About the author: Carl Ephriam Rice (1877 — 1950). Veteran of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (reaching the rank of Commander). Served in the Federal Government in the Philippines, including a period as a member of the Board of Special Inquiry of the Immigration Department. On December 25, 1941, the author was made Senior Administrative Assistant in the Manila Base Quartermaster Depot (see US Army in WW 2:The Quartermaster Corps: Operations in the War Against Japan for details on the organization and its activities). He was instructed to remain in Manila as USAFFE withdrew to Bataan, and to surrender the office to the Japanese upon their arrival in the city.
An article in the Manhattan Mercury, Sunday, June 3, 1945, contains these details:
Back in January of 1942, all the men in Manila were picked up. Carl E. Rice… was picked up on January 3 and released the same day. On January 5 he was again taken to Santo Tomas camp, and released within two weeks with the understanding that he was to report back to camp every three months.
In April of 1943, he was again put into the camp when the Japs called back all the older and ill men. This time he was kept there until liberated by the Americans this February. The Japs had planned that all the men in the camp over 15 would be shot on February 4, but on February 3 they were liberated by the American First Cavalry.
[Carl E. Rice] weighed 180 pounds when he entered the Santo Tomas camp, and weighed only 128 when he was liberated. During the first month after his liberation he gained 20 pounds and is beginning to straighten up… almost back to his original height of almost 6 foot.
His grandson, Brian Rice, chronicled the end of his granfather’s life in a series of notes as he posted his grandfather’s diary:
Having become refugees in the land he embraced and settled in as a young soldier during the Spanish American War, my grandfather was forced to relocate back to the family home of Manhattan, Kansas at the conclusion of World War 2. Settling in with his sister Ada, he subsequently spent the next two years petitioning the U.S. State Department to allow him and his family to return to Manila… They were finally allowed to return in 1947.
On the way back my grandmother gave birth to one last child, Freddy, in October 1946 in Los Angeles as they awaited passage back to the Philippines. This would indeed mean my grandfather sired one last child at the age of 69(!). Finally, the following March, 1947, they departed and returned to Manila.
My grandfather, Carl Ephriam Rice… passed away on August 2nd, 1950, at the age of 72. This led to my grandmother returning with her youngest children to Manhattan for good the following year. Suffering from asthma all of her life, in an era before medicine had enabled relief from the condition, she was to pass away at the young age of 55 in January 1965…
About the diary: Posted online in a series of blog entries as Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs, by the author’s grandson, Brian Rice. The Philippine Diary Project is grateful to him for the permission he gave on March 14, 2019, to include his grandfather’s diary in the project.