37th Day, Feb. 1, 1945

Early after midnight, we are on our way to Hawaii.

Before noon we stopped at Hilo for gas. We have made a few purchases. We have learned that POWs were rescued in Cabanatuan.

We take off and land on Hickam Field at 3 p.m. Gen. Richardson is here to receive Pres. Osmena. We take lunch at the General’s place.

I am making additional purchases here, a pair of shoes and underwear. I secure three sun helmets good ones at $5.00 each

I went to meet Miss Kuprez but she was out. We take off at 5 p. In.

36th Day, Jan. 31, 1945

I am spending the day inside the field making purchases—getting things free thru Lt. Parker.

Weather conditions are still uncertain. Parker succeeded in talking to the President and made an impression. The President agreed that we work to secure Parker’s detail to his office.

After dinner tonight we have been instructed to get ready. After an hour we have been scheduled definitely to leave—Pedring Lopez to remain and proceed to Washington.

35th Day, Jan. 30, 1945

Pres. Osmeña arrives early this morning with Gen. Romulo and Col. —————. We meet in church. We have a talk and agree that I return to the Phil. We are supposed to leave at midnight tonight. I go back this morning to see Elma. We talk things over again.

Instead of going to San Francisco I have made purchases here in S. Rafael worth $250.00, of everything one desires including women’s and children’s wearing apparel, in Albert’s department store.

We eat our lunch here. A $0.40 lunch was excellent. Cost of living here is relatively low, very low indeed compared with the Philippines.

I can buy all of Albert’s store and sell it in the PI. with over 100% profit.

I met Lt. Parker’s sister late in the afternoon—Mrs. Davis.

I haven’t been able to visit the UC.

I find that people in California have slowed their tempo. They are not always in a rush like 30 yrs. ago. Elevators move slowly up and down, slower than Manila.

I see more ladies in the family way now on streets and in stores than 30 yrs. ago. Many more are carrying young babies in public places than before.

Elma, Margene and Shirley came in tonight. What beautiful girls, Margene and Shirley. Oh! How happy Joe would be with those two sweet girls around him! I’ll share them so long as I live. I’ll share anything I have with them as if they were my own children.

Capt. Pushing and Mrs. Pushing are good people. They are friends of Elma.

The first morning we came in, $.35 for breakfast gives one everything worthwhile eating; fruit, milk, eggs, coffee, waffles, toast, etc.

Weather conditions do not allow us to leave this evening or at midnight.

34th Day, Jan. 29, 1945

San Francisco! Beautiful lights. Five o’clock in the morning cold—after thirty years—excited, surely.

An immigration officer got hold of us and almost put us up as prisoners.

We are met later on by Lt. Parker—a fine chap—of fine appearance— accommodating and a very likeable man. He immediately impressed me very favorably.

We eat a delicious breakfast of fruit juice, cereal, waffle and coffee for $.45.

Meet Col. Kune. We are being lodged in army quarters.

3 days from Tacloban to this city. In 1910 it took me 30 days from Manila. What a terrific change and transformation in speed of transportation.

Lt. Parker takes us to Keene’s office where the Col. informs us that our presence should be kept strictly confidential.

I have gone out to see Elma Stevenot in S. Rafael. What a meeting! It was hard. We recall Joe immediately. Both of us cried over his memory. I tried to console her. No, she told me, anything material that he left meant nothing to her. It was Joe that meant everything. I agreed with her. She showed me letters that she had received about him.

Certainly I grieve over Joe more than any one else. And I think more of Elma and her children than any one else near to me. I’ll do anything to help them. I shall work for them. I shall be ready to share anything that I may have with them. It’s my duty and responsibility to look after Elma, Margene and Shirley. For Joe’s memory, I must give them everything I can.

I am happy that Elma and the children have a nice and comfortable home, and enjoy the conveniences that circumstances permit.

This place reminds me of Baguio. Lt. Parker and I drove to San Francisco and went to Chinatown to eat chop suey.

Then I made purchases suit, overcoat, shirt, pajamas, etc. and had my eyes fitted with a new pair of glasses. The work was well done.

We are well accommodated at Hamilton Field. We enjoy all the privileges of the camp.

Lt. Parker is very helpful and accommodating.

33rd Day, Jan. 28, 1945

We are now in Honolulu—about 4 a.m. It’s Sunday again. Here we are met by two fine young American officers—Lt. Knuze and Lt. Johnson. We eat our breakfast at the officers club—orange juice, waffles and coffee—all hot—a great breakfast. We are in Hickam field—a beautiful place—being lodged in a good house with bath and other modern conveniences. I take another shower—a hot one. This was the Hickam field that, was bombed and strafed by the Japs on Dec. 7—41.

I have taken a good morning nap. It’s Sunday again here—another chicken dinner as in Kwajalein.

Lt. Knuze was relieved—but another lively officer from Mississippi took his place. He took us to dinner.

We have a military car for ourselves. Here we [are] met by a girl from Baltimore—Lt. Miss Kuprez—charming and attractive.

32nd Day, Jan. 28, 1945

At Kwajalein, Marshall group, early this morning. Airplanes all over the place. I feel great to be here—another place that a few months ago was a Jap possession.

Their communal graves show that their authority has disappeared. It’s being fixed up well.

Maj. Done, its CO, is very cordial and hospitable. He drives us all over the place pointing out to us the historic points. We have chicken dinner here—it’s Sunday. Every one of us feel that we have been treated royally. It’s a lovely place—[columnist] Raymond Capper died and was buried here.

We are on our way to Johnson Island at 4 this afternoon.

We are at Johnson by 6 p.m. A bus met us here. It’s another U.S. possession. Modern conveniences are available here. I have taken a shower bath.

We leave at ten tonight.

31st Day, Jan. 27, 1945

Early in the morning at the air strip, arriving there at 6:00. The plane wasn’t ready and did not pick us up until 10 a.m.

Arrived at Saipan at about 7 p.m. tonight.

Our reception was fair, but transportation was bad. The food was bad—we had to serve ourselves in an eating place where nobody attended us. We were all disgusted.

It’s warm here. How much has been built and is being constructed. Low sections are being filled in. It’s being cleaned up.

We leave tonight at 11:30 for Kwajalein. It’s a moonlight night.

I never for a moment in my life ever thought that I would be at this former Jap stronghold by this time nor at any time. But here I am on this island. Mingled feelings assailed me.

At last I am now well on the way to America after thirty years of not having visiting the country.

What luck under the circumstances and on board a plane at that!