My uncle, George Steiger, was stationed on Corregidor Island in the Philippines in 1941 and was captured by the Japanese in May, 1942 when the island surrendered. The following is a record of his diary entries from July 1941 to September 1945. It is transcribed from a blurred typed carbon copy made by his wife, Ottly Goodrich Steiger. Additional information inserted in the typed copy by Ottly Steiger is shown in italics. In some cases the text was so blurred as to be difficult to decipher. In addition there were some typos and unfamiliar abreviations. When the meaning was reasonably clear, I made the correction. When the meaning was uncertain, I left it "as is," in some cases inserting a comment in brackets [ ].
The initial pages detail Capt. Steiger's trip to Corregidor via Honolulu and contain some repetitive material. I have not made any attempt to edit these accounts, but copied them exactly as typed by Ottly Steiger. The only changes I have made were to correct minor errors in spelling and punctuation. I deleted a few paragraphs which were personal in nature and not relevant to the diary record. When this was done, it was so noted.
George survived his ordeal and was promoted to the rank of Major after the war. He had a few good years until his health deteriorated. He died of cardiovascular problems in 1960 at the age of 56.
Letter written before the outbreak of hostilities:
I am on all night duty as Field Officer of the day, which consists in keeping watch at the Harbor Defense Signal Station, ready to alert the troops in case of attack. It is potentially a very hot spot. Until someone with a lot more rank could get here I am commander of all the troops in the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. Until something unusual happens, however, there is nothing to do but stay awake. It takes me about 2 hrs. to write a reasonably decent account of the trip to date, so I have decided to strike off a few carbons. I hope you all won't mind too much. O.K.? Here goes.
We left Pier 45, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, at noon, Aug. 28,  on the the U.S.A.T. Pres. Pierce. It is a 550 foot passenger cargo-passenger steamer, built in 1922. It is capable of 18 K., which is the same as flying for an Army transport. It was formerly a round-the-world liner for Dollar Lines, President Lines, and was once owned by Pacific Mail. The Army took it over about July, and this was Trip #2 to P. I. It had just come from dry dock, and developed engine trouble before we cleared the G. G. Bridge, so we put about and anchored halfway between Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf. Repairs were completed by 8 P.M. and after a one hour test cruise about the Bay, we went out under the Bridge at 9 P.M. We had aboard about 200 officers, plus a battalion, 1000 men, of the 200th New Mexico National guard, an anti-aircraft outfit. Due [to] the delay, we had to slow down to avoid arriving in Honolulu at night, so it took us 5 days, instead of 4 1/2.
We were in Honolulu from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. I went ashore with a Lieutenant Stecker, son of a Regular officer, who has been out here before, and knows his way about. Went swimming at Waikiki Beach, and to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for a couple drinks. Waikiki is O.K. but aside from the fact that the waves break about 1/2 mile out, it is no better than Calif. beaches. The bottom contains a lot of coral, which cuts hell out of your feet! We were back downtown by noon, so we hired a taxi and went for a tour of the island. Saw the "Upside down Waterfall" where the wind blows the water back up into the air and dissipates it, instead of allowing it to fall over the cliff. This is close to the Nuaana Pali, over which King Kamehameha drove his enemies, as told in the words of a popular song of some years back. The wind blows up the face of this cliff, which is the local suicide jump, with terrific force. The latest tale about it is that a native who jumped off in a suicide attempt recently was blown back to the starting point with only a broken wrist instead of a broken neck. Aside from the fact that everything is very green and beautiful, I saw nothing so terrific about the place. Honolulu is very little different from a town of its size in the States, except that there are more dark skinned people on the street. I am certainly glad that I got to see it at Uncle's expense. I would have felt very badly to have spent my own $ on the trip. I'll admit that you can't see all of such a place in one day, but I saw enough of it to form an opinion. So much for Honolulu. If you want a lot of sentimental gush about the place, read the Dole Pineapple ads, or some Honolulu Chamber of Commerce literature.
Between Honolulu and Manilla we had a heavy cruiser for an escort, and ran blacked-out at night. About a week out of Honolulu we were in a junior typhoon for about 36 hrs. The wind attained a measured speed of 75 m.p.h., and it rained so hard that sometimes we could barely see the cruiser, which was only about 200 yards away. The waves were high, the ship tossed and everything was lovely. Aside from that, we saw not a single ship (or a married one either), only one small island about 5 miles off, and the trip was quite dull.
Arrived at Manila at 3 P.M. Tues. Sept. 16, 12 days out of Honolulu and 17 days (running time) out of Frisco. We just missed the Corregidor boat so went to the Manila Hotel for the night, as there is only one boat per day out here. Got a very nice room for $3.50. Stecker and I went down town and walked about a bit. He went to high school here for three years, so knows the town pretty well. The principal shopping street is called the Escolte. It is so narrow that two cars just have room to pass, and only about 3 blocks long, but has some good little shops and larger stores which would stack up favorably in the States. When you get one block off it you are among the natives. They are small, dirty, smelly, and a lot like the Mexicans and Indians of Southern Cal. About 8 we went to a very modern, air conditioned night club called the Jai Alai for dinner. The place takes its name from the game of jai alai (high a lie) which is a glorified hardball. After eating, we went to another part of the place to watch the play, which is very fast, and interesting to watch. They have a pari-mutual set-up and bet on each event, which takes 10 to 15 min. to play. They play from 7 to 11 P.M. After an hour or so of this we went up to their Sky Room (so called because you can't see out of it) and drank whiskey sours until closing time. Next day we walked and rode about until 3 P.M. when we boarded the boat for Corregidor. Worth mention, I think, is the taxi situation. Taxis outnumber private cars about 3 or 4 to 1. They are very cheap, so you can ride anywhere about town for 25 or 50 cents. To drive a taxi, you head it down the street, put a heavy foot on the gas, clamp one hand on the horn with a death-grip, and hope. The most important item is the horn button. They keep up such an incessant beeping that it almost drives me nuts, especially after the quiet of Corregidor.
Arrived Corregidor, which is an island in the mouth on Manila Bay about 30 mi. from Manila, about 5:30 P.M. Were taken to the Corregidor Officers Club for dinner, and then shown to our quarters. All wives were sent home several months ago, so we live in groups of three in quarters intended for family use. The houses are quite large with high ceilings, wide porches, and most of their wall space devoted to sliding "windows." These windows are composed of three inch squares of translucent shell. The high wind and heavy gunfire will not permit the use of glass here on "the rock." The houses are of two stories, surrounded by tropical trees and bushes and are quite adequate; the plumbing is quite old, as some of the houses were built in 1915. I live downstairs with a captain from St. Louis. My room is about 20 by 20 with private bath. I keep 2 150 watt bulbs burning in my clothes closet at all times to prevent mildew. If you do not do this, mildew [that] is an inch thick will form overnight. We have a cook and 2 house boys, who keep the house clean and do the laundry, of which there is plenty. The cook gets $15 and the house boys $10 per month, plus board. This is quite cheap, but they don't overwork. About the only clothes I wear which I brought with me are sox and underwear. All my uniforms I have had made since I came here. Also a white uniform, a tux (black trousers and white coat) and a mess jacket, either of which must be worn after retreat. Am having a white sharkskin suit made to wear to town. Golf, tennis, softball, pool, badminton, softball [sic], swimming and bowling are available. I am too lazy, however, and usually go to the show, which we call the cine. There are 8 white nurses and over 300 officers on the Rock, so that is out. We get to Manila about once a month. I went in last week and for the first time to see what I could see. Went to the Cantalina, a taxi dance with mestiza hostesses. I've seen lots of Mexicans and some dark clouds I could do with, but nothing there I would be found dead with. They are all good dancers, so I danced a few but my heart was not in it. Saw a lot of fellows who came over on the Pierce, out looking, same as I. Had some drinks with them and went home. All in all, my trip to town did not add up to much.
I have a battery of 12" mortars in the 59th C.A. [Coast Artillery], which is a white regiment commanded by Col. Paul D. Bunker. He was executive for organized reserves at L.A. for several years, and I know him fairly well. The battery was organized on June 1 this year, but is in a good state of training. I am expecting to be assigned to a battery of three inch anti-aircraft guns, in which case I will go to one of the outpost forts, of which there are five. We go to work at 7:30 A.M. Dinner 11:30 to 1. Off at 3, unless there is a night drill or alert, in which case we may be out all nite. Off Wednesday and Saturday P.M. We had about 15 inches of rain the first 2 weeks I was here, but no rain for the last 2 weeks. The rainy season is over this month. On account of the elevation of the rock the weather is cooler than in Manila. I sleep under one blanket after midnight. The weather is O.K. The duty is O.K. The quarters are O.K. If they just hadn't chased all the women home everything would be O.K. As it is it could be a lot worse, so I might as well like. So much for the travelogue.
Copy of letter from Walt Cadmus, Dec. 17, 1960
Please do not interpret my delay in writing to you as caused by neglect or disinterest, but it is quite difficult for me to collect my thoughts so that I may give you some of the information that you would probably like to hear.
I was quite sorely grieved to hear of George's untimely passing because we had been quite close at a time when friends were valuable, indeed, and quite hard to come by.
As you already know, he was very conscious of strength, particularly as applied to the body and toughness of character. In fact, it seemed to me that George almost worshipped physical strength and "guts" and was very proud of his own physique. He took great pride in his body and gave it as good care as he could and when the sad day came that it would not do what he wanted it to do, he was almost as bewildered as a child who has found some favorite toy would not go as fast and far as it should.
It was a combination of these traits of his that brought us together and probably resulted in our friendship developing. I first met George at Cabanatuan Prison Camp about the 4th of July, 1942. I had not known him on Corregidor since most of my service had been in Bataan. While they were organizing our section of the camp at Cabanatuan, he was put in charge of a series of three barracks which held 60 men apiece. Each of these barracks then was in charge of a junior officer and these officers made up George's staff. it was more or less on the same organization as in the Army with George acting as battalion commander and those of us in charge of barracks as company commanders. I don't remember exactly how we were thrown together (George did remember the first occasion of his meeting Cadmus!) except that my earliest recollections of George were how scrupulously clean he kept himself and tried to encourage others to do the same in order to maintain their morale. His first gesture of friendship to me was an offer of some black market food he had gotten somehow. This happened after he discovered that it didn't necessarily take a big man to be ornery and to...[sentence unfinished]
We subsequently had a little group that stuck together most of our prison life and we called ourselves the "Tough Bastards" and George was always saying he was "bucking for president" but as far as he was concerned I was the president. He was kind of shot with patriotism and always felt cheated that he had been in a position during the siege of Corregidor that prevented him from ever firing a shot in anger. Perhaps the fact that I had seen considerable combat was another thing that caused him to be attracted to me. He was, as you know, battery commander of a group of guns that were pointing in the wrong direction [at] Corregidor. These were old fixed-in-concrete emplacements and it was always a galling thing to George that he had been kept there while there was so much fighting going on. I am sure that if he had been allowed the opportunity for frontline combat, he either have gotten his fool head blown off or earned several medals.
We really became quite close when the Japs moved us from Cabanatuan to Japan in the fall of 1942. We arrived in Osaka, which was to be our home for the next six months, on Thanksgiving Day. As long as I live I shall remember secretively sharing a can of hash with George that he had somehow saved all of this time. He took a lot of pride in being able to smuggle things past the Japs and together we did take many chances just to prove that we could do it. We hoarded unauthorized things such as watches, compass, knives, and maps--all of this more or less for the kicks of it. That winter was a particularly severe one. We had been selected as a group of the most healthy prisoners and sent to Japan to contribute to their war effort by performing coolie labor. George and I were located at Umeda Bumshu, which was just a few blocks from the main railroad terminal of Osaka. We were leased to a civilian freight moving company by the Army and worked at jobs of moving lumber, scrap iron, coal, and metal ores. This work was done by the coolie method in various small details around the Osaka area. I don't remember exactly how many prisoners were in our original unit except that I do remember that during our first three months in Japan 30% of our camp had either died or been beaten to death. It was during this winter that George came up against something he didn't think he could lick. That was a severe illness without the benefit of medicine, warmth or adequate food. We took care of him as best we could. Although some of his buddies gave him up a little too soon and more or less forgot about him, I gave him many a tongue-lashing and urged him to hang on, which he finally did. In fact, he subsequently told me that one of the main reasons that recovered was that he was afraid I was beginning to mean what I said and would leave him to die with the rest of the weaklings. Of course, he had exposed himself to this sickness by insisting earlier in the year that he was one of the strongest men in the camp. In fact, he performed calisthenics for the guard so that they would not take him to another camp with the older men (no doubt Zentsuji). He wanted to stay with his friends so he could share their company and assist them when they were sick. For this he almost exposed himself to certain death so, of course, all I could do was stick by him. He had been very generous with his time and what few worldly goods he had to all of those he called friend. Really, when I look back on it now, we had many happy moments because one of the funny things about life is that you learn to be happy under the most adverse circumstances at times. George and I used to pair off and work together even though we did look like Mutt and Jeff. [Cartoon characters in the funny papers] We were both individualists. Although some people told us we were knot heads, we had a good time stealing apples and fish from the cargoes we unloaded. Occasionally we would drop pig iron or heavy scrap from the barges in the canal, which made our Japanese friends very unhappy. Later in the year of 1943 about August or Sept. we were moved to an island off Tokyo Bay to a place called Zentsuji. Here we began receiving better treatment, a few Red Cross supplies and our first letters from home. This was particularly an officers' camp. Most of the work we did here was of an agricultural nature and certainly was not nearly so strenuous as that we had been subjected to in Osaka. It was here that we read, had informal classes, argued, fought the bed bugs and dreamed and talked of home. One of the things I remember quite clearly was George talking of you and about how much he hoped you would be able to resume your life together. He had a watch you had given him which was engraved on the back "Best Ever." He was very proud of this and told me that it is what he had been to you, best ever.
The days somehow passed at this camp and then in July of 1945 as the bombings became more severe and closer and the invasion of the Islands became more imminent, we were moved to a camp high in the mountains north of Tokyo near a town called Fukui. It was here that we received the joyful news of Hiroshima and the end of the war. I can still remember that day very well and almost see George sitting near me by the stockade wall talking about our wonderful return home. We got the news of the surrender on George's birthday and I thought that he was 40 at the time because we laughed and joked that life begins at 40, especially for George Steiger. Will, we can be thankful that he did live to have several years of freedom because all of us who returned actually came back on borrowed time. Although it is a bitter thing to say, maybe in the long run George's passing at this time may be the best thing for him, and what he really would have wanted. I would have been too cruel to see a man like him waste away and suffer with a prolonged illness. I think it would have been too hard for his spirit to take.
I have chided myself severely the past few weeks for not having responded last year when you informed me that George was having periods of depression and just the week before I received your letter I had vowed to myself that I would write to George a long letter to cheer him up if I could. After all, I felt I owed it to him for having had the benefit of his generous friendship during those trying times. Now that he is gone I feel that I have failed him in his time of need. However, I believe that probably both of us subconsciously were trying to avoid the memories of the war when we failed to actively keep up our contacts.
I haven't intended to be presumptuous by giving you my analysis of George, but have tried to tell you how he impressed me when life was down to the bare essentials, and also to indicate to you how he reacted to certain situations. Maybe some of the things I have said will be of comfort to you and I certainly hope so. If there are any questions in your mind about specific things you may have heard George mention, I will be only too glad to answer them for you. I do appreciate having received a letter from you regarding his death. He was a great guy and could be counted on when the chips were down.
(Comments in italics were inserted by Ottly Steiger at the time she typed the manuscript from George Steiger's handwritten copy)
In 1929 the War Department of the United States Army authorized five new regiments in the Coast Artillery Reserve in the Southern California area. In order to fill the units promptly, membership was solicited from city and county engineering departments. Along with a number of others from [Los Angeles] City Survey, I attended a block of nine evenings of instruction given by Col Long of the Coast Artillery Corps in the Chamber of Commerce Building at 9th and Broadway, Los Angeles. I also attended Citizens' Military Training Camp that summer at Camp John P. Prior in Monterey for thirty days. I was sworn into the enlisted reserve, as a condition of eligibility for appointment as an officer, on Oct. 21, 1929. Having passed the board, I was discharged to accept a commission as 2nd Lt. CA on 22 December, 1929.
I went to reserve summer camps with the 63rd CA at fort MacArthur in 1931, 1933, 1934, and 1940, and at Fort Rosecrans in 1939. In 1937, I was attached to the Umpires' Group at San Luis Obispo 4th Army maneuvers for a two weeks camp. I received my rank of 1st Lt. on 17 February, 1933 and that of Captain on 24 July, 1937.
On 14 April, 1941, I was ordered to active duty with the 6th Army at Fort Winfield Scott, Presidio at San Francisco, pending activation of the 56th CA. Officers of the new unit attended school conducted by officers of Fort Scott until 1 June, at which time the 56th CA, a 155 mm gun regiment, was activated. I commanded D Battery of the 2nd Battalion at Fort Cronkhite, which was across the Golden Gate Bridge and was part of the San Francisco Harbor Defenses. The regimental commander and the 3rd Battalion commanders were the only regular officers in the unit. No other officers had had even CCC experience. Troops for the unit were drafted under the Selective Service Act. They had been in training at Camp Callan near San Diego. (Torn down after VJ Day.) They were received at the newly built Fort Cronkhite in several drafts during June and July. On 21 June I flew to Los Angeles for the week end and on Monday proceeded to Camp Callan. The Headquarters Batteries for the entire regiment left on Wednesday morning by train and I acted as train commander. We arrived a San Francisco the next morning.
Several days after the men of my battery had arrived, I took a detail to the ordnance officer at Fort Scott and drew my four guns, 155's. We towed them across the Golden Gate Bridge behind a truck at five miles an hour but, even so, by the time we reached our destination, one half [of] the tires were off the wheels. They were of World War I vintage! Although our unit had four guns and a complete complement of men, only one ramming stave was available for issue and so only one gun crew could drill at a time!
On my first pay day, I had an interesting experience. As the battery commander, I was responsible for the enlisted men's pay. As the Army paid in cash, the battery clerk made up a list of the monies needed. This list was sent to the bank in Sausalito the day preceding pay day. On the day, accompanied by an armed guard from the battery, I went to the finance officer at Fort Scott and received a draft in the amount of the total payroll. This I took to the bank and exchanged it [for] the money previously requested. Back at the battery, we set the money up in piles of different denominations and started putting it into the envelopes for the men. The pile of envelopes went down and the piles of money accordingly, that is all except the pile of $5 bills. It seemed curiously out of proportion to the others. When we had filled the last envelope, there remained a large pile of $5 bills. The battery clerk had been a bank teller prior to his induction into the Army and he know what had happened. We had requested $300 worth of $5 bills and had been given 300 $5 bills! Needless to say that the bank was very happy to see us when we knocked on its locked doors at 6 P.M.! They were still checking for the missing $1,200.00.
However, my troubles and experiences with the new regiment were destined to be of short duration. Late in July a call went out to all posts for officers to go to the Philippines. Col. Frank Drake, commanding my regiment, held a drawing on 30 July to select men for this duty. Having excused officers with small children in their family, the remaining men drew lots. Two unmarried lieutenants and a captain were thus selected from our unit. Never had I been lucky with any kind of drawing but I was the Captain selected! After all the facts were in, I guess you could still say I was not lucky.
