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March 1942: WW2PH 80 Years After

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in the Philippines, we have compiled the diary entries for March, 1942, the fourth 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.

March, 1942: “…I came through and I shall return.”

3/1/1942 Day 84

During the first two months of the war, the Japanese 14th Army has suffered a severe setback on Luzon and has sustained more than 7,000 casualties.

Patrol action Is Just about all that is taking place on both sides.

March 1, 1942 — Sunday

Attended and served at 7 o’clock mass said by Chaplain Ortiz. Afterwards I went to the Central where I met Mr. DeMedem. He asked me to go his house. I went to Mr. Revenga’s house where Mr. & Mrs. DeMedem are staying. From there I went to Mr. Miguel Rosales’s house. He invited me to… Read More »March 1, 1942 — Sunday

March 1, 1942

More men brought to Fort Santiago. Tanco was called this morning. Capati and Oliveros, this afternoon. Pagulayan and I will probably be next. I have a premonition they will call me one of these days. Must prepare my wife. Everybody in the office is nervous, panic-stricken. Conversations are carried on in whispers. I appealed in… Read More »March 1, 1942

March 1, 1942

Yesterday, Major Dumlao for the first time talked to me since he became our Battalion Commanding Officer. He told me that he received news that George was back again in the hospital, this time more shell-shocked than ever. The CO at first felt reluctant to let me go, aware of my misconduct the week before.… Read More »March 1, 1942

March 1, 1942

Bataan, MIS, HQ Col. Torralba said the general stated that my resignation is not accepted and that I’d better attend to his papers more diligently. Raids morning and afternoon. One incendiary bomb dropped a few feet away from the doctor’s tent. Nobody injured. Sergeant Buenaventura and Sergeant Sulao quarreled with each other. I thought they… Read More »March 1, 1942

March 1, 1942 

Sunday. Went to A.F. Hq. to watch them plot an interception problem. A good set up and a good basis to work on when we really start operating.

Sunday, March 1, 1942

Cebu and the coast of Negros (near Dumaguete) shelled by Japanese destroyer. Cebu shelled because Japanese thought Quezon was there, but he and his party were still on Negros.

3/2/1942 Day 85

The entire area still remains quiet but supplies for the American and Filipino troops are starting to run out. There’s just nothing left.

March 2, 1942 

Busy day. Radio control at Cabcabin, then about dark flew with Capt. Dyess. Straffed Grande Isl. Straffed tanker, Dyess blew it up. Wrecked plane landing at C.C. , lot of damage. General George had received a report on the buildup of Japanese supply ships in Subic Bay, which suggested the Japanese would be trying a… Read More »March 2, 1942 

March 2, 1942

The Dutch are in dutch. Japanese forces have landed in the northern part of Java. Provincial purchases continue despite multitudinous difficulties. Our stocks are fast depleting. Consumption is greater than production. Moreover Japanese troops and civilians have to be fed. Importation is problematic, uncertain. If we want to avoid hunger, we must not look beyond… Read More »March 2, 1942

Mon. Mar. 2/42

Left early in the morning to meet a man at the Meralco office by 8 o’clock. As we are still using daylight saving time (request of the Japs), that means that I left the house at 6:30. Waited nearly an hour for my man. People in this country are seldom on time. I transferred the… Read More »Mon. Mar. 2/42

March 2, 1942

Yesterday, Sunday, the Tribune carried an article by Fr. Gregorio S. Tsukamoto on the Gospel for the day. I suppose it was the sermon he delivered in the Church of the Paules Fathers where the Japanese Catholic priest celebrated Mass. The sermon was skillfully prepared. However, there was a glaring blunder about the Transfiguration of… Read More »March 2, 1942

March 2, 1942 — Monday

I attended to the trip of Manolin, Delgado and Abad Santos with Sergeant Villahermosa. I ordered Manolin to go to Dumaguete to ask Captain Macon U.S. Army for a truck to take our baggage to Bacolod. Fortunately, the car of Governor Lizares which the President used on this trip was returning home and Manolin, Delgado… Read More »March 2, 1942 — Monday

3/3/1942 Day 86

There is still very little action, Most activities involved small parties probing each other’s defense positions.

March 3, 1942 — Tuesday

The President sent for the District Engineer and asked to study with him the building of an air-raid shelter. We discussed and looked at various spots. Finally we agreed on a place near the kitchen, taking into account the element of time to transfer and the accessibility, in view of the President’s physical condition and… Read More »March 3, 1942 — Tuesday

Tues. Mar. 3/42

Pedro and Maria pack up a few things and start for home amid tears and sobs. They did not want to leave, but felt that maybe Pedro would be better in Cavite, and they knew that they would have to do something when we could feed them no longer.

March 3, 1942

Last night, armored cars and tractors made a terrifying noise. It was as if a whole regiment were marching and making noise with drums and empty tin cans. We were wondering where they were going and from where they were coming.

March 3, 1942

The NARIC will be reorganized to conform with the plans of the Army, Col. T. Uzaki, head of the Army food division, revealed this morning. The Colonel said: “Thus far the NARIC has handled only 5% of the harvest. To increase the volume of control, the NARIC’s organization must be expanded.” (At present, the NARIC… Read More »March 3, 1942

March 3, 1942 

Had a party in evening for nurses from hospitals. Good time, food and liquor. As a morale booster, General George had arranged the party, to which he invited nurses from Bataan Hospital No. 2. The pilots “whooped it up” at George’s thatched shack, fueled by the alcoholic concoction they had fixed. Cpl. Greenman pounded out… Read More »March 3, 1942 

3/4/1942 Day 87

General MacArthur Is reorganizing his forces in preparation of his departure. The composite Visayan-Mindanao Force is divided into two commands with General Sharp retaining command of the forces on Mindanao and the Visayan force belng placed under the command of Brigadier General Bradford G. Chynoweth. Macy Arthur’s plans call for the formation of two other commands: Major General George F. Moore’s Harbor Defense Forces on Corregidor and the other Islands in Manila Bay will constitute one; and the forces now on Luzon will be the other.

MacArthur informs Admiral Rockford that he will be leaving Corregidor and tells him that he (Rockford) and an aide will accompany him.

March 4, 1942

Yesterday morning, several planes flew in perfect formations of nine. At one time, they all joined in one formation, flying very low. I counted more than seventy. Buildings and hearts were rattled. Was this just a deliberate display of aerial power? Or were the planes going to attack Bataan and other fronts? The planes could… Read More »March 4, 1942

March 4, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan   Back from patrol. Reconnoitered in Balanga. Met  several Jap patrols. Japs not there in force. We were very careful. Kept away from beach. Balanga church was destroyed by our artillery. Did not enter church. There might have been Japs inside. General refuses to believe there are no Japs in Balanga. I… Read More »March 4, 1942

Mar. 4, 1942

Annoyances are inevitable in such close proximity and scarcity. One woman who usually loves children hopes not to see any for months after she gets out. Communism or socialism will fail if they disregard privacy. Crowding does not produce efficiency and economy. It wastes too much energy and does not make allowance for relaxation and… Read More »Mar. 4, 1942

March 4, 1942

Must remember to order the conversion of corn into corn-rice to substitute for rice to be given to the Bureau of Prisons. Must look for dependable men to fill in the new positions to be created as per plan to expand the NARIC. Worried, worried, worried. Domei reports a heavy raid on Bataan by 100… Read More »March 4, 1942

March 4, 1942 

USAFFE reports that we sank 32,000 tons of shipping on the 2nd, good toll for one plane we lost, even if USAFFE doesn’t admit it. Estimate 50 million dollars damage done. MacArthur’s communique reported that the pilots had destroyed three vessels of 12,000, 10,000, and 8,000 tons, plus two motor launches, and did not mention… Read More »March 4, 1942 

Wednesday, March 4, 1942

Puppy bit a bufo (Latin for frog and also local name for frogs imported from Hawaii) and adrenaline poisoned dog. Foaming at mouth (due to poison stinging tongue), running in circle, finally lying on ground gasping for breath—all this in two or three minutes after biting frog. Gardener said antidote is sugar, so 1-kilo sack… Read More »Wednesday, March 4, 1942

3/5/1942 Day 88

Quiet remains the main factor throughout the islands.

