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February 1942: WW2PH 80 Years Later

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in the Philippines, we have compiled the diary entries for February, 1942, the third month of the war, along with other interesting material, in the hope that this will help interested readers to get a sense of the 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.
  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. Various documents and photographs from the Quezon Family Collection.

See what came before in the 80 Years Later Series: December 1941, January, 1942.

February, 1942: “This War is not of our making…”

2/1/42 Day 56

II Corps prepares to attack in Sector C to clear the enemy bridgehead from which the Japanese continue to withdraw.

I Corps continues its efforts to reduce the strong Japanese pockets south of the main line of resistance, but with little success.

Tn the South Sector, Scouts renew the battle against the Quinauan Point beachhead but their progress is limited. The casualties among the Scouts by this time are estimated to be about 50%. During the night, Japanese reinforcements are spotted heading for Quinauan Point and are attacked by the last four P-40’s of the FEAF, PT boats, and artillery and infantry weapons from the shore. As a result, the enemy troops are forced to land In the Anyasan-Silalim area.

Elsewhere: Navy and Marine planes from carriers under the command of Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, attack the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

Monday, February 2, 1942

Yesterday, listened to a talk by Bullitt, just back from Near East and Africa. I liked his presentation. He knows, or he doesn’t; no quibbling. Doesn’t think much of GYMNAST except on a 100,000 basis!!.

February 1, 1942 — Sunday

The President is quite depressed. He spoke to General MacArthur about his trip to the U.S. At 9 p.m. I was in the house and heard a plane. I called the attention of Colonel Nieto and Major Romulo to it. We all thought that it was our own plane. Suddenly the Machine gun of the… Read More »February 1, 1942 — Sunday

February 1, 1942

Civilian Camp Bataan   Thousands of homeless civilians here. A lot of hungry men, women and children. I saw a little girl trembling when she heard the rumbling of a truck. Shell-shocked. It is an awful sight. Sent here by General to interview some of the civilian evacuees. Perhaps some of them may have information… Read More »February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942

The conference at USAFFE HQ presided by Col. R. Marshall G-4 that I attended addressed the acute food shortage of our Bataan troops.   Among others present in that conference were Lt. Col. Andres Soriano of San Miguel (CAD & asgd. w/G-4) and my friend Capt. Juan Panopio OSP (Res.) former Capt. of Pres. Yacht “Casiana”… Read More »February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942

Orders came for the entire Anti-tank Battalion to move off. Just as soon as we were ready, counter orders arrived. The Tank Company was to stay. We learned that the destination this time was the front lines. We envied the other companies greatly. We felt sore and indignant at being left behind. A few minutes… Read More »February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942 

Sunday. Quiet day. Know a little more of what goes on here. Busy night, Japs tried a landing, but accomplished little. Art. And Mg. fire stopped it pretty well. A battalion of 500 Japanese attempted to land at Quinauan Point, but were slaughtered by strafing P-40s, PT boats, and artillery fire. 

February 1, 1942

The front and rear double doors of the Big House were closed and barred every night at 6:30. This meant that two thousand or more people could no longer escape the heat, noise, and confusion of the rooms and corridors — unless they were young and fleet-footed. Fortunately, Catesy and I were young, and nimble… Read More »February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942

Every night we meet on Pegs mat with our children, for a snack and songs. Five officers trooped in about nine. The guard tried to tiptoe in his heavy boots at night. Jerry brought two tiny white potatoes for June and me.

February 1st, Sunday

We have rigged up 100-pound aerial bombs in bamboo tripods in beach areas concealed to look like fish traps. Fuse set at “O.” Since we have insufficient artillery we planned to explode these bombs by rifle fire from shore in the event of renewed Jap landings.

February 1, 1942

This is going to be a long war. Only an ostrich can think it will be short. This is a death-struggle between mighty nations involving millions of lives. Japan is staking everything. If she wins, she can mould the East, and perhaps the world, according to her dreams. If she is vanquished, she will be… Read More »February 1, 1942

Sunday, February 1, 1942

Events move too fast and keep me too busy to permit the writing of notes! Day by day the case looks worse in ABDA; it is becoming clear that Jap damage to Sumatra airfields is making it impossible for our B-17’s to jump from Bangalore (Ind.) to a satisfactory field in Java. Consequently, our air… Read More »Sunday, February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942

The newspapers published today an order requiring the surrender of all transmitting equipment and prohibiting radio antennas. Perhaps they are suspecting that a lot of messages are being transmitted outside, particularly to Bataan. Actually, there is no need for the radio to establish communications between Manila and the troops in Bataan. USAFFE soldiers and officers… Read More »February 1, 1942

February 1, 1942

We had a flock of new promotions to General Officer today. Colonels Seals, Funk, George, Casey, and Pierce all promoted to B.G. [brigadier general]. The Calumbugan came in today with 200,000 pounds of palay which will make about 100,000 pounds of milled rice. She also brought in 34 head of cattle and some pigs. This… Read More »February 1, 1942

Sometime in February, 1942

When we win this Pacific war, it seems to me we will be the world’s policemen, whether we like it or not. A nation of M.P.’s, that will be us. We were caught with our breeches trailing but eventually they will be caught up and then—oh, then! Certainly we will beat both Japan and Germany,… Read More »Sometime in February, 1942

1 Feb. ’42

Rumors of good news. Mrs. Hobbs, Red Cross representative got in with a Russian Interpreter and brought some magazines and cigarettes. First contact with the outside for two weeks. Guard playing croquet and the tension lessened somewhat. How and when will it all end? Long time: without radio ant outside world communications. Would be easier… Read More »1 Feb. ’42

2/2/42 Day 57

The II Corps attacks to clear the bridgehead, at first employing the 31st Engineer Battalion (PA) and then reinforcing it with elements of the 41st Infantry after the Japanese opposition proves to be very stubborn. Finally, under the cover of darkness, the enemy completes his withdrawal.

In the I Corps area, an armor platoon of the 192nd Tank Battalion and a platoon from the 45th Infantry attempt, unsuccessfully, to reduce Big Pocket.

In the South Sector, Company C of the 192nd Tank Battalion assists the Scouts in another attack on the Quinauan Point beachhead, but they are still unable to clear the area. Other Scout battalions (the 2nd Battalion, 45th Infantry, and the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 57th Infantry) attack abreast to clear the Anyasan-Silalim area. They make slow progress except on their left flank where there is no opposition.

See: Speech of Lieutenant-General Masami Maeda at a dinner given by him in honor of the Honorable Jorge B. Vargas, February 2, 1942

The Commanding General of United States Army Forces in the Far East ( MacArthur ) to the Chief of Staff ( Marshall ) February 2, 1942

Memorandum by the Chief of Staff ( Marshall ) to the Adviser on Political Relations ( Hornbeck ) and the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs ( Hamilton ) February 2, 1942

Memorandum Prepared in the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, February 2, 1942

Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations ( Hornbeck ) to the Chief of Staff ( Marshall ) February 2, 1942

The Chief of Staff ( Marshall ) to the Commanding’ General of United States Army Forces in the Far East ( MacArthur ) February 2, 1942

February 2, 1942 — Monday

The question of the President’s trip to the U.S. was again discussed by the President and General MacArthur. It was decided that in case our forces in Bataan are pushed back by the enemy, General MacArthur would advise the President. His further stay in ‘the rock’ would be unnecessary and his capture by the enemy… Read More »February 2, 1942 — Monday

February 2, 1942

HQ, Intelligence, Bataan   This place is getting to be a Post Office. Lorrie Tan wants a letter sent to his family. Manny Colayco wants his family contacted. “I left them with nothing,” he said, “I don’t even know where they are,” he wrote. Tony Perez has a letter for his sweetheart and one for… Read More »February 2, 1942

February 2, 1942 

Quiet day, mostly spent reorganizing positions. Art. Fire most of day. Quiet night.

February 2, 1942

Life in the Constipation Camp — nicknamed by our camp wits — went on! We were all in our room this afternoon when Daphne, the eternal optimist, perked us out of our lethargy. “Our boys are sending messages from the sky!” she shouted, as she saw tiny bits of paper dropping near our windows. Eagerly,… Read More »February 2, 1942

February 2nd, Monday

Routine bombings front and rear areas. Our patrols are able to thrust forward beyond the lines 3 to 4 kms thru entire front and spot Nip troop concentrations. They are giving us information from the ground although bombing of our installations continued. Lieut. Grady, courier, took maps to Captain Steigler at Cabcaben, our beach defense… Read More »February 2nd, Monday

February 2, 1942

Rice dealers gathered at the NARIC this morning and I explained the new policy ordered regarding the selling of rice in the markets. I wonder if they understood my explanations. Things are not going on well in Singapore. How long will the British last? The Japanese seems to be winning in all campaigns. It is… Read More »February 2, 1942

February 2, 1942

The Philippines already has a new spic-and-span government. Jorge Vargas, who has surfaced overnight, was named head of the Executive Commission, the central administrative organization. Under him are six departments whose heads are called Commissioners, under which are several bureaus. All these officials had signed a manifesto in which they accepted the new Japanese regime,… Read More »February 2, 1942

Feb. 2, 1942

We have a unit of graves registration with a cemetery near the hospital. Maj McCloskey & Maj Kazy are attached to us for rations. They are working from Hqrs. Kogy regulating officer & Mac is inspector for the area. Malariaon the increase. Bataan as one of the worst regions in the world for malaria. Many… Read More »Feb. 2, 1942

February 2, 1942

Apparently they had a nice party with the Jap barges trying to make a landing last night. They were discovered early in the evening, and everyone alerted, including Air Corps. The Air Corps sent out four planes loaded with bombs at about 11:15 p.m. They dropped a total of 36 one-hundred-pound bombs and fired 10,000… Read More »February 2, 1942

Monday February 2, 1942

P20.00 Allegre

February 2, ’42

Another calendar month and a complete eight weeks of war. The situation is completely quiet here. The lines in Bataan are holding quite well. In fact the Japs have been unable to penetrate at all and we have cleaned out their attempts at encircling our left flank by landing parties. Capt. Qulisk has been injured… Read More »February 2, ’42

Feb. 2 — 42

Going on three day rest today. Moving all our equipment with us, and the Filipino Army are taking over our position.

2 Feb. ’42

Azumo called with Lt. Hamamota head of Japanese supplies for the Navy and asked for medical stores and instruments. Protests resulted in only a few instruments being taken at this time and a percentage of medical supplies. They will give me no fixed percentage as they say they will eventually take out patients, and as… Read More »2 Feb. ’42

2/3/42 Day 58

II Corps, finding the enemy bridgehead clear, advances its outpost line in that sector.

I Corps continues to make little headway against the enemy pockets in the let and 11th Division (PA) areas.

In the South Sector, Scouts and tanks are still unable to make much progress against the Quinauan Point beachhead. Progress is also limited in the Anyasan-Silallm sector though tanks of the 192nd Tank Battalion and supporting artillery are assisting the Scouts operating there.