Many stories could be told of less fair methods of selection and of attempts made to evade this duty. One officer of my acquaintance was successful in getting a reversal after being selected. He had two small children and probably should not have been ordered to the Philippines in the first place. However, the officer who replaced him had three small children even younger than those of the first officer. Capt. Grow did not try to get out of the assignment and I am happy to report that he served in the Philippines, was taken prisoner of war, and returned to this country in 1945. A few officers tried to wriggle off the hook by turning into the hospital with imaginary ills. We called it gangplank fever. An officer of my acquaintance, failed in such an attempt and was shipped out with us. He did not survive our prison experience.
Those of us ordered to the Philippines were scheduled to sail about 7 August on the Pierce, one of the ships of the President Lines which was on lease to the Army. Due to engine overhaul, we did not depart until 28 August. I was home for the week end prior to our sailing and returned to San Francisco on Monday. We were supposed to sail on Tuesday but further delay put off our sailing until Thursday. Ottly was unable to get away from her job at 20th Century-Fox due to vacation schedules and could not be there to see us off. I telephoned her from the pier and we said a tearful goodbye. Arlene and Russ Fisher were with me at the pier. Russ was the alternate selection go in the event something had prevented me from going!
I was in a starboard stateroom with 1st Lt. Charles Erhardt from Chicago, a Hallmark card salesman, who returned to his job after the war had ended. Also in our stateroom was 2nd Lt. Gurney Smith from Los Angeles. Lt. Richard Fulmer, a graduate of Washington State, was also aboard. The ship carried three hundred and fifty casual officers and the anti-aircraft gun battalion of the 200th New Mexico National Guard. Many of these wonderful men were to become my friends. We arrived in Honolulu the night of 2 Sept. and were allowed to go ashore from eight until five the following day.
I had the good fortune to be with Lt. Bill Stecker of the 56th. His father was an Army officer and Bill had spent some time both in Hawaii and in the Philippines and so he knew his way around. We went for a swim at Waikiki Beach, had a drink at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, hired a taxi and rode up over the Pali and down thru Huuana [?] Valley and around the north end of the island. Prior to our sailing a Hula troupe entertained us with dancing.
A further description of this stop is contained in George's diary and I copy it for you:
We sighted Diamond Head light, which is just outside the harbor, at about 4 PM. We had to wait outside for permission to enter the harbor until about 6 PM. We were tied up to the pier at seven but no one knew at at what time we were to sail so we couldn't go ashore yet. It was finally decided that we would sail at 7 PM and given leave to go ashore from 8 to 5. I took off with Lt. Erhardt and as we walked down the gangplank, we were joined by Bill Stecker. I had anticipated for some time and with no little pleasure getting back on solid ground. But, lo and behold, the earth now seemed to sway under my feet. This unhappy circumstance continued all day-no good! We walked uptown to the post office and mailed our letters. Then we decided to get a taxi and go out to Waikiki, but all the taxis were busy. So we took the bus, which was plenty fast and cost only 10 cents. While we were standing on the sidewalk at Waikiki, Erhardt saw a good looking girl across the street and he took off. We saw no more of him until we got back to the ship. Bill and I went into the bath house and got into swim trunks. We went out from shore about a city block before the water got beyond our depth. It was quite warm. The good breakers were still quite a long way out and since neither of us was in good practice for swimming, we did not go further. There were not many people in the water but we did see several good surf board riders. After we came out of the water, we walked down the street for a half block and stopped at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It was very pretty but probably no different than hundreds of first class hotels on the mainland. We went in and bought a drink (55 cents) and then went back downtown. As it was not yet noon, we decided to take a ride around part of the island. Downtown Honolulu is just like any other but the back country is green and lovely. We visited the Pali over which King Kamehameha is said to have chased his enemies. There is always a terrific wind blowing up on this cliff. It is a favorite joke in Hawaii that a man jumped off the cliff only to have the wind blow him back up. Our ride took about three hours which put us back in town at 3 PM. We bought a couple of drinks and went aboard the ship. Honolulu is a nice little place but I would not trade San Francisco or Los Angeles for a dozen of it!
Next morning when we awakened, we found we were being escorted by a Navy cruiser of the Houston class, 14,000 tons, 605 ft., 100,000 horsepower, with a crew of 1,000 men. The cruiser was capable of making 32 knots per hr. and was manned by 15 six inch guns and 12 five inch AA guns. On 6 Sept. we crossed the date line and lost Sept. 7th at sea. (regained 6 Oct. 1945) This was at a time of strained relations with Japan over the shipping of aviation gas. From the 13th to the 15th of Sept. we were on the edge of a very bad storm. We experienced winds up to 70 miles per hr. Seas were dashing up over the bow and at times our cruiser almost disappeared from sight.
On 16 Sept. we tied up to Pier 7 in Manila. The shore boat was just leaving for Corregidor and the boys on it gave us calls of "sucker" for as long as they could by heard. Through an error in orders, we were detailed to the Air Force. They took us in tow as we came down the gangplank. At the Army-Navy Club they plied us with Scotch and soda for a couple of hours before taking us to Nichols Field for the night. Next day the error was discovered and we were ordered to Corregidor but too late to catch the afternoon boat. Bill Stecker and I went into Manila and registered at the Manila Hotel. We went to the Army-Navy Club for dinner and I saw my first game of Jai Alai that evening. Next day we toured Manila until time for the 3 PM boat.
Further description of this experience, I quote from George's diary:
The Pierce docked about 3:30 PM. We were taken 10 blocks away to the Army-Navy Club where the Air Force was giving a little party in our honor. We stayed there until 6 PM and then went six miles outside Manila to Elliot Field. This is headquarters for the Air Force in the Philippines. Had dinner and then to bed. Next morning we reported for interviewing and assignment. Someone discovered that our orders read for duty with the Coast Artillery and the Adjutant started telephoning. Some telegrapher had omitted the first letter from C. A. C. and that is why the Air Corps had us! We were told to catch the ferry for Corregidor. Bill and I went down town and checked into the Manila Hotel, the best in town and the rooms were $3.50! Had a very good dinner at the Jai Alai Palace and watched the game. Ended up the evening upstairs at the "Sky Room," for what reason so-named I could not understand as you cannot see out of it! It is just a bar and dance. We started out next morning on a sight seeing tour. Went to the old Spanish Fort Santiago and walked around town until we were pretty tired. There is a fair shopping street called the Escolta. It is very narrow with just room for two cars to pass and no parking. There about half as many shops as on Hollywood Blvd. but most of them are very modern. The native quarters are squalor indeed. There were a few baskets of ratty looking vegetables and nuts for sale. The odor was something! No fresh milk! The cloth and tailoring were very cheap. Took the ferry to Corregidor at 3 PM.>
In regard to Corregidor, he continues:
The Island of Corregidor, which is known as the rock, attains a height of 600 ft and is divided into three zones know as Topside, Middleside and Bottomside. The native village at the bottom is called a barrio. The commanding general, Brigadier Gen. Moore, lives at Topside. All intermediate persons live at an elevation corresponding to their rank. All field officers and Captains live Topside. Some lieutenants also live Topside but would have to move if higher ranking officers wanted their quarters. I am living Topside with Capt. Bull and 1st Lt. Melvin Moore. Since all women have gone home, we are assigned to what would normally be quarters for a family. It contains 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, dining room, kitchen and servant quarters. My room is 20' X 20'. All ceilings are high, 11', and also 1/3 of the wall space is windows. The curtain rods are 6' from the floor, which leaves 2' above them so that you can pull the curtains and still have the windows open. They do not use glass out here and the window panes are made of 3 inch squares of shell, which is translucent. Hence the windows are kept open except when the wind blows, which is does often with sufficient force to break glass.
Upon arrival, I was assigned to Quarters 27, a set of family quarters, with Capt. Harcourt G. Bull of Pasadena and Lt. George Melvin Moore of Arcadia. Next day I received my assignment to command I Battery of the 59th Coast Artillery. Commanding officer of the 59th was Col. Paul D. Bunker, who had been my unit instructor in Los Angeles while I was with the 519th. Col. Bunker died in Japan towards the end of prison life. My executive officer for the battery was 1st Lt. Stockton D. Bruns.
All newcomers to the Rock were fascinated by the values. I had several sets of clothing tailored. A complete set of tailor-made khaki cost $2.75, white uniform $7, tuxedo coat $2.50, tux trousers $6.00, mess jacket $2.35, sharkskin suit $7.00, and so on. All were excellent material and beautifully tailored. Due to post regulations which required all units to be operational on a 24 hour schedule, I was able to go to Manila only every third weekend. I would arrive at three in the afternoon and return on the three PM boat Sunday. I usually stayed at the Manila Hotel on Dewey Blvd. About Thanksgiving day I purchased in Manila the things I sent home for Xmas, i.e., the carved Burmese heads, pina tablecloth and luncheon set, linen purses etc. The total cost of these lovely things was around $50.00 gold. Part of the packages arrived in Los Angeles in time for Xmas. They all arrived by the end of March.
In October I moved to another set of quarters which I shared with Capt. Bill Owen of Fairfield, Iowa. We had a complete set of family quarters, by number 8 L, and each of us had a houseboy. We also had a cook for the two of us. The cost of these servants and the food that was served to us was about $50.00 per month. It was necessary to burn electric light globes in the closets to prevent mildew. The weather was very muggy and we changed our clothes three times daily. Coming into our quarters at noon, we stepped out of our uniforms, which were picked up by the house boys and laundered. They laid out a fresh set of clothing while we bathed. They shined our shoes and our brass and kept everything in tip top shape. The natives were glad to be employed as servants by the Army personnel and they waited on us to an extent of service not known in the States.
George did not have a high regard for the ability of the Filipino help on the Rock. He considered them for the most part not too sharp, certainly not too aggressive. They spoke English with a sing song accent which made it difficult to understand, since it did not sound like English at all. Andy Mac Lang was an exception however. He was the son of a Scotch marine engineer and a Tagalog woman. Andy was employed by the battery as a shine boy and he bossed the other boys around to George's amusement. A boy came running to George once with the complaint that Andy had kicked him on a part of his anatomy calculated to do the most good! George received a letter from the Investigating Officer in charge of claims against the United States Government by previous employees of the 59th Coast Artillery, dated 7 November, 1945. In part it says "This organization has been approached by one Andres Mac Lang, who is making a claim against the government for wages unpaid him by Battery D, 59th CAC, presumably under your command. Claimant asserts that he was paid a monthly wage of $45.00 (P 90.00) for fulfilling duties of a shoe shine boy, working with your organization. He claims that he was last paid for his services 31 Dec. 1941 and has, therefore, four months wages due him. He further asserts that he deposited in the battery safe the sum of P 760.00 If this be true would you give a certificate to the effect?" George's reply was as follows:
Nov. 10, 1945
This is to certify to the following:
1. During the period 17 Nov. to 6 May, 1942, I commanded D Battery on Corregidor.
2. During the above period Andres Mac Lang was employed by the battery as shoeshine boy.
3. In addition to his own duties Mac Lang acted as boss over the other Filipinos in the employ of the battery. At my request he organized them into an ammunition detail and assisted materially in manning the battery for effective fire on Mariveles Harbor.
4. I recall definitely that he entrusted a considerable sum of money to me for safekeeping in the battery safe. It is quite likely that his wages for Jan., Feb., Mar., and April were not paid, but credited to his account.
5. In view of the above, I consider the claim of Andres Mac Lang for P360 wages and P760 in the battery safe to be substantially correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Signed George E. Steiger,
The diary resumes:
General MacArthur had sent all the women home in May of 1941 but there was some social life. There were a number of stag parties. Good native servants were still available who did all the cooking, cleaning up and so forth. On Sept. 23, the 59th had a party at Capt. Julians. Sept. 26, there was a reception for incoming officers at the Corregidor Club.
On 10 Oct., we were scheduled to fire machine guns but the fire was called off because there was no airplane available! On 14 Oct., we had dinner and were taken to the cine as guests of Col. Bunker. With me were Capt. D. D. Edison, Capt. Jesse Punchess and Lt. Verde.
George told me that Col. Bunker made a remark at this dinner to the effect he would never recommend a reserve officer for promotion. He reversed his opinion of reserve officers after the war started and stated that there were good men both from West Point and from the Reserve and likewise poor officers from both places.
I went to Manila on Oct. 25th with Traw. Went to the Ninatchka [sic] Russian restaurant and the Alcazar, Santa Ana. Traw and I took a taxi ride to Quezon village. On 27 Oct., Lt. Bruns and 30 men were sent to Fort Hughes. On 28 Oct., the 59th had a party at quarters 18L [?] and on 31 Oct., there was a binge party at the Corregidor Club.
On 8th Nov., I made a tour of Fort Hughes, Fort Drum, Fort Frank, Ternate [?] Muragodon, Maic, Cavite and the Bayview Hotel. I was with Capt. Owen and Lt. Rose. We had lunch with Captain White at Fort Frank.
The following are excerpts from letters received from George on the trip out and during his first days at Corregidor. They may be repetitious but I insert them here as there are some comments I hope you will find interesting.
Left the PIer at 12:15. Half way between Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean, we turned around and put back. I hear the engine has a bearing out or too tight, some kind of trouble anyway. We have been anchored in the bay about halfway between Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz all afternoon. A tug brought several mechanics aboard and they have been repairing our engine. At 8 PM the engines were started and we made two circles of the bay to test them out. Went under the GG Bridge at 9 PM. We dropped the pilot a 9:40. The pilot boat sent over a small row boat which bobbed about like a chip. The pilot went down the side on a rope ladder and took quite a jump to get into the row boat. By 10 PM the lights of Frisco were just a faint glow in the distance.
Sunday. The days out here are so identical that is was not until after dinner last evening that I remembered it was Saturday. Bill Stecker and I had a couple of drinks and sat around in my room and discussed what was wrong with the Army. Went to bed at midnight. Being up late, I skipped breakfast. ...eat dinner yet-hamburger steak or short ribs. Oh well, I fooled him by saying nothing! One of the Captains at my table sent his hamburger back only to get cold roast beef instead. They have 3 settings for all meals. Being a Captain, I have rank enough to eat at the lst setting. There are only 2 officers above the rank of Capt. on this ship. We have no duties and can wear anything we wish, which makes it pretty nice. The ship rolls a bit but the weather is cool, sometimes a little cloudy but mostly clear. Everyone is hoping for a storm (but not too big) to vary the monotony. Horseshoes (rubber), shuffleboard and ping pong are available but I am going to rest and read.
Sept. 9 Nothing much goes on. It rained pretty hard nearly all day yesterday. The weather is warm but not at all bad. We travel "blacked-out"-no lights from sundown until sunup. It makes the nights seem pretty long. We go to bed about 7 PM, lie around and talk until 9 or 10, then go to sleep.
Sept. 14 Had had a considerable storm for 24 hours. It rained as I have never seen it rain before. The wind attained an estimated speed of 70 miles per hour, which is just under a hurricane. The waves were high and the boat rocked. I felt not too good but did not get seasick. Spent most of the day on deck watching the wind and waves and the ship bob about, also the cruiser. I learned later that the cruiser had a speed indicator and the wind speed was 75 miles per hour.
Sept. 26. The taxi situation is interesting. Cabs outnumber private autos 2 to 1. They drive on the left side of the street and the steering wheel is on the right. Their driving is atrocious and they toot their horns incessantly. You can ride anywhere around Manila for 15 or 20 cents. If a person was inclined to have a big shot complex, this country would certainly foster it! Next below the taxis come a lot of Austins, with the back cut out so that you can step right in and sit down on a board seat. They carry 4 fares and are a high class native taxi. After that come the horse cabs, about a million of them. Every time I see them I think about Dad and the small deer at Sequoia. He should see these horses! they are about the size of those Sequoia deer! They have high wheeled cabs and the horses are only about 3 1/2 feet high. They look ridiculous!
On 17 Nov. I was relieved of command of I Battery. It was put under command of Lt. Bruns and moved to Fort Hughes. I was assigned to command D Battery. The armament consisted of 2 twelve inch disappearing guns permanently emplaced in 1910, guns shooting out over the sea. On 28 Nov. I was sitting in a movie when an orderly came in and announced there would be an officers call for the 59th immediately. We were told that a large convoy of Japanese vessels was heading south in the North China Sea and that we would move to the gun emplacements in the morning. So we were alerted and in the field a week before Pearl Harbor!
We were not on an immediate alert, however, but we were in a position to meet any enemy attack without long range warning. We stayed in this condition, know as "Alert Charley" until Sat. 6 December. This happened to be my weekend in Manila. I stayed at the Great Eastern Hotel and had a fairly pleasant weekend. A juke box favorite of the day was "Beat Me Daddy With a Solid Four". I saw "Blood and Sand" starring Rita Hayworth. Returned to the Rock on the usual 3 PM boat.
My Executive Officer, Lt. Aikran [?], and I were sleeping outside the battery in a tent. At this time, my battery as well as the others were maintaining a 24 hr. watch of not less than two men. About 2:30 AM on Monday 8 December (7 Dec. in the States) this watch came to my tent and told me Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Remembering the Panay incident, I said, "Oh hell, some stupid Nip has taken off with a light aircraft out of a rice paddy and created a disturbance!" Whereupon, I went back to sleep. Later in prison camp, I met a young enlisted man who had been on duty at the wireless station in the Philippines when the news of the attack came in. He said that the Pearl Harbor operator had kept repeating: "Air raid-no drill! Air raid-no drill!"
When I awakened next morning our small receiving set was bouncing with the details of the Pearl Harbor attack. But apparently, after the initial announcement, very little was said. I could never see then or later how Japan could hope to win a war against us. Their methods of transportation and cultivation and their manufacturing potential were so low that all they could hope to do was store up material with which to hit us. We sold them the necessary items with which to build up their war machine but they had no sustaining power. So I was still incredulous!!! Around ten o'clock in the morning, we observed over Manila, 30 miles away, a full-scale and unopposed air attack on the Naval Air Base at Cavite. After which a formation of Nip bombers flew arrogantly by the Rock just out of range of our guns. When I saw the rising sun of Japan on those bombers and realized how little we had to oppose them, I knew a war had begun.
On 19 December, I sent a radiogram to my wife saying, "Am okay!" On 12 December we were issued service gas masks which we never had occasion to use but whose plastic containers proved very useful later on. On 13 December, 27 bombers approached Fort Hughes. This was evidently a feint because the formation split and [we] sustained no damage. Cavite was wiped out and the survivors came in Malinta tunnel on the Rock late that night. On 14 December, 17 bombers passed over Fort Frank, very high. On 15 December, 18 bombers were over Manila, visible to us but not very close.
About this time, the troops went on field rations. Capt. Owen instructed the houseboys at the quarters to keep the bath tubs filled with water in case of fire. We later bathed in these tubs of water for two weeks, until the water became very insanitary, indeed!
