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June 30, 1944

The half year mark finds us still here and still such insignificant pawns in the great game of war that we are subject to every whim of our captors. Our situation is really quite hopeless for we mean nothing to our captors and as far as our countrymen are concerned we must be long since lost on an ever-growing casualty list. Our enemies will not and our friends cannot help us. Mais, c’est la guerre!

Signs of malnutrition are again becoming apparent, but so far I have managed to miss them. Out of 75 men in my bks, 52 have beri-beri and 27 have pellagra — the bite is on this part of the Pacific. 633 men came in from Mindanoa but are held strictly excommunicado. A detail left for Japan last week and another is rumored leaving soon and allegedly it will include 400 officers. I hope my special duty job will exempt me; I wish to stay on Luzon until the last log is hung! Maybe 6 months if we remain here but at least 18 if we go to Nippon. That is the way it looks now. In the meantime, thank God for our small garden and the vitamin pills.

More men have come in from Bilibid and also all the guards have moved inside the fence. All Japanese now live inside the large double fence — they are completely surrounded by prisoners. I would not do it that way. Something is afoot but so far we are entirely in the dark as to what it is about. Most details remain as usual but more men have been relieved from jobs across the street.

A Utopian plan of all commissary food going into the general mess is now under discussion. I am all for it if it will increase the amount of food coming into camp and have voted for my pay to be turned in for said purpose. I have serious doubts as to practicability, however; you would be surprised at the number of obstacles in the way. Most of them come by way of graft, the rest by selfishness or distrust. Loyalty, trust and honesty are most assuredly not by-products of adversity — to put them in an exact category is difficult. I find them mostly in theory and mythology or fiction. Old Diogenes certainly had a point!!!

Patched up my wardrobe today — I can put on a mean patch — like most amateurs, they might not be works of art but they will stay on. Having finished elementary economics, I am now on an advanced course; it is interesting but not new but rather a coordination of thoughts already garnered by other methods or from other sources. I am considering getting a text on commercial law next. Might as well “improve my mind” as I sit and watch (?) my military career slowly but surely go up in smoke.

The Philippines are right at the top on the Y-priority list now and gay Pary on the A- list. Still hope to hang on here until our forces get here and take over. It will be hell for a while but heaven if we get through OK. Everything has tightened up here now and I hope some practical plan has been devised by the Japanese for the eventuality if and when they come. I assure you — they do not wait for the “Go” signal from me! Else they would have been here long ago.