Late in the afternoon, the submarine TROUT, under the command of Lieutenant Commander F. W. Fenno, arrives at Corregidor carrying 70 tons of 3-inch anti-aircraft ammunitlon. Although Fenno reloads with fuel and torpedoes, he is still short more than 25 tons of ballast. When he finally leaves, most of his needed ballast is in the form of $10 million in gold and sliver, all from the banks of Manila. Also on board is Lieutenant Colonel Warren J. Clear, an intelligence officer caught in the Philippines by the start of the war,

See: Evacuation of the Gold Reserves of the Commonwealth, February 3, 1942

3 Feb. ’42

A good night’s sleep, and feel better, but no news. Had a talk this morning with Padre Daughtery over policies, and explained the difference between a Chaplain and an Evangelist. He has been pursuing the policies of the latter beyond my approval. As all Protestant patients have been disturbed over being told that they cannot… Read More »3 Feb. ’42

February 3, 1942

HQ, Intelligence Bataan   Given mission to Manila. Will take the Corregidor-to-Cavite route. Will bring ten operatives with me including two signal corps men. Should be in Manila by the 8th. Am excited. Can’t tell anyone about it, though. Fred just asked: “Why are you fixing up that civilian outfit?” Pretended not to hear him.… Read More »February 3, 1942

Tuesday February 3, 1942

Paid to have Mrs. Montesa’s gas turned on P15.00 Loaned Mr. Katz P20.00 Our car taken. (by the Japs)

February 3, 1942 – Tuesday

Nothing unusual during the day. At 10 p.m. I was already in bed when the phone rang. It was the Chief Justice telling me to get dressed as we had to go to the vault, to perform a secret and delicate mission. I dressed hurriedly met them at the entrance of the Malinta tunnel and… Read More »February 3, 1942 – Tuesday

February 3, 1942

The yard of Letran has been completely cleared of debris and plants. We thought of turning it into a garden where we can plant things other than flowers. Many people are likewise converting their gardens and yards into vegetable plots, planting all sorts of greens and root-crops. The people want to keep busy and pass… Read More »February 3, 1942

Tuesday, February 3, 1942

Looks like MacArthur is losing his nerve. I’m hoping that his yelps are just his way of spurring us on, but he is always an uncertain factor. The Dutch want planes; the Australians want planes; ABDA has to have planes; China must get them; the British need them in Near East. What a mess!

February 3, 1942

“Stiff penalties for profiteers,” says the Tribune. Good. Profiteers feed on misery. Their lives must be made miserable. The worst kind of birds are scavengers. Profiteers are scavengers. Price of rice today for sellers: ₱6.80 as paid by J. T. David in Bulacan. ₱7.00 as paid by Mariano Tinio in Nueva Ecija. Many of my… Read More »February 3, 1942

February 3rd, Tuesday

Routine bombing front and rear areas. Col Duckworth and Col Glattly are both very much concerned about the increase in malaria. Malaria is beginning to be so prevalent it is necessary that we secure adequate supplies of quinine.

February 3, 1942

Our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Jerry came early on the back porch where we meet as he carries out the garbage cans and thus has an excuse if caught talking to me. He brought sugar he had boiled down from dark and dirty cakes. Later he brought a box of candy he had secured with great… Read More »February 3, 1942

February 3, 1942 

Scouts mopping up on Agl. Pt. Rumored that Japs broke through our line, no confirmation. Sqd’n put on alert Dyess received new orders this day to take his men back to Quinauan Point to reinforce the 45th Philippine Scouts, who had been unable to wipe out the dug-in Japanese during their six days of fighting,… Read More »February 3, 1942 

February 3, 1942

Apparently the bedbugs had nine lives. They were on the march again, and I spent another sleepless night. The insecticide men again sprayed the bed with chlorine solution, and this time they assured me that they had liquidated even the great, great-grandpappies.

February 3, 1942

The Legaspi arrived today, thank goodness, and her cargo was even better than we had any reason to expect. She had 17,000 sacks of rice (cavanes, they are called here) which average about 125 pounds per sack. That is enough rice for six or eight weeks. She also brought in a few odds and ends… Read More »February 3, 1942

2/4/42 Day 59

Headquarters, USAFFE, takes direct control of both the Panay and Mindoro garrisons. These were both previously part of the Visayan-Mindoro Force, established early in January and under the command of Brigadier General William F. Sharp.

On Luzon, the Il Corps front is relatively quiet. However, in the I Corps area, the Japanese in the Big Pocket repel another tank-infantry attack.

In the South Sector, Scouts and tanks continue pressing the attack against the Quinauan Point beachhead and this time succeed in compressing the enemy into a small area at the tip, In the Anyasan-Silalim sector, tank and Infantry attacks against the enemy are still making very slow progress.

4 Feb. ’42

A quiet night. Spent a while on the roof where we go each evening for observation but all was dark in the neighboring environment. Azume and Lt. Comdr Hatakeyma spent an hour with us discussing the venereal problem in Cavite. I referred them to Dr. Sanchez, the Cavite Health Officer. They report Canacao hospital undamaged… Read More »4 Feb. ’42

February 4, 1942

Provost Marshall’s Office Corregidor   Will sleep with men here tonight. Tomorrow we will leave for Maragondon, Cavite. From there we shall take the mountain trails up to Ternate or Naic and then get any bus or carromata that can bring us to Manila. Men are all excited. Two of them are now having a… Read More »February 4, 1942

Feb. 4 — 42

We’re off again, with only two days rest. Supposed to be 50 Japs made a landing at Sasiam Lake. We packed up bag and baggage, and left at 10’clock. Sweated out 6 dive – bombers all the way. Arrived at Sisiam at 3 o’clock and unloaded. At 3:15 P.M., we started down a narrow trial… Read More »Feb. 4 — 42

February 4, 1942

They did not completely unload the Legaspi last night. About 4000 sacks of rice still remain unloaded tonight as we do not work during daylight hours. Too much danger of being bombed and having both ship and cargo lost. However, the sub was completely unloaded. She will be submerged today and will leave tonight. I… Read More »February 4, 1942

February 4, 1942

Received news from my son, Philip. One of his men came here at home and reported that Philip is alive and in good health. He said Philip is now in the Military Intelligence Service of the USAFFE. The man said that life in Bataan was hard, the fighting fierce, malaria and dysentery rampant, and the… Read More »February 4, 1942

Feb. 4, 1942

Representatives of Life Magazine here taking photographs all over hospital. Was in several with Col Van but don’t know if any will be published. Much bombing continues. Most of us hit for fox holes & behind trees because ofAA shrapnel raining down.

February 4, 1942

Having assessed the opinion of representative and impartial persons in the country these last few days on the causes and effects of the fast occupation of Luzon by the Japanese forces, I shall attempt to reflect on them in brief. The causes of the army’s defeat can be attributed to many factors. Firstly, the insufficiency… Read More »February 4, 1942

Wednesday, February 4, 1942

We’ve decided to shift a group of pursuits from ABDA to Australia, for use in N.E. against Jap attack. Hope it does some good. Allotted the 2nd group to be ready for action to Australia. Hope it is in time. We made clear we wanted the arrangement to be temporary, so ABDA could get its… Read More »Wednesday, February 4, 1942

Wednesday, February 4, 1942

We went to Calinog to visit Coné’s patients, as I mentioned before that the Mission Hospital is now there and taken over by the Army. Col. Deater is in charge. He is a very fine chap and very friendly. We had lunch with him, Mr. Heisey, Mr. Gemperle and Mr. Smith. Miss Buckner was also… Read More »Wednesday, February 4, 1942

Feb. 4/42

Went to Corregidor Feb. 2nd. Air raid alarm kept us circling in the bay for an hour and a half. I do not enjoy traveling by boat under these conditions. Saw Lester Fox at Corregidor. He showed me through Battery Crockett where he is stationed. While at Corregidor, I settled my account with the finance… Read More »Feb. 4/42

February 4th, Wednesday

Routine bombing front and rear. Bataan front inactive. Submarine came into Corregidor last night bringing some supplies. However, submarine cannot carry much.

February 4, 1942 

Sqd. here at daylight. Sent in to help mop up Agl. Pt. Didn’t finish. Lt. J.E. May killed, also several enlisted men. 2d Lt. Jimmy May, another 21st flying officer assigned to infantry duties, was killed when a Japanese in a bypassed foxhole rose up and shot him as he followed behind one of the… Read More »February 4, 1942 

February 4, 1942

For several days there have been whispers that a few of our fellow members have escaped over the wall. This was quite possible, as at the present time the guard system was a colossal joke because of the few Japanese guards patrolling these extensive walls. Escape over the wall was simple. The difficulty arose outside.… Read More »February 4, 1942

February 4, 1942 – Wednesday

I awoke at 7:20 a.m. It was too late to attend Mass, so I continued to sleep. I got up at 9 a.m., and found Manolo in the house arranging the food supplies received from the S.S. Legaspi. He told me that Captain Andres Soriano was in the tunnel. I saw Andres and we invited… Read More »February 4, 1942 – Wednesday

2/5/42 Day 60

In the I Corps area, plans are being made to attack the enemy pocket with all available forces.

In the South Sector, the Japanese are driven back to the edge of the cliff overlooking the beaches at Quinauan Point, However, very little progress is made against the enemy In the Anyasan-Silalim area.

Japanese artillery fire from batteries now emplaced along the southern shore of Manila Bay is directed against the fortified islands with Fort Drum as the principal target.

See: Speech of Jorge B. Vargas, Chairman of the Executive Commission, at a dinner given by him in honor of the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, February 5, 1942

February 5, 1942 — Thursday

Got up at 5 a.m. Shaved, took a bath etc. At 6:45 a.m. left the house for the dock with Vice-President Osmeña, Chief Justice Abad Santos, Captain Andres Soriano, Major B. Diño, Medical Service and Lieutenant Jose Abad Santos, Jr. The launch Baler took us to Cabcaben where we arrived at 7:20 a.m. General Francisco,… Read More »February 5, 1942 — Thursday

February 5, 1942

The Internews, our camp paper, had a cartoon of an American enjoying his whiskey soda in the pre-war days. On the opposite page, he was wheeling huge cans of garbage. Millionaires, bank presidents, executives, and beachcombers took their turns at garbage detail. They cleaned toilets, mopped floors, and dug ditches to bury tons of tin… Read More »February 5, 1942

February 5, 1942 

Agl. Pt. still going. All fronts doing good. Day quiet. By noon, all platoons of riflemen advancing behind the tanks had pushed the Japanese back to the cliff above the beach at Quinauan Point, where they had taken refuge in caves in the cliffs and below. (Aglaloma Point was also called Quinauan Point). 

February 5th, Thursday

Routine bombing front and rear areas. Major Warren Clear out in sub for Australia, but he had to leave most of his luggage including President Roosevelt’s stone lions behind.

Feb. 5/42

Wrote a letter to my mother today, and hope it gets through. Had quite a fire near the hospital yesterday. Luckily, we got it under control before it spread into the hospital grounds.

Thurs. Feb. 5/42

Went to town to shop for flour. Found some for five pesos a sack, but it was full of weevils so I did not buy it. Returned to San Marcelino and bought a sack for six pesos that I had seen a few days previous.

February 5, 1942

Japanese civilians entered a friend’s house, started playing the piano and asked him to introduce them to his daughters. Such abuses must be stopped. If the Japanese do not respect our homes, what will they respect? Lt. Kubo was in the office from 6:45 until 8:30 p.m. investigating all our data on cassava, camote and… Read More »February 5, 1942

Thursday, February 5, 1942

Had to change our priorities in sending planes to Australia! ABDA is desperate! Fields getting bombed! Lost 4 B-17’s on ground; also 7 pursuits. We rarely lose a ship in the air, but my God, how they do catch us on the ground. Burma situation not quite so gloomy, but God knows whether or not… Read More »Thursday, February 5, 1942

February 5, 1942

Japan possesses inexhaustible human reserves. Aside from the 70,000,000 in the mainland, they have another 20,000,000 in Korea, 35,000,000 in Manchukuo, and innumerable millions in conquered China. We have seen not a few Korean, Chinese, Manchurian and even Russian soldiers in Japanese uniform. The officers, though, are always Japanese, generally belonging to the Samurai class.… Read More »February 5, 1942

February 5, 1942

Again it has been a quiet day as far as operations are concerned. There was some activity at Quinauan Point, as they finally reported the area had been cleaned up. One officer who had been there reported that he had counted 175 dead Japs, and he saw only part of them. It was similar to… Read More »February 5, 1942

February 5, 1942

I was up at two and saw the guard covering small Diana. A seven course meal of bean soup, meat loaf (too hot with peppers), baked camote, pan de sal, rhubarb and banana, and eggplant with tomato.

