December 29, 1941

The war really started today as far as our headquarters is concerned, for we were heavily bombed by the Japs for the first time on Corregidor. An alarm sounded at 11:45 and I went up to the 2nd floor to see if I could locate the Jap planes. Just as I started to look out the window I heard the whistle of bombs coming down. They sounded very much like the shells I remember hearing in France. The first bomb hit the theater about 100 yds. from our office. I saw the cloud of smoke and debris as I had an un- obstructed view on the 2nd floor. Other bombs fell beyond the theater. The concussion was not as bad as I had expected, although the building—reinforced concrete—rocked noticeably. After that, for over three hours, they bombed and strafed us regularly. Several bombs missed our office by only a few feet. One bomb, which struck the barracks we were in, penetrated three floors of reinforced concrete—each floor about 6 inches thick, and detonated in the ground. About two o’clock the C/S [chief of staff] told G-3 and I to come down to the tunnel and operate from here. We had another raid en route and had to leave the car and hit the ground, but arrived safely. Total casualties for the day—125. I am not sure of the fatalities—about 28. The damage to military installations was slight, although a number of buildings were burned. The Japs are reported to have lost at least 4 planes, and possibly 11, in the attack.

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