BONTOC. With Second Lieutenant KITAO, visited a captured AMERICAN chaplain, NOBLE. Was surprised that AMERICAN missions were so thorough as to have fine churches over here, in the middle of the mountains. He is a man, just past 30, who came to this inconvenient place with his family. Besides a child about one year old, there are two others. He asked when the church would be opened.
Called on First Lieutenant HITOMI (#2) of the Propaganda Squad. Here, there were Colonel GALBRAITH, the flag-of-truce bearer for General WAINWRIGHT and Colonel HORAN, North LUZON Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant Major HEINRICH. They had gathered 16 village chiefs of this region together at the Propaganda section and were holding a meeting. As all the village chiefs assembled naked, except for loin cloths, they were shivering. The Unit commander requested that they do no head-hunting, and that they hand over their arms and ammunition on to the JAPANESE Army. A week previous, a certain village chief had been killed by some men from another village. A group of 118 of the village people came with a man to explain, and a written request for permission to take revenge. Head-hunting is starting up everywhere. For us it is unthinkable.
This is a heck of a May Day. Last night we learned that a large Japanese force was moving east from Lagangilang toward Balbaang, probably got there yesterday. This is only about 36 miles from here. With one half of Co A, 43rd Inf (PS) at Nanning and one half at Balbalan we will probably not be able to hold them back so very long. It is not numers that worry us so much as it is our woeful lack of ammunition. Guess we will have to take the 43rd Inf. to the hills and try to hole in for the rainy season. The 121st organization is so scattered that I will have very little control over what it does. That will be up to each og the Bn. of Co Cmdrs. Do not know whether or not I will ever make another entry in the diary, or whether I can keep it.
[Diary ends here.]
Our troops at Mabaay Gate still holding. Tagudin force now reported at Cervantes. The bridge here is out so they will have to build feery, but that is easy. The Japs are the best carpenters and road builders in the world. The public officials at Bontoc are evacuating to Lubuagan. Guess it won’t be long now. We all feel that the Japanese were somewhat forced into this thing by a few of our diplomats. But now that we are in it we will have to fight it out to a finish. They have won the initial rounds and will have things their own way for two more months. But after that we will have our innings.
This is the Emperor’s birthday. Our outpost at Mt. Data has been forced back to Mabay Gate, km 114. Major Heinrich lost his personal files at the Lodge. So the Japs probably know all about our organization and plans. Too bad but still think a lot of him. Just hard luck. Word received that the enemy is moving east from Tagudin over Del Pilar pass, an advance detail going ahead and a large road crew following and repairing the highway for auto traffic. Guess they decided the demolition at Mt. Data was too hard to repair.
Here it is. Received word from Gen. Wainwright authorizing me to assemble our PA trainees into the 121st Infantry PA. This gives me something definite to work on. Leave tomorrow for Lubuagan to meet my new Bn Cmdrs. to give them their instructions. Hope they get there.
Cont’d. Bad news. Almost upon receipt of orders to organize the 121st Inf. came the news of the fall of Bataan. Had we only had a fine weeks of intensive training for the Regt. we might have had a fine outfit for the USAFFE big push. But now it looks as if there might be no help for us for a long time. As long as Bataan held out we had hopes of a relief expedition. But now Luzon has no tactical nor strategical value until we can gradually wrk north from Australia. This will take a long time. But we will still try to organize the units to be ready when the time comes, i.e., if the enemy will let us alone.
Slept at Dyaka mine. The other Americans had gone on ahead the preceding day. Leaving Dyaka we went up hill on a easy ten percent trail for two hours when we hit trail of Col. Bonnett men, but two days later. Took this trail to old Kyappa now called Pampang. Were told how to get to our proper route to Kyappa proper. Met many PA men on their way back north. Said that Belete Pass was in the hands of the Japs and that Majors Moses and Noble had disbanded their units and had gone on horseback as civilians. Met so many of them and they all told the same story so guess it is true. We kept on to Pampang, then Lt Justo and one American asked permission to go on, granted it.
Mr. Jorgensen put us on the trail but gave us the wrong one. He sent us to Dyaca inward of Kyappa instead of toward Kyappa proper. By doing this we lost two days and failed to get to Imugan on the 28th as we should have. He even gave us the harder route to Dyaca. It surely was hell. Even had to cut a new route from the trail we were on to the correct one to Dyaka.
The 43rd Inf began to come in during the day, completely tired out. It was night before they all got in. We slept in a native shack near the sawmill. All the troops except the 43rd had gone on ahead.
At seven oclock Lt Gasperini and I started for the top of the Mt. The worst hiking I have ever done. Several times I was just all in. The old pump just would not work. Finally I sent Gasperini on. Told him to leave me and take care of himself. Ten minutes short of Jorgensens I gave up. Layed on the trail an hour when Capt Jacobs and two men came down to meet me. Was somewhat rested and went on to Jorgensens, just seven and a half minutes away. Was just all in. realized that I was no longer a young man. Upon arriving there I found that I was nearly the first one of the 43rd there. The others were the Amer QMC det and WPPS boys. Maj Fellows, Lt Simpson, Lt Jensen went on right away with fourteen Americans. I told all American officers and enlisted men to go on ahead an I would stay with the PS det. The next morning Major Allen, Capt Jacobs and most of the Amer EM went on. Had Christmas dinner with Jorgensens that night. Also Miss Bradley, Miss Chambers, Capt Praeger and Lt Jones. We slept on the ground that night as we did the night before.