Feb. 5 — 42

We advanced our line at dawn. I was in the left flank. We advanced to within a kilometer of the beach, when we were ambushed again. Our center end right flanks were on a small hill, and the left flank was on the slope and down. It was on the hill that the firing begin.… Read More »Feb. 5 — 42

5 Feb. ’42

Four loads of Medical Stores taken. Worried over having to divide staff which is against the Geneva Treaty and hope it won’t have to be. No visitors today, slow hours, wondering. Reading “Disputed Passage”. In the evening many flashes seen over Bataan. Guard changed and tougher. Demanding that the gate be cleaned and mosquito nets… Read More »5 Feb. ’42

2/6/42 Day 61

In the I Corps area, the Japanese receive reinforcements and attack late In the day to relieve the pockets, while some elements increase the pressure against the let and 11th Divisions (PA), others drive toward Big Pocket until stopped by the 11th Division just 800 yards from their objective. A small salient in the I Corps main line of resistance is formed as a result of this attack and is called Upper Pocket.

In the Manila Bay area, Japanese artillery, emplaced along the south shore in the vicinity of Ternate, begins a daily bombardment of the fortified islands. Fort Drum (the Concrete Battleship) and Fort Frank receive the bulk of the attack.

From Manila (now occupied by the Japanese), General Emilo Aguinaldo, President Quezon’s principal political rival in the Philippines, makes a radio broadcast in which he pleads with MacArthur to end the resistance and surrender In order to spare the Filipino people further death and the Philippine Islands further destruction.

February 6, 1942 – Friday

The President called a Cabinet Meeting at 9 a.m. He was depressed and talked to us of his impression regarding the war and the situation in Bataan. It was a memorable occasion. The President made remarks that the Vice-President refuted. The discussion became very heated, reaching its climax when the President told the Vice-President that… Read More »February 6, 1942 – Friday

February 6, 1942

The boys surprised us with an exceptionally good lunch. To plain boiled rice, given us by neighbors on the other side of the abandoned truck where we had been eating for the last few days, they added tomato juice, fried bacon, and several cans of corned beef. It was good enough food for anyone, and… Read More »February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942 

Day quiet. Little air activity lately. Sqd. to stay on Agl.Pt. for a while. A couple of inter island boats have come in recently. It was proving impossible to dislodge the Japanese in the caves despite heavy fire into them. 

February 6th, Friday

Routine bombing front and rear areas. Some of our men show definite signs of intense nerve fatigue. Others are getting used to the constant bombing. We are gradually getting the Philippine Army personnel to lay flat on the ground instead of cowering under trees during bombing, and we are suffering fewer casualties. Saw Major Herrick… Read More »February 6th, Friday

Friday, February 6, 1942

Information that Chinese and British are finally getting together. We may save Burma yet! The Joint and Combined Staff work is terrible! Takes an inconceivable amount of time. Fox Connor was right about Allies. He could well have included the Navy! We are faced with a big reorganization of W.D. We need it! The G.S.… Read More »Friday, February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942

Col. T. Uzaki, head of the Army’s food division, together with six other Japanese, went to San Fernando and other towns accompanied by Julian Reyes, to survey the rice situation. Conditions in Pampanga are unsettled. Life is unsafe. There are many ghost towns. The people have fled to the mountains. The Manila Railroad lines will… Read More »February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942

I was told today about an incident which revealed that Japan has prepared well to occupy these islands. The incident was recounted by a Spanish priest, the parish priest of Cavite, who, a few days after the entry of the Japanese in the neighboring city, was notified that he was to report to the new… Read More »February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942

We had a little excitement here today for a change. The Japs opened up on us with artillery from the mainland south of here and dropped a few shells on Corregidor. We have been shelling the mainland for the past few days and it appears that the Japs wanted to send them back. Most of… Read More »February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942

About four this afternoon, three Japanese planes flew low over us, apparently on their way back to Manila. As the last plane passed over our heads, our CO fired the 50 caliber from our car. It looked like he scored a hit, though not fatally. It got the pilot’s goat. He turned around, strafed and… Read More »February 6, 1942

Friday, February 6, 1942

States mail! At least so everyone thought. Yesterday there was a rumor on Central that 2,000 bags of mail for Negros Island had arrived in Bacolod from transports bringing troops and supplies to P.I. Today when messenger of Central returned from daily trip to post office in Bacolod he brought many letters. My heart beat… Read More »Friday, February 6, 1942

February 6, 1942

Peg washed my hair in a fire-bucket. Mrs. Dawson would have set it in waves, but the straight-back effect plaited into a pigtail every morning by June seems more suited to the simple life we live on a mattress surrounded by bags of leather and paper. June has knitted a red and blue tie for… Read More »February 6, 1942

Feb. 6 — 42

Next morning, we had a sandwich, and coffee. Artillery from Corregidor opened upon the beach. At 2:30 we advanced again, only to be stopped. We pulled back before dark.

6 Feb. ’42

Quiet night and some heavy detonations in Bataan and Cavite province. Planes less and we wonder. Finished “Disputed Passage” by Lloyd Douglas. Some linen received through Red Cross but very difficult with the present guard. Some soiled linen sent out. First for ten days, and corpsmen have been washing some uniforms and hospital linen. with… Read More »6 Feb. ’42

2/7/42 Day 62

I Corps opens an all-out attack against the Japanese pockets and partially encircles them. The 1st Division (PA) is employed against Little Pocket. The 92nd Infantry Regiment of the 91st Division (PA) makes the main attack against Big Pocket from the west and is supported by elements of the 11th and 51st Divisions (PA) and the American Philippine Division.

In the South Sector, after Scouts on the left flank come up against enemy positions in the Anyasan-Silalim area and are brought to a halt, Filipino Air Corps troops and a Constabulary battalion are committed to form a continuous line from Silaiim Bay to Quinauan Point. The methodical destruction of the remnants of the enemy troops at Quinauan Point continues. A Japanese relief force, attempting to evacuate troops from the southwest coast, is attacked by P-40’s and shore guns and forced back to Olongapo.


Feb. 7th, 1942

Francis and I were to go to Hosps 1 & 2 Left KM 200 shortly before 2:00 P.M. with dive bombers overhead. At 2:02 P.M. with the 2 of us plus the driver of my command car frozen to the ground 2 bombs bracketed the car, distance between craters not more than 40 feet. 1… Read More »Feb. 7th, 1942

February 7, 1942

Quiet day. Brought in several prisoners today, one spoke English. Small men. Think I’d know one if I saw him loose. Attempted landing, few got ashore, with others. A scheme to dynamite the Japanese in the caves only collapsed some of the caves. In the afternoon, Dyess was ordered to send an officer and 12… Read More »February 7, 1942

February 7, 1942 – Saturday

9 a.m. Another meeting of the Cabinet. The telegram, prepared in draft, was re-read and corrected and shown to the President for final approval. He then passed it to General MacArthur for transmittal to President Roosevelt. The telegram will someday become a historical document of tremendous importance. I hope it will be well received in… Read More »February 7, 1942 – Saturday

February 7th, Saturday

Front inactive, routine bombing front and rear. Fire from Cavite on our forts continued. Men definitely showing signs of enervation and loss of weight.

Feb. 7/42

One of our planes crashed into hill just outside of hospital boundary at 5:00 am., this morning. Pilot escaped with minor injuries. Had a fox hole dug under my bed today so that I can easily get cover during the night when planes come over.

February 7, 1942

I was at Corregidor Wharf to welcome M/S Kolambugan that arrived 0730 today from another “smuggling trip to Looc Cove” similar to what we did a week ago. This time Q-111 is the escort with Capt. Navarette CO & Sqdn. Comdr. and Capt. Panopio with the Kolambugan, a confident veteran now.  After our successful “smuggling… Read More »February 7, 1942

Saturday, February 7, 1942

Mamie came yesterday. Living at Wardman.

Sat. Feb. 7/42

Bought a sample of cracked wheat yesterday to see how it would do for our morning cereal. It was good, so I dispatched Leo on his bike today to buy a quantity. He got fifty pounds for five pesos.

February 7, 1942

The Japanese may be slow but they are very thorough. With them, everything is planned. I noticed that when they arrived in my office, they had maps of the city of Manila. Our rice bodegas were marked in their maps with Japanese characters. They did not need guides to direct them to a place. They… Read More »February 7, 1942

February 7, 1942

An order of the Commander-in-Chief appeared today, carrying the following date: “Seventh day of the second month of the seventeenth year of the Syowa.” Do they want to nipponize even our calendar?

Feb. 7, 1942

Lt Bakers P-40 crashed into 4 tree near hospital. Was severely burned about —– & hands but will be ok. They are really hard to fly. Usual run of work in hospital. We had 1915 S & W. Cards for the month of January. Will be bigger these months as the ecards are only on… Read More »Feb. 7, 1942

February 7, 1942

Today completes two months of the war, and a great deal has happened in that time. Here we are besieged on an island and the tip of a peninsula without much in the way of either food or ammunition. Of course we are fairly well fixed on Corregidor, but it is somewhat of a hand… Read More »February 7, 1942

February 7, 1942

It costs each about P8 a month for food here and the Committee uses somewhat less than P100 a day. One Japanese ex-miner said to an engineer, “Sir. the Japanese are leaving and I would like to work for you again and can I borrow five pesos?”?

Feb. 7 — 42

Artillery again pounded the beach for hours. Meantime the 45th and 57th Filipino Scouts reinforced us. We advanced again, and at two pts we were stopped just short of the beach.

2/8/42 Day 63

Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma orders a general withdrawal to the north to more favorable positions where his troops can rest and reorganize while waiting for reinforcements for the final assault on Bataan. So far, he has lost 7,000 men in combat and another 10,000 to malaria, beriberi and dysentery. At this point in time, he has only three infantry battalions on the entire Bataan Line.

I Corps continues the battle to destroy Little and Big Pockets and completely encircles Big Pocket. The Japanese escape from Little Pocket through a small gap on the east during the night.

In the South Sector, resistance on Quinauan Point ends after small Navy craft from Mariveles neutralize the beaches, then land a party from the 21st Pursuit Squadron, which works inland and meets Scouts pushing toward the beaches. A company of the 57th Infantry land a platoon of 37-mm guns are released from Quinauan for action against the enemy.

The Japanese make a final attempt to withdraw forces from the southwest coast by water and succeed In rescuing about 35 men.

In Washington, President Roosevelt rejects Proposal from President Quezon that the Philippines be granted immediate Independence and then declared a neutral nation. In his response, Roosevelt says:

“So long as the flag the United States flies on Filipino soil, it will be defended to the death. We shall not relax our efforts until the forces which are now marshaling outside the Philippine Islands return to the Philippines and drive the last remnant of the invaders from your soll.”

