I am in today because of a cold. At present I am in Magill’s Chapter room’ so he calls it. It consists of the back end of the cat walk and is large enough to slip a small tables & chair in beside the bunk. The bed buts are furious. How ever it is a nice little place considering and Maggie enjoys it. He has a picture of his girl sitting in front of me. He talks of her all the time and plans to marry, here when he gets home. Donna is her name and she is a nice looking girl. Maggie is from Oregon and I hope to see more of him when we get back to the states
[Diary ends here.]
At noon Aug. 11,1944 a very unfortunate incident occurred in the rear of Bks 15 Group II. Lt. Robert [Hughcutt ] of Bks 36 Group I was working in his garden which is near theguard path. The guard in the tower leveled down and shot him at a distance of not more than 75 ft. He shot again and of course, Bob was killed. what was done with the guard we don’t know, but the excuse given by the Japs was that Bob was out of bounds which we who saw the incident, know is false. A very weak excuse. It was nothing but pre-meditated murder. Sure makes you want to get hold of these dirty little so & so. Our day is coming and we will do all we can to even it up for Bob. He was a very popular fellow. Educated at Cornell andmember of Phi Beta Kapps, on High Commissioner Sayre’s Staff here in the Philippines. He gave many interesting talks which were well received and we shall all miss him a lot. A yet, nor formal protect has been launched and I doubt if it will be, as out own command is of a too weak character. I’ll have plenty to write about the American administration of this camps someday.
Has been raining hard ever since early this morning consequently wood detail did not go out. A guy dont care much because it just means less food. We get a workers ration which only amounts to an ear of corn. but it means a lot to us as hungry as we are and we only get it if we put in a full days work Japs have been very free from about letting commissary come in the past few days, but you can bet your boats there is method in their madness. They allow a lot of corn, Tobacco, and peanuts. (sugar syrup) to come in at tremendous prices. A guy can buy very little and then all his money is gone. They are trying to clear the camp or money and it looks like they will succeed. A fellow buy all he can in order to survive. Corn 70 cents an ear. Tobacco 7 pesos for 5 or 6 leaves. Panutsa, 5 pesos a portion which is ½ sint. that takes care of 30 pesos very shortly and you don’t have anything eighter . A few portion of beans were allowed us at 11 pesos a cup. You just can’t win for losing. Our rice ration took another smalle cut and was supposed to be replaced by an equal amount of corn. The only trouble is it is given by weight and the coles for are weighted also.
I ate my coles for a few meals but decided against it as a few fellows had to be operated on. There is very little food value in the cob, but just to get something down that will help fill all the empty space is all we really care about at present. Another trouble with our ration from the Japs is that we are supposed to received a certain # of grains per men per day., a sack is sent over and according to the nos it weights 100 lbs. but when we weigh it , we find it is short and only weighs 70 or 60 lbs. You can see then just what troubles we have trying to get any food. Things like this worry the Japs not one lots. I only hope that we can make it worry them plenty very soon. According to rumor Germany is on her last leg and we have advance several miles on the European continent with the Russians Steadily advancing also. In the Pacific areas we have been bombing all Japanese bases and installations heavily and who has suffered many naval defects. Allied Hdqs are supposedly in Saipan on at least it is the center of operations for the time being . A new Japanese cabinet has supposedly been formed and peace may soon reign. We pray continually for it. but we also want that chance we have been waiting for . for over time long years of suffering at the hands of these ———
On the brighter side of thing I received another letter from Mary dated August 15, 1943. She is well and is helping her.mother more to their new house which she describes as really beautifiul and nice. I am anxious to see it. It is name “El Ranchito” and is located out on Rio Grande Blvd. Route #2 Box 267 It must be a wonderful place with lots of Room, 1 garden, green houses and etc. Many says we have an entrance to our own room which consists of 2 rooms really. It is things like this that make a fellow really wiggle and turn to get out of here and to decide that has will make it despite all the ideals agains him, Don’t worry darling I will be with you just as soon as possible. Mary is not working a the base now, don’t know just what she is doing., but am quite sure she is working some place. She is crazy about my dad and speaks of him all the time, He’s a wonderful guy all right. It is 4:30 now and time did a few little chores and got cleaned up a bit. I thank God that I can at least hear from home occasionally. It won’t be much longer, it can’t be, I will be an old man and that is no joke. In this life a guy don’t stay young very well.
Received letter from Mary of Feb 1943 and one from Henriette [Vogalso] Was the second letter I have had from Mary and it is so wonderful to hear from her I dream of her quiet often. Would like to more if I could control my dreams. I woun t harp on food anymore, but it is a little and do have such a hell of a time getting by on it. Makes every gripy and hard to get along with. The Davao group is with us now. Got to see lots of my friends . Afewdid and did’nt return. They had a good deed the first few months but after a few co escapes they were restricted heavily and chow cut intwo and etc. They worked hard but were in beautiful spot. (Dapecol) 52Kilometers from Davao City. All officers are going to get together this afternoon. About 18 – 20 came in out of the 200th .
I can’t even think towrite any more, so will delay this for the present . Japs using sticks up. Lots of of new but I pay no attention to it anymore. If its falocios then I am not disappointed. If true I will be more happy.
1000 men detail leaves today and tomorrow. This morning major Doris, capt. Lucas, Dunn. Taggert. Lts. Joe Allen and others left. Timpert may leave in the morning not sure. Malcolm Bull and W.D. in Smith, and several other boys out of the Battery left also camp is getting smaller. Still no news from other side We have not, worked for 3 days due to Typhoon weather and I sure stay hungry. Thats nothing new however. Received word from Dad again last night. Latest letter dated Sept. 4,1943. Everyone fine. Troubles me though is the way he speaks of Mary being in good health now and gaining weight. As if she had been sick. There is evidently some good reasons for her not working any more wish I could receive a letter that would explain a few things.
heard from Mrs. Caron, a very nice lette . Received a rather depressing letter from mother. Afraid she was lost her mind the way she makes statements. Cant understand it. She seems to think
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.
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.
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.
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.