Things couldn’t have ‘gone worse if I had. tried this A.M.; clothes dirty, unshaved for 2 days, the hospital littered with debris & in come Gen. MacArthur & Staff. He was very nice- visited all the wards & the internees, shook hands with dozens, talked to a few of his old soldiers etc. – many cried. There was a battery of news cameramen who took pictures of us everywhere as the Gen. & I led the parade.
Hired Filipinos who cleaned up the area, PCAU Units # 1 & 21 were set up to feed us tomorrow. The K rations last thru noon, then B ration which we will cook on our old wood stoves tonight.
I have my office at my qters., have appointed Wallace & Gochenour as exec. & assistant & am swamped all the time.
We had many sick at the shoe factory yesterday & still have them due to dietary indiscretions.
Col. Grimn didn’t come in today & as I have no phone connections on my own. He told me I was C.O. & Col. Howard Smith, U.S.P.H. on MacArthur‘s Staff substantiated this. The Nips shelled the main bldg. at Sto. Tomas yesterday, killed 14 & caused 40 or more casualties. We have been lucky here. Had strafing in the compound Mon. & a man in ward # 2 was hit in the leg. A mortar shell exploded at the same time & causing casualties fortunately.
The PCAU Unit lost one officer, 24 men & 14 casualties when traffic jammed getting into Bilibid & a mortar shell landed in the street. My staff helped care for the casualties.
Just after tenko last evening we heard considerable M.G. fire. This continued and increased in intensity. There was marked activity throughout the night – small arms probably tanks and light artillery demolition, pyrotechnics, fires etc. Everyone was inside from 7:00 P.M. on but little sleeping was done. The Japanese guards in the compound were on the alert all night. electricity off at 11:45 P.M.
Tenko as usual this morning. We had a double ration of corn and rice lugao. Sick rounds proceeded as usual altho there was still activity around. About 10:30 A.M. Mr. Kuhoda came and told me that Maj. Abiko wished to see me inmediately. [Mr. Kuhoda didnot have information.]
We proceeded to the Japanese office and in a few minutes, Mr. Carl B. Eschboch who was in charge of the civilian internees in the outer compound joined us. The Major read a message stating that the Japanese were being transferred to other duty, that they were leaving the hospital with food and medicine and sign outside explaining who and what we are. I thanked him and Mr. Kuhoda for their courtesy, signed a roster as to number of personnel present and took leave.
Immediately I stationed guards inside the compound and about the inner sally port. Then called a staff meeting – appointed Capt. Wallace executive officer for the guard under me – with Mr. Byers, Mr. Schweizer and Capt. Gochenour as guard officers – using technicians and detachment men as guards to keep all inside and unauthorized person out.
The Japanese left the hospital area about 1:00 P.M., about 1:30 P.M. we locked the front gate with a chain and padlock and put up a red cross flag. Guards were place at sally port, outer compound gate, chapel (guard house) and west wall. I have kept the two compounds from fraternizing because they are not under military jurisdiction, however, I called on them this afternoon and we split stores left us for the Japanese – prorated their 465 to our 810 and gave them sugar, rice, tea and cigarettes to rate of 5 per person in each compound. Met the doctors including Dr. Marshall Welles formerly L.R.C.G.H.
Talked to Col. Hutson and Com. McCracken this afternoon and they were very nice. The former is the ranking army officer and the latter the ranking navy officer here.
Requested the outer compound to take down an American flag on their building as I felt this was premature.
As soon as I returned from the Japanese and had organized the guard (on pre-arranged plan) assuming command, publishing the Japanese order and explaining about the guard.