We disembarked from the ship this a.m. at 1000 by a landing barge. Trucks picked us up as soon as we got ashore and brought us out to a medical replacement center a few miles from Manila. We sleep in ward tents and the food here is really very poor. It also gets quite muddy around here when it rains and they say that it rains quite often. We are only supposed to stay here a short time and then we will be transferred to other hosp. units around in the Philippines. Some of our unit that came up here earlier have already been
transferred. On our way out to this camp they hauled us through the city of Manila and we could get a good look at the damage done by the war. It really has been destroyed to a very great extent. Many of the large buildings have been blown down or completely gutted by fire. Some of the bridges were blown up but the Army engineers have already repaired them or spanned new temporary ones across the rivers. Fisher, Molitor and I secured our passes this evening and went into Manila. We could then get a better view of the city’s destruction. The streets were really crowded with Filipinos and there were quite a lot of small eating places and bar rooms open. I didn’t purchase anything at any of these places for it is rather risky to buy anything to eat or drink if one doesn’t know if the places are respectful or not. So much of the food that the Filipinos have is unfit to consume and much of the whisky is poison. Some of the soldiers that used to buy some of the whisky here have died from them and some still do. There is also much venereal disease in Manila and the surrounding areas. The 93 Field Hosp. right by us here handles nothing but v.d. cases and at one time they had as high as 2,000 patients. The land around here in this area and surrounding country is slightly rolling and has some type of grass growing on it. There are a few small fields of rice around here, but I don’t as yet know to what extent it is grown in this part of the country.
There is an Am. Red Cross in the heart of Manila which is a pretty nice place. They serve sandwiches and coffee or cold drinks. They also have a dance floor, pool tables, ping pong tables and a craft shop. When the three of us came back from town last night we really had quite a time. We got lost and were wandering around out here in the fields someplace trying to locate our camp.
“The problem of venereal disease among troops crowding into Manilla after fighting through the Luzon campaign was one of the most serious faced by the base section…The problem continued in succeeding months as soldiers spent their leave in the urban areas of the Philippines.”
From Organization and Administration in World War II, Vol. 1, p. 494