The Army and the Filipino skippers had long been butting heads. All the channels out of Manila Bay had been mined for many months. At this time, the mining was strictly up to date and operational. At 1 AM on 16 December, the SS Corregidor, carrying 760 refugees, attempted to go thru the mine field without asking clearance. This request would have been granted. The Lieutenant who was on watch in the mine casement, on sighting the SS Corregidor called his superior, who in turn, called the seaward defence commander, Col. Bunker, requesting information as to whether he should de-activate the contact mines in the channel. With a lifetime of experience with the Filipino, going back to the '98 Insurrection, Col. Bunker said "No!" My first knowledge of this affair came when my duty watch called me at 12:55 AM. The Corregidor had struck one of our mines and in the four or five minutes it took to reach my battery command post, the vessel had sunk. Approximately 500 lives were lost. The 260 or so who survived came on the Rock. Thereafter, we had no trouble with unauthorized Filipino boats attempting to traverse the channel.
The following is an e-mail sent to Frank Steiger September 30, 2005 by Kerwin M. Ronquillo providing further background information regarding the above incident:
Hello Frank, I lost family members in the SS Corregidor. The 760 so called refugees were actually-mostly college students attending schools in Manila, colleges like Ateneo, La Salle, Santo Tomas, San Juan de Letran, Assumption, St. Pauls, St. Josephs, UP (University of the Philippines), etc. Usually, students would come home for Christmas vacation, given it was December and Christmas was just week ahead. This is a regular event even up to now 65 yrs. later. Students study in Manila and come home to the other regions of the country for the Christmas Holidays. Also due to the fact that Pearl Harbor was attacked a week before, many parents of these college students told their children to come home. We lost 3 relatives, two young women in their college years and their uncle, who was sent to bring them back home. If there was anybody at fault, it would be the captain of the ship who left the dock near Pasig River in Manila ahead of schedule. It was to leave the port with a ship escort to guide it through the mine grid. It left without an escort. It is said that he, the captain was worried about getting bombed by japanese airplanes so he left early. We really don't know the exact reason but his decision to leave without waiting for an escort cost several hundred young innocent lives. Thanks for sharing your uncle's diary. I love reading history and enjoy personal accounts of what happened during the years of WWII in the Philippines.
On the 19th of December, 15 bombers went out over Fort Drum from Manila. On 22 December, the Cabcaben air raid occurred, during which it was reported (from now on you could hear any number of rumors) the Japs used concrete bombs and cast iron bullets. Eighty Jap transports were reported off Lingayen.
Life went on in the Battery. On 17 December, I wrote Ottly a letter which she received in March. On 18 December, I had a full chest x-ray in an attempt to diagnose a psychological dyspace [?], which was of long standing ailment. Why I'll never know, since certainly nothing could have been done about it if the report had been positive! I changed my allotment from $150 to $210. I read "Orphans of the Storm" by Florence Horn [?] and noted in my diary that Ottly should read it. We heard on 23 December that Hitler had relieved his top generals and was taking over the command himself. There had been heavy reverses in Russia and Lybia.
On 24 December, 5 bombers came over the Rock at 1 PM. Eight bombers bombed the French steamer Si-kiang at Mariveles at 3 PM. The 1st battalion of the 31st Infantry arrived on the Rock from Manila where they had been fighting. U. S. Armed Forces in the Far East and the Philippine Dept. moved into Malinta Tunnel. Smoke and fire were plainly visible from Manila at 11:30 PM.
Xmas Day, 25 December; the troops had a good turkey dinner and 2 bottles of beer per man. Hong Kong surrendered. The war was going from bad to worse! By 27 December there was plenty of rank in Malinta Tunnel! On 28 December, the President asked for a complete report of the situation.
In the battery, we heard the rumor that a convey 100 miles long was on the way. We just couldn't believe that the United States could be in the situation to permit the Japs to go on as they were. I gave Chaplain Cleveland $5 to send a radiogram to my wife instructing her to buy a new Chevy since we knew that civilian goods would become scarce as the U. S. manufacturing turned to war goods. We heard another rumor that two divisions of American troops had landed in North Luzon.
On 28 December, Tojo's bombers visited the Rock for the first time. The raid lasted from 12 noon to 3 PM. There were 30 casualties on the Rock. The water, phones and power were knocked out. My tent was destroyed. (Note a small shell fragment in my diary and the resulting powder burn there.) Lt. Keen of the Marines and 25 men plus 4 air-cooled anti-aircraft guns were attached to (?). (this word in the manuscript was illegible) We moved our clothes from the quarters to the battery. On 31 December, an anti-aircraft battery of the 60th Coast Artillery was in position in my immediate vicinity. It was commanded by Capt. Robert Glassburn. He was a regular Army officer, as had been his father before him. On this night, we gathered in his tent and had a coke and bourbon. This was to be our last drink for a long time. I went to bed early and slept well.
January 1, 1942; had a shave and a clean uniform. One Jap observation plane over Kindley Field on the Rock at 8 AM. Good turkey dinner at 5 PM. Living at Battery Cheney, Fort Mills, now. "D" battery mans Cheney.
January 2; Slight rain in the morning and low clouds all day. Second raid, a surprise raid, at 1:50 but on a small scale. Alert all afternoon. Titus got shrap in the shins.
January 3; Raid number 3 at 12:52. Hit on no. 5 machine gun but no casualties. Three enemy planes downed. Two waves of bombers over Cheney. Glassburn's tent was knocked out.
January 4th; Raid number 4. Bombs over Cheney at 1:30. Had a bath in the week old water at the quarters - pretty dirty. By now any sense of accountability was long gone. A detachment of Marines were in possession of a brand new 3/4 ton truck which they had no doubt "liberated" from its owner in Manila. During an air raid they abandoned it and one of my corporals (Hall) "borrowed" it for the duration. It served us well. Was shot out from under us several times and finally died a hero's death. Of this more later.
January 5th; Raid number 5. Planes near at 7:30 AM, which is the earliest yet. I moved secret documents from the barracks to the battery. Lt. Aikman went to Malinta Tunnel in a jeep for the enlisted men's pay. I went to Malinta Tunnel for $119 cash and increased allotment to $248.10
January 6; Air raid number 6. Lasted from 1 to 4 PM. Water not too plentiful. Hit at Battery Geary kitchen and 26 men were killed. General Wavell commands the Far East Forces including USAFFE!
January 7th. No aerial activity. Jap airplane carrier 40,000 yards out just opposite Mariveles at 6 PM. The insolent SOBs, just out of range! I took last bath in water at 8L which has been in tub since December 26 - stinks!
January 8th. No air. USAFFE (?) says "BIG PUSH IN MAKING." Our lines at north end of Bataan peninsula. No water in which to bathe or laundry. I have Lino [houseboy] iron uniform each day.
January 9th. Wrote to Ottly. Major Edison estimates six months for American Expeditionary Force. Artillery fire plainly audible from Bataan. No Jap air. FDR would send one million ships and thousands of men if he had them!
January 10th. No air activity. Took bath in one quart if water and changed clothes. Barge load of pistols and shotguns arrived bottomside from the mainland. We got ten shotguns and also some dried fruit.
January 11th. One Jap observation plane running lights on, very low, sighted over the Rock at 6:30 AM in an attempt to draw fire and learn the exact position of our guns. We did not fire. Several air alarms but no bombs.
January 12th. No air activity. Went to Middle Sector with Capt. Schenck regarding beach defense. To Kindly Field for powder cans and water as our supply of water has been knocked out, almost from the first raid. [All coast artillery guns of that period had powder charges contained in sheet metal vessels of 10 to 12 inches in diameter and 5 to 6 feet in length with pressure sealed lids. These made ideal containers for almost anything.]
January 13th. Taking our truck, we went to Bottomside for water. After filling a truck with a load of powder cans at the basic source, we started home. I decided to stop by the quarters of Bill Stecker who was stationed there. I stopped the truck by the quarters and started up the walk. I was challenged by a sentry. I identified myself and said that I was calling on Lt. Stecker. Just at this moment, General and Mrs. MacArthur came around the building. The General told us that Lt. Stecker was in the field and that he was occupying the quarters. He was very pleasant to me. This is the only time I every saw General MacArthur.
January 14th. This was the coldest morning since I had been in the Philippines. Fort Drum fired ten rounds on a Jap ship in Manila Bay at 3 PM. They had authority for only 10 rounds and while waiting authority for more, the ship got away. Raid no. 7 occurred from 12:30 to 2:30. We got three out of nine bombers. They dropped two out of three sticks in the ocean. Their bombing heretofore has been painfully accurate.
There was some air but no bombs. Fuse (?) 30, mechanical, not powder-train, is good if you have it. (We don't). Rumor has it that Hawaiian forces are being reinforced and bravely await another attack.
January 16. Much air activity but no bombs. Order "anti-aircraft will not fire on observation planes because it disturbs the nerves of the people in Malinta Tunnel." Heavy artillery fire on Bataan at night. General MacArthur's official message "Help will come."
January 17. I wrote to Ottly in the evening. Went to Middle Sector command post with Lt. Keen to mail letters and take shower. Inspection in ranks and quarters from 8 to 10 AM. Titus, Martin, Blackburn and Martelle [Harold Martelle of Bentom Harbor, Michigan] volunteered for Bataan and were refused. Heavy air and artillery over Bataan. Got 100 books from the post library.
January 18. Sky overcast - misty rain. No Jap airplanes over Corregidor. It is reported we go on two meals a day. Wish I was in L. A.
January 19. Soup, bread and jam for dinner. Three meals a day for awhile yet. No air alarm but one 2 motor bomber escort seen passing over China Sea at 1 PM. No air alarm on Rock. Bataan quiet. We listen to radio KGEI Fairmont (Frisco) daily.
January 21. James' birthday. Quiet. Col. Bunker and Majors Edison and Simonds came to dinner. Simonds is my artillery group commander and is a graduate of the Naval Academy. [Crossing services was at this time seldom done.] Edison is a graduate of West Point and is my battalion commander. Col. Bunker is Commander of the Seaward Defences. In spite of my being a very green reserve officer, these men have supported me at all times to the fullest extent and in a friendly manner.
January 22. Diaries are to be turned in every 30 days. I shall discontinue this book.
January 23. Philippine sunsets and cloud effects are the most beautiful I have ever seen. I sit on the parapet and watch the sunset every evening. [Note how George's observations of the weather and the outdoors are a part of his being. He used to open the door when it was raining and stand for a long time watching it. He would tell me how he had watched the sunsets in the Philippines and about the rain on the roofs of the prison camps he was in. In his last years he would stand in the open door and cry when he watched the rain. it always touched me deeply.]
Copied at Kentzuji on January 1, 1944 from a true copy in possession of Kenneth L. Boggs, Capt. 60th CA (AA):
Hq. USAEF, 15 Jan. 1942
Fort Mills, P.I.
Subject - Message from General MacArthur
To: All Unit Commanders.
1. The following message from Gen. MacArthur will be read and explained to you.
2. Help is on the way from U. S. Thousands of troops and hundreds of planes are being dispatched. The exact date of arrival of reinforcements is unknown, as they will have to fight their way thru Japanese attempts against them. It is imperative that our troops hold out until these reinforcements arrive.
3. No further retreat is possible. We have more troops in Bataan than the Japs have thrown against us. Our supplies are ample. A determined defense will defeat this enemy's attack.
4. It is a question now of courage and of determination. Men who run away will surely be destroyed, but men who fight will save themselves and country.
5. I call on every soldier in Bataan to fight in his assigned position, resisting every attack. This is the only road to salvation. If we fight we will win, if we retreat we will be destroyed.
January 25. We eat cracked wheat "from American Red Cross to the people of China." Very good!
January 27. Lt. Col. Porter, now chemical warfare officer, commanded "D" Battery of the 59th in the last war. It was 155's Howitzers.
February 6. The Japs opened fire with two 105's from Ternato. First shell fire against the Rock.
February 21. Corregidor theme song "I'm Waiting for Ships That Never Come In." Thirty-four men are killed in Fort Frank tunnel by a ricochet which the Nips got into the tunnel.
March 12. Bill Owen wanted me to go to Bataan with him so we took the necessary shots. He made the arrangements. Completely equipped with gas masks, pistols and so forth, we left the Rock about 10 AM. Small boats are still going back and forth. We landed at Caboaben and proceeded by scout car to the outpost line of resistance. We met several officers we had known coming out on the Pierce. Some survived the operation. We looked out into enemy territory but saw no one. We rationed and stayed overnight with a 155 battery commanded by an officer we knew from the Pierce, Capt. Coleman. The ration issued was absolutely inadequate.
March 13. Visited the provisional infantry regiment created from air force troops who had lost their aircraft. Regardless of a man's technical ability he should be required to take the normal thirteen week training in basic infantry and it should be called to his attention periodically that the time may come when he will be forced to fight on the ground simply for his own survival. Home at 10 PM. Song heard on Bataan:
We are the battling bastards of Bataan,
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam,
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins or nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces,
AND NOBODY GIVES A DAMN!
March 14. MacArthur left for Australia
March 15. I was on duty as field officer of the day in the seaward defense command post.
March 24. Air raids resumed. From the battery we could see our barracks. Since we evacuated them, the Army engineers have stored five tons of TNT therein. On this day we had a normal raid with what sounded like a good hit topside. After the raid was over and we came out to look around, someone said, "Captain, they've blown up our barracks." I got out a telescope and looked Topside. I saw what was obviously a kitchen and said, "Oh, they've just blown off the side of the barracks." Then someone else said, "But Captain, that is not our kitchen!" The kitchen I saw was B Battery's kitchen! Which meant that our entire barracks, quarters for 200 men, had been obliterated!
March 25. Japs try night bombing.
March 26. Evidently new Jap bomber squadrons are being brought into this area. They start at 20,000 feet but in about three days, those still in the running are up to 27 or 28,000 feet!"
March 28. Major Glassburn logged 265 planes over the Rock in 24 hours.
March 29. Sunday. Played good records on Corporal Bell's phono for 2 hours.
March 30. Just about sundown three Nip bombers evidently in recon came in low. We got one on the incoming run. He hit water on North Channel in plain sight. Another sustained a bad hit and very obviously hit water in Manilla Bay. The third was seen smoking and losing altitude. I later heard rumors that the Nip radio was really jumping that night! In any event, it showed me that had we had reasonably up-to-date weapons, we would certainly have given the enemy a very rough time.
April 8. Big ammunition dump afire at Marivales. Took one of my Lts. [Bruce Nixon] to the tunnel in an uncontrollable and violent state of combat fatigue at 10 PM. Earthquake at 12 PM.
April 9. Ottly's birthday. Wrote letter to her. Bataan folded. At about 3 PM. the Japs opened artillery fire on the Rock from Bataan.
April 10. Many barcas and small boats from Bataan bringing survivors.
April 11. Capt. Webster C. Sayers, Medical Corps, joined my battery from Bataan.
April 12. Private Plank [?] from Battery [?] committed suicide at 8 AM.
April 15. We listen to KREI each night. The platitudinous nothings mouthed by the commentators about "China's brave fight" make me sick. Why in the hell, didn't we give them the help five years ago that they need to fight the Japs instead of selling Japan all the materials she wanted with which to fight China?
April 19. We had considerable amount of antiquated armament on the Rock and contrary to public opinion, we also had some very capable if not brilliant officers. An ordinance Captain attempted to fire 12 inch coast artillery mortars from Battery Geary in an anti-aircraft role. The attempt was unsuccessful because of the inherent characteristics of the guns but I chuckle to think what an uproar it might have created in Tokyo if it had succeeded?
May 2. Battery Geary sustained a direct hit and was blown up. One of the gun barrels weighing fifty tons was lifted 100 feet and drifted laterally about 200 feet to the middle of the golf course Topside. Of one hundred men only seven survived. The shock could be felt at my battery which is half way around the Rock. Corregidor is now the "most bombed area on earth" according to KGEI!
May 5. A Jap battery on Bataan fired all afternoon. I finally got a fire mission and was able to reply with fifty rounds during the early evening. One of my men was killed during the encounter, Pfc. Cavo. Enemy fire stopped about 6 PM. I was later told in prison camp that the Nip battery had been knocked out. Told by American troops who were still in Bataan but, of course, I have no proof. My battery ceased fire at 6 PM. At 8 PM, I received a phone call from regimental headquarters informing me that Nips had landed Bottomside. No immediate action was desired but I was told to be ready to move out as an infantry company on notice to defend the beach. A succession of these messages, found me moving out at 11 PM as an infantry company under Major Glassburn.
May 6. We moved from Topside to Middleside and spent four hours in Middleside Tunnel. At daylight we moved to Malinta Tunnel. Bob Glassburn's battery was ahead of me and it sustained five or six casualties just before daylight. Corregidor surrendered at noon. We were still in the Tunnel.
May 7. Took shower and got bag of gear. Dewey, Glassburn, Bryan, Lt. Dewey, Hamilton, Aikman, Eddington and I spend the night in Artillery Engineers Lateral. Plenty of food.
May 8. Left Malinta tunnel 10 AM on Nip order and hiked to 92nd Garage. Very hot - no water.
May 9, Saturday. Dick Pulnar [?], Guerney Smith and I are on space of one blanket at 92nd Garage.
May 10. Takes one to six hours for water from a half inch pipe for 10,000 men.
May 11. "Guam blisters," a form of sunburn, prevalent.
May 12. Five hundred Filipinos dying daily at O'Donnell. A burial detail of 2,000 men ordered.
May 13. On work detail in Barrio (village at Bottomside) for Nip engineer, Lt. Shuay Miyabe.
May 14. Four details gathering all types salvage from all parts of Rock. I have 5th detail sorting and classifying and storing. Lt. Miyabe bosses from my detail. We converse and I find him very intelligent. He speaks no English but understands it well. He answers my by drawing little pictures. This he can do with great speed and skill. He hits the point with very little effort. I asked him when he expects to go back to Japan and he draws a picture of a ship with torpedo from a submarine coming at it. So he doubts that he can be sure of getting home at all!
May 15. Other details loading food and small arms on boats at South Dock. Captain Covington of Quartermasters Corps says Corregidor had enough food to last at half rations until July 4th.
May 16. Major Pysick, U. S. Marine Corps, is the Nip interpreter.
May 22. Laid off detail after 9 days. Rain from 9 to 2 AM.
May 23. Leave 92 garage at 10 AM to board Jap freighter at South Dock. Had two cans of milk on the pier. Boarded the Hokku Maru at 4 PM. Sitting in the small boat going out to the ship, I saw a Jap guard coming and took my pen out of my pocket to hide it under a blanket. He saw the movement and got my pen.
May 24. Left Corregidor at 6 AM. Landed outside Manila 30 feet off shore. Had to wade to shore and all got quite wet. We were marched 5 to 6 miles through Manila up Dewey Blvd. This was to show the Filipinos our disgrace. We were dirty, poorly dressed, almost all had dysentery and were forced to stop and relieve ourselves on the roadside-motley mess! The Filipino women were crying, many held their index and middle fingers in the sign of a V before their faces. They showered us with food but we were not allowed to pick it up. Our destination was Bilibid prison where we arrived a 3 PM.
May 25. Bilibid with Dick Fullmer, Gurney Smith, Paul French, and Shelby Cullison.
Bill Stecker joined us. He was at Fort Frank and lost all his stuff. His battery fired 1200 rounds.
May 27. Washed clothes and took shower. Fair latrine here.
May 28. Traded soap for enough brown sugar to last two meals.
May 29. Left Bilibid Prison at 5 AM, Manila railroad station at 6:30, and arrived Cabanatuan at 12 noon. Rain all night. Slept on floor of a school here.
