The arrival of the Red Cross relief supplies was a great thing for the Camp. No doubt many lives were saved by the food and medicines which gave us a little more strength for the terrible days ahead. It also started a wild period of black market that continued till the end. We were not allowed to send out any of the supplies in original containers, but I sent some out in the dinner pails, opened the tins and emptied contents into sections of the pail. I received 42 pkgs of cigarettes which I sold. Also traded some of the food I did not care for for tinned meats. Later received khaki shorts, pipe and 2 pkgs pipe tobacco, socks, and some small toilet articles. I sold from my kit to the amount of 1148.00 pesos, jap money which I sent out to the family each month through the camp family relief. Altogether, my notes show that I sent to the family from my own funds a total of 1460 pesos; also later, in 1944 had them placed on the regular camp relief list and they received from 60 to 200 pesos of the much inflated currency a month until Nov. 1944 when all relief was stopped. At the end they could just about buy one very poor meal for a months allowance.
About the time the relief supplies arrived the Japns started to really get tougher in their attitude towards us. Began to cut down on food, not so much sugar, meat or vegetables. The great waste of food as shown by the garbage cans had something to do with it, at least it gave them an excuse.
We had a fairly good Xmas in 1943; I received Xmas present from Charlie and Nena and MERRY XMAS note from all the family; Shaving soap and razor blades and slippers; I sent some camp made toys for the kids and some cloth and shoes.
We had a good Xmas dinner, all the roast beef and trimmings, some of it donations from outside.
Mr. Harold Cuzner, received a turkey and all that should go with it and invited our squad to help eat it. Cuzner, Jonas, White, Foss and myself. We did our best but had to get help to keep it from spoiling. Jones became sick and had to spend the night in Hospital. But taking the year as a whole, we have not had such a hard time of it considering we are Prisoners of War. Our food has been enough to keep us from being hungry, though it could have been much better prepared, we have men in here who are experts in cooking for Army and Navy but have not been allowed to work in the kitchen; also men who have had many years experience buying and handling supplies for the Army and Navy, none of whom have been allowed to help. The Camp is run by a committee who do probably as well as they can under the circumstances, but they allow too much favoritism, too much interference by small groups of people who use it to their personal advantage and to the harm of the majority of people in the Camp, and any complaint that is pushed is referred to and blamed on to the Japs; The Japs so far have not interfered much with us as individuals it has been safer for and American to be in here during the past yr than outside on pass. But there are signs that the Japs are going to get worse; too many defeats and the Filipinos have not collaborated and money is not worth much and transportation from provinces is bad, making a critical food situation for all of Manila which will give them alibis for making things hard for us, especially if the rumor is true that the Jap army will take complete charge of the Camp.