The Commanding General of United States Army Forces in the Far East (MacArthur) to the Chief of Staff (Marshall) February 8, 1942

Message for President Roosevelt on the Situation of the Philippines, February 8, 1942

Telegram of President Quezon to President Roosevelt, February 8, 1942

February 8, 1942

Manila   Contacted Bataan HQ and reported arrival destination this evening. Everything progressing satisfactorily. Had a hard trip: climbing, walking, walking. Will go around tomorrow and observe city after work. Met officer in charge of Manila transmitters. He says Jap raided one of our radio sets two hours after sending messages day before yesterday. “We… Read More »February 8, 1942

Feb. 8 — 42

We surrounded the Japs into two groups right down on the beach. We gave them a chance to surrender, but it was refused. My outfit held a section on the right facing the water, (N). The same day Japanese planes flew over and dropped supplies, but we intercepted them all. That night a Japanese landing… Read More »Feb. 8 — 42

February 8, 1942

An effort was made to land in the vicinity of Quinauan Point last night, but it is not yet definitely known how many came ashore. It is estimated about 75 or 100 may have landed. Our troops were looking for them and drove them off at all points except the one which is occupied by… Read More »February 8, 1942

February 8, 1942

Today, Sunday, I shall speak in vague terms, as the New Regime is wont to do, with regard to religion and the Church. Up to now, the military authorities have not yet made it clear what their definite plans are, if they have any, about their relationship with the Church. Nor have they attempted to… Read More »February 8, 1942

February 8, 1942

A very busy Sunday. How I wish I could just stay home and smoke and tinker around the house and plant in the garden! There is nothing like a quiet life at home. Mrs. Dolores Paterno de Tuason together with other members of the Tuason family have about 3,000 cavans of palay in Marikina, Rizal.… Read More »February 8, 1942

Sunday, February 8, 1942

Another long message on “strategy” to MacArthur. He sent in one extolling the virtues of the flank offensive. Wonder what he thinks we’ve been studying for all these years. His lecture would have been good for plebes! Today another long wail from Quezon. I’ll have to wait though, because it is badly garbled. I think… Read More »Sunday, February 8, 1942

February 8th, Sunday

Routine bombing front and rear. Light patrol activity on the Bataan front. Fire from Cavite continues. Second month of war. Generals King and Moore sat under a fly at the west end of Malinta Hill [Corregidor] when Cavite opened up and let three freight trains move overhead landing on the Bataan side of the island.… Read More »February 8th, Sunday

February 8, 1942 

Sunday. Sqd. returned to camp at night. Quite a bit of air activity today. At the beach, two whaleboats of men of the 21st under Dyess and Donalson went ashore in the morning and systematically cleaned out the Japanese on the beach after having blasted the caves with 37 mm cannon and machine guns. But… Read More »February 8, 1942 

February 8, 1942

Today was Sunday! The rotogravure section of the Nishi-Nishi was filled with idyllic scenes. The Japanese soldier was shown worshiping with the Filipinos in local Manila churches. Another picture depicted an old Spanish church in all of its seventeenth-century grandeur. Not a stone had been nicked, but all around there were half-destroyed buildings. Underneath the… Read More »February 8, 1942

February 8, 1942 — Sunday

Attended Mass early (6.30 a.m.) in the tunnel of Battery North also know as Battery Kysur. The President’s temperature continues, not very high, but he feels uneasy. Passed the night in the house. SS Legaspi sails for Panay.

2/9/42 Day 64

In the I Corps area, what ls left of the Japanese troops from Little Pocket are destroyed while trying to escape. The 1st Division (PA) is now free to join in the battle against Big Pocket, which is now being compressed and from which the Japanese are trying desperately to escape.

In the South Sector, the 2nd Battalion of the 57th Infantry (PS) replace the 3rd Battalion in the center of the line in the Anyasan-Silalim region and makes limited progress against the enemy.

Telegram of President Roosevelt to President Quezon, February 9, 1942

February 9, 1942

Manila Great change in the City. A lot of dirty Jap soldiers walking up and down Manila sidewalks. Plenty of soldiers. Had to bow. Saw several people slapped. Must not smoke before sentry. Manilans go around in bikes. Japs in cars. Many dokars and carromatas. Even race-horses are now being used to pull carretelas. Manilans… Read More »February 9, 1942

Monday, February 9, 1942

Sugar mill reopened after having been closed two weeks while bodega was being built to house extra sugar. All available space, including at present unused ciné, already filled with sugar as there is no chance of shipping this milling season’s output.

February 9, 1942

A bag came from Ismael with loaf of bread and two tins of jam we had left as their portion! We were thrilled. Nearly two months since we tasted bread. We shared with Scotts. two pieces each. June talked about home and Ann listened and said, “I want to go home! Let’s go back to… Read More »February 9, 1942

February 9, 1942

The Japs opened up on Corregidor again today and fired quite a number of rounds. I was outside for a short time while they were firing, and the explosion is not particularly loud. The caliber of the gun has been definitely established as 105 mm. Our guns at Drum and Frank took them under fire… Read More »February 9, 1942

Feb. 9, 1942

Big aerial dog fight over hospital today. 6 P-40’s returning from photographic mission met by several Japanese planes. We are supposed to have downed 6 of their ships & lost one of ours which crashed into Mt Mariveles. In retaliation they spent the afternoon bombing the airfield about half a mile from hospital & thus… Read More »Feb. 9, 1942

February 9, 1942

The facts that I am going to relate seem to be so unlikely and so horrifying that I did not attempt to write them down until I was sure of their veracity. They were related to me by some Filipino and American soldiers who came from the frontline and were reassigned to other units before… Read More »February 9, 1942

February 9, 1942

The provinces of Central Luzon are in turmoil. Gunmen in every corner. Killings every day. Banditry rampant. The Japanese are impatient, angry. They burn, kill, pillage in retaliation to attacks on their garrisons. Fields are razed to the ground. The harvest is reduced to ashes. Suspects are tortured. Many have fled to the mountains. Houses… Read More »February 9, 1942

Monday, February 9, 1942

Spent the entire day preparing drafts of President’s messages to MacArthur and Quezon. Long, difficult, and irritating. Both are babies. But now we’ll see what happens. Tonight at 6:45 I saw the President and got his approval to sending the messages.

Feb. 9/42

Saw five of our planes (P-40’s) having a dog fight with five enemy planes today. The fight began just over the hospital, but gradually moved eastward. One of our planes failed to return, while all the enemy planes were “reported” as downed.

February 9th, Monday

Routine bombing as usual. About 1000 hours our 4 P-40’s returned from reconnaissance missions to land at Cabcaben Field. Almost at the same time they were jumped by a formation of nine enemy dive bombers from over the mountains. Five enemy dive bombers were seen to be shot down. However, only three P.40’s returned. This… Read More »February 9th, Monday

February 9, 1942 

Enemy attempted landing last night, no luck. A lot of them floating around in water today. Cleaned it up. Quiet day and night. The 21st this day was occupied in search and cleaning up operations, an unpleasant task due to the stench of the dead and swarms of flies. The landing attempt mentioned by Burns… Read More »February 9, 1942 

February 9, 1942

We’ve had intense heat the last few days, and the leaves of the fine acacia trees are beginning to turn brown and fall on the ground. In another month the trees will be naked and the grass withered and scorched. The hot season in Manila was trying under normal conditions, which included lovely gardens, verandas,… Read More »February 9, 1942

February 9, 1942 — Monday

The President is feeling better. His temperature is down. He had dinner in the house with his family. Planned to spend the night in the house; however at 10:30 p.m. a terrific explosion was heard which shook the windows and doors. After a few minutes General MacArthur telephoned advising the President to return to the… Read More »February 9, 1942 — Monday

2/10/42 Day 65

I Corps is rapidly reducing Big Pocket.

In the South Sector, the Japanese are being compressed In the Anyasan-Silallm area.

The Commanding General of United States Army Forces in the Far East ( MacArthur ) to the Chief of Staff ( Marshall ) February 10, 1942

Letter for President Roosevelt on the War in the Western Pacific, February 10, 1942

Telegram of President Quezon to President Roosevelt, February 10, 1942

February 10, 1942

Have been quite busy today as increased volume of radio traffic with NEI and Australia keeps me busy. Actually have more work than I can handle for first time since we moved over here. It has been relatively quiet today, but some activity on front of I Corps. They are staging a small effort to… Read More »February 10, 1942

February 10, 1942

Looks bad for Singapore. The Japanese now have a foothold. I suspect Singapore is not such an impregnable base, after all. The Japanese are bombing and shelling the fortress. It must be hell out there. Can’t understand Japanese propaganda. Today there is another (news) item stating that conditions in the provinces are normal, and that… Read More »February 10, 1942

Tuesday, February 10, 1942

Attended “Liaison Meeting”, State Dept., Under Secretary of State – Brazilian, Chile, Argentine questions – 10:00 A.M. Six weeks ago Gerow and I predicted to ourselves Navy would demand “Unity of Command” over coast lines of U.S. They have already done so ~ only, they have limited it to air forces, so far. We’re telling… Read More »Tuesday, February 10, 1942

February 10, 1942 

Went back to camp for a while today. Most of officers at flying field now, wish I was there. Quiet day. Lost quite a few good men on this last trip to Quin. Pt. Rumored Japs withdraw. The 21st lost six killed and an undetermined number wounded, as against 74 killed and 234 wounded for… Read More »February 10, 1942 

February 10, 1942

Crotchety and old Mr. and Mrs. Greenshoes’ dispositions didn’t improve, living and sleeping as they did in the crowded corridor of the second floor. They’ve had several verbal tussles with our Internee Committee and the Japs, but so far they have won every round. When informed by our committee that husbands and wives were to… Read More »February 10, 1942

February 10, 1942 — Tuesday

The Japanese were shelling the rock. Only two hits — no casualties.

2/11/42 Day 66

I Corps makes substantial progress against Big Pocket, but the enemy succeeds in withdrawing through a gap on the north side.

In the South Sector, the Japanese fall back to Silaiim Point, between the Silalim and Anyasan Rivers, under very heavy pressure.

Telegram of President Roosevelt to President Quezon, February 11, 1942

See: Greetings from the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines on the occasion of Foundation Day of the Japanese Empire, February 11, 1942

February 11, 1942

This was a big day for the Nips! The Foundation Day of the Great Japanese Empire, which was started 2602 years ago! The morning Nishi-Nishi was filled with crowing over Japanese successes. They had done well! These little men that we never took quite seriously. Today the Rising Sun flag waved over the High Commissioner’s… Read More »February 11, 1942

February 11, 1942

Manila   The parish priest agrees to use of their convent. Admirable spirit of cooperation. No. 201 is an old man. He has been all over the world: Russia, China, Japan, America, almost all countries of Europe and all over Africa. Very interesting fellow. He speaks Japanese, Russian, Spanish, English, little Chinese. He has even… Read More »February 11, 1942

February 11, 1942

Bedie’s 11th birthday. I whispered a song to him with kisses. He received a bag with 12 pan de sal with “Happy birthday from Ismael and Nida.” He cried, “Oh Mummie, they are both alive!” A ration of radish at noon—Jerry’s idea since we have no meal given us then and then something has to… Read More »February 11, 1942

February 11th, 1942 66th Day of War

At Quinaoan Point, on the West side, a group of Officers were approaching a steep grade. One of the Officers said, “Let’s stop here and rest.” One of the other Officer’s said, “Let’s continue on to the top if the hill and rest.” Just then a voice from the top of the hill came shouting… Read More »February 11th, 1942 66th Day of War

February 11, 1942

Another quiet day except for some exchanges of shots between our batteries at Frank and a couple of Jap batteries on the south shore of Manila Bay. The Jap batteries were silenced and direct hits on both were reported. Our artillery has been very effective, and the Jap prisoners report that it is “terrible.” We… Read More »February 11, 1942

February 11, 1942

The NARIC will purchase rice in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pampanga. I am worried about the unsettled conditions, the lack of peace and order, the dislocation of transportation, (the) shortage of fuel and the spirit of non-cooperation. But we have to succeed; otherwise, there will be no rice for Manilans. The Army has reduced the… Read More »February 11, 1942

February 11th, Wednesday

Routine bombing front and rear. Dull activity on tront and sporadic reconnaissance. General King now has many fake artillery posItions to lure the Nips. Since getting fake artillery positions on Bataan, Nip bombing has damaged very few of our artillery positions thus wasting their bombs on our false positions. False positions consist of moving our… Read More »February 11th, Wednesday

February 11, 1942 — Wednesday

Had a Cabinet Meeting. The reply of President Roosevelt to President Quezon’s radio was received. No, was the reply. It also allowed General MacArthur to surrender Philippine Islands if necessary. General MacArthur said he could not do it. The President said that he would resign in favor of Osmeña. There was no use to dissuade… Read More »February 11, 1942 — Wednesday

February 11, 1942 

Day quiet. Learned in the evening that Sqd’n is moving to a field, sure is good. Men will now be doing something they are trained for. Things here in west subsector coming along fine. Planes soon I hope.

2/12/42 Day 67

I Corps regains a very important trail junction, virtually unopposed.

In the South Sector, the Japanese try desperately to escape from Silallm Point. They break through the Philippine line but are overtaken as they push north toward the Silalim River and are forced steadily toward the sea.

