Skip to content

May 9, 1942

Pampanga P,. I.

Dear Mom & Dad,

I will start this now and try and keep it from day to day and also go back as I remember things from the one I had to destroy a month ago. I had written close to 12,500 words in it however, the details will be hard to recall so generalities will have to do. As for today May 9th I am feeling pretty fair I have tropical ulcers, and a couple boils on my face that I get about 3 tablespoons full of pus out of each day and my sinus is bothering some. For breakfast we had rice with milk & sugar, ovaltine, banannas, and cookies. About 10 I guess a Filipino minister paid us a visit. Gloria also came in and said Mack was dying. I went over although out here in the sticks there isn’t a thing that could be done. About six hours to get a Dr. His respiration was beeter than twice normal and he sounded as though his lungs were full. He would stop breathing for a few seconds every now & then and I thought a number of times he was gone, I haven’t been back anymore as there is nothing I can do. Read a couple stories in an English book of Connies and played some solitaire, LuLu also brought some photographs over to look at this morning. For dinner we had field rice with hard boiled eggs, rice with sugar and condensed milk, kind of a crabmeat omlet, mashed sweet potatoes fried, a native greens stewed with small shrimp in them. Ripe Mangos and cookies, also coffee for breakfast. Oh! yes fresh tomatoes also for dinner. Have played about 15 games of Solitare also.

Jack will be here about dark with our supper, I will then visit with the Filipinos for about an hour and then go to bed. So you will know who I am talking about I will devote the next few pages to a description of the people I write about so you will know something about them and can look back to the cast of characters instead of asking me all the time.

(1) Bill Cote – From San Francisco he is first sgt of the 20th Peas Sqd. will have been in the Philippines two years in Nov. His father is a retired army man. He’s been in the army © yrse

(2) Tom Wood = From Detroit Mich, I guess about 24, been in P. I.– around a year was a Private first Class in the Quartermaster Corps.

(3) Oming, Doming, Henery, & Bill – The four brothers who are looking after us, they also have two other brothers one a Dr, and the other older than they are but I don’t know his name, they they also have a sister I will learn their names later,

(4) Jack, Pete, Jim, & Dick = Four little Filipino boys about from 9 to 13, Jim & Pete are sons of the older brother, that is not their real names but there Filipino names are so hard we renamed them.

(5) Gloria, Lu Lu, Connie – three Filipino girls that live in the house next to ours, that run errands & are interpeters for us, They are 13, 34, and 17 respectively.

(6). Mack & Pete – two americans of the 3lst Inf. who escaped as we did and live the second house down with some Filipinos. John Mackane,

(7) Leaf Kloster – from Eagle Grove Iowa. He and I had the same

(8) Robert Bjoring – Oslo inn. Also 41 – G at Kelly.
(9 avis – Fortland Naine, He was 41 – F from Selma Adv
nme ONAN Was—in the 27th Bomb 7 also.
a Paul Jones – Kevil Kentucky, 41 – G at Kelly.
ga j iM
“The other boys that camé 6vér With mé from Kelly. ~~ __
(12) Max – a Filipino that works for the brothers.
Be Be OMith = a boy from Oxnard in 41 – C my roomate at Randolph

~ he was from Mayfield Kentucky.

py Ronen = fron Palo Alto Calif 41 = C at Stocton.


You know from the letters I wrote home what I did up until just a few days before the start of the war, A couple things that we did before it started were: The Sat before Dec 6, the 27th played a softball game with the Manila Polo Club and then had a swell bandquet at the Manila Hotel around 80 officers all together with General Baralen the guest of honor. J don’t remember what we had to eat except some swell ice cream like home made. I bought a golf outfit on about Dec 3rd and played every. day up until the 8th. ijent to Jai-Ali. a few times. Thats about all.

We had been allerted for about four days and knew that something was pretty grave. I had been to Jai-Ali the night before and got in about 12:00, during the night I had a dream or something that we had gone to War–with Japan. I told the boys about it in the morning before we went to the P.X. for breakfast and while eating ive heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed we thought they were kidding and didn’t pay any attention but went on out and started to go over to the Sqcd. ie met some more of the fellows and they were going back to the Hostess house for their guns, gas masks and steel helmets, so we knew it was true and followed suit. When we got to the Sqd. we were informed of the situation and set to work putting our equipment under cover which we had in the open there at McKinley. A little after Noon, Kloster, Bjoring, Ose, and I were taken to Air Force Headquarters and we went to work with Air Warning. All during the day workers were blacking out the windows and, sand bags were being placed for revetments trenches were being dug. Air Forces Haqds. was about a mile from McKinley at Neilsen Field. We didn’t see any air activity that day but got reports of the bombing of Iba & Clark Field. I went back to the Hostess house at 8 to return to work at 4: A.M. about 2:30 I woke up and heard the unsycronized drone of motors and said here they come. We all got out of bed and started to put on our clothes and then the bombs started to go off and the machine guns clatter and tracers fly through the air, It was all over before I could get my things on and get downstairs. I was really shaking like a leaf and the nearest

and the nearest bomb hit about a mile away with the Majority at Nichols Field about 3 miles away. Bjoring and I then went down to Neilsen and could see the fires from the bombings. Kloster and Ose were so scared that they hadn’t come out of the trench yet. I worked up until about noon the day of the 9th and then went into Nanila to see about my car and they said it was on it’s way up the bay at that time and that l could get it the next day. I went to the Leonard Wood for Dinner and we had an air raid while I was there. Also straffers put the DC 3 out of commission at Neilsen. I guess I worked 4 hrs and was off 12 from then on till the 24th of Dec. I went down and got my car the next day. and as they had raided the bay area everyone had quite work for the day and so I had to get the shipping industry started again and get my car unloaded. It took all afternoon, Everyone was moving out of the Hostess house and so I moved my things into my car and lived in it for the next couple of days when I sold it. I bought a number of things from the comissary like pork & beans, tomato Juice, crackers etc. and then moved into Quarters 15-A with Kloster, Jim Davis & Bjoring. We had Hozay for a house boy and laundry boy. and it wasn’t far from the Officers Club where we ate, Jones later moved in with us. About the 15th we moved air Force Hqds. to the officers Club from Neilsen and it made it easier as it was hard getting around in the blackout. I went into town a few times in the afternoons saw a couple of shows, which were interrupted by an air raid each time.