December 1941: WW2PH 80 Years After

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in the Philippines, we have compiled the diary entries for the first month of the war, along with other interesting material, in the hope that this will help interested readers to get a sense of the traumautic opening weeks of that conflict.

Each date contains the relevant entries as well as materials culled from different sources of information:

  1. Battling Bastards. A Diary-Type Account of the First Days of World War II in the Philippines, by J.G. Doll (The Merriam Press, 1989), which provides the American military perspective on events. These entries are in italics. These provide a fair summary of the American point of view. Also, War and resistance in the Philippines, 1942–1944 by James Kelly Morningstar (Naval Institute Press, 2021). These are entries in underlined italics.
  2. The World War II Timeline prepared by the Official Gazette; these entries are in bold. these give an indication of the Filipino point of view.
  3. The Official Gazette’s Official Week in Review entries for December and , 1941. They are reproduced as quotations.
  4. Various documents and photographs from the Quezon Family Collection, and audio files from History on the Net.

Prologue: The Long Wait

War clouds had begun gathering in the Pacific in 1940 and from that year onwards, the question of whether peace could be maintained overshadowed Philippine affairs. On July 26, 1941, Douglas MacArthur was recalled to active duty (had had retired in 1937 to serve as Field Marshal of the Philippine Army and Military Adviser) but MacArthur himself operated on the assumption that preparations would be completed by April, 1942. The Philippine Army was called into the service of the United States; war warning were received in late November: on the 24th and 27th.

The President of the Philippine Commonwealth ( Quezon ) to President Roosevelt, October 18, 1941

A comprehensive survey on the eve of war: President Quezon and Gen. MacArthur, Philippine Army maneuvers, Corregidor drills, Manila Bay

Prelude to the The Long Month

Aside from the comings and goings of military top brass and diplomats, the main focus of Filipinos was their goings to the polls on November 11, for the second time, to choose their national leadership.

Official Week in Review: November 15, 1941, the sixth anniversary of the Commonwealth:

HIGHLIGHTED BY THE REELECTION of President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmeña and a Nacionalista landslide in all sectors, national elections took place in the Philippines last November 11. Except for a few incidents of minor importance, voting throughout the country was peaceful and orderly.On the occasion of his reelection the President issued the following statement:

“I am profoundly grateful to the people of the Philippines for their confidence and trust. With the help of God I will not fail them.”

Vice-President Osmeña also gave out a statement expressing his gratitude to the people for having reelected him, and promising to give the President, as in past years, the utmost support of which he is capable.

Francis Burton Harrison, quizzing Filipino leaders in Washington in 1942, wrote down the following conversations.With Col. Andres Soriano, by this time Sec. of Finance in the War Cabinet:

Soriano’s account of important visitors to the Philippines just before, based on which, Quezon had believed that there was a well prepared plan worked out for the defense of the Far East. Quezon was not really consulted, or informed in detail, but he had every reason to think that the defenses of the Philippines were.

Quezon saw Duff Cooper and was not at all impressed by him. General Sir Brooke Popham was in Manila several times from the end of 1940 to April 1941. He conferred only with Sayre, Grunert and Hart. The Dutch Chief of Staff who after visiting the United States from Batavia, became Commander-in-Chief for the Netherlands East Indies when his chief was killed in an air accident. He visited the Philippines.

Litvinoff came to Manila about November 1st or a little later. Quezon was ill, and Litvinoff was only there for two days, but the President saw him and was very much impressed by him.

Then Kurusu, whom they all knew in Manila because he had been Consul General there in my time, came through on his mission to the United States about the middle of November. (Francis Burton Harrison, diary, June 13, 1942)

Philippine Magazine: Nov. 7, 1941.—Ambas. S. Kurusu, accompanied by S. Yuki of American Bureau, Tokyo Foreign Office, arrives in Manila on Clipper from Hongkong; tells press he agrees with Secretary of State C. Hull that “less said about present Japanese-American relations, the better for both concerned”; states also that “work of an ambassador is to bring about peace”; asked if he is carrying letter from Emperor Hirohito to President F. D. Roosevelt, he says, “I am not mailman”.

Official Week in Review, November 29, 1941:

The President issued during the week an Administrative Order creating the following Inaugural Committee to formulate plans and devise ways and means for the appropriate celebration of the inauguration of the newly elected President and Vice-President of the Philippines on December 30, 1941: Chairman, Secretary of the Interior Francisco Zulueta; Members, Secretary of Labor Leon Guinto, Senator-elect Ramon J. Fernandez, Representative-elect Dominador Tan, Major General Basilio J. Valdes, Undersecretary of Public Works and Communications Sergio Bayan, Mayor Juan Nolasco, Governor of Rizal Eulogio Rodriguez, Jr., President of the University of the Philippines Bienvenido M. Gonzalez, Narciso Pimentel, Major Manuel Nieto, Dr. Carlos P. Romulo, Arsenio N. Luz, Alejandro Roces, Jr., and Samuel Gaches; Member and Treasurer, Acting Commissioner of the Budget Pio Pedrosa; Member and Executive Secretary, Teodoro Evangelista.

TWENTY THOUSAND reserve officers and men of the Philippine Army were mustered into the United States service last November 23, in accordance with the scheme of integration formulated by Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur, Commanding General of the Far East Command of the armed forces of the United States.IN A RADIO SPEECH delivered on the concluding day of National Defense Week last November 24, Secretary of Justice Teofilo Sison, Chairman of the Civilian Emergency Administration, expressed his satisfaction over the progress of civilian defense preparations throughout the country. He said that while these preparations have entailed inconvenience and sacrifices, the people have shown willingness to perform their part and have cooperated fully with the authorities.

Most accounts of World War II in the Philippine begin on November 30, 1941, which in those days, the combined commemoration of Bonifacio Day and National Heroes Day (see: Views and impressions of Jorge B. Vargas, Chairman of the Philippine Executive Commission, concerning actual conditions in the Philippines at the outbreak of the Greater East Asia War).

11/30/41

Many accounts of the War in the Philippines begin with this event: President Quezon’s extemporaneous address on the occasion of National Heroes Day. The event was memorably chronicled by John G. Hurley, S.J., in his autobiography, Wartime Superior in the Philippines:

In the Philippines, 30 November is ‘National Heroes Day.’ The outstanding event of the day, attended by thousands of Filipinos, is a formal military review by the President of the Philippine Commonwealth of the cadet regiment (or ROTC) of the University of the Philippines. In 1941, Manuel L. Quezon informed the university officials that he would, as usual, take the review, but that he would, contrary to custom, address the audience and the cadets.

I had forewarning that the speech would be of more than usual importance. Fr. Edwin C. Ronan, C.P., informed me that during the week before the review, the president, obviously under nervous tension, was busy working on his address.

I made my way to the reviewing field in the afternoon of 30 November and was escorted to a seat a few feet away from the podium erected for the president. The large audience included practically all the ranking officials of the Commonwealth government, Supreme Court justices, senators, congressmen, cabinet members, and the upper echelons of their staffs. The day was cool and cloudy, threatening rain. The actual review passed without incident, but when the president stepped to the podium for his address, the clouds poured down a heavy, drenching rain. Without waiting for orders, the cadets simply broke ranks and ran for cover. Obviously annoyed, Quezon bellowed out at them. Sheepishly, the cadets returned and reformed their ranks.

At the podium, Mr. Quezon shuffled the pages of his speech for a moment. At the next, he pushed them aside and with one arm resting on the podium, he leaned toward his audience with a most serious mein. His first words were: ‘I am here to make a public confession of my first failure in public life.’ A titter ran through the audience, who obviously took it as a joke. But his glare should have removed any misunderstanding; he was not making jokes. He bellowed his next sentence: ‘If bombs start falling in Manila next week…’ An uproarious laughter drowned his words. Only a few feet away, I could see the president in a fury. His eyes flushing fire, he shouted, ‘You fools!’ Shocked into immediate silence, his audience waited apprehensive. The president resumed, “If bombs start falling in Manila next week, then take the traitors and hang them to the nearest lamp post.” He went on to tell the Filipinos that war could come to their Islands any moment and that the Armed Forces were not ready for it. Several months previously, he had complained to Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt about the weak Filipino defenses against the dangers facing the Islands. He informed Roosevelt that he felt it was his duty to warn his people. The American president had begged him not to make any such public statement, for it would have a bad effect on a delicate international situation. But now, Quezon declared, the situation had become so perilous that he would be derelict in his duty if he did not inform his people of the dread prospect before them.

President Quezon’s speech was one of the most magnificent I had ever listened to. Never have I seen a man so sincerely honest, forthright, and courageous in his remarks. He aimed to arouse his countrymen to their danger. But it appeared that he failed. As the audience broke up, I sensed that the reaction of those present was incredulity.

A further incident demonstrated that I had gauged the reaction of those present right. On returning to Intramuros, I wrote a brief letter to Mr. Quezon to congratulate him on his magnificent effort to arouse the country to the dangers he so clearly saw. I knew from experience how to get the letter to him quickly. I went to Malacañan Palace, the president’s official residence on the banks of the Pasig River, and entrusted it to the American former soldier on guard at the gate.

Early the next morning, I received a phone call from Malacañan Palace. The speaker was Mrs. Jaime de Veyra, the president’s social secretary, who told me what had transpired. Mrs. Quezon told her that the president had not slept all night; nor did she, for her husband walked the floor of their bedroom continuously. Mrs. De Veyra said that at the breakfast table, the president looked more troubled than she had ever seen him. At the table, the president received my note, ripped it open, read it, and then tossed it down the table to his wife. For the first time, Mrs. De Veyra said, he seemed to get a grip on himself. He spoke to his wife, ‘Here, read that, Aurora. That man has no axe to grind. He is not afraid to talk honestly and frankly, as he has done to me on several occassions. He is absolutely honest and I trust every word that he says. That note means more than anything that these fools think or say.’ (Quite an encomium from a man who in a few days would order my arrest!) Mrs. de Veyra informed me she was phoning on instructions from the First Lady, to express her gratitude for the encouragement I had afforded her husband.

An hour later, Mrs. de Veyra arrived at our house in Intramuros. She told me she came at the president’s order to deliver his note of acknowledgement and to express verbally his sense of gratitude; she was forbidden to send any lesser messenger. Mrs. de Veyra further informed me that I was the only man in the Philippine Islands who had sent a word of encouragement to the president. While cables of reproach were pouring in from the United States, the members of his government were silent, a fact which troubled Quezon exceedingly. For the only time in Mrs. de Veyra’s experiences, the president called for pen and ink, and wrote the message in his own scroll. (Unfortunately, the missive vanished in the later destruction of Manila).

President Quezon tried to warn his countrymen, and failed. Next week came. And the bombs started falling on Manila.

As later summarized by the Official Gazette:

SPEAKING BEFORE THE FACULTY and student body of the University of the Philippines in connection with the observance of National Heroes’ Day on the afternoon of last November 28, the President charged critics of his administration with responsibility for shortcomings and delays in the Philippine civilian defense program. He asserted that either because of ignorance or bad faith the criticisms set back for seven months his plans to organize the country’s civilian defenses. For the first time the President revealed that false charges of dictatorial tendencies brought against his administration induced United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to send him a radiogram telling him to refrain from exercising the emergency powers granted him by the National Assembly unless asked to do so by the United States High Commissioner in the Philippines. This rendered him powerless to do anything for his people, such as devising means for their protection, which he knew they badly needed or would need sooner or later in view of the serious emergency facing the country. Those seven months of delay, according to the President, might have proved to be the most tragic in Philippine history because the people would have found themselves then inadequately protected.The President also warned the Filipino youth that they may soon have to give their lives to the defense of their country and advised them to prepare to suffer and die. He recalled the lesson of conquered and humiliated France. The French people wanted more hours of rest and less of work; they wanted high salaries and a good time and did nothing but talk of freedom and sing of liberty in the streets. They should have remembered, the President said, that liberty without order is chaos. The President concluded his speech by asking his audience to prepare for what is to come. He said that he was not telling them that war will come, but if it should come, it would be a good thing for the Filipino people because then they will know how to suffer and how to die.In connection with this speech, the President three days later issued a statement commenting on Washington dispatches to the effect that capital circles feared that the President’s speech would react unfavorably to Philippine-American relations. “There can never be any question as to my absolute loyalty to President Roosevelt and to the Government of the United States,” the statement said. “My speech was a denunciation of the misrepresentation and misinformation that were sent to the United States by the theorists and pacifists and Civil Liberties Unions which gave the American public a very wrong impression of what we were trying to do here. President Roosevelt knows that he can count on me, on my government and on our people to the bitterest end.”

In replying to the accusation of William Philip Simms, foreign editor of the Scripps-Howard newspapers, that he was to blame for the Philippines’ lack of adequate means of defense, the President asserted that Americans have only themselves to blame for the absence of a strong naval base here. “You have been in the Philippines for 35 years before the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Law was passed by Congress,” the President said, “and during all that time you had the absolute right to build any number of naval stations anywhere in the Philippines but you decided not to do it.” The President also denied that he had objected to having American naval stations in the Philippines after independence, saying that all he wanted was that their establishment be with the consent of the Government of the Philippines. (Official Week in Review, December 6, 1941)

The speech itself has hardly been seen much less studied, but forms one of the annexes in the U.S. Congressional investigation into the Pearl Harbor attack:

As the Official Gazette reported on December 6, 1941, that same evening, the month ended as it had begun: with an envoy:

SOVIET AMBASSADOR to the United States Maxim M. Litvinov and wife arrived in Manila by clipper last November 30 and left for the United States after a two-day stop-over. On the evening of their arrival they were entertained at dinner in Malacañan by the President, and on the next day at luncheon by British Consul General S. Wyatt-Smith and at dinner by United States High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre. (Official Week in Review, December 6, 1941)

Quezon’s remarks to Francis Burton Harrison, as recorded in his diary, June 15-16, 1942:

At my request, Quezon told me of his conversation in Malacañan with Litvinoff, the Russian diplomat, just before the war. The Russian warned him very seriously: “Be on your guard”–the same advice he then gave to General MacArthur and to Admiral Hart. Quezon thought highly of Litvinoff and says he believes the Russians knew more about Japan than the Japanese knew of Russia.

The Long Month: December, 1941

12/1/41

December 1, 1941

Today, as diplomatic talks in Washington between Japan and USA are going on, British Far East Commander Admiral Sir Tom Phillips RN arrived in Manila to confer with US High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre, USAFFE Commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur and US Asiatic Fleet Commander Adm. Thomas C. Hart USN, regarding the Defense Plans for the… Read More »December 1, 1941

December 1, 1941 

No flying today-crews working on planes. Getting armament fixed on all planes. Looks serious. Half squadron on alert at all times. The armorers of the 21st Pursuit were boiling off the thick Cosmoline in which the .50 caliber guns had been packed, then installing the guns in the wings and boresighting them. 

Dec. 1, 1941

We are living at 1235; #1 Interior, Leveriza Street, Malate District, Manila, just off Harrison Park, the Yacht Club and Dewey Boulevard. We live in a small five room chalet, with yard in which are Guava, Santol, Mango, and Banana trees, also oleander and hibiscus bushes, cadena de amour vines cover the porch. There are nine… Read More »Dec. 1, 1941

12/2/41

A Japanese reconnaissance aircraft is spotted over Clark Airfield.

December 2, 1941

It was decided to move the Bn en-masse. On the morning of December 2, 1941, about 7:00 AM, the first barges left Corregidor for Cabcaben bearing the Bn transportation, the guns and tractors, kitchens, and organizational equipment. Subsequent trips of the barges during the day brought over personal equipment (footlockers and barracks bags, etc.), bedding,… Read More »December 2, 1941

December 2, 1941 

Looks worse every day. Col. George called us together and told us would be only a matter of a couple days. Have oxygen masks in planes, headsets, etc. already to go. Dyess has me weaving at hot spot at present. Other sources suggested that the meeting of the pilots of the 17th and 21st Pursuit… Read More »December 2, 1941 

12/3/41

In search of rest and following the advice of his physicians, the President left for Baguio by special train on the evening of last December 3. He was accompanied by Drs. Antonio G. Sison and Andreas Trepp, Major Manuel Nieto, Mayor Tomas Morato of Quezon City, Captain Juan Bautista of the Malacañan Guard, and a staff of clerks. (Official Week in Review, December 6, 1941)

December 3, 1941

Next day the unloading and movement of supplies and equipment was completed, and a tent camp pitched. The guns and range equipment were emplaced and oriented in a temporary position and communications established with the AA Command Post at Corregidor. The battery immediately took up the alert status of the Harbor Defenses and the report… Read More »December 3, 1941

December 3, 1941 

Not letting us fly now. Want planes ready to go all the time. Bad business–they need slow time and bugs removed. Plans always changing.

12/4/41

December 4, 1941 

Got a couple of pilots from the 17th today to make three flights. I now have “C” Flight, no more weaver. I guess I am glad. Four pilots of the 17th Squadron—John Vogel, Charles Burris, Bob Krantz, and another unidentified, plus Bob Newman from the 3d Pursuit, were assigned to the 21st to reach the… Read More »December 4, 1941 

December 4, 1941

There were 102 present at the Tuesday Club meeting at Mrs. Sayre’s. Many signed up for a first-aid course to begin on January 6. Everyone enlisted to help on Treasure bags for soldiers. We made warm Christmas coats for Igorot babies so they won’t die from “”wind on the chest” as they call pneumonia.

December 4, 1941

There were 102 present at the Tuesday Club meeting at Mrs. Sayre’s. Many signed up for a first-aid course to begin on January 6. Everyone enlisted to help on Treasure bags for soldiers. We made warm Christmas coats for Igorot babies so they won’t die from “wind on the chest” as they call pneumonia.

12/5/41

December 5, 1941 

On fifteen minute alert today. Could not get off field all day, left at 6 p.m. though. All kinds of stories around. Going to San Marcilinas [sic] soon, bad spot we are told. This is the first reference I’ve ever seen that the 21st Pursuit was going to be assigned to San Marcelino field, on… Read More »December 5, 1941 

December 5, 1941

Early the following morning, about 4:l5 AM, the B.C. was called by the air guard and informed that, shortly before, warnings of aerial activity over northern Luzon had been received by the “Flash” operator and that the AA OP had ordered air guards and alerts doubled. The battery was immediately alerted and placed in readiness… Read More »December 5, 1941

12/6/41

Dec. 6, 1941

Received my checks from US yesterday; did not get released today as expected; many soldiers left this past week for the states as convalescents; also many of the soldiers in here are just homesick kids who have been badly brought up, the good food given here is in fact too good for many of them… Read More »Dec. 6, 1941

December 6, 1941

We were not on an immediate alert, however, but we were in a position to meet any enemy attack without long range warning. We stayed in this condition, know as “Alert Charley” until Sat. 6 December. This happened to be my weekend in Manila. I stayed at the Great Eastern Hotel and had a fairly… Read More »December 6, 1941

December 6, 1941

We worked for the Red Cross. The American School came up from Manila to play Brent School in basketball. There was much esprit de corps and yelling on both sides. All were invited to the Tuesday Club box supper in the pavilion at the country club in the evening. The affair was a huge success… Read More »December 6, 1941

December 6, 1941 

Finally got in the air today. Slow time. Plane sure is different with the guns fully loaded. Still on alert. Doing nothing is sure getting on my nerves. The 21st Pursuit had received another 10 P-40Es this date, with two more scheduled to be turned over to it on December 8th. 

Wernitznig

Dec. 6, 1941

Reported to 57th Inf (PS) as Bgd Surgeon. Col. Clarke CO of57th. Nice fellow will get started to work Monday the 8th; how true this statement was to be.

December 4-6, 1941

There is a B-18 down on the Island of Basco, which is a small island in the group north of the Island of Luzon, about two-thirds of the distance to Formosa, and Operations have just reported it to me as Base Engineering Officer, which means that I will have to fly up and sit down… Read More »December 4-6, 1941

12/7/41 Day 0

Page 1 of President Quezon’s medical log on the last day of peace
Page 2 of President Quezon’s medical log on the last day of peace

President Quezon preferred to stay in his own Legarda Road residence and only went to the Mansion House to conduct official business. The President’s schedule, from the medical record: “Shaved at 6:15 a.m…. Heard mass at 7:10 a.m. … Drove to the Mansion House for the Cabinet meeting at 11:00 a.m. Back at 1:15 p.m.” It is unknown who from the cabinet was in Baguio at this time. Jorge B. Vargas the executive secretary, was in Manila.

December 7th, 1941

—Pat, Yeager and I took on a load of beer at the N.C.O. club and caught the famous “longest free streetcar line in the world” to bottomside. There we were all happy, carefree we, Christmas shopping. I bought a silk kimono and scarf for the girl Claudia; Pat and Yaeger, various articles for their ones… Read More »December 7th, 1941

December 7, 1941

Guess war is just around the corner, but I think I’ll go to a movie.

7th December 1941

Since May this year when it was decreed that the family members of the officers and enlisted men of the United States Army stationed in the Philippines should return home, up to this very afternoon when President Quezon has reportedly banned all social gatherings, there hover upon the country unmistakable war clouds, neither of the… Read More »7th December 1941

December 7, 1941

Sunday again but you would never know it. Flew this morning. More slow time. Would like to get some practice in tactics, shoot the guns. Due to a shortage of .50 caliber ammunition and gun-charging mechanism problems, none of the pursuit squadrons had fired their .50 caliber guns as of this date. 

December 7, 1941

We had to keep on the phone at all times of the night. Don’t get much sleep. War is very close now. Slept till noon today, up till 2:20 this morning. It is a cloudy day.

December 7, 1941

There was the traditional First Communion Mass at Letran. The Father Provincial should have celebrated it, but the boat “Cetus” which was to bring him from Batanes this morning was delayed, so Father Peregrín de la Fuente, Prior of Santo Domingo substituted for him. The affair turned out well, although the atmosphere was somewhat gloomy,… Read More »December 7, 1941

Wernitznig

Dec. 7th, 1941

Mary’s Birthday: Lim Con came over this afternoon so I bought Mary: 1 Mandarin coat, 2 prs. lounging pajamas, 1 knit blouse, 3 slips, 1 house coat 3 night gowns. Paid ₱100.00 cash for it; put it in the chest, never to see them again.