Elsewhere: Java is overrun by the Japanese.

March 4—5, 1942

At Buenos Aires.

March 5, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Brought Sgt. Sinculan with me during my visit. Sinculan’s ankle was badly hit. He is also on furlough. He was given three weeks but he said that two weeks would be enough. Sinculan talked with the other Pampangueña while I talked with her. She told me that my sergeant had visited the… Read More »March 5, 1942

March 5, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Shared the guava jelly with her. We ate under a “cenniguela” tree. Told her story of the patrol activity and skirmish with Japs. Two American soldiers visited a girl in the shack across the stream. We could hear them talking in broken Tagalog. She does not like Americans. “They think all girls… Read More »March 5, 1942

March 5, 1942

There is a full moon tonight. The usual crackling of guns and rifles is not being heard, nor the voices of the Japanese. Not even a light is seen. There are no flashes of artillery. And the searchlights from Cavite and Corregidor do not illuminate the Manila Bay tonight. Just the visible quiet and the… Read More »March 5, 1942

March 5, 1942

“WILL DROP MAIL TO P.I. SOLDIERS” that is the Tribune’s headline this sunny Thursday morning. Says the announcement: “The Japanese Army will deliver the letters of relatives, sweethearts and friends to the Filipino soldiers in Bataan.” “Messages should he dropped.” continues the notice. “before 10 o’clock tomorrow morning in special boxes at the Heacock’s building.”… Read More »March 5, 1942

March 5, 1942 

Not much doing. Running again. Sent wire to Jean. Pretty quick after the last but better take every chance I get. This afternoon, mechanics of the 21st succeeded in producing a hybrid P-40B/E out of Burns’ ship with parts from the wrecked P-40Es. Although recorded as a P-40B in subsequent operations reports, it was known… Read More »March 5, 1942 

3/6/1942 Day 89

MacArthur continues his reorganization and receives another message from President Roosevelt insisting on his swift departure from the Philippines for Australia.

March 6, 1942 — Friday

The President bought a second hand Cadillac for himself. He asked me to accompany him to go to La Granja to see Colonel Hilsman at 5 p.m. I did. We came back in time for dinner.(6:40 p.m.). After dinner we went out again to the Maao Sugar Central. On our way back we met the… Read More »March 6, 1942 — Friday

March 6, 1942

Little air activity. Short on food. Very hot and dry. Lots of the men on Corregidor have dysentery and scurvy. Officers won’t let us play cards.

March 6, 1942

Msgr. Paul Taguchi, recently consecrated Bishop of Osaka, arrived. He is the most active, influential and prestigious Japanese ecclesiastical figure in the whole empire. He has visited many European countries and speaks Italian, French, English, and a little Spanish. He possesses such frankness, cordiality and intelligence,—traits not typically Japanese. Msgr. Taguchi was sent by the… Read More »March 6, 1942

Mar. 6, 1942

Tokyo radio says they have never interned or held any prisoners in occupied countries!

March 6, 1942

At about 2 p.m. Mr. Nakashima informed me that Mr. Ferrer, chief clerk, and Mr. G. Sison, secretary to the Food Administrator, were wanted at Fort Santiago. “Maybe it isn’t very serious.” explained Nakashima. “because they are not being taken. but called.” I notified Ferrer immediately. No need describing his reaction. I sympathize with him.… Read More »March 6, 1942

March 6, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Could not see her today. Could not leave the HQ. Too much bombing. Sgt. Sinculan thinks the bombs were dropped near the evacuee camp. She might have been hit. I hope not. Will go there early tomorrow. Had carabao’s meat today with the rice. Lt. Tatco, mess officer, was able to shoot… Read More »March 6, 1942

March 6, 1942 

Nothing doing today. The Japanese press release to Tokyo says we used 54 planes in the raid the other day, many of them 4 engine jobs, also report 6 were shot down.

Friday, March 6, 1942

Mrs, White died in Manapla Hospital after giving birth to baby boy. Had come to Negros from Mindanao to have Dr. Davis deliver baby and then Dr. Davis was sent by army to Mindanao. Only white doctor, Dr. Smith, mill doctor of Insular Lumber Company, old, behind the times, uncouth. All good nurses from hospital… Read More »Friday, March 6, 1942

3/7/1942 Day 90

As the reorganization continues, the front line units increase the defensive nature of their positions.

March 7, 1942 — Saturday

I told the President that I was going out with the District Engineer to study a possible road that would give us a back yard escape from Buenos Aires in case of an invasion by the enemy at Pulupandan or Bacolod. This is one his major worries. I went out and we came back at… Read More »March 7, 1942 — Saturday

March 7, 1942

The war started exactly three months ago. Yesterday, the press announced the fall of Batavia, capital of the Dutch Indies. The rest of the Allied troops in the Pacific will have to either capitulate or be annihilated. In ninety days, Japan conquered territories with more than a hundred million inhabitants. She has been jumping from… Read More »March 7, 1942

March 7, 1942

Reign of terror. Shades of the Inquisition, the “Red-purge,” Jan Valtin’s “Out of the Night.” Sison has disappeared. He fled to the mountains. The Japanese Military Police is looking for him. Stories have crept out of Fort Santiago. Men are being tortured. Several have died because of the “water-cure.” Blows, lashings, chains, hysterical screams. Tanco… Read More »March 7, 1942

March 7, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Went to her after sunset. Major Javallera said it was o.k. “Spend your furlough as you please but after that back to work,” he said. “How is your thigh?” he asked. I said the wound was healing fast as it was only superficial. Sat on the grass under the cenniguela tree under… Read More »March 7, 1942

March 7, 1942 

Nothing doing today. Going to take over construction of officers mess and Asst. Adj. Will be something to do.

Saturday, March 7, 1942

Mr. Worster (son of Dean Worster) and Mr. Wilson (owner of Wilson Building, Manila) here today. Now in Marine Reserve Corps. Many prominent business men now in armed forces and in new uniforms assume new importance. Mr. Woods quite conscious of uniform when in full dress, including cap, of the “home guard.” Funeral of Mrs.… Read More »Saturday, March 7, 1942

3/8/1942 Day 91

For the first time in a long time, the Allied troops have a quiet Sunday. However, supplies are now critically short.

Elsewhere: The government of the Netherlands East Indies surrenders to the Japanese.

March 8, 1942 — Sunday

I saw the District Engineer and I asked him to study another road below the mountain. In the afternoon he reported that he had found one which could be finished in one week. At 4:45 p.m. The President and his family, Colonel Nieto, Chaplain Ortiz, Capt. Salazar and I left Buenos Aires for Hacienda Panubigan… Read More »March 8, 1942 — Sunday

Sunday, March 8, 1942

ABDA area is gone. Java is occupied almost completely. The task of reorganizing a command in S.W. Pacific is under study. Australians have made a proposal, through London, that U.S. take Supreme Command. The Navy will probably not agree. Proposal contained in Chiefs of Staff – No. (W) 109. What a headache this combined stuff… Read More »Sunday, March 8, 1942

March 8, 1942

Feast of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of a hospital bearing his name. The civilian occupants are members of the different religious communities: the sisters, six doctors, a seminarian and a Japanese physician. The hospital is being occupied by the military. The kindness with which the sisters serving as infirmarians attend to the sick… Read More »March 8, 1942

Mar. 8, 1942

We are not starving but we thoroughly crave accustomed food. There is a definite unbalance to our diet besides the fact of only two meals a day. We lack enough proteins, sugar, and fat. The children have rice, syrup, and a drink of hot water for breakfast; adults the same, plus weak coffee without milk or sugar.… Read More »Mar. 8, 1942

March 8, 1942

Ferrer wanted in Fort Santiago again. Sent a messenger to fetch him from his house. He couldn’t go to office today. He went to the fort at 11 o’clock. He should be called Job. Fixed my papers in the office. Dismissed Valdezco, early. After all, it is Sunday. The man needs a rest. He works… Read More »March 8, 1942

March 8, 1942

MIS, HQ, Bataan Zamboanga has been occupied at 4:35 yesterday afternoon. Pao Sen, deputy commander of Chinese Red Army was killed during Jap attack on East Hopei. Port Moresby raided by Japs for the seventh time. Batavia, capital of NEI, is in Jap hands. Sourabaya is now in peril. Broome, on the northwest coast of… Read More »March 8, 1942

March 8, 1942 

Worked some today. Sunday. Went to C.C. to spend a week. Will take up where I left off at B. when get back. Three months of the war gone now. Bill Rowe (17th Pursuit) was also assigned with Burns on one week’s alert duty at Cabcaben. 