May 30. Left Cabanatuan at 7 AM. Arrived Camp #2 fifteen kilometers away at 12:30. Guards equipped with ?field rifles.
May 31. No water at this camp so will have to move. Two shifts of guards.
June 1. Moved to Camp #1, which is six kilometers nearer to the town of Cabanatuan.
June 2. All Captains are together in a church which is the worst bldg in Camp.
June 3. Chow is white rice with a very thin soup. No bathing or laundry.
June 4. Bataan troops from O'Donnel arriving daily. They are in very poor shape.
June 5. Ankles swollen from lack of protein. Cut Stecker's hair. Japs called for volunteers to help on Corregidor. I had no intention of helping them with anything, but someone pushed me from the rear while we were standing on the call and I had to shuffle to keep from falling. The guard grabbed me!
June 6. Left Cabanatuan at 3 PM. We got lost and hiked in the rain in Manila. Ate pork at a road crossing and some rice in Manila.
June 7. Arrived on the Rock a 1 PM. Topside for beds. Bread and jam for breakfast. Lt. Shuey Mayabe saw me!
June 8. Questioning at Engineering level. Fred Rose and I have good beds in Kitchen.
June 9. Under questioning all day. Jap's bldg burned down at night. Rations from cold stores.
June 10. Lt. Mayabe gave me a truck and told me to select men to help me. We are to pick up ammo and count it. I recovered this book (diary) and Ottly's letters also $300 that I had hidden in my battery when the war ended [Corregidor surrender].
June 11. I chose Huff, Houck and Miller on ammo detail. Japanese have Filipinos at Treasury.
It is my opinion that George chose these three men because they would have knowledge of where stores of drugs, money, etc. might be hidden. I will find out what their position had been before their surrender and include this in my next copy.
June 12. Found silver at Smith. Swollen ankles better but not all well.
June 13. Counted ammo in Malinta Tunnel. Bob White very thin. No help for my hemorrhoids.
June 14. Finish Malinta job and gab with Mayabe all AM. Milk at Crockett PM.
June 15. Organize gear in barracks bag in the AM.
June 16. Marine sick bay near Ramsay in AM.
June 17. Counted projectiles at Middleside parade ground. Milk at Crockett AM. Ten questions from Mayabe PM>
June 18. Saw Captain Smyers at old market in Barrio 8 AM. He will cut hemorrhoids. Washed clothes AM. Saw Navy Lt. Barrett in Malinta 4 PM. Sick all night.
June 19. Diarrhea and vomiting.
June 20. Saw Doc Smyers 10 AM after failing to make the hospital because of more work Topside.
June 22. Magnesia and sulfa-pyridine. No good! Admitted to hospital 10 AM. Diarrhea and vomiting stopped. Hemorrhoid cut!
June 23. Feel better. Cracked wheat, sweet milk, corned beef hash and plenty of rice. Shave and a good shower!
June 24. Move Topside. Walk via shack and pick up gear. Private Bonine hauled gear for me. Rain at night.
June 25. Sleep in AM. Mend mosquito net in PM. Weight 158.
June 26. Back in hospital. Lt. Caruso opened 5 pound can of corned beef hash and can of tomatoes in PM.
June 27. Doctors have coffee and doughnuts for 3 O'clock tea. We eat rice.
June 28. Read first half of L'Ottly's letter which I found with this book. Opened 5 pound can of hash at 3 PM.
June 29. Read rest of letters. I think of home daily and wonder what Ottly is doing.
June 30. Dipped razor blades in oil to prevent rust. Oiled shoes. Hemorrhoid inspection and Dr. says, "Okay!"
July 1. Much food in AM. Left hospital 3 PM. Boarded Jap freighter Lima Maru Tokyo. Was not searched! Had licorice, quinine and much stuff picked up around Rock. Also have my money left at the battery.
July 2. Leave Corregidor 8 AM. Arrive Mariveles 12 noon. Bilibid 3 PM.
July 3. Leave Bilibid 6 AM, Manila 7:30, arrive Cabanatuan 1:30, leave 2:30. Arrive Camp No. 1 at 5:45. Very tired.
July 4. Camp No. 1. Captain Jack Davis and Lt. Irwin Vetesnik. Got pack from Bill Owen. Opened can tuna to celebrate the 4th.
July 5. Shave and visit to Owen. We planned his trip San Francisco to Fairfield via L. A. One-half can viennas for 1.50.
July 6. Captain Davis started our mess. 10 viennas. Sgt. Newman arrived with 500 men from O'Donnel. We pulled guard on them from 2 to 4 AM!
July 7. 7500 men in camp; 30 die daily. Many have no pants or shoes.
July 8. Five Canteen cups of sugar at 15 cents per cup. Two sardines cost 50 cents.
July 9. Gave cup of sugar to Dick Fulmer, Stecker and Grow.
July 10. Assumed command of 120 enlisted men in bldg. 62. Lts. Erwin, Vetesnik, Charles Erhardt and Andrew Bryan assist me. Men from bridge detail at Capa's Barracks are at one end of kitchen.
July 11. Grouped men into 10's. If one escapes, 9 will be shot! Jap commander says, "Do not escape! Go home soon!" ?!?
July 12. Bath and laundry at Bill Owens in AM. Two meals as Captain Boggs is in new mess crew!
July 13. Guerilla fighting 2 AM at Camp #2. Mess crew questioned regarding light in kitchen. Beaten severely and held for 3 hours.
July 14. Inspected by Jap general in AM. 500 feet to latrine. Shower at water tank in PM.
July 15. Tentative organization submitted to Japs. I command 3 barracks. As I have some money, I can buy some things on the black market at thieve's market prices: sugar $2 per canteen cup, corned beef and pork and beans $5 to $7, 6 pound can of same $30. [The Ottly Steiger typed copy indicates currency as a P overstruck with a slash. This may indicate Philippine (?) dollars (?). In this web page that symbol is replaced with a dollar sign $.]
July 16. "Snafu in '42 but we'll be free in '43, or still at war in '44?"
July 17. Moved to bldg 64. I command 3 bldgs whose junior officers are Lts. Vetesnick, Carusso and Cadmus. Vestesnik, Erhardt, and I live in #l64. Rain all day. Rainy season finally off to a late start.
July 18. Dick Fulmer put plexi-crystal in my watch. I resume wearing it on my wrist. (Previously had it taped to inside of leg.) Bought 5th of Scotch for $6. Rain, slept under sheet, blanket and poncho. Quite cold. Many men have no bedding.
July 19. Read Ottly's letters. Sending men out to work in this cold and heavy rain, without clothes equals murder.
July 20. Vestesnik, Davis et al left for Camp #3. Ate 6 lb. can of corned beef.
July 21. Up at 4:30 AM on account Bango to locate 2 men "over the hill." Breakfast at 10 AM. The sun shone. Men constantly try to escape. Colonel Biggs was beheaded at Camp #3 and the two men who escaped with him were shot. Colonel Biggs was [with] 92nd CA Philippine Scouts.
July 22. Most men have body lice. Captain Harold Lewis of Los Angeles buried. Longines watch stopped.
July 23. Bought 7 jewel Elgin from Sgt. Torisi for $20. Submitted names of 28 non-commissioned officers for Jap detail.
July 24. Major Dewey died at 3 PM. Bill Owen had "cerebral malaria" case. I have mild diarrhea since June 20 - very little pain so far.
July 25. American ships enroute to take us to Ecuador! Any rumor about going home is eagerly spread. A wishful-thinking bunch of weaklings! If all those rumors had been true, we'd have been home in '42!
July 26. Read Ottly's letters. Have no "Sunday afternoon blues" since the war started. Everything seems remote and dream like.
July 27. I sleep in 2 piece suit of long-handled underwear obtained on last trip to Rock. Okay for cold nights.
July 28. About 100 men arrived from "outside" details. Does this apparent assembling mean anything? Evidently it did! They were sent to Japan.
July 29. A fair cross section of available foods and prices of same which are available on the black market if you have money. Commissary milk $1.10. Corned beef $1.20. Pork and Beans $1.15. Sardines $0.80. Soy Sauce $0.35.
July 30. One year ago I drew detail for P. I. Now at Cabanatuan Camp #1. Health okay, morale same. Weather rainy, ground sloppy. Visit the latrine 5 to 7 times daily. Now I have body lice!
July 31. Traded 2 cans sardines for 21 jewel Lord Elgin watch - not running! Nips issued 20 pairs shoes, 40 blankets, 40 sets Philippine Army fatigues for 160 men. Philippine Army fatigues would be too small for Americans.
August 1. Two men died in building 61, one in building 65. Camp death rate down to 20%. We eat vegetable shortening for butter. Read "Impatient Virgin" - OK.
August 2. Inspection by Camp Commander, Lt. Col. Fredrick Saint, 10 AM. Okay. Bill Owen called 3:30 to 5. Weather sunny. Read Ottly's letters.
August 3. We wash our mess kits with our fingers and one cupful of cold water. Pvt. Pfaff, "Thirsty First," shaved my head. C O C K is available in 5 gallon cans.
August 6. Inspection by Col. Rutherford. He asked, "Any artillerymen in this building?" Lt. Cadmus replied, "Only one and some Coast Artillery."
August 7. Lt. Plusko died 9 AM, replaced by Lt. Russell. Lt. Bryan relieved at his own request, replaced by Lt. Richards. Took bath in corned beef can.
August 9. Rain steadily since Friday. Weather has been good until now.
August 10. Man died in bldg 61 at 7 AM. Lt. James Richards, 200th Coast Artillery New Mexico National Guard moved in. Rain.
August 11. Head shaved 2nd time. Bright sun except for a few showers. Lt. Cadmus visited in evening. We ate $2.60 can peaches.
August 12. Death rate down to 10%. We have tea every evening. Pfaff shaved my head again - not doing any good. Object - make hair grow.
August 13. Lt. Fulmer visited in AM. He says we had deathless day recently.
August 14. About 500 new guards arrived. young recruits apparently Davao Philippine and Jap mestizos - poor!
August 15. Report from Bilibid - Capt. Bob White died there recently. The three R's at Cabanatuan "Rain, Rice, and Rumors."
August 16. Heated a can of ox-tail soup and a can of pork and beans with our rice for dinner. But good! Ate a half dozen bananas with sugar 2 PM.. But - very good!!
August 17. Two escaped from hospital area in last 3 days. Not good.
August 18. Borrowed maps from Cadmus barracks. Planned eastern trip for us and Canadian trip for Tag.
August 19. Signed pledge, "I promise on my honor not to attempt to escape under any conditions!"
August 20. Typical of absurdity of rumors - "Deanna Durbin died in childbirth."
August 21. Capt. Jack Keevan, Corps of Engineers, died. Bought Hammond atlas $1.50
October 28, 1942
TO: Captain George E. Steiger, Coast Artillery Corps
1. I desire to express my appreciation of your fine work as Company Commander in this group from its organization on July 17, 1942 to its end on October 28, 1942.
2. The care of upwards of three hundred men, most of them sick and discouraged by defeat and the circumstances of prison life, called for a high order of leadership and devotion to duty, both of which you demonstrated in your work. Your willing acceptance of your responsibilities at a time when the easier course would have been to forget them reflects great credit upon you.
3. A copy of this letter will be filed at American Prisoners Headquarters to be inserted in your official records.
FREDERICK G. SAINT
Lieut-Colonel, 14th Engrs.
Commanding, Group III
August 22. My birthday, the 38th! Mango in AM. Bath and clean clothes. Corned beef, chile peppers make a good dinner. Rolls with butter and jam at 2 PM. Plenty to eat today, feeling fine. Everything okay! Read Ottly's letters for my birthday present. Wish I was in LA with her!
August 24. Brief inspection by Col Rutherford and Japs 12 noon. Head shaved-no results. I am growing callouses on my stern from sleeping on bamboo slats.
August 26. Shouts of Fili-Jap recruits at bayonet drill are annoying!
August 27. Lts. Erhardt, Smith, Fulmer and Richards to dinner. One can corned beef, one chili, one tomato with rice and peppers and garlic. Peaches and cream with tea.
August 29. Capt. Harold Munton of Vallejo gave dinner to Capt. Coleman, Bill Owen, Stecker and I. Fish omelette and pineapple pie.
August 30. Capt. Thomas and I went to see Major Barbour about mess-no satisfaction.
September 1. The ends to which men will go to obtain tobacco is an index of their strength of character.
September 2. To Group 1 to see Camp #3's show. Saw Pvt. Lorenzo Frias of "D" Battery, Corregidor.. He reports all well.
September 3. Col. Rutherfor [Rutherford?] and Col. Boudreaux left for Manila.
September 4. Sat on special court. One man stole 500 grams quinine, another a watch. Each got 3 and 3.
September 6. Dick Fulmer called in PM. Got viennas and eggs from Col. Cimmonds, Lts. Simpson and Schuppe from Corregidor.
September 7. Lt. Gurney Smith's birthday also Labor Day. Ate can peaches with cream.
September 8. Sack of sugar was the prize for best policed barracks.
September 9. Detail from Batangas reports new front in France. "G.I. Jive" and "Boy From Bataan" are on the hit parade.
September 10. Pvt. Szymanck, 803rd Engineers, sentenced to 6 months confinement and hard labor for disrespect to officer.
September 11. Has been cloudy and drizzling rain for several days - ground sloppy.
September 12. Everyone must be in barracks and all windows closed by 7:30 PM. Two escaped last night.
September 13. Cut my thumb on margarine can AM. Read Ottly's letters PM.
September 14. Head shaved 7th time. Scurvy becoming common.
September 16. Dick and Gurney to supper. Jap Col. Mori gave talk regarding captured escapists. Tea later.
September 17. Escapists given life imprisonment at hard labor and solitary confinement with 2 meals per day.
September 18. Pvt. Richardson, orderly to field officers, wants to quit because beat him to the cigarette butts!
September 19. Battle cry of #4: "Who's Got Too Much Rice?"
September 20. Barracks #3 won sack of sugar on contest, #1 got cigars.
September 21. Inspection by Jap general. Marine escaped from wood detail.
September 23. Barracks #4 up to 93, making 5 men in each lower. Much complaining.
September 24. Bought quinine from Sgt. E. Q. Johnson.
September 25. Marine escapist of last Monday recaptured and displayed in Groups II. Shined mess kits.
September 26. Men in Lt. Cadmus barracks say Col. Mori operated bicycle shop in Manila.
September 27. Preliminary formation and examination of 700 man Jap detail. Col. Mori spoke on futility of escape. Trade cigarettes for Pierce photos.
September 28. Rain all day. Three officers tried to escape 10 PM last night.
September 29. Col. Biggs, Breitung and Navy Lt. Gilbert shot at 10 AM. Rain and high wind starting 2 PM.
September 30. Rain and wind all day. Loaned Capt. Munton $1.50. Pvt. Roy Terry, red-haired Scotch-Indian K. P., went to school in Winterhaven to [with?] my sister Carrie, and cast sheep eyes at Luetta Breech!
October 2. First clear day since Sunday. Lt. Richards and I took bath in AM.
October 3. Lt. Fulmer visited from hospital guard in AM.
October 4. Japs issue one small lime per man in attempt to curb scurvy.
October 5. Got up at midnight to get a detail of 20 officers and 680 enlisted men started for Kobe. Ate some lugoa and back to bed. Capt. Grow left with detail.
October 6. Fences erected between groups.
October 7. Mexican from #3 and KP Curley had fisticuffs in rear of #5 - good too!
October 8. Pvt. Aguirre attacked Sgt. Massey with paring knife!
October 10. Pvt. Pfaff shaved my head for 11th time. Also shaved Lt. Richards. Exchanged 1 pkg cigarettes for 2 cans.
October 11. To Group 1 at 8 AM to hear Col. Horan and 3 ensigns say, "DO NOT ESCAPE."
October 12. Bill Owen assigned as work detail officer.
October 13. Visited Sgt. Kutch at hospital. Saw Capt. Gamelgaard. Zero ward cases pretty bad. Gen. Morimoto here for short stay. Assumed bldg 9.
October 14. Visited Dick Fulmer in evening. He is now assistant at #17.
November 1. Examined by Jap detail. Read "American Chamber of Horrors."
November 2. Mungo beans and sausage for dinner. Stewed chicken for supper. Cholera, dysentery, typhus shots in AM.
November 3. Dick Fulmer, Jim Richards and I had 18 eggs and 10 sausages for breakfast.
November 4. To hospital for tooth inlay - cement and shirt and blanket!"
November 5. Leave Camp #1 at 4 AM, Cabanatuan 6:45 to 9, Arrive Manila 4:10 PM, Pier #7 at 6 PM. Much food on train. I bought a raw egg at train stop - thought it was hard boiled until I went to eat it!"
November 6. Slept well. Boarded Nagato Maru at 5 PM. Talked to Boggs until midnight. Hot and crowded below deck. 1500 men aboard, almost all have dysentery. Sanitary facilities consist of 3 toilets. A line is always formed.
November 7. Leave pier #7 at 11 AM, breakwater at 1:30, pass Corregidor 4 to 5 PM.
November 8. Sub alarm 3 AM. All below 4 to 9 AM. Used chow buckets for latrines.
November 9. Fairly rough in Straits of Formosa Jim Richards and Gurney Smith poor [condition].
November 10. Still rough, went on deck with Capt. S[?] Welcher and Lt. Clint Seymour.
November 11. Dropped hook at Takao, Formosa at 2 PM.
November 12. Refueling. Two ships arrive with white prisoners. Lisbon Maru??
November 13. Spent nite on topside guard. Lt. Col. Wickord, 192nd Tanks, hatch commander.
November 14. Deck all day. Below at 11 because of the cold. Capt. Nellhatch Dr.
November 15. Under way 9 AM. Dropped hook 5:30 PM. Anchored in lee of small island 50 miles north of Takao. 40 mile wind. Deck guard until 5 AM.
November 17. Pulled deck watch 2 to 5 AM.
November 18. Under way 4 PM - stormy.
November 19. Below all day. Rougher in PM. Jap sub and gunnery drill.
November 21. Tongue and roof of mouth very sore.
November 24. Dropped hook 8:30 AM. Dry run for medical 6 to 7:30 PM.
November 25. Under way 9 AM. Moji Pier at noon. "Glass Goose" medical and ashore at 6 PM. Box supper in gym. Taken by ferry to Simonoseki, train noon.
Of the 1500 men aboard 200 could not walk off the ship. Eighty died right away. The rest went to the hospital. Regarding his friend, Francis Gurney smith, 2nd Lt., 91st CA. Philippine Scouts, George wrote the following account:
On 25 November, 1942, we arrived at Moji, Japan. We docked and were examined for dysentery and were supposed to have been deloused. Gurney had been very sick on the boat from pellagra, scurvy and diarrhea. From the dock we marched, or rather ran, to the railway station. This was very hard on Gurney, weakened as he was by the boat trip, as were many. We carried some of their scant luggage. Our group consisted of about 370 men and 38 officers. After we reached the station, we had to wait an hour for the train. It was very cold. We rode the train all night. We reached a certain town and were rushed aboard a ferry. Finally, we reached Osaka and were taken to Yogoawa Steel Works. We spent 3 to 4 hours out on a coal pile listening to a speech about Japan, etc. It was very, very cold. Then we were taught a few words of Japanese and given Japanese Army drill. This all happened on Thanksgiving Day, 26 November, 1942, on coal pile near the ocean on a very cold day. Coming from the Philippine Islands, the weather was unbearable to us. We had been issued Army fatigue uniforms, which were too small to cover us. We were all lousy from the 19 days on the Nagato Maru. Although I was in poor condition, I felt sorry for Gurney and many of the others who were even worse off.
