Lt. Col. Jesse T. Trayvick USA, Wainwright’s emissary traveling under a flag of truce accompanied by a representative of Gen. Homma, did not find difficulties delivering the “surrender orders” to Visayas-Mindanao USFIP CG, W. F. Sharp who, in turn, immediately issued written surrender orders to all his subordinates: B/Gen. Albert Christie, Panay; Col. Roger Hilsman, Negros; Col. Irvin Schrader, Cebu; Col. Arthur Grimes, Bohol and Col. Ted Carrol, Samar-Leyte. It is reported that all USA personnel and a few hundred Filipinos surrendered in compliance with Gen. Wainwright’s orders but many PA units led by their O’s, specially in Panay and Negros refused to surrender. In Panay where the bulk of the 61st Div. is assigned are my classmates Lts. Amos Francia, Ramon Gelvezon and Pedro M Yap who believe Gen. Wainwright had no more authority to give orders after he became a POW. Apparently, they were able to convince their Philippine superiors like Majors Macario Peralta and Nick Velarde and so when their Div. Comdr. Christie told them about the surrender at Mt. Baloy, Peralta and Velarde categorically replied their refusal stating their plans to continue to fight the enemy. Gen. Christie seemed to understand and even left the remaining funds to the Div. Fin. O. Meanwhile, in Negros my classmates there are Lts. Uldarico Baclagon, Abenir Bornales and Epifanio Segovia and they also were able to convince their superiors, Captains Ernesto Mata and Salvador Abcede, to disregard the surrender orders of Col. Hillsman. In Southern Luzon and Bicol Area, surrender emissary B/Gen. G. Francisco delivered the orders and like in the Visayas, only the Americans and a few Filipino USFIP members complied and surrendered.
Lt. Col. Nakar’s unsurrendered USFIP Unit in NL were remnants of 11th & 71st Div. cut off from Bataan, reorganized per Gen. MacArthur’s order as 14th Inf. under Lt. Col. Everett Warner USA last Jan 24 to operate as guerrillas in Cagayan Valley. When Bataan surrendered, Warner and fellow USA O’s gave up so Gen. Wainwright appointed Nakar ’32 as new CO, with Maj. Manuel Enriquez ’34, my Tac. O. at PMA, as ExO. Other O’s with him are Lts. Ed Navarro ’40; Melito Bulan ’41; Tanabe, Nery & Quines all ’42.
Today, I learned from Judge Roldan that Lt. Col. Kalakuka USA travelling under a flag of truce accompanied by a ranking Jap O. located Nakar in Cagayan Valley and tried to serve the surrender orders from Gen Wainwright. Nakar directed my classmate, now Capt. Ed Navarro to meet Kalakuka in Bayombong. Instead of following Nakar’s orders, Navarro went to Enriquez and together saw Nakar in Jones, Isabela. Navarro convinced Nakar and Enriquez that after Gen. Wainwright surrendered, he lost his authority completely. And so Nakar agreed with Navarro, his Unit did not surrender and managed to report accordingly by radio to MacArthur in Australia.
Judge Roldan also informed me that the former mobilization center facilities of the 91st Div. in Cabanatuan is being prepared for the transfer there of the American prisoners in Camp O’Donnell thereby leaving only Filipino POWs in Capas. With the kind of info I am getting from the Judge, I am convinced he has underground connect — a brave and patriotic Judge.
I learned today that even if Gen. Jonathan Wainwright attempted to surrender only Corregidor and the surrounding Fortresses at Caballo, Carabao and El Fraile Island, (Forts Mills, Frank, Drum & James) he was forced by victorious Gen. Masaharu Homma to surrender USFIP all over the Phil. Accordingly, the hapless vanquished commander issued surrender orders to key USFIP Commanders with the following officers directed to serve said “Surrender Orders,” Lt. Col. Kalakuka USA to Lt. Col. Guillermo Nakar ’32, Comdr. 14th Inf, in Cagayan Valley; Col. Jesse T. Trayvick, Jr. USA to Maj. Gen. W. F. Sharp, CG Vis-Min Forces; and Brig. Gen. Guillermo B. Francisco ’08 to Southern Luzon & Bicol Regions. These representatives of Gen. Wainwright are accompanied by ranking Japanese officers and provided adequate land and air transportation.
