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December 14-24, 1942

The Sunday following the first day’s bombing, we were picked up off our beds, loaded on board ambulances, and taken down to the Ft. Stots Railroad Station, there loaded a train bound for, as were told, Sternberg General Hospital in Manila. Some were put in coaches and three of us stretcher cases were laid on the floor of a steel boxcar. This being a narrow-gauge railroad, the cars were not very large. Directly ahead of me on a stretcher was Lt. Stanton, part of his tail was sliced off. Alongside of me was an old retired colored soldier, who was working as a civilian, and who had been severely wounded in the sides by shrapnel. As we were lying there waiting to go, nothing happened. The longer we waited, the more we wondered why, and finally we heard the sirens start going again. This happened about 11:00 o’clock in the morning and we thought, “Well, surely
we were going to get out of here now — there is a raid on.” Glancing through the open boxcar door, I could see the Japanese ships in the air, but, still we didn’t go. Finally, with a tremendous jerk, we started. We found out later that the Filipino engineer of this train had heard the air raid sirens, had taken off for the jungle, leaving the train standing there, and that it had been necessary to round him up, stick a six-shooter in his back and ride thus all the way into Manila. That was an epic ride because I don’t think he was on the rails any time at all during the
trip. He hit those switch points and cross-overs and curves flat out; we must have had a clear track because the next thing I knew we were being unloaded and taken into Sternberg General Hospital, that is, all except Stanton. I was put in a bed with a fracture frame on it and a new traction was applied because in the moving, the other rigging had become messed up. After a shot in the arm to ease the pain, I dropped off to sleep.

On the way down, this colored soldier kept wanting a chew of tobacco which neither Stanton nor myself had. All I had was a pack of Spud cigarettes. I asked him if those would do, thinking he might want a smoke instead, and receiving a reply in the affirmative, I handed them over. He proceeded to stick the whole pack of cigarettes in his mouth and chew then.

A few days later, after sort of coming to the point where I knew what the score was, Stanton was brought in and put in the bed next to mine. It seems they had put him in the Philippine General Hospital and he should have been brought to Sternberg. So we were together once more.

Every day Manila would be bombed regularly. As the raids and alarms went off, the ambulatory patients would run out in the slit trenches, and we would lie there, wishing we could get up too.

Directly across from Sternberg General Hospital was the headquarters of the Philippine National Army and alongside that was the Philippine Police Department. We knew that, eventually, the Japs would.drop an egg or two on that Philippine headquarters but they didn’t. Why, I’ll never know. Every morning, over a loud speaker system that had been installed in the Police Department tower, the “Star Spangled Banner” would be played, followed by the Philippine National anthem.

Along about this time, which was approaching Christmas, we learned that the Japanese had landed 80 transports off Linguyan [Lingayen] Gulf and that a terrific battle was raging at that point. We also read in the papers that President Roosevelt had promised us powerful aid.

Colonel Eubank had been brought into the Sternberg Hospital, having been injured, and was on the second floor. Later on Jim Elder was transferred from the ward he was in down with us so that we were together again. It was approaching Christmastime and this loud speaker system of the Police Department was playing Christmas
records and carols, and also acting as an air raid warning signal.