Sunday, March 8, 1942

Javat off the air, Batavia has fallen. Mindora [Mindoro] in PI. occupied. All are talking of fleeing to the mountains. Still no evacuation houses built, but much talk of same. “God save the Queen” the last words from Java radio. Strange that that homely, housewifely looking woman should be the last thought of fighting soldiers… Read More »Sunday, March 8, 1942

3/9/1942 Day 92

General MacArthur announces that General Tomoyuki Yamashita has replaced General Homma as the commander-in-chlef of all the Japanese forces in the Philippines.

The critical waterpipe, feeding Fort Frank from Cavite and severed by the Japanese on 16 February, is finally repaired.

President Roosevelt sends another message requesting MacArthur’s departure for Australia,

March 9, 1942 — Monday

At 2:20 a.m. I was awakened by Captain Salazar who wanted the secret code to decode a message from General MacArthur. Served at Mass and received Holy Communion. After the mass the President called me and showed me his sputum which had a little blood. He immediately sent for Dr. Trepp. I gave him an… Read More »March 9, 1942 — Monday

Monday, March 9, 1942

General McNaughton (commanding Canadians in Britain) came to see me. He believes in attacking in Europe (thank God). He’s over here in an effort to speed up landing craft production and cargo ships. Has some dammed good ideas. Sent him to see Somervell and Admiral Land. How I hope he can do something on landing… Read More »Monday, March 9, 1942

Mon. Mar. 9/42

Take our weekly report to the Religious Department and go on to Aguinaldos on Juan Luna to see about selling some of our things to realize a little cash. Could not see my man. Maria came back loaded with wood, mangoes and chickens to sell in the Market.

March 9, 1942

A college bus is rented to carry passengers to Tayabas. Many provincial folks want to go to their provinces, but transportation is lacking, as well as gasoline and alcohol. Most of them are bound to Bicol, while others are hopping from island to island up to Cebu, Negros or Iloilo. Another route in this virtual… Read More »March 9, 1942

Mar. 9, 1942

The Chinese babies in camp get no milk, only rice gruel with vegetable juice added, and they thrive on it. None of them are sick, which is more than can be said about our children. Our resistance is soft compared to that of the Oriental, but their mortality rate as a whole is high, not… Read More »Mar. 9, 1942

March 9, 1942

Paez may resign. Melo and Abes have left already. With Pagu in Fort Santiago, I will be left alone. And it is especially now that we should stick together. Oliveros is trying his best to fill Pagu’s job. Tanco is quite a help, for he gets along with the Japanese. We have a very important… Read More »March 9, 1942

March 9, 1942

MIS, HQ, Bataan Heard Mass. Mass was celebrated beside a huge boulder under a tall tree. I was the server and a very clumsy one at that. Confessed to priest and got short penance. He was a very understanding priest. During communion planes roared overhead but dropped no bombs. Priest continued saying Mass without interruption.… Read More »March 9, 1942

March 9, 1942

The Java situation looks grave and I suppose Rangoon can’t hold out very long. Treachery entered into both these situations. In this war it seems superior numbers and equipment aided by internal treachery count the most. Personal bravery doesn’t count so much as it did in other wars. Tanks and machine guns and armored cars… Read More »March 9, 1942

March 9, 1942 

Didn’t do much. Lay around letting a sore on my foot heal and getting rid of diarr. Rumored we got Silver Stars for Subic Bay deal. Don’t feel myself that it was so grand. I don’t know, though. The rumor was false; none of the Subic Bay raid pilots received Silver Stars. 

3/10/1942 Day 93

General Wainwright visits General MacArthur on Corregidor and learns that he (Wainwright) will head the Luzon Force and that his I Corps will be turned over to General Jones, now commanding the 51st Division (PA). MacArthur, after his withdrawal from the Philippines, plans to remain in control of all Philippine operations from
Australia through Colonel Lewis C. Beebe, who will be deputy chief of Staff of USAFE.

Admiral Rockwell issues orders to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 to be ready to evacuate MacArthur and his party.

March 10, 1942 — Tuesday

Got up at 12:30 a.m. to give Captain Salazar the code. Served at Mass and took Holy communion. At 10 a.m. left with Chaplain Ortiz and Captain Salazar to Buenos Aires. On the road we met Colonel Hilsman and Captain Mason who were on their way to Panubigan. I told them that the President was… Read More »March 10, 1942 — Tuesday

Tuesday, March 10, 1942

Father died this morning. Nothing I can do but send a wire. One thing that might help win this war is to get someone to shoot King. He’s the antithesis of cooperation – a deliberately rude person – which means he’s a mental bully. He became C-in-C.of. the Fleet some time ago. Today he takes… Read More »Tuesday, March 10, 1942

March 10, 1942

The Allied Forces defending Java and the Dutch Indies have surrendered. The Japanese Army was also victorious in Rangoon, capital of Burma. With this double victory, Japan adds to her empire immense territories with inexhaustible resources, unless, as the Allies claim, the rubber plantations and oil wells had been burned. The United States have retreated… Read More »March 10, 1942

March 10, 1942

Ferrer released. Was badly manhandled. Mateo Borja and Isias Pacheco arrived this morning after surveying the Bicol region. Reported: a good harvest in Camarines Sur, around 2,000,000 cavans of palay. Price: ₱2.00—₱2.20. In Albay, the NARIC branch was looted. ₱400 was stolen from the safe. But a balance of ₱8,000 remains in the Legaspi branch… Read More »March 10, 1942

March 10, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Life is getting harder and harder. Morning ration reduced to one handful of ‘lugao’. Sometimes carabao meat is given. It is made into ‘tapa’ so that the rest can be preserved for some other day. The mess officer told me that very soon we will have horse-meat for viand. The QM will… Read More »March 10, 1942

March 10, 1942 

Had tent put up to stay in here at C.C. Up most of the night, watch on field. Radio Tokio reports that they destroyed 32 of our planes on ground here in Bataan. Must be part of the ones we used against Subic.

3/11/1942 Day 94

At 1830 hours, MacArthur, his family and his staff, embark from Corregidor in four PT boats for Mindanao. Although the departure orders from Washington are only for MacArthur and his family, he takes with him a party of 21 made up of (in addition to his family) one major general, five brigadier generals, two colonels, four lieutenant colonels, one major, one captain, one master sergeant, one admiral and one Navy captain. He leaves very little in the way of a working staff for General Wainwright.

Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur and his family leave Corregidor for Australia at 7:30 p.m.

March 11, 1942

Walked in the garden. Watched the blue heavens. I love the night, especially dark nights. It detaches you from the world. Makes you forget yourself and all your cares. And somehow you look upward, and the longer you gaze, the more you realize you don’t belong here. The mystery of life becomes clearer and clearer.… Read More »March 11, 1942

Wednesday, March 11, 1942

I have felt terribly. I should like so much to be with my Mother these few days. But we’re at war! And war is not soft – it has no time to indulge even the deepest and most sacred emotions. I loved my Dad. I think my Mother the finest person I’ve ever known. She… Read More »Wednesday, March 11, 1942

March 11, 1942

Colonel Chase in Malinta Tunnel said not to fire at one plane as it disturbed a General’s family. not true

Wed. Mar. 11/42

We hear the N.E.I. has capitulated and the Japs have started for India. Wonder if they will attack Australia. Maria returned to Cavite with a load of vegetables to sell there. Ruth and Liwanag (Dolores) come to bring our clothes, which they have laundered. Mr. Cruz came last night bringing bread, fruit and eggs. Our… Read More »Wed. Mar. 11/42

March 11, 1942

Queues. Everybody has to fall in line to buy rice, matches, cigarettes and sugar. In front of the few stores licensed to sell those items, thousands of persons formed long queues. They have to wait for several hours before they can purchase their wares. The ones who could buy something were lucky. A family of… Read More »March 11, 1942

March 11, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan Japs attempting to penetrate western sector by putting pressure on 1st regular division. Continuous artillery bombardment in eastern front. Three raids this morning in rear areas. Rodriguez Park and Cabcaben dock subjected to intense bombing. Saw many planes flying in direction of the Rock. On their return, they strafed Mariveles airfield. Laborers… Read More »March 11, 1942

March 11, 1942 

Fixed tent up and moved in. Alert at field all afternoon. Evening “Voice of Freedom” announced citations for organizations, looks like almost everybody has two, means a ribbon of some sort.

