July 6, 1944

Yesterday, July 5, of course was a very important date/ My 3rd wedding anniversary wasn’t much I could, do about it. but on the 4th we killed Brahma (Indian Cattle) on the wood detail, and I was able to get the wood mims all the meat and brains. Phil and I cooked it the whole night and it make a good broth with a little meat . We added a cup of beans and and some greens and a head a large pet of stove so the 5 of me had the wedding anniversary dinner. Tom Byran had a cup of coffee. which he donated and Phil a package of Camel Cgts. Also we were fortunate enought to receive a mango a piece throught the commissary and I considered all in all quite a celebration. I hope Mary was happy. 3 years is a long time and it has been here When I left we planned on not more than a years generation. Well, mother year should see us to gather again. Happy anniversaryl, darlying.

June 28, 1944

Melendez getting along fine. Jans admit loss of Saipan/ 450 men detail left today for Japan, Barne, Rodsy, Kieson, Van Buskiri, Lawson, McConbes [McCombes] are a few of the boys I hated to see go. All fine fellows and of course out of the 200th.killed 3 Brahma yesterday. but of course the majority goes to the spoils. “we were lucky to get a bite. Weight staying fairly regular now, but I am way below what should I be. 140 lbs Oh, how Ibeg for some food just any kind so that it fills my stomach.

Davao detail come in this afternoon . I estimated around 700, but we can’t get close to them and maybe we won’t be allowed for a long time . Time will tell. They are in entirely separate enclosure . However we will make contacts some way. I am pretty sure.

June 25, 1944

Rumors to date – Americans land French Coast, occupy Paris, Push onto German soil with little resistance Russians in on north and west occupying last Prussia. In Pacific we have chased Jap Navy into China sea and occupied Saipan (thekey to Marianas.) Local News- Detail of 480 with 6 officers leaving in few days destination unknown, supposedly Japan. End is drawing near we pray. Each day our resistance becomes lower and lower. We are doing all in our power to sustain life. Grow what vegetable cwe [we] can, Trap some wild game on wood detail, find and bring in pig weed when possible, dig roots, cook leaves for tea and eat any edible and available berries we find. Last week we cut down a papaya tree and cooked it. Not bad, but not too tasty. If it is at all possible most of us will make it out of the place because we have the will to do so and our minds are already made up. We have spent past three weeks working entirely on the road and have cut no wood . Have used about ½ of our reserve wood up and now the trucks have no fuel. How the Japs ARE able to prosecute a war is beyond me when they can’t even obtain fuel for their trucks or food for a hand ful of prisoners, considerable rain lately and have been soaked everyday. Have as a result a bad cold but so does everyone else. Must try to visit Melendez soon. Can’t this afternoon due to a physical inspection. Read magnificent Obsession” this last week. A very good novel. Need a haircut, but no barbe s available, Joe and I are making plans which we may sson [soon] be forced to undertake. Am reading “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. Part III- Napoleon in Russia. Lost [lots] men have Beri-beri and pelegra agaiñ so the physical inspection today showed.

June 11, 1944

Fathers day and I have spent a great deal of time with thoughts of Dad. What a wonderful fellow. I prayed over and over again that I can be with him soon again Fellows who can be with their fathers today probably don’t realize how lucky they are. Capt Melandez was taken to the hospital week ago (June 4,1944) with supposed appendicites. The incision disclosed a twisted intestine part of which had to be removed. His appendix were removed also. He has been fed intervenus only, but is recovering slowly now. It was a very serious operation and his life was not too secure for a few days. Due to the poor food and lack of propert diet it takes a great while to recover. I have been in for the last three days due to an appendicities attack, but am feeling much better today. Hoped to go back to work tomorrow, but will probably be in a few more days.

June 2, 1944

Arrived in this camp 2 years ago today from Camp O’Donnell Prison have been through a lot in these 2 years. Lots had happened, but very little that I am aware of. Went swiming [swimming] today while looking gravel for road in the woods. Was wonderful and theriver is quite deep. Came across a mangoes tree and we were each allowed two apiece. Will take a week or more to ripen, but I’ll wait. Anything for chow. Have been bringing “pig weed” in when I can find it and we eat it with relish. Anything to get something in your gut. The worst thing that happened to me this week was a Nip taking away an Iguana which I caught in my trap in the woods. I sent him in on the afternoon truck by Mr. Ford and it was taken at the gate. Would have made wonderful meal for the the six of us. It only makes me want to get att these guys that much more, will just add a few more to my list. Our time will come. In a letter Mr. Lirda mouth received from his mother, she stated that she had been in formed that we were receiving one red cross box a week. One a year is what we have received Tooks [looks] like graft to me. The Red Cross holds themselves up as an organization that can deliver under any circumstances. Phooney – – –

 

