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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.

December 8, 1941

STERNBERG GENERAL ARMY HOSPITALMANILA When I heard about Pearl Harbor, I knew that my happy little world had crumbled about me. All of us were

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December 9, 1941

Today was like a ghastly dream! Beds that were empty yesterday were now occupied by mangled and horribly burned patients. In a few short hours,

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December 10, 1941

Today we heard that the Japanese had made a landing in northern Luzon! It can’t be true! Don’t Be DEFEATIST signs were posted throughout the

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December 11, 1941

It was true! The enemy had landed at Lingayen! Nichols Field and Fort Stotsenberg had been bombed again! Those who had the time stayed near

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December 12, 1941

There were ghastly sights in all the wards at the hospital. Young American boys with legs and arms torn off and with bad burns. Our

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December 13, 1941

Nichols and Murphy Field had been bombed again! All hospital personnel had been instructed to sleep fully clothed. During the night I was repeatedly awakened

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December 14, 1941

The Japanese seemed to have the freedom of the skies. They raided the city several times a day, and there never was any opposition from

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December 15, 1941

The Japanese again bombed the city just as our patients were having lunch. Fort Stotsenberg continued to take heavy punishment many times a day. People

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December 16, 1941

Fort Stotsenberg had five air attacks yesterday, and Joyce, the army nurse who worked with me, lost her sweetheart during one of the raids. She

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December 17, 1941

Many local civilian nurses and missionary nurses from India, Japan and China had volunteered their services at the hospital. The entire city worked together, building

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December 18, 1941

The enemy dropped incendiary bombs close to our hospital. A few minutes later, the wounded began arriving but, unfortunately, many of them died en route

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December 20[-24], 1941*

It was wonderful to see the high spirits displayed by both American and Filipino soldiers. Young men with an arm or leg gone actually considered

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December 25, 1941

The Filipinos have named this day well. Black Christmas! The blackness of despair and resignation was everywhere. Only the Axis nationals and the Fifth Columnists

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December 27, 1941

A suspected Nazi civilian doctor in my ward was shunned like a mad dog by patients and staff alike. Several times I tore up his

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