NOTE: When the diary begins, COL Lilly has been a P.O.W. for nearly two years. He begins this diary while he is at Shirakawa camp on Taiwan. Prior to Shirakawa, he was at two other camps, O'Donnell, and Karenko. He also had survived the Bataan death march. He occasionally compares conditions at his current camp to the prior camps, but does not mention the death march.
WARNING: He nearly always refers to his Japanese captors as "Nips" and "Nipponese", terms that may be offensive to modern readers.
Dec 27 '43 (Mon) 1 yr & 261
AM-work hauling brush from reservoir hill. Bridge with Gen. Bluemel vs. Gens. Jones & Seals. They won.
Dec 28 '43 (Tue) 1 yr & 262
AM work on compost pile. Candy & bun this afternoon. Rumor- we're to get oranges & Coffee tomorrow. We can write a 200 word letter - must be in by AM. Dec 30.
Dec 29 '43 (Wed) 1 yr & 263
AM work on compost pile. I turned in 200 word letter to Tori after supper tonight. I hope she has received some word from me. Fish in soup tonight. This is Worthington's 55th birthday.. Small pox vaccination today.
Dec 30 '43 (Thu) 1 yr & 264
No work today- rain. Made coffee with Phil in AM- drawn it with Phil, Judge Lynch, & Chet Elmes. Phil gave me some sugar. Inspection is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow. General outside police this afternoon.
Dec 31 '43 (Fri) 1 yr & 267
Checked my figures on no. of days as a PW & found that it is 1 yr and 267 days -made an error somewhere. So I'll start the new year with the correct figures. I got appointed room P. Ex. Representative-Laughie & Mac D have trouble working together. Mac D is Sq P.Ex. Off. & Laughie (up to today) represented the room. It was raining last night.
Jan 1 '44 (Sat) 1 yr & 268
Overcast. I made coffee for Phil, Don Hilton, Chet Elmes & Judge Lynch this morning. The wood was cut. This is Gen. Seals' 61st birthday. Bridge with Jack Keltner vs. Skerry & Corkill. They won. No reaction from my vaccination -guess the doctors would call it "vaccinoid" Pork in supper soup.
Jan 2 '44 (Sun) 1 yr & 269
Nice church service in "Yasame Park" by Chaplain Bindeman Damp underfoot but no rain officers beat am. at volley ball-Jack Keltner playing the 1st Squad beat the 4th in bridge (duplicate) tourney. Harry Skerry & I played Gens. Vachon & Chynoweth; Lynch & Monihan played Gen. Lough & Brig McLeod. I had lousy cards do didn't get us into trouble. A little grease & fair amount of Cauliflower in soup. Migraine attack in afternoon.
Jan 3 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. + 270
No work today-no bananas. Tubby Cornell starts book on issues to Nips from our kitchen. It's breaking up a lot of their petty thieving so far. A case in point- one Nip came over for a can of grease. He was asked to sign, which he did reluctantly. Then a little later he returned the grease & carefully scratched his signature from the book. Three cheers for Tubby!!!
Jan 4 '44 (Tue) 1 yr + 271
Work on compost pile at 1:30 PM- 1st work of 1944. 1 1/2 gal grease in supper soup. The onions were fresh; so was the miso. Result- a good soup.
Jan 5 '44 (Wed) 1 yr +272
Judge Lynch remarked that 2 yrs ago this morning Buck Purcell (Maj.) was found dead in his bed at Corregidor. Today is a holiday. I don't know why.
Jan 6 '44 (Thur) 1 yr + 273
We worked this afternoon straightening out the bed of the ditch at SE corner of the compound. A chilly day but warmed up as we worked. Stripped to waist using Kuwa. We got work rice.
Jan 7 '44 (Fri) 1 yr + 274
Scheduled to carry water beginning at 3 pm today (1 1/2 hrs later than usual). However, we were not called upon, but got our work rice just the same. NRL + I opened our last can of corned beef. Hicki has been away 2 days now-no cigarettes. Sgt. IWEI took tengo tonight.
