Skip to content

May 5-8, 1942

The evening of May 5 we were all told to get dressed, that the Japanese were already on the island. All army nurses slept in one lateral that night while civilian women in another. Our gas masks beside us. Nothing happened in tunnel however. The next morning May 6 bombing & shelling continued. I was assisting Dr. Nelson (Navy) to do dressings. The tunnel became filled with either dust or smoke. At 10:00 a.m. in pharmacy radio heard USAFFE broadcast to Commander-in-Chief of Imperial Japanese Forces that Gen’l Jonathan Wainwright would surrender at 12:00 noon, that a white flag would be placed at a certain point. Any one hearing this broadcast to please deliver message to Japanese Commander In Chief. Men layed down their arms. At around 3:00 p.m. we saw the first Japanese in our hospital lateral & from then on streams of them. At 5:00 p.m. Miss Nan & 2 went to entrance of main lateral. Saw all the soldiers lined up. Arms laying in front of them. Japanese guard also empty tin cans. An officer (Amer) came up to us & said “Better not stay here. This thing is still hot on the trigger”.

Japanese came thru over quarters then day & night. Started to take wrist watches- jewelry off both Americans & Filipinos. One took a watch a second hand from Filipino nurse [and gave her small cheap ladies watch in place of it. This was of no use to her of course.*] When we were informed that visiting Japanese dignitaries were making an inspection patients had to be covered. We were told not to look at these visitors. However, they never came thru the ward on which 2 was on duty.

Mosquitoes became had in tunnel & we started to make nets out of gouze. * Photographers took pictures. We were instructed to rise for all Japanese & give them the right of way. Food was scarce. No clean sheets for pts. until finally laundry was started. Very little clothing for pts. Shorts (underwear) or a bath towel was all they had.

*marks place where sentence was originally; moved up to previuous paragraph as it seems to belong there.