December 7, 1941

Sunday, December 7th, a few of us go up to the polo field at Stotsenberg where General Wainwright is going to be a spectator at a polo game between teams, one representing the Manila Polo Club and the other the 26th Cavalry Filipino Scouts commanded by Colonel Pierce. The day is particularly peaceful and calm… Read More »December 7, 1941

Sunday Dec. 7, 1941

H & 2 went to Los Banos in car Took supper. Hicked to Look out point. Back to Ft McK. Thor & Peggy O’neill were there. 11 went home & returned & we all played chinese checkers. Took Ethel home.Next day Dec 8 Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. We had at that time 22 American nurses… Read More »Sunday Dec. 7, 1941

12/8/41 Day 1

News of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is received in the Philippines at 0230 hours but their aircraft from Formosa still catch the majority of the American planes on the ground when they attack Clark and Iba Fields at 1215 hours. They destroy 17 B-17’s, 56 fighters, and 30 other aircraft. As a result, the Far East Air Force (FEAF) is reduced to almost half strength and the installations are severely damaged. Both Tuguegarao and Baguio are each hit by Japanese Army planes before the main strike against Clark Field.

General MacArthur sends a message to General George C. Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, in which he says: “I am launching a heavy bombardment counterattack tomorrow morning at enemy airdromes in southern Formosa.”

Task Force 5 of the Asiatic Fleet (under Rear Admiral William A. Glassford), heads south toward safer waters.

The Japanese begin advance landings to acquire airbases from which to support the upcoming main assault. They invade Batan Island between Formosa and Luzon, without any opposition.

From the collection of Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose
From the collection of Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose

Executive Secretary Jorge B. Vargas informs President Manuel L. Quezon of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war by the United States against the Axis Powers. President Quezon is staying in their private residence along Legarda Road in Baguio, recovering from an illness.

Japanese soldiers arrive in Batan Island at dawn. Japanese aircraft attack Camp John Hay, Baguio at 8:30 a.m. Japanese aircraft attack Tuguegarao at 9:30 a.m. Japanese planes attack Clark Field. Cavite Navy Yard is bombarded at 11:00 a.m. Japanese planes attack airfield in Iba, Zambales at 12:30 p.m. Japanese aircraft attack Tarlac at 12:35 p.m. Japanese aircraft attack Davao at 12:45 p.m. Japanese planes attack Fort McKinley.

Statement: President Quezon on the outbreak of the hostilities between the United States and Japan, December 8, 1941

Statement: US High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre on the outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Japan, December 8, 1941

Statement: Lieutenant General Douglas A. MacArthur on the efforts of the military, December 8, 1941

Listen:

Ford Wilkins broadcasts from Manila on Dec. 8 (6 p.m. Dec. 7, EST) time that Manila has not been bombed. The broadcast captured a few seconds of Tagalog radio programming from Manila, a unique artifact. NBC Red Network, interrupting the program, “Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air”
Bert Silan reports from Manila, December 8, 1941 (6 p.m. Dec. 7, 1941 EST) including reporting a phone interview with President Quezon in Baguio. NBC Blue Network, interrupting the program, “New Friends of Music.”

Dec. 8/41

Was awakened by room boy who told me Hawaii had been bombed by Japanese at 2:00 am. I couldn’t believe it for some time-too incredible. However, all doubts were soon removed by radio, newspapers and bombings of Camp John Hay at 8 am., where the Japanese apparently thought they would kill Gen. MacArthur who was… Read More »Dec. 8/41

December 8, 1941 – Monday

At 6 a.m. General Sutherland phoned me that the Japanese had treacherously attacked Pearl Harbor at 5 a.m. and consequently the U.S. and Philippine Forces were in a state of war with Japan. I notified by phone all the members of my General Staff. Rushed to the office. At 9 a.m. I received news that… Read More »December 8, 1941 – Monday

December 8th, 1941

—Yes, the Japs bombed P.H. We are in the war naturally. Why aren’t bombing or shelling us—nothing is taking place. That day we get to test fire our guns—at jap planes returning down North Channel after bombing (Cavite) range of 22,000 feet—well at least it got some of the jitters out of our system and… Read More »December 8th, 1941

Manila P.I. Dec. 8-41

December 8 — Upon appearing for breakfast at our comfortable? (Little did we realize at the time luxury in which we were living) Genl Luna Ora I was presented with a copt of the Bulletin flaunting large headlines of the attack on Pearl Harbor & announcing that US & Japan were at war. This should… Read More »Manila P.I. Dec. 8-41

Dec. 8, 1941

At 6:05 Major Speth phoned me that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Turned the radio on and at 6:15 the news was confirmed. Called Capt. Calvert on the phone and told him to put into effect the 43rd WPO-3. calling for immediate movement to Damortis. Radioed Gen MacArthur as to wether to follow WPO3 or… Read More »Dec. 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

STERNBERG GENERAL ARMY HOSPITALMANILA When I heard about Pearl Harbor, I knew that my happy little world had crumbled about me. All of us were as certain as night follows day that we would be next. As we went about our work in stunned silence, we wondered gloomily how soon the Japs would strike in… Read More »December 8, 1941

Dec. 8, 1941

War broke Dec. 8 — 1941. Jap. raided Pearl Harbor after 2 A.M.Raided Singapore after 3 A.M. of 8th. repited at P.I. Dec. the 8th.Davao at 6 A.M.Baguio 8 A.M.Clark Filed 7 “Tarlak after 12 noonHong Kong Dec. 8 MorningEvery day ataked continued

December 8, 1941

At 5:30 that morning Billy crashed my bedroom door to exclaim, “Pearl Harbor has been bombed!” Well, we just couldn’t believe it. I quickly dressed, putting on the only sensible pair of shoes I owned (little did I know that no other shoe was to be on my feet for three years and four weeks).… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

It [the attack] was nosurprise by a matter of 18 hours.

December 7-8, 1941

Events Just Preceding 1942 Sunday, the seventh of December, being the first Sunday of month, was Union Sunday. Willie was at Cavite, and I was at Pinagkaisahan. The other boys were in various places. It just so happened that some of us gave little talks to the folks about the possibilities of war and cautioned… Read More »December 7-8, 1941

December 8, 1941

My Executive Officer, Lt. Aikran [?], and I were sleeping outside the battery in a tent. At this time, my battery as well as the others were maintaining a 24 hr. watch of not less than two men. About 2:30 AM on Monday 8 December (7 Dec. in the States) this watch came to my… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

Without me knowing Japan declared war on the U. S. A. Hawaii was bombed. Over the radio on Monday morning at 6 – AM we heard this news. None of us could believe it. We went to work at our regular time. Patrols were sent out all day long, and at 3 – PM they… Read More »December 8, 1941

8 Dec ’41

Called at 0345 by Lieut. Comr. Grandfield, War Plans Officer of Cavite Navy Yard, stating that hostilities had begun. Conference on veranda with Executive Officer Capt. L.J. Roberts and Dr. C.C. Welch, Hospital War Plans Officer. To yard at 0700 to confer with Commandant. Orders secured for immediate sand bags and lighter for transfer of… Read More »8 Dec ’41

December 8, 1941

I was busy preparing my schedule for the boys whom I was going to send to Baguio where the Family was to spend the Christmas holidays. I was writing orders for other equipment and supplies when the sound of Mitsubitzis came roaring through the sky. The explosions told us that enemy planes had already begun… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8th, 1941

Monday Morning—The Herald came out at daylight with an extra that Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor; we did not believe it till breakfast, then the Manila Daily Bulletin verified it; Col. Curie the C.O. ordered all patients who could walk to be sent home. I took the lists up to the office and was sure… Read More »December 8th, 1941

December 8, 1941

Feast of the Immaculate Conception and of the Ateneo de Manila. Mass started at seven in the morning. During the mass, someone approached Father Rector who was the celebrant, and said something to him. Father Rector turned around to address the congregation and announced that Japan had just bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and that… Read More »December 8, 1941

8 Dec. 1941

What a morning! At dawn, half-asleep in my hotel room, I hear the voice of Mrs Smith, my neighbor, and make out the words “Japan” and “Honolulu”. Her tone is very excited and I immediately guess that war must have broken out! I get dressed quickly and go and find her. She tells me that… Read More »8 Dec. 1941

December 8, 1941

After the children left for school, we turned on the radio about 8:25 –and heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. While listening, we heard planes and went out as usual to see them. Almost over the house quite high, came seventeen big bombers in formation. We could see them plainly and thought they were… Read More »December 8, 1941

Monday, December 8, 1941

Very early this morning, Mrs. Gewald called up Daddy to say that the Japs had bombed Hawaii. At school everyone was uneasy and excited. When the students came from the Normal School they brought news that Baguio and Davao had been bombed. Classes were very irregular. At recess, Rileys and Terry and the rest of… Read More »Monday, December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941 

Two alerts before daylight. War started. Had patrol about noon. Moved to C.F. just before dark. C.F. bombed to hell and while we were patrolling over N.F. No air defense at C.F. Complete surprise. At about 11:45, Dyess had received a phone call ordering him to take his squadron to Clark Field. A and B… Read More »December 8, 1941 

December 8, 1941

On Monday morning, December 8 (it was still Sunday, December 7, in the U.S.), I was up early because my husband was out of town on business and I had gone to bed with the children the night before after a five o’clock supper with them in the nursery. I turned on the radio for… Read More »December 8, 1941

8th December 1941

I woke up at about seven in the morning. Soon I joined the family at the dining room. We took breakfast together, consuming, in part, the leftovers of the party last night. We then immersed ourselves in comments on the said gathering. Suddenly the telephone rang. I took the call. It was Colonel Lejano, of… Read More »8th December 1941

December 8, 1941

At 4:00 o’clock in the morning, on December 8, 1941, the ringing of the telephone woke me up, and as I went to answer it, I thought to myself, “It’s another false alarm.” It was an order to report to the field immediately. I quickly dressed and as I left I told Dorothy that it… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

We were all astounded today to learn of the bombing of Hawaii by Japanese planes. First information was very meager. Naturally, only one conclusion is to be drawn—we are at war with Japan even though no announcement of any kind has been made. In our office, immediate steps were taken to shift all troops into… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

After breakfast, I read the Daily Bulletin, the only newspaper published on Mondays. The Bulletin carried no news of special interest. At seven in the morning, Señor Alberto Guevara called me up. He had just heard over the radio that Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japanese planes. That was the first news of… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

bid A farewell, got car, packed. “A” is her code for [John Vincent] Phillips or for American soldiers, depending on the context.

8 December 1941

CANOPUS at anchor 1000 yards east of Cavite entrance buoy. Loading ship with ammunition and stores after Navy Yard overhaul. 0335 Received notice by dispatch that Japan had commenced hostilities. 1231 Sighted 9 aircraft over Manila Bay and identified as P-40’s. Noted mine sweepers firing at these planes but no damage seen. Submarines achored nearby… Read More »8 December 1941

Wernitznig

Dec. 8th, 1941

The event that everyone knew was to take place sooner or later took place. I went to work at 7:30 a.m. and saw Capt. Francis D.C. driving to his quarters. He informed me that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese and that the 57th was alerted as was everyone else. It lookec like… Read More »Dec. 8th, 1941

December 8, 1941

I can’t believe what I’m told and know! Mrs. Roesholm called me at 7:30 a.m. and said, “The Japanese have bombed Honolulu”. That was the first I knew we would have war. Mrs. Roasholm and I were to work with the Red Cross unit at the High Commissioner’s residence but it was closed. Then I… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

I will not forget this day as long as I live.  Although my Q-Boat was on “war footing” condition since last Nov. 27, the seriousness of its implications did not hit me till early today when I first heard the radio announcement of the Japanese surprise attack against the US naval and military facilities at… Read More »December 8, 1941

December 8, 1941

This morning we got our first telephone call at five-thirty, telling us of what had happened at Pearl Harbor, Aparri and Baguio. To confirm this we had tuned in on the San Francisco station and then I called Dave’s quarters, but only to find that he had already gone to his office, and, as the… Read More »December 8, 1941

Dec. 8, 1941

woke early & listened to news on Radio, Pearl Harbor had been attacked. ie were at war c Japan. Peggy & 2 rode to PX Finance. Drew 200.00 from bank & had it connected into a government check. At Finance office we listened to radio & heard that Clark Field & Baguio had been bombed.… Read More »Dec. 8, 1941

12/9/41 Day 2

Continuing the neutralization of all United States airpower on Luzon, Japanese bombers strike Nichols Field near Manila.

During the afternoon, B-17’s bomb Japanese shipping near the northern end of Luzon in the first American bombing mission of the war.

Elsewhere: China declares war on the Axis powers.

The Japanese invade the Gilbert Islands.

Japanese forces (Tanaka Detachment) land in Aparri, Cagayan, at dawn.

Telegram from President Quezon to President Roosevelt, December 9, 1941

Statement: President Quezon upon his arrival in Manila from Baguio, December 9, 1941

Dec. 9, 1941 (Dec. 8, 1941, 1:45 p.m. EST) Bert Silan reports from Manila on the first full day of the War; vivid word pictures of Manila’s scenes and morale. NBC Blue Network.

Dec. 9/41

Several Air Raid alarms early this morning but no planes appeared, At 1:50 pm, 65 bombers flew over city towards naval base at Cavite when they literally levelled it, killing many hundreds and wounding hundreds more. It has been unofficially stated that three thousand were either killed or injured at Cavite. When the planes flew… Read More »Dec. 9/41

December 9, 1941 – Tuesday

People of Manila nervous trying to leave Manila for a place away from aerial bombardment. Those who owned cars rushed frantically to towns near Manila. Those who did not own means of transportation were willing to pay exorbitant prices for trucks and automobiles. Prominent families moved either to Antipolo, Taytay, Marikina or San Mateo and… Read More »December 9, 1941 – Tuesday

9 December 1941

0050 Observed air attack on Nichols Field (Army). Large fires started almost instantaneously. Ground defenses apparently replying with heavy but ineffective fire of machine guns. 0120 Got underway and steamed slowly around harbor until dawn with air defense stations manned to guard against attack. 0540 Stood through breakwater and moored to north side Pier 1… Read More »9 December 1941

December 9, 1941

About 2:00 A.M. was awakened by distant explosions & shaking of the building. Jumped from bed & ran outside. Explosions & gun fire from Nichols field accompanied by a myriad of red flares. Staid up discussing the situation with some apprehension. At 4:00 A.M. all hands called to Sternberg as casualties started arriving from Iba… Read More »December 9, 1941

Tuesday, December 9, 1941

Up at six o’clock this morning so as to see Carl off, getting an early start on the return trip after a nice breakfast on the lovely big porch at the Rhudie’s house. He had been gone only a few minutes when the news came through that Nichols Field had been bombed during the night… Read More »Tuesday, December 9, 1941

9th December 1941

They woke me up for a poor man’s breakfast of coffee and bread. It looked like everybody had had a good night’s sleep; not I, however. While the rest of the household attended to their domestic chores, I went out for a walk about town. That early hour of the morning presented me with bare… Read More »9th December 1941

Dec. 9, 1941

Major Allen repaired damaged to post utilities. Lt Bach injured the day before so I put Capt Starnes in charge of cleaning up Mess. Called Constabulary about collecting 45 dangerous Japs. Prepared the upper floor of Mess for them. Troops moved to near #9 Golf House.

December 9, 1941

Today was like a ghastly dream! Beds that were empty yesterday were now occupied by mangled and horribly burned patients. In a few short hours, the simple routine of our lives was completely changed. We worked twelve and fourteen hours at a time and felt no exhaustion—only numbness. We couldn’t quite believe what had happened!… Read More »December 9, 1941

Tues. Dec. 9/41

Nothing of importance occurred. We boys did a lot of walking around to see the different friends, and we got news of Japanese attacks on different places like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. That night we had several air raid warnings. Cecil and I would pile out of bed in a hurry, pull on our trousers,… Read More »Tues. Dec. 9/41

December 9, 1941

Was I ever glad to see the servants back on the job cleaning up this dusty house and getting things in order after yesterday’s whirlwind? Ft. McKinley and Nichols Field bombed. First aid class in Country Club Pavilion—half full of people; a melting pot of: wives of mining engineers, Club waiters, missionaries, golf caddies, all… Read More »December 9, 1941

December 9, 1941

I was awakened early this a.m. (3:10) by the noise of windows rattling at the head of my bed, and by the sound of explosions. The cause was a Japanese bombing attack on Nichols Field. I do not know the result yet. During the day I learned that attacks were also being made on Camp… Read More »December 9, 1941

9 Dec. ’41

Awakened at 0300 with heavy bombing of Nichols Field. All alert at the hospital, securing at 0600. Early conference with Commandant regarding transfer of all patients to Sternberg General Hospital and 154 were transferred at 1300 by water. 62 patients were discharged ths day before which included al] Veterans and Navy about ready for duty.… Read More »9 Dec. ’41

December 9, 1941

Nobody believed there was going to be a war. Secretary Vargas called to tell me to join the President and his family in the house in Marikina. From then on, the first family lived in a shelter.

December 9th, 1941

Great excitement, people trying to get out of the city; Bay full of ships, most near the breakwater where the Japs can have a good target. The so-called Civilian Emergency Committee is helpless, the Army has its own job to do. I and the boys dug an air raid shelter under the house. Only a direct… Read More »December 9th, 1941

December 9, 1941

At two o’clock in the morning, I woke up and saw from the window huge fires in the direction of Manila. I woke Papa up. Shortly, everyone was awake watching the conflagration. Nichols Field and Fort William McKinley were bombed. Later that day, I left for Manila. I reported to the College Commandant for orders.… Read More »December 9, 1941

9 Dec. 1941

First night-time alert! Complete blackout. Hotel gloomy, you can’t see a thing, people bump into each other on the veranda and sit on chairs already taken. Outside, not a sound, not a light, but wonderful stars. The moon is due to rise towards eleven o’clock — to our annoyance! I go to bed early and… Read More »9 Dec. 1941

Tuesday, December 9, 1941

Spent the morning in the house getting everything packed and put away. Last night the air-raid siren sounded and we took our mattresses downstairs to the kitchen. When the all-clear sounded we went back to sleep –nothing having happened. About half an hour later, we were wakened by violent bombing. Nichols Field and McKinley were… Read More »Tuesday, December 9, 1941

December 9, 1941 

Took off before daylight. R.D. Clark killed on take-off. Also wrecked three other planes. Saw no Nips. Flew 7:00 hours. No food, sleep, or clean clothes, getting dirty as hell, also tired and weak. Before daylight, Dyess led off his 21st Pursuit, their mission to cover the expected landing of B-17s at Clark coming in… Read More »December 9, 1941 

December 9, 1941

Dorothy got home early the next morning. After an early breakfast she drove me out to Nichols so that she would have the car instead of it being left on Nichols. When we got to the field, we saw the result of the night’s air-raid. It was our first surprise of many. One hanger had… Read More »December 9, 1941

December 9, 1941

Some boys came to school, not knowing that classes had been suspended. The Fathers and the workers went to the seashore in the school bus to get sand with which to barricade the vestibule entrance with sandbags. A van came from Calamba with sacks and more sand from Pasay. It will take us more than a… Read More »December 9, 1941

December 9, 1941, Tuesday

No telegram. I waited all day for the “other telegram.” I tried again to call Manila; tried so many times that the operator became impatient and answered me that no calls still were allowed through, before I stated the purpose of my lifting the receiver. This afternoon a bridge and mah-jongg party at Hawaiian-Philippine Sugar… Read More »December 9, 1941, Tuesday

Wernitznig

Dec. 9th, 1941

At 3:00 AM awakened by small arms fire shooting at enemy planes overhead. Considerable enemy aerial observation during the day. Nichols Field and Neilson airport came in for considerable bombing. Col. Clarke plenty scared and jittery. [illegible] at McKinley. Left just at dark for DEL CARMEN, PAMPANGA. [illegible] that 80 transports landed at LINGUAYAN [Lingayen]… Read More »Dec. 9th, 1941

December 9, 1941

Bomb Cavite — hit oil tank — big fire & smoke seen in Manila — dog fight Manila bay — sink ships in bay. Bombs shake windows & house.

12/10/41 Day 3

Two Japanese task forces, each consisting of about 2,000 men, arrive off the northern coast of Luzon from Formosa. Landings begin simultaneously at Aparri and near Vigan but rough seas force a change in plans.

The Aparri force lands a small group at Pandan, near Vigan, and the rest at a point four miles south. They quickly secure Vigan and send elements north along Route 3 toward Laoag. No opposition is offered by the llth Division, Philippine Army (PA), commanded now by Brigadier General William E. Brougher, which is responsible for the defense of the northern coast. However, having no artillery or transportation, and being grossly under-strength, it is totally inadequate for the defense of such a large area.

United States planes attack the ships of the invasion force and Captain Collin Kelly becomes the first U.S. hero of the war in this action by hitting what is supposed to be a Japanese battleship. [Later investigation has revealed that there were no battleships present.] These planes manage to cause some damage to the Japanese transports, particularly those bringing in supplies, but the landings are still successful.

Japanese fighter planes from Batan Island provide cover for other aircraft that bomb and strafe Nichols and Nielson Fields, near Manila and Del Monte Field near Clark. The damage to Nichols Field is very heavy. Cavite Navy Base also suffers heavily from enemy air attacks.

FEAF, by this time at less than half strength, decides to confine its future activities to just reconnaissance flights.

Elsewhere: The Japanese invade Guam and in just three hours, are in total control of the island.

In the Gulf of Siam, the Japanese sink a British battleship force that consists of the capital ships PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE. This is a major reversal for the Allies.

Japanese forces (Kanno Detachment) land at Pandan, near Vigan, Ilocos Norte, at 5:13 a.m.

Japanese Air Force launches heavy attacks on Nichols Airfield (present-day Villamor Air Base) for the second time at 12:00 p.m.

Cavite Naval base is bombed. The incident results in 500 casualties, the destruction of the submarines Sealion and Pillsbury, and damage to the minesweeper  USS Bittern.