May 30,1944

Memorial day and the Japanese have allowved [allowed] a few hundred to hold services at the cemetery. I did not go as thse [these] were so few allowed and I went last year. With conditions as they are now there will be no one here to hold memorial services for us nedt [next] year. if so, I doubt if they would be strong enough to make the walk to the cemetery. If worse comes to worse, or even if the present condition persist much longer yours truly will not be here much longer anyway. Anymore there seems only two ways to get out of here. One is death and other escape. The latter is tough and may involve other considerably best I had rather be shot than starve to death, There is no doubt that vital organs of the body are being heavily taxed and if we survive the duration of the present imprisonment we will probably keel over in 5 to 15 years. Yes, a fellow has a lot of pleasant thoughts in a rat hole like this. If you have never seen a group of hungry animals with their mouths watering and eyes bulging, you should see this as an example. We are all thouroughly [thoroughly] disgusted and disgraced in the way this was has proceeded, if it has proceeded. May be we disgraced our own country by surrender, but if we did we have no selfish attitudes to respond to. If not, we certainly would like to live and be with our loved ones again. Of course, we are only a very small fraction that matters little in this world war, but the entire prosecution seems to us to be corrupted in some manner. what is the matter with our country and the Allies? They have had 2½ years since the beginning of this Pacific War. They have 750/0 percent of the people against Germany and yet they have not made an attempt at Germany by land. We certainly have the forces if our govt. corrupted? Are the Allies trying to cut each others throats? Are we afraid? What the hell it is is beyond us. To us it is disgraceful. As prisoners we have tried to hold our selves higher in the eyes of the Japs and Filipinos. The Japanese, a third rate power with hardly a damn, thing not able to even to clothes and equipt themselvesand [equip themselves and] their men properly and yet we must slave under them day in and day out for 2½ years so far(no telling how much longer) and we are supposed to be Americans. I would dare say that we have certainly been better Americans than many of the prosecutors of this conflict. The Japs Jeer at us, beat us, scorn us, disgrace us and starve us all in the eyes of our once friendly Ally the Filipinos and what we can do, nothing, & what will our country men do nothing. Can we blame the Filipino if he turns to the Japanese for assistance & well being how [now] and tries to forget the Americans and their ways? We can not. We prisoners are forced our fate [illegible] can. The policy is growing to be “to hell with you Joe”, “I got something to eat today how you get yours’ Honor and Honesty have ceased to be virtues.

Well, on the more local and pleasant we are trying to make our garden produce. We have a small plot It won’t mean much , but can mean our lives. Everybody with any energy is gardening and doing all they can exits. The rains are coming quite regularly now. Am reading as much on Animal Husbandry and mining as I can well try to study some sails and feeds if I can get hold of the materials and time.

We trapped an Iguana yesterday stewed most of him up and fried the best pieces. Was a big help to the days action.

May 27, 1944

Received two more letters last Saturday. One from LeRoy of Feb. 1943 and one from Dad on May 1943. Every one seems very well of which I am pleased. Both spoke of Mary and how [w]ell she looks thats wonderful. LeRoy seems to be doing well in his new job with the Customs Service. Glad he is doing so well. Dad has received another promotion and is now located in L.A. Calif. Hope he likes it there. I certainly am proud of my dad. He is quite a big shot with the C. S. now. I supposed by the time he retires he will be right at the top.

Doctor told me this morning that I have the scalibes [scabies] along another minor skin irritation. It drives me crazy, when I perspire and you can’t stop the perspiration in the tropics especially when you are cutting wood all day every day.

My hand writing has taken a stip backward. I must try to improve it if we don t get out of here soon. I’ll be so “damnd ‘dobie” that it won’t make any difference any way What a hell fo of life and the few letters we get we hear how well every one is what good jobs they have, lots of money and plenty of good times. About 13 of the prisoners have been returned they were not well, cared for and were under fed, terribly. No facilities for washing and bathing and some were beaten quite severely. Glad to see Pat Burns back although he does looks quite bad. Both Shirk Brothurm are OK now. Lots of rumors floating around about all that we are to received when we get home. sounds like a lot of “Malarky” to me. Supposed to be receiving double pay. Some states have granted us 50 acres per man. We are to get a new car, 250 gals of gas, Free transportation from Bus & train Co’s credit with Philko and G.E. , Free Beer Cards, complete outfit by Hart Sharfener and Marx and some others of which I don’t believe either. I’ll be satisfied to get out of here alive and healthy which looks very improbable the way we are going down. Looks like we will soon be reverted back to our early days as prisoners. Why these Bastards wont feed us is beyond me. The feeling is just too terrible to be able to express so theres no use hoping on it anymore. My time will come if Uncle Sam ever gets off his “treat”. Sure don’t look to us like he has done much toward wining this war. After seeing the way then people live and what they have in the way of equipment it is certainly a stop [slap] in the face to our country ceacuse [because] this was’nt finsihed [finished] off long ago. A 4th ration if these were.

October 6, 1943

First chance I have had to write since I moved. I no longer have an enlisted Bks. Arm a casual officer. Bihi 30 now have gone early and in late everyday. Groom and Punean and I have a pretty nice place fixed up with Bamboo and shelter halves. Be O.K. if Japs dont make us tear it down. Have been on location the past few days for a Jap Picture. Title. “Down with Stars and Stripes”. First day they had us march over the hill through burning wreakage and trees and smoke with white flags. Some even given guns. Yesterday the detailed was to 200 I they gave us full field equipment and we pulled some in[f]antry skiwishes and rushes. West through ground bombs that threw dirt 300 ft high. It was dangerous, but luckily no one was hurt. Men acted seems very well and Japs were pleased, but we are not here to please them. Falling dead and blowing my machine gun. Nests were parlled off very realistically. Didn’t go out this morning because I had no long khaki pants. Detailed may go to Bataan and I should like to go to Bataan very much. The chance may present itself.

Wonder how may would like to live in Chumking, China. I have a chance for a good job there when this is over.