About 8 o'clock that night we were shown to our quarters, in a tin barrel factory with more holes in it than in a sieve. About 10 PM we were given a bowl of rice and a bowl of "all clear" cabbage soup. We were issued 4 very thin cotton blankets per man. I talked with Gurney quite often and I know that he was getting worse. He could hardly walk now because of the rawness of his testicles. His throat was very bad and he could hardly eat. From early morning until late at night we were drilled, exercised, taught Japanese, etc. Gurney was unable to do this. Several times the guard would rush in early in the morning and kick some who were unable to rise. Gurney received several of these kicks. On 2 December at about 7 PM, I helped Gurney to the benjo. I knew then that he would not last much longer. I told the commanding officer that something must be done. Nothing was done, however, because no medicine was available. Gurney gave his ring to 2nd Lt. Shelby Cullison, 60th CA to be given to his mother. Gurney fought very hard to live that night. About every hour he would ask the time. He died about 3:15 AM 3 December 1942.
Lt. Cullison was sent later to civilian hospital in Osaka, where he died. I do not know to whom he entrusted the ring.
November 26. Thanksgiving Day. Arrived in Osaka at 4 PM. Can of C type beans for dinner. All very lousy - I mean lice!
November 27. To railroad freight sheds in AM for reception ceremony. Capts. and 2nd Lts. move together. Jim and I sleep together in a shelter half with 14 blankets, a poncho and a mosquito bar, a stack as high as Jim's head when he is sitting.
November 28. Sun shone and it was warmer in the AM. Jap clothing issue. Lecture on the virtue of hard work by Nip Lt. in PM. Col. Murata, Osaka District Commanding Officer and Lt. Yamad is the Camp Commanding Officer. There are timeless taxis in a shed at rear of our quarters.
November 29. 458 men comprise our group. Calisthenics, laundry and bath in PM.
November 30. Formation in the street at noon chow to see body of Hawaiian depart. First casualty in our group. Formation 8 to 10:30 PM to verify name and rank.
December 1. Weight 174 with clothes on. Nippon physical exam 6 PM. Bought 1/2 pound Purice (lard) for package cigarettes. Pvt. Hood gave me a camote (vegetable).
December 2. Calesthenics and games on canal bank in AM and PM.
December 3. Francis Gurney Smith died. Sack lifting in AM. Calisthenics on levee 1 to 4 PM. Lt. Candiello cut my hair.
December 4. Drizzle in the AM. Formation in street for second death. Issue celluloid number tags, wooden shoes, lunch boxes and knapsacks.
December 5. Jim and I photed [sic] together in AM. Formation for body of Lt. Ellard "A" 60th.
December 6. First detail went to work in a cold drizzle. Ten men to Jap hospital.
December 7. 2nd Lts. relieved and Majors and Captains put in charge of details. Calisthenics and facings on levee AM & PM. Charcoal braziers put in.
December 8. 14 man detail unloading freight at Siuta. Numbness in hands started.
December 9. "Goose-step" in rear street in AM. Levee 1:00 to 2:15 PM. Hail fell.
December 10. Two hours calisthenics in AM. Shuey says we lack fortitude.
December 11. Half the men off work on account of a power shortage. One hour calisthenics in AM. Bath, shave and laundry. Jim and Roy worked.
December 12. To river for calisthenics 12:00 to 2:00. Windows being boarded up. Another funeral formation in AM.
December 13. Fifteen man detail to Imamaia. Unload sand in sacks.
December 14. Sent Jap post card to Ottly. filled out "work preference" card.
December 15. Walt Cadmus got fish today. We had fish and rice for dinner. Inspection by Nip Major and Captain in AM.
December 16. Much dirt sifts through from floor above on us.
December 17. Jap-Philippine currency exchanged. Inspection by C. O. of lamps in AM. Walk across river. Red Cross packages arrived PM.
December 18. Five man detail to Katamachi. Captain Wray "corrected" for quanning. [Quan is a Filipino word corresponding in meaning to our "thingamajig." The Filipino language is limited and quan is used for many items without a specific name. The POW's used it for any concoction of foodstuffs.] I bought puffed rice for 10 sen.
December 19. Funeral formation and police in alley in AM. Enlisted men get three finger rolls and....Double eime [sic] for levee for calisthenics on D.O.
December 20. Levee 8:00 to 11:30 AM. Hike across river PM. Nip Memorial Day.
December 21. Tongue, gums and lips have been so sore I could hardly eat for 10 days. Eating raw spuds is helping them. We save our larger "seam rabbits (lice) and quan them!
December 22. A detail to Tamasakuri. Moved upstairs to Section 5. Woodside and Pennel corrected for having hands in pockets.
December 23. Funeral for 2 dead AM. Store excess baggage in PM. Lt. Candiello to hospital. Mainichi [Japanese newspaper] says 50,000 marines took 3,000 tons of bombs and 7 days to clean up 3,000 Nip sailors and 1,500 civilian employees in Makin!
December 24. Issued 2 tangerines. Paid Y40 for wall card "Kansya" which means "Be Thankful"!
December 25. Two funeral formations. Bath inaugurated. Captain Hansen lost knife. Red Cross packages issued one to three men. Contents of one Canadian Red Cross package: Prunes 4 oz., Cheese 4 oz., Raisins 7 oz., Klim (powdered milk) 16 oz., Chocolate bar 5 oz., Butter 16 oz., Tea 4 oz., Marmalade 16 oz., Sugar 8 oz., Hardtack 16 oz., Salt 2 oz., Salmon 7.75 oz., Corned beef 12 oz., Sardines 3.5 oz., Soap 12 oz., Lunch meat 10.5 oz.
December 26. Hike across river AM. Roy worked. Jim and I took bath, followed by more calisthenics.
December 27. Seventeen men to Minnatomachi. Snow fell 1:00 PM. One man was slapped.
December 28. Touch ball and foot-baseball in AM. Gloves issued. Shaved Candiello.
[The Japanese gave the officers a long song and dance about a shortage of help due to their holidays and begged the officers to work just for a short emergency. The officers were thus talked into "volunteering" to help for a short time. They had previously resisted working because they felt it was their duty not to co-operate with their captors. It would have been easier for them to co-operate and so receive better rations as the enlisted men did. In the final analysis, the Japanese discontinued trying to make the officers work and sent them to Zentsuji Camp because the officers were a bad influence on the enlisted men, encouraging them to resist work, and sabotage whenever they could. Thus the Japanese came to feel that the officers were more trouble than good for the work program.]
December 29. Weight 170 with clothes on. Jim and I did dishes. First officer work detail to Umeda Bunsho. Overcoats issued.
December 30. Coal shoveling at Mahati. Hot Klim and sugar with hardtack when we got home.
December 31. Shoveled coal from ground into box cars. Filled out "impression" sheet. Three tangerines issued also box lunch at work.
January 20. Jim Richards abed with flu and diarrhea. I with hiccoughs.
January 21. Still hiccuping and no appetite.
January 22. Bath. Still poorly.
January 23. Appetite okay and feel better. hiccoughs stopped. To crematory with bodies.
January 24. Roy and I shovel sand. Senman Staymans gives Tai-so. Jim still abed.
January 25. We saw ties and shovel sand.
January 26. Shovel sand. Jim has bad sores in crotch.
January 27. Laid off work. Tai-so twice. I have scally scrotum, penis ringworm and itch all over.
January 28. Shovel sand. Jim worked first day in several. Small rice issue for lunch.
January 29. Charcoal cut for 2 days because of our quanning. Very cold weather without fire - no good. Inspection by outside officer during bath. Enlisted man from section 1 caught stealing.
January 30. Hauled cinder sand and piled ties.
February 1. Tai-so in alley AM. Walk to Todagawa PM. Snow flurries. "Walking Dead" enlisted men routed out in PM and sent to work. Col G. L. Fields died.
February 2. Hauled cinders at Senmam. Dr. Nell diagnosed my itch as scabies and prescribed sulfur. Made it itch worse to the point of pain! Weigh 165.
February 3. Rain all night and until 6 AM. Tai-so AM & PM.
February 4. Shoveled heavy ore and loaded lumber on barges at Umeda. Big inspection at camp. Jim still sick with crotch sores. Roy abed with fever in evening.
February 5. Doped Jim's sores with sulfa-thianide. They seem better. Cold bath and good nap in PM. Jim had nap and feels better.
February 6. Shoveled ore and scrap iron at Umeda. All mess gear and Army clothing collected in PM. added 45 [(?)sic] [Ottly, Tag saw James off for Witchita Falls] [Presumably this note refers to James Steiger, George's son, who became a fighter pilot over Germany. I don't know to whom Tag refers to.]
February 7. Light rain during night and it is warmer. Two hour hike and tai-so in PM. Wish I was with L'Ottly. This is a poor, cold place!
February 8. Loaded ore and lumber at Umeda. Cold! High point in day at Umeda chow runners; low point Wa Kei Rei "show" at 5:30 PM. [I have not determined the meaning of Tai-so but Wa Kei Rei means a bow to salute.]
February 9. Cold rain intermittently. Tai-so 10:30 inside. Lt. Danny byer got us a half pound of butter. Section 1 got no supper for bringing home an onion. We were searched but had nothing. W e were paid Y40.
February 10. Went to work, got sick and rested from 10 AM on.
February 11. Abed all day. Nausea and flu - ache all over.
February 12. Filled out 99 Nip queries. "Do you like bombs or artillery most." "What are your thoughts?"!!!!???
February 13. Routed out of bed for tai-so but sat by the fire instead. Shaved and took two hour chill followed by fever. Pulse 130. Miserable, wakeful at night. Yamada by 6 to 7. We now salute all Nips, beds up all day, etc.
February 14. I am moved to hospital. Better. Yamado by in AM. [sic]
February 15. Capt. J. D. Kelley, Hollywood, C. E. Technicolor, died.
February 17. Ration increased by bowl of rice at noon. 115 grains quinine.
February 18. Lt. Robert Perkins, 60th Coast Artillery, died 9 PM. 45 grains quinine.
February 19 & 20. 30 grains quinine.
February 21. Three inches of snow in AM. Ed Johnson (Salinas) framed Ottly's picture.
February 23. Start issue 2 tangerines to workers, 3 to hospital patients daily. Yamada Shoey says we are a lot of thieves and loafers whom he has been treating with great kindness. If we don't reform he will have to treat us like cats and monkeys!
February 25. Jim Richards went to work first day since 28 January. Sixty-five men or 15% have died here in first 90 days.
February 26. All workers remained in and were deloused amid much confusion.
February 27. Hospital deloused. I got my own blankets back.
February 28. Have been two weeks in hospital. Feel okay but have pulse of 130. [George's pulse remained at this rate until after he returned to the USA. He thought his heart was permanently damaged but the Army doctors insisted the damage was to the vega [sic] nerve. He had attacks of heart palpitation from this time on, some very severe lasting for 24 hours at a time.]
March 1. Hospital patients issued remaining Red Cross packages. Rain. My buns were stolen!
March 2. In hospital. Thought about Tag and the boys but no writing is allowed from Osaka. Hope they are fine!
March 3. Lt. Roy Davidson received three letter from his wife via Geneva Red Cross. They were written in June 1942. Others also received mail.
March 4. All officers, except those in hospital, received can of corned beef.
March 5. Left hospital after 19 days. Have burning urine, vomiting, no appetite, weigh 130 lbs.
March 6. Urine still burns but appetite better. Bought shoes from Mr. Eugene Boyd for Y9.
March 7. All men off work. Allowed to go to bed during day. Bath. Quiet.
March 8. Tai-so in AM, walk in PM. I feel terribly weak. Beautiful day. Soldier brought "salt swept up off floor of box car." The guard waved his hands and said, "No, no! Spread on rice at supper, dead in twenty minutes." It was cyanide!
March 9. Tai-so in AM. Bright and warm but in a few minutes a flurry of snow. Cold in PM> Bought mis-mated shoes from E. L. Boyd for Y9.
March 10. Soldiers and Yamado Shoey left. Express company now runs Umeda Bunsho including mess. Beans, barley and buns taken away. Leaves only rice and watery soup - nearly as bad as Cabanatuan!
March 11. Moved from Section 5 to 11. Army removed its food supplies. Rutz and I got some butter brought in by Lt. Simpson. Lt. Richards and I part company.
March 12. Ate last can of type "C" rations. Was slapped by Okay.
March 13. Lumber and pulp at Umeda after 32 days off. Weak in knees, otherwise OK.
March 14. Yasme, rest and bath. Sore and stiff.
March 15. Pulp and scrap iron at Umeda. Tired in knees and feet.
March 16. Laundry in AM. Wash staircase with Spainhower in PM.
March 17. Scrap iron at Umeda. Cut up tangerine peels for use in soap making.
March 19. Work. Feet and knees least tired yet. Typhoid, cholera and diarrhea shots in PM.
March 21. Work. Many have slight chills and fever from shots. First day warm enough to work with coats off. Read Nip account of shooting of torpedo on the Lisbon Maru.
March 22. Work at Umeda. Big conference in Section 11 after tenko [ lights out]. Three men only from Section 11 to work tomorrow because of poor food.
March 23. Two tai-so periods in AM, walk in PM. Weather warm and pleasant. Capt. Robert Wray only officer to work.
March 24. Officers threatened with confinement to quarters, no pay, no noon meal. Ten men will go to work tomorrow.
March 25. Work at Umeda. Shook down for stolen stuff at Bunsho. Ketchup and mustard that I had was okay because I bought it.
March 26. Work. Quit at 2:30 and returned to Bunsho for 2 months pay Y80. Submitted 80 word letter to Ottly for censor and typing.
March 27. Lt. Clarence Rutz and I got F 10 [sic] butter from Lt. Harry Simpson. Chill from shot in PM.
March 28. Tired. Trial of Capt. Robert Wray for stealing Capt. Robert Pennel's Y40. I act as defense counsel - acquitted!
March 29. Pvt. Pearl Kellar died. I accompany body to crematory.
March 30. Work Umeda. Miserably cold and rainy - a drizzle of rain and a trace of snow.
March 31. Work Umeda. Still cold and rainy. Bought 14 oz. ketchup from Lt. Simpson Y2.50, 4 oz. grape juice Y2.75.
April 1. Mess kits reissued to officers only. Capt. Al De Areaco succeeds Lt. Harry Simpson as interpreter. I move in with Lt. Rutz. Weather better. Bought 3 onions for 50 sen - they taste sweet as apples!
April 2. Work at Umeda. Five meat sticks 50 sen, 2 bowls noodles 16 sen, vento 30 sen, ketchup 15 sen. Y1.15 to make up a poor meal!
April 3. Everyone in Section got bottle of sauce 60 - no more body lice.
April 4. Everyone weighed. I, stripped, 153. Rain all day. Air raid siren sounded 10 minutes at 8:30 PM. A real raid???
April 5. Work Umedo. Much "quan" found in doctors Nell and Brown quarters. [These doctors were not popular with the men as they were said to cooperate with the Japanese] All details searched PM. Tenko before dark and blackout lights at dark.
April 6. Osaka, a city of 3 million people, has a "honey-cart" sewage system and traffic cops with miniature swords and child size barber chairs!
April 7. Work Umeda. New shoes and an 8 oz. can corned beef and Jap teacup sugar.
April 9. Laid off. Read Ottly's letters for first time in Japan. Much cheered. Hope I am home for my 40th birthday. This is her birthday!
April 10. Work Umeda. First day without overcoats. Bowl of dried fruit, 12 oz. can corned beef, meat and vegetable.
April 11. Beans in soup and Red Cross porridge for breakfast and supper.
April 12. Work Umeda. Bought vento [railway express boxes] from Capt. Smith, also noodle soup at 2 PM. Felt good and was able to work.
April 13. Yasme. Temperature 38 at 6 AM. Still plenty cold. Opened curried mutton and tomatoes for supper.
April 14. Work Umeda. Bacon and apple pudding for supper. Good but so little! Okay assures us he is honest!
April 15. Work Umeda. Syrup from swept-up sugar in box cars. Okay slapped me for failure to Kuitske [salute]. Last of Red Cross box used.
April 16. Yasme. Issued balance of dried fruit. Copy identification cards in PM.
April 17. Work Umeda. I act as purchasing agent.
April 18. Last of Red Cross porridge and soup. Bath 10:30 instead 1 2:30 - better.
April 19. Work Umeda. Rain all day. Cocoa with sugar for supper.
April 20. Yasme. Inspection by Jap Col 2:30 PM. Shave and laundry.
April 21. Yasme. Stairway partition installed. Read Ottly's letters. Okay! I love her good!
April 22. Work Umeda. Porridge for supper with sugar. Warm for last 24 hours.
April 23. Work Umeda. Nip paper says 800 Allied ships in Mediterranean, U.S. pursuit planes flying to Europe, change in Jap cabinet, Turks build 100 new airports. Sounds okay!
April 24. Yasme. Bath 3 PM. Supper 4 PM because we are to be vaccinated tomorrow.
April 25. Smallpox vaccination 9 AM. Home talent show in alley 1:30 to 3 PM.
April 26. Officers' last work day at Umeda.
April 27. Officers' first day at Kashihara. shakedown search at noon. I lost this book and recovered it later.
April 28. Yasme. Read Tamerlane. Got big bottle ketchup 85 sen. I am nuts about it!
April 29. First day for me at Kashihara. Very good lunch - okay.
April 30. Yasme. Weather fully warmed up now. Pvt. Harold Martelle and detail ate dog!
May 1. Yasme, because Capt. Robert Pennel reads work roster from top to bottom. I at bottom get last call. I hope it is spring fever only, but I am very upset, bitter and discontented - also hungry!
May 2. Okay bought denbu and grape juice for officers. I am still very discontented. Work tomorrow. Hope I feel better!
May 3. Work Kashihara.
May 5. Yasme. Stowed padded uniforms in store room. Drew pair suntan pants. Blues gone, feel good. Weight 170 with clothes.
May 6. Work Kashihara - tocsan (much0 coal. Yoursshe chow - okay. [sic]
May 7. First day on mechanics detail.
May 8. Mechanic. Six whale sticks Y1 at 3 PM. Tired and dirty - not too good a job!
May 9. Temperature 80 - quite warm. Bath AM. Pudding for dinner. I feel tired.
May 10. Finish valves and rings on 2 ton "Nissan."
May 11. Yasme. "Sweetheart" tai-so 9 AM. Okay took us on sampo to river 2 to 3.
May 12. Grind valves on overhead engine. 500 bottles ketchup came in! I got 4 bottles! A good day!
May 13. Work garage detail. Air raid 10 PM last nite. Yokohama bombed? No!
May 14. Signed card to Ottly written 3-26. Wonder when she will receive? Cold showers officially opened.
May 15. Yasme. Stretched bearer (mastoid case) to Nip hospital and return.
May 16. Rain. 140 Army enlisted men left 8 AM for Tanagawa, 164 Navy and Marine enlisted men arrived from Tanagawa. Officers made section leaders.
