Jan. 1, 1942

Had the hardest decision in my life to make, –whether to keep on trying to get around the outer edge of the Jap swinging door and get to join the USAFFE or turn back. Here the WD had been paying my salary for twenty-four years to have me available for use when wanted. But it looked like a hopeless task to keep on. There was a good trail ahead thru Pantabangan to Rizal. But it was reported that there were 4000 Japs there. Evacuees from there said the town was full of Japs. It was reported that there were no north and south trails at the western edge of the Mts, no food and little water. We would have to go up and down many parallel east west ridges to Papaya about 100 kms away to get around the enemy flank. If we did not make it ar Papaya we would have to go clear around the edge of the Candaba swamp and come in at SF Pamp. Figured we could not do it. Decided to turn back as there were a lot of low flying aircraft around. Capt. Calvert, Lt. Murphy and two civilian Engrs. asked permission to try it. Granted. Justo had already been given permission. I offered a hundred pesos to anyone who would furnish transportation for us back over Balete Pass to Bagabag. Two cars were furnished. Paid 110. for both. We got to Aritao and had walk Bambang. Here we met Capt. Praeger and his troops which fed us. Slept there that night in a large house, the whole Bn. together. (Calvert and Murphy never made it. See later entry.)

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