Wainwright’s surrender orders became a favorite topic of private discussions among officers at Malolos POW Camp. To the question, if you were Col. Nakar, and you received the written order, will you surrender? I am happy to note that after heated private discussions, all Philippine Military Academy graduates were unanimous in disobeying the order. Two reserve officers have strong reservations that if they disobey the “lawful order of their superior” they can be liable for court martial later. It will be interesting to find out how those concerned actually reacted later.
As a lasting tribute to the courageous gunners who manned those big guns at Corregidor and also to immortalize the names of the twenty batteries that fought valiantly against the enemy for 26 continuous days and nights since the Fall of Bataan, here they are in alphabetical order: Batteries Chenny; Crockett; Cushing; Geary; Gruggs; Hamilton; Hanna; Hearn; James; Kysor; Monja; Maxwell; Morrison; Ramsay; Rock Point; Smith; Stockade; Sunset; Way; and Wheeler. My everlasting Salute to both Comrade Gunners and Batteries!
After the general heard my report, I took the field telephone and asked for Bat 108 –Manny’s code name in Corregidor. “What’s up, Primo?” he asked. I said: “the line in the east sector won’t hold. By tonight, the Japs will be here. Tell Leonie to stay there.” Manny didn’t believe me, but I was in no mood to argue… so I said: “So long, Primo… If I get home first… I’ll tell the folks you’re O.K.” Ten minutes later, the field phone rang again. I thought it was Leonie… but I was wrong. It was Oscar. “Say, Phil,” he said… “this is the end. I’m in Kilometer 165.5 with all my troops. Where shall I go?” Oscar sounded serious… in fact, nervous. I knew what had happened. The Japs had already broken through and there was general disorganization. The reserve lines had also probably been captured. It was as Oscar said “the end.” I told Oscar to retreat to kilometer 182.2 near Mariveles… because all Filipino troops were going there. “We better stick together,” I explained, “because the Japs might give us better treatment.” Oscar didn’t answer immediately… then he said, “O.K. kid… I’ll bring my men there. Good luck… and if you see Ramon… tell the old fellow not to be nervous.” That was just like Oscar… joking at a serious moment. For all his carefree, devil-may-care attitude… we needed more men like him in Bataan. To begin with… he had no business volunteering. But he did. General Valdes told him he would be a fool to leave his wife and two-day-old baby. But he did… and he told me one evening: “Phil… if I don’t ever get home… tell my kid why I fought. Tell him… I wanted him to be able to tell the other boys… ‘My father fought for his country.'”
At 6 p.m. –sunset– the phone rang again. “It’s me… Oscar… waiting for you in 182.2.” His retreat was a success.
That night, I burned all my papers, all records… including my diary. It pained me to see that diary go. It helped me a lot. Sometimes when I was very depressed… I wrote all my feelings on its pages…. and I felt better afterwards. But orders were orders. “Burn everything” said the General (De Jesus) nervously… and so everything was burnt.