May 17. Work Kashihara. Gas in drums. Ketchup and bamboo soup, curried rice make best supper since Army left.
May 18. Yasme. Floors detail in section. Started Darwin. Many of new men have been to Zentsuji and tell what a fine place it is!
May 19. Yasme. Good sampo [walk] to parks and downtown 1:30 to 3:30. Shower. Fried fish for supper!
May 20. Work Kashihara. Shetland stud draft horses. Also saw calf pulling cart.
May 21. Yasme. Slight diarrhea. Toe guards on girls wooden shoes in rainy weather!
May 22. Yasme. Capt. Bill Dineen, Montana dentist, slapped which ruptured his eardrum.
May 23. Hot bath in AM. Sampo with Yodagawa 1 to 4. Tangerine peel soap [soup?], very good.
May 24. Work Kashihara, raincoats issued. Rain all day. Ate raw noodles.
May 25. Kashihara detail did not go on account of rain. 100 books arrived. Egg for supper!
May 26. Shovel coal Kashihara. Man in Section 8 got 25 lashes by Humble for stealing Humble's pants.
May 27. Eighty pellets "Seiro" at Kashihara Y1.
May 28. Yasme. Pay day Y50 minus 36.60 equals Y13.40 net. One half pint meat and vegetables cost Y1.08 - sucoshi [very little] meat!
May 29. Yasme. Strip 160 - a gain of 7 lbs. in 2 months. 90 men or 20% dead in six months.
May 30. Shoulder blade numbers issued. Nip papers concede loss of Africa!
May 31. Work Kashihara. Five apples and cabbage! Lt. Simpson gets 5 days in brig for soliciting on the black market.
June 1. Work Kashihara. More apples and cabbage. Started to wear shorts.
June 2. Yasme. Poor sampo with Okay.
June 3. Yasme. All pencils and notebooks taken up.
June 4. Work Kashihara. Some rain - no quan. Headquarters interpreter here in the evening.
June 5. Yasme. Sampos discontinued because we ogle women!!! Tai-so AM & PM.
June 6. Jar of meat and some bamboo sprouts! Rain. Nicatsu garage detail. Quit because there was no chow!
June 7. Work Kashihara. Barley in pocket on way home. Aleutian ship captives report Italy has fallen.
June 8. Yasme. Air raid sirens all day. Dr. Brown moved from Section 10 to 11. In our hospital no more - good!
June 9. Work Kashihara. Slapped for stealing quart of beer - okay!
June 10. Yasme. Read Ottly's letters.
June 11. Work Kashihara. Nicatsu detail resumed. Jim [George's son] graduated from Oceanside High School.
June 14. Loaded ore at Kashihara. 4 apples, cabbage, onion 3 cucumbers! Strafed [sic] small fish and glucose. Very full - OKAY! Cigarettes issued. [George never smoked]
June 16. Worked Kashihara. Interpreter shakedown at Bunsho. Letter read from Jap Col. "Do not bring Vento rice back!"
June 21. Diarrhea since 21 May stopped. Italy invaded. Turkey enters war?
June 22. Work Kashihara. Paid Y50 minus 20.25 (board and clogs) equals Y29.75.
June 23. One hour tai-so and sun period AM & PM. Rutz and I stopped sleeping together.
June 24. Yasme. Read Malthus on population.
June 25. Weigh 160. Work Kashihara. No fish - little work. Four boxes wormy persimmons Y1.20.
June 26. Yasme. Inspection by Marada. Tai-so 8 to 11. Weighed in evening.
June 27. Intended to read letters but no time. Sampo with Okay - first since 5 June.
June 28. Work Kashihara. More than ever I think of my sweet L'Ottly. Big pow-wow in evening.
June 30. Read Ottly's letters. George [George's other son] is 21 today. Wonder what he is doing? I return to Nacatsu. Blankets taken up.
July 2. Work Kashihara. Many fish, also cabbage and onion soup.
July 3. Yasme. Rained hard all day and night.
July 4. Umeda Bunsho. Wrote Ottly 200 words. No extra food available.
July 5. First day for me to Nacatsu.
July 6. Work Kashihara.
July 7. Yasme. Not allowed to sleep in daytime - no good.
July 8. Yasme. Rice and ketchup only.
July 9. Kashihara. Cool all day. Fu (guard)) got on wrong interurban car so our detail was without guard coming back. [There was a network of good electric railway trains in the Osaka area.]
July 10. End 4 weeks as section leader. Show in alley at 6 PM.
July 11. Yasme. Got some songs from Corp. Jimmerson USMC.
July 12. Yasme. Rumors very strong that officers will go to Zentsuji.
July 13. Work Nacatsu.
July 14. Work Kashihara.
July 15. Yasme at Umeda Bunsho. Made putts from blanket.
July 16. Work Kashihara.
July 17. Yasme. Read "Sabine & Sabina."
July 18. Work Nacatsu. Rain. Got wet on the way home.
July 19. Yasme. Cut out blanket to line sweat shirt. Rain in AM.
July 22. Work Kashihara.
July 23. Work Nacatsu. Paid Y50 minus 20.85 equals Y29.15. Capt. Wray stitched and hemmed blanket shirt.
July 24. Work Kashihara. Upset stomach etc. Rest in shack all day. Capt. Anthony got syrup.
July 25. Okay brought in fish powder. Show in evening. Lt. rutz still spreads rumor Mussolini is "out."
July 26. Goldblyth went to Kashihara in my place. Sick all night but better this PM. Hard rain.
July 27. Yasme. Got bottle of syrup from Capt. Wray Y2.20. Red hot dope says we leave this place Saturday night for Zentsuji!
July 28. Fourteen officers go to Kashihara to work.
July 29. Work Nacatsu in garage - last day. Have been to Umeda Bunsho 248 days. Worked 81 days, sick 40.
July 30. Turn in property and so forth at Umeda Bunsho.
July 31. Murutsu Company "presents" gomashio and a jar of meat. Leave Umeda Bunsho at 10:15 and Umeda Station at 11:45 AM.
August 1. Arrive Zentsuji at 8:30 AM. Will be in quarantine for a week or two. Turn in all papers. Zentsuji is on the Island of Shikoku south of Osaka. During World War I it had German prisoners of war located there. It was a sort of propaganda camp which the Japanese allowed the Red Cross to inspect. It was the best prison camp they had.
August 2. No showers here. Took bath at wash rack. Food and treatment good here.
August 4. Milk Y15, bread Y25. No sellers! Read "Watch for the Dawn" by S. C. Afrio.
August 5. Italy in turmoil, Sicily practically taken. We have Mainichi papers daily. [Mainichi is a Japanese newspaper printed in several languages.]
August 6. Received CCC kit, Red Cross box and glass goose. A banner day! Traded coffee and tobacco for bread.
August 7. All books and papers returned. Quarantine lifted.
August 8. General quarters shuffle. I got Room 164. Slept poorly on account of bed bugs, mosquitos, and fleas.
August 9. Started Wells "Outline of History." Another glass goose. California Club in the evening.
August 10. Assigned to sanitation detail. European news looks good. Home for Xmass.
August 11. Starting with good rice issue in AM had plenty to eat.
August 12. "Pat" Brougham, Lt. RN, age 22 - 9 years service!
August 14. If all those rumors had been true, we'd have been home in 42!
August 16. Rain in afternoon. It is pleasant to hear the rain on the tin roofs.
August 17. Library re-opened. I drew Wells and started reading it aloud to Anse George.
August 18. Lt. Robson, RNR, tells of a wooden block used as an "operating base" for geishas!
August 19. Rain all afternoon. Bought can coffee Y20, can milk Y14 from Capt. E. L. Burke.
August 21. Still have atlas, although nearly worn out. States mail written June received here today.
August 22. My birthday. Weight 156. "Joe Louis" [a sort of thick chocolate pudding] and P14 can milk for dinner. One half bottle of pop in evening. OK!
August 23. Read Ottly's letters for birthday present. Still wishing I was home but things look better now.
August 24. Wrote to Ottly. It will be 30 days before the letter will be typed and leave here.
August 25. Lt. Henry Bevis was on Lisbon Maru. 970 out 1815 were saved. The Lisbon Maru was one of the ships which our Navy torpedoed on which there were American prisoners-of war that the Japanese were taking out of the Philippines.
August 26. Letter writing suspended indefinitely.
August 27. Delicious cucumber soup for dinner!
August 29. Wrote 25 word card to leave Japan 15 Sept. on exchange ship.
August 30. Am now taking four types of vitamin pills.
August 31. Bought fountain pen Y5 plus 4 cigarettes from Lt. Nelson Russell.
September 1. Reveille changed from 5:30 to 6 AM. Traded Capt. Ferris Speer 15 packages cigarettes for 3 do-nuts and 1/2 oz margarine.
September 2. Discontinued use of mosquito netting. Jam issue 3-1/2 pineapple, 10 oz tomato - about enough for 1/2 waffle.
September 3. Labor Day Zentsuji! Nip Col. says, "Develop fortitude in lieu of coal and more food."
September 8. Start psychology class with Lt. Jack Bradley as instructor.
September 9. Finished "Outline of History" in 22 days. Marvelous book!
September 10. Mainichi concedes surrender of Italy as of 3 Sept. Earthquake at 5:25 PM which kills 900 northwest of Osaka. Felt here.
September 11. Good "concert" in canteen 6:30. Hard rain. [The British called any kind of entertainment a concert.]
September 12. Rain - no work formation.
September 16. Burned rice and 3 oz. of cheese.
September 19. Wore shirt all day, first time at Zentsuji.
September 20. Overcoats issued. Slept under 2 blankets. Three days ago needed none!
September 21. Read "Man's Great Adventure" by Edwin Pablow of Ohio State College.
September 22. Made the Zentsuji jail 1 to 7 PM.
September 23. Paid Y50. Nine Red Cross cookies. Bought rayon shirt for Y4.25. Bath and laundry.
September 25. Marvelously beautiful weather! My first fall since 1940.
September 26. Weight 152, down 4 lbs. since last month.
September 29. Bread with margarine and jam and "Joe Louis" for dinner.
October 3. Sunday. Wrote Ottly 40 word card. Borrowed Anse George's pants while mine were patched.
October 5. Bought note book from canteen.
October 6. Section "coops and moogs" confiscated. Tin dishes issued. I made Zentsuji jail. Wool clothing and blankets issued. [The coops and moogs incident was caused because of a misunderstanding. A Welsh coal miner with somewhat of an accent was the bearer of the orders for the day. The Japs wanted to have an inspection of the dishes but the Welshman told George, who was room leader for 16A, there would be an inspection of the "coops and moogs." This was Welsh for dishes! After much discussion as to what was meant by "coops and moogs," room 16A put out their cups for inspection. The Japanese took offense at this, put George in the brig for [in]subordination, lectured him severely, and took away the room's entire supply of dishes, giving them only a few poor tin dishes. After this incident, George told me, all one had to do to start a riot in 16A was to say "coops and moogs"! I think this Welshman's name was Toler. The Japanese regarded anything given to the POW's as a gift from His Most Gracious Majesty, The Emperor of Japan. George always referred to himself as a "guest of His Majesty"!]
October 7. Signed card written 3 Oct. Section bought deck of cards Y4.
October 9. Use of blankets prohibited except at night.
October 10. Much furor about officers going to work "on the hill." [agriculture]
October 11. Read "100 Guinea Pigs." Bought deck of cards Y20.
October 12. Officers will not work on hill.
October 13. Lt. Erhardt received 14 word telegram from wife, Jewel.
October 14. Nippon grants Philippines independence.
October 15. Outside for chicken gravel. First time out since my arrival. Red Cross packages - contents the same as of 12-25-42 - at 6 PM.
October 16. Wm. Wallace Stecker, 1st Lt. 92 CAPS is 30 years old today.
October 17. We eat powdered milk dry - but good!
October 18. Murango, Goa, Portuguese India exchange of Nip and American nationals aboard Nip ship Teia Maru and Swedish ship Gripsholm in progress.
October 24. Weight 157.7 - up 5.7. Read "Black Napoleon," the story of Toussaint Lovverture.
October 26. "Popular" gramophone concert.
October 29. Gordon Braden, Lt. A. F. George, Williams, Beiw, 2nd Lt. Kalbfleish F. A., Lt. Comdr. Callahan, Lt. George Trudell, Ens. Bucky Hemshaw USN left 1 PM.
October 30. Saturday Night! Halloween and I forgot all about it!
November 1. We start arising at 6:30 AM at Zentsuji.
November 2. Lt. Brown, BA was on Lisbon Maru. Rumor is rife regarding people leaving Zentsuji.
November 3. Radio Tokyo started recording 3 minute broadcastings. [Broadcasts were to be to the USA of these records at 9, 10, and 11 o'clock followed by propaganda speeches extolling the virtues of the "Greater [East] Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere." The recordings of prisoner-of war messages to their families were used to get an audience for the propaganda.] Nip holiday.
November 4. Read "Man for the Ages," by Irving Batcheller.
November 5. Capt. Gordon, RN "Two Years on the Royal Yacht."
November 6. Made recording for Radio Tokyo. [Broadcast in L. A. Jan 1944.] Received reply from Ottly 15 March 1944.
November 7. Read Jay's "Franklin."
November 8. Met Capt. Bill Bathgate from "Malaya."
November 9. Red Cross box received at 4 PM.
November 10. Big Naval battle off Bougainville! Nips claim victory, 30 of our warships sunk, so they say! [Our men were able to watch the progress of the war from the Jap newspaper accounts. The papers always claimed victory and stated we were encroaching on their territory but our men could note that the territory encroached upon kept getting closer and closer to Japan. One of George's favorite stories about their news accounts was an account of a big bombing raid. The paper stated "All was confusion!" Then to save face, "But controlled confusion!" It was a favorite saying of his!]
November 11. 620 chickens on hand. First egg laid today. Casino burned as per Ottly's letter received here January 44. [Casino Gardens, Ocean Park, was a favorite place to dance with George.]
November 12. Nip pilots are superior because the wear geta and drink tea says Mainichi!
November 13. Exchange ship Teia Maru docks at Yokohama. Mail???
November 16. Ensign Chet W. Olcott, Portland, found in Red Cross supply room - jailed.
November 17. New "peanut shell" blankets issued. Rats race in ceiling and over our beds at night. [Dick Fulmer told a story of rats in a camp where he was held. The Japs got a cat to catch the rats but the POW's quickly caught the cat and ate it. Another cat was brought by the Japs which met the same fate. Then the Japs got wise and were slightly amused. They got another cat and issued the warning that if this cat disappeared the rations would be cut. The boys did not kill this cat but they took each rat the cat caught, cooked it and ate it. The cat became discouraged and left camp. The Japanese thought the cat had been killed and lectured the POW's severely, also cut their rations as threatened. Dick told this story at a breakfast gathering in our home at 3709 Cherrywood after the war. I commented, "Oh, no!" to which he replied, "A rat is a good, clean, grain-eating animal - fine to eat." I thought rats carried bubonic plague. But, no, Dick said the fleas carry the plague, not the rats, and if they had had more time, they could have told us which fleas were palatable!]
November 19. Olcott gets 10 days and John Harper, his room leader, 3 days confined to quarters.
November 23. Over 1,000 letters in camp from the Teia Maru. None for us who arrived in August.
November 25. Thanksgiving. 10 oz can of meat for dinner. Hardtack, butter, jam, cocoa, milk and sugar AM and PM. Very full. REad Ottly's letters. 100 letters and packages put out.
November 26. California letters reflect no shortage of food or petrol. Erhardt got package.
December 1. Start wearing sweat shirt and long drawers of Nip issue winter underwear.
December 5. Phil Bateman is asked "Do you like cocktails?" He answers, "yes, tell me some!"
December 6. No blanket tenko to tenko!
December 8. 24th rescript day. First cold day. Overcoats may be worn.
December 10. To hospital one mile south for lumber for rabbit hutches.
December 11. "Holy Mackerel" how Lt. Max Mainprice shines at charades!
December 12. Cold bath, heater B. O. yesterday. "Yingle, yingle and the Italian wrestler!"
December 15. Daikon [a sort of radish] tops drying all around the camp. Good greens.
December 17. Bought pictures of 150 guests [here he means POW's] from Capt. John Tozer. [The Japanese made a big point of impressing upon the prisoners that any dish, articles of clothing or whatever they received were gifts of the Emperor.]
December 18. Five RAF fliers from Hokkaido were brought in.
December 23. Beans for breakfast and supper last night! Trip for garage sand in PM. Nips issue decorative paper for Xmas decorations.
December 24. "Panic" inspection AM. Bath. Red Cross boxes PM. Carols in canteen in evening.
December 25. Nearly raining but warm. Plenty food. Upstairs party 2 PM, room dinner 4 PM, Xmas carols 6 PM.
December 26. Weight 160. "At Home" in 16B from 2 to 4. Warm sun all day. "Ali Baba" with usherettes.
December 27. Capt. John Tozer, 1st duty officer 16A.
December 28. Sign 300 word letter to Ottly.
December 29. Not in formation for tenko but for doctor. Stand in cold 45 minutes.
December 30. Marvelous package from L'Ottly!!!!
December 31. Inspection day by Camp superintendent 2 PM. Popular concert 6 to 8. Bed 9 PM. Y863.50 on deposit.
December 23. Weather has been clear, fairly warm in the sun during the day. Went on a detail from 2 to 4 PM to haul sand for the garage floor. Nips issued colored paper for decorations at 5 PM. (We paid for it later) Doug Millicen and Lex Fraser started decorating room.
December 24. Awakened at 2 AM by patter of rain on the benjo roof. Rained until 6 AM. Continued cloudy but no rain and not very cold. Finished decorations in AM. Camp Supt. Inspected rooms in AM which caused a panic. Red Cross boxes were issued at 3 PM. Ted Goode and I shared an African box plus 1/9 each of a Canadian box. Had bath at 4 PM. Everyone in high spirits. Excellent carols in canteen. Mess Cook, Olson, sang us his "Xmas Tree" song. Tenko and taps one-half hour later.
December 25. Christmas Day! Hot water and a shave before breakfast. Cocoa, rice, excellent beans for breakfast, also corned beef. Shined and installed insignia. Hard tack, butter, jam, hot milk and sugar 9 AM followed by tour of inspection with Bill Stecker. Room 18 had 6 foot tree and cut away of stable. All rooms nicely decorated except 9B. Had coffee with Stecker and Eddington. Bread, jam, rabbit and chicken stew for dinner. Two eggs, 10 tangerines per man issued. Johnny Valkenaar (El Paso) brought a can of cheese as a present! Room 23 had a dummy fireplace. Big party upstairs from 2 to 4 followed by our formal dinner. To 16B rice and excellent stew. Rice, sugar milk and prune pie. Bread and jam sweets, sweet buns and tangerines. Lou Besbeck (LA) put on Dickens "A Christmas Carol" in Canteen. Late tenko again. A VERY GOOD DAY!
December 26. Plenty to eat. Read Ottly's letters in sun in the morning. 16B gave us a tea 2 to 4. "Ali Baba" ended series of shows on slightly rakish note. Gordon Eccles, et al, made a hit as usherettes. 16A presented my "leltter" after tenko.