March 11, 1942 — Wednesday

Attended Mass and received Holy Communion. At 10 p.m. I went to Buenavista Rest House to send a radio to General Chynoweth and phone Colonel Hilsman. Returned to Panubigan 12 p.m. After luncheon I returned to Buenavista Rest House to work with Captain Salazar in coding some messages to be sent. Returned to Panubigan at… Read More »March 11, 1942 — Wednesday

3/12/1942 Day 95

The troops remalning in the Philippines learn about MacArthur’s departure.

The PT boats carrying MacArthur and his party hide during the daylight hours at the Cuyo Islands.

Message by His Excellency, General Hideki Tozyo, Premier of Japan, to the Imperial Diet, March 12, 1942

March 12, 1942

It is getting harder day by day. No matter what the Japanese say they cannot remove the “victor” complex out of their minds. In their relations with the Filipino employees in the office, they treat the Filipinos as “conquered” people, not as “liberated brothers.” Paez resigned today. His resignation is effective tomorrow. I wish I… Read More »March 12, 1942

Thursday, March 12, 1942

My father was buried today. I’ve shut off all business and visitors for thirty minutes – to have that much time, by myself, to think of him. He had a full life. He left six boys and, most fortunately for him, Mother survives him. He was not quite 79 years old, but for the past… Read More »Thursday, March 12, 1942

March 12, 1942

The Filipino traffic policemen have gone back to their posts at the corners of avenues and principal streets. There are also a number of other peace and order agencies whose members carry no weapon other than a wooden stick, which replaces the rattan stick with which the police were armed when the Japanese arrived. The… Read More »March 12, 1942

March 12, 1942

Corregidor Quiet, uneventful trip crossing Bay. Gatas depressed when he heard President no longer here. He said he heard of it but he was not sure. Life here is very boring. No action. It’s all going in and out of the tunnel. When there is a raid, just go in the tunnel. After its over,… Read More »March 12, 1942

March 12, 1942

Many things have taken place since I have begun writing. On February 4 we moved from Dueñas to Passi for Coné’s practice. Passi is 5 km from Dueñas. We were only there a short while, and on Feb. 16 Coné was called into the U.S. Army. Dr. Porras recommended that he would be placed in… Read More »March 12, 1942

March 12, 1942 

Nothing doing today. News of war doesn’t sound too good. I wonder at times how we keep going here, also wonder at the individuals desire to get through, the instinct of preservation.

March 12, 1942 — Thursday

After breakfast went to Buenavista Rest House with Mr. Canceran to attend to some correspondence. I discussed that 80% of enlisted men of Philippine Army are using Enfield rifles without extractors and have to use a bamboo rod to extract the shell after each shot. Returned home at 12:30 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. I returned… Read More »March 12, 1942 — Thursday

3/13/1942 Day 96

General Wainwright takes over his new command and is quoted as saying: “If the Japs can take the rock, they’ll find me here, no matter what orders I receive.”

March 13, 1942

No news about Pagulayan and Unson. Many complaints from the public and from Filipino employees have been received by me against Mr. Inada, the Japanese who is in charge of the Distribution Department. He is very arrogant. He treats visitors very rudely. Makes them stand before him for hours. How can I call his attention?… Read More »March 13, 1942

March 13, 1942

The second and last leg of the trip to the south should have been completed by Gen. MacArthur and his staff last night. I haven’t heard yet but am sure they made it in good order. Sharp is very slow about informing us on matters that are important. Had a busy day today trying to… Read More »March 13, 1942

March 13, 1942

The Oriental mentality does not recognize a straight line. He never goes direct to his objective. He seems to desire one thing, but goes about achieving another. He aims at the south and his target is in the east. He is fond of beating about the bush and is unable to call a spade a… Read More »March 13, 1942

March 13, 1942

Bataan, MIS, HQ Went to an artillery battery. Watched them shell Japs. Beautiful sight. Terrific noise. Ground shook like a banca. Felt concussion in my chest. Saw smoke on enemy lines. Like powder puffs at first. Then tall columns of dust rising like thin, high, fountains. Shelling stopped when Jap planes hovered above, so as… Read More »March 13, 1942

March 13, 1942 

Fri. the 13th, this is three in a row. No bad luck though. Rations cut again, food situation bad. Diet is chiefly rice, bread and gravy to go with it, once in a while some meat or other food, not often though. Burns memory slipped: this was not the third Friday 13th in a row… Read More »March 13, 1942 

March 13, 1942 — Friday

Attended mass. After breakfast the President instructed me to proceed to Binalbagan to get first hand information regarding the feared trouble at the Central and find out if Colonel Montilla has placed appropriate Constabulary forces there to protect life and property. The trouble between the laborers and the central will come to a point tomorrow… Read More »March 13, 1942 — Friday

3/14/1942 Day 97

MacArthur and his party reach the Del Monte pineapple plantatlon in Gayagen, Mindanao, 560 miles from Corregidor.

Elsewhere: Despite the situation in the Pacific, in Washington the Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to generally continue on the defensive there while affecting a large build-up of forces in England for an offensive against Germany.

Speech of Major General Yoshihide Hayashi at a banquet given by him in honor of Filipino civil officials and educators, March 14, 1942

March 14, 1942

Presented my resignation verbally to Mr. Noya. Was “asked” to remain. Insistence on my resignation will be considered a hostile act by the Military. Another Japanese raised his hand to one of the Filipino employees. He caught the Filipino lying. The auditors of the Accounting Division will be eliminated. The Army will do the auditing.… Read More »March 14, 1942

March 14, 1942

I have word that Gen. MacArthur and party arrived safely at Destination. However, plans miscarried. They were to have continued last night but missed connections. Have been burning up the wires to Australia all day trying to find out what was wrong. It will be several days now before they can get away. Also, President… Read More »March 14, 1942

Saturday, March 14, 1942

Lest I look at this book sometime and find that I’ve expressed a distaste for some person, and have put down no reason for my aversion, I record this one story of Admiral King. One day this week General Arnold sent a very important note to King. Through inadvertence, the stenographer in Arnold’s office addressed… Read More »Saturday, March 14, 1942

March 14, 1942

Bataan, HQ, MIS   The general looks very depressed. He talked to nobody today. He stayed in his tent smoking his pipe silently. He must be brooding about something sad. I told Fred when I said “Good morning” to the General, the old Fogie did not even answer, damn the impolite bum. (Sometimes I like… Read More »March 14, 1942

March 14, 1942 

Cor. Doing a lot of shelling about noon. Alert in aft. Rowe flew Recon, no trouble. Golden replaced Rowe here, I go back tomorrow. This afternoon on his final duty, Bill Rowe took off from Cabcaben on a recon mission of Nichols, Nielson, Zablan and Del Carmen fields where it was reported that some large-scale… Read More »March 14, 1942 

March 14, 1942 — Saturday

We have been receiving flashes about movements of enemy warships in the Visayan waters. Kept busy keeping in contact with Colonel Hilsman and other units. Vice President Osmeña arrived and after due conference with the President it was decided that he and I should go to Cebu to study the places where the houses for… Read More »March 14, 1942 — Saturday

3/15/1942 Day 98

In the Manila Bay area, the Japanese, having emplaced even more artillery along the southern shote of Manila Bay, southwest of Ternate, renew thelr intensive bombardment of the fortified islands in Manila Bay. Shelling ls conducted dally and In great force through 21 March, despite of the efforts of all the U.S. counterbattery fire.
Fort Frank and Fort Drum are particularly hard hit.