Jan 8 '44 (Sat) 1 yr + 275
25 mos ago today-the war broke. No rescript reading. Rumor of Germany's surrender on Jan. 2-also a rumor that a number of POW are leaving here on Feb. 13. The mail that was at camp HQ proved to be for the British. Another hope blasted! Work in P.M.-carried dirt in basket (NRL + I on same basket) from Camp HQ to a pt. in back of General's quarters. Non-stop last night.
Jan 9 '44 (Sun) 1 yr + 276
21 mos. ago today we surrendered on Bataan. One of the saddest days of my life. I still wonder sometimes if it would not have been best to fight it out- though I know Gen. Bluemel did the only wise thing when he surrendered-since he knew what Gen. King was doing. I don't wonder long though for my one ambition since April of '42 has been to get back to my babies. My last word from Tori-nearly 25 months ago -a radiogram rec'd while at del Carmen (Rampangao) Another non stop last night.
Jan 10 '44 (Mon) 1 yr + 277
Short water detail (11-11:30 am) for which we're to get work rice. A bun & bag of candy tonight. Torrence talks very interestingly on Malaya.
Jan 11 '44 (Tue) 1 yr & 278
Work leveling an already level piece of ground where the compost pile was P.Ex. Scrip. Y42.60 tonight.
Jan 12 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 279
Between 9:45 & 9:52 last night, 2 groups of bombs were heard. A little later, lights out and siren sounded. Opinions vary as to number & direction. Frank Nelson- on benjo guard says each sounded as if about "30 men had gotten out of bed at the same time, with their shoes on" We worked this a.m. in ditch. Pleasant work. Jack & I "took" Harry S. & Ed. C. at bridge this afternoon.
Jan 13 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 280
Daddy was born 94 yrs ago today- God bless him.
Work on ditch this am. Broke my Kuwa, Chuck says Kagi was bombed night before last and that a reconnaissance plane was over on the 10th. Shiri saga cigarettes go up to Y. 60 Axebonos to Y. 23 Nokos. 96 Daitons .70.
Jan 14 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 281
No American work- some inspector in camp. Afternoon work on garbage pile-sorting tin and glass, burning other stuff. Funny (and a little pathetic) to see generals and colonels doing this. Eye examination this morning-really no exam. at all, just testing the eyes with lenses of varying strength.
Jan 15 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 282
Worked this morning on a bamboo detail. This is brutal work and most of us came back from it all scratched up. In our physical condition, cuts are apt to become infected-and the supply of iodine is getting low. However, most of us prefer these bamboo expeditions because the sentries usually bother us less than on other details. Then, we get a change of scenery and, on occasion, have been able to pick up a few potatoes when the work takes us near a cultivated field. Occasionally the sentries cooperate. One squad was digging foxholes this morning.
Excellent thick cabbage soup for supper. Ed Corkill and I lost at bridge to Gen Brougher and Brig McLeod. We got a hot bath today.
Jan 16 '44 (Sun) 1 yr & 283
Went to church but didn't go in choir. Music sounded greatly improved. Next Sunday my "Booby Hatch" will be 11 years old. What a grown up lady she's getting to be.
Jan 17 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. &284
A little work this morning carrying boxes from store room up by camp headquarters to the little building between Yasame Park and the fish pond. They are clearing the first one out for a shoe room.
Jan 18 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. &285
The Nips confiscated our knives today.
Jan 19 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 286
Marguerite's and Gen. R.E. Lee's birthday. Had bath after work-good hot one. We gathered bamboo again, while we were at work a group of Taiwanese girls- 12 to 15 yrs of age I'd guess-came along gathering small bamboo sticks, some of us got sweet potatoes. I didn't get any but after supper Jack Keltner gave me a piece of one. Good soup for supper-beans & cabbage with some grease. Rumor: Interpreter is reported to have said "Japan is in a deficient position" - also that Japan has not communicated with Germany for 72 hrs - also that Radio Tokyo has broadcast no war news since Jan 3.
