About the author: David L. Obert (January 14, 1919 — February 24, 1991), a Second Lieutenant at the outbreak of World War II, was one of five flight leaders in the 17th Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group, equipped with P-40E fighter aircraft in Nichols Field. He was awarded the Silver Star for “For gallantry in action in the Cavite area in Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 10 February 1942.” He escaped to Australia after the fall of the Philippines and returned to the United States for additional training, serving in the 12th Air Force in the Mediterranean. Having just married on November 30, 1941, his wife Dorothy Olbert was interned in Santo Tomas from January 4, 1942 to February, 1945. They had a daughter, Honey Obert Schmitz, and a granddaughter, Dolly Schmitz. Obert retired from the United States Air Force Reserve in 1968 with the rank of Colonel. He passed away in Crestwood, Illinois.
About the diary: Published as Philippine Defender: A Fighter Pilot’s Diary, 1941-1942, Levite of Apache Publishing, Norman, Oklahoma, 1992. An afterword in the book states that,
This diary was classified upon Lt. Obert’s arrival in Australia. An edited version was returned to him. This [the published book] is the unedited version. Elements of the book have been used in numerous historical accounts of the 1942 Bataan campaign.
Permission for use in the Philippine Diary Project was given by his granddaughter, Dolly Schmitz, who also provided the photograph of her grandfather..