December 31, 1941

The Japs are still pushing ahead and the Filipino Army troops are steadily retreating. The threat is now down Route 5 from Cabanatuan, and has become so serious as to necessitate the withdrawal of all troops in South Luzon lest they be cut off on the way to Bataan. Hostile forces have been reported in Baliuag. If they continue they will soon cut the road north at Plaridel. I am making plans to assemble all available water transportation for movement of troops from Manila in the event they are cut off. I am getting together tugs, barges, freighters, yachts including President Quezon’s private yacht, Casiana, and have managed to get a total troop capacity for about 4,000 which I think will suffice. Most of our troops have already cleared the critical road junction at Plaridel so I am hoping the entire movement will be completed by motor. However, we are sending to Manila all tugs we can find to return with loaded barges, as tonight will complete the evacuation of Manila. There is now no force south of the city, and if the Japs only knew it they could march into the city without opposition. All last-minute efforts are being made to evacuate all supplies from Manila and other supply points, and the big difficulty seems to be transportation and labor. Shortage of both. I saw the old year out and the new year in with a group of officers sitting in front of the tunnel entrance. It was a beautiful night with a brilliant full moon.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin