December 21, 1941

Today the fighting increased in intensity in Davao. The situation, said Army headquarters, “remained obscure”. There was patrol activity south of Vigan and north of Legaspi, with the enemy pushing forces forward at both points. Our own patrols penetrated Japanese lines.

We have more than 7,000 islands. We cannot hope to keep the Japanese out of every one of them. We can, however, make his stay temporary.

The war is not observing the six-day week. This morning, Japanese bombers came over the city. I could hear their motors but they must have been flying very high or kept well behind the clouds that were scattered all over the sky, for I did not see them nor heard, where I stood, anti-aircraft fire.

Late in the afternoon, I heard about a whore –not pretty, just a plain, run-of-the-mill whore, and no longer young. She had little to recommend her. She had been too long at it. The good-looking ones, however, seemed to have all left the city and she had no competition. She was very much in demand.

“The war has been a bit of luck for me,” she said.

December 12, 1941

Lumber trucks taking dynamite to Lingayen, Bautista, and Isabela to blow bridges and coast ways. Many alarms; afraid to take a bath—sure to get caught with soap. Elmer annoys so when he won’t quit shaving to go to the shelter. The lumber trucks are to bring rice back from the lowlands, and take it out to the sawmills. Cold storage store’s truck gets through from Manila with frozen meat and even mail. Food rationed. Most of the stores sold out of food. Market has bananas, strawberries, vegetables. Little transportation to come to buy. Three alarms during first aid class.

More Americans from various mines gone up to 67 and to Sagada for safety —these Mountain strongholds can’t be taken. Will bring B. and B. home when the air shelter gets deeper. 17 Jap pursuit planes going over faster than hell. E.W. gone to the seaport, Pora, to see about the oil tanks—a bad two hours for me (those tanks were machine-gunned Dec. 8—the bombs missed them). E.W. and Hezzlewood down there together—don’t know whether to blow the tanks or not—want to save the oil for our forces and at the same time not save it for the Japs.

59 Jap bombers overhead while E.W. were down there; dropped a few eggs, just one person killed, Wagner shot down 2 Jap planes over Aparri and machine gunned several planes on airport there. Radio says Legaspi invaded—hope repulsed. Nine Jap soldiers loose in Vigan. British freighter bombed at San Fernando, Chinese crew jumped overboard; British captain drank a bottle of Scotch and did likewise. E.W. talked long distance with Duggleby in Manila, 24 ships got in to Manila this week with all kinds of reinforcements. Hope revived.

Rained letting us know our roof had a lot of shrapnel holes in it.
Hadn’t had time to give my hair a good combing since the war began; so under cover of the clouds, went and had it cut off.

December 10, 1941

When I got to the field, Sgt. King, the line chief, told me that all his crew had left the field. He could not get them to stay to do maintenance work. It wasn’t my job to take charge of maintenance but but it wasn’t being done, and it had to be done if the planes were to fly, so I spent most of the morning rounding up the crews and getting them back to work. I found that to keep them at work and get something done, I had to be right there with them. They were scared, and I was, too, because we knew Nichols was in for a big raid, but we stayed there all morning trying to get all the ships into flying condition. A litle after noon I decided to go to the bank and draw some money. I rode into Manila with some other officers who were going to lunch. From the bank I went home to eat lunch and just after I finished, I heard the drone of airplanes. “It’s our bombers,” I told Dorothy, as we walked out to watch them.

“No, they don’t sound like ours,” Dorothy said. When we got out where we could see them, I changed my mind. There they were, fifty-four of them. Two engine bombers were flying at 20,000 feet. The anti-aircraft in Manila began to shoot at them, but their range was so bad that the shells burst only about half as high as the planes were flying. They flew over Nichols several times and dropped bombs each time; then they flew west and dropped the rest of their bombs on Cavite. The dive bombers then came and strafed the field. A few of our P-40s were up, but they were greatly out numbered. They and the dive bombers were so low that I couldn’t see any of the fights. Dorothy and I had been huddled up against a concrete wall all during the raid, but as soon as it was over and traffic started on the streets, I went on out to Nichols. A gasoline truck had been set on fire, several planes had been destroyed, and a few men had been killed or wounded but from all appearances, no large amount of damage had been done. Then some bad news came in. Lt. Hobrecht had been shot down, and when he jumped, his parachute didn’t open. Lt. Phillips had been after a Jap dive bomber over Cavite and had shot him down but then was show down by our anti-aircraft who were shooting at the Japs. He jumped and got out all right. Both were 17th pilots.

I went on to the Nichols Headquarters, which had been moved to a concrete dugout just off the field. There I heard some other developments of the war. Del Carmen had also been bombed and strafed that day. No heavy damage was the report. Then I heard a report that made me wonder what the Jap Army meant to do. The report was that warships and transports had come to Aparri and Vigan on the north tip of Luzon and that troops were landing there. They couldn’t start a ground offensive from there because they would have to come over miles and miles of mountains before they could reach the part of Luzon that they would want. We found out later that they only wanted the use of the airfields located at these points. A few of our bombers had gone up to bomb their ships and several flights of pursuit ships had gone up to strafe the ships, but what could a pursuit plane do against a battle ship? We just didn’t have enough bombers left to do anything. One destroyer was sunk and the ammunition ship was blown up. Everybody was still cheerful though. We all thought we could hold the Nips for one or two weeks, and then our Navy would reach us, reinforcements from the States would start pouring in, and we would have done our job. That was the plan, we all thought, and we didn’t even dream otherwise.

I went home about dark that night. After supper Dorothy and I spent the next two or three hours trying to get a few things straightened out and my personal affairs in order. I made a will and a list of things for Dorothy to do or check on in case something should happen to me. I didn’t like to this because it seemed like I was saying, “I will probably get killed and I want you to do these things after I am dead,” but it was something that needed to be done, so I got it off my mind.

I have always said I am not the least bit superstitious, but I think I am. In flying school I started flying in a certain pair of shoes and from then on through primary I would never fly in any others. Subconsciously I was afraid I would wash-out or something bad would happen if I changed. I still have those shoes, an old pair of perforated brown oxfords, and I guess I will always keep them. I started flying the first day of the war with certain things in my pockets and ever since I always carry the same things. I seem to think something might happen if U get rid of these old safety pins, coins, key chain, and medals, so I make it a point to keep them. Yes, I guess I am superstitious.

Dorothy and I were both cheerful and optimistic that night. In a few weeks we would have Japan on the run and begging for mercy. What did we have to worry abou except maybe a few weeks separation at the most?

December 10, 1941

Radio says Aparri and Vigan invaded. Don Bell said air raid on Manila. Hear there is a big battle off N. Luzon. What hellish fear that puts into one’s soul. First aid class really working. Yesterday I put on Club bulletin board suggestions for first aid kits — judging from what they brought to class the town must be bought out of Iodine, gauze, etc. ( Insertion: If these people learned nothing in the classes, some of them were able to get their kits into concentration camp where their value was beyond words.)

E.W. heard that the sawmill at 67 was bombed; so he immediately sent a driver up after the kids. Part way up the driver met an American coming down from there. The American said nothing had happened and advised the driver to return—that the children were all right up there. It’s a good thing I did not know about it until it was all over. McCann came back from up there and said an American plane had shot down 2 Jap planes over Suyoc. After hearing that, all seemed well with the world for a few minutes.

Mrs. Halsema phoned that the San Fernando Hospital was full of wounded, and that there was fighting near there. Baguio to be invaded through Bontoc. But when E.W. came from John Hay- at 5:45 he said a courier from Luna said Japs repulsed at Vigan and no fighting at San Fernando. Then Mac came again to say he had heard that 150 bombers had blasted Tokyo and on here to help fight. Well, I could outline first aid and sleep a little on that. These blackouts are such a nuisance—no comfortable place to sit at night—the kitchen is warm, but we can’t get any comfortable chairs in it. E.W. is so beastly tired every night. Lumber orders coming in by the million: board window fronts, air shelters, etc. Bureau of Public Works has all north bridges dynamited and ready to blow.

December 8, 1941

At 5:30 that morning Billy crashed my bedroom door to exclaim, “Pearl Harbor has been bombed!” Well, we just couldn’t believe it.
I quickly dressed, putting on the only sensible pair of shoes I owned (little did I know that no other shoe was to be on my feet for three years and four weeks). The radio was kept on constantly —already Japan had virtual control of the air because her powerful Tokyo station could drown out everything with a zizzing noise. But once in a while we caught a snatch of further casualties at Pearl Harbor. The telephone kept ring ringing —Baguio friends asking us what we thought and what we were going to do; Manila friends asking if they could come up to Baguio for safety. We said come along—Florence had room and food for all. But they did not come—gas rationed and transportation paralyzed.

At 7:30 I took Bill and Betsy to Brent School as usual. Saw some neighbors there and told them we were beginning our air shelter right away and for them to come down and use it if things ever got bad. I went to the Post Office to get my air letters off to catch the Clipper the next day out of Manila. Murphy, Ex-Mayor Halsema and I were discussing Pearl Harbor out in front of the Post Office when we saw 17 magnificent bombers in three formations flying towards us from the south. We cheered them with glee as that is how Uncle Sam was answering Pearl Harbor. They flew high directly over us and glistened beautifully in the bright morning sunshine. We know
they were on their way to bomb hell out of Tokyo.

We went into the Post Office to buy our stamps, etc. And heard boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. This in the direction of Camp John Hay (the U.S. military post); so we know the Post was firing salutes for the planes, and Mrs. Halsema and Mrs. Turner to take them to town to buy bolts of warm cloth for Igorote Christmas shirts. While at Halsema’s we heard more booms and some Filipinos passing by in a car yelled, “Camp John Hay has been bombed.” Well, we couldn’t believe any thing like that. On we went to town.

When I let the women out at a cloth store, it was rumored on the street that Camp John Hay had been bombed, but there was the same beautiful sunshine as of any other day, same streets, innocent people, beautiful blue sky, the pain and terror of bombs were impossible. Anyway, I went to the market to buy some more canvannes of rice for the servants. While there, we heard more booms in the direction of John Hay, and the Filipinos flew by in
a car calling out, “Camp John Hay is bombed!” As our lumber compound was adjacent to the Post, I thought I better be getting home, as the servants might be worried. On the way I stopped at Aguinaldo’s to buy a lot of creton to make some comfort kits for the 1500 servicemen Mrs. Sayre had said might be hospitalized by Christmas. While buying this—more booms; so I lit out for home.

As I passed the turn in the road above our house, the asphalt was full of cracks—they were not there an hour ago— what was happening anyway? I hurriedly made the other turns to get to the house. There were the four servants standing out in the driveway, scared to death, eyes popping out of their heads. With one accord, they exclaimed, “Mum, we’ve been bombed!!!” One bomb had fallen 30 feet behind the house, but spent most of its force in the soft dirt of the garden. Another had hit in dirt between us and our nearest neighbor. Crosby was standing by his car at the turn of the road
waiting for Jerry—the concussion knocked him flat. He was shell-shocked (later went insane, and finally died). Another bomb had landed under a large lumber bodega, but it did not explode. Another dropped near our gasoline station, it did not explode either. Another fell in soft dirt between the lumber office and the main pipelines of Baguio’s water supply —and it did not go
off either. What kind of a war were these Japs going to fight with bombs that did not even explode?

Well, back at the house we were a mess—the concussions had blown the dust out of the cracks in the floors, out of the cracks in the wood-paneled walls, the soot down out of the fireplace chimneys. Dishes and trinkets had been shook all over. The servants said it was worse than any typhoon or earthquake we had ever had.

Our formerly well-kept household remained in this mess, while I
packed a suitcase full of clothes for each of the two kids and for myself thinking that we would be evacuated to the States. Also a Suitcase for E.W. containing new khaki pants and shirts, and a pair of new heavy work shoes—thinking that he would go to the hills with his Igorotes. These were kept out under a pine tree—just in case the house got hit with a bomb and burned up—leaving us nothing, before we ever got started going anywhere. The servants were busy packing all their stuff to get going anywhere.

E.W. out at the machine shop seven kilometers from town had not known about the bombing until the office telephoned him. He came tearing home, and seeing all the close calls at the lumberyard, ordered the women and children to evacuate the machine shop. Lumber trucks hurriedly took them out there between rapid deliveries of lumber all over town; as everybody (including ourselves) was beginning an air shelter.