December 10, 1941

The night was peaceless. The alarm was sounded at 5 a.m. The enemy planes again bombarded Nichols Field and Fort McKinley. My little girl is in serious condition; I asked for consultation. She has bronchopneumonia left side. I was kept very busy in the office. Reports received that the enemy is landing forces in Vigan… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 8-10, 1941

On Monday, December 8th, which was just another day to us, there seemed to be a sort of tension in the air. Rumors were flying around that something was happening and there was great activity on the field — nothing tangible you could put your teeth into, but somebody had guessed at a rumor saying… Read More »December 8-10, 1941

10 December 1941

(Alongside Pier 1 Manila) 1239 Received radio flash “many enemy planes approaching Manila”, Air raid sounded. Sighted 27 heavy bombers almost immediately, approaching from NW very high. Estimated 20,000 feet altitude. 1245 Opened fire with 3″ A.A. – 10 sec. fuses pre-set. Bursts too low and behind Planes crossed bow and headed toward Cavite. Found… Read More »10 December 1941

Wednesday, December 10, 1941

After breakfast this morning Ada, the children and I went down to the store and bought twenty yards of black material. As there is to be the continuous blackout we decided that we may as well be as comfortable at night as possible. So windows were measured, lamp shades measured, and the amah (Priscilla) put… Read More »Wednesday, December 10, 1941

Dec. 10, 1941

Japs internees moved into Mess. Allen cleaning up utilities. Lt. Worthington, Balatoc, offered to build dug out for radio. Put Fellows in charge. It functioned in fine shape.

December 10, 1941

Today we heard that the Japanese had made a landing in northern Luzon! It can’t be true! Don’t Be DEFEATIST signs were posted throughout the hospital grounds, and in a small way they lulled our fear and suspicion that the enemy had made a landing. Early in the morning our hospital was thrown into the… Read More »December 10, 1941

10th December 1941

It was not yet five in the morning when we woke up. We were served some hot coffee and nothing more. Without any delay and following hasty farewells, we departed for Manila. Before doing so, my father explained to those who would be left behind why I was joining them to the city. Darkness was… Read More »10th December 1941

Wed. Dec. 10/41

We decided to go to Pinagkaisahan and Guadalupe to see the friends and try to encourage them, as we know that most of the men would be gone, being soldiers. So we got on the streetcar which was jammed with people and rode there. Found everyone in fair spirits, but leaving their homes each night… Read More »Wed. Dec. 10/41

December 10, 1941

Radio says Aparri and Vigan invaded. Don Bell said air raid on Manila. Hear there is a big battle off N. Luzon. What hellish fear that puts into one’s soul. First aid class really working. Yesterday I put on Club bulletin board suggestions for first aid kits — judging from what they brought to class… Read More »December 10, 1941

Dec. 10 – 41

At 11:40 A. M., Nichols was bombed and dive-bombed by the Japs. I’d just finished coming through the chow-line, when I heard planes diving. Our om ships had been flying around all morning, and I thought these were ours as well. There were low hanging clouds; ( about 300 ft ) I’d taken a bite… Read More »Dec. 10 – 41

December 10, 1941

The scramble for transportation continues. We send a convoy of trucks into the field with ammunition, and the Division C.O. grabs the convoy and keeps it. This has happened on several occasions. Divisions have been told not to take buses owned by the fleet operators. I know they are also violating this order. I know… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 10, 1941

We received a hard hitting as the planes seared the sky. On one of my way trips to the Palace, I stayed to arrange the schedule of cooks and boys, many of whom had already left Manila. I do not know why I bothered with these details. Even at Marikina, in the days of harrowing… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 10th, 1941

Went back to work today at the old office. Fred Fink and Fred Lurhesen went with me. I was assigned to helping evacuate supplies, Maj. Jacklin is in charge. About 11:50AM we went to lunch at the Legaspi Garden. Just after returning the air raid signal sounded; most ran out to the sea wall in… Read More »December 10th, 1941

Wednesday. December 10, 1941

We came in with Daddy this morning and Jun, Sis, and Werner came over to visit us. I was left at the house with Mama while Mother and Daddy went over to Bordner. The kids left around 12:30. About 1:00 there was an air-raid. Mama and I went out front to watch the planes fighting… Read More »Wednesday. December 10, 1941

December 10, 1941 

Took off at 9:00, went Rosales and Nichols. Alert at N.F. Patrol there, just coming in when Nips hit. Didn’t stay long, landed out of gas at Cabanatuan Field covered with barrels, wrecked plane. Burns and squadron mate Gus Williams were flying a patrol over Nichols Field in late morning and low on gas were… Read More »December 10, 1941 

December 10, 1941

Manila was heavily bombed for one hour this afternoon. Planes were too high for our guns. 20,000 feet. Getting bad here now. Looks bad. Paratroops on coast.

December 10, 1941

This day, I received the biggest scare in all my life. At 12:30 in the afternoon, as I returned to the college, I heard the siren for the first time since the war broke out. I immediately scanned the sky and spotted a formation of 56 high flying Japanese planes. I stood there admiring them.… Read More »December 10, 1941

10 Dec. 1941

Yesterday evening in her garden with a Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle V., very nice. Calm evening, she gives me her impressions of the war in France, at Saint-Jean-de-Luz which she left just before the Germans arrived [June 1940]. Neither of us is optimistic as far as the war is concerned. Our fear is that the Philippines won’t… Read More »10 Dec. 1941

December 10, 1941

When I got to the field, Sgt. King, the line chief, told me that all his crew had left the field. He could not get them to stay to do maintenance work. It wasn’t my job to take charge of maintenance but but it wasn’t being done, and it had to be done if the… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 10, 1941

Tonight the few interns stayed with us because they did not have any place to go, and the Fathers brought their things down to the ground floor. Fr. McGuiness and myself decided not to bring our belongings down, since we were very tired from the activities of the day. The siren sounded twice. The second… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 10, 1941

Nicols & Clark field also Ft. McKinley bombed & strafed. Permit to leave city. stall Cav.– road bombed — 7. A arrives-go Pilar-100 stops—no car lights—arrive 1 AM. 130 K. from Man. 6K in Hills. 1st sleep since war started. Reviewing the diary during the Court of Claims case, Claire wasn’t sure what the annotation… Read More »December 10, 1941

December 10, 1941, Wednesday

No telegram. Telegraphed Eddie Best and Mr. Booth. Mr. Wiley telegraphed Mr. Schick (P.C.C.) to ask about Jim. I sent three telegrams to him asking for immediate acknowledgment. No word. Wagon did not arrive, due each Wednesday 4:35 p.m. Radio reports Manila bombed.

December 10, 1941

We worked and worked and still more casualties came. This is awful! Many officers and soldiers are without arms and without Legs; now I know what shrapnel wounds are like.

December 10, 1941

I heard over the radio the stirring “Day of Infamy” speech of Pres. Roosevelt before the US Congress that ultimately declared war against Japan, Germany and Italy.  It was a forceful speech that unified America with that sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. The isolationist disappeared. Filipinos have high morale. Pres. Quezon pledge support and loyalty… Read More »December 10, 1941

12/11/41 Day 4

The Japanese force at Aparri continues rapidly south along Route 5 toward the town of Tuguegarao while Laoag and its airfield fall to the Vigan force.

The Japanese begin mining the San Bernardino and Surigao Straits, forcing commercial vessels to withdraw from Manila Bay.

Elsewhere: The Japanese begin their assault on Wake Island.

Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.

President Manuel L. Quezon held regular meetings in his Marikina residence after returning from Baguio after the outbreak of the war

Telegram of President Roosevelt to President Quezon, December 11, 1941

Message of President Quezon to the National Assembly, December 11, 1941

Message of President Quezon to the Speaker of the National Assembly, December 11, 1941

In the photo, Marikina, December 11, 1941, the Council of State meets under a mango tree: (L to R) Speaker Jose Yulo, Justice Jose Abad Santos, Secretary of Health Jose Fabella, Assemblyman Quintin Paredes, Justice Jose P. Laurel, Secretary of Labor Leon Guinto, Secretary of Finance Serafin Marabut, Executive Secretary Jorge B. Vargas, Vice President Sergio Osmeña, President Manuel L. Quezon. (Photo from Quezon Memorial Book).

11 December 1941

(Alongside Pier 1 Manila) 0020 Air raid sirens sounded (False alarm). 1047 CANOPUS shifted berth to south side of Pier 3. Camouflaged topside with red and black paint to blend in with dock buildings. Started removing submarine spares, torpedoes and warheads to dock on lighters for transfer to Corregidor in accordance with orders of Comsubs… Read More »11 December 1941

Thursday, December 11, 1941

It took all morning to get the guest house rearranged so as to take care of the two families. That house contains two big bedrooms, big sala, enormous porch and kitchen. We have eight beds which takes care of us beautifully even when the fathers come up (and we hope that they come often). The… Read More »Thursday, December 11, 1941

December 11, 1941

It was true! The enemy had landed at Lingayen! Nichols Field and Fort Stotsenberg had been bombed again! Those who had the time stayed near their radios for news from Washington, and while we braced ourselves for the next blow, we kept asking each other, “Will reinforcements come in time?” We nursed and eased the… Read More »December 11, 1941

Dec. 11, 1941

Fellows phoned Suyoc and Lepanto go help Distr. Engrs. demolish roads north of Baguio per USAFFE instructions. He has been very level headed. Moved the Japs to #6 Scout Hill and put up fence. Bombed again at 10:30 but no material damage. One empty QMC warehouse damaged and Sgt Cook injured. Put Lt Murphy on… Read More »Dec. 11, 1941

December 11, 1941

Col. Horan came honking at dawn for the lumber trucks to take dynamite from Balatoc Mine to Tarlac and Bautista. Radio says REPULSE and PRINCE OF WALES sunk. First aid class going strong from 8:00 to noon. Not many alarms today. Stripped this house, Florence’s and guesthouse of all possible old sheets, towels, etc. for… Read More »December 11, 1941

December 11, 1941

Transportation situation is better, although still acute. The Motor Transport Officer is getting things under better control and starting a new organization to handle the increased load. The City of Manila has almost been denuded of transportation, and very few private cars are now operating. A great many of the big taxi companies have been… Read More »December 11, 1941

11 December 1941

Another air raid today. No casualties and little damage done. Casualties on Monday’s raid have been totaled – 82 dead and about 110 wounded. 29 dead were civilians – poor little Carenderas that worked near Batchelors Building. We are getting Jap planes down though. Lots of them are being hit and the Japs toss out… Read More »11 December 1941

Dec. 11, 1941

[Introduction] “War” Yes war and all its pangs of suffering and sorrow, broke out on the Philippines Dec. 8, 41, the Feast of the Annuncation of Our Blessed Mother. Clark Field bombed with 54 bombers highth of 27,000 ft.. Clark Field partly destroyed. Casualities about 300 dead & wounded. I remained in Battery Area which… Read More »Dec. 11, 1941

Thur. Dec. 11/41

The streets and roads leading out of the city were choked with people leaving. Some were in trucks; taxis, caratelas, calesas and some were just walking. The railways are jammed, and the buses and streetcars in the city are filled to overflowing. I do not know where all the people are going, and I fear… Read More »Thur. Dec. 11/41

Thursday, December 11, 1941

Stayed at camp today. Met the whole Lazaga family and the rest of the kids — also some of the dormitory girls. Nancy Villanueva is from Hawaii and two are from Iloilo. Camp routine more or less established. Inspection at 8:00 – breakfast at 7:00 – morning devotions at 7:30. Quiet hour from 1:00 to… Read More »Thursday, December 11, 1941

December 11, 1941 

All day at Cabanatuan, no news from C.F. Been so long without food that I could hardly eat. Rested and wrote three letters, not happy ones, I’m afraid. Have a ride to C.F. tomorrow. Due to the heavy losses of P-40Es the first three days, USAFFE Headquarters this day ordered the pursuiters to “avoid direct… Read More »December 11, 1941 

December 11, 1941

The day before yesterday, the ROTC Commandant informed me that General Valdes had ordered all cadets to report to their respective schools for several weeks of intensive military training. By virtue of this order the schools are being converted into military headquarters. The announcement met with enthusiastic response from 160 students, some alumni, and some… Read More »December 11, 1941

December 11, 1941, Thursday

Servants all said they were leaving, but when I told them there would be no pay till Mr. Vaughan returned, they grudgingly returned to work. At 11:00 a.m. Mr. Serobe called excitedly saying Japanese had landed at Banago pier and were now marching on Bacolod—that roads were blocked, and to leave the house at once… Read More »December 11, 1941, Thursday

December 11, 1941

Natives curious. Follow me everywhere.

12/12/41 Day 5

The Japanese make another preliminary landing at Legaspi on southern Luzon. A task force of 2,500 men from the 16th Infantry Regiment at Palau, under the command of Colonel Naoki Kimura and spearheaded by the Kure Ist Special Naval Landing Force, goes ashore unopposed and secures Legaspi and the adjoining airfield.

Major General George M. Parker Jr., whose South Luzon Force consists of the 41st and 51st Divisions (PA), sends elements of the 51st forward to delay the enemy. However, contact is not made for several days.

The Tuguegarao airfield falls to the Aparri force early this morning.

Japanese planes attack throughout Luzon in force. Iba and Clark Fields are the primary targets with the main force directed against Iba. this field is 40 miles west of Clark Field on the South China Sea. It is nothing more than a small village next to a single grass landing strip. On the other side of the strip is a sandy beach. However, it is one of the most important fields in the Philippines for it has the only working radar in all of the islands. Batangas is also hit.

Japanese fighters and bombers again attack Luzon, virtually completing the destruction of all U.S. Army and Navy planes in the Philippines.

Del Carmen, Clark and Nichols Fields are hit as well as Baguio, Tarlac, Cabanatuan and Batangas.

General MacArthur’s aide Col. Sidney Huff went to President Manuel Quezon’s house in Mariquina to discuss his movement to Corregidor. At 2000 hours that night at the Manila Hotel, Quezon met with MacArthur,

Message of President Quezon to the Speaker of the National Assembly, December 12, 1941

Press Release Issued by the Department of State, December 12, 1941

December 13, 1941

Market at Balanga carrotela — 3P — 1K. 30 minutes wonder if trunk in M. safe. Only brought 2 bags with about 3 changes of clothes.

December 13, 1941 

Light straffing attack on C.F. early, bombs an hour later. Left for Man. Arrived in time for raid, but it was on N.F. 54 ships. One bomb fell in city near us. They mostly missed N.F. but really cleaned out the barrio. Joe Cole and other 21st Pursuiters arrived with Burns from Clark Field during… Read More »December 13, 1941 

Saturday, December 13, 1941

Came down to Manila with Daddy and Mother this morning. Jen came down with Walsers. Mme. Kollerman and the two Navarro brats came down with us. Mother and I visited at the school while all the others attended to their business. I was so cold and hungry. I helped the teachers make uniforms for the… Read More »Saturday, December 13, 1941

Sat. Dec. 13/41

The news this morning was to the effect that more than a hundred planes came over central Luzon yesterday and attacked several military objectives. Eleven were shot down. Mr. Pineda came to see us. He had just walked in from Imus. Said his brother was missing, and he was most likely killed in the raid… Read More »Sat. Dec. 13/41

December 13, 1941

There are continuous bombings and burnings of military camps around Manila. The capital has not yet been touched. A bomb was dropped between Letran and the Post Office but did not explode. It was immediately removed by some American soldiers. Evacuees are returning to the city in disgust and disappointment. Scarcity reigns in the provinces.… Read More »December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941

Transferred to main office, now at San Beda College; my reinstatement to the classified Federal Civil Service effective this date by order of Col Frank Brezina, Department Quartermaster. Am assigned for duty to the administrative division under Chief Clerk F.G. Wilson. I will be on night duty relieving Wilson at 5pm.

Dec. 13, 1941

First sleep for five nights. Feel a wreck and mighty dopy feel better now. Can think.

December 13, 1941

Nichols and Murphy Field had been bombed again! All hospital personnel had been instructed to sleep fully clothed. During the night I was repeatedly awakened by heavy bombings, anti-aircraft, and machine-gun and rifle firing. Sixty Japanese bombers dropped their bombs over the city shortly after our patients had completed lunch. More wounded and dying! After… Read More »December 13, 1941

Saturday, December 13, 1941

Nothing of importance up to noon. John returned to Manila after breakfast, not feeling too well, and at 10:45 Oscar came over from the factory saying that he had called the Manila office and they told him that Mr. Ivory head just left for Lusacan. A note from him yesterday said that he and Carl… Read More »Saturday, December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941

There was a bad raid on Manila this Week but so far the Japanese seem to have kept to military objectives like the Air Fields and Cavite. I do not know how soon I can send letters to Mother but am putting it down while it is still fresh in the mind. Today the radio… Read More »December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941, Saturday

No message from Manila. Afraid at night, servants are always threatening to go and sending clothes away already. When Elsa Huni offered to move in with me I was delighted. Elsa is daughter (19 years old) of a Swiss father and Filipino mother. Mother dead and father now married to red-headed Swiss woman, making Elsa’s… Read More »December 13, 1941, Saturday

December 13, 1941

Bill came home today from Paracale. He had a hectic trip; he traveled by train in a total blackout last night. I believe he thinks I am unduly alarmed. I tell him that I’m not tbying to be sensational but am factual.

13 December 1941

(Alongside Pier 3 Manila) 0603 Air raid sirens sounded – no planes appeared. 1155 Air raid sirens sounded. 1232 Twenty heavy bombers approached from north at about 8,000 feet, passing overhead and bombing NicholsField. At about the same time 8 light bombers attacked Nichols Field. 1247 About 18 more heavy bombers attacked Nichols Field. Heavy… Read More »13 December 1941

December 11-13, 1941

About the 11th, the raid was over for a matter of two or three hours, when we heard some explosions taking place and we thought that the Japs had been using delayed action bombs, but we found out later that the spinners on the bombs had not primed them because they had come in at… Read More »December 11-13, 1941

December 13, 1941

We have been getting air raids rather regularly—a couple yesterday, one at six and again about noon today. The Japanese blasted Nichols Field again today, also Neilson airport. Others went out and strafed Zablan Field. Three separate squadrons went over the city today—total about 62 planes. Others were operating all over northern Luzon. They have… Read More »December 13, 1941

12/13/41 Day 6

Japanese bombers and fighters again attack Luzon, virtually completing the destruction of all U.S. Army and Navy planes in the Philippines.

Del Carmen, Clark and Nichols Fields are hit as well as Baguio, Tarlac, Cabanatuan and Batangas.

At 1100 hours on 13 December Quezon convened his council of state, with vice president Sergio Osmeña, speaker of the national assembly Jose Yulo, chief justice Jose Abad Santos, and secretary of justice Jose P. Laurel among those in attendance. As liaison to MacArthur, senator Manuel Roxas wore his U.S. Army major’s uniform. Major General Basilio Valdes reviewed the call-up of 80,000 Filipino reserves, and Brigadier General Guillermo Francisco reported that his 6,000 constabulary men had “orders to round up all the Japanese and to take them to internment camps.

Official Week in Review, December 13, 1941: PRESIDENT QUEZON during the week issued an Executive Order instructing banking institutions not to allow the withdrawal of deposits in amounts in excess of P200 every week, as well as prohibiting all dealings in foreign exchange, except upon special license issued by the Bank Commissioner or any of his duly authorized agents.

Appointments and Designations: December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941

Market at Balanga carrotela — 3P — 1K. 30 minutes wonder if trunk in M. safe. Only brought 2 bags with about 3 changes of clothes.

December 13, 1941 

Light straffing attack on C.F. early, bombs an hour later. Left for Man. Arrived in time for raid, but it was on N.F. 54 ships. One bomb fell in city near us. They mostly missed N.F. but really cleaned out the barrio. Joe Cole and other 21st Pursuiters arrived with Burns from Clark Field during… Read More »December 13, 1941 

Saturday, December 13, 1941

Came down to Manila with Daddy and Mother this morning. Jen came down with Walsers. Mme. Kollerman and the two Navarro brats came down with us. Mother and I visited at the school while all the others attended to their business. I was so cold and hungry. I helped the teachers make uniforms for the… Read More »Saturday, December 13, 1941

Sat. Dec. 13/41

The news this morning was to the effect that more than a hundred planes came over central Luzon yesterday and attacked several military objectives. Eleven were shot down. Mr. Pineda came to see us. He had just walked in from Imus. Said his brother was missing, and he was most likely killed in the raid… Read More »Sat. Dec. 13/41

December 13, 1941

There are continuous bombings and burnings of military camps around Manila. The capital has not yet been touched. A bomb was dropped between Letran and the Post Office but did not explode. It was immediately removed by some American soldiers. Evacuees are returning to the city in disgust and disappointment. Scarcity reigns in the provinces.… Read More »December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941

Transferred to main office, now at San Beda College; my reinstatement to the classified Federal Civil Service effective this date by order of Col Frank Brezina, Department Quartermaster. Am assigned for duty to the administrative division under Chief Clerk F.G. Wilson. I will be on night duty relieving Wilson at 5pm.

Dec. 13, 1941

First sleep for five nights. Feel a wreck and mighty dopy feel better now. Can think.

December 13, 1941

Nichols and Murphy Field had been bombed again! All hospital personnel had been instructed to sleep fully clothed. During the night I was repeatedly awakened by heavy bombings, anti-aircraft, and machine-gun and rifle firing. Sixty Japanese bombers dropped their bombs over the city shortly after our patients had completed lunch. More wounded and dying! After… Read More »December 13, 1941

Saturday, December 13, 1941

Nothing of importance up to noon. John returned to Manila after breakfast, not feeling too well, and at 10:45 Oscar came over from the factory saying that he had called the Manila office and they told him that Mr. Ivory head just left for Lusacan. A note from him yesterday said that he and Carl… Read More »Saturday, December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941

There was a bad raid on Manila this Week but so far the Japanese seem to have kept to military objectives like the Air Fields and Cavite. I do not know how soon I can send letters to Mother but am putting it down while it is still fresh in the mind. Today the radio… Read More »December 13, 1941

December 13, 1941, Saturday

No message from Manila. Afraid at night, servants are always threatening to go and sending clothes away already. When Elsa Huni offered to move in with me I was delighted. Elsa is daughter (19 years old) of a Swiss father and Filipino mother. Mother dead and father now married to red-headed Swiss woman, making Elsa’s… Read More »December 13, 1941, Saturday

December 13, 1941

Bill came home today from Paracale. He had a hectic trip; he traveled by train in a total blackout last night. I believe he thinks I am unduly alarmed. I tell him that I’m not tbying to be sensational but am factual.