I slept at Kilometer 182.2 that night, besides Ramon Pamintuan. Gatas Santos was also there. We didn’t know that later in the evening we would have a reunion. Ramon was pale and yellow… shivering with malaria. Gatas was looking fine but he was worried about his white skin. “They might take me for an American,” he said. Later in the evening, Johnny arrived. He was thin, exhausted… but not to exhausted to tell us all about his narrow escapes and the way his car ceased to be a car because of a bomb. Then Godofredo Reyes showed up. I didn’t recognize him in the dark, because I had not seen him for a long time and he had a beard. Then came Hector Unson, who I thought was isolated by Jap patrols in Batangas on Dec. 29. He said he heard I died in Corregidor. It turned out we were praying for each other’s soul. At about eleven o’clock Ernie Es. popped in. He had come from guard duty and he was cursing because it was not his turn to guard. Then Tony Nieva arrived. He was fagged out, sunburnt, and very thin. We gave him the little food we had, because he said he had not eaten for two days. He explained that his men were almost surrounded by the advance patrols of the Japanese, because the Americans ran away without notifying him. It was a reunion alright… but a sad one. We thought we would meet each other in Manila in some victory banquet… not on the night of defeat. But as things turned out… there we were… gathering on the dry bed of a stream… not knowing what the morning had in store for us. Would the Japanese kill us? Would they imprison us? Would they free us? We were discussing those questions throughout the night, I was thinking of escaping, thru the mountains of Bagac via Zambales. But they said… ‘Let’s stick together… till the end.’ We talked of our happy days in Manila… the way we used to run around town… Jai Alai… Casa Mañana… Manila Hotel… drinking, dancing, feasting…I also thought of Nini. It was her birthday –April 9.
I guess we were all changed men… and we all agreed that we didn’t regret our experience. I don’t think any of us were the worse for the hardships we endured. They had made men out of us… and above all… it put our country on the map. It was not all in vain. That’s what I was thinking of… when the ground began to shake and the stones in the stream started to roll. It was an earthquake. Was God going to rescue us in the final hour? My heart beat fast… I was sure something would happen… to turn the tide of defeat… but nothing did…and I waited and waited till I fell asleep.
Can’t write. I feel lost.
More men retreating, more stragglers, the rear area has become the front. Japs keep on following their gains, bombing, shelling, blasting, burning, shooting, bayoneting. They have been waiting for this hour. Blood is flowing freely…
Evacuee area is a most pitiful sight. Saw women and children gathered around the cinders of their former dwellings, begging for food, bewildered by the terrific advance of the Japanese.
From morning to sunset, the hillsides and shell-burnt roads have been brown with bleeding men –the remnants of the Filipino-American forces. These are the men who have electrified the world with their glorious stand.
Saw troops of the 41st lying on the ground near Mariveles. Most of them were thin, emaciated, yellow with malaria. Many were dying. Others were blind to due to vitamin deficiencies. Some did not have even strength to drive the flies crawling on their bodies. When planes hovered above, they did not move, they did not care to move. Death would be a welcome respite.
Japs advancing fiercely, killing mercilessly, bayoneting with unleashed fury.
Already the flies, the hawks and the pariah dogs have found the dying & dead. Saw a big rat bite off a dead man’s eye.
Still no order to surrender. Fight must continue. Bleeding must continue. Dying must continue. Can hear roar of machine-guns. More & more boys dying, by the minute.
Received a phone-call from Manny de Leon from Corregidor. He said “Leonie is very ill.” I gave him my regards and farewell. I told him the lines had broken. After that our telephone went dead.
Dead men everywhere. Uniforms red with blood. Guns red with blood. Bataan is a sea of blood.
Some troops still fighting but contact with the main line has been lost. Most of the boys are retreating, firing, retreating, firing –dying.
Saw hundreds and hundreds of unkempt, disheveled, bewildered troops dragging their swollen feet in an attempt to escape from Jap onrush.
An American doughboy, thin, gaunt, skeletal, approached me, asked for “bread, buddy, bread.” I gave him water. I had no bread.
Evacuees are panic-stricken. Saw men, women, children crying. I could not find her.
Divisions have ceased to exist. Regiments are split. Troops are mixed & many platoons have no more officers. Trenches have been abandoned. Everywhere are rifles, broken bayonets, revolvers, staff cars. This is defeat…
Last staff meeting, perhaps, held just a few minutes ago. The General with tears in his eyes said: we are defeated.