Telegram of President Quezon to President Roosevelt, February 12, 1942

See: The debate on taking the Philippines out of the war: January 28 to February 12, 1942

February 12, 1942 

Easy day. Waiting for orders to go back to Sqd’n. Have been away much too long. Benton treated us to quite a bull session, he is a character. Must get book–Ben Aub (sic) stories sometime. First Lt. Benjamin A. Benton, Jr. was Armament Officer of the 24th Pursuit Group until assigned to I Corps on… Read More »February 12, 1942 

February 12th, Thursday

Routine bombing front and rear areas.

February 12, 1942 – Thursday

The President had a long conference with General MacArthur. Afterwards he sent for me. He asked me: “If I should decide to leave Corregidor what do you want to do?” “I want to remain with my troops at the front that is my duty” I replied. He stretched his hand and shook my hand “That… Read More »February 12, 1942 – Thursday

February 12, 1942

The impregnable fortress of Singapore, bastion of British imperialism in the Orient, has fallen. According to Domei, the flag of the Rising Sun was hoisted over Singapore at eight o’clock yesterday morning. This is a turning point in the history of mankind. Singapore is not merely a naval base. It is a symbol of the… Read More »February 12, 1942

February 12, 1942

Was taken seriously ill with food poisoning this morning and went to bed. This afternoon had a temperature of 103 degrees and went to the hospi- tal where I was put to bed. I had hamburger for dinner last night and it was bad meat. I could tell it at the time but didn’t know… Read More »February 12, 1942

February 12, 1942

Manila   Singapore falls. This is bad news. Singapore Naval base was very necessary for refueling of convoy. They will be very depressed in Bataan. Japs have executed four men for violation of military law. Condemned men are first made to dig graves in Cementerio del Norte and then they are shot in the back.… Read More »February 12, 1942


Feb. 8th to 12th Incl., 1942

Continued fighting to clean up the points. Tanks used against enemy; one tank had all men in it killed and burned to death. Had to be towed out on the 11th; bodies unidentifiable due to charring.

February 12, 1942

SINGAPORE Falls! This was the headline that greeted us in the morning rag. The camp was stunned. People went about their work sadly and dejectedly. Would Bataan and Corregidor go next? We couldn’t bear to think about it! Christmas, New Year, and now Lincoln’s Birthday — all of them spent in the shadow of the… Read More »February 12, 1942

2/13/42 Day 68

Corps, after searching the entire area of Big Pocket without finding any live Japanese, turns its full attention to the Upper Pocket salient in the main line of resistance. The troops released from the Big Pocket assault force also join in the battle.

In the South Sector, Filipino troops complete the destruction of the enemy in the Silatim.

On Mindanao, the submarine SARGO delivers a load of ammunition to Pollac Harbor and then evacuates some key military personnel who cannot be left in the Philippines.

February 13, 1942

Another man escaped! This time it was an American, and those who knew him well thought he had a better chance of eluding the Nips, for he was married to a native woman and was familiar with the country. We were sorry to hear about this escape though, as it meant more rigid rules and… Read More »February 13, 1942

February 13, 1942

The dentist’s hours are three to four, his dental chair is an Epsom Salt tin, his fillings are temporary, only guaranteed as far as the gate. The Women’s Committee is surely amusing. They don’t really want suggestions. The nicknames for them are not bad, the Dragon being one. The chairman lines us up to clap… Read More »February 13, 1942

February 13, 1942 

Fri. the 13th. Left the 71st’s C.P. in morning, returned to Sqd’n at field. Nice place, much better than sweating out alerts as we have been doing. The evening before, Dyess and the men of the 21st Pursuit arrived at Bataan Field to formally take over flying operations. Dyess was now made Flying Detachment commander.… Read More »February 13, 1942 

February 13, 1942

Bombing of Cabcaben dock area today with incendiary bombs. Many civilians who had no business there were nearly including children woman were killed & maimed. Wounds contained white phosphorous which smoked unless put under water while being removed. A very gruesome & tearful sight. 411 civilians should have been evacuated from the theater of operations… Read More »February 13, 1942

Mon. Feb. 9 — Fri. Feb. 13/42

I have been sick with a fever, but not serious. Some of the friends came to visit us because of my illness. They are very good to do that in this country. Japanese still were gaining on all fronts.

February 13, 1942

Very sad news in the Tribune on Bataan. The Japanese offensive has been intensified. The U.S. War Department said that “the outlook for the forces in the Philippines is very dark. We have very dim hopes of holding our positions in the face of a superior and overwhelming enemy with a great number of soldiers… Read More »February 13, 1942

February 13th, Friday

Routine bombing front and rear area. Shell fire from Cavite on Harbor defenses.

February 13, 1942 — Friday

Nothing unusual. I took my tetanus injection, first dose, and ordered my dog tags prepared, to be ready for duty on the front.


Feb. 1 to 13th, 1942

On the 1st we engaged the enemy on SILAIM POINT, ANAYSAN POINT and were to continue this through the 12th. Heavy action throughout this period with great losses on the part of the Japanese and a fair number of casualties among the 57th, 45th, and 17th Pursuit Squadron.

2/14/42 Day 69

February 14th, Saturday

Routine bombing front and rear area. Shell fire from Cavite on Harbor defenses.

February 14, 1942 – Saturday

6:30 a.m. left Corregidor for Bataan on a Q boat. The sea was very rough and it could not make any speed. I arrived at 7:30 a.m. at Cabcaben. Colonel Hill and General de Jesus were waiting for me. I gave some instructions to General de Jesus and then left with Colonel Hill in a… Read More »February 14, 1942 – Saturday

February 14, 1942

Asked an old man of eighty years which regime he prefers: Spanish, American or Japanese? The old man thought for a moment. Then he answered and there was a sparkle in his eyes: “The best regime is our own regime. A Filipino regime!” There is much wisdom in the old man’s answer. A foreign regime,… Read More »February 14, 1942

February 14, 1942

Manila   Many Jap atrocities. Saw several tied to posts in front of Jap garrisons. Many brought to Fort Santiago dungeons where they are tortured and chained. Pagulayan of Naric locked in Santiago. Taken from his house at midnight. Many houses raided by Jap and Military Police. Japs executing those who have guns and gasoline… Read More »February 14, 1942

February 14, 1942

We are working like demons… Casualties from bombings and patients with malaria and dysentery are admitted in large numbers daily. food is very scant; but we have every reason to believe that help will arrive shortly.This is Valentine’s Day and I have seen several clever, original Valentines. I’m weary, and so to bed.

February 14, 1942 

Spent day clearing place for and setting up a tent, rough work. Like the set up here more and more. Still sweating out a convoy and mail. Believe today is Val. day??

February 14, 1942

I remember last year on this date I wanted to do a broadcast over KZRH about St. Valentine. I went down to Church House to consult the library and Father Gray about certain facts relative to St. Valentine. I ran into Bishop Binsted—new in our diocese, had been banished from Japan—and Bishop Wilner. They dropped… Read More »February 14, 1942

February 14, 1942

Some of the children’s valentines were very bright. June’s to Mrs. Macabee, “a dish cloth dripping with love for you”—to Daddy, “A garbage can full of hearts for you.” All were typical of our trades in here. There are fifteen now in our tiny hospital. When clearing out the bombed building, they found two toilets… Read More »February 14, 1942

February 14, 1942

After work at the hospital was over, nurses and patients made Valentines for their favorite doctors, patients, and attendants. The most amusing and original one was made for our natty-looking Englishman who cleaned the toilets and bedpans. Despite his menial work, he managed to remain as immaculate as a floor-walker at Wanamaker’s. From morning until… Read More »February 14, 1942

2/15/42 Day 70

In the Il Corps area, the Japanese attack In limited strength to ease the pressure being applied against the troops withdrawing north from the I Corps sector. At the same time, I Corps continues to make steady progress against the salient in the main line of resistance.

Elsewhere: The British garrison at Singapore surrenders to the Japanese attack force.

February 15 Sunday

Likewise. Shelling from Cavite on harbor defenses is increasing in intensity. Shelling continued steadily from 1600 hours to 1900 hours and again from 2000 hours to 2100 hours. We will probably be shelled constantly from nowon from Cavite unless we are able to silence these guns. Checking artillery materiel strength today.

February 15, 1942 – Sunday

Attended mass at 6:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. the President called a meeting of his war cabinet. The matter of our possible exit from the rock was discussed. It was shown that the President could be of more help to General MacArthur and the general situation outside of the rock. The President conferred after with… Read More »February 15, 1942 – Sunday

February 15, 1942

I did not think it prudent to divulge earlier that a few days after the bombing of Letran, through a third person, Mrs. Aurora Quezon sent from her hideout in Corregidor a letter of sympathy to the Father Provincial who never had any means of replying. The First Lady seemed to be very much worried.… Read More »February 15, 1942

February 15, 1942

Today is my birthday. Worked as usual. No party at home. These are not days for celebration. It is outrageous to amuse oneself, while the country is at war. Must eliminate inefficient employees. This is not the kind of work one wants to do on his birthday. It is very unpleasant. Our stock of Burma… Read More »February 15, 1942

Sun. Feb. 15/42

On Saturday night, Pedro had a bad attack of asthma and we despaired of his life. Had to get a doctor. His heart is weak, too. Today I stayed home with him, and he is worrying over the fact that he and his wife are an expense to us. But it really makes very little… Read More »Sun. Feb. 15/42

February 15, 1942 

Sunday. The day I figured help would get here. But no soap. Fixed the tent up today. The A.C. can be thankful for Gen. George, he is on the ball. From the time we left Manila for Bataan until now has been pretty near hell. Sqd’n turned Inf. and lost some of our best men… Read More »February 15, 1942 

February 15, 1942*

(*Undated in book; but context dates to Fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942) The fall of Singapore hit us all between the eyes. It seems impossible that it could; it was considered the best fortified spot in the world. Now Sumatra will go. And worse personal news: Hi isn’t being released from the hospital… Read More »February 15, 1942*

Sunday, February 15, 1942

Mr. and Mrs. Wiley and Mr. and Mrs. George Ossorio were driving over a narrow railroad bridge to see place the Wileys had selected for evacuation house in case of invasion when car fell over side of bridge into deep ravine. Wileys both have broken collar bones and Mrs. Wiley broken ribs. Mr. Wiley black… Read More »Sunday, February 15, 1942

Feb. 15 — 42

Two air planes (Japs) came over early this afternoon and laid a smoke screen, which the trapped enemy came through. A lot of them broke through our line, and scattered into the woods. We were rounding them up every day after that.

2/16/42 Day 71

MacArthur informs Washington that Quezon plans to transfer the seat of the Philippine government to some free territory in the Visayas. He asks for authority to use submarine to get the Quezon party out of Corregidor.

February 16th, Monday

We have lost 13 SPM (self propelled mounts, 75 mm guns); shows 13 lost in action and 9 destroyed to prevent capture, prior to getting into Bataan. I have noticed SPMs have three undesirable features: too high silhouette, insufficient protection in front, and rear idler sometimes throws track. These guns should be entirely mobile. However,… Read More »February 16th, Monday

February 16, 1942 – Monday

General MacArthur reported that all was O.K. The submarine would be arriving Thursday. The Japanese are still shelling us but they hit the water. We dined on the SS Legaspi. We had just finished when two shells, fell on the dock near the boat. All the laborers ran away. We had to leave the boat… Read More »February 16, 1942 – Monday

Monday, February 16, 1942

Took charge today of W.P.D. after having been here since December 14 on special work in the Section. As “Gee” walked out, he said, “Well, I got Pearl Harbor on the book; lost the Philippine Islands, Singapore, Sumatra, and all the N.E.I. north of the barrier… Let’s see what you can do.”