13 December 1941

(Alongside Pier 3 Manila) 0603 Air raid sirens sounded – no planes appeared. 1155 Air raid sirens sounded. 1232 Twenty heavy bombers approached from north at about 8,000 feet, passing overhead and bombing NicholsField. At about the same time 8 light bombers attacked Nichols Field. 1247 About 18 more heavy bombers attacked Nichols Field. Heavy… Read More »13 December 1941

December 11-13, 1941

About the 11th, the raid was over for a matter of two or three hours, when we heard some explosions taking place and we thought that the Japs had been using delayed action bombs, but we found out later that the spinners on the bombs had not primed them because they had come in at… Read More »December 11-13, 1941

December 13, 1941

We have been getting air raids rather regularly—a couple yesterday, one at six and again about noon today. The Japanese blasted Nichols Field again today, also Neilson airport. Others went out and strafed Zablan Field. Three separate squadrons went over the city today—total about 62 planes. Others were operating all over northern Luzon. They have… Read More »December 13, 1941

12/14/41 Day 7

The Japanese Aparri force reaches Vigan. Both groups are placed under the same command and are ordered to march south to the area of Lingayen Gulf.

Admiral Thomas C. Hart withdraws the few remaining patrol bombers of Patrol Wing 10, and three tenders from the Philippines. This leaves very little of the Asiatic Fleet to support ongoing operations.

Major General Lewis H. Brereton has already withdrawn the heavy bombers of the FEAF from Luzon to the Del Monte airfield on Mindanao.

At 0800 hours on 14 December the Japanese entered Naga.

14 December 1941

0516 and 0840 False alarms on air raid sirens. 1052 air raid sirens sounded. 1058 Twenty-six bombers in 3 waves were sighted going south above clouds. Many bomb splashes seen in water between Honolulu Iron Works and ships in harbor (all misses). Inaccuracy may have been due to poor visibility.

December 14, 1941

I didn’t realize today was Sunday until I was fed hot cakes for breakfast today—our usual Sunday a.m. food. To cap the climax we had dinner at noon too. In the meantime I had again forgotten it was Sunday, and asked Juan [the family’s Filipino retainer from before the war] why we were having a… Read More »December 14, 1941

Sunday, December 14, 1941

We all awakened fresh after a restful night’s sleep. Carl was a different person, calm and collected. Everybody was hungry for breakfast, and how Ada’s fresh eggs were enjoyed! Carl and George returned to Manila, leaving here about eleven with promises to write and keep up informed. The night’s news said that the Nichols Field… Read More »Sunday, December 14, 1941

December 14, 1941

While MacArthur seems to be putting up a strong defense, he is losing planes very fast and, with the sea cut off by the loss of the fleet, we should be unable to reinforce him probably in time to save the islands. However, we have started everything going that we could.

December 14, 1941

The Japanese seemed to have the freedom of the skies. They raided the city several times a day, and there never was any opposition from our bombers. After each air attack there were more wounded and dying. We did what we could for them, and we went about our work in a daze. There was… Read More »December 14, 1941

Dec. 14, 1941

Seven planes came overhead but dropped no bombs. Inspected Murphy’s position again. Well located.

December 14, 1941

The Post was just bombed. No deaths. one injured. We could see six bombers going into the clouds. We have had «o many alarms we have cut meals to a minimum, eating Filipino chow with the servants and like it. It is rice with a mixture of vegetables and meat. garlic or onion. For sweet… Read More »December 14, 1941

December 14, 1941

Yesterday, American High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre radioed a message to his homeland. It sounded like a drowning man’s desperate call for help. It was worded thus: The message which I send you, people of the United States, is this: We in the frontline are fighting to death because we have a firm faith in… Read More »December 14, 1941

Sun. Dec. 14/41

Had an air-raid warning during the night, one at daybreak and another just as I was getting ready to leave for Pasay. The all clear came about 9:30 a.m. and I arrived at Lerit’s about 10:13 a.m. Willie was there and the Doloreses and Lerit’s. The rest had all left for the provinces. The bombing… Read More »Sun. Dec. 14/41

Sunday, December 14, 1941

This certainly didn’t seem like Sunday. Breakfast – inspection – services. The services were at 9:00 and Pastor Navarro led them. More bombers flying over so more air-raids in Manila. Now, when the bombers fly directly over the camp, we have to hide in the ditches. After services we just played around. Lunch and siesta.… Read More »Sunday, December 14, 1941

December 14, 1941 

Sunday again. Are staying in Catholic school in city, fairly safe. Several raids during day, no bombing. Good to be back with the Sqd’n again. Morale is high, everyone wants ships and a crack at the Nips. Burns evidently had been separated from the squadron since landing at Cabanatuan on December 10th. The 21st’s officers… Read More »December 14, 1941 

December 14, 1941

Hold school for native children to kill time. First class 10 Last class maybe 100–

12/15/41 Day 8

General Brereton receives permission to withdraw the few remaining B-17’s to Darwin, Australia. The air defense of the Philippines is now left to the few fighters still operational.

MEETING FOR THE SECOND time since the opening of its special session last week, the National Assembly last December 15 unanimously approved a Bill declaring a state of total emergency and conferring the following additional extraordinary powers upon the President to meet such an emergency: (1) to transfer the seat of the National Government or any of its subdivisions, branches, departments, offices, agencies or instrumentalities; (2) to reorganize the Government of the Commonwealth including the determination of the order of precedence of the heads of the executive departments; (3) to create new subdivisions, branches, departments, offices, agencies or instrumentalities of government and to abolish any of those already existing; (4) to continue in force laws and appropriations which would lapse or otherwise become inoperative and to modify or suspend the operation or application of those of an administrative character; (5) to impose new taxes or to increase, reduce, suspend or abolish those in existence; (6) to raise funds through the issuance of bonds or otherwise, and to authorize the expenditure of the proceeds thereof; (7) to authorize national, provincial, city or municipal governments to incur an overdraft for purposes that he may approve; (8) to declare the suspension of the collection of credit or the payment of debts; and (9) to exercise such other powers as he may deem necessary to enable the Government to fulfill its responsibilities and to maintain and enforce its authority. The Bill also provides: (1) that the President shall as soon as practicable upon the convening of the Congress of the Philippines report thereto all the rules and regulations promulgated by him under the powers granted him; and (2) that the Act goes into effect upon its approval and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be in force and effect until the Congress of the Philippines shall otherwise provide. The Bill was signed by the President last December 16…

The Assembly likewise approved a resolution amending Resolution No. 115, which pledged the cooperation of the Filipino people to the United States, by including Germany and Italy as belligerent nations in addition to Japan. Another resolution approved by the Assembly authorizes the Speaker to call sessions at any time and place….

The President also: proclaimed daylight-saving time for the Philippines effective December 16, 1941, to continue only until January 31, 1942, and from March 1 to June 30, 1942, and directed that at 12 o’clock midnight on December 15, 1941, the standard time of the Philippines be advanced one hour; ordered that regular office hours for government bureaus and offices, including provincial, city and municipal governments, be fixed during the present emergency from 7:00 a. m. to 1:00 p. m., standard time, and from 8:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m. during the period or periods when daylight-saving time is operative; postponed to a later date, which shall be fixed and announced in another proclamation to be issued by the President for the purpose, the special election in the Municipality of Dansalan, Lanao called by a previous proclamation to take place on Tuesday, January 13, 1942; authorized the payment of salaries in advance not exceeding a period of three months to all officers and employees of the national, provincial, city or municipal governments, including their agencies and instrumentalities; transferred from the General Auditing Office to the Budget Office the function of preparing and keeping the accounts of the various departments, bureaus, offices and dependencies of the National Government, including the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Commission on Elections and the University of the Philippines, as well as the functions of acting upon requisitions for supplies, materials and equipment, and of operating the Salvage Warehouse; granted pardons to more than 100 prisoners who have shown exemplary conduct and good behaviour during their confinement.

United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) inducts all units of the Philippine Army; reservists called to the colors. (Official Week in Review, December 20, 1941)

February 15, 1942

Junkin baby born in cottage hospital at 5:30, starting at midnight. What are these babies –Japanese subjects, citizens? It is Chinese New Year today also. Lee’s amah washed all her clothes for it last night. The Women’s Committee listed working hours credited to each internee. With care of two Scott children and supervision of sections,… Read More »February 15, 1942

December 15, 1941

see funny sights at town pump out side my window. Natives climb trees to look in at me if I don’t come out. Bombing far away.

December 15, 1941

Our Manila Bay Q-Boat Patrols continue, nothing unusual to report –no hits, no runs, no errors, so to speak. Our general situation is “lumalaon bumubuti, sumasama sa dati” as we say in Bulacan.  The Japanese forces gained a foothold in Aparri, Vigan and are expanding them.  For as I see it, the enemy now have… Read More »December 15, 1941

Wernitznig

December [15th], 1941

Moved from sugar central to a hacienda about 3 kilometer away. Were to stay until Christmas eve. On Dec. 13th officers of 57th were recommended for promotion in according to Tables of Organization. I was recommended for Majority being the Regimental Surgeon. I recommended all 3 of my battalions be promoted to the rank of… Read More »December [15th], 1941

December 15, 1941

For the first time since our training started, I returned home with Herme Villarica, a cousin. It’s worth going through all the trouble of training to receive a welcome like the one I received. I felt like a Roman warrior returning from a glorious campaign in Gaul. I found out that every night since the… Read More »December 15, 1941

December 15, 1941 

All of Sqd’n left for -x- today–10 officers here in M. for a while. Bombed N.F. again today, very little damage. Dyess plus four other of the 21st’s pilots and all the enlisted men were taken by bus to a new secret field seven miles west of Lubao, a small town 35 miles northwest of… Read More »December 15, 1941 

December 15, 1941

We all have our problems. A man I know is in love with a lovely girl –truly lovely– who is constantly sleeping with other men. “I must wait,” he said, “until it is taken out of her.” The rest of us have the war. Since the war began, I have slept, in seven days, in… Read More »December 15, 1941

Mon. Dec. 15/41

No raids last night, and we got a good rest. Small news dispatch coming from America admits that the damage to the fleet at Hawaii was quite heavy. It is 8:30 a.m. and the sirens are blowing again. Cecil has gone to the market. I can hear the bombers coming, so I will go to… Read More »Mon. Dec. 15/41

December 15, 1941

Night before last, rumors spread like wildfire that the tap water has been poisoned by the Japanese, or by the Germans, or by fifth columnists… or by ghosts. The Japanese, the Germans and the fifth columnists have been put away in safety. Only the ghosts can be walking around freely. The police and the members… Read More »December 15, 1941

15 December 1941

My intentions are to keep some sort of running account of what goes on in this fracas. Not a diary nor a memorandum, but a cross between the two. I am one week late in getting this poop on the go – that is, it will be one week old in about four hours. My… Read More »15 December 1941

Dec. 15, 1941

Nothing much doing. A lot of radios. Civilian Engrs. doing a lot of damage up north.

Dec. 15 – 41

Been working practically day and night, and got the day off today. Went to Manila, overnight, and got tight and had a good time.

December 15, 1941

The Japanese again bombed the city just as our patients were having lunch. Fort Stotsenberg continued to take heavy punishment many times a day. People continued to ask, “Where are our planes?” Hospital personnel had only to look at the grim faces of our wounded pilots to know the answer. But we still didn’t want… Read More »December 15, 1941

Monday, December 15, 1941

Thank Heavens!! The morning paper brought word that the bombing of Nichols Field and the fires started there did not get our houses. We are all organized this morning, and this week Eleanor takes over the superintending of the kitchen. We have a Chinese cook and all food is rationed, even to the servants. The… Read More »Monday, December 15, 1941

December 15, 1941

I went to town with Jerry to hunt for bread but there was none so we’ll get along on rice and hotcakes now and then. Flour cannot be bought at the moment. Carl has organized a “spotting system” for siren signals on approaching planes with about ten American men from the Chinese Language School which… Read More »December 15, 1941

Monday, December 15, 1941

More normal life with Elsa as companion. Iloilo-Bacolod air express resumed on Saturday and people more calm.

December 15, 1941

We had two air alarms early this a.m. and another about noon today. The first two were false alarms as far as we were concerned, as all enemy planes were north of here. The third alarm was a real one and two groups of Jap planes flew over but kept on going. I don’t know… Read More »December 15, 1941

15 December 1941

0817 Air raid alarm sounded — no planes sighted. Radio reported later that planes had headed toward OLONGAPO. 1210 Air raid alarm sounded. Eighteen heavy bombers arrived within a few minutes from northward, flying in two waves at about 15,000 feet. Bombs dropped in direction of Nichols Field. About the same time 3 light bombers… Read More »15 December 1941

Dec.15/41

Since Dec. 9th we have had an average of five air raid alarms each day, although many times we do not see the planes as they strike elsewhere. On Dec. 15th Nichols Field was severely bombed. Causing many casualties thereas well as in Pasay, the suburb next the air field. Rumors are rife, such as… Read More »Dec.15/41

12/16/41 Day 9

Nothing new. Everyone is looking for the relief column that is supposed to be coming from the United States.

December 16, 1941

There was no alarm last night. In the morning the people got out of their beds, rubbed their eyes in the chill light of dawn and congratulated each other for having a good night’s rest with a feeling usually reserved for birthdays and anniversaries. At the office a girl called me up. She was living… Read More »December 16, 1941

December 16, 1941 

Very quiet day-had no raids. Reported into AF Hdq. Found jobs for all officers. Parcher and I do nothing but wait. Looks like Japs were trying to knock us out all at once–failed–now we shall see. At Lubao, Dyess and the others were busy camouflaging the field. The officers and senior noncoms were living in… Read More »December 16, 1941 

Tues. Dec. 16/41

Cecil goes to market, and I go to Pinagkaisahan to see the folks there. They are to be evacuated by the Red Cross, as it is too dangerous so close to the fort. The barrios look very deserted, houses vacant, with pigs and chickens that were left behind wandering around looking for something to eat.… Read More »Tues. Dec. 16/41

December 16, 1941

The daily visits of the winged machines continue, almost always interrupting our meals. From the garden we can see them, flying in perfect formations of three. Sometimes they are nine, sometimes twenty-seven, shining in the sunlight like silvery doves—not of peace. They fly at very high altitudes, beyond the reach of anti-aircraft guns. To our… Read More »December 16, 1941

December 16, 1942

We had a very quiet day today. That is, it was quiet as far as enemy activity is concerned. There has been no alarm since noon yesterday. Consequently, I had a very good night’s sleep last night. No activity reported on the part of Jap forces at Vigan and Aparri. Some activity at Legaspi, where… Read More »December 16, 1942

December 16, 1941

Lts. Brownwell, Crosby, Stone, and myself, all from the 17th Pursuit Squadron, were told to go back to Nichols, take over the 17th and reorganize it, and take charge of maintenance work at both Nichols and Nielson airfields. From all reports everything was pretty much of a mess at these places. Lt. Brownwell was the… Read More »December 16, 1941

Dec. 16, 1941

Visited outpost. All well. Had expected only 45 Jap internees. Have over three hundred. Hiyakawa, Yammamoto and Nagatomi in charge. Good men.

December 16, 1941

The Army and the Filipino skippers had long been butting heads. All the channels out of Manila Bay had been mined for many months. At this time, the mining was strictly up to date and operational. At 1 AM on 16 December, the SS Corregidor, carrying 760 refugees, attempted to go thru the mine field… Read More »December 16, 1941

Tuesday, December 16, 1941

President Quezon’s first nationwide talk at 3:30, daylight saving time (changed clocks at midnight last night). Everyone listening. Had told servants to come to listen to radio, thinking it might quiet their fears. Radio clear for preliminary music— “Star-Spangled Banner” and Philippine national anthem—but when Quezon began to speak there was torrential static on all… Read More »Tuesday, December 16, 1941

December 16, 1941

Fort Stotsenberg had five air attacks yesterday, and Joyce, the army nurse who worked with me, lost her sweetheart during one of the raids. She went about her work silently with red and swollen eyes. My family at the apartment now numbered four, counting my little pet. Sophie, the wife of a mining engineer, came… Read More »December 16, 1941

Tuesday, December 16, 1941

Today the children have dug ant hills all day long until they have blisters in their hands!! We told them that they could have five cents for each queen they brought in, and so they have dug. It is wonderful how well they have played together, playing all day long in group play without dissension.… Read More »Tuesday, December 16, 1941

December 16, 1941

Bedie has a cough and temperature. Both children have terrific appetites. They mustn’t work so hard at the dugout for it doubles their hunger. Our phone rings all day, and we ourselves keep contact with many people like Mrs. Saleeby and Helen who are alone. I go to the Red Cross nearly every day. The… Read More »December 16, 1941

16 December 1941

0010 SEAADRAGON stood out for southern waters, emergency repairs completed. 0755 changed clocks to minus nine time. During the day transferred all provisions except a 2 weeks supply to MS MANAPLA. Mounted eight more .50 cal. machine guns salvaged from Cavite and submarines, making this armament a total of 16 guns. installed boiler plate shields… Read More »16 December 1941

December 16, 1941

Here we are, well into the second week of our war. It seems years, but it’s exactly a week ago yesterday since Nick handed me that paper, adding his two bits to the headlines: “Good morning, ma’am,” said he cheerfully, “Honolulu’s bombed. What’ll we do now?” We went to market, first. War or no war,… Read More »December 16, 1941

12/17/41 Day 10

The Japanese Legaspi force (which landed on 12 December), advancing northwest on Luzon along Route 1 toward Naga, makes its first contact with Filipino troops near Rajay. The fighting is very heavy.

All the B-17’s on Mindanao begin their withdrawal to Australia.

United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) inducts all units of the Philippine Army; reservists called to the colors.

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY has been officially informed of the death of two of its members, Assemblymen Juan M. Reyes, of Capiz, and Atanacio Ampig, of Iloilo, who were among the hundreds, who lost their lives in the sinking of the steamship Corregidor last December 17 after hitting a mine in the bay.

On being advised of the tragedy, the President said: “My heart goes out to the members of the families of those who perished in this terrible accident, some of whom were my dear personal friends who had rendered signal public service to our country and people.” (Official Week in Review, December 20, 1941)

See: The sinking of the S.S. Corregidor, December 16-17, 1941

December 17, 1941

Still no raid last night. Soldiers, however, in a fanatical determination to enforce the blackout to the letter, kept firing shots in the air throughout the night to remind lax householders of the rule, contributing almost as much as a wave of enemy bombers to keeping the city restless in bed. The war has disrupted… Read More »December 17, 1941

December 17, 1941

The disaster in Pearl Harbor resulted in the silent quick relief of its top commanders. Today without ceremony in his office, Gen. Walter C. Short, USA Hawaiian Departmental Commander read his orders relinquishing command to Maj. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, USAAC.  Likewise, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel USN CinCPAC relinquished his command quietly to VAdm. William… Read More »December 17, 1941

December 17, 1941

I felt greatly privileged and proud when I was assigned, among others, to guard the Philippine Army Headquarters. Never was I more proud of my country than that day. My heart swelled with pride and joy to see young men by the thousands, swarming into the headquarters to volunteer their service. Rizal was right. They… Read More »December 17, 1941

December 17, 1941 

Another quiet day–no raids. Did very little but report into A.F. Hq. Sure wish we would get some mail. Have that last letter memorized now.

Wernitznig

Dec. 15-16-17, 1941

Flights of 27 enemy bombers constantly overhead, keeping us in foxholes great deal of the time.

December 17, 1941

Bamboos are no longer being burned at night. Nobody can explain such fantastic illuminations in different places during the first nightly raids. They tell us they are the Japanese, a pro-Japanese spies who burn assortments of multicolored lights which signal to the enemy pilots the different places and the nature of their targets: friends, enemies,… Read More »December 17, 1941

December 17, 1941

No air raids today either. I have done very well on sleep the last two nights. It almost appears there is no war—except for the continued activity and bustle during the day. Our major problem is still one of transportation. We are harassed by requests from all quarters for transportation of all kinds, yet everyone… Read More »December 17, 1941

December 17, 1941

The next morning, Brownwell, Stone, Crosby, and I went out to Fort McKinley where the Air Force Headquarters was then located and got an idea of what was expected. We were told that some colonel had made an inspection of Nichols and Nielson. Everything, including the maintenance on planes and camouflage for planes, was so… Read More »December 17, 1941

Dec. 17, 1941

No change. Moved Mess to log cabin, #56.

Wed. Dec. 17/41

Things are quiet. Filipino soldier came in yesterday to make sure we were not spies. We went to bed early, as it is impossible to do anything in the blackout. Some volunteer guards and a policeman came to our door very excited as they thought we had lit a bon fire that was smoldering near… Read More »Wed. Dec. 17/41

December 17, 1941

Many local civilian nurses and missionary nurses from India, Japan and China had volunteered their services at the hospital. The entire city worked together, building air-raid shelters, helping the Red Cross, and starting vegetable gardens. There was no more dressing for dinner, dancing, and the movies. The long walks on Dewey Boulevard with my little… Read More »December 17, 1941

Wednesday, December 17, 1941

John and George returned to the city soon after breekfast and they said that George and Carl will come up Saturday afternoon — I hope so. Sent a note to Carl asking him to come if he could. Ada and I spent the morning getting the supplies that John and George brought put away, the… Read More »Wednesday, December 17, 1941

Wednesday, December 17, 1941

Announced this afternoon that inter-island ship bound for Visayas from Manila struck mine in Manila Bay, sinking within 10 minutes. Casualties high. Was Jim on this boat? There is no news except radio, no newspapers, no telegrams, no telephone. How can I find out?

17 December 1941

Torpedo overhaul and some optical shop equipment transferred to Corregidor, along with Gunner Willhoite and torpedo personnel in accordance with verbal orders of Comsubs AF. 1730 SAILFISH came alongside for fuel, water, stores, etc. SS CORREGIDOR reported lost with considerable loss of life due to striking mine off Corregidor.

12/18/41 Day 11

The Japanese detachment moving northwest from Legaspi, reaches Naga.

Lieutenant “Buzz” Wagner becomes the first American ace of the war by downing five Japanese planes during an engagement over Luzon.

Elsewhere: Japanese troops invade Hong Kong.