Jan 20 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 287
Bridge this morning with Ed Corkill vs. Skerry & Keltner. We lost. Work in afternoon over across the creek hilling up some rows for planting. Bridge this evening with Corkill vs. Rodman & Skerry. We won. Turned in "Benson Murder Case" - got "Scarlet Pimpernel" a book I hoped to enjoy but it reads so far like a bunch of hokum. A British soldier came in Friday to enter the hospital. It is reported he said there was Red Cross in Taihoxu. I traded a can of Nip coffee today to Col. Dougherty for a bottle of banana syrup.
Jan 21 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 288
All squads work today, morning & afternoon. Laughie, Ives and I carried food today. Our work today was on a brush pile. Saw Rushing get hit in the face brutally. I nearly got it myself- forgot what it was for, if I ever knew. Maybe the heat is on! All this, I think, is in preparation of an inspection on Tuesday, the 25th. A number of P.W.s were interviewed this afternoon. They were directed to write essays on the bloody aspects of war, giving names, dates and places-all for the good of humanity. Laughie gave me part of a potatoe he got while gathering bamboo day before yesterday. Two trucks -one with syrup & Ketchup-one with buns, candy, notebooks, toilet paper, etc. came in today. Candy & buns are taken directly up on hill.
Jan 22 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 289
Work this morning manicuring the trash pile-this afternoon we worked with KUWAS on the area between potatoe patch & creek. I got caught digging up a potatoe. But I have the potatoe. We got a bun today, but no candy. Tomorrow my precious little Tori will be 11 yrs old. We got work rice at noon today and again for supper.
Jan 23 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 290
My baby is 11 yrs old today. How well I remember 11 yrs ago-about 11:40 p.m.-Woman's Hospital, Detroit. I am thinking of both my Tori's today, and hoping the little one will be the lovely lady her mother is -and will continue to go ahead with her music.
I hear we work today-morning and afternoon-Later: Jim Menzie and I just finished decorating a benjo door with some rope drapes (to discourage flies). It was truly a work of art. We were permitted to quit work in time to go to church. Radio from Red Cross today-Marshall, Chief of Staff, sends Christmas greeting. More power to him- and may he go thru with this thing with one aim in view- the unconditional surrender of our enemies- and after that a humane peace.
Jan 24 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 291
Clean up for the camp Commandant HIOKI's inspection this afternoon-also getting shoes ready for storage. At least 1 pair must be stored and the 1 remaining pair must be turned in to shoe room before 7 p.m.- Work rice noon & night. A piece of boiled potatoe for supper. My! how good. Inspection by officer in charge of Taiwan prison camps tomorrow morning about 10. All calls & formations stopped up 1/2 hr for that reason. Reveille tomorrow at 6 a.m. I hear there is a bunch of American mail on the hill.
Jan 25 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 292
Inspection by C.O. all Taiwan prison camps at 10 a.m.-no extra food however- at Karenko this sometimes happened. Why, I don't know. Once "his nibs" donated a pig to the mess. A group of junior officers were interviewed-Browne, Dooley, Ferrey, Dodson- of the American group-they learned nothing- according to Tom Dooley. They were asked by the interviewer when they thought the war would end. Their reply was "This year"! The fellow asking the questions laughed and said it would not be over within the next 2 or 3 months; that nobody knew; that the U.S. could end it tomorrow and laughed again (These little fellows are great at laughing). There are 2000 pieces of mail on Taiwan for Americans.
Delay "due to censoring" - as some letters require 24 hrs. The Camp Commandant (Hioki) expressed his thanks for our cooperation in making the inspection successful (This through "Harold Lloyd") after evening roll call. There was not more concrete evidence of his appreciation.