March 15, 1942

Gen. Moore is continuing the mess which was vacated by Gen. MacArthur, thank goodness, and invited me to continue as a member. Most of the food was left here by President Quezon, and includes numerous delicacies which aren’t available for issue. We have a very good brand of white wine, for instance, which was the… Read More »March 15, 1942

Sun. Mar. 15/42

Cecil and I went to Cinco de Junio for Meetings. Heavy gunfire coming from Corregidor. A fighter plane, flying low over Manila, let a few bursts go from its machine gun and wounded a few people in Paco.

March 15, 1942

The Japanese Supervisor asked me to write down the names of the five closest friends of Pagulayan in the office. I refused. He insisted. I told him I did not know. He gave me a veiled threat. I said that if I have to submit names, I would put my name on top of the… Read More »March 15, 1942

March 15, 1942

Pres. Quezon left Corregidor 20 days ahead of Gen MacArthur who wanted his Compadre (Quezon) to proceed to Australia per invitation of FDR. But Quezon, still sulking and upset that mother America failed him on reinforcements, debarked in San Jose, Antique. From there, he traveled to different places in Panay Island and later crossed to… Read More »March 15, 1942

March 15, 1942

Today we finished listing down the losses we suffered during the bombings and fires of December 27 and 28. The engineer, A. Guevara, had prepared a detailed report on the value of the destroyed buildings. Based on the cost of materials and labor, the total losses were: Church and Convent of Santo Domingo ₱1,270,750.00 Letran… Read More »March 15, 1942

March 15, 1942 

Sunday. Returned to B. by way of the hospital in aft. Fellows doing pretty well.

March 15, 1942 — Sunday

Attended Mass and received Holy Communion. We received news of destroyers (enemy) moving on the east coast of Cebu. In the afternoon we received a flash that an enemy destroyer was patrolling the channel between Guimaras and Negros. Stopped a while in front of Pulupandan. Vice-President Osmeña suggested we leave early. I tried to delay… Read More »March 15, 1942 — Sunday

3/16/1942 Day 99

The shelling of Fort Prank and Fort Drum continue. Also, the other fortified Islands receive thelr share from the many Japanese artillery positions all along Manila Bay.

March 16, 1942 — Monday

At 1:30 a.m. Colonel Nieto woke me up to show me a telegram informing us that five enemy ships accompanied by a submarine flashing a light were ashore in Gasan, Marinduque. I told him not to awake the President and hold it for this morning. Got up as usual at 6:30 a.m. More telegrams kept… Read More »March 16, 1942 — Monday

Monday, March 16, 1942

The first shelling of our small island, San Carlos shelled by Japanese destroyer which drew up to pier, threw rope over bow, and towed away small inter-island ferry Princess of Negros docked at San Carlos pier. Such confusion and fright. All night workers from Central fled with their families to the hills. Chief cause of… Read More »Monday, March 16, 1942

March 16, 1942 

Not much doing today.

March 16, 1942

I am still up to my ears trying to move Gen. MacArthur, and now I have to try to move President Quezon too. His boat has been taken by the Japs and he has no way of leaving his present location. I don’t know whether, in taking his boat, the Japs learned that he was… Read More »March 16, 1942

3/17/1942 Day 100

From Mindanao, MacArthur flies to Alice Springs, Australia, arriving at 0900 hours, (He will soon be in supreme command of all forces In the Southwest Pacific bur formal delineation of this area has not yet been agreed upon.) Colonel Beebe, the deputy chief of staff of USAFFE, Is promoted to brigadier general.

The Japanese shelling continues on the Islands in Manila Bay.

Telegram of President Quezon to Field Marshal MacArthur, March 17, 1942

March 17, 1942 – Tuesday

After breakfast I asked permission to go to Bacolod to buy some things I needed and leave that atmosphere of nerves and shouting. Father Ortiz and I agreed to lunch at Ben Gaston’s house. We met Ben in Bacolod and he drove us to Talisay where the family hacienda is. Delightful served by Ben’s sisters… Read More »March 17, 1942 – Tuesday

March 17, 1942

Well, we got Gen. MacArthur and his staff moved at least, and that is one thing off my mind. They arrived in Australia today. It was a relief to me for I have been badly worried about it—to say nothing of the additional load occasioned by the volume of radios. Have been expecting to hear… Read More »March 17, 1942

March 17, 1942

The hundredth day of the war—another Hundred Days ended the career of Napoleon who thought he was supreme. It’s going to take us a little longer, obviously. News sounds pretty good but Hi, that old realist, always analyzes news and rumors right down to their pockets, ending by depressing me beyond all words. Riding the… Read More »March 17, 1942

March 17, 1942 

Wrote letters to parents and Jean, also made out will. Have a fair estate and it will get larger daily.

Tuesday, March 17, 1942

Saint Patrick’s Day—but a big day—100th day of war and General MacArthur placed in command of all forces in Far East. Optimism high. We’ve felt, like the Australians, that if we could get rid of retreating Sir Archibald the American and Australian forces might have a chance to save some of their own territory and… Read More »Tuesday, March 17, 1942

3/18/1942 Day 101

Japanese artillery continues to pound the Islands In Manila Bay.


President Quezon and his War Cabinet arrives in Dumaguete, takes PT Boat to Mindanao.

March 18, 1942 – Wednesday

We left Panubigan at 8:30 a.m. Arrived at Bais Sugar Central at 12:30 p.m., tired and sleepy. Slept a good siesta until 3 p.m. When the President sent for me. Worked decoding some telegrams. At 10:30 p.m. Left Bais Central for Dumaguete arriving at about 11:30 a.m. We waited for Soriano who had gone to… Read More »March 18, 1942 – Wednesday

March 18, 1942

I’ll be a physical and mental wreck yet. At the last minute we received word that seven Jap destroyers were cruising around in the very area where President Quezon was to be picked up last night. It may have been just a coincidence, but it was odd, to say the least. I tried to stop… Read More »March 18, 1942

March 18, 1942 

Spent day working on officers mess. MacArthur and George now in Australia. MacA. in high command of all United Nations forces. Maybe he and Gen. Geo. will do us some good here. Gen. George’s departure on March 11th as a member of MacArthur’s evacuation party dispirited his pilots, who realized that he was very reluctantly… Read More »March 18, 1942 

3/19/1942 Day 102

The Japanese artillery assault continues.

President Quezon, his family, and his War Cabinet arrive in Oroquieta, Misamis in Mindanao.

Radio Speech of Antonio de las Alas, delivered over Station KZRH, March 19, 1942

March 19, 1942

Still haven’t heard anything from Gen. MacArthur. I send him the daily operations report, and have asked him numerous questions as to procedure and policy, but I get no reply. It is very difficult to operate under these conditions because I have no power to act. If I had complete authority I would go ahead… Read More »March 19, 1942

Thursday, March 19, 1942

MacArthur is out of Philippine Islands. Now Supreme Commander of “Southwest Pacific Area”. The newspapers acclaim the move -the public has built itself a hero out of its own imagination. I hope he can do the miracles expected and predicted; we could use a few now! Strange that no one sees the dangers. Some apply… Read More »Thursday, March 19, 1942

March 19, 1942 – Thursday

We arrived at Oroquieta, Misamis at 6:30 a.m. and were docked by 7 a.m. The people of the town thinking we were Japanese ran into the interior, and did not return until they saw the American flag. The Vice-President, Major Cruz and I had breakfast in an Army Officer’s house and then proceeded to Jimenez… Read More »March 19, 1942 – Thursday

March 19, 1942 

Not much doing, O.D. so spent most of my time at Gen. Geo.’s shack listening to the radio. KGEI really putting out some good programs now.

3/20/1942 Day 103

General Walnwright learns that he has been promoted to lieutenant general and that Washington has placed him In command of all U.S. forces In the Philippines. Meanwhile, the artillery shelling continues.

MacArthur arrives in Darwin, Australia, having traveled some 1,200 miles by train from Alice Springs. He reads a very short prepared statement to the waiting press:

“The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary target of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return.”

This expression will become the rallying cry throughout the Philippines.