IN A RADIO SPEECH DELIVERED TO THE NATION on the afternoon of last December 18, the President advised the people of the Philippines to be calm and confident. “There will be much suffering,” he said, “but I trust that you will bear it with courage and fortitude.” Our Government is doing everything it can to protect and safeguard noncombatants, especially women and children, according to the President, and it is the duty of all to cooperate actively and promptly in every respect with the authorities. He urged the people most particularly to economize all food supplies and do everything they can to produce foodstuffs that they and others may need. The President also gave a warning against rumors and propaganda being spread by the enemy or by fifth-columnists “to weaken our spirit or break up the morale of our population.” “The news will be given to you in official statements and you should only believe those news,” he stated. Concluding, the President said: “I have no doubt that in the end victory will be on our side. America, with her unlimited resources and strength, will come to our aid. And above all, I am confident that the God of Justice—our Divine Father—is with us. May He bless us all.”

UNITED STATES PRESIDENT Franklin D. Roosevelt advanced $10,000,000 from his own emergency funds to President Manuel L. Quezon through Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur, Commanding General of the United States Army Forces in the Far East, for public relief and civilian defense in the Philippines, pending passage by the United States Congress of the measure appropriating $54,000,000 of the proceeds of the sugar tax and gold devaluation funds for Philippine civilian defense. The federal treasury check for the entire amount was delivered to the President by Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Roxas, Liaison Officer and Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant General MacArthur, on the afternoon of last December 18. The President promptly endorsed it to the Treasurer of the Philippines, Apolinario de Leon. The $10,000,000 disbursement from President Roosevelt’s emergency funds was made in response to an appeal by President Quezon. Soon after endorsing the check, the latter wired President Roosevelt expressing his gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of the Philippines…

UPON THE SUGGESTION of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the President ordered that the Filipino flag be inverted so that the red stripe will be up and the blue one down. Traditionally, the Philippines at war has flown its flag that way “to denote the valor, firmness, and fortitude with which the Filipino people aim to prosecute war to victory.”…

Accompanied by his daughters and Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Nieto, the President during the week visited civilian bomb victims at the Philippine General Hospital and toured Quezon City and Manila.

HEADQUARTERS of the United States Army Forces in the Far East announced last December 18 that the entire Philippine Army is being inducted into the service of the United States to amalgamate all defense forces and to effectuate maximum cohesion and coordination.

According to another announcement of the same Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Roxas and Major Carlos P. Romulo, Reservists, Philippine Army, have been called to active duty and inducted into the service of the United States Army Forces. Lieutenant Colonel Roxas has been designated Liaison Officer and Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur, while Major Romulo was placed on duty in the Press Relations Section… (Official Week in Review, December 20, 1941)

December 18,1941

Bill went into the Army today. We didn’t discuss his decision; he knows what he wants, and I shall not voice an opinion. Many other reservists are undergoing physical examinations in order to see whether they can qualify for active service.

December 8-18, 1941

WAR 1941 – ? Olongapo December 8, 1941 Arrived Cavite December 9, 1941Cavite Bombed December 10, 1941 OLONGAPO – BINACAYAN It will be extremely difficult to reconstruct a war as we saw it sixteen months after it happened – to replace oneself in a fox hole and try to re-feel the sensations caused by bombers,… Read More »December 8-18, 1941

Thursday, December 18, 1941

Quezon’s speech on radio—first mention of it since first blocked-out broadcast. Evidently broadcast had been blocked by American headquarters, not Japanese. Puppy lost. Loss seemed of maximum importance due to strain. Puppy found under Jim’s desk at office. Dog lonesome. 4:30 telephone call that partial list of survivors of S.S. Corregidor released, all Filipinos. Iloilo… Read More »Thursday, December 18, 1941

December 18, 1941

As I was finishing coffee at lunch, trying to get some kind of news from the rad ning coffee at lunch, trying to get some kind of news from the radio except “everything is under control,” I heard a car stop and someone running down the stone steps. It was “Blondie” Barker, an American engineer… Read More »December 18, 1941

Thursday, December 18, 1941

Nichols Field had another raid. The city of Iloilo was raided and so was Carde — some damage to all. In lloilo the people on the streets were machine gunned. Hong Kong is not doing so well, but all other fronts are holding. There is not much activity in the Islands, thank Heavens. This afternoon… Read More »Thursday, December 18, 1941

December 18, 1941

The enemy dropped incendiary bombs close to our hospital. A few minutes later, the wounded began arriving but, unfortunately, many of them died en route to the operating rooms and wards. For the last few days, soldiers, officers, and corpsmen had been digging trenches in the hospital yard for ambulatory and litter patients and hospital… Read More »December 18, 1941

Thurs. Dec. 18/41

I wonder if we will have a raid today. Two days now with none and we are all breathing easier. Life is getting back to normal except that there are not so many people in the streets. We changed our minds about the air raid shelter, and filled the hole back in again, and got… Read More »Thurs. Dec. 18/41

December 18, 1941

The President took Miss Aurora for a ride to see the damages in the City. This was the last time his people saw him in public.

Dec. 18, 1941

Japs reported at many places along west coast. Placed all of Co A on Naguilian rd. and part of Co B on Kennon rd.

December 18, 1941

An officer was supposed to be on duty at Nichols as airdrome officer and spend the night there. I pulled the first night. The next day I spent checking on maintenance and having the men dig fox holes where they had to work. This was in case they should be caught in a surprise raid.… Read More »December 18, 1941

December 18, 1941

The Japs decided we had been permitted to rest long enough so they staged another party today. Bombed Nichols Field again and strafed it, then moved over to Zablan Field and gave it a taste of the same thing. However, no serious damage was reported. I had just finished lunch when it started, and went… Read More »December 18, 1941

Thursday, December 18, 1941

Came down to Manila with Mother and Daddy again. I was certainly hungry because no breakfast till 10:30. Mother and I stayed at the school while Daddy went to the bank. The raid came at noon and we hid away under the stairs. Mr. Valerosa was there and we talked to him during the raid.… Read More »Thursday, December 18, 1941

Wernitznig

Dec. 18, 1941

Maj. Ruth 12th med. Bn. visited today and explained various forms I am to fill out. Raveston has his collecting company at GUAGUA. NELL near Porac, KELLY in churchyard at GUAGUA, HERBST near FLORIDABLANCA.

December 18, 1941 

Had a raid today. Was down town at time. They hit Nichols light.

December 18, 1941

It was another raidless night –the fifth in a row. This morning Escolta was full of people again. Some were even buying. A few picked up the pretty Christmas cards and looked at them in a tentative way. Some put them down but others, pocketing caution, bought. In the street I heard children singing. In… Read More »December 18, 1941

December 8-30, 1941

My dearest Mother and all, I do not know just when you will receive this letter, but I know it will interest you and the folks to know what we have done since the outbreak of the war. On December 8 (1941) we listened in on the radio as usual and when we heard the… Read More »December 8-30, 1941

12/19/41 Day 12

The Legaspi detachment reaches Sipoco and is reported to be pushing toward Daet.

On Mindanao, two enemy forces from Palau, totaling more than 3,000 men from the 56th Infantry Regiment, arrive off Davao during the night of 19-20 December.

Japanese planes discover and attack the Del Monte airfield.

December 19, 1941

DECEMBER 19, 1941 TO NAVY YARD, CAVITE In those early days of the war, there was but little harsh reality — we did not know of the long range planning of the enemy. We expected the loss of French Indo China and an attempt to close the Burma Road. But, in our own little theater,… Read More »December 19, 1941

Friday, December 19, 1941

Took children with me to see Captain Richard Jones to try to get word of Jim. Got permission for telephone call on second visit in afternoon. Spanish women back of army headquarters sitting all day in crude air raid shelter sewing and talking. Permission to put through call to Manila granted and written notice taken… Read More »Friday, December 19, 1941

Friday, December 19, 1941

Headache all day, have not kept up with the news, but I know there is not anything special. Bob brought in the refrigerator from Pagsanjan, and tomorrow Ada plans to get it working.

December 12-19, 1941

On 19 December, I sent a radiogram to my wife saying, “Am okay!” On 12 December we were issued service gas masks which we never had occasion to use but whose plastic containers proved very useful later on. On 13 December, 27 bombers approached Fort Hughes. This was evidently a feint because the formation split… Read More »December 12-19, 1941

Fri. Dec. 19/41

No raids last night! People are getting used to this life a little, and we see a few more peddlers around in the mornings and a few more caratelas taking people to the market. Cecil and I went to town this morning. I had business at the Post Office and there we saw Tagumpay Eusebio. … Read More »Fri. Dec. 19/41

December 19, 1941

He (MacArthur) is inclined to cut my throat and perhaps of the Navy in general. So I have to watch the record and keep it straight lest I wake up some morning and read that T. Hart lost a war or something.

Dec. 19, 1941

Jp reported moving south from Vigan. Major Moses and Noble have bus at Bacnotan to meet them.

December 19, 1941

After the bombing of Iloilo yesterday we thought it best to evacuate to the farm in Barotac. Most of our furniture was already there. After arriving on the farm for a week, Coné heard the news from the Army headquarters that they expected an invasion within three days. He heard the news in Iloilo and… Read More »December 19, 1941

December 19, 1941

We had two visitations from the Japs today—one in the morning about ten o’clock and a second one just as I finished lunch again—about two o’clock. Both attacks were directed at Cavite. No report on the damage, although they hit something as I could see clouds of black smoke—possibly from oil tanks. It looked like… Read More »December 19, 1941

December 19, 1941 

Two raids about noon, hit Cavite. Don’t think much damage done. Getting tired of this doing nothing.

December 19, 1941

Today is a historical day for the OSP.  The whole OSP command was inducted into the USAFFE this morning and two hours after the ceremonies at Muelle del Codo, the Japanese bombed Port Area.  OSP HQ was spared but Engineer Island where eight hulls of new Q-Boats are about to be completed was a direct… Read More »December 19, 1941

December 19, 1941

No raid last night. Slept well. Rose early. U.S. Army headquarters confirmed bombing of Iloilo City yesterday. More than 30 planes participated in the raid which killed an estimated 5, wounded 34. In Manila looting cases were reported. War is war. Temperature at 8 a.m. 85 degrees, Fahrenheit. Cloudy. Possible showers. Press conference at a… Read More »December 19, 1941

12/20/41 Day 13

In another preliminary landing, the Japanese invade Mindanao early in the morning. The landing force goes ashore in the general area of Davao, and after overcoming light opposition from about 2,000 Filipino troops, seize Davao and its airfield.

On Luzon, the Japanese force at Vigan finally starts south toward the Lingayen Gulf area.

Appointments made by the President included the following: Presidential Secretary Jorge B. Vargas as Acting Secretary of National Defense; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose Laurel as Secretary of Justice, vice Secretary Teofilo Sison to enable the latter to devote all his time to his work as Chairman of the Civilian Emergency Administration; General Manager Victor Buencamino, of the National Rice and Corn Corporation, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Cooperatives Administration, vice Dr. Camilo Osias, who is devoting all his time to his duties as Director of the Publicity and Propaganda Office of the Civilian Emergency Administration; Acting Manager Tomas Confessor, of the National Cooperative Administration, as Assistant Food Administrator of the Civilian Emergency Administration; Secretary of Labor Leon G. Guinto as Member of the Civilian Amergency Administration in charge of labor coordination; Vicente Madrigal as Assistant Fuel and Transportation Administrator of the Civilian Emergency Administration. (Official Week in Review, December 20, 1941)

December 20, 1941

Still there are more bombings and more casualties. Rumors are a dime a dozen.

Saturday, December 20, 1941

Sit in complete darkness every evening, even put papers over radio on porch so light inside will not show. All windows not yet covered with paper and cloth, and was sent message that house had been reported three times for showing light covered in heavy dark cloth. Covered lights not sufficient, windows must be closed… Read More »Saturday, December 20, 1941

Saturday, December 20, 1941

Up this morning, after still another miserable night. My amah is making a house dress which we bought here. It will be our Christmas gift to Ada. She says that she is in need of house dresses. She had let her supply run low as she and Oscar expected to go on home leave in… Read More »Saturday, December 20, 1941

Sat. Dec. 20/41

Had a quiet night. The enemy does not appear to like to bomb at night. Japanese landed on Victoria Island. (Hong Kong) Nothing new from Singapore, but it looks more serious all the time. Air raid warning came today at 12:30 p.m., and the planes appeared at 12:45 p.m. They circled and circled, sometimes right… Read More »Sat. Dec. 20/41

Dec. 20, 1941

Things not going well near Bacnotan. Troops reported surrounded by Japs and reinforcements reported coming up Kennon rd. to move down Naguilian.

December 20, 1941

Still no raid last night. What’s happened to the war? One day, the wolf said to the jackal, my friend, let us attack the bear. He is big and slow and does not know how to defend himself and between the two of us should be easy meat. To be doubly sure, let us first… Read More »December 20, 1941

December 20, 1941

More or less an uneventful day as the days are figured here, although we had a mild case of bombing at Nichols Field about noon today. The favorite hour for the Japs appears to be about noon, or between noon and 2 p.m. We had an epidemic of promotions today—Gen. MacArthur to full general, Gen.… Read More »December 20, 1941

December 20, 1941 

Been here a month now. Sure has been a busy one at times. One raid hit N.F. Am so tired of all this, war, etc. that I could scream. Give anything to be safe back in the US.

12/21/41 Day 14

The Filipino 11th Division makes contact at Bacnotan with the Japanese force heading south from Vigan.

Late at night, three enemy convoys from Formosa and the Pescadores, and carrying the main body of the Japanese 14th Army assault force, arrive in Lingayen Gulf.

Sunday, December 21, 1941

Shortest day in year, yet it Seemed interminable. Thoughts of Jim and realization that my conversation answered none of the important questions going through mind at night. Is Jim in Manila permanently or only until securing transportation to Negros? I feel sure he is there permanently but want to hear it before I have to… Read More »Sunday, December 21, 1941

Sunday, December 21, 1941

Carl and George spent the day Sunday, and what a time we had! Bob promoted a bridge game and right after breakfast we started, playing right up till lunch. And after siesta we finished up. Bob loves bridge and plays a good game, but he and I lost to Carl and George — and what… Read More »Sunday, December 21, 1941

Sun. Dec. 21/41

Off to Pinagkaisahan, but find that every one of our friends have left. Return to Manila in time for the Meeting with Cecil and the others. A raid came on during Meeting but we continued. I guess if a bomb fell on us during Meeting it would be hard for us to be in a… Read More »Sun. Dec. 21/41

Dec. 21, 1941

86 Japs transports visible in Lingayen Gulf. Took USAFFE orders down to Naguilian to Col Bonnett to have him withdraw all troops to join USAFFE. Bombed again but no damaed. Moved Mess to #14. Had hectic night. Informed that I had been misinformed as to the situation”. Went down the Kennon rd. at midnight on… Read More »Dec. 21, 1941

Dec. 21, 1941

Well, it’s two weeks already –and no bombs yet– We don’t know whether the Japs are holding off so as to “soften” us up by delay or whether they feel that we can wait until they want Manila Bay — or whether the Democratic allies have Japan pretty well contained. It does look to me… Read More »Dec. 21, 1941

December 21, 1941

Today the fighting increased in intensity in Davao. The situation, said Army headquarters, “remained obscure”. There was patrol activity south of Vigan and north of Legaspi, with the enemy pushing forces forward at both points. Our own patrols penetrated Japanese lines. We have more than 7,000 islands. We cannot hope to keep the Japanese out… Read More »December 21, 1941

Sunday, December 21, 1941

This morning we had our Sunday morning services. After that, Mother, Daddy, and I walked down to Tay-Tay. It was a very pleasant walk and from certain clear places on the road bank you could see Manila, Cavite, McKinley, and Nichols. Down at Tay-Tay, we bought some huge cincamas, a papaya, and some pechay. At… Read More »Sunday, December 21, 1941

December 21, 1941 

Sunday but just like every other day. I’m spoiling for something to do. I don’t want to fight, just something to keep me occupied.

December 21, 1941

Had a couple of Jap visitations today. They are concentrating particular attention on Cavite right now, although they paid a little attention to Nichols Field as well. They seem to avoid bombing Manila, as all attacks thus far have been directed at strictly military objectives. At our staff meeting this p.m. we were told that… Read More »December 21, 1941

12/22/41 Day 15

Starting at 0200 hours, some 40,000 troops of Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma’s 14th Army begin their main landings along the coast of the Lingayen Gulf. The force is made up of General Yuichi Tsuchibasi’s 49th Division, consisting of the First and Second Formosa Regiments and the 47th Infantry Regiment. One assault force goes ashore near Bauang, another at Aringay, and a third near Agoo. They move forward at once without any serious opposition from either the 11th or 21st Divisions (PA) who are in the area.

The 71st Infantry Regiment, 71st Division (PA), move out to try to halt the Japanese advance.

The Bauang assault force seizes that town, effects a link-up with the Vigan force at San Fernando, La Union, and pushes inland toward Baguio. At the same time, the other forces overrun Rosario and then turn south toward Manila.

United States submarines and a few aircraft attack the Japanese armada in Lingayen Gulf. The submarine S-38 attacks and sinks the Japanese troop transport HAYO MARU.

At the same time, nine B-17’s from Batchelor Field near Darwin, Australia, attack th enemy’s shipping off Davao, Mindanao, and then land at Del Monte Field. During the attack, four of the planes continue on to the Lingayen Gulf and attack Japanese transports. This is the first action in the Philippines by planes based in Australia.

Three Japanese convoys drop anchor at Lingayen Gulf.

Japanese units arrive at 5:00 a.m. in Agoo, La Union.

Japanese units arrive at 5:15 a.m. in Aringay, La Union.

Bauang, La Union occupied by the Japanese at about 7:00 a.m.

December 22, 1941

I had lunch at USAFFE HQ today with my friend, Sid Huff, and was surprised about his conversion from Lt. (SG) USN to Major US Army now Aide to Gen. MacArthur.  The latest info he gave me is about an armada of Japanese invasion ships heading for Lingayen Gulf.  Another enemy group is heading towards… Read More »December 22, 1941

December 22, 1941

It looks as though the Japs were really making their main thrust, or are at least getting set for it. Instead of 15 transports, there are now reported to be 70 or 80 in Lingayen Gulf. They are standing off the entrance to the Gulf and are making a landing south of San Fernando down… Read More »December 22, 1941

December 22, 1941 

Japs raided at breakfast today, something new. Large landing party at Lingayen. Navy must be asleep or not strong enough to keep them out. Or maybe some plan. The main Japanese invasion force landed at Lingayen Gulf, only 70 miles north of Clark Field. In the remaining P-40Es of the 24th Pursuit Group, pilots of… Read More »December 22, 1941 

Monday, December 22, 1941

Gee, there was the prettiest wedding here this aft. Two Chinese people got married. The bride wore a pretty pink silk Chinese dress with the prettiest embroidery around the sleeveless sleeves & the bottom. She had a long veil that was the most beautiful thing – held in place by a crown (tiara) of stiff… Read More »Monday, December 22, 1941

Dec. 22, 1941

Upon return to camp at 7:00 AM learned that Maj Fellows had heard that parachute troops had landed at Trinidad. He ordered the post evacuated and all communication installations destroyed. Also code books. Post was uninhabited when I got back. Brought the troops back from Itogon at night. Radioed the USAFFE by Bureau of Post… Read More »Dec. 22, 1941

December 22, 1941

I am writing this under a small funnel of light in a blacked-out room. I can see a book, a pack of cigarettes, a pile of paper, a glass of water and the typewriter. Everything else in the room lies in the dark. The war has blacked out everything in our lives but a few… Read More »December 22, 1941

Mon. Dec. 22/41

Air raid at seven a.m. but it was short. Go to town to send a radiogram to Jack. Leo comes over to eat dinner with us, and we start to Antipolo to find some of the friends. Air raid catches us at Paco, so we do not go. All to Pasay to see Mr. and… Read More »Mon. Dec. 22/41

December 19-22, 1941

On the 19th of December, 15 bombers went out over Fort Drum from Manila. On 22 December, the Cabcaben air raid occurred, during which it was reported (from now on you could hear any number of rumors) the Japs used concrete bombs and cast iron bullets. Eighty Jap transports were reported off Lingayen.

Monday, December 22, 1941

This is my week to superzise the preparation of food. So as Carl and George were returning to Manila, leaving with the first rays of light, I was up at five o’clock (still black night) to see that they got bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. They left in the gray dawn and arrived safely, as… Read More »Monday, December 22, 1941

December 22, 1941

Among the vegetables in the returning Cold Store truck yesterday were three big cases of Red Cross supplies! We are now busy making bath towels, and hand towels, surgical coats and hospital gowns, sheets and slings. Yesterday while several of us were unpacking, with the chairman, at the Red Cross, Jerry came saying, “Come on,… Read More »December 22, 1941

Monday, December 22, 1941

Noon broadcast announced 80 Japanese transports sighted off northern Luzon, obviously for major offensive against Philippines. Japanese troops in Davao engaged in heavy fighting. Most serious outlook for Philippine Islands since beginning of war. Penang, oldest British colony in Far East, abandoned to Japanese. Hong Kong (beautiful city) practically admitted lost. Where is the American… Read More »Monday, December 22, 1941

Dec. 22/41

Today was the first time, I believe that bombs were dropped in Manila itself. Port Area was bombed several times. The sound of a falling bomb is the most awful sound I have ever heard. It reminds are somewhat of a cross between a fast express train and a shrill siren. It’s a stout heart… Read More »Dec. 22/41

December 22, 1941 – Monday

Attended Cabinet Meeting at 8 a.m. at Mariquina as Chief of Staff. Attended office afterwards. Anxiously waiting for news from the front. The enemy is pushing on. Our forces are outnumbered and out-gunned. The bombing and strafing by planes is damaging our troops. At 8 p.m. the President called me by phone and asked me… Read More »December 22, 1941 – Monday

12/23/41 Day 16

On Luzon, General MacArthur decides to evacuate Manila and withdraw to Bataan to make a delaying stand.

During the night, a Japanese invasion forces of 7,000 men arrives in Lamon Bay from the Ryukyus. At the same time, a Japanese invasion force sails from Mindanao for Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago. The trip from the Ryukyus is smooth and uneventful until late this afternoon when the U.S. submarine SCULPIN attacks and forces the convoy to take evasive action.

Elsewhere: Japanese assault troops capture Wake Island.

