:45 AM. 148 patients, 3 doctors, 1 chaplain 1 cobbler, 1 tailor and 18 corpsmen left, dropping census to 2052. However as one ward has to be cleared it does not relieve congestion.

Complete rounds of hospital made in AM. Have a medical inspector and assistant and 6 men to constantly supervise sanitary conditions which are seemingly O.K. altho drainage is inadequate and washing facilities only fair.

Saw Mr Kuboda twice – requested 100 watt bulb for microscope (burned out), light in Bldg. # 13 at night because of stairs (refused). 45 gallon cauldrons from Cabanatuan as we could save wood. At present using ten 25 gallon cauldrons must cook thru twice for each meal.

About 7:30 PM was called to Japanese EM quarters where a soldier had urinated from second floor down onto high voltage wire and been electrocuted. They had given sulf. camphor and artificial respiration. I gave sulf. caffeine-Sod. Benzoate with Captain Nogi’s consent when he arrived. The artificial respiration was kept up about 45 minutes. I believe the man was instantly killed.

Transportation and diagnostic reports turned in this date.

Captain Robert Preston Taylor, (Chaplain. prot.) attached this date to replace Chaplain Brewster and moved into quarters.

November 8, 1944

In AM, moved 27 field officers from Bldg. #13 to #18 and sent 30 Las Pinas draft in exchange. This relieves some “strain” but much remains.

Three conferences with Japanese yesterday, one with Captain Nogi. They are increasing Captain Shaw’s draft to 148 patients, 15 Med Dept men, a tailor, and a total of 4 officers including Chaplain Brewster, Lt (JG) USN,
picked by name, and one doctor extra, to be picked by me. I have no eight balls on my staff and was in misery over the selection. Finally, I chose Lt Albert D. Serwald, USPH, whom Captain Shaw wished. This cut is difficult
as it reduces my 67 men to 49, seventeen of when are in the mess. I had already arranged to attach 18 pharmacists mates this morning, and now will have to request 18 more when this detail leaves.

Requested an increase in ration from Captain Nogi yesterday but was told they were doing the best they could.

My staff are working extremely hard – 6:15 AM to 8:00 PM. We have staff meeting at 8:00 PM. This is all on two small meals a day. Grain issue should be 300 gms. per man per day, averaged 278 gms last month. It was
270 gms the first two days this week, 251 gms the next two days and is now 280 gms per 2 days, but it is musty rice. Camote issue of 600 odd kilos is down 40%. Fish issue for 35 gms per man yesterday instead of the usual 25.

No pay to date, hence no commissary. We are using three patients in officers quan kitchen who wash dishes, sweep, scrub and take personal care of CO, for bed, lavendero, etc. But we can’t compensate them with food and money is valueless with the commissary. Two special prisoners of Japanese taken from ward #16 by MP’s. .

November 4, 1944

Altho woolen clothes were issued to the three groups of the draft yesterday, there is still no date of departure set. I requested that Com Hayes and his party move out of officer’s quarters and turn them over to my staff. This was somewhat embarrassing as no offer had been made. It was satisfactory with the Commander, altho several of his officers seemed to resent the move. When army equipment was brought here in 1942, the navy said this was Japanese property. But they resented that, when I said the same about beds, mattresses, etc. I moved them into Bldg. #5 which gave all of their junior officers a bunk and a mattress, while many Lt Cols of the army are still on the concrete.

Dr. Nogi called us in the afternoon for a conference and signing of the inventory. At that time I gave him a letter from Mr. Graybeal, a RC worker, who wishes to be sent to Santo Tomas.

Com Warner P. Portz had no comment to make about the mess, altho many others are still critical, all rumor and no fact to date. It is just a question of hunger. We are allowed 300 gms a day of grain (corn & rice). Last month it averaged 278 gms per man because the sacks weighed in short. At times small duty parties receive camotes from the Japanese and these are “quanned” about the compound, and immediately it is assumed they were “strafed” from the mess.

November 2, 1944

Things  are shaping up slowly but with this large draft there are many problems, innumerable people of all ranks stop me every 10 feet and wish to be relieved of the draft because of real or supposed physical disability,  wife in Santo Tomas, business interests, etc., or wish special duty as mess officer, etc. I would like to help them all but the Japanese are giving the orders and there are our patients to be protected.

Conference with Dr. Nogi today to sign for inventory of R.C. supplies and drugs. It was not complete and will be turned over later. He assigned Warrant Pharmacist Clarence Shearer who has been supply officer to remain as a technician and he will continue in supply.