February 16, 1942

Martial law is severe, ruthless. It knows no leniency. Three British internees were made to dig three graves and then they were executed in the Santo Tomas concentration camp as an example to all other internees. The Britishers tried to escape. It is hard to argue with the Japanese. This morning’s Tribune carries a news… Read More »February 16, 1942

February 16, 1942

Yesterday, Singapore fell. At 7:50 last night, Lt. General Percival, Commander of the British Forces, signed the unconditional surrender in the prosaic stage of a Ford Motor Shop. Singapore, which had hitherto remained impregnable, still has some 60,000 soldiers, half of whom are British and Australians, the other half, Indians. In the preceding days, the… Read More »February 16, 1942

February 16, 1942 

Starting 11th week of this mess. They did some flying today so the field was bombed after supper. No damage. Singapore gone now. British up to their usual tactics, to the last American. Two pilots flying their first missions under Dyess dropped ammunition to cut-off USAFFE men at Jones, northern Luzon, followed by two others… Read More »February 16, 1942 

February 16, 1942*

(*Undated in book; but context dates to escape of British sailors from Santo Tomas and their execution on February 15, 1942) Today was a hectic day. I made one trip to St. Luke’s Hospital, another to the old Philippine General. Hi is still in St. Luke’s Hospital. He has some ulcerous condition of his innards,… Read More »February 16, 1942*

February 16, 1942

With loud pounding, Nakamura and the guards waked us in the darkness, tacking a huge sign on the tree in front of barracks—headed by “NEWS” in big black and red letters, “Singapore FELL on Feb. 15 at 7:50 P.M.” At roll call, we were given a number to sew on ourselves. I can now write… Read More »February 16, 1942

February 16, 1942

To increase the gloom and depression that had settled over us, a mammoth balloon hovered over the camp. Printed in large fire-red print across its huge surface were these words: SINGAPORE HAS SURRENDERED. Just in the event we had missed the above cheering news, we were further plagued by leaflets dropped from the sky bearing… Read More »February 16, 1942

2/17/42 Day 72

Feb. 17/42

While walking alone ridge back of hospital on Feb. 10th in search of a repated telegraph instrument, I met General Weaver and Staff. Last night I ate some artificial caramel. It is made by boiling sweetened carclused mills two hours in unopened cans then cool, open can and serve. It is quite good. Every [enemy]… Read More »Feb. 17/42

Tuesday, February 17, 1942

The Navy wants to take all the islands in the Pacific – have them held by any troops, to become bases for Army pursuit and bombers. Then! the Navy will have a safe place to sail its vessels. But they will not go further forward than our air army can assure superiority. The amount of… Read More »Tuesday, February 17, 1942

February 17, 1942

Received regards from Mary. She is in Cabiao. Those who evacuated to the provinces had a harder time than those who stayed in Manila. The city was the safest place. Mr. Takamia, Japanese agriculturist, co-worker of Mr. Abe at Mrs. Quezon’s farm in Arayat, was sent by the Japanese authorities to Legaspi and Naga together… Read More »February 17, 1942

February 17, 1942

To add to the humiliation of the defeated British, the Japanese yesterday published side by side with the news of the fall of Singapore, the death sentence meted out to three Englishmen who attempted to escape from the concentration camp at Santo Tomas. The sentence was read before all the internees, and carried out four… Read More »February 17, 1942

Tues. Feb. 17/42

Cecil and I went to Intramuros to ask some questions of the Religious Department. If we cannot support ourselves we must return to the camp. We can work a little if we can find a job. Forgot to mention that Singapore fell and some folks are quite gloomy. I am afraid it will get much… Read More »Tues. Feb. 17/42

February 17, 1942 

Bombed the field again this morning. Dropped a lot of bombs but no damage. Rest of day quiet. Had tooth filled today.

February 17, 1942

The morning paper gives the details of the surrender of Singapore. Bataan and Corregidor still hold. I thought I saw a moving boat in the bay today and my heart sank. Jumped to the conclusion that Corregidor had already fallen, for no boats could get into Manila Bay without passing Corregidor, and I am not… Read More »February 17, 1942

2/18/42 Day 73

February 18, 1942

High school began this morning here. We were allowed half an hour on the court at 6:30. Can take husband’s arm if we walk fast, but no “cohabiting” on mattresses or blankets on court (this means merely sitting together)! We were warned not to talk together before the hour.

February 18, 1942

I went to St. Luke’s Hospital this afternoon in a carretela to take things to people who are sick there. Vignettes of occupied Manila passed before me as I rode along. Chinese establishments with their great doors barred and only small cat-hole doors open, the Chinese slipping silently in and out. Dozens of tiny sidewalk… Read More »February 18, 1942

February 18, 1942 

Not much doing today. Climate is getting me or insufficient food and improper diet is doing it. Getting awful lazy and tire out quickly. Everyone seems to be that way.

February 18, 1942

As I passed by the store of a Spanish friend, I saw a confused crowd of people who appeared to be threatening him. However, looking at him over the heads of the people from the calesa where I was, he did not appear to be concerned. On reaching home, I called him up. It turned… Read More »February 18, 1942

February 18, 1942

Too tired to write.

February 17-18, 1942

Finally arrangements for our departure were completed.

February 18th, Wednesday

Routine bombing front and rear. Now and then fire from Cavite. Lost the Neptune today from shellfire near Fort Frank. If we lose any more small boats, the courier is going to have to swim back from Bataan to Corregidor. Surgeon General says our men are now 55% combat efficient from debilities due to malaria,… Read More »February 18th, Wednesday

2/19/42 Day 74

Thursday, February 19, 1942

Had a meeting with the Navy. One encouraging sign was that they have come to recognize the need for cargo ships! But they’d like us to stop building armament and equipment so they can have more battleships, etc., etc. Wonder how they finally expect to win this war. We’ve got to go on harrassing defensive… Read More »Thursday, February 19, 1942

February 19, 1942

Everybody in the office is in a state of high nervous tension. Unson was taken to Fort Santiago. Why was he taken? What will they do to him? Nobody knows. Nobody dares ask. Who will be next? Many are planning to leave the office. They will hide. I may be taken any time. They may… Read More »February 19, 1942

February 19, 1942

The newspapers reported that the Asakura Special Mission—something like the Japanese Constabulary—decided to designate five other offices for the issuance of residence certificates. The police require these from everybody. Simple and inoffensive as it was, the requirement was received with resentment by the people of Greater Manila. Since about three weeks ago, the police have… Read More »February 19, 1942

Thurs. Feb. 19/42

I went job hunting down town. Saw the vice-mayor at the City Hall and others as well, but no luck. Went by the Quiapo Market and bought five pounds of margarine and five pounds of baking powder for my flour to make hot cakes. Canned goods are scarce.

February 19, 1942 – Thursday

I spoke with the President and asked him for permissions to go to Bataan. At 1 p.m. Major Velasquez and I, on the launch of the Apo, went to San Jose, Mariveles. Captain Lee Stevens and Mr. Boquer took advantage of our boat to return to Bataan. We arrived at San Jose. Lee, Boquer and… Read More »February 19, 1942 – Thursday

February 19, 1942

On February 19, the birthday of Mrs. Quezon, the President ordered me to have champagne for the evening. Colonel Nieto also came to inform me of my departure from Corregidor. I was to go to the south entrance of the tunnel at night. I gave several bottles of champagne to the Officers so that they… Read More »February 19, 1942

February 19, 1942 

Looked over another field today. Had tooth refilled, permanent this time. Not much traffic on roads now, gasoline ration keeps them home.

February 19, 1942

I went on the rampage and jacked up people about Lysoling and rolling up mattresses every day as ordered, We are military now and must be all alike, no exceptions. What a small life it is, So bounded and detailed by checking and numbering. The floor space is being measured now to see how much… Read More »February 19, 1942

Feb. 19, 1942

Feb 19 my birthday in the tunnel of Corregidor At night members of our party left for the South on Don Esteban.

February 19, 1942

Camp morale moved back and forth like a pendulum. We heard that Germany was about to collapse and that Russia planned to declare war on Japan. But the best news of all was that our fleet had won many victories in the Pacific. No matter how fantastic the rumors were, we wanted to believe them.… Read More »February 19, 1942

2/20/42 Day 75

In the Manila Bay area, Japanese artillery bombardment of the fortified Islands reaches peak intensity.

President Quezon, along with his wife Aurora and Vice President Sergio Osmeña, are evacuated from Corregidor on board the U.S. submarine SWORDFISH and transported to [Panay].

The Quezons and some members of his official family leave Corregidor aboard the submarine Swordfish at 11 p.m. They are seen off by MacArthur and members of the High Command. Left behind is Manuel A. Roxas, newly designated secretary to the President who, under Executive Order No. 390 issued by President Quezon on December 22, 1941, is the first to succeed to the “Presidency of the Philippines in case of failure to qualify, removal, termination of the right thereto, death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office by both the President or President-elect and the Vice President or Vice-President-elect, as the case may be.”4 After the secretary to the

President, the following is the order of precedence of the Presidential succession: secretary of finance, secretary of national defense, secretary of justice, secretary of agriculture and commerce, secretary of public works and communications, secretary of public instruction, secretary of labor, and secretary of health and public welfare. The other members of the presidential party who have left earlier on the s.s. Don Esteban include Lt. Col. Velasquez, aide-de-camp, Lt. Col. Andres Soriano, Serapio Canceran, and the President’s physicians.

The Commonwealth War Cabinet leaves Corregidor for Visayas, then Mindanao, and from Mindanao departs for Australia on March 26, 1942

The First Family leaves Corregidor via USS Swordfish, arriving Aklan February 21.

Letter of President Quezon to Douglas MacArthur, February 20, 1942

See: Address of Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma at a party given to the representatives of the Philippines at the Commanding Office Hall, February 20, 1942

Reply of Jorge B. Vargas, Chairman of the Executive Commission, to the address delivered by Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma at a party given to the representatives of the Philippines at the Commanding Office Hall, February 20, 1942

February 20, 1942 – Friday

I was informed this morning that the Don Esteban cleared the mine zone at 2:30 a.m. The President informed me that we would leave the tunnel at 10:30 p.m. I was kept busy all day attending to important correspondence and matters that needed special attention. The President was in excellent spirits. I was depressed and… Read More »February 20, 1942 – Friday

February 20, 1942

It was still dark this morning when I hurried to the hospital. Suddenly, I bumped into someone with such force that I nearly lost my balance. The grunts and groans which followed made me realize that I had collided with a Japanese guard. “Good morning!” I sang out cheerily. “Ohio!” answered the Jap, followed by… Read More »February 20, 1942

Feb. 20, 1942

We left Corr. first Friday of Lent the 20th of Feb. at 9:30 P.M., took at dock the launch to take us to a submarine arriving at Panay at 2:20 A.M. motored to Iloilo arriving at 7 A.M. Had breakfast with Col. Powd.

February 20, 1942

Jerry was on the rampage over the 12 five-pound cans we had turned in—milk enough for three months for four of us. They won’t give even a can of it back and it is not being used just for babies and children. A few favorites get it in coffee every morning. We hear that about… Read More »February 20, 1942

February 20, 1942

Went to finance dept. today to draw a little money, first I’ve gotten since early in Dec. Won at poker in evening enough to more than cover what I’ve lost.

February 20, 1942

Bataan HQ, MIS   President Quezon and family, Gen. Valdes, Vice-President Osmeña and Col. Nieto have left for Visayas. The General said “not to tell anyone.” Not even Leonie and Fred know but I shall tell Leonie to get his opinion. The General disagrees with my report on Group in northern road. He thinks they… Read More »February 20, 1942

Fri. Feb. 20/42

Studying Acts together these days. Very interesting! We talked about the Cavite folks this morning, and soon after lunch time in came Pepe Castro and Elihu Ordonez. We were very glad to see them. They were riding their bicycles and went on over to San Andres. They came back about 4 p.m. I gave them… Read More »Fri. Feb. 20/42

February 20, 1942

Singapore has fallen after less than a week of fighting. They couldn’t take it. Much disgust and resentment over American troops landing in Ireland & none here. MacDavit invited me up to front to stay all nite with him & go out & watch our artillery fire. We went up near their O.P. about 1000… Read More »February 20, 1942

February 20, 1942

The papers announced the reopening of classes. General Y. Hayashi, Chief of the Japanese Military Administration, (now they are starting to give out the names of high officials) sent to Honorable Claro M. Recto, Commissioner of Instruction, a set of guidelines in connection with the resumption of classes, emphasizing that the principles of basic education… Read More »February 20, 1942

February 20, 1942

Heavy fighting in Bataan. The Japanese are intensifying their attack. KGEI said the situation “is very grave.” Right now, I can hear the roar of planes. Never thought the war would overrun this country. What is happening is almost unbelievable. Who would have imagined that in less than three months the USAFFE would be swept… Read More »February 20, 1942


Feb. 20, 1942

Have been quite ill with malaria for two days. Dixon visited me from Corregidor where he has been for two weeks.