December 27. Ted Goode and I had 2 O'clock tea. Can bacon, 5 eggs, ½ can cheese, onion tops, bread and butter, jam, tea and sugar.
December 28. Signed 300 word letter to Ottly. Slightly ill.
December 29. Not in formation for doctor at tenko. Stood at attention in cold for 45 minutes. 12A composed and sang the following song:
The doctor came in and looked all around
And then he stomped out with a terrible frown
Two men playing chess, they let a groan
'Twas then that they knew that the bugle had blown
Then out in the night with their coats left behind
To stand 45 minutes in a shivering line
The doctor said, "Listen, I'll tell you once more
Your conduct at muster has made me quite sore"
Then George rubbed his eyes though they weren't sore
He looked at the eso, he'd been there before
Then back to their room with a sigh of relief
To think what a narrow escape from black grief!
December 30. Received marvelous package from L'Ottly first word in 2 years!
25 blades Gillette
1/2 lb cocoa
1/2 lb cheese
2 pkgs soup
6 pkgs boullion
1 lb cube sugar
1 wool sweater
1 pkg malted milk tablets
1 lb raisins
1/2 lb pecans
1/2 lb hard candy
3 cakes soap
1 wash cloth
1 shaving brush
1 nail clipper
needles and thread
2 pairs sox
2 corn pads
1 suit long underwear
1 tooth powder
Weight 11 lbs. Hard candy and malted milk ran together but not harmed. All else OK.
December 31. Major Laird received parcel containing 1 lb rice! Inspection by Camp Supt. 2 PM. Popular concert with Ferris Spoor and Johnny Valkenaar 6 to 8 PM. Bed at 9.
January 1. New Year's Day! Col. Miller and staff with important announcement. Room leaders tea in afternoon. Worn shirt, Ferris new tie and my new sweater to Prune Pickers' tea in the afternoon. Donned new underwear after 4 PM bath. California Club tea. A bright, warm day. The war will o'er in 44!
January 2. Gave tea to 16A in AM. Hot chocolate, cheese savories, cocoa, Eagle Brand, raisins on bread. Wore shirt, tie, and sweater all day. Canteen concert in evening.
January 3. A bright, sunny day. Yasme because of Nip holiday. Gave my Elgin watch to Chief Jones to send out for repairs.
January 4. Wore overcoat all day for first time this winter.
January 5. Slight hail 11 AM.
January 6. Read "Inside Europe" by John Gunther.
January 7. Ferris on O. D. Pop concert 16A.
January 8. Cold bath 6 PM. Nip internees from the Idaho refuse to stoke own fire.
January 9. Chuck Erhardt and Capt. John MacCallum to tea in PM.
January 10. Capt. Keith Campbell gave lecture on "Low Countries Campaign."
January 11. Lt. Cadmus in with his third letter received.
January 12. Had talk with Cadmus in AM.
January 15. Tangerines, 3 donuts because it is 2nd anniversary of Zentsuji.
January 16. Cadums to tea in AM.
January 17. Capt. Harcourt Bull has received 40 letters.
January 18. Ottly's letter #24 of 26 Aug, 15 Sept, 26 Sept, 5 Oct, 1944 received.
January 20. 2 to 4 AM watch. To Anse George's for 3 rations of rice from Goode.
January 21. Jim's birthday. Hope he is okay when I return. [Jim was George's son, a fighter pilot over Germany] Loaned Spoor Y20.
January 22. Rats ate last of Ottly's hard candy. We were paid Y50. "Desert Song" at concert.
January 23. Smallpox vaccination. Weight 160.6. Eades says I have 2 letters forwarded from Osaka, one in a 20th Century Fox envelope! [ Ottly worked for 20th Century Fox movie studio]
January 24. Bill Stecker to tea in AM. Wrote 50 word card to Ottly. British exchange ship????
January 25. Mainprice shaves and washes dishes with gloves on!
January 27. Nip Navy "Wild Eagles" down two US pursuit planes with two rice balls and Mainishi!!
January 28. Coldest night so far. Bright sunny day. ¼ inch ice on side of barracks at 4 PM.
January 29. Capt. John Pray gets 2 ½ "Lipstick" leltters. I get April 1 and 12, 1943 letters. My letlters lare two years and two months old.
January 30. Read "The Duchess Was No Lady." Tea water cut to meals because of coal shortage.
January 31. The Marshall Islands taken. Mainichi editor still clamoring for prisoner reprisals.<,/P>
February 1. Officers requested by Nip Col to volunteer for work on new "ag" plot.
February 2. Officers work on new garden plot. Ottly's letter of 8 Feb. 1943 received. Snow in evening.
February 3. Letter of 12 January, 15 February, 11 May, 1943 received.
February 4. Two teeth filled. Dr. laughs heartily at my request for "Pel Mel." [Pall Mall was a brand of cigarette. ]
February 10. Red Cross boxes being unpacked for issue is the rumor. The Col. Says, "No!"
Februay 11. Planned New England trip with Walt Cadmus. Cover to "K" ham & eggs. Wonder if the Col. likes?
February 12. First time on "outside ag." Newspapers stopped because of POW articles.
February 13. First permanent muster because group #3 was not ready inside yesterday.
February 14. Tom Fortney (Fresno) 28 years old. "Little Tojo" tai-so and "99" in PM. Ottly's picture, letters 9 and 18 August 1943. Frank and Ida's letter received. [Ottly's sister and brother-in-law?] Kobyashi left Zentsuji 1 Nov. 1944. [?]
February 15. Work "ag." Col. Supt says "ag" is exercise, not work. Protest disallowed.
February 16. Work "ag." Anse received 6 word letter from his mother-in-law!
February 17. Work "ag." Newspapers resumed. Col. And Hasatani have been to Toko.
February 18. Last day of first 5-day "ag" tour. Truk raided!
February 22. Paid Y50 for cut-down get alongs.
February 23. Vic Witman operated on for appendicitis.
February 24. Red Cross clothing issue PM off Gripsholm. I drew wool shirt, ear-flap cap, tan sox (which I traded to John Tozer for garrison belt for Ferris).
February 25. Wool undershirt, fatigue pants, and a hanky.
February 26. Camp returned Nip issue of Red Cross Box 1 box for 4 men.
February 27. Weight 151. Beautiful sunny day. Did large laundry, shaved in cold water AM.
March 1. One Red Cross box per man issued. I traded Smitty 2 cans coffee for 25 rice.
March 2. Traded Anse 8 US cigarettes for gloves. "Ag" haul manure in PM.
March 3. "Ag" first time to hill.
Marach 7. Lt. Robson batsu-ed [slapped] for smoking on bunk at noon. Ottly's letters June 25, July 3, 1943 received in PM.
March 8. Ralph Yoder says 2 million letters! Inspection in PM. Bowden finished O. D. last in 16A. Work "ag" MP. Ottly's letters of June 11 & 18, 1943.
March 13. Hill party discontinued. Work order revoked on order of Navy Lt. from Tokyo POW office.
March 14. Ralph Yoder broke Formation. Hand talked by Donald Duck and sgt. Put in brig without blankets for 24 hours.
March 15. Received radio message dated March 4, reply to my radiogram of last Nov. 6.
March 16. Capt. Henry Pierce of Room 17B batsu-ed by Donald Duck in presence of Col. & Hostoni because of failure to bow. Tea and toast after tenko.
March 17. Killed forst [first?] 2 pigs which dressed 265 lbs. First cold bath of year in benjo [toilet] because both drains B O.
March 18. New Red Cross books in AM. I drew Ogden Nash "I'm a Stranger Here." Pop concert in 26 with new records in evening. Ottly's six letters May 28 to June 10 received.
March 22. We were paid Y 50.
March 23. Work "ag." Bowden unhappy regarding my allusions to British Indian Imperialism!
March 24. Pop concert 16A new records.
March 25. Warm. Removed and washed all clothing including woolen trousers which I donned 31 Oct. Wash clothing after bath - okay.
March 26. Weigh 154. Enlisted men and Lou Besbeck put on "Snow White and 7 Dwarfs." OKAY!
March 27. With Spoor, Muir (Scotty Muir of Laguna Beach), Howell to haul bamboo 1 to 5 PM.
March 29. Start "Mental Hygiene"" by W. Mikesell and "Finding Yourself in Your Work" by H. W. Hepner.
March 30. Reading aloud to Spoor and Anse George, John Bakeless "Daniel Boone."
March 31. Debate in canteen "Government Against Private Ownership." Ottly's letters 12 and 22 March, Cecil Flemmings 23 April 1943. Issue of Red Cross pipes, tobacco, soap, shave cream, sew kits, etc.
April 1. Details reorganized on 2-month rotation basis. In galley area Tim Robinson is in charge.
April 5. Anthony Raymond George (Anse) born 1913. One hour muster because some were late to formation.
April 6. Shoes half-soled and rubber heels.
April 7. Ottly's letters 2 January, 2 March, 1943 with snapshots of Ottly & Betty Jo.
April 8. John Stuart Muir's birthday.
April 9. Drafted 250 word letter to Ottly #8. This is her birthday.
April 12. Signed 250 word letter written 4.9.
April 17. P. S. on letter written by Ferris Spoor "Send no more clothes"!
April 18. Start retention nutrition psych tests.
April 19. Harold Francis Eddington 30 years old.
April 20. Weigh 154.4. For the first time on Wednesday at Zentsuji 1/3 of a Red Cross box. Eddidngton to afternoon tea.
April 21. Read "High Iron" by Lucius Beebe.
April 22. Wore no overcoat and had no blankets on bed last three nights.
April 24. Start course of study for Jack Wash of Van Nuys.
April 25. Start algebra under Peter Dixon, Lt. R. I. F.
April 27. Ordered Jap and South Seas Yearbook Y 25, Contemporary Japan Y 10. Money refunded as unable to deliver.
April 28. Max Pestalozzi, Int'l Red Cross Representative here. First Red Cross Rep I've seen in 2 yrs of captivity. Meat and eggs for dinner. First beef in 9 months and more than usual to eat as of the past 2 months.
April 30. Donned new Red Cross work pants for summer. Wore wool trousers 6 months, less one day for washing.
May 2. Mainichi says, "Japan will send ships to Vladivostok for Red Cross supplies and mail."
May 9. Walt Cadmus for AM tea okay. Capt. Ed Burke and 4 others receive parcels.
May 11. Read Hughes Mearns "The Creative Adult." Start "speech" with Jason Quist, Capt. USA.
May 14. Good room party. Capt. Tozer ill. Every sq ft in compound planted to private gardens.
May 15. "Psychology & Human Living," by W. C. Langer. Hair cut short.
May 16. 1,000 letters, some as late as Dec. 43 arrive and I receive 8 - okay!
May 17. Zentsuji mosquito bar issued. Sick call for poor focusing eyes. Van Peenen says conjunctivitis.
May 20. As soon as the winter cold abates, flies, mosquitos, and bed-bugs start!
May 21. Weight 152. Anse got new fountain pen thru canteen Y 7.50 to replace my black one he lost.
May 22. Paid Y 20. Ottly's letter 22 May (one yr oldl) and 23 July.
May 23. Ottly's letters 21 and 28 Jan, 28 April 1943. Second small portrait in 21 Jan.
May 24. A 25 word letter from Ottly dated 19 Oct 1943.
May 26. Ottly's first letter 23 Dec. 1942 (17 months old). Anse found my pen he lost 1 week [ago].
May 29. Read Harvey Allen's "Forest and Fort." [This book made a big impression on George. He often spoke of the small animals described therein. -Ottly]
May 30. 30 parcels addressed to the Philippines arrived. Anse got one all food. Cadmus received one which had been "touched."
May 31. Elgin returned not repaired after 5 months.
June 1. Started wearing shorts.
June 5. 25 word letters of 11 Oct, 24 Nov, 1943 and Jan 1944. (5 months 5 days old) Portrait of Tag, third one of Ottly.
June 6. 27 Oct '43 form Don Kates, 1566 No. Bryan St., Arlington, VA! 2nd front opened!
June 7. Ferris, Anse, and I open my birthday can of corned beef. First news of 2nd front. News of the second front in Mainichi!
June 9. 750 letters arrive 9 AM and are out by 6 PM. 25 word card from Ottly 14 Dec 19 43, 17 Feb 1944 (3 months, 20 days).
June 13. Signed 50 word card #9 to Ottly. Received 25 word card from Bill Leershov 22 Nov. '45. He has month old son. 395 So. Mt Vernon, San Bernardino.
June 14. 25 word letter from Ottly 11 Nov. '45, Jo Wallace [George's sister] 1 Nov '43, George [his son] 5 Oct '43. Snap of Addie in Ottly's letter.
June 15. Leerskov 16 Oct '43 with snap of Bill and wife. Air raid alarm 5:30 PM. Arms issued to staff. Much tramping and shouting all night. No fires in galley.
June 16. Breakfast 9 AM hungry! Bread for lunch sour. First sun bath. Twenty B-29's over Moji 2 AM.
June 18. Weigh 152. [one year later 143]
June 20. First typhoid shot. Bottom of feet sore because of too much sun.
June 24. Spoor and Millican made window screens of George's mosquito bar. What a difference!
June 26. Van Peenen performed appendictomy on Lt. John Fisher 1 AM.
June 27. Second typhoid shot. Lyman Edward Johnson (Salinas), Capt. 194th Tanks 43 today.
June 30. Camp authority query, "Why are you losing weight?" George's birthday 22.
July 1. Everyone losing weight, so algebraic equation: increase in ration, i.e. plus 30 kilos rice minus 50 kilos beans plus cucumber soup equals ?
July 3. Col. Unruh A. Carr arrives Zentsuji 4 PM.
July 10. Funeral Major Slater, British Army.
July 11. Second dysentery shot fourth of this series.
July 14. Enlisted start digging fox-holes at Zentsuji.
July 15. Mattresses redistributed at Zentsuji. Work party. Captains and above that rank now have them.
July 16. Weight 150.
July 18. Tojo and cabinet resign. So what?
July 19. Mainichi admits loss of Saipan. Mainichi has reported U. S. encroaching on Jap territory and describes how valiantly the Japs are driving them off but we note that the encroachment keeps coming closer to Japan!
July 22. Received pay Y25.
July 27. 12 oz rice per day. Delicious egg plant, cucumber and melon soup.
July 31. Naval officer inspects for 2 days.
August 1. Signed 50 word card #10 to Ottly.
August 3. Food very short rice cut to 10 ½ oz per day. Col. Miller, Tanks, assumed command. Division three Vice Lt. Cmdr Graaf.
August 8. Beans for breakfast discontinued. [Beans for breakfast were so popular that there was a club called "Beans For Breakfast Club."]
August 20. Weight 145. [One year later 130]
August 22. My birthday. Received belt, soap, hanky from Ferris and Anse, pepper from Cadmus, burned rice from Valkenaar, toothbrush from Smitty, also AM tea in Col. Miller's office. Full feel okay! Card from Room 16A.
August 30. Thirty new officers arrive.
September 8. 319 Red Cross parcels arrive. Knute Houson, 7729 5th Ave. N. E., Seattle.
September 13. Signed #11, 25 word card to Ottly.
September 17. Weight 141. High wind blew down fence in PM. Capt. Lex Fraser played accordion 6 to 7 PM.
September 18. Quarters shift according to nations. Col. James and 15 Captains in 16A.
September 20. Slept under two blankets. Ensign William Wells of Glendale visited in AM.
September 22. First day of autumn, first long trousers in 3 months. Ottly's 25 word card of 17 March, 8 May, 1944 with 4 snaps of house etc., received. Paid Y20.
September 23. Received ¼ of a Red Cross Parcel.
September 25. Another beautiful day! Mosquito netting called in. 25 word card from Ottly 19 April 1944.
September 26. To Walta Cadmus for rice, cheese, onion quan and coffee with cream and sugar. Had a very pleasant chat. Rain check on birthday party very nice.
September 27. Capt. Hositani told Capt. Linsberry that Japan had agreed to received and distribute Red Cross supplies.
October 1. Very good housewarming party at supper by new members of 16A. Drafted a 25 word message to Ottly.
October 2. 25 words to Ottly returned extended to 40. Revision of camp regulations allows lying on bunks in daytime.
October 5. Security watch with Lou Besbeck 9 to 11:15. Plenty of hot tea. My first official watch.
October 13. Ottly's 25 word cards of 20 May, 27 June 1944 contain snaps of Ottly, Arden and faces of boys. [Cut because they were in uniform.] May letter was first one to have a word censored.
October 15. First cold day. Extra ration of rice plus noodle soup - the last of Ottly's pkg.
October 16. Received Ottly's 25 worder of 31 July, 9 August 1944.
October 21. First hot bath of season in ½ pail of water. Donned Red Cross wool shirt for winter.
October 22. Weight 140. Paid Y 30.
November 1. Kobyashi left Zentsuji. Has been here since 14 February.
November 5. Total of 6 Red Cross parcels in 30 months of being POW plus 1 pkg from Ottly.
November 6. Surprise tenko 11:20 to 12 PM. Red Newton "over the fence" and got 30 days in Nip jail. [The men went "over the fence" to raid a nearby bakery. In spite of constantly being caught and punished they continued to do this.]
November 7. Tenko and shake-down 11:30 to 12:20. De Arezzo, Jim Powell, Travis Smith, Doc Curtis, Ryan, Mikalek, Bill Mies all sent to brig for having unauthorized materials.
November 10. Spoke with Jim Richards first time in months. Local election in camp with following results: FDR 188, Dewey 26.
November 11. Major B. Barrett, C of E, died 7:30 PM. De Arrezo released from brig. One blanket per man collected leaving us with 4 "peanut" blankets each.
November 12. Sweet potato jam at 3 PM first time in months.
November 13. Nov 6th officers released from brig.
November 16. Received Ottly's 25 word message 10 Aug 44. Weight 138.
November 20. Signed 40 word message #13 to L'Ottly.
November 21. First Lt. Moulden RAF died. Ferris and Anse gave me tube of Mennens "brushless" in lieu of mentholatum. First of 9500 Red Cross parcels arrive 9 AM.
November 22. One 10# Red Cross parcel per man issued 2 PM. I am truly full due to all day eating!
November 23. Room 16A held excellent thanksgiving dinner. Paid Y 20.
November 24. Walt Cadmus to AM tea. My milk, cheese, raisins, chocolate all gone due to new "basting" policy. Nip col. Says, "2 parcels per month."
November 25. To Cadmus and Erhardt PM for quan and tea.
November 26. To Eddington for breakfast cocoa. Lt. H. A. Smitty for AM coffee. I went to his room for PM cocoa and sweet potato jam.
November 27. Received 25 word letter from Oyly of 20 June 44. Robert Chandler, Captain C of E, operated on for hemorrhoids.
November 29. Sgt. Sabey, USMC, died.
November 30. Red Cross parcel at 1:30. Good room dinner in PM.
December 1. Fred Garrett arrived. [He was a flier who was shot down and had a badly injured leg which the Nips took off at his hip. Nips refuse to let the others carry him or help him in any way when they had to climb up the hill from Fukui to Rokcuroshi in 1945. George admired him very much as he was a very plucky fellow.] 1st Lt Air Corps, assigned to 16A. George Manneschmidt, Capt. Inf. to 9A.
