Tressa Cates

Tressa Cates

(September 14, 1903 — May 6, 1991). Nurse at Sternberg General Military Hospital. Interned with her future husband in Santo Tomas, 1942-45.

April 3, 1942

Exciting news swept the camp! The Commandant informed us that a neutral ship would leave for the States at the end of this month after

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April 4, 1942

Easter was in the air! From my window I watched and listened to the women’s choir practicing in the Father’s garden. Women and children were

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April 5, 1942

We went to sunrise services and communion in the Father’s garden, and it was like no other church I had attended on Easter Sunday. The

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April 6, 1942

A three-hundred-pound teen-age girl came to our room this morning with a pair of shoes that she wanted to raffle off at twenty centavos a

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April 7, 1942

During the night we were awakened by the roaring sound of many planes speeding toward the west. How could we sleep after that? We knew

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April 8, 1942

An earthquake of considerable intensity awoke the camp, and the Big House shook like a shimmy dancer. Frightened and half-dressed, women rushed out of their

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April 10, 1942

Though we refused to believe the Nishi-Nishi headline, Troops ON EASTERN FRONT OF BATAAN OFFER SURRENDER, We were unreasonably depressed. One could see small groups

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April 11, 1942

Seven civilians were brought in from Bataan today! All their stories were the same. Hardships, malaria, dysentery, inadequate equipment and food. While hungry and exhausted

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April 12, 1942

The Nishi-Nishi had this cheerful information: “F.D.R. in his press-conference speech admitted the impossibility of sending aid to the Philippines to relieve the critical situation

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April 14, 1942

On previous occasions we had witnessed Japanese flogging Filipinos whom they had brought into the camp. This afternoon several Japanese tied a young Filipino to

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April 15, 1942

The morning headline filled us with dread. Bombs DEMOLIsH CORREGIDOR GUNS. We felt the heat more than ever today as we dragged mattresses and other

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April 16, 1942

A long line of elderly and ill-fed American men filled the front lobby of the Big House. They had come from the outside to register

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April 17, 1942

Corregidor Resistance Weak. A Nishi-Nishi correspondent at the Philippine front gave the following description of a fierce raid on Corregidor: I had the thrill of

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April 19, 1942

The Japs had always been camera-crazy, but here in camp they had gone completely shutter-happy. Every day was a field day for them, as officers,

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April 20, 1942

Pura, my little nurse friend, was still permitted to come in and out of the camp. If there ever was a harbinger of good cheer,

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April 21, 1942

U. S. Is No Match For JAPAN! “Japan is about to secure full contro] of the Indian Ocean and consequently will be able to meet

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April 22, 1942

FASTER-THAN-SOUND PLANES IS AIM OF THE JAPANESE SCIENTISTS. The morning rag certainly loved to startle and impress us. Another one of my roommates was Jane,

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April 23, 1942

Just as I gathered my frying-pan, dishes, and other utensils from under my bed in preparation for lunch, three American men entered the room, armed

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April 24, 1942

The Commandant finally consented to a nine o’clock curfew. How happy and grateful we were to be able to stay in the front ground and

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April 26, 1942

The lovely strains of “Rock of Ages” floated into my room as I watched the Protestant services in the Father’s garden. To the right of

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April 27, 1942

Our men were building large dining sheds made of wood, and soon they would be completed for the dreaded rainy season. There was an air

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April 28, 1942

The Nishi-Nishi was most informative and educational. For the last few days it was filled with instructions on how to make the Rising Sun flag.

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April 29, 1942

We were not permitted to forget the Emperor’s birthday! The pictorial section of the Nishi-Nishi showed victorious soldiers shouting as they dramatically planted the Rising

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May 1, 1942

Many of the young belles of the camp wore hibiscus leis and flowers in their hair to celebrate May Day. My two Spanish and Dutch

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May 2, 1942

No more bread was to be served in the line. This spelled hardship and hunger for those who had no money to buy the bread

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May 3, 1942

Shocking and horrible stories were being repeated in the camp about the suffering of our captured forces. Forced marches without adequate food and water! Atrocities

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May 4, 1942

Catesy was promoted from his garbage detail! He now helped at the front gate by handing out packages brought to internees from the outside. For

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May 5, 1942

We listened to the happy and gay music of Gilbert and Sullivan recordings in the plaza. Usually, their music and rollicking lyrics cheered me, but

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May 7, 1942

No other topic interested us. Had Corregidor fallen? On my way to get breakfast I stopped when I saw five men grouped around another man

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May 8, 1942

Corregidor Fars. Despite the morning headline, people still refused to believe. But when on the next page of the Nishi-Nishi they saw a picture of

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