March 20, 1942 – Friday

Attended Mass at 8 a.m. Breakfast at the house of Senator Ozamis. Left Jimenez at 10 a.m. for Ozamis Misamis Occidental with all the party. Took a small launch and crossed over to Kolambugan. Crossing was quite rough due to strong North-east winds. Lunched at the house of Mr. & Mrs. Austin, Manager of Kolambugan… Read More »March 20, 1942 – Friday

March 20, 1942

Forgot to mention yesterday that I was sworn in as a Brigadier General. My appointment came in by radio from the W.D. and I rank from March 14th. The staff gathered round my desk to make a ceremony of it, and I was sworn in by Gen. Seals. A pair of stars had been left… Read More »March 20, 1942

March 20, 1942

HQ, Bataan, MIS Impressive meeting of all Bataan generals held in heart of one of the Bataan mountains. Wainwright, Commander-in-Chief of USFIP, presided. (Name of USAFFE has been changed to USFIP –United States Forces in Philippines). The Commander-in-Chief announced that henceforth Bataan and Corregidor shall be separate commands. Wainwright will transfer his headquarters to Corregidor.… Read More »March 20, 1942

March 20, 1942

We knew a few days ago that General MacArthur and High Commissioner Sayre have fled from Bataan. MacArthur flew to Australia while Sayre proceeded to Washington. This provoked a tug-of-war in the radio propaganda of the warring countries. Radio Tokyo and that of Shanghai considered the flight as a captain’s abandonment of a sinking ship,… Read More »March 20, 1942

March 20, 1942 

Quiet day. The food ration is pity-ful (sic) now. Enough to keep you from starving but not enough to do much work on. One day’s food for 250 men-14 loaves of bread, 15 cans milk, 17 cans salmon.

3/21/1942 Day 104

General Wainwright, as commander of all U.S. forces in the Philippines (USFIP), which now supersedes USAFFE, establishes his headquarters on Corregidor and then appoints Brigadier General Beebe as his chief of staff. He also appoints Major General Edward P. King Jr. as the commander of the Luzon Force.

Early In the evening, the Japanese artillery barrage of the fortified Islands comes to an end.

March 21, 1942 

Alert for couple hours in aft. Had party in evening. It was awful drunk out, self included. Have no interest in girls any more. Guess Jean is the xplaination (sic). With Grover’s approval, the pilots arranged another of their planned twice-a-month parties this evening, inviting 20 nurses from the hospitals. Lasting until 4:00 a.m., “it… Read More »March 21, 1942 

March 21, 1942

Today, Palm Sunday, we saw an unusual display of tanks and other kinds of war material being transported to the north. Are they preparing a final attack on Bataan? Radio San Francisco announced that General Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore, is directing this campaign. For the last several days, however, we heard the rumors that General… Read More »March 21, 1942

March 21, 1942 – Saturday

Today is San Benito, my late father’s feast day. I asked an Philippine Army Chaplain to say mass at Detrick’s hotel. I took Communion. During the morning I visited the military camp and the buildings destroyed by the aerial bombardment of December 20th. In the afternoon I visited the Moncado Colony. Quite a sight. At… Read More »March 21, 1942 – Saturday

March 21, 1942

Tanco and I toured Bulacan: Marilao, Bigaa, Guiguinto, Malolos, Plaridel and Baliuag. It is five days since I have written here. I think I’ll stop writing. What do I get by crabbing about my feelings? And supposing the Japanese get a hold of this diary? Oh well, I’m not worried. If they ask me to… Read More »March 21, 1942

March 21, 1942

The Japanese Supervisor asked me to write down the names of the five closest friends of Pagulayan in the office. I refused. He insisted. I told him I did not know. He gave me a veiled threat. I said that if I have to submit names, I would put my name on top of the… Read More »March 21, 1942

3/22/1942 Day 105

President Roosevelt sends a message to MacArthur in Australia, in which he expresses his desire that Wainwright be In control of all forces in the Philippines. MacArthur quickly agrees.

The United Stated Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) becomes the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) when General Jonathan Wainwright assumed command of all the Filipino and American forces in the Philippines formerly held by Field Marshal MacArthur.

General Moore takes General Wainwright on an inspection tour of Corregidor’s defenses.

Telegram of General Wainwright to President Quezon, March 22, 1942

March 22, 1942 – Sunday

Attended mass in the Church of Dansalan. A new wooden building beautifully built and immaculately clean. It was a pleasure to sit inside and pray. There was a serene atmosphere that invited devotion. The church was that of a Jesuit (Father Wright) but a feminine touch was evident. The Franciscan Missionary of Mary have a… Read More »March 22, 1942 – Sunday

March 22, 1942

Radio Tokyo announced today that President Quezon died, a victim of American brutality. The press is silent about the matter, rendering the veracity of the news suspicious. A few days ago, the same radio station announced the sinking of the Queen Mary, the largest British merchant vessel, south of the Atlantic with ten thousand soldiers… Read More »March 22, 1942

March 22, 1942

Had a showdown with the Supervisor. There is nothing like talking frankly. I told him I wanted to know just where I stood. If I am Manager, I want to manage. Otherwise don’t call me manager. We agreed on these things: (1) That the whole office is under my responsibility. He (Noya) is only an… Read More »March 22, 1942

March 22, 1942

The “Lull In Bataan” continues on its 28th day but let me continue with more additional details learned from Major Romulo’s office about the dramatic escape of MacArthur from Corregidor eleven days ago. Immediately after Gen. MacArthur’s arrival at Del Monte on March 13, Gen. Sharp gave a briefing about Vis-Min Area and fresh reports… Read More »March 22, 1942

Sunday, March 22, 1942

Bacolod, our home, and La Carlota, on this island, machine-gunned by four low-flying Japanese planes. A bus in Bacolod riddled but all passengers had fled at approach of planes. Airports at Bacolod and La Carlota evidently targets of Japs, but automobiles on highways gunned also in passing. The Japanese attacks always seem to come on… Read More »Sunday, March 22, 1942

March 22, 1942 

Sun. Stayed in bed most of the day. Whit. got in from Cebu, brought me two wires, Jean and parents. Sure makes me feel good, especially Jean’s. She is one in millions, love the hell out of her. Major Hervey Whitfield, formerly Weather Officer at Clark Field, was one of the of the “Bamboo Fleet”… Read More »March 22, 1942 

3/23/1942 Day 106

The troops on Luzon continue to improve thelr positions. All forms of supplies are now becoming extremely scarce.

President Quezon and his War Cabinet arrive in Del Monte, Tankulan in Bukidnon.

Telegram of President Quezon to General Wainwright, March 23, 1942

March 23, 1942 – Monday

Got up at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m. the air raid alarm was sounded. Three planes flew over our camp headed North. Apparently they believe this camp has been abandoned as they did not change their course. Shortly after the alarm was sounded Mr. Crawford the manager of Del Monte Pineapple Corporation rushed into the… Read More »March 23, 1942 – Monday

March 23, 1942

The newspapers headlined in bold letters that President Quezon died in Iloilo, a victim of his old disease. It was however added that the news has not yet been confirmed. Radio Bataan denied it strongly and promised that it would issue its own bulletin. Radio Tokyo nevertheless came back, insisting that President Quezon was assassinated.… Read More »March 23, 1942

March 23, 1942

The Army formally took over the NARIC this morning. This is what I said: The work of the NARIC heretofore has been to stabilize prices both to producers and consumers. Notwithstanding forecasts of failure by many of the best business minds of the country, this corporation has been successful from the beginning of its operations,… Read More »March 23, 1942

Monday, March 23, 1942

Two cables from the States—first messages since the beginning of the war—from Emestine, who asked if I needed anything (nothing, not even money, can be sent by cable now) and who said, “Hurry home.” Other from Aunts Susie and Fannie in Mississippi, who sent love to all four of us (Jim at front) and ended… Read More »Monday, March 23, 1942

March 23, 1942 

Lay around most of day, headache, I believe, too much sun Sat. eyes hurt. Had a couple candy bars today, a real treat. Food very poor.

3/24/1942 Day 107

The Japanese begin an Intense air and artillery bombardment of Bataan. Army and Navy planes, based on Luzon, begin a thorough bombardment of Corregidor, continuing through the end of March.