2/21/42 Day 76

A strange lull settles over the entire front as both sides dig in and prepare for further action. The Japanese have completed their withdrawal from the I Corps area and diversionary forces employed against II Corps are now ordered back to the Balanga area.

President Quezon, his War Cabinet and family arrive in Aklan on the USS Swordfish. They take the S.S. Princess of Negros to Bacolod. They will then travel overland to Dumaguete, arriving there on February 24.

Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos takes the S.S. Don Sebastian from Aklan to Iloilo.

February 21, 1942 – Saturday

I awoke at 5 a.m. I had 4 hours of fairly good rest although I woke up several times because my hip bones were protesting at the hardness of my improvised bed. I washed and received Holy Communion. At 6 a.m. Captain Smith (Commander) of the Submarine came to inform us that 6:20 a.m. (daylight… Read More »February 21, 1942 – Saturday

February 21, 1942

No news of Unson. Many employees want to quit. Some have fled to the mountains. They are afraid of the Japanese. I cannot prevail upon them to remain. If they get into trouble, they might blame me. The Japanese must reform, if he wants to attract the Filipinos. The iron fist will not win many… Read More »February 21, 1942

February 21, 1942

Finally, a composite unit from the PC, 26th Cavalry, 71st Div, PAAC and even Ateneo ROTC Volunteers annihilated the remaining enemy forces at Silaim-Anyasan Pts. thus ending the so-called Battle of the Points in West Bataan two days ago. And so, Alas and Alackay, I can now say “All’s Quiet in All Bataan Fronts.” Have… Read More »February 21, 1942

February 21, 1942

In accordance with yesterday’s proclamation, I went to the Normal School, where the offices of the Ministry of Instruction are located, to present the books used in Letran College. I talked with Mr. Celedonio Salvador, the new Director of Public Schools. I congratulated him for his new position though actually it was more of a… Read More »February 21, 1942

February 21, 1942

Enlisted men put on show tonight, pretty good, should have them more often, good for morale. Shame that musical talent that some of the men have should be wasted on the battlefields. Cpl. Robert L. Greenman was an accomplished concert pianist and probably was playing on a salvaged piano, as he did 10 days later. 

February 21, 1942

Well, we expected the Legaspi to try to get out last night. We watched her closely and this morning she was still here –but the Don Esteban with President Quezon aboard had left– perhaps for Cebu, although we don’t know. It means that his health is very and the tunnel is no place one with… Read More »February 21, 1942

February 21, 1942

One hundred thirteen British men, women and children arrived yesterday from Sulphur Springs, a small internee camp outside of Manila. These people had been the passengers and crew of the S. S. Anhui which reached Manila shortly after Pearl Harbor.

2/22/542 Day 77

President Roosevelt directs General MacArthur to leave the Philippines. In the order he is authorized to take along his family and his chief of staff, Major General Richard K. Sutherland.

The President’s itinerary includes the following: San Jose de Buenavista, Feb.22; proceed to Iloilo and Ajui in a couple of days; thence to Bacolod and then to Dumaguete, Feb. 27; by PT boats to Oroquieta in Misamis Oriental; by motor to Dansalan, and finally to Del Monte, Bukidnon.

“Filipino scouts photographed following the defeat of a Japanese landing force at Agoloma Bay”

February 22, 1942 — Sunday

We arrived in Iloilo 7 a.m. Had breakfast in the house of Colonel Powell. I went with Quimbo to his house to take a bath and change clothes. Had luncheon in the beach home of Mr. Lopez and spent the evening in Mariano Cacho’s house. Met Tito, my brother, whom I called for.

Sunday, February 22, 1942

Went to General Marshall’s for Sunday dinner in honor of General Chu and Dr. T. V. Soong – both Chinese. Longest I’ve been out of the office in daytime since coming here ten weeks ago today. ASDA area is disintegrating! We have concocted a message to MacArthur directing him to start south to take command… Read More »Sunday, February 22, 1942

February 22, 1942

Stayed home. I think I need a rest. All work and no play makes John a dull boy.

February 22, 1942

HQ, Bataan   Busy checking reports from outposts all day.   (later)   Aglaloma Battle our greatest victory. Japs landed in rear under cover of darkness. By stealth and surprise, they succeeded in getting a foothold in Aglaloma pt. But our troops gave them stiff opposition. Even air corps men in rear shouldered guns and… Read More »February 22, 1942

February 22, 1942

George’s birthday. I prayed an extra rosary for him. I asked and was granted permission to go with the jitney to get supplies. My instructions were to return with the jitney. But after getting the supplies, I, with Satur Velasco, decided to proceed to the Headquarters of the Philippine Army (HPA) at Mariveles. There I… Read More »February 22, 1942

February 22, 1942 

Sunday. Quiet day. Learned in evening that I’d been made a First Lt. effective the 20th of Feb. Good news, more pay and more rank, not that it does any good.

February 22, 1942

There is to be no more cocoa or sugar. There is some but the Japanese won’t sell it to us. Looting has emptied many places in town. Lysol almost gone, no more. We hear the Red Cross is almost defunct in Manila, supplies looted. Will we all be let out to remove the Japanese responsibility… Read More »February 22, 1942

Sunday, February 22, 1942

Planes—one or two at a time—several days last week. Everyone looking up but not able to distinguish whether Japanese. No doubt about lone plane yesterday which dropped leaflets addressed to the people of Southern Visayas (word Luzon had been struck Out and Visayas substituted) telling them to “Destroy the Americans on the Islands in order… Read More »Sunday, February 22, 1942

February 22, 1942

Washington’s Birthday was not forgotten! The men in the room next to ours made an American flag from a white piece of cloth dipped into gentian violet and Scott’s solution, and during roll call the improvised flag was displayed. The Nips had a change of heart, and the Catholics were permitted to worship at the… Read More »February 22, 1942

2/23/42 Day 78

The general situation remains quiet with both sides continuing to dig In.

General Homma receives some welcome reinforcements in the form of the 4th and 16th Divisions, the 65th Brigade, and a large portion of the 21st Division along with more artillery and planes.

Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos departs Iloilo for Cebu on the S.S. Don Sebastian.

See: Reply of the Honorable Jorge B. Vargas, Chairman of the Executive Commission, to the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines in connection with Order No. 3, February 23, 1942

February 23, 1942 — Monday

Had luncheon at the Ajuy-Sara Sugar Central of Elizalde & Company. At 4 p.m. we returned to Mariano Cacho’s house in Iloilo. Met Tito & Rosario. Tito had gone back to Buenavista to pick her up. We were not able to leave Iloilo as the light in the buoy number 4 was not lighted.

Monday, February 23, 1942

Message to Macarthur was approved by President and dispatched. I’m dubious about the thing! I cannot help believing that we are disturbed by editorials and reacting to “public opinion” rather than to military logic. “Pa” Watson is certain we must get MacArthur out – as being worth “five army corps”. He is doing a good… Read More »Monday, February 23, 1942

February 23, 1942

Proud of our boys in Bataan. They are still holding the line. KGEI reports “heavy exchange of artillery in the Bataan peninsula.” We’re doing better than Singapore. Filipinos are good soldiers. Messrs. Noya, Kobatake and Evangelista returned from Bulacan. They report confusion and misunderstanding in purchase arrangements between Major Kurumatani and Supervisor Noya. Posadas reported… Read More »February 23, 1942

February 23, 1942

Wedding anniversary today. Not much of a way to celebrate it. Horse meat & carabao which is some different from the chicken on the last one. Both the former have rather a peculiar rare taste and are very stringy. They eatwell at Corregidor but won’t share it with us & the troops who are doing… Read More »February 23, 1942

February 23, 1942

Nakamura also chafes at the Inactivity. His home at the mine is looted and gone. It is war, he says. His wife has only the clothes on her back. The Japanese Association is now taking care of his family, he says.

February 23, 1942 

Started to brush up on Code today. Sworn in as 1st Lt. effective Feb. 21. Must write to mother and have her buy some bonds for me out of the allotment I’m going to send her.

February 23, 1942

F.D.R. STATES THAT AMERICAN SHORES CANNOT BE DEFENDED. Every headline in the Nishi-Nishi was meant to terrorize and demoralize. I finally persuaded Catesy to shave off his beard, which he had planned to keep for the duration. Though the beard made him appear more handsome, it had a depressing effect on me. But Catesy was… Read More »February 23, 1942

2/24/42 Day 79

The overall situation is still relatively quiet.

The submarine SWORDFISH returns to Corregidor and evacuates Francis B. Sayre, the United States High Commissioner, along with his family and a small staff.

President Quezon, his family and War Cabinet reach Dumaguete.

Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos reaches Cebu.

February 24, 1942 — Tuesday

Busy attending to Army work and buying some things. Took boat Princess of Negros at 9:30 p.m. Left Iloilo at 11:30 p.m. for Guimaras. Picked up the President & his family who spent the day in Dr. Evangelista’s house. I had dinner with Tito & Rosario. I ordered that Tito be called to active duty,… Read More »February 24, 1942 — Tuesday

Tuesday, February 24, 1942

MacArthur says, in effect, “Not now“. I think he is right! This psychological warfare business is going to fall right into the lap of W.P.D., principally for the reason that no one else will lead with his chin. We’ll probably take it on.

February 24, 1942

Colonel Uzaki visited the office today. The colonel said: “NARIC must start to buy actively. Begin with Baliuag.” Purchases will be made through municipal mayors. Producers must go to the provinces. Passes will be given by the Military Police. Distribution depends on procurement. There will be nothing to distribute to the people, if nothing is… Read More »February 24, 1942

February 24, 1942

HQ, Bataan   Bert Misa and Saturn Velasco were here a few minutes ago. Touching sight. They looked like lost souls: thin, haggard, dirty, hungry, sunburnt. They joined as buck privates and they have to swallow everything their sergeant tells them. A private’s life is a dog’s life. Their sector is Limay beach. The poor… Read More »February 24, 1942

February 24, 1942

I asked the Commanding Officer to allow me to go to the Battalion Aid Station for a couple of days to rest. I had a fever for the past two days and I wanted the rest more than the cure. The daily bombing and shelling was getting on my nerves. He himself brought me to… Read More »February 24, 1942

February 24, 1942

A package from Ismael with olives, chicken spread, from our own stores, plus Bedie’s and Jerry’s shorts! June made herself a sunsuit out of a Red Cross triangle bandage! The one time as crimson and furious was when they took the safety deposit key where the very old jade pin, the black opals, the pearl… Read More »February 24, 1942

February 24, 1942 

Have another allotment now. They are as follows: $125.00 to the Bank of America at Hamilton Fld., $8.10 insurance and $33.57 to mother. That is my total base pay as 1st Lt. $166.67.

Feb. 24 — 42

After 19 days we finally cleaned that beach up. There were two thousand casualties there, of which one was a German N.C.O. and two Japanese women, dressed in uniforms. We suffered losses, but not as great as this.

February 24, 1942

JAPAN IS PREPARED TO WAGE WAR FOR A HUNDRED YEARS. This was hardly the type of headline that would cheer us. Daphne, our British roommate, could always be depended upon to cheer us when we needed it most. With Kay, Margo, and me on my bed, Daphne read us some of her absurdities. “Roosevelt has… Read More »February 24, 1942

2/25/42 Day 80

Local patrolling is all that is taking place.

Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, invested by President Quezon as Acting President in unoccupied areas, begins his inspection of various towns in Negros.

February 25, 1942 — Wednesday

1 a.m. The Princes of Negros started for Bacolod. We arrived in Bacolod 6 a.m. Proceeded to the Bachelor Officer’s quarters where breakfast was served. From there we went to the Hacienda Rosario of Mr. & Mrs. Manuel del Rosario. We were very comfortably installed in their home. The President conferred with several government officials.… Read More »February 25, 1942 — Wednesday


Feb. 25, 1942

Conditions are rapidly getting worse. Have been on half ration since Jan 1st. All supplies are about exhausted. Receive a few from Cebu by plane. We can’t last much longer unless help arrives, which as far as I can see is impossible.

February 25, 1942

The American mainland has been shelled by a Japanese submarine. This will spur America. This is the kick she needed. The U-boat fired 20 shells, according to the British radio. The attack occurred shortly after President Roosevelt’s nationwide address. My Japanese neighbors are celebrating. This is Japan’s greatest hour. In downtown Manila, the people were… Read More »February 25, 1942

February 25, 1942

All Quiet continue in all fronts. Major Sidney Huff summoned me to USAFFE HQ and his purpose is to “borrow” the inflatable rubber raft of Q-112 to serve as sample for additional such rafts he will order. I learned that my raft is the only one still usable among the Torpedo Boats and so I… Read More »February 25, 1942

February 25, 1942

Corregidor Malinta Tunnel   Helluva trip. Thought it was the end of the courier boat, passengers and –me. I was telling an American officer who was on deck that it was a very lovely afternoon. The sun was beginning to set and the sea was very calm. If you could manage to forget the men… Read More »February 25, 1942

Wed. Feb. 25/42

Ernest came home to spend part of the day with us. He had been instrumental in getting a Mr. Gordon released from camp, so these folks had us to their house for tea and a wonderful chicken supper in the evening.

February 25, 1942

Several people still smile as they remember how I held a vase of sweet peas in Brent office the night we were taken over and they crammed us into the stifling little room. When the soldiers were ripping uop the telephone wire, they upset the vase and I took it and buried my face in… Read More »February 25, 1942

February 25, 1942 

Not much doing today. The orders making me 1st Lt. came from HQ USAFFE, Fort Mills, P.I. and are Special Orders No. 48, Par. 2. (Matter of record in case I lose the orders and need copies).

February 25, 1942

CALIFORNIA SHORE SHELLED. This was our morning headline. Can it be true? The Santo Tomas trots or acute gastro-enteritis caught up with me, and I had to leave my work at the hospital. By afternoon I managed to stand in the food line for my plate of stew, which was pretty rough fare for me.… Read More »February 25, 1942

2/26/42 Day 81

A Japanese amphibious force, consisting of a battalion of infantry and a field artillery battery, sails from Olongapo on Luzon and heads for Mindoro.

February 26, 1942 — Thursday

Spent morning and afternoon in the same place. At 5 p.m. we left for Isabela where we arrived at about 7 p.m. We were met by Mrs. Jesusa Lacson vda. de Arroyo, and Mr. & Mrs. Enrique Montilla, in whose house we were lodged. Major Soriano, Colonel Nieto and myself were given a comfortable room… Read More »February 26, 1942 — Thursday

February 26, 1942

Purchasing campaign in the provinces is meeting with great difficulties. Not all mayors are cooperating. Some are aloof, haughty. Others are looking for personal gain. Many are indifferent. Warehouses must be prepared to receive palay. We need more sacks. Scales are also lacking. Transportation is a big problem. Must secure spare parts for trucks. Fuel… Read More »February 26, 1942

February 26, 1942

Corregidor Malinta   Had a nice luncheon with Mr. Roxas, Romulo, Razon, Baby Vargas, and Manny de Leon. We “swiped” some of the chickens in Mac’s house and fried it. We ate at the chalet beside Mac’s bungalow which is being used by Mr. Roxas and Romulo as sleeping quarters. It was so warm and… Read More »February 26, 1942

February 26, 1942

There are many thoughtful acts here—stronger arms doing the personal washing for older or weaker people; sharing of food packages with those who get none. Many Filipinos outside are sending in their native homemade products as gifts which taste so good—bucayo, peanut candy, oranges from trees in their yard, Sinnoman [Suman] (gooey cake of coconut… Read More »February 26, 1942

February 26, 1942 

Usual thing around camp today. Every one wants candy mighty bad, also liquor, but not near as much as candy. Enlisted men have no cigarettes. Thank god I still have some.

Thursday, February 26, 1942

Quezon (Pres.) and Osmenia [Osmeña] (Vice-President) arrived in Bacolod by submarine for a conference with sugar mill owners and managers. All mills must close on Saturday, February 28. Money can be borrowed from government by the mills to pay employees and cane tenant farmers. hacienderos [hacenderos] will be given money by government for cane plowed… Read More »Thursday, February 26, 1942

February 26, 1942

Zenia, my nurse friend from India, went outside on a pass, and she spent the night at my apartment. How happy we were to see her the next day, for she had brought us the money we had stored in the water tank and in the hanging air-plants. I was too weak to nurse, but… Read More »February 26, 1942

2/27/42 Day 82

The Japanese force lands on northeast Mindoro, where a town, and an airfield are quickly overrun. No effort is made to secure the rest of the island. The Japanese blockade around the Philippines is tightened.

The steamship ELEANO arrives at Corregidor carrying 1,000 ton of supplies. Two other blockade runners, the SAN ISIDRO and the LEGASPI, are sunk by Japanese bombers as they try to make it to the island. This Is the last supply ship to come in from the Visayan Islands.

February 27, 1942 — Friday

Left Mr. Enrique Montilla’s house at Isabela at 10 a.m. for San Carlos, Oriental Negros. Arrived at Panubigan at 12 noon, where luncheon had been prepared in the rest house. Colonel Hilsman, Captain Mason and Captain Jones were waiting for us. Left Panubigan at 1:15 p.m. Arrived at the house of Juanito Ledesma at The… Read More »February 27, 1942 — Friday

February 27, 1942

We all have head lice and fleas. . . . There are rats, also snakes.

February 27, 1942

F.D.R. Says: “It Is Hopeless to SEND REINFORCEMENTS TO P.I.” Each day, after reading the propaganda headline, I vowed that I’d never again look at the Nishi-Nishi — until I saw the lying rag the next day. Daphne contributed some more of the latest news “right out of the horse’s mouth.” “If the Japanese fail… Read More »February 27, 1942

February 27, 1942

Busy all day with reports on the progress of rice purchases in the provinces.

Fri. Feb. 27/42

The Funk girls and Gertrude came over yesterday for a meal of hot cakes with us. I am getting a kind of reputation, but do not know that I relish it. Today I experimented with an oven to make a cake. It turned out fair, so I gave the boys half and took the rest… Read More »Fri. Feb. 27/42

February 27, 1942

I still marvel at what food craving does to individuals. The strangest acquaintances—not really friendships—spring up. One who gets gifts or purchases attracts one or two others who have none, often odd combinations. In normal times they would not see each other. Lack of food changes people generally, makes insidious inroads in many directions of… Read More »February 27, 1942

February 27, 1942

Corregidor Went to one of the coast batteries. Men were cleaning their guns. The officer in charge said the Japs would not try a frontal attack on the Rock. He also said that Corregidor could stand a six-month siege, as long as the water-tank is not destroyed. Our conversation was interrupted by an air-raid. Jap… Read More »February 27, 1942

February 27, 1942 

Flew a couple hours in evening. Recon to Subic Bay and Lingayen Gulf, not bad and I feel a lot better about the whole thing. Trying to send wires to Jean and the folks. Ears plugged up. Ordered on a reconnaissance of Lingayen Gulf, Burns took off at 5:05 pm from Bataan Field and squadron… Read More »February 27, 1942 

2/28/42 Day 83

The entire Philippine Islands remains quiet.

Late at night, the submarine PERMIT delivers more ammunition to Corregidor and evacuates some older and excess military personnel.

February 28, 1942 — Saturday

Arrived Bais Sugar Central at 2:15 a.m. We found that the big house of the manager was being occupied by various families and the poor people had to get up at that hour to pack their things and move out so that we could occupy the house. I felt very much ashamed and I tried… Read More »February 28, 1942 — Saturday

February 28, 1942

Five more deaths by malaria. Twenty now. All others moved down hill to get away from fever up here. In the three huts we are thirty, and all but eight are down with fever. That keeps us eight very busy. I have six under my care now.

February 28, 1942

The Red Cross Filipina, Burmese, and Siamese nurses will soon leave us to care for wounded Japanese soldiers. How we hated to see these fine girls leave! They never failed to cheer us with their optimism and news, and with their daily contact with the outside we were kept posted on what was happening in… Read More »February 28, 1942

February, 1942— 36th to 63rd Day

New camp committee elected — Nakamura takes charge — We report our cash holdings to the ]aps — Rice becomes our main diet — Singapore falls — Japs raise their flag over Camp — Camp schools open but soon close. While assembled at Brent School, a general conmiittee was named to represent the groups there… Read More »February, 1942— 36th to 63rd Day

Saturday, February 28, 1942

I wonder when were going to get the dope on landing craft! I’ve got McCarthy trying it now. But no one seems to give a damn!

Feb. 28, 1942

Another quiet day except for some artillery fire toward Manila. We do not know but little about what is going on. The folks at home know more from the papers

February 28, 1942

Rumors (are) that more NARIC employees will be taken to Fort Santiago. Most of my men are demoralized. The efficiency of the service is impaired. Nervous tension in the office prevails. Unson has not yet been released. Charges against him have not been specified. He was just arrested and detained. Nobody knows how long he… Read More »February 28, 1942

February 28, 1942

I left a gap in my diary. I stopped writing for a while, partly because of fear, partly because of lack of interest. I was afraid these notes would fall into the hands of the police who have been searching houses and persons. Besides, I also had my doubts on the point of the whole… Read More »February 28, 1942

Sat. Feb. 28/42

The five of us attended a religious meeting in Manila to hear some instructions given to us by some of the leaders of the religious section of the Japanese army. Our liberties have been curtailed again, and visiting is prohibited during the week. We have to make out reports on our denomination, churches, pastors, missionaries,… Read More »Sat. Feb. 28/42

February 28, 1942

Nakamura at the Committee meeting burst forth profanely that we would not need the bomb holes in our roof mended for the rains as we would probably not be here then—that they might instead, as the Japanese did not seem to be doing so well lately in some respects! The Gilberts, Marshalls, Carolines, are now… Read More »February 28, 1942

February 28, 1942

Bataan, HQ, MIS Non-stop bombing. Spent day going in and out of dug-out. If they bomb some more, I will not go to dug-out anymore. Hungry. A handful of lugao is not enough. We are fed like chickens and we live like rats –underground. Quarreled with Fred over the use of my towel. Silly thing.… Read More »February 28, 1942

February 28, 1942 

A year ago today I reported in to Hamilton Field. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Miss the good old days and the things I didn’t use to like. General, smoking too much, before I get up in bed etc. never did before. Sqd’n has been cited for its activity… Read More »February 28, 1942 

Feb. 28 — 42

After a few days in rest camp we went on beach duty back of Marveilles [Mariveles]. It was rough getting our supplies in there because of the hilly country. We had to bring in fresh water by pack mule. We’d been on a rice diet for quite scametime past. Here we were lucky enough to… Read More »Feb. 28 — 42

February 28, 1942

Well, last day of another month. How they fly. One time I said I expected we might start expecting help about March1st. Well, the help has arrived in Australia and Java –if our air & fleet activity down there is any indication. It seems that another big battle is going on right now. Bottom’s up… Read More »February 28, 1942