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January 1, 1942

A Japanese observation plane, known as Photo Joe, paid us an early morning call.Evidently he photographed several trucks, cars and a some Filipino troops concentrated under the large, shady acacia trees nearby. About two hours later I heard the drone of an airplane. I thought it foolish to get into a foxhole; this spending so much time in air-raid shelters interfered with the preparation of lunch, and I was hungry. Suddenly the hum of the motor ceased. I was glad that I had stayed in the house, for “Joe Jap” was going elsewhere; but no indeed, suddenly bombs rained down about us. Instantly I fell flat on my stomach. All the fury of hell was popping, and my heart was pounding against the rough floor of this wreck of a house. My adrenal glands were pouring gallons of adrenalin into my body. The house was shaking like a bird dog on a fresh scent for quail; the noise was deafening; a rat-tat-tat sounded loud in our ears. I knew we were being straffed. When the bombing had ceased, I attempted to stand. I could not believe that I had not been hit; it is said that one does not feel pain when first injured by shrapnel. I was intact, but trembling like a wild animal caught in a steel trap. I could not see two feet in front of me. The air was think with dust, and it did not smell like heliotrope and honeysuckle either, but of charred wood, gunpowder, gasoline, sulphur fumes, and, burnt human flesh.

When the air was clear, I would see that Joe Jap had hit his objective. Trucks and cars were on fire. The rat-tat-tat I had heard was the explosion of the ammunition in the trucks. My guardian angel certainly had his wings
about me–a dud bomb had fallen twenty feet from the house! Many Filipino soldiers had been killed. later ambulances picked up the wounded. At five oclock this afternoon Taps were played for our dead friends. Their charred bodies were buried in one large grave.

Early in the morning we shall move again far into the forrest on the river bank.