He revealed that a last-minute attempt to stop the onrushing stream of Jap troops was attempted but the battalions of P.C. and Scout troops sent were all killed. “Jap tanks not trucks transporting them.”
“That was our last chance, the final hope,” he said.
The mess officer was ordered to prepare as much food as he could. “Let us eat as much as we can,” said the Major. “Make it a 3-day supply.”
Meeting abruptly stopped by strafing planes.
I have a fever.
The Americans in HPD are burning their papers. Others are packing their maps and clothes. They are transferring to Corregidor. This is a clear indication that our days here are numbered.
Courier boats leaving for Corregidor are packed with high-ranking officers transferring to the Rock. Personally I prefer to stick out here with the men.
The area around HPD, Limay, Lamao is burning. Huge trees are aflame. Craters pock-mark the shell-burnt earth. Hell has broken loose.
Balanga is obliterated. Not a single standing structure. Houses lie in crumbled ruins, mere piles of wood and stone.
The municipal building, the Cathedral, houses around the plaza have been seared by the fire of incendiaries. All along the trails leading to the front are huge bomb craters, gaping shell holes, corpses of brave men.
I saw three Jap planes hedge-hopping in airfield at Cabcaben then flying off again. Boys machinegunned the planes. Planes came back with bombs and killed the boys.
I saw an American driver turning his truck amid burning bushes. He was singing “Melancholy Baby.” I saw an American motorcycle-messenger weeping. “This is the end,” he told me.
The lines have broken. Japs with tanks, trucks penetrated the area between the 21st and 41st divisions at the Patingan River.
I saw Lt. Juan Fernandez, aide of Gen. Capinpin, of the 21st. He said: “I don’t know where Gen. Capinpin is. I can’t find him.” It is believed that the General either committed suicide or was captured by the Japs. The last time he was seen was in the very front, directing boys who could no long fire their enfields.
Saw troops, frontline men, retreating in disorder. Others had thrown their guns. No more bullets, they said. They were clinging to their bayonets.
Fred asked: “Where is the convoy?”
Sgt. Sinculan could not find her. Where is she? I hope nothing has happened to her.
Japs pounding the front heavily, continuously, mercilessly. The boys are standing firm, fighting with the littler strength left in their sick, hungry, weary, bloody bodies.
What is happening in Bataan today is phenomenal. Here are inexperienced youngsters –schoolboys, trainees, academy undergraduates– fighting veterans of many campaigns who are numerically and materially superior. “And,” adds the General, “stopping them!”
Saw truck after truck of the wounded, dying and dead being rushed to the hospitals. One truck stalled and the wounded had to be jammed in one of our jeeps. I saw the stalled truck parked near the curve of the HPD. Only the driver was there trying to fix the dust-covered engine. What I noticed on the seats of the truck sent a cold shudder in my spine: it was bathed with blood. Brave blood.
Met a QM officer, of one of the frontline divisions. We did not have a chance to talk for a long time. I shouted to him across the creek if he could still send supplies to the front. He just made a gesture with his hands and shook his head. That was more eloquent than words.
Met an artillery officer. He said most of the cannons have been blasted by bombs. “The end is near,” he said.
Leonie left for Corregidor. He could hardly walk. In his condition, with the bombing, it is better for him to go to the Rock.
Fred just arrived. Reported that the Hospital near the HPD was bombed. He said: “Many were killed.” I asked him “How many?” and he answered: “I don’t know. I just know there were many, very many.”
He said that he was visiting a friend when the Japs bombed the hospital. He said he ran to the left side in the direction of the road. Those who went towards the hillside ran to their deaths because there is were most of the bombs fell. “Up to now the hospital is burning,” he recounted.
Fred’s uniform was covered with mud and dust. He was visibly nervous not because of his narrow escape but because of the bloody sight he saw: wounded men rolling in the dust, others shouting with pain, many dying…