December 2. No hot baths because of coal shortage. Ferris Spoor to 9B for supper exchange, Lex Fraser, Beverly, Sleeman & accordion. Overcoats okayed except for inside muster. Last year same on Dec. 8.
December 4. Permission granted to use 2 blankets during day. To Valkenaar's for good coffee 3 PM. Anse, Ferris and I had delicious burned rice quan at 4 PM.
December 9. Harkey "D. J." won Y 2400 at dice. Some rooms disagree on Xmas dinner. Nips ask for vegetable recommendations for 10 day period.
December 10. Hot (120 degrees) bath, first in 15 days because of coal shortage.
December 11. Signed 40 word card #14 to Ottly. Bought Y 400 for $100 gold.
December 13. Received #10 Red Cross box at 1:30 PM.
December 14. Captains Goode, Millican, Fraser guests of Ferris, Anse and I at AM tea. New superintendent arrived for Zentsuji, Col. Kondo.
December 17. Weight 143.5.
December 21. Received Ottly's 25 word message of 22 Aug 44.
December 22. Paid Y 50. Received #11 Red Cross parcel. Washed wool uniform. To Capt. Smith for coffee 2 PM.
December 23. Finished wool boots with John Hummel. [Seattle]
December 24. Rooms 16A and 16B have tea 9 to 10:30 AM. US Army canteen 2 to 3 PM. John Mays sings carols in canteen in evening.
December 25. To Ferris and Anse for breakfast coffee. Ed Burke my host 11 AM coffee. A bright, sunny day for Xmas.
December 28. Received 25 word message of 5 Sept from Jo Wallace. [George's sister]
December 30. An issue of Red Cross clothing. I received a handkerchief okay. No coal no baths!
December 31. Excellent 16A party in evening. I played oldest, small phone, very B.O. [sic] Vomited during night because of Capt. Barlett's wine. Col. Marion Unruh, Jim Parker guest.
January 1. I shall prognosticate no more about this ____ war! At least we are still alive in '45 and can't help but add that I hope we'll be out of the sticks by 46! I can't go along with these guys who say, "The Golden Gate in '48." That's too far away we'll never make it! Room duty with Tim Robinson. Beans for breakfast, taro and carrots for supper. Good chow!
January 2. Johnny Valkenaar for 2 PM coffee and quan.
January 4. Sunny day. Cold showers first since Xmas.
January 6. Issued 10 lb. Red Cross parcel at 5 PM.
January 8. Capt. Stan Wilson - coffee at his table AM. To Lt. Gilette's in PM.
January 9. Chuck Erhardt to "2 ration sweet quan" room 15 in PM.
January 10. Received cards from Jo Wallace of Sept. 44.
January 12. Cold bath AM. Los Angeles Zentsujians had "bring own quan" in AM. To Eddington's in PM.
January 13. Read "Man Against the Sea."
January 14. Cadmus to AM coffee. Read "My Favorite Wife" on [sic] PM okay!
January 15. Mattioti to AM coffee.
January 18. Ottly's 25 word letter of 26 Aug, 15 Sept, 26 Sept and Oct 5, 1944.
Januaray 19. Whistling and singing in the canteen. Entertaining banned because of the bombing of Shrine Ise.
January 20. Harcourt Bull 36 yrs. old today. Issued 10 lb. Red Cross parcel 3 PM. Bed 7:30 because of air raid sirens.
January 21. Weight 146. To Harky's for 9 AM quan and coffee. To Smitty's for "bring own quan" 3 PM.
January 22. We were paid Y 30. Signed 100 word card to L'Ottly.
January 25. Richard I. Jones, Lt. Col. Inf., born 1910, married 1940.
January 31. All diaries have to be turned in!
April 9. Smitty and I build "quan" to celebrate Ottly's birthday.
April 10. Dentist has nothing to help my abscessed tooth.
June 11. Read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
June 17. Read "Paul Revere" by Esther Forbes. Inlay came out of tooth, upper front. I was told. "It will be replaced next camp. All dental and medical supplies packed."
June 23. 335 American Army, Navy and Marine officers leave Zentsuji Camp #3. Station at 3:50, Takamatsu ferry 8 to 9, arrive Okayama 11 PM. Two air raids.>
June 24. Leave Okayama at 6:50 AM, Osaka 12 to 1, Fukui 7:30. Leave Fukui by electric car at 8:10, ride until 9:50. Start hike up the hill at 11 PM. Fred Garrett (one leg) was not allowed to have our help. [Going through Osaka, which was a city of 3,000,000 known to George because of his working there when he first came to Japan, was practically leveled by our B29 raids. Only an occasional piece of a bldg was standing. There was a strong odor of death. The B29's had done a real job of devastation here. Fukui is a city on the west side of Japan about opposite Tokyo. Rokuroshi was high up in the mountains near Fukui.]
June 25. Arrive Rokuroshi at 2 AM. Cloudy but no rain. Rest of our baggage arrived in PM.
June 26. Baggage inspection in the AM by Japanese commander. Weight 143.
June 27. Twenty American, five English, t [sic two?] Dutch enlisted men comprise camp detail.
June 28. A new insect pest called "buffalo gnats" here. The bites cause swelling. One water tap runs slowly. No bath at all. Use wash pan. Sgt. Boscarino USMC in charge.
June 29. My dishes consist here of one "GI" aluminum rice dish and one "samco" can brought from Zentsuji.
June 30. George's [his son] birthday. Nothing to celebrate with but maybe next year!????? I hope!
July 5. First clear day except one since our arrival here. Officers start work 4 hours daily in garden. Very good black soil here "The Good Earth."
July 6. Change in work schedule. Half of us work in AM, the other half in PM. Rain off and on all day. Put tools away in drizzle, cold. To Valkenaar's for accordion concert after supper.
July 7. Drizzle off and on but work parties stayed out. Worked 4 hrs in AM. Very cold in afternoon and evening. Fred Garrett opened library after supper.
July 8. First security watch here with Capt. Ralph Hansen from 3 to 4 AM. Borrowed Le Bartz' overcoat. No water until noon. Capt. Frank Ginsberg and I slept together for warmth and to save space.
July 9. Warm sun in AM for first time in ten days. Carry rocks, repair road for which I was given 7 dog biscuits as reward. Gardening in PM.
July 10. Start evening conversations with Capt. Tom Sawyer to improve his English.
July 11. Ten man detail to forage mountainside for soup greens. Told vegetables not obtainable for two weeks longer. Tenko 7:30, lights out immediately.
July 12. Rain all night and all day. Kinchies (cigarettes) arrive 1:30 PM. Read "Mast At Arms" by R. Sabatini.
July 13. Cloudy, cold, wet but no rain. Sick call with broken rib. Told it was arthritis due to vitamin C deficiency. Tenko 7:30 and no lights.
July 14. No rain, some sun, mostly cloudy. Work in garden 2 hrs. AM and PM. Took "honor satisfy" bath and did laundry in evening.
July 15. Two hours work. 120 men AM punishment for stealing carpenter's lunch. Rain in PM. Tea with Lt. Smith 3 to 4.
July 17. Resume 4 hour period work schedule but no work because of rain all day.
July 18. Rain in AM. Clear enough for planting detail to work in PM. Signed promise to work "as per verbal agreement" amid much controversy.
July 19. First all sunny day in a week. Work with planters in afternoon. Blackout as many planes came 10 to 1 AM. Red glow in the western sky. Bill Meis fell off ladder. 70 sacks of rice arrived and were stowed in the new galley.
July 20. Pleasant 4 hrs on hill in AM. PM work party rained out. Read "Day Must Dawn" which is a story of Penn pioneers fair.
July 21. Rain all day. General from "Cross Creek" failed to arrive for inspection. Some men worked in rain carrying rocks to floor new galley.
July 22. Rain all day. Inspection by Camp Supt at 11 AM. Good rice ration, wheat taken out. Few beans in soup.
July 23. On hill 8 to 11:30. Inspection by General and Col. from Osaka area. Sweet potato also miso [sic] soup for dinner from new galley. Rain prevents work on hill in PM after 2 attempts. Security watch with Ginsberg 11:30 to 12:30.
July 24. Weight 134, a loss of 10 pounds in one month. This is the average for officers. [Japanese] Sgt. Major says, "One kilo lost weight equals 4 kilos gain in toughness!"
July 25. Morning rice ration fills a jam tin! Ferris and Anse cooked good soup for 10 AM. [sic] Full bucket rice for dinner. All messes made equal size. Paid Y 20.
July 26. Officers start operating galley.
July 27. Capt. Howell, Lts. Holland and Goff left at 4 AM. Mess crew starts eating in galley.
July 29. Ensign Ben Lautt assaulted by Harton, Adams et al.
July 30. Two miles up mountain for fence poles in AM. "Turk" Critchlow helped me with room duty.
August 1. Hauled firewood from hill clearing in AM. Issue of quadruple cooked (ox?) bones. [Soup had been made with these bones many, many times and the galley crew was going to throw them out. Someone observed it was a shame to throw away all these good bones so they were issued out one to each man. The men chewed o them, got the marrow out, and beat them up generally for a couple of days. Then they were collected to be disposed of but when the galley crew saw them again, they couldn't bear to throw them out., so they made soup with them again!] Planes with lights on over at 10 to 12. Much noise, counting, turning on lights etc. by guards all night.
August 3. Rice cut to 295 grams (10 ½ oz). Part of national cut?? Work stopped. Just when I thought we were about to receive a living ration!
August 4. Long message from Sgt. Major, "I am doing my best for you but you don't appreciate it. You don't realize the peril of your position. Etc., etc!" Camp, less six men, return to work. (485 grams??) J. J. Malette died. Loss 1 kilo weight equals 4 kilos toughness gained!
August 5. Tenko shows Lts. Travis Smith, Sam Dillard absent. Camp Commander returns from Osaka in one hour. No work call, confined to barracks, no games, no yasme. [Japanese dictionary defines yasume as "rest"] Nip boys and guards form posse. Officers summarily relieved from galley. Security guard doubled.
August 6. Smith and Dillard brought back 3 AM. Lts. Bill Lewis , Bill Bird, Paul Stansbury and Horace Patterson questioned, stood in sun all day without food. Formation 4 PM and lecture, "You can't escape etc." Smith and Dillard taken away. Mallette cremated AM.
August 7. [date of A-bombing of Hiroshima] All restrictions on games etc. lifted. Nine parcels issued 5 PM. Rice has been 1 ½ butter cans, to be increased. Work tomorrow.
August 8. Work AM. 25 word card from Ottly of 22 March received my first mail at Rokuroshi. All but two doors nailed shut.
August 9. Mosquito bars issued. Work PM. Red Cross bulletin of Dec. '43 describes new auto and walk-in quick freeze refrigerator. Much discussion.
August 10. Nip duty officer instructs us to catch our fleas so they won't get on him!
August 11. "Home for the holidays??????" Still hoping! To hill to work in PM, driven in by rain.
August 12. Work call 7:30. I went to hill in AM. About 25 did not work all day. Put on non-work ration for 3 months. PM shift driven in by rain 3 PM.
August 13. Work on hill AM. First hot bath in this camp in PM.
August 14. Vapor streams. Many planes southeast about 11 to 12. On hill in PM. Camp commander unhappy about amount of work done. Made inspection of mess at 3 PM. I was on security watch from 12:30 to 1:30 AM.
August 15. Work AM. Good bath and laundry in PM. Officers start dipping benjo. [Japanese dictionary defines benjo as "toilet"] My maps taken from Lt. Henry Knox by Fujimoto.
August 17. Officers and enlisted men ordered to quit work.
August 18. Nips ask for 5 enlisted men to volunteer to repair water supply, reward them with cucumbers. Accordion concert and smoking outside in evening. Many think the war is over. I am afraid to think so.
August 20. Weight 130.
August 21. Security watch 3:30 to 4:30. Dutch bugler played American reveille! Is this War over ??! Fujimoto returns maps intact. They are worn out now.
August 22. Camp C. O. told us at 4 PM that the war has ended. What a birthday my 41st but I try to rationalize that I am 40 until I am 41 and so for me "life begins at 40." later, adds to his diary:
August 22, 1945, Wednesday, Rokuroshi, Japan: Gum from Walt Cadmus, Ferris Spoor, and Anse George. AM tea with Chuck Erhardt. Dinner on sock-bay steps with Harky Bull. Coffee with Bill Stecker in afternoon. Lying on a blanket in the sun when Camp C O announced the end of the war! Chocolate bar from Stecker after supper. Lay on the bank with Walt Cadmus for good accordion concert in the evening. A good day! Weight 130, ankle 8 ½, calf 13, thigh 17, hips 35, waist 30, neck 14 ¾ , biceps 10 ¾, wrist 7, chest 34 ¾ pulse 54.
August 23. Gutter, Spoor, George, Seymour, Wilson return to work in galley. Watch reduced to 2 men.
August 24. We were told at 10 AM that tomorrow a plane will drop comfort kits. Painted P O W on roof.
August 26. Continued high wind and intermittent rain. Seems to be keeping planes away. Many disappointed. Plethoric issue tooth powder and brushes and toilet paper (now that we don't need it!) We are fortunate to be alive as with the severe climate here and food for only a few days ahead, w could never last the winter. We have been cold this summer and have worn all our clothing to keep warm and used all our blankets at night. Can imagine how severe the winter here would be.
August 27. Other than a decided improvement in chow, life pretty much as usual. Much speculation regarding the time of departure and much discontent that we're still here. First exercise and walk one hour with Tom Sawyer in AM.
August 28. Walk for one hour AM and PM with Tom Sawyer, Ferris and Anse. Storm seems definitely over. B 29 flew over 3 PM. We were paid Y 95.50. Security watch discontinued. #17 [sic] grapes and pears Y 2.80. Squid, hash and sake (!) for supper. Now receiving about 3,000 calories per day. Up to now the issue ration for 2 ½ years has averaged 1,500 calories.
August 29. A milk can full of beans and rice for breakfast. Remarkable! Walk to village 3 to 4 PM. Visit rice mills, crematory, shrines, etc. School children present melons, villagers bake rice and bean cakes and serve with grape and pear jam for desert. Many upset stomachs from over eating.
August 30. Final payment of wages Y 1947.84. Canteen fund Y 30. Col. Unruh, Capt. Lineberry, Lt. Gus Johnson, Jack Ryder left for Kyoto by truck 11 PM.
September 1. Kyoto party returned 10 PM with truck load of surplus supplies from other camps. Everyone up the rest of the night distributing and eating.
September 2. At 4 PM the United States flag was raised over our camp, now named Camp Mallette. Ferris asked me at 9 AM to work in galley okay. Six B 29's dropped 150 chutes loaded with food, clothing, medicine, magazines at 10 to 11 AM. I stayed up until 1 AM cooking "beans for breakfast." Hubert Shurtz ate 20 lbs of food and was not sick!
September 3. Labor day. I had to quit galley because I have worst attack of piles I've ever had. Plenty to eat, liberty to go about, and I'm flat on my back!
September 4. Still painfully abed but much interesting reading in state-side magazines. Miss the ads, deleted from special overseas editions.
September 5. Coffee, hard-tack, cheese and jam in AM, celebrating Smitty's wedding anniversary. People report 10 kilos weight gain, despite over eating and sickness of some.
September 6. Hemorrhoids a little better. Parachute material divided among us. Local Nips grudgingly turn over arms after some argument. Lt. Ole Johnson visited camp.
September 7. Major Orr and Lt. Wilson left for Osaka for food and information.
September 8. Major Orr arrived 6 AM with load of food. "Processing party" of about 20 people FREE AMERICANS arrived 10 AM. Big bon fire and celebration in the evening.
September 9. Leave Rokuroshi in Nip trucks 8 AM. Arrive Fukui 12 and stayed until 6. Walked about with Johnny Valkenaar and bought black wooden lacquer bowls, smoking set, obi, small china bowl, etc. Not much to buy.
September 10. Arrive Yokohama 8 AM. Greeted by Gen. Eichelberger, C O 8th Army. Also there was a band to greet us and hot cakes! Shower, bugpowder and boarded the USS Tryon at 11 AM. Moved into stream 6 PM. "Between Two Women." Lights out at 10 okay.
September 11. Shave and a hot shower before "beans for breakfast." Tooth fulled [sic pulled? filled?] 8 AM. First "free" letter to Ottly. Ice cream for dinner in wardroom mess.
September 12. Tryon under way 7 AM. Continuous line of ships both sides of us until noon.
September 13. Played phonograph CPO wardroom in afternoon. Return later for supper and I not very hungry .poor show! Frank Ginsberg gave me one dollar bill U. S.
September 14. Table waiter, Hayes, lazy, service poor. He is amazed at amount of jam we eat. He puts bread, butter and jam on table and whisk, it is all gone! Borrowed swim trunks and lay in sun on deck with Tom Sawyer 9 to 11.
September 16. Tryon Manila bound. WE HAVE BEEN RE-CAPTURED!
September 18. Passed through South Channel 7 AM. Dropped anchor Manila 9:30 AM. Rain.
September 19. Landed about 7 PM. Arrived 688 Replacement Co., Alabamy 10 PM. 2 cans beer. Very bad toothache.
September 20. Sick call for tooth AM. Manila for pictures PM. Met Betty Van Kirk of Swarthmore and P and G.
September 21. "Processing" medical in AM. Administrative processing in PM. Many beautiful letters from L'O.
September 22. Roundabout with Tom Sawyer in AM. Drew clothing in PM. Tom Sawyer, Jane Lownsberry, Betty Van Kirk and I to 21 Club.
September 23. To Finance and drew $300.00 AM. Col. Wilbur D. Dice, 248th General Hospital called PM. To 21 Club, coffee and cake with Betty Van Kirk in evening. Sent wireless cost $4.80.
September 24. Tooth pulled AM. Clothing to buy cap. Rest and write to L'O in PM.
September 25. Restricted to area. Sent L'O radiogram 26 words $3.16. Boarded Storm King.
September 26. Sailed from Manila 1:30 PM. Ran down Filipino fishing boat with 18 men aboard 11 PM.
September 29. Storm King passed Ulithi 10 PM. 10,000 POW's leave Yokohama for Frisco. Nuts! They will probably beat us there and we'll have to wait for them to be processed before we can get out.
October 6. Passed International dateline [in] the AM. This day doubled to regain Sunday 7 Sept 1941 lost when I came out on the Pierce.
October 8. Arrived Pearly Harbor 3 PM. Ashore with Tom Sawyer. Haircut, shine and malts. Bought perfume and holder for L'O. Phoned L'O 12 minutes for $37.50. Tom called his wife and found there is something wrong there. As it turned out, she would not see him or let him see his son born after Tom went to P. I. She had written and sent photos while he was a POW and collected his allotment but evidently had another man on the string. She would not admit there was anything of this nature. She sued him for divorce in Calif. asking for ½ his back pay. The Army transferred him to Texas which was his legal residence and he sued her for divorce there but still had to give her $2,000 as a settlement out of his back pay.
October 9. Honolulu 9 to 12. Shoes Trunks, watch crystal etc. Left 2 PM. Third Fleet passed by 6 PM.
October 15. Arrived San Francisco and met by Ottly, George, Jim [his two sons] and Don Kates. Stayed at Hotel St. Francis. Processed at Leaderman General Hospital before leaving for Los Angeles and 3709 Cherrywood Ave!