Skip to content

November 7, 1944

At 4 A.M., my aide and I stepped out of the hospital door to watch our bombers dive-bombing into the Bay Area. It was a beautiful moonlit night, and though we could not see the bombs dropping, we heard the loud detonations after the delivery of each bomb.

After breakfast, our bombers returned and this time they poured their deadly load in rapid succession over the Bay Area, Zaballan [Zablan] Field, and Grace Park. It was impossible to estimate the number of bombers that had participated in today’s “softening-up” process, but most of us were agreed that over three hundred bombers had taken part.

As the bombings increased, the Japanese became meaner to us. All their pent-up fury seemed to be directed on us as they increased their face-slappings, and cut down on our food. How clearly they demonstrated their inferiority when they started to nag and bully us about bowing to them! They made a fetish of bowing, as though it was the most important thing in their lives to make the “degenerate Americans’ bow to them. Any old bow wouldn’t do. We stood in the corridors and in the shanty areas in long double lines awaiting the cocky young lieutenant and his henchmen. Sometimes we stood at attention in a long straight line with eyes ahead for more than an hour in the broiling sun, until the great man came by. Some of our people became faint from standing still so long on edematous stumps; some fainted, while the rest of us were consumed by a cold fury and resentment against our jailors. But no matter what happened, we had to master the bowing art, for as the lieutenant said, “We bowed out of gratitude for the protection that we received from them.”

The searching and the snooping was intensified. Today, various sections of the camp were surrounded by soldiers so that no one could enter or leave the area, while the dreaded Military Police searched every section. The uneasiness and terror that struck us at this time are difficult to describe, for we all had something to hide.

While Catesy worried about the money we had buried in our lean-to, I worried about my thick diary nestled among the drainpipe, mops, and brooms. Catesy thought I had already destroyed it, which only increased my tension. I had called the Japs many names in my diary when I had felt ill and depressed. Some of the names were unprintable, and worriedly, I wondered what was the punishment for vile name-calling. Firing squad or beheading?