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September 16, 1944

We were eating breakfast at 7:30 this morning when the siren began blowing! Ten minutes later we sighted 30 planes flying towards the Santa Barbara airfield (20 km away). We could see them circling and diving, with each dive the planes would release their bombs. We watched from the back porch and did not leave until they started coming our way, and then we made one run for the shelter. As they approached our house, they began diving and machine gunning in the direction of the Mandurriao airport (11⁄2 km away). We were confident of not being hit, and watched from a window. It surely was a rare sight – we could see the bullets leave the machine guns in a streak of fire. The bombers continued circling and dropped their bombs. In a few minutes everything was in flames and smoke! Suddenly from out of the sky appeared more planes (around 100) and they flew over the city and bombed the waterfront, setting the boats on fire! A high school was also machine gunned. Three Japanese soldiers on the main street in Iloilo shot at the planes, and one of the planes returned and dropped a bomb, hitting an old building. The raid lasted two hours!

At 2:00 p.m. the sirens blew again. Planes were sighted, but they just flew over and did not bomb.

I almost forgot to mention that after the bombing in the morning there were two late explosions (about 1⁄2 hour later) coming from the airport. It was so loud and the concussion was so great that it caused a lot of damage to buildings! Everything in our house fell, pictures fell off the walls and glass broke and window panes fell and broke! At 4:00 p.m. when all was clear I did not want to spend anymore time at the house, so John, the cook, hired a small push cart and loaded it with my bedding and a few belongings, and Roland and I headed for San Jose College.