During this period, night air attacks are conducted for the first time.

March 24, 1942 

Sick today, fever, chills, etc. Terrific headache, ache all over. Japs have started pushing us again, using their big bombers again, dropping some big stuff too. On March 23rd, the Japanese began a new aerial offensive with twin-engine bombers, 54 attacking on that day in the defenders’ rear areas and following up with nine that… Read More »March 24, 1942 

March 24, 1942

Air raids resumed. From the battery we could see our barracks. Since we evacuated them, the Army engineers have stored five tons of TNT therein. On this day we had a normal raid with what sounded like a good hit topside. After the raid was over and we came out to look around, someone said,… Read More »March 24, 1942

March 24, 1942

If the news about President Quezon is true, this country has lost one of its main pillars. But I have a feeling, the news is false. Men like Don Manuel do not die in times like this. He is destiny’s godson. Capati and Oliveros called to Fort Santiago. Pagu and Unson still languishing in the… Read More »March 24, 1942

March 24, 1942 – Tuesday

In Del Monte.

3/25/1942 Day 108

Letter of President Quezon to Gen. Wainwright, March 25, 1942

Air and artillery attacks continue all across the front.

At the same time, the news reaches the Philippines that MacArthur has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for “gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while commanding American and Filipino troops In the defense of the Philippines.”

March 25, 1942 – Wednesday

Attended mass at 8 a.m. 9:30 a.m. visited the new installations for the Air Corps.

March 25, 1942

Another man arrived from Bataan. Said he was Philip’s sergeant. He was sunburnt and thin and sick with malaria. “Do not worry about Phil,” he said. He would not stay for dinner. We asked him if Philip was sick “No,” he replied, he is all right.” Vic, my other boy, wanted to go with him.… Read More »March 25, 1942

March 25, 1942

Judging from the movement of troops, tanks and artillery guns, and from the waves of winged motors, the campaign against Bataan is going to take on gigantic proportions. It will not only be an offensive campaign but also a decisive one. According to Radio San Francisco, General Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore who is directing this… Read More »March 25, 1942

March 25, 1942 

Mother’s birthday. Wish she was here to nurse me, ’cause I sure am sick. She sure used to do a good job of taking care of me. I’ll bet she really worries about me.

3/26/1942 Day 109

The Japanese start to move reinforcements onto Bataan and artillery attacks continue.

On Mindanao, President Quezon and his party are finally evacuated to Australia, 35 days after escaping from Corregidor. The plane that flies his party to safety has brought in a shipment of badly needed medical supplies.

Letter of Executive Secretary Manuel Roxas to General Douglas MacArthur on President Quezon’s instructions, March 26, 1942

March 26, 1942

Had an important conference with Colonel Uzaki, head of the Army’s Food Division. I took up all the important matters preoccupying me. First, the flour distribution. He stated that as long as the amount of daily release previously fixed to authorized bakeries is not exceeded, the authority to determine who should or should not receive… Read More »March 26, 1942

March 26, 1942 – Thursday

Attended and served Mass. Returned to Del Monte. 12:30 p.m. went with Vice-President Osmeña to Mr Crawford’s evacuation house for lunch. Returned to Del Monte. Packed my valise for the airplane trip. The planes arrived at 8:45 p.m. We could hear the roar of the engines from our house at Del Monte. At 10 p.m.… Read More »March 26, 1942 – Thursday

March 26, 1942

Msgr. Taguchi sent us two legal projects promulgated by the government. We were requested to make fifty reproductions of the documents. Both projects affect the Church. One of the documents defines the powers and responsibilities of the Religious Commission, under the Interior Department. The Religious Commission was in-charge of supervising the activities of ecclesiastical and… Read More »March 26, 1942

March 26, 1942 

Feel a little better, but very weak, can’t eat, would like some fruit. Heavy bombing raids continuing, don’t know what damage they are doing, uncomfortable to lie here in bed and wonder if they will go over us.

3/27/1942 Day 110

Proclamation by President Quezon, March 27, 1942

Air and artillery attacks continue. The supply situation has worsened with little hope of any possibility of relief.

MacArthur’s Headquarters announces the arrival of President Quezon, his family, and War Cabinet in Australia.

March 27, 1942 – Friday

When we landed in Batchelor’s Field some Australian Air Force officers met us and took us in two dilapidated cars to their camp where we were given facilities to wash and then they served breakfast, not very good but it was welcome. Before breakfast we all prayed and thanked God for the safe trip and… Read More »March 27, 1942 – Friday

March 27, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan   Japs have dropped Tribunes carrying story Quezon had died in Iloilo. Everybody had a good laugh. Everybody knows that Quezon is safe in Australia. Operatives in Manila report that Japs are befriending Indians. The case of India will always be a sore mark in the fight of Britain and America for… Read More »March 27, 1942

March 27, 1942

Noya has been replaced by Mr. Fukada as Supervisor. Noya was all right. He was not arrogant and we got along quite well. There must be a code of gallantry between generals. A friend of mine told me that when General MacArthur left for Corregidor he left his room in the Manila Hotel just as… Read More »March 27, 1942

March 27, 1942

For five consecutive days now, seven planes have been flying in the same formation and at very high altitude. People believe they are American planes. They even said that they dropped leaflets, though no one can give me any information as to the contents of the leaflets. A press dispatch from Stockholm stated that according… Read More »March 27, 1942

Friday, March 27, 1942

Trainloads of boxed goods going to the end of the sugar cane track line and thence across gulleys and mountainsto our evacuation camp. A cable has been run from end of railroad line to bodega, within 9 kilometers of the camp. Goods will be stored in bodega and carried to camp by Negritoes who sling… Read More »Friday, March 27, 1942

March 27, 1942 

Got up for awhile this afternoon but so weak I had to lie down pretty quick. Started in evening feeding the pilots special food. Must be fattening us for the kill. Something brewing. The flight surgeon of the detachment had reported to Maj. Gen. King, commander of the Luzon Force on Bataan, that if the… Read More »March 27, 1942 

3/28/1942 Day 111

The Japanese, moving Into position for an all-out offensive against Bataan, feint against the I Corps and push in the outpost line of Sector D on the Corps front, Increasingly heavy air and artillery bombardment of Bataan ls lowering the efficiency of the defense force as well as destroying much badly needed material. All efforts by U.S. forces to run the Japanese blockade and supply the garrison with necessary items have virtually failed and the supply situation is growing steadily worse.

Saturday, March 28, 1942

At 6:00 in the morning, left Bañga for Midsayap as scheduled arriving there at 10:30 a.m. At 3:30, proceeded on to the presidencia of Midsayap to meet Commissioner Guingona who arrived with the provincial officials of Cotabato headed by Governor Pablo. After the usual greetings, the Commissioner informed me that the conference would start upon… Read More »Saturday, March 28, 1942

March 28, 1942 

Food fine today, didn’t do much, gaining back strength. Dyess told me I was going south with Brad. before dawn. Engine trouble so didn’t get off, will leave tomorrow night. Darn the engine. “Brad” was Capt. William “Jitter Bill” Bradford, the 47-year old engineering officer of Bataan Field and Bamboo Fleet pilot. Dyess had ordered… Read More »March 28, 1942 

March 28, 1942

The food problem is getting worse every day. Imported goods such as milk, flour, potatoes and canned goods, when available, cost from ten to fifteen times higher than the original price. Medicines are very hard to find. Even local products such as rice, sugar, meat, eggs, vegetables are scarce, and prices are soaring. Since there… Read More »March 28, 1942

March 28, 1942

Philip’s birthday.

Saturday, March 28, 1942

I was made a Major General yesterday! Took the oath of office today. Still a permanent Lt. Col., but the promotion is just as satisfactory as if a permanent one. I suopose one could call it the official “stamp of approval” of the W.D. I’ve been trying for some weeks to get some force ,in… Read More »Saturday, March 28, 1942

March 28, 1942 – Saturday

We attended Mass in a little church and then proceeded to the landing field. While there we were able to discover that the missing plane had gotten lost, had been short of gasoline and the pilot was forced to land in the desert. We finally found them all right but very hungry and tired. We… Read More »March 28, 1942 – Saturday

March 28, 1942

One son and one daughter [got] fever[s] today. Guess I’m next.