The radio managed to inform us that war news was supposed to be
broadcast every hour on the hour, but we kept the thing going all the time, not wanting to miss the least grain of news, as the Japs had the air jammed to such an extent that little was intelligible. We heard with great consternation that Davao had been bombed, also Clark Field. What was the world coming to? There were air raid alarms when we least expected them—all we could do was run out doors and stand up close to a big pine tree. (We had been taught to do that at first aid classes.) Some of our friends came to see what
we were going to do, what we thought. Things were in such a whirl that I doubted if we thought. Then over the radio would be Don Bell’s assuring voice that things were going as expected and that all would be under control soon. Bless him for those words, whether he knew he was lying or not. Then I was asked if I could not begin teaching a first aid class the next day, one that had been scheduled to begin after the holidays. This sudden change of plans entailed a lot more telephoning.

My hurriedly scratched diary says, ”Three first aid kits had been
packed ages ago; got all extra first aid stuff in two Gladstone bags, put some in my car, some in E.W.’s—cars never in garage under house—always out under tree; packed best pictures, flat sterling, Venus de Milo with wool sweaters in suitcase put under a tree. Packed two small bed rolls, with one big mosquito net—all this out of the house, in case it should be hit by the next bombs. Kids still at Brent; decided to send them to lumber camp up Mt. Trail 67 kilometers. Mr. and Mrs. Kluge will take excellent care of them—bombs surely won’t fall in the forest wilderness. Hear planes and
sirens, do not know if enemy or not. And do not even know the “all clear” from the warning signal. Radio says Aparri bombed. Servants trying to pack their belongings in too small space. Vigan reported bombed. Kids come bounding home from school before noon hour—running over with excitement and what they had heard on way home from school: John Hay Hospital bombed to pieces, Officers Mess direct hits, Radio station direct hit, nine soldiers killed outright, many others wounded. Mr. Bate, neighbor a few hundred feet away, beheaded by a piece of shrapnel; others in neighborhood wounded severely.

Mr. Muller’s legs cut off with shrapnel —died later. Oh, God, is this
the year of our Lord 1941? Is this Baguio? And me packing sterling silver. Vigan bombed; Jap aircraft carrier reported sunk off Hawaii—well, that is what we expected. Packed two boxes canned foods, case milk, big sack flour, half case Ivory soap etc. for the kids to take to Kluges. Rita, number one servant, to go with them in station wagon. God, how I appreciate their going to Mrs. Kluge—they can’t stay here until the air shelter is deeper. Four other American families also gone there for safety. Then I concentrated on first aid course—all afternoon reorganized whole thing—most important things first—about a hundred telephone calls, air alarms.

Other three servants persuaded they could never get to their homes in Abra (already the roads and bridges in the lowlands have been bombed.) they went with others to machine shop for safety. Supper on kitchen table, fried hamburgers, and almost forgot to feed Foxy. How he hates those Jap planes —barks at them every time. Two houses behind us blown to pieces by bombs. Total blackout 6 to 6. A practice one not like the long reality. Cut out 48 Christmas kites and strings for Mrs. Sayre. Actually slept soundly after 1:00 a.m.

 

December 24, 1904

(Note: The first five pages of this diary related to the trip from Manila to Baguio, but were removed by Mr. Worcester from this copy –which was given by him to Prof. Otto Scherer– doubtless because of personal data which they may have contained. This copy –kindly furnished for this series by Prof. Scherer– therefore begins abruptly with Page 6, after Mr. Worcester had already arrived in Baguio.)

December 24, 1906 (Continued):

out for a ride over the Military Reservation and examined some magnificent views. I took Mr. Forbes to the hill where I hope definitely to purchase a house lot.

The afternoon was spent in transacting business with various sellers, and in visiting Governor and Mrs. Pack. In the evening we had a fine turkey dinner at the Sanitarium.

A telegram was received from Captain Nathorst, who was to have accompanied me on my trip from Vigan and who was at the place purchasing necessary food and a camp outfit, stating that we had been requested from to furnish fifty Igorrots constabulary men for service in Batangas or Samar, and that he desires to go with them, as he did not know how they would behave under a strange officer. He further suggested that Mr. Kane, the supervisor of Lepanto-Bontoc, would meet me at any point which I chose to indicate and would make the trip with me, and inquired whether the suggested arrangement would be satisfactory. I wired to Colonel Baker, the Acting Chief of the Constabulary, [illegible] Nathorst’s telegram and stating that the [illegible] [illegible] suggested would be satisfactory to me is [illegible] was needed elsewhere