The PCAU Units – Capt. Green & Maj. MacKinsey – fed us from their gasoline ranges this A.M. There is much griping about “seconds” from the pts. They can’t realize that they can’t eat a full messkit of stateside food as they would with rice.
There was much artillery fire on our part the last two nites with same return of it; hence, there has been little sleep & everyone is jumpy. Several psycho cases were hanging on the bars this A.M. like a bunch of monkeys. They started a hunger strike, said the Americans were starving them. I called Col. Allen, surgeon 14th Corps who promised to evacuate them to Tarlac Tomorrow.
The guard co. of the 148th moved out today. We have 39 M.Ps. here, many entrances to guard, 600 barrels of gas in the old Nip M.P. compound, there are Nips who have recrossed the river & 105’s, 155 how & 4.2’s back of us (the latter right back of us). The 2nd Bn. Hdq. has pulled out. In other words we have a hospital on the M.L.R. I was up a good part of the last two nite because of the barrage & it is going to be worse tonite. I talked to Lt. Col. Pariso, I.G.D. who is interviewing all P.O.W. so that a correct list can be sent to the States. He seems very intelligent & admits the situation is bad but nothing can be done. The Nips are in pockets throughout the city & are suicide squads, making it difficult to dislodge them.
Things couldn’t have ‘gone worse if I had. tried this A.M.; clothes dirty, unshaved for 2 days, the hospital littered with debris & in come Gen. MacArthur & Staff. He was very nice- visited all the wards & the internees, shook hands with dozens, talked to a few of his old soldiers etc. – many cried. There was a battery of news cameramen who took pictures of us everywhere as the Gen. & I led the parade.
Hired Filipinos who cleaned up the area, PCAU Units # 1 & 21 were set up to feed us tomorrow. The K rations last thru noon, then B ration which we will cook on our old wood stoves tonight.
I have my office at my qters., have appointed Wallace & Gochenour as exec. & assistant & am swamped all the time.
We had many sick at the shoe factory yesterday & still have them due to dietary indiscretions.
Col. Grimn didn’t come in today & as I have no phone connections on my own. He told me I was C.O. & Col. Howard Smith, U.S.P.H. on MacArthur‘s Staff substantiated this. The Nips shelled the main bldg. at Sto. Tomas yesterday, killed 14 & caused 40 or more casualties. We have been lucky here. Had strafing in the compound Mon. & a man in ward # 2 was hit in the leg. A mortar shell exploded at the same time & causing casualties fortunately.
The PCAU Unit lost one officer, 24 men & 14 casualties when traffic jammed getting into Bilibid & a mortar shell landed in the street. My staff helped care for the casualties.
Just after tenko last evening we heard considerable M.G. fire. This continued and increased in intensity. There was marked activity throughout the night – small arms probably tanks and light artillery demolition, pyrotechnics, fires etc. Everyone was inside from 7:00 P.M. on but little sleeping was done. The Japanese guards in the compound were on the alert all night. electricity off at 11:45 P.M.
Tenko as usual this morning. We had a double ration of corn and rice lugao. Sick rounds proceeded as usual altho there was still activity around. About 10:30 A.M. Mr. Kuhoda came and told me that Maj. Abiko wished to see me inmediately. [Mr. Kuhoda did not have information.]
We proceeded to the Japanese office and in a few minutes, Mr. Carl B. Eschboch who was in charge of the civilian internees in the outer compound joined us. The Major read a message stating that the Japanese were being transferred to other duty, that they were leaving the hospital with food and medicine and sign outside explaining who and what we are. I thanked him and Mr. Kuhoda for their courtesy, signed a roster as to number of personnel present and took leave.
Immediately I stationed guards inside the compound and about the inner sally port. Then called a staff meeting – appointed Capt. Wallace executive officer for the guard under me – with Mr. Byers, Mr. Schweizer and Capt. Gochenour as guard officers – using technicians and detachment men as guards to keep all inside and unauthorized person out.
The Japanese left the hospital area about 1:00 P.M., about 1:30 P.M. we locked the front gate with a chain and padlock and put up a red cross flag. Guards were place at sally port, outer compound gate, chapel (guard house) and west wall. I have kept the two compounds from fraternizing because they are not under military jurisdiction, however, I called on them this afternoon and we split stores left us for the Japanese – prorated their 465 to our 810 and gave them sugar, rice, tea and cigarettes to rate of 5 per person in each compound. Met the doctors including Dr. Marshall Welles formerly L.R.C.G.H.