March 28, 1942

News release—announced over KGEI in San Francisco last night— stated that President Quezon and his party arrived in Australia yesterday. I thought we might hear from them today, but nothing came through. It was a relief to know that they got through safely. A long radio from Gen. Marshall (George C.) this morning assured Gen.… Read More »March 28, 1942

3/29/1942 Day 112

The Japanese maintain pressure along the entire front, while the air and artillery bombardment continues.

Hukbalahap (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon) is formed.

March 29, 1942

Palm Sunday! Catesy and I went to church in the Father’s garden. The minister prayed for peace, and an earnest congregation joined him. When the soloist sang “Palms,” I recalled most vividly another Palm Sunday under different circumstances, when as a young girl of sixteen I had sung the same solo. Catalino sent us a… Read More »March 29, 1942

Sun., Mar. 29, 1942

Sunday dinner at the Yangco hacienda, “Floencia,” named for Mrs. Yangco, Flora. Such quiet and peace here. None of the signs of war hysteria as on our Central. Curry dinner served by three boys, coming into dining room one behind the other, in spotless white uniforms with household “Y” embroidered on jacket pockets. Curry dinner… Read More »Sun., Mar. 29, 1942

March 29, 1942 – Sunday

Attended early Mass in the town church. After breakfast left for the landing field. We took off at 8:30 a.m. and landed in Adelaide at 12:30 p.m. Some American officers were waiting for us. We had a magnificent luncheon at the Adelaide Hotel. At 3 p.m. we boarded the special train that was going to… Read More »March 29, 1942 – Sunday

March 29, 1942

Gave the men in the office a confidential, heart-to-heart talk. This is what I said: “Many responsible people outside and inside this office have suggested that I should be more assertive or aggressive regarding my powers and authority, and that if these are not accorded me, I should resign.” “This is very easy to say,… Read More »March 29, 1942

March 29, 1942 

Sun. Got things in better shape for leaving today. About suppertime learned that the rock has a bunch of men to go so I’m screwed. Just another thing to hate the rock for. Guess the men are need (sic) though. I go Wed. maybe. The “rock” was Corregidor, where rumor had it the food conditions… Read More »March 29, 1942 

March 29, 1942

One day when the three American soldiers were locked up and received no coffee, some of our men fed it to them through a small hole in the wall, with a rubber tube and an enema bag.

3/30/1942 Day 113

In the United States, directives are drafted for MacArthur as Supreme Commander, South West Pacific Area (SWPA), and for Admiral Chester Nimitz as the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Area (CINCPOA), for submission to the Allied governments concerned.

Ie is decided that SWPA will include Australia, the Philippines, New Guinea, all of the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomons, and most of the Netherlands East Indies. As Supreme Commander, SWPA, MacArthur is to maintain positions In the Philippines and bases in Australia; guard the approaches to SWPA; halt the enemy’s advance on Australia; protect communications within the theater; support POA forces; and be prepared to take the offensive.

The POA is made up of the North, Central and South Pacific, all under the overall command of Admiral Nimitz, and the first two would be under his direct command. As CINCPOA, Nimitz is to maintain communications between the United States and the SWPA; support all operations in SWPA; and be prepared to take offensive actlon.

In addition to SWPA and POA, the Pacific Theater Is to Include the Southeast Pacific Area which includes all ocean stretches west of Central and South America.

In the Philippines, the Japanese are maintaining pressure all along the Bataan front lines.

General Marshall tries to get help for the Philippines from China. He asks Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell to look into the possibility of sending food to the Philippines by ship. Stilwell replies that there is no chance of securing blockade runners but that he would try to secure planes and food for such a venture. [Bataan will fall before he can a accomplish this.)

President Quezon, his family, and War Cabinet, arrive in Melbourne, Australia where he is met by Field Marshal MacArthur.

March 30, 1942

CORREGIDOR HAS BEEN BOMBED EIGHT TIMES! We visited our former neighbors who kept house on the other side of the abandoned truck. They now had an imposing looking lean-to made of swali and drapery material. While the boys played whist, the lady of the manor and I exchanged recipes, rumors, and gossip. Suddenly we heard… Read More »March 30, 1942

Monday, March 30, 1942

Par. 1, S.0. 79, W.D., amnounced me as Major General (Temporary) A.U.S., dating from March 28th; ranking from March 27th. This should assure that when I finally get back to troops, I’ll get a Division!!! Wainwright’s position is getting bad – food and medicine required, and except for sub there’s not much chance!

March 30, 1942 – Monday

Arrived in Melbourne at 9 a.m. We were met at the station by General & Mrs. MacArthur and his staff. The President and members of his family were conducted to the home of Mr. Norman Myer a wealthy Australian businessman, and we were taken to the Chevron Hotel, a neat and quiet place full of… Read More »March 30, 1942 – Monday

March 30, 1942

Must employ a good interpreter. Misunderstandings arise out of the inability to understand each other’s language. Had a tense showdown with the new Japanese supervisor, Mr. Fukada. He called me to his desk. I told him to come to mine instead. He didn’t seem to understand. I told him straight: “If you want anything from… Read More »March 30, 1942

March 30, 1942

On four occasions between the 15th and today, we were shelled from the sea by heavily armed gunboats. Each time we thought a landing would be made. Each time the crew of my car got together, said a prayer or two and ran to our respective position, all ready to do or die. And believe it… Read More »March 30, 1942

March 30th, 1942 115th Day of War

Since Tuesday, March 24th, the Japanese have been bombing Bataan and Corregidor. Bombing formations have been as large as fifty-four bombers, and as often as fifteen times in one day. They have also taken advantage of the moon lit nights to overcome their characteristic night blindness, and made it a night-and-day affair.

March 30, 1942 

Spent day at C. on alert. Saw a large Jap bomber hit by AA. Spun from about 25,000. Was an awe-inspiring sight. Sure feel sorry for poor devils in it. The nights sure are beautiful, moon and a few clouds. In response to a report on March 28th that the Japanese were planning a landing… Read More »March 30, 1942 

March 30, 1942

Nakamura gave the girl garden detail a talk on useless American women yesterday. He must have been watching some of the women in here for many of them spend hours on their makeup. It seems very out-of-place, poor taste, if not vapid. I for one cannot keep on looking like the Queen of Sheba while… Read More »March 30, 1942

3/31/1942 Day 114

The month ends with the Japanese forces starting to move on Bataan and the garrison on Luzon rapidly running out of everything to continue fighting.

March 31, 1942

kicked the rats off covers all night

March 31, 1942 – Tuesday

Paid a courtesy call on General MacArthur. I discussed with him my situation. I told him that I did not want to go to the U.S. with the President and I asked his advice. He said that unless I am ordered to go I should stay with him and return to the Philippines with him.… Read More »March 31, 1942 – Tuesday

March 31, 1942

Raids today and last night as usual. Enemy did not shell us today. I put all my money in the Quartermaster. Very hot.

March 31, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan     Terrific day. Heavy fighting in front. Fred sent to west sector. I went to east. Spent day observing progress of battle. Japs raining bombs on front line, powdering every inch of ground. Our artillery can only fire occasionally because of continuous presence of Jap planes. Japs trying to break line… Read More »March 31, 1942

March 31, 1942

Gen. Yamakoshi gave a dinner in Honor of the NARIC staff at the Manila Hotel. It was a dry affair. Missed the lively Rotary luncheons. Near our table there were Japanese civilians. They were drinking and singing and eating. They had hostesses. But they were old-looking. One of them must have been around 45. Too… Read More »March 31, 1942

March 31, 1942

Last night I had supper with the Vice Grand Chancellor of the University of Santo Tomas, Msgr. Taguchi, the Honorable Shozo Murata, former Minister of the Imperial Cabinet and technical adviser to the Military Administration, Recto, Laurel, the Deans and some faculty members of the University of Santo Tomas. Before supper, we visited the different… Read More »March 31, 1942

March 31, 1942 

Still bombing, but little damage. Pilots food pretty good, poor for others, everyone hunting. Will have this place really cleaned out of game when we leave.