December 8 — Upon appearing for breakfast at our comfortable? (Little did we realize at the time luxury in which we were living) Genl Luna Ora I was presented with a copt of the Bulletin flaunting large headlines of the attack on Pearl Harbor & announcing that US & Japan were at war. This should not have been surprising in view of the fact that for about one week we had been working until 5:00 P.M. & having a surgical & medical O.D. in addition to the usual O.D. and reports of planes (not American) flying high over various points of Luzon. The existence of these planes were pooh poohed as imaginary. However, we were still very much surprised & could not actually realize that were at war. Much excitement at Sternberg & about 9:00 A.M. Rec’d official mimeograph from HPD, announcing that a state of war existed between U.S. & Japan. Col. Cooper appeared in full field regalia pistol & all. He was first person I saw with all equipment & I’ll always remember him standing on the steps with his helmet sitting high on his head like Hooligans tin can. Word received during the morning that Camp John Hay, Clark Field & Iba were heavily bombed. This was confirmed and during the afternoon Maj. Hubbard & Lt. W.E. Wilson with a compliment of nurses & corpsmen were sent to Stotsenberg to help care for the casualties. For several days now I have been relieved of all professional work & have had duties of Registrar, Rec & Evac. officer, (O Det. Pts., Custodian of pty fund etc. No change in Registrar work or in R & E work today. Following dinner played bridge with Maj Craig, Maj Schwartz & Capt Burg as usual. Using new cards (Kenn) Abley sent for X-Mas. As evening wore on hands became quite moist making handling of cards difficult. It must have been apprehension altho’ could use the excuse that was very got with all windows closed in order to effectively blackout the bldg. Bridge game broke up about 11:00 P.M. & we all went to bed. Before could get asleep air raid sirens came on full blast. We jumped up and ran to the Agriculture bldg but no planes came. This occurred several times during the nite.
Manila P.I. Dec. 8-41
Posted by Manuel L. Quezon III on Dec 8th, 1941 in Diary of Clinton S. Maupin