Clash in Northern Luzon: USAFFE forces fights artillery duel with Japanese Imperial Army troops around noon. The Japanese Imperial Army occupies town at 7:00 p.m. USAFFE troops are driven out by the Japanese Imperial Army that night.

Japanese troops take possession of the town of Sison, Pangasinan.

Japanese troops land in Atimonan, Quezon.

December 23, 1941

The Japs moved in a little more yesterday and enlarged their beachhead. They pushed south as far as San Fabian along the coast, and east to include the Baguio road. Baguio is now cut off. Some of our troops which were cut off north of San Fernando have moved to Baguio via the Naguilian road… Read More »December 23, 1941

December 23, 1941 

Couple air raid alarms but no planes. Landing parties not doing so well. With something to do the days aren’t so long, censoring mail now.

December 23, 1941

It is six in the morning and we are packed, ready to join with other Americans at Teachers Camp or Pines Hotel. Ostensibly we are an open city. Nida is taking over our house with her family. The children are good and very calm. We may be binding up Japanese wounds by this time tomorrow.… Read More »December 23, 1941

December 23, 1941

Silang, Cavite Headquarters, 51st Division Still no action. Troops ready in positions. Morale of men very high. Spent whole day running to a nearby foxhole every time Jap planes flew overhead. Several bombs dropped on grass field near ammunition dump but no damage done. Ate with Silang’s parish priest. He gave me ham and eggs… Read More »December 23, 1941

Dec. 23, 1941

Radioed the USAFFE several times but no answer.

December 23, 1941

The war reveals the parasite, the non-essential man self-confessed. He who does not produce is regarded, with suddenly clear eyes, as an enemy. In peacetime he often occupies an honored position, being then only a thief who lives lawfully on what his neighbor makes. The war leaves us with only human values to go by.… Read More »December 23, 1941

Tues. Dec. 23/41

Leo and I go to town to register at the Consulate’s office. Got caught in a raid and stayed in the Elk’s club. Heavy fighting in the north!

December 17-23, 1941

Life went on in the Battery. On 17 December, I wrote Ottly a letter which she received in March. On 18 December, I had a full chest x-ray in an attempt to diagnose a psychological dyspace [?], which was of long standing ailment. Why I’ll never know, since certainly nothing could have been done about… Read More »December 17-23, 1941

12th-23th December 1941

When I arrived home this morning from the office. I greeted my father who was reading at the dining room. He informed me that my younger brother and one of my cousins of about the same age as the former, had been called to the colors. I rushed to see my brother. I found him… Read More »12th-23th December 1941

December 21-23, 1941

On reporting for duty on December 21, 1941 we discovered that the SOP did not have advance information of our coming and did not know what to do with us. We set up our radio and tried to contact Cavite but the intervening hills made it useless. We were assigned to quarters but with the… Read More »December 21-23, 1941

Tuesday night, December 23, 1941

Christmas is in the air. Everybody is doing their part. The children’s play room (the basement) at the guest house is being dressed out in paper chains of red, red lanterns, and green palm leaves. The children have different parts to do in the Christmas program, but the movie is the big thing. Ada has… Read More »Tuesday night, December 23, 1941

Tuesday, December 23, 1941

Called Mrs. Woods, Hawaiian-Philippine Central, to ask about using vacant staff house after talk with Captain Jones. Captain Jones advised me chances of getting to Manila were practically nil and he suggested I leave Bacolod as I was only American there and no one could guarantee evacuation for children in case of sudden landing of… Read More »Tuesday, December 23, 1941

December 23, 1941 – Tuesday

At 8 a.m. I attended the meeting of the Cabinet at Mariquina. At 9:30 a.m. went to the office. At 10 a.m. the President told me that he had consulted General MacArthur with his plan and that I was being appointed today. Shortly after Secretary Vargas called me to congratulate me. At 4 p.m. I… Read More »December 23, 1941 – Tuesday

12/24/41 Day 17

(Christmas Eve): On Luzon, Admiral Hart releases the 4th Marine Regiment, now stationed at Olongapo, to defend the beaches of Fort Mills, the island of Corregidor.

The Japanese Lamon Bay invasion force (7,000 men of the 16th Infantry Division) which constitutes the southern prong of the pincer movement being applied against Manila, goes ashore during the early hours of the morning at three points–Mauban, near Antimoan, and at Siain. The main assault force (in the center) secures Atimonan, forcing the defenders back toward Pagbilao. The Mauban force takes that town and pushes five miles west. From Siain, the Japanese advance in two columns, one southeast toward Tayabas Bay and the other southeast along Route 1 toward the advancing Legaspi detachment.

The Japanese on northern Luzon consolidate their beachhead and spread out onto the central plain to thrust sharply toward the Agno River line. San Fabian and Binalonan fall with the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts (PS) retiring across the Agno to Tayug.

The planned general withdrawal toward Bataan is begun. Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, Far East (USAFFE) (except for a small rear detachment), President Quezon and Francis B. Sayre, the United States High Commissioner of the Philippines, all sail to Corregidor from Manila. At the same time, Fort Stotsenburg is evacuated.

Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright’s North Luzon Force, now disposed generally along a line east to west, Tayug-Urdaneta-San Carlos-Aguilar, begins withdrawing toward the Agno River line.

The South Luzon Force is withdrawing north into Bataan. The command passes from General Parker to Brigadier General Albert A. Jones. General Parker moves to Bataan to head the Bataan Defense Force that has been organized to prepare defensive positions.

Elsewhere: In Washington, the first wartime international conference (ARCADIA) opens. Attending are both Roosevelt and Churchill and their war staffs. General Sir Archibald Wavell is designated as the Supreme Commander of the entire Southwest Pacific.

Japanese troops land in Mauban, Tayabas (now Quezon province) at dawn.

Under E.O. 396, the Department of Justice is abolished and its functions are transferred to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The War Cabinet is formed through a reorganization of the government by virtue of the emergency powers vested in President Quezon by the National Assembly.

Jose Abad Santos is appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Commonwealth government is transferred to Corregidor.

See: December 24-25, 1941 in diaries

December 24, 1941

News and what happened today are devastating.  I learned that the simulteneous Japanese landings two days ago in Lingayen Gulf and Lamon Bay were not difficult considering the enemy have superiority in the ar and at sea.  They are expanding their beach gains and my thoughts are with my classmates Lt. Ed Navarro wth the… Read More »December 24, 1941

December 24, 1941

Infected toe; call Dr. removes toe nail, very painful. Must stay in bed. No co. for dinner Xmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 1941

Four days ago, the President of the Philippines addressed the American public assuring the people of the United States that we Filipinos realize that this war is being waged to preserve democracy and to secure for all peoples the essential freedoms proclaimed by President Roosevelt, freedoms in which we believe and for which we are… Read More »Wednesday, December 24, 1941

24 Dec. 1941

At six o’clock at the tailor’s, waiting for my new suit to be finished. The sirens sound a good five minutes after we hear the noise of aircraft engines. There are two of us in the room. It’s badly lit and full of glass cases displaying ties, socks and shirts. My companion, a big American… Read More »24 Dec. 1941

December 24, 1941

This has not been such a promising day before Christmas as it might have been under other conditions. Our troops up north (Philippine Army) are not holding well, and have been driven back from the beach in the vicinity of San Fabian, Sison, and Pozorrubio. Thus the Japs have established a beachhead, and are getting… Read More »December 24, 1941

December 24, 1941

My hands were now rough and full of calluses resulting from the intensive training given us. We were being trained 24 hours a day. This is the life I have always yearned for. Hard and trying as the training was, our time was full of cheerful and happy moments. Today, everyone was planning, conniving and… Read More »December 24, 1941

December 24, 1941 

Raided Port Area today. Started to evacuate all Air Corps troops from this vicinity. Blew up Nichols. Spent Xmas eve getting things ready to go myself. Took off about 11:00p. The personnel of the Far East Air Force were ordered to move to Bataan peninsula. All MacArthur’s forces were being evacuated to Bataan for a… Read More »December 24, 1941 

Wednesday, December 24, 1941

Came into Manila today, again. Went to the school first, then Mother and I walked home by the Bureau of Science, stopping to get gas-masks. Passed Jeanettey just driving out in the car. When we got home, some of the Nichols guys had just finished breakfast and were leaving. One was a guy that was… Read More »Wednesday, December 24, 1941

Dec. 8-24, 1941

LTC E. H. Bowes assumed command of the Ist Battalion, 31st Infantry, at Cuartel de España, Manila. The battalion was tasked with providing the anti-paratroop guard for the Headquarters, United States Forces Far East. The battalion headquarters and the motor vehicle park were located at Santo Tomas University, the Rizal Stadium near Luneta, etc. The… Read More »Dec. 8-24, 1941

December 24, 1941

Tagaytay outpost Midnight Can’t sleep. Just arrived from Manila. The general ordered me to supervise burning of records of G-2 Section, Philippine Army. Had a huge bonfire in Far Eastern University drill-field. Took dinner at home. Papa looked tired due to work in Food Administration and Naric. Dolly baked my favorite cake. Dindo Gonzalez dropped… Read More »December 24, 1941

Dec. 24, 1941

Received word from USAFFE to “Save your command. Take to Mt. Trails” ordered Col Bonnett to take all PA troops with him to Bobok by motor, thence over the easy ten percent old Spanish trail to Aritao where buses would meet him. He should have arrived there by the 27th. Hope he made it. I… Read More »Dec. 24, 1941

December 14-24, 1941

On night duty, answering phone, transmitting orders, and many other things to do, the Col is here most every night. We are sending out convoys of trucks to Bataan every night. Nightly I bid goodbye to friends on their way to the fighting lines. At home the family is very brave and don’t get excited.… Read More »December 14-24, 1941

December 24, 1941

Today was bad. They bombed the city. I was in Wilson Building. I had a ringside seat. I saw the bombers —nine of them, in beautiful formation— shining in the sun. When they were over the building and could no longer be seen, the newsmen turned to the typewriter or the telephone. Then suddenly, three… Read More »December 24, 1941

Dec. 24 – 41

Evacuated Nichols at 1 – AM today. Been driving the station-wagon all day. Nielson and Nichols destroyed by our own men, with all supplies. All our equipement was taken to Pier 7. We boarded ship at approximately midnight. At daybreak Dec. 25 – 41, we landed at Marvallese [Mariveles].

Wed. Dec. 24/41

Cecil and I go to Pasay to talk things over with the other boys. Decide to move back to F. Fernando, as no use to pay rent in two places, and we better be all together in case of emergency. Volunteer for any kind of work at Manila Sanitarium. We visited old Mr. Funk who… Read More »Wed. Dec. 24/41

December 24, 1941

On 24 December, 5 bombers came over the Rock at 1 PM. Eight bombers bombed the French steamer Si-kiang at Mariveles at 3 PM. The 1st battalion of the 31st Infantry arrived on the Rock from Manila where they had been fighting. U. S. Armed Forces in the Far East and the Philippine Dept. moved… Read More »December 24, 1941

24th December 1941

At the office this morning I made ready to dictate a report to stenographer. Suddenly the air-raid signal sounded. immediately, Justice Albert stepped out from his contiguous office and went to mine to tell me that we should go down to the Records Hall at the basement of the Court. Its stone walls might afford… Read More »24th December 1941

December 20[-24], 1941*

It was wonderful to see the high spirits displayed by both American and Filipino soldiers. Young men with an arm or leg gone actually considered themselves fortunate. Those with shrapnel wounds, who in another month or so would be recovered, were making plans to fight the Japs. Dramatic developments almost every day. Fort Stotsenberg had… Read More »December 20[-24], 1941*

Wednesday, December 24, 1941

John left early this morning, and as there was a chance of getting to the city before Carl and George left for Lusacan Bob went with him. In case he fails to get in touch with Carl and George, he will return by train tonight. That dear, he just had to have Christmas gifts for… Read More »Wednesday, December 24, 1941

Dec. 24, 1941

Manila declared Open City. The President and family left from Manila for Corregidor agcompanied by Vice Pres. Osmeña Chif Justice J.A. Santos General B. Valdez Sec. of National Defense Col. M. Nieto, Aide de camp to the Pres. Dr. [illegible] Mejor E. Cruz and Miss Lab Dr. Dino.Rev. Fr. Pacifico A. Ortiz

Wednesday, December 24, 1941

What a Christmas Eve! Morning broadcast that Port Area, Manila, heavily bombed and civilian casualties high. No thought of Christmas. Jim’s office is in heart of Port Area and bombing occurred during office hours. Packing to move, taking down blackout materials only recently taped over windows. To Hawaiian-Philippine Central with the Wileys, who advised me… Read More »Wednesday, December 24, 1941

December 24, 1941

I received word this morning that Churchill was anxious for a talk with me on the subject of the Philippines, so I spent the first part [Page 82]of the morning preparing for that besides attending to my other administrative work, I then went over to the White House with General Eisenhower of the War Plans… Read More »December 24, 1941

December 24, 1941

During an air raid Bill and I went after an adorable puppy. She is an Australian bulldog; in my opinion the name “Lady” will suit her. Today Bill and I had our first good visit that we’ve had in weeks.

December 8-24, 1941

Early news of bombing Pearl Harbor, unbelievable in view of latest negotiations of Japanese representatives in Washington. Later in a.m. reports of bombing in Baguio and Clark Field. It was decided to send the [National City] Bank families to Canlubang [Golf Club on the Calamba Sugar Estate about 30 miles south of Manila] after Madrigal… Read More »December 8-24, 1941

December 14-24, 1942

The Sunday following the first day’s bombing, we were picked up off our beds, loaded on board ambulances, and taken down to the Ft. Stots Railroad Station, there loaded a train bound for, as were told, Sternberg General Hospital in Manila. Some were put in coaches and three of us stretcher cases were laid on… Read More »December 14-24, 1942

December 24, 1941 – Wednesday

At 8 a.m. I attended the meeting of the Cabinet at Mariquina. It was discussed that the situation was becoming serious. The enemy had landed at Atimonan and Mauban. The President advised us that General MacArthur had told him to prepare to leave for Corregidor at 2 hours notice. At 9 a.m. I left for… Read More »December 24, 1941 – Wednesday

12/25/41 Day 18

Headquarters, USAFFE opens on Corregidor.

Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell is put in charge of all naval activities in the Philippines.

The North Luzon Force reaches the Agno River and prepares to hold there until the night of 26-27 December.

The 71st Division (PA) withdraws from the east flank of the line to reorganize.

Japanese troops from Urdaneta succeed in getting across the Agno River near Tayug on Christmas night.

The South Luzon Force begins a northward withdrawal toward Bataan. The Japanese, in close pursuit, seize Sampoloc and Pagbilao.

Since the FEAF has by now been effectively destroyed, General MacArthur orders General Brereton and his staff evacuated to the Netherlands East Indies.

Elsewhere: The British garrison at Hong Kong surrenders.

Japanese unit from Binalonan encounters a USAFFE unit, which retreats to Asingan River.

Dec. 25, 1941

Some Christmas — full of inconsistencies; bombs fall on nearby targets — missed Corregidor completely — on Christmas eve. Today it is quiet — up to now — We are preparing to eat a turkey dinner. Imagine! Turkey in the trenches! But the birds were in the food reserve and no better time could be… Read More »Dec. 25, 1941

December 25, 1941

What a Christmas!!! Not a thing to remind me that it is Christmas, except the date. Presents from the States didn’t arrive, so had nothing to open. We moved from the tunnel today to one of the big concrete barracks on the top of the highest hill here—called Topside. There are three levels— Topside, Middleside,… Read More »December 25, 1941

December 25, 1941

The traditional Christmas family reunion was complete but for the absence of Felixberto and his family, who were in Palawan and Gonzalo and George, who were both officers in the Army. We were immensely proud of these two officer-brothers of ours. George called up by long distance from Manila saying he was on his way… Read More »December 25, 1941

December 25, 1941 

Rode all night and to noon. No food until night. Can’t find Sqdn. Slept on ground, dirty, etc. Merry Xmas! They bombed hell out of Manila or vicinity. Ed Dyess, the four 21st Pursuit pilots with him, and the squadron’s enlisted men were just northeast of the entrance to Bataan peninsula, eating Christmas dinner at… Read More »December 25, 1941 

Thursday, December 25, 1941

CHRISTMAS!!! Got up rather late and ate very late. But so did everyone else. Starting around 5:00 am everyone was yelling “Merry Christmas”. Before breakfast opened my three presents — two little crossed gold cannons on a pin from Anne Larchar — two pocket books, “Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe” and “The Pocket… Read More »Thursday, December 25, 1941

Ranson

Dec. 25, 1941

Major Kempf arrived at 8 A. M. with orders to proceed to K. P. 162.5 with all supplies and equipment toestablish base depot there. Took trucks back to take from school houses along road to send to new location, After completing my mission proceeded to new location arriving there at 6 P. M. Had nothing… Read More »Dec. 25, 1941

25th December 1941

The rumor being brulted about late last night turned into a reality today: “Manila, Open City.” All the dailies carried the news. It was contained in a proclamation issued by General MacArthur, after consultations withPresident Quezon and High Commissioner Sayre. If we were all pervaded by some sense of relief, it was not so with… Read More »25th December 1941

Dec. 15 (to 25*), 1941

Moved Hacienda Gomez 8 Kls from Stotsenberg. Remained here until Christmas Eve, 1941. Left Pampanga for Hormosia 100 Ks South. Nothing but 2 cheese sandwiches for Christmas dinner. Antiaircraft batteries kept bust total 55 planes shot down. *entry is dated Dec. 15 in original but since it contains information until Dec. 25, it is marked… Read More »Dec. 15 (to 25*), 1941

Dec. 25, 1941

At seven oclock Lt Gasperini and I started for the top of the Mt. The worst hiking I have ever done. Several times I was just all in. The old pump just would not work. Finally I sent Gasperini on. Told him to leave me and take care of himself. Ten minutes short of Jorgensens… Read More »Dec. 25, 1941

December 25, 1941

Yesterday I was promoted to Senior Administrative Assistant at annual salary $3600.00. I am to be left behind with Wilson when the military personnel are all in Bataan. There are many bombings, many people killed. Nena is a volunteer nurse, goes to bombings with the ambulance from the Malate Health Center. We work day and night now,… Read More »December 25, 1941

December 25, 1941

Home all day. There was no work, and there was no place to go. At noon, waves of Japanese bombers circled and circled over the city unopposed and untouched. Is this the meaning of open city? The declaration of Manila as an open city would mean its complete demilitarization, the removal or destruction of all… Read More »December 25, 1941

Thur. Dec. 25/41

Christmas Day. We do not feel like eating much breakfast. News is that the invaders are coming in on two or three sides, but our lines are holding at the present. The defenders are greatly outnumbered we are told. Our old friend, the cochero, is to move us, but first he must go to Tutuban.… Read More »Thur. Dec. 25/41

Dec. 25 – 41

All Christmas Day was spent in moving our stuff off the boat to our new camp. We had no Christmas dinner.

Thursday, December 25, 1941

Day dawned bright and clear, end as I was in charge I went immediately to the kitchen but Ada had beat me to it and already had one of the turkeys in. (We had to cook one at a time as they were so large.) Then came the children with their stockings. After a substantial… Read More »Thursday, December 25, 1941

December 25, 1941

The Filipinos have named this day well. Black Christmas! The blackness of despair and resignation was everywhere. Only the Axis nationals and the Fifth Columnists were happy. Catesy met one of the released Nazis today and he said he was tempted to wipe the smirk off his face. There was a special smirk reserved these… Read More »December 25, 1941

Thursday, December 25, 1941

To Hawaiian-Philippine Central at Silay in afternoon. Spent morning watching things loaded on truck and furniture stored in Bacolod. Took Jim’s clothes from suitcases packed to go to Manila and stored clothes in bodega. Of course no word from Jim. Arrived at the Central in afternoon, to find flowers in house , gifts for children… Read More »Thursday, December 25, 1941

Dec. 25/41

USAFFE has endeavored to declare Manila an open city, but to no avail, apparently. Every [enemy] bombers flew over the city today for over an hour just putting on an air show. It made us feel good as we thought there would be no more bombing and that the city was recognized as open. The… Read More »Dec. 25/41

December 25, 1941

It is now 1 p.m. What a Christmas! With a multitude of patients, Sternberg Hospital was in a turmoil this morning; trucks and trucks of supplies are being sent to Bataan where the Army will make their stand. This is a plan our Army had thought about for years in case the Philippines should ever… Read More »December 25, 1941

September 4-December 25, 1941

Company “K” 31st. Infantry left Manila Sept 4-1941, went to “B” range lived in tents until war was declared, Dec. 8-1941 Pearl Harbor was.bombed Dec. 7-1941 bombed Clark Field Dec 8-1941 at 12:45 noon, bombed Nichols Field morning of Dec. 9-1941 at 2:10. We had taken they field were dug in West of McKinley. Then… Read More »September 4-December 25, 1941

December 25, 1941 – Thursday

At 12:30 a.m. I attended midnight mass in the hospital tunnel. The mass was said by an American Chaplain, and I received Holy Communion. After Mass the President asked us to be cheerful, and forget our worries, and reveal a real Christmas spirit. It was hard to do when my spirits were so low. Such… Read More »December 25, 1941 – Thursday

12/26/41 Day 19

All U.S. Navy defense forces under Admiral Rockwell move to Corregidor. At the same time, MacArthur issues a proclamation formally declaring Manila as an open city.

The North Luzon Force, except for the 194th Tank Battalion, falls back from the Agno River to a line running from Ignacia to San Jose.

The South Luzon Force continues to withdraw in two columns and organizes its first line of defense west of Sariaya.

In an effort to spare further damage to the city and its civilians, Manila is declared an open city by Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur. All military installations were ordered removed.

Japanese forces bombPort Area, Manila Bay. Japanese bombing runs. Japanese bombers killed 43, wounded 150, and destroyed P5-million worth of buildings in an attempt to bomb four inter-island vessels. Intramuros is bombed. Japanese air raid in which the Intendencia, Santo Domingo Church, and the DMHM Building beside Letran are hit.

