April 8, 1942

The last few days in Bataan there were many admissions of malaria & sane dysentery. Surgical wards were one crowded with medical cases. A few more nurses arrived from Corregidor. The evening of April 8 after having bathed in creek, washed my hair & all my clothes & lying in bed listening to the very loud gun going off repeatedly from Corregidor, hearing the missile overhead & the artillery fire on the other side. It seemed that something surely would happen that night. And at 8:05 p.m. heard someone call “Miss Nesbit”, “Miss Nesbit” come quick. We were then informed that all nurses were to leave for Corregidor & to take only what we could carry in our hands. Wrapping some things in my cape 2 dashed out. As others were not ready 2 ran back several times & grabbed a few more articles that 2 might need. Capt. Bye was there & handed out some tomatoe juice & also
same barracks bags. We waited in the dark in front of Headquarters. there seemed a delay. O. R. nurses who lived on other end went back for some belongings. Col Gillespie was impatient. He wanted us to get started. Called out “what is the delay”. We finally got off about 9:50 p.m. in closed truck. There were a number of conveyances. We was on open air truck. Our baggage was in another truck. Our destination was Mariveles. A ride which ordinarily takes 45 min. to 1 hr. took us from 9:50 p.m. to 6:20 a.m. We had wasted too much time in getting started. Before we arrived at Little Baguio (K 169) an M.P. told us that they were going to blow up the ammunition dumps & it would take 3 or 4 hours. Before we could continue. The traffic was very thick & up
to that time moved very slowly. Streams of soldiers, American & Filipino were on the road. One American told us he had been instructed to proceed to K 180 & a new line would be formed there. They were a pitiful sight. Rose Rieper, Myra Burris other American & filipino nurses were packed in this one truck. It was very hot. Perspiration poured off my body. The driver of the truck Pvt Stuart came around to the back & opened the door frequently so that we could get some air we were very grateful. This was refreshing but for me not as good as it gave me a bad cold which took weeks in the tunnel to finally cure. Miss Burris & 2 finally got out & found mother truck, behind us. This truck carried only small amount of baggage & besides the driver only one other medical department soldier. They invited us to join them. Here we were more comfortable. We took turns in riding in the front seat & sitting on baggage in the back.

The dumps exploded one after the other. First a light flash could be seen. Then the sound of the explosion could be heard. The burning & explosions continued. It was sad. 2 could hardly believe that 2 could ever have been a witness to such an event. When we were finally allowed to continue the small fires of the various dumps could still be seen, along the either side of the road. Arriving at the dock of Mariveles at 6:20 a.m. We were 5 min. too late. The boat had left for Corregidor at 6:15 a.m. Some one said “go to the Navy Tunnel”. This we did & when we arrived there discovered that it had been blown up. We learned there that Bataan was surrendering at 6:00 a.m. What to do? Miss Nesbit, Tayne Poster, Sere Downing & others were driven back by corpsman to Little Baguio where they telephoned to Col. Gillespie who in turn telephoned to Corregidor & then back to L.B. & said to return to pier & that Corregidor would send boat. While there they had breakfast. We who were left behind discovered cans of corned beef peaches & tomatoes & made a breakfast out of that. Looking around at the nurses they all looked washed out. A plane soon was discovered overhead. It apparently was an observation plane as it flew back & forth. We tried to hide. Leaning against the hill sides & hiding under trucks. Some of the girls tried to get across the bay in a yacht that was at the pier. finally a boat arrived. We first boarded a smaller one. But then had to get off. When we started on the larger one some were already on when a plane came overhead. All of us having on khaki pants & helmets we could easily be mistaken for a group of soldiers. We fell flat on the pier & nothing happened. In the meantime however the boat had left the pier & we thought it was all ready on its way but it had taken off to Corregidor because it is less easy to hit when not at pier. So when it came back all of us got on. My barracks bag after 2 finally found it on the truck dragged it over to the pier & 2 was fortunate to have someone put it on the boat. Some of girls baggage never did get on the boat. Once out in the bay planes were around. We could see the dive bombers on Bataan swoop down & raise cloud of dust where the bomb had been dropped. As planes came near us we were continually told by boat crew to cover up. We crouched near inside of racking & huddled together under canvass. When we came near Corregidor there was an air raid on there so we stayed out in the bay. When the air raid was over we docked & with Rose Rieper who had malaria hanging on my arm we ran to waiting truck & were hurried to tunnel arriving there exactly at 12:00 noon in time for soup. We were a sorry looking bunch of nurses. We slept at first two in a bed. 2 was in the lateral with the civilians. Mrs Beuley & daughter Geril Seak wife & others. The cold & cough 2 developed was very annoying.

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