Jan 26 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 293
Work this morning covering compost in rows of corn field. Jack K uncovered a potatoe-and almost but not quite, managed to talk guard into letting him keep it. Capt. Bob Davis was put in charge of the shoe room- gets extra rice for it.
Jan 27 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 294
Holiday today. Bridge with Jack K vs. Laughie & Shorty "Mac" in morning. They beat us by a small margin. Jack & I beat Corkill & Skerry this afternoon.
Jan 28 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 295
Weighed 65.2 kgm today-a gain of .9 kgm since last month. In pounds my weight is now 143.44#- my weight last month was 141.26# Chuck Lawrence gave me a pair of long woolen stockings today. Sgt IEWI gave them to him and he is pretty well supplied. They'll be God-send to me as I have practically nothing to wear on my feet. We "bambooed" this morning - and got a few "IMOS" (potatoes, to everybody but the Nips). Bridge with Jack vs. Laughie & Shorty this afternoon. We won.
Jan 29 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 296
Work this morning- carrying straw to the cornfield-we got a few potatoes in the course of things. Rumor: Tokyo & Taxas are being bombed regularly. Bridge with Corkill vs. Brougher & McLeod this afternoon- 18 rabbits have been killed for tomorrow's supper.
Jan 30 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. +297
Bridge with Jack vs. Laughie & Shorty until time for church; both Jack and I usually attend. We won. Laughie, Ives & I carry food today. I spilled some hot water on my right instep this morning and when I came back from church I had a couple of fair sized blisters. Gillespie took care of them & told me to go on sick report tomorrow morning. I'll probably stay in from work. Rabbit and beans in evening soup. Very good-rabbits give flavor only.
Jan 31 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 298
Gillespie dressed my "wounded" foot again. Said to stay off it. Also I should stand by in case the "Surgeon General" - my old "friend" Grumpy (none other)-wants to see me and I should not put a shoe on it. I'm not going out with the squad, which works this afternoon. A hog is being taken out to be slaughtered today-just heard him squeal as they took him away. Will find his leftovers in the soup tomorrow. The Nips will pick him pretty clean, of course. Interesting rumors, Landings in the Celebes and Sumatra, Timor is ours! Changes in Nip cabinet; new incumbents being industrialists. U.S. has stopped sending planes to Europe-concentrating on sending them to Western Siberia. Hioki is quoted as saying the Nips have a 50-50 chance of winning (this is quite a reversal of the old cocky attitude)
Feb 1 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 299
Braddock & Worthing got caught by Hioki-stealing peanuts. Worthington said "well" he was hungry or something like that and got away with it (had a big 60 watt electric light bulb in his pocket at the time). Braddock argued that the p-nuts were partly his, therefore there was no stealing-and got "bopped" for his pains. Pork in the soup tonight.
Feb 2 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 300
We got 3 bananas today. Fried MISO - or Tofu- in evening soup. Rumor-Germany "out" in Jan 27- overheard Nip conversation. I'm reading "50 Amazing Secret Service Dramas". We have to close blackout curtains now when lights are on at night. This has been in effect for several days now. There was an air raid practice last night at 11 o'clock. We got 2 jars papaya jam each today.
Feb 3 '44 (Thur) 1 yr. & 301
Rumor-Argentina declares war on Japan. Consulted Frank Nelson's dictionary again today. Louie Bowler fainted at evening "tengo" formation. We got paper & envelopes today - a 100 word letter will be permitted - to be submitted by next Monday-the 7th.
Feb 4 (Fri) 1 yr. & 302
We got a bun each today. I polished mine off- using nearly a whole
can jar of papaya jam for noon desert. Rumor- fresh fruit in evening
soup. I was interviewed by "Tuffy" (Some call him
"Grumpy"-anyway, he's the "kind soul" who hit me one night
at Karenko during tengo formation) - I got a card. No work for me before Monday.
Phil gave me a pack of cigarettes today. My foot feels better but I still can't
put my shoe on.