Proclamation Making Manila an Open City, December 26, 1941

26 Dec. 1941

The air raid alert yesterday morning — Christmas Day — took me by surprise as I was riding in a caramata [horse-drawn buggy] back from Santa Ana, where I had been to take Q.B. [Anne Balfour] some flowers. Our modest transport stops at the first wail of the sirens, followed by the blasts of police… Read More »26 Dec. 1941

Ranson

Dec. 26, 1941

Officers and enlisted men with help of drivers of vehicles unloaded trucks as quickly as possible to return to Manila for the purpose of transporting more supplies end equipment to Bataan. Supplies were stacked as soon as possible so that issues were being made to units in the field by afternoon. Great progress has been… Read More »Dec. 26, 1941

December 26, 1941

Had a fine night’s sleep last night, except that I was too cold. After sweltering in the tunnel the night before, I went to bed without a blanket last night and almost froze. Unusual condition in this climate. The air is fresh, and the view from the second floor of this building is worth a… Read More »December 26, 1941

December 26, 1941 

Second day in jungle, bombings for about 3 1/2 hrs. Don’t know what they were after. Not many fell near us. Wish we could find the Sqd’n. Getting even more dirty. Only eating twice a day now. Spend the day out.

Friday, December 26, 1941

Well, we’re spending this day at camp again. Mother keeps saying we’re going down to Manila for good and we never do. After breakfast and inspection, Marjorie and I did our washing and at 11:00 went on guard duty. | at the front door – Marj at the back. I wrote a letter to Sis… Read More »Friday, December 26, 1941

December 26, 1941

Tokyo broadcast the news of the surrender of Hong Kong and London confirmed the news. Yesterday the musicians of the sky respected the day, but today they doubled their performance. They laughed off the declaration of an open city as a fable. However, the newspapers published in bold letters the declaration of General MacArthur, President… Read More »December 26, 1941

Fri. Dec. 26/41

Had a quiet night except for the dogs. Cecil thought they were bad over on Rubi Street, but I think they are worse here. Air raids started about 10 a.m. four or five waves of nine each came over, and all seemed to drop bombs on the Port Area. We saw some leaflets dropped this… Read More »Fri. Dec. 26/41

Dec. 26, 1941

The 43rd Inf began to come in during the day, completely tired out. It was night before they all got in. We slept in a native shack near the sawmill. All the troops except the 43rd had gone on ahead.

December 26, 1941

We are now reconciled –there were six alarms today– to having an air raid announce breakfast, serve lunch and interrupt dinner. One wonders at the indefatigable newsboys, undismayed by the news they cry, innocent of the meaning of the stuff they sell. Since the war began, there has been wedding after wedding in the city.… Read More »December 26, 1941

Friday, December 26, 1941

Unfortunately, in the rush of Christmas things, I had forgotten to give Esten a needed treatment of Castoria, and the little dear was nauseated and vomiting in spells up to about two o’clock. The little darling had never been sick like that before, and it made me feel so badly because it was all from… Read More »Friday, December 26, 1941

December 26, 1941

We have lived a lifetime in the three days since I last wrote. I guess it was three days. I’m not sure. Since we were awakened at 2:30 one morning to be told it was the last chance to get to Manila before roads closed, the telephone has been ringing every five minutes, telling us… Read More »December 26, 1941

December 26, 1941

Bill came by. this afternoon; he leaves tonight for Bataan. I tried not to cry, but I couldn’t help it. When he went out the door he said, “Oh, Denny, I wish you wouldn’t!” This is one day I shall always remember. I Feel that I’ve lost everything.

Dec. 26 – 41

Spent from noon till after midnight moving equipment to Del Pilar. I drove the truck for twelve hours straight, and when we made camp, I fell out of the drivers seat to the ground and went to sleep.

December 26, 1941 – Friday

At 6:30 a.m. I attended Mass and received Holy Communion. At 8 a.m. I went to see General MacArthur and I asked him to assign me some work as this inactivity is terrible. He thanked me and asked me to wait, as he had plans in which he wanted to utilize me. His office was… Read More »December 26, 1941 – Friday

December 26, 1941

Well, the Powers that Be have gone—sort of sneaked out quietly. The girls from the High Commissioner’s office came over the day before they left to tell me good-bye. Janet and Annabelle are to go with the High Commissioner’s staff. Helen has chosen to stay with her parents. Elise is to be left behind, since… Read More »December 26, 1941

12/27/41 Day 20

The northern Luzon front is quiet as the Japanese consolidate along the Agno River. However, the North Luzon Force withdraws toward its next delaying line, Tarlac-Cabanatuan, where it is to make a maximum delaying effort.

On south Luzon, the Japanese continue to pursue the U.S. columns along Route 23 and on Route 1, the Japanese break through the main positions of the 53rd Infantry Regiment and seize Candelaria.

Japanese Army in Baguio.

December 27, 1941

C.,OSP conscripted a 40 ft boat, armed her with two .30 Cal. MGs christened “Danday”, Mrs. Jurado’s namesake, for use by the OSP Lamao Beach Defenders of Bataan.  Today my ExO, Lt. Abraham ‘Abe’ Campo (USNA ’40) was rel’d. to be CO, “Danday” and to replace Lt. Campo, I selected Lt. Manuel Gomez ’41, my… Read More »December 27, 1941

Wernitznig

Dec. 27th, 1941

CAPT McCurdy DC.: LTS. ROBINSON M.C. LT. LAMY M.C. reported for duty c. 57th.

Saturday, December 27, 1941

Manila is declared an open city. Jane, Bill and Carl go to work. I take over the housekeeping. Spent the day with the Ivorys end Rhudies. Terrific bombing but most of the damage done in the Walled City. When Carl came home this afternoon he brought with him all of his clothes, and we will… Read More »Saturday, December 27, 1941

Ranson

Dec. 27, 1941

Twenty Americans and Thirty Phil Army enlisted men assigned to depot for duty this date. All not trained in Medical Supply work. Direct supervision is necessary. Convoys leaving for Manila and returning continuously.

December 27, 1941

Had a better night’s sleep last night, because I had a blanket. The air was fine and there was quite a breeze through the room. Got to bed about 11:30 which is my usual bedtime, or thereabouts. Get up about 7 a.m. Not my usual eight hours but pretty good for wartime. We keep one… Read More »December 27, 1941

December 27, 1941 

Moved to A.F. Hq. Rest of detached officers there. Japs did quite a bit of bombing. Don’t know how things are going up north, holding I guess. Air Force headquarters was at a newly-established camp at Signal Hill on southern Bataan, where flying officers with no current assignments were assembled. 

Saturday, December 27, 1941

Came in to Manila with Daddy again today. Chung came in with us. We came in late – around 9:30 and went straight to the Phil. National Bank. After sitting there for 2 1/2 hours, the air-raid started. Everyone went down to the first floor. That darn air-raid lasted 3 1/2 hours. Suddenly “Blam”! and… Read More »Saturday, December 27, 1941

27th December 1941

This morning I woke up with a clear memory of what transpired last night, the first which, for quite a number of days, did not subject us to the darkness required by the “black out” regulations. With what haste did we remove from the window panes the black cardboards which had been affording the house… Read More »27th December 1941

Dec. 27, 1941

The Japanese army took over. They woke us at 11:30 P.M. and kept us standing in one small, crowded room until 2:30 A.M. checking off each one over and over. Finally, they herded us all onto the second story, where we all slept on the wooden floor all night. Mrs. Saleeby was allowed a mattress because of her age.… Read More »Dec. 27, 1941

Sat. Dec. 27/41

Cecil and I go to town to do a little business, and get home before the raid starts. Again they bomb the piers. Yesterday most of the bombs fell in the water, but this time they hit some of the piers, a large church building in Intramuros, and the Philippine Islands Mint where Mr. Cayabyab,… Read More »Sat. Dec. 27/41

Dec. 27, 1941

Mr. Jorgensen put us on the trail but gave us the wrong one. He sent us to Dyaca inward of Kyappa instead of toward Kyappa proper. By doing this we lost two days and failed to get to Imugan on the 28th as we should have. He even gave us the harder route to Dyaca.… Read More »Dec. 27, 1941

December 27, 1941

All night last night the fire across the river continued to burn and the smoke roll across the moon-lighted sky. It made quite a picture, one of silver and black to which  the explosions that came at irregular intervals brought angry flashes of orange and red. Today, the open city of Manila, but two days… Read More »December 27, 1941

December 8th to 27th, 1941

War comes to the Philippines — Filipino farmers become demoralized — Communication with Manila ends — Col. W. E. Brougher visited — Rumours — Capt. Wade Cothran — Brougher fears the future — We flee to Baguio —Panic siezes the populace — City officials take to the hills — Our last free Christmas — We… Read More »December 8th to 27th, 1941

December 27, 1941

A suspected Nazi civilian doctor in my ward was shunned like a mad dog by patients and staff alike. Several times I tore up his orders and prescriptions in his presence and, instead of marching me to the C.O., he looked at me with astonishment in his watery blue eyes. “Why did you do that?”… Read More »December 27, 1941

Friday and Saturday, December 26 and 27, 1941

Unpacking at Silay. One day without radio tantalizing but quickly installed by Central electrician—all at no cost. Salaries at Central for servants amazingly low: lavendera $5.00 per month, no chow; amah $5.00 per month, no chow; Sejio, who stuck with me and came here, $6.00 per month with chow; cook $15.00 per month with chow,… Read More »Friday and Saturday, December 26 and 27, 1941

12/28/41 Day 21

The Japanese begin a drive from the Agno River toward Cabanatuan. In south Luzon, The Japanese force the 52nd Infantry (PA) back to Tiaong. General Jones receives orders to withdraw rapidly to Bataan. The 53rd Infantry (PA) moves to Bataan for rest and reorganization.

The Japanese seize Luisiana on Route 1 and the lst Infantry (PA) withdraws westward.

On 28 December Filipinos listened to President Roosevelt on the radio: “I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected. The entire resources, in men and material, of the United States stand behind that pledge. It is not for me or for the people of this country to tell you where your duty lies. We are engaged in a great and common cause. I count on every Philippine man, woman, and child to do his duty. We will do ours.”

The Japanese bomb Corregidor Island.

Sunday, December 28, 1941

Bill and Carl are such restless mortals!! Now at this particular time Carl just must have a hair cut, so to the Elks Club they go. This particular club is near the piers, and is not too safe. They got caught in a long long raid but finally turned up here safe and sound. Why… Read More »Sunday, December 28, 1941

December 28, 1941

Spent all night in the car as we had to get back as soon as possible. We were stopped any number of times on the way south by Filipino soldiers and volunteer guards. They all questioned our identity, but not too care- fully. However, after we passed through San Fernando we came into the 57th… Read More »December 28, 1941

28th December 1941

Since I had my afternoon off, I decided to go to the movies, hoping to be able to see the film “Hold Back the Dawn,” featuring Charles Boyer and Olivia de Havilland, two of my favorite stars, inasmuch as yesterday’s air raid prevented me from doing so. Was I not behaving rather frivolously? Most probably,… Read More »28th December 1941

December 28, 1941 

Sunday again. Moved again, now with 3rd Pursuit Sqd’n up in the mountains. Swell place. Lots of fresh water, clean at last. Wouldn’t mind staying here a long time. Lt. Hank Thorne had moved his 3d Pursuit Squadron high up on the peak of Mount Mariveles, on the southern end of Bataan, 2 1/2 miles… Read More »December 28, 1941 

Sunday, December 28, 1941

Daddy went in to Manila again and Fred went with him. All the Lazagas and all of us went up to the new garage with them and Marj and I raced back downhill. Mrs. Stagg drafted Marj and I to sing in the choir, so we put on the robes and trailed in with the… Read More »Sunday, December 28, 1941

Sun. Dec. 28/41

Leo and I go to the Polo Club to attend a meeting at 8:30 a.m. of all the American men here in Pasay. Discussed a number of things we might do in case of occupation by the enemy. We are supposed to meet at the Manila Sanitarium. We got back to Lerits in time for… Read More »Sun. Dec. 28/41

Dec. 28, 1941

Slept at Dyaka mine. The other Americans had gone on ahead the preceding day. Leaving Dyaka we went up hill on a easy ten percent trail for two hours when we hit trail of Col. Bonnett men, but two days later. Took this trail to old Kyappa now called Pampang. Were told how to get… Read More »Dec. 28, 1941

December 28, 1941

Moving from one room to another all day as they kept bringing more people in. Finally to another dorm on the first floor. Very little to eat except something cold out of a can. They finally let me go downstairs to get something out of my bag. They cut the thick fire escape rope net… Read More »December 28, 1941

December 28, 1941

Today in the papers the evidence of the enemy’s bad aim the day before. It was very bad, indeed. “Now, nobody is safe.” Among the objects the enemy did not aim at was the Santo Domingo church. Built in the 16th century, it has been destroyed several times by typhoons and earthquakes, as many times… Read More »December 28, 1941

December 28, 1941

The heavy bombing began overhead just as patients in cumbersome Balkan frames were lifted into the large army trucks, which were to convey them to convents and colleges. Those helpless patients were an open target for the bombers above. In the midst of all this fear, confusion, and deafening noise, Major Greene sidled up to… Read More »December 28, 1941

Sunday, December 28, 1941

Manila heavily bombed yesterday after having been declared an open city. Santo Domingo Church in Intramuros (Walled City) destroyed by a direct hit. (Santo Domingo, virgin saint brought to Islands in 1600, elaborately jeweled later by Chinese convert, one of best dressed saints in P.I.’s, people came long distances to see her jewels.) Also two… Read More »Sunday, December 28, 1941

Dec. 28/41

The past two days have been the worst days I have ever spent. For four hours each day, I have lain in a trench praying that the falling bombs would not fall directly on me or the hospital. Port Area, walled city, and boats on the Pasig River, which passes next to the boundary of… Read More »Dec. 28/41

December 28, 1941 – Sunday

I attended Mass at 6:30 a.m. After Mass I had breakfast and then went to the cottage assigned to us to take a bath and change clothes. At 9 a.m. Colonel Willoughby G-2 USAFFE arrived and told me that General MacArthur wanted to see me ASAP. I dressed hurriedly and proceeded to the house of… Read More »December 28, 1941 – Sunday

Sunday, December 28, 1941

A fine diary this is. I must think I’m a Shirer, only different. I was one of those who thought it couldn’t happen here—that the Japs would wait until the Philippine independence to walk in, that the Japs needed our trade and friendship. But here we are, with the Japs at our gates, our troops… Read More »Sunday, December 28, 1941

December 25-28, 1941

Xmas Day, 25 December; the troops had a good turkey dinner and 2 bottles of beer per man. Hong Kong surrendered. The war was going from bad to worse! By 27 December there was plenty of rank in Malinta Tunnel! On 28 December, the President asked for a complete report of the situation. In the… Read More »December 25-28, 1941

12/29/41 Day 22

On northern Luzon, the 91st Division (PA) holds Cabanatuan against a strong enemy thrust, but the Japanese succeed in crossing the nearby Pampanga River. Another enemy force, heading for Tarlac in the sector of the 21st Division (PA), reaches a position just north of Tarlac.

All elements of the South Luzon Force withdraw quickly toward Bataan.

Japanese planes attack Corregidor for the first time. Medium and dive bombers drop 60 tons of bombs. Although wooden structures suffer heavily, very little damage is done to any military installations. Anti-aircraft fire from the forts guarding Manila Bay destroy a number of the attacking planes.

The 4th Marines take over the responsibility for the beach defenses on Corregidor.

Japanese troops occupy Cabanatuan and Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.

Retreating USAFFE troops of the South Luzon Force arrive at Santiago, Los Baños, and Alabang in the evening.

Message of President Roosevelt to the People of the Philippines

December 29, 1941 – Monday

At 5 a.m. I phoned Collector de Leon. His voice showed that he was worried. “I have not heard from the Apo”, he said, “I fear that it may have been sunk.” I decided to take other steps if no reply was received by 6:30 a.m. At 6:30 a.m. I called up Mr. Jose (Peping)… Read More »December 29, 1941 – Monday

Monday, December 29, 1921

All are at work today. The children and I spent the day with Ada and the Ivorys. Ada spent the most of the day shopping. There has been very little bombing, this time for objectives along the river — it must be boats. Bob came back down this afternoon, and were the children glad to… Read More »Monday, December 29, 1921

29 Dec. 1941

Very nasty air raids on Saturday and Sunday — that’s to say, since Manila was declared an “open city”. On Saturday the alert lasted over three hours and during this time the planes, in waves of eight or nine, bombed the piers, the ships in the bay and the boats anchored in the Pasig. The… Read More »29 Dec. 1941

December 29, 1941 – Monday

At 5 a.m. I phoned Collector de Leon. His voice showed that he was worried. “I have not heard from the Apo”, he said, “I fear that it may have been sunk.” I decided to take other steps if no reply was received by 6:30 a.m. At 6:30 a.m. I called up Mr. Jose (Peping)… Read More »December 29, 1941 – Monday

29th December 1941

Today I repaired to my office for the last time. I came walking through the difficult streets of Intramuros spoiled by a host of debris, holes, and trash. The ruins of the Letran, Santa Catalina, and Santa Rosa Colleges, that hurt the eyes, resembled skeletons of ominous profile. The whole area that I covered on… Read More »29th December 1941

December 29, 1941

The war really started today as far as our headquarters is concerned, for we were heavily bombed by the Japs for the first time on Corregidor. An alarm sounded at 11:45 and I went up to the 2nd floor to see if I could locate the Jap planes. Just as I started to look out… Read More »December 29, 1941

December 29, 1941 

Bombed Corregidor hard today. Start of 4th week of the war. Two months today since I’ve had any mail. Lots of good rumors in the air but nothing definite. The Xmas season has been different than I planned. The Shangri-La campers watched the first Japanese bombing of Corregidor this afternoon from a nearby cleared hillock.… Read More »December 29, 1941 

Monday, December 29, 1941

We came down to Manila for good today. I’m so glad! It was late when we came down and Robert Shea and Fred came down with us. Went to the school and ate pancit with Gloria at the tienda across the street for lunch. Talked to everyone by phone and Sis, Jun, Donny, Richard, and… Read More »Monday, December 29, 1941

Dec. 29, 1941

Weak on mattress. Got up to wash, then collapsed. Seemed to have no middle and my head felt queer. They called us all onto the tennis court and told us that if we did what we were told that the Japanese soldier was kind. We must give up all guns or tell where any were… Read More »Dec. 29, 1941

December 29, 1941

Command Post Ft. McKinley Our division has been ordered by Corps headquarters to retreat and form a new line with a view to defending the Southern entrance of Manila. The general has chosen McKinley as the site of his new command post. The troops are perplexed. “Why should we retreat when the Japs have not… Read More »December 29, 1941

Monday, December 29, 1941

Cholera, typhoid, and dysentery shots (first of series of three) for Beth, Clay, and me. First air raid shelter completed—blocks of pressed sugar cane residue, after juice extracted, packed around stone walls of wash room and servants’ room under the house.

Mon. Dec. 29/41

Manila pronounced an open city, but still the Port Area and other places were bombed yesterday. Blackout was done away with last night. The north line is holding well, we hear but heavy pressure in the south. We are assured that help is coming, but of course, not told when. NEI forces doing good work… Read More »Mon. Dec. 29/41

December 29, 1941

A sleepless night. The three-engined planes droned in my dreams. Every engine that sounded in the streets reminded me of them, and the crackling of cars seemed like the whistling of bombs. Memories of the day before were too vivid for sleep. At one time, the impression seemed so real that I jumped out of bed… Read More »December 29, 1941

December 29, 1941

The army nurses had left for Corregidor and Bataan, and only a few of the medical officers of the administrative staff were left. The civilian nurses, like myself, stayed on to complete the evacuation and packing of equipment. One of the city’s former American civilian doctors, now in the army reserve, came to my ward… Read More »December 29, 1941

Dec. 29, 1941

First raid on Corregidor Dec. 29

Dec. 29, 1941

Capt. Praeger said his men were too tired to take the hard trail so let him follow Bonnet’s route to Aritao. We continued on toward Imugan where our trucks were supposed to meet us. Surely was a terrible route. The worst I have ever taken. Got as far as Bonnett River where we spent the… Read More »Dec. 29, 1941

December 29, 1941

The war holds your problems in grateful suspension. You almost dread the coming of peace which will once more precipitate them. For the moment, they have lost their urgency. That trouble with your family, the uncompleted novel, the hopeless passion for a girl who does not love you, which had formerly so troubled you, must… Read More »December 29, 1941

December 29, 1941

The open city idea isn’t working. We sat yesterday under three hours and twenty minutes of constant bombing, formations of nine planes being always in the air. It took well-nigh a hundred shots to sink one freighter in the bay; two boats they attacked repeatedly they never did sink. They polished off a church while… Read More »December 29, 1941

12/30/41 Day 23

The North Luzon Force is unable to hold the enemy on the Cabanatuan-Tarlac line and begins withdrawing south toward its final defense positions before Bataan. From Cabanatuan, the 9lst Division (PA) withdraws along Route 5 through Gapan toward Baliuag, northeast of Calumpit. Tank battalions are ordered to the area of Plaridel and Baliuag to defend the vital Calumpit Bridge over the Pampanga River, across which the South Luzon Force must withdraw in order to reach San Fernando and the road leading to Bataan. The 71st Division (PA) is dispatched to defend Baliuag. In the center, the 11th Division (PA) succeeds in delaying an enemy column heading for Tarlac from Cabanatuan. The 21st Division (PA) falls back from Tarlac along Route 3 toward a line between Bambam and Arayat.

The South Luzon Force, ordered to delay the enemy, halts at Santiago. A major ambush is prepared but because of reverses of the North Luzon Force, this evening it is directed to continue its withdrawal and cross the Calumpit Bridge not later than 0600 hours on 1 January.

The 51st Infantry and a battery of the 51st Field Artillery are dispatched to assist in the defense of the Calumpit Bridge. The 2nd Philippines Constabulary (PC) is assigned to cover the withdrawal while the main body moves toward Bataan.

On Corregidor, President Manuel Quezon is inaugurated for another term in a ceremony held just outside the Malinta Tunnel. President Roosevelt sends him a personal message in which he says: :

“News of your gallant struggle against the Japanese aggressors has elicited the profound admiration of every American citizen. I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected. The entire resources in men and materials of the United States stands behind this pledge.”

Newly elected officials were expected to take office, after the formal proclamation by the National Assembly, which would give way to the bicameral Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The Second Commonwealth Presidential Inauguration is held at Corregidor. Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos administers the oath of office to President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice President Sergio Osmeña. The terms of all officials lapsed on this date. President Quezon and Vice President Osmena took their oath of office in Corregidor; however, the Commonwealth government officials in the capital city of Manila were unable to take their oaths because of the looming Japanese occupation.

