2 additional patients transferred to Santo Tomas, 1 Medical Department Sgt. Placed on DS at Santo Tomas (wife there). 108 patients not able to make 170 mile ride, transferred to Quezon Institute. Remainder of patients and Staff transferred to 12th Replacement Battalion, APO.Transported by 14th Transport Company. Left Manila at 2:30 PM, arrived 24th Field Hospital, Camp Del Pilar at 5:30 PM and were fed and rested. Left one patient, Pvt. Heather (British Army) there due to inability to continue trip. Arrived 12th Replacement Battalion 1:30 AM. The Bilibid hospital unit ceased to function as a unit upon leaving Bilibid. This report closed out as of midnight Feb 10. Report maintained by Staff Sgt. Ike Thomas 6857401 Medical Department.
Reorganization well under way. Rosters about completed. Records show that on Feb. 6, 88 patients were transferred to Santo Tomas which is better equipped to handle seriously ill patients: 3 patients AWOL. 8 mental patients transferred this date to Tarlac. 11 additional patients to Santo Tomas because of family there or desire to remain in the Philippines.
Reorganization of hospital as it was before the evacuation. Water pressure extremely low, finally no water. Rations and water requisitioned from Santo Tomas. Philippine Civilian Affairs unit #2, took over mess and continued cleaning up of Bilibid, employed Filipinos to carry water from 4 wells which the Japanese had had the Americans dig in case of such an occurrence. General MacArthur made a tour through Bilibid, visiting every ward and the civilian area.
Only statement he made was to civilians and officers who asked about their disposition. MacArthur told them, “We are making arrangements to take you home. Why don’t you go to the States, get in better physical condition and the Army will return you later. However, anyone desiring to remain in the Philippines will be permitted to do so”.
[Separate sheet dated]
Only a scoop of watery rice mush for breakfeast – But our hopes were never higher! The Jap radio said this morning that they were repulsing our landings at Lingayen which had started on the 6th (5 days ago!)
There are rumors of a task force & convoy outside Manila Bay – Demolition work is continuing –
I am probably under 100 lbs again but it won’t be long – Dorita & the children, thanks to the extra food, are holding up well –
[Separate undated sheet]
Bombing and strafing this afternoon – Large fires started –
Reports of landings are becoming more definite –
Food tonight very skimpy.
Another man died at 900 PM this evening – 2 more are dying – Many are
Fainting in line41 –
Coconut milk, weak coffee and weaker rice mush. Mostly water. Weighed myself this morning. Weighed 119 lb. When I was in the Gym, I held at 170 lb. and now, the extreme low. Oh well, it won’t be long now.
Had soy bean soup for lunch. Not very much but it was hot. for supper, one rounding ladle of camotes boiled with skins on and a ladle of vegetable and mongo bean soup. Gee, was I hungry last night. Couldn’t sleep. My stomach kept inquiring why there was no food. It thought that my throat has been cut so that I couldn’t swallow anything.
We haven’t had a calamansi for about 15 days, nor a banana for over a month and we have forgotten what an egg looks like. The last banana that I had was a little surly saba that never got ripe. Well, I baked it in a fire and ate it “mas que”. Now as to camotes, it takes three times the weight of camotes to equal the same amount of rice, so if we had three ladles of camotes last night, we would have bloated up like a balloon. Now you see why I was hungry.
About 5:45 p.m., saw 4 of our dive bomber type planes fly over Grace Park and Quezon City. The Nips shot at them but the planes did not stop. So that ended a perfect day.
10:45 a.m. Another flock of our planes just passed over. No air raid alarm and no rough stuff.
We had a tasty dinner yesterday. Two scoops (small) of rice, camotes and carabao meat fried with garlic and leeks. mmmm! tasted mighty good. Also a fair sized ladle of meat gravy. Would have liked to have had double the helping. Then my poor little tummy would have been full for once.
Breakfast this morning — just mush. I got some hot water and mixed some of the mush on the hot water with salt and had a hot drink. Trying to fool myself, but no can do.
At 3:30 p.m. 10 B-24’s passed over Quezon City, going east. Anti-aircraft batteries shot at them but no hits. (They drove them away.)
Rice and mixed camote and talinum greens with meat gravy. No taste.
Things are going on and I don’t know whether they’re going to ship the married men back to Santo Tomás or not. I’m going to try and get the straight of it tomorrow, although I doubt if anyone has the true facts. I heard positively today that we’re to have a new Commandant and another less authentic matter regarding repatriation. I wouldn’t mention except for the source—four ships on the way to take us home. There’s still nothing going on in the barracks. I’m sick and tired of the whole mess. I love you Damn it, the years are going by—here I am 35 years old and hoping that next 50 holds more than I’ve been willing to believe possible. So it goes—When will we have a chance?
…Calhoun spoke over loudspeaker tonight, said news from Manila exceptionally good, etc. The news brought into Santo Tomás by some 70 reinternees is good, if we can believe what we hear. We have to remove hat and bow to sentries on point duty, there is one, sometimes 2 of them. But thing is to keep away from them. Fruit etc. is coming in great quantities…
I had just visited another concentration camp—that of Santo Tomas. There are actually some 3,000 internees and in some more time, a few thousand more are expected from the south. The Japanese guards deal with them liberally, without getting involved in the private life of the prisoners. In the two hours during which I went around the camp and many of its structures, I saw no other sentries aside from those at the gates.
The prisoners are receving a monthly allocation of some ₱30,000, with a committee in charge of utilizing it to provide for the prisoners’ needs. Another Committee is responsible for peace and order with some 150 Americans acting as policemen. Everybody is given an assignment according to his talents. They have to do all the work within the Camp. Some American and Spanish Dominican priests are allowed to enter the Camp everyday to celebrate Mass and give religious instruction to the children. They also give lectures to the adults about social and apologetic questions, and watch over the properties of the University which are still being stored there.
A good portion of the Camp has been converted into a vegetable garden. According to the foreman, they harvest more than a thousand kilos of vegetables a month. These are apportioned among the garden tenders, the hospital and—if there is a surplus—among those who need them most.
The prolonged confinement, the weariness, the monotony and the lack of nutrition are already telling on the prisoners, taxing the spirit even of the most optimistic. During the earlier months, they had been living in the hope of an early liberation. Although this hope is revived from time to time, it is withering like a flower deprived of the sunlight of reality. Those who still have money and relatives or friends in liberty receive support with which they supplement their meager diet and are provided with clothing, shoes, cigarettes, etc. For the others, nostalgia becomes doubly burdensome.