Feb 5 '44(Sat) 1 yr. & 303
Patty Hunt is 20 yrs old today- B.A. exactly 19 1/2. Coffee & Fish flakes were issued today-also w. sauce & syrup. Judge Lynch gave "Laughie" & me each a jar of jam. Beans were served separately for supper, and the soup itself wasn't bad. Bridge with Corkill vs. Brougher & McLeod. They won.
It is reported that the interpreter will give talks from time to time on the war situation (So he said at least). He is waiting for the supply of certain maps before beginning. Our E.M. get new uniforms.
Feb 6 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 304
The longest earthquake we've had yet occurred at 2"30 AM. A terrible brown soup for breakfast-syrup helped. Our 100 word letters are due in tomorrow. No word from our families yet. Rainy, & damp today. I didn't go to church. My foot is still a bit wore and it is muddy outside.
Feb 7 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 305
Col. Gillespie (med) took a look at my foot today (am). Told me to stay in from work & see him tomorrow morning. Floyd Marshall beat me 3 games of crib. Told me the officers from Java (Lt. Levitt, USN to be specific) had given out information that the $600.00 ceiling on monthly pay had been removed. Hope it's true. Colonels Allpress & Bridge (Both Br. ) got letters, I hear (Allpress-42). What's the matter with ours I wonder. Charlie Steel had a bad nose bleed this A.M. and had to go to the hospital. I saw him when I went over about my foot.
Feb 8 '44(Tues) 1 yr. & 306
Rescript day? War began 26 mos. ago. I won't work today-Foot ought to be OK tomorrow though. I carried food today. I hear Charlie Steel's nose is acting up again. I saw him this A.M. with bloody handkerchief at his nose. Bill Braly had bad night with tooth. Goes to hospital.
I got a harmonica today- so do Gens McBride, Lough & Vachon, also Cols. Browne, Corkill and several others. I've forgotten who.
Feb 9 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 307
My Baby's birthday! God bless her and keep her safe & well until I can get home to her and say "Sugar, take charge." She's had a real job being Mother & Daddy to the children. I know she's taking excellent care of them- she always has- my only apprehension is that she may neglect herself.
I worked this a.m.- KUWA-ing my little 1' x1' holes for the planting of "rabbit grass". Bridge this afternoon with Gen. Blumel vs. Gens Jones & Seals. They won. I had a bath at 3 p.m.
Feb 10 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 303
Morning work changing course of drainage ditch up near tool house. Hirsch quotes Hanson Baldwin as saying "American army has no fighting spirit"- and announces that he agrees. A fine statement for any loyal American to make, much less an officer in the Regular Army. It made me sore, I guess, because I told him I would question the loyalty of anyone who would make such a remark. Today I traded 8 small cans of fish flakes to a British Colonel for 2 jars papaya jam-also 2 cans, 1 small, 1 large to Hamilton for jar jam- 2 medium cans to another British officer for 1 jar- and I got 1 more jar from Col. Struyenberg (D) for 2 more. Thus I have acquired 5 jars papaya jam today and still have 2 more cans of fish flakes to trade-not bad, sez I.
Feb 11 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 309
Traded 2 jars jam to Capt. Mulock this morning for 1 bottle strawberry syrup. Air raid alarm at noon. I was in Col. Browne's room playing an "accompaniment" to his harmonica when the guard passed the window & made us stop. Bridge with Cork vs. Jack & Brig Simson in Brig Simson's quarters. They won. This is a holiday commemorating the assumption of the Jap throne by the Meiji. That suggests a title for my account of these P.W. experiences- "Gifts of the Meiji". No work today except voluntary. MacDonald was our room's only volunteer. There was pork in the evening soup. Pretty good too!
Feb 12 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 310
Bridge with Corkill vs. Gen. Brougher & Brig McLeod. They won again. We work tomorrow. This in preparation for an inspection on the 19th I hear. On Brig McLeod's suggestion I put syrup and currie in soup tonight. Very good. We worked this morning - 8 guys digging foul smelling muck from under one of the footbridges inside the compound.