Talked to Col. Hutson and Com. McCracken this afternoon and they were very nice. The former is the ranking army officer and the latter the ranking navy officer here.
Requested the outer compound to take down an American flag on their building as I felt this was premature.
As soon as I returned from the Japanese and had organized the guard (on pre-arranged plan) assuming command, publishing the Japanese order and explaining about the guard.
Rather quiet day with moderate air activity – thus all personnel in and out of buildings due to frequent ringing of bell. Conference with Col. Vanderboget and Col. J.S. Craig concerning Franz Weisblatt, supposedly a U.P. correspondent. He is a trouble maker talks too much, is always taking down information and witnesses names etc. However, he has caused no great trouble here since I took over before he went to Ft. McKinley or since returning. He did cause trouble out there and Capt Shaw wishes him committed for mental observation. I am having him transferred to another ward for another chance as I do not believe he is psychopatic but simply ordinary. He does have paranoia trends in that he thinks someone has it in for him. Talked with Sgt. friend tonight.
There have been stealing, thieving etc. since the return of McKinley group – something we had almost forgotten about. Capt. Jack Comstock M.C. appointed investigating officer has handled several. A tobacco issue of 1/6
of a pack per man was held up on several, the same with a salt issue.
Death this morning of Miller, Lawrence F. Cpl. 60 C.A. due to beri-beri with cardiac – complications – proved by autopsy.
This case and the one yesterday were not hurried at Del Norte. We received permission to bury them here and have started a new cemetery at the north end of the inner compound just west of the gate.
A. R. slight this A.M. Mr. Kuhoda came in and okayed the burials. This afternoon I gave him five new books from the personal packages for censorship.
Deaths this afternoon of Longbecker, Norbert E. Pvt. U.S.A., of bacillary dysentery, beriberi, malnutrition proved by autopsy and interned in Bilibid [Had to issue an order to keep patients from strafing garbage from Japanese mess designated for pigs. We lose much face.]
Compound rather quiet – cannot get past sentry to Japanese Hq. but otherwise O.K. Items from packages distributed to Sukura draft. Brief raid about 9:30 A.M., but was able to get special diets arranged. Two more weeks will use up all milk and other items that have been hoarded.
Death this noon of Balaam, Harold – Pvt. 2nd Cambridgeshire Reg. due to amoebic dysentery with secondarily imposed bacillary dysentery as proved by autopsy. Chief R.M. Harris was returned to Bilibid today.
Still in the process of settling the new patients which me much interrupted by intensive air activity all day. This also held up the eyes survey. The medicines were all packed and inventoried as ordered, and the personal packages were sorted, but not distributed as yet.
Christmas Day – very successful – candy and prunes lugao with extra rice flour hoarded issue (150 given per man instead of usual 125 gm.) and chocolate malted milk, hot drink with 15 cans of evaporated milk added.
At 9; 00 AM. I had Col. Vanderboget M.C. Com. McCrucken U.S.N. and Maj McLaughlin U.S.A. as a board for lottery of 58 added gifts. These were distributed all over the compound. At 10:00 A.M. the Wards started drawing their baskets and it took 1-2 hours for each word to distribute their products by raffle and issue. The Staff Officers including Warrants took from 11-1:00 P.M. Everyone seemed very pleased and morale is definitely better today.
A. R. (slight) about 11:00 A.M. Dinner about 3:00 P.M. of large rice issue, soup (beans meal and bouillon) a steamed camote, hot chocolate (15 cans more milk) and a baked camote – fruit pudding. Sorry there was no meat. The Officers had mango beans in their mess a chocolate cake from Bats Reynolds,
little chocolate muffin from the chaplain. Coffee all day, extra amarican cigarettes (also Reynolds), a butter cream pie (Sgt. Owen etc.etc.).
At 4:00 P.M. a conference with, Capt. Nogi and two more with him – before six P.M. relative to moving all personnel and installations including mess from outer to inner compound – this to start tomorrow.
Some activity during the night and alarm with activity at 10:30 A.M. All packages broken down and put in boxes for prorata distribution at 11:00 A.M. tomorrow. A raffle is planned for some 58 articles, too few to be prorated including a wrist watch, 5 pens, 4. pyjamas etc. etc.
Talked with Mr. Kuhoda who said that he was sorry there was not more found in the boxes,,but that the authorities didn’t understand. The J.P.M. issued us a sack of sugar for X’mas in addition, but no fresh meat is forthcoming.
About 2½ kg. of coffee from the packages will be turned over to the night corps men. All other usable food products are in the mess and prorata to the diet kitchen.