Second Inaugural Address of President Quezon

Speech of General MacArthur on President Quezon’s Inauguration, December 30, 1941

See: The Cavalry and their last charge, December 1941-January 1942

(above) Autographed by her father and Gen. MacArthur: Maria Aurora Quezon’s copy of the program for her father’s second inaugural, Corregidor, December 30, 1941. Long after her death, it was found hidden behind a photograph of her parents in a celluloid portable picture frame; the pictures and the frame had deteriorated beyond restoration, but had preserved the piece of paper hidden inside.

December 30, 1941

I was privileged today, Rizal Day, to witness the oath-taking ceremony, for their 2nd term of Pres. Quezon and VP Osmeña before Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos outside the Corregidor Tunnel entrance. It was a solemn but brave ceremony for only yesterday, Corregidor was bombed by 54 enemy planes for an hour before noon and… Read More »December 30, 1941

Tuesday, December 30, 1941

The Ivorys have returned to their Pasay home. Today is a holiday (Rizal Day). Carl and Bill played golf. They would not let anything in the way of persuasion stop them. After the game, Carl took us out to our house. Everything there was all right. The cat showed signs of shock and the caretaker… Read More »Tuesday, December 30, 1941

30th December 1941

Today was the anniversary of the execution of our national hero lose Rizal and it passed unnoticed. Although still an official holiday, not the slightest homage was rendered. | knew he would forgive us. We were, indeed, living in the midst of a hiatus of uncertainty and anxiety. Nobody seemed to know anything. Certainly it… Read More »30th December 1941

Ranson

Dec. 30, 1941

I took convoy to Manila. Road very dusty and filled with vehicles and troops withdrawing to Bataan. Arrived in Manila at noon. Loaded trucks at 92 Panaderos to return in A.M. Civilian employees seemed okay and office force continuing duties efficiently. Lieutenant Roderick in charge. Spend night at Army & Navy Club after walking around… Read More »Dec. 30, 1941

December 30, 1941

We expected to have a raid today but were agreeably surprised. Not a hostile plane flew over the island. Possibly they are going to let us relax a little again so as to catch us unprepared. The result of the raid yesterday has been to reduce the morale of the Filipino laborers. We have had… Read More »December 30, 1941

December 30, 1941

Ramon Cabrera, a classmate, called me by phone and told me to hurry and go to the University of Santo Tomas campus where volunteers were being accepted. I decided to go to Manila and try to enlist once more. I told my father of my intentions and told him that I would not return until… Read More »December 30, 1941

December 30, 1941 

Very little bombing today. Nothing else much. Another year is about to start, wonder what it will bring. Will probably be rough. That is OK as long as I live and get back to the States.

Wernitznig

Dec. 24-30, 1941

Left Del Carmen 9:00 PM 12/24 for position in vicinity of Angeles. Regt. C.P. 1 KM north of PORAC. Plenty of enemy aerial activity but no engagement of ground troops. Col. Clarke continues to show great fear. QM announced that Fort Stotsenburg is open for anyone who wishes to get things Clarke would not let… Read More »Dec. 24-30, 1941

Tuesday, December 30, 1941

Spent the day in bed feeling miserable. Dr. Fletcher came this morning and gave me pills to take every two hours. Also drink soda every two hours and fruit juice every 4 hours. Jun came over to visit me. This evening was a false air-raid, and had to get up, dress, and go over to… Read More »Tuesday, December 30, 1941

December 30, 1941

Ft. McKinley, Command Post   Our division has been ordered to move to San Fernando, Pampanga. The general said that very heavy fighting continues on the northern front. Troops under Generals Capinpin, Stevens, Shalleck and Brower are fiercely resisting the enemy’s full-dress attack. Meanwhile the enemy has increased intensity of his raids in Luzon. Local… Read More »December 30, 1941

Tuesday, December 30, 1941

Dinner at the McMasters’. A real rolled roast, drinks before dinner, Christmas pudding with whipped cream (canned Nestle’s, of course). Bridge game on Central in afternoon. Effort to forget war partially successful, but conversation invariably retumed to fighting in Manila.

Tues. Dec. 30/41

Again we are assured that naval help is coming. But how or when we do not know. Corregidor was bombed for two hours yesterday. No raids on the city today! The Pasay Market pretty slim in foodstuffs, so Mr. Hernandez and Cecil went to Paco. Found plenty of food and many people. Three of us… Read More »Tues. Dec. 30/41

December 30, 1941

No water till 11. Then mostly given to the children. Jerry says he fought Enid until he got a half a cup for me. I was able to walk and felt better. No chow till 10:30. Another brief meal at 3. No water again in the night. They finally brought in a few tanks.

December 30, 1941

After yesterday’s bombings, the bomber planes merely hovered around Manila. I made a quick round of the site of the tragedy so that the ruins would not affect me too much. I noticed that a bomb fell on the big courtyard near our dining room. Its shrapnels spread out like a fan, perforating our refrigerator.… Read More »December 30, 1941

December 30, 1941

The evacuation of the hospital was almost completed. There was confusion, tension, anxiety, sadness, and mad rushing about as last-minute instructions were shouted throughout the hospital grounds. Army trucks filled with men and equipment moved rapidly out of the grounds. Most of the men in the trucks looked like young high school boys. I wondered… Read More »December 30, 1941

December 30, 1941 – Tuesday

At 5 a.m. Mr. Williams of the Red Cross phoned me that the ship had arrived but that he was not willing to put the painters on because there was still some cargo of rifles and ammunition left. He informed me that the Captain (Tamayo) and the Chief Officers were in his office. I asked… Read More »December 30, 1941 – Tuesday

December 30, 1941 23rd Day of War

The 26th Cavalry of the Philippine Scouts really distinguished themselves. A Lutenaant made the mistake of lighting a cigarette early one morning. An ambushed machine gunner yelled that was the wrong thing to do and they were riddled by the Japanese, losing about 500 hundred mounts, eight officers, and many unlisted men. They were covering… Read More »December 30, 1941 23rd Day of War

Dec. 30, 1941

Inauguracion y furamente del Pres. y Vice Pres. Dec. 30

December 30, 1941

It is 2:00 p.m. I am in a quandary as I sit here in our apartment. In my purse a four by six inch card bears the inscription: “Sternberg General Hospital , Manila, P. I. The bearer, whose signature appears hereon, is a member of the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army and is a… Read More »December 30, 1941

Dec. 30, 1941

Left early for Imugan. The first four hours were very hard. Then it got easier. Arrived at Imugan about three. Found a note from Major Fellows dated the 27th. Said the Japs were rapidly approaching San Jose and that he was going on with his men. We left a lot of the older men at… Read More »Dec. 30, 1941

30 Dec. ’41

Heard at noon that the Japanese forces were 12 miles south of the city and we could hear explosions of roads and bridges. No resistance to be offered. Ken and I had usual walk up Taft Ave. In eve dynamiting throughoutcity and bad fires. Comdr. Cheever returned from Mariveles.

12/31/41 Day 24

(New Year’s Eve): The evacuation of Manila is completed as the rear echelon of HQ, USAFFE departs for Corregidor.

The North Luzon Force closes on its final defense positions on a line from Bambam to Arayat, before San Fernando and Plaridel, and east of the Calumpit Bridge. On the east flank, the 91st Division (PA) goes into reserve south of Baliuag, leaving the 71st Division (PA) to delay the Japanese briefly at Baliuag. Both divisions then retire toward the Calumpit Bridge.

Firm contact is made between the North and South Luzon Forces in the area of San Fernando after both have crossed the Calumpit Bridge.

General Jones is placed in command of all forces east of the Pampanga River.

See: The Great Escape of the S.S. Mactan: December 31, 1941

Wednesday, December 31, 1941

Another evacuee arrived, Mrs. White from Del Monte pineapple plantation and cannery in Mindanao, expecting first baby in two months, must have Caesarean, no doctor to perform operation at Del Monte. Came to Stay with the Woodses and go to Manapla Hospital for delivery. June Conant, 20-year-old daughter of staff member here, also returned from… Read More »Wednesday, December 31, 1941

Wernitznig

Dec. 31st, 1941

Promoted to rank of Major; first war promotion in the 57th. Helped Raulston take care of bomb casualties from ORANI. What a sight.

December 31, 1941

The Japs are still pushing ahead and the Filipino Army troops are steadily retreating. The threat is now down Route 5 from Cabanatuan, and has become so serious as to necessitate the withdrawal of all troops in South Luzon lest they be cut off on the way to Bataan. Hostile forces have been reported in… Read More »December 31, 1941

31 Dec. 1941

The year ends today. President Quezon has declared a three-day holiday. A number of shops have put up signs saying “Happy New Year”. Such wishes seem cruelly cynical. Very little news. Evasive communiqués. There’s talk of Japanese reinforcements landing in the north. Everyone is deeply worried and has difficulty hiding it. It’s as though we… Read More »31 Dec. 1941

Wednesday, December 31, 1941

Manila must fall. Ail day long military supplies and objectives have been blasted till the air reverberated with the boom of dynamite. Smoke in the atr, and as night drew on the sky was ablaze. Even the river, so they say, is on fire — that is, the oil that has been drained on to… Read More »Wednesday, December 31, 1941

Ranson

Dec. 31, 1941

Started all trucks back to Bataan with me leaving at 10 A.M. Visited Port Area warehouse to gather a few items of necessity and viewed the buildings destroyed by bombings. Passed another convoy on road to Manila when returning into Bataan. Arrived at K. P. 162.5 at 4 P.M. after a grave experience of being… Read More »Dec. 31, 1941

December 31, 1941

I was assigned messenger to the Battalion Headquarters. As a consequence, I was late for my first army meal. The coffee ran short. I had only bread and water for breakfast. The day was spent taking up and improving our positions along the Tagaytay ridge. Later in the day, as the Battalion Headquarters was being… Read More »December 31, 1941

December 31, 1941 

No bombing at all today. Doesn’t seem possible that there is a war going on. Beautiful sunsets, lovely moonlight nights. This would be a nice tour of duty some other time. 1941. Not a bad year as a whole, finished flying school, got Pur. All set to get married. Assignment to the P.I.’s fixed that,… Read More »December 31, 1941 

Wed. Dec. 31/41

Bombing raids on the city have ceased. Baguio is taken, and Americans there are interned. Ernest and I had a nice meeting at San Andres. All stores of oil and other materials are being destroyed. Huge fires. Start a New Year tomorrow, but we fear we do not know much what is in store for… Read More »Wed. Dec. 31/41

December 31, 1941

A day of conflagration. Yesterday, some of the big gasoline depots started burning. At first the gasoline was being emptied into the Pasig River. But accidentally—or intentionally—the gasoline caught fire, setting the river and the esteros aflame. The houses situated along the river and the esteros particularly in the Pandacan district were the first victims… Read More »December 31, 1941

Dec. 26 to 31, 1941

I have been issued a brand new car, Chrysler Sedan, 1942 model for my own official use; have a driver also; nights are now very exciting, sky is red with reflection of burning oil tanks which we set afire, some got out of control and burned many houses; also floats down the river and will… Read More »Dec. 26 to 31, 1941

December 28-31, 1941

On 28 December, Tojo’s bombers visited the Rock for the first time. The raid lasted from 12 noon to 3 PM. There were 30 casualties on the Rock. The water, phones and power were knocked out. My tent was destroyed. (Note a small shell fragment in my diary and the resulting powder burn there.) Lt.… Read More »December 28-31, 1941

December 31, 1941

The demilitarization of Manila had been completed now that General Francisco, chief of the Philippine Constabulary, had left with his staff. On the front, General MacArthur narrowly escaped being struck by a bomb. The scorched-earth policy was carried out by our retreating army, and American demolition squads had been working for days, blowing up bridges,… Read More »December 31, 1941

December 24-31, 1941

The next day, December 24, we moved to the Mariveles cutoff and there bivouacked. We were awaiting the arrival of our AA guns. Christmas Day 0600 we were ordered to form a machine gun company and all day long we went through drills and school — drills stopped during air raids and school started. With… Read More »December 24-31, 1941

Dec. 31/41

Since Dec. 28th there has been no air raids, as nearly everything has been removed to Bataan. Seven officers, including myself, and 2 soldiers were slated to remain in Manila with about five hundred patients. Last night however, we were notified that we would leave tonight or early January 1st. I cared little whether I… Read More »Dec. 31/41

Dec. 31, 1941

Turned east for Carranglan, hoping to be able to move around the Japs flank and join the USAFFE. Learned that four Jap tanks were at astride the road just north of Pucton, North of San Jose. Arrived at Carranglan at about six thirty. Capt. Glitter, Capt. Starnes and Marshall two hours later. Here we listened… Read More »Dec. 31, 1941

31 Dec. ’41

Early A.M. Skies black with smoke from burning of oil supplies. More explosions and ominous signs. Advised all hands to be calm. Remain on compound etc. and conserve food and water. Evening walk on Taft Ave.

31st December 1941

This last day of the year no one left the house. There was a summary burning and destruction of the uniforms, caps, and other military accessories belonging to my cousins as former R.O.T.C. students. It was intended to prevent the Japanese from having any lead concerning the military activities of the young male members of… Read More »31st December 1941

December 25-31, 1941

On Christmas day, in the morning, they were in the act of playing their usual assortment, and one particular record by Bing Crosby, Adeste Fidelis, with Bing doing his usual magnificent job, when suddenly in the middle of it, off goes the record and the voice comes over, saying, “Air raid! Air Raid!” and “Everybody… Read More »December 25-31, 1941

December 31, 1941

No Water till nearly noon. Bad head. The toilets have been stopped up and overflowing because of no flushing. We used the latrines dug by our men in relays, with their stomachs sticking to their backbones from hunger and thirst. Oatmeal, buns and cocoa about 9:30. The Japanese took our pictures. Rice and pork fat… Read More »December 31, 1941

December 31, 1941 – Wednesday

Got up at 4 a.m. Left Army and Navy Club at 5 a.m. Arrived Corregidor at 6:10 a.m. after a slightly rough trip. The North East monsoon was blowing quite hard. Upon arrival I reported the results of my trip to President Quezon and General MacArthur. Both were pleased and congratulated me for the success… Read More »December 31, 1941 – Wednesday

1/1/42 Day 25

(New Year’s Day): The South Luzon Force, upon completing its withdrawal across the Pampanga River at Calumpit by 0500 hours and then destroying the bridges there at 0615 hours, is disbanded. Its components continue the withdrawal toward Bataan and General Jones rejoins the 51st Division (PA).

The Japanese move through Plaridel to Calumpit but are unable to cross the Pampanga River because of the blown bridges.

The covering force (elements of both the 71st and the 91st PA Divisions) withdraws from the river line toward San Fernando.

Meanwhile, the 21st and 11th Divisions (PA) continue fighting withdrawals, the 21st along the route Bambam-Angeles-Porac, and the 11th on the route Malagang-San Fernando-Guagua (north of Sexmoan), finally arriving on the line Porac-Guagua during the night of 1-2 January.

The troops on Corregidor are put on half rations.

Last American tank crosses Calumpit Bridge, 2:30 a.m.Last American tank crosses Calumpit Bridge, 2:30 a.m.. Calumpit Bridge destroyed at 6:15 a.m. to stop the advancing Japanese troops from the north.

Japanese Imperial Army troops arrive in Banbam, 9:00 a.m.

Wernitznig

Jan. 1st, 1942

NEW YEAR’S DAY, what will 1942 bring for us. Many promotions in regiment today. No contact with enemy yet but considerable Japanese aerial observation.

1 Jan. 1942

Happy New Year, my friend! Our dear sick patient’s situation seems desperate. The lines held by the USAFFE have been broken to the north and south. Quite surprised this morning that the Japs aren’t here yet. But the day isn’t over. Calm day yesterday, except for the many explosions almost everywhere from the demolitions being… Read More »1 Jan. 1942

Thursday, January 1, 1942

New Year’s Day. Manila has fallen! All Americans must stay close to homes, but we can still see Oscar and Ada — they are so close. We are expecting the Japanese to occupy the city at any hour, and it is ready for them. We have nice neighbors all around, and staying close will not… Read More »Thursday, January 1, 1942

Ranson

Jan. 1, 1942

One truck returned after mine so it is definite the road has been cut between Bataan and Manila by the Japanese Forces.

January 1, 1942*

*Philippine Diary Project Note: President Quezon’s inaugural was on December 30, 1941, two days before the date of this entry. Had a little rain as I was shaving this morning. Rather unusual for this time of year. Also, to add interest, a few Jap bombers tried to fly in out of the clouds and the… Read More »January 1, 1942*

Thursday, January 1, 1942

Early in the morning, visited the probationary settlers at the nursery with Overseer Vargas, and extended them my greetings of the season. Found Dr. Baltazar and Mr. Rivera there. The majority of the probationary settlers from Manila who evacuated near the Natividad’s cattle ranch had returned. They told me that the rest would follow suit,… Read More »Thursday, January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

Alfred floored the gas pedal. We overtook convoy after convoy all headed the same way we were. The traffic was heavy and constant that all trees and brush within 50 yards from both sides of the road were heavily laden with dust. This gave us a natural camouflage. Once we were nearly crushed into eternity… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

Bataan 41st division, C.P.   Dead tired. Streets jammed from Bulacan to Bataan. Absolutely no traffic order. Roads filled with dust that covered entire body, entered ears, nose, eyes, lungs. Tanks were rattling up and down the road like lost monsters. Trucks loaded with food and ammunition were moving on, not knowing where to go.… Read More »January 1, 1942

Thursday, January 1, 1942

No Happy New Year today! Manila radio stations quiet during morning. Last station (government operated) 12:45 news broadcast was heartrending. Tears in announcer’s voice as he said this station must go off the air like all other Manila stations. Director of Bureau of Information and Propaganda (De Cavrila Orias) asked radio audience in the Philippines… Read More »Thursday, January 1, 1942

Thur. Jan. 1 1942

As Ernest and I were walking to Misos last evening for the meeting there, the sky was dark and foreboding with heavy clouds rolling up from the oil fires which had been set on purpose. The flames were extremely high and the soot from the heavy oil left marks on our light clothing. I remarked… Read More »Thur. Jan. 1 1942

January 1, 1942

It was a day of looting. The year 1941 passed and was buried in the midst of a tragic, uncertain and restless silence. The new year was greeted by the eerie illuminations of a conflagration which is growing bigger and bigger each time. First thing in the morning, I was informed that the Japanese were… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

The radio was dead! We continued to hear deafening explosions, immediately followed by clouds of thick black smoke and pillars of dancing orange flames. As far as the eye could see there were dense curtains of black smoke and flames. A blood-red haze hung over the city, blotting out the sun. I thought of Doomsday… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

had a shave and a clean uniform. One Jap observation plane over Kindley Field on the Rock at 8 AM. Good turkey dinner at 5 PM. Living at Battery Cheney, Fort Mills, now. “D” battery mans Cheney.

January 1, 1942

Most of Luzon is in Japanese hands. The USAFFE has retreated to Bataan. Where are the U.S. planes? Will the convoy arrive? My eldest boy is with the 51st division. He is a lieutenant. God protect him. Manila’s gates are open. The Japanese are expected any moment. The oft-repeated, long-foretold “yellow menace” has come true.… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

Not too many Happy New Year’s today — We’re a pretty low and sick bunch. We are in Japanese controlled waters, and although we got a clearance from the Japanese Commander, we expect to hit a floating mine or be mistaken for something else. Gradually getting settled. I’m in Cabin # 5 and Lt. Passanante… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

A Japanese observation plane, known as Photo Joe, paid us an early morning call.Evidently he photographed several trucks, cars and a some Filipino troops concentrated under the large, shady acacia trees nearby. About two hours later I heard the drone of an airplane. I thought it foolish to get into a foxhole; this spending so… Read More »January 1, 1942

January 1, 1942

After having escaped from the Japanese in Manila, we are practically free lancing here on Bataan; it is certainly a case of the survival of the fittest. Yesterday found the Lapham family and me making tentative arrangements for our refuge in the Parker house here in Limay. the most desirable feature about this cottage is… Read More »January 1, 1942

Jan 1/42

Arrived at Corregidor at 6:00 am, slept several hours after a light breakfast and left by boat for Bataan at 11:45 am, in the middle of an air raid alarm. Only three miles to Bataan, but we didn’t land until about 2350 pm as we had to circle about in the bay because of the… Read More »Jan 1/42

Jan. 1, 1942

Had the hardest decision in my life to make, –whether to keep on trying to get around the outer edge of the Jap swinging door and get to join the USAFFE or turn back. Here the WD had been paying my salary for twenty-four years to have me available for use when wanted. But it… Read More »Jan. 1, 1942

Thursday, January 1, 1942

I arrived in Washington on December 14, 1941. Telephone call from office of Chief of Staff. I’ve been insisting Far East is critical, and no other side shows should be undertaken until air and ground are in satisfactory state. Instead, we’re taking on MAGNET, CYMNAST, etc. The Chief of Staff told me to pay special… Read More »Thursday, January 1, 1942

December 25, 1941 to January 1, 1942

The Marsh family came to stay with us. We had turkey for Xmas but the air raids caused the current to be turned off so it wasn’t very well roasted. Saturday the treasury was bombed. Hank Sperry was there but escaped. It was not easy trying to work amidst raids and meals were most irregular.… Read More »December 25, 1941 to January 1, 1942

1 Jan. ’42

An ominous New Year. Fires and looting started. High Commissioner Aide phoned all law out of control. Japanese forces to outer city today. Contacted the High Commissioner’s Office and the Red Cross for information and advice. Commander Sumner Cheever, U.S.Navy, fell off the main building, a distance of about 60 feet and died in a… Read More »1 Jan. ’42

Jan. 1 – 42

Working at Pillar [Pilar] Field. Ships going in and out, and were always watching for bombers.

January 1, 1942 – Thursday

  I attended Mass at 7 a.m. and received Holy Communion. I congratulated the President, Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Roxas, & Manolo Nieto, on their feast day. The morning was quiet. At 12:45 p.m. the Air-Raid Alarm was sounded. We could hear the bombs exploding, and our guns roaring. The raid lasted two hours. At about… Read More »January 1, 1942 – Thursday