Feb 13 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 311
John Boatwright's 48th Birthday. Braly is still in hospital with bad jaw. Grazebrook led choir with accordion. We policed between barbed wire and bamboo fences (together with 3d squad.)
Feb 14 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 312
Bridge with Jack vs. Laughie & Shorty Mack this morning. We won. Worked carrying compost for the Guinea grass this afternoon. I pissed along with Ives-neither of us really hurting himself in the effort. I hear we got 10 new pigs for the stock farm-this is really a "racket" and we don't expect much from it- and get exactly what we expect. Rumors today: Russians launched offensives at 3 points on their front.
The Germans fell back all along the line. Fighting in Mindanao.
Rummy tonight with Chuck, Laughie & Shorty. Chuck was high & I was low when we finished. Sugar today. This is Valentine's Day-and I wish I could tell a certain lady-in person-how much I love her.
Feb 15 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 313
Singapore fell 2 yrs ago today. We got Jam,, Fish Flakes, Currie & one pack of cards for the room (Which Laughie gets). There is a rumor of Germany's surrender.
Feb 16 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. &314
P.M. work digging trenches for planting Guinea grass.
Feb 17 '(Thur) 1 yr. & 315
Gen. Brougher's 55th birthday. He is quite young looking for his age. It is hard to realize that he is several weeks older than Gen. Parker who looks 10 yrs older. General police for tomorrow's inspection. I got a much needed haircut this afternoon. Went over to see Gen. Brougher after supper to wish him a happy birthday. Suggested that he dash up something about the 57th Inf (PS) similar to Kiplings "UBIQUE" using "any where- any time" as his theme. We got 3 bananas today.
Feb 18 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 316
Don't know why I have let 5 days go by without a diary entry-as a matter of fact, nothing of interest has happened-but looking back over my entries I feel that I've made many uninteresting notes.
Clean up this AM & police of area. The inspecting officer came after lunch. It is evidently a training inspection. He has had the guard detachment simulating volley firing-civil war stuff. Hope they continue to use these antiquated methods. This volley stuff looks almost as ineffectual as their method of bayonet fighting. Any healthy American with little training could disarm one of these fellows without half trying.
Feb 19 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. &317
No work today. A pig was taken out to be killed this morning-and the carcass was returned about supper time. Maybe we'll get some of it tomorrow. Corkill & I "took" Gens Brougher & Pierce at bridge this afternoon. Gen. Pierce was substituting for Brig McLeod who usually plays with us but who was playing a match game today.
Feb 20 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 318
3 yrs ago the Grant arrived in Manila- and I with my family on it-also Cols. McBride (now B.G.) , Bunker, Chase and Worthington (All P.W.'s here) Little did we know then what fate had in store for us.
Had a sore throat & sore ears last night. Got a gargle from Col. Gillespie this morning. Practiced with the double quartette in Yasame park this afternoon. There was some pork in the soup tonight!
Feb 21 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 319
A.M. work with Kuwa at fish pond site. Buns were issued in time for afternoon tea. My hands ache from pounding the hard ground with my Kuwa this morning.
Feb 22 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 320
Yesterday there was a rumor that Japan had withdrawn her lines to the Marianas-Philippines-Borneo-Java-also (and almost as important) that there is mail for us at Camp headquarters.
A.M. work digging trenches for the Guinea grass they're going to try to grow to feed the rabbits.
There is mail! This came while Harry Skerry and I were playing bridge with Ed Corkill & Jack Keltner. Of course we dropped everything. I was so excited I hardly knew what I was doing. After standing in line for what seemed an eternity, I bowed "respectfully" to the Nip soldier in charge and signed for my mail- 5 letters in all. I got two (2) from Tori, 1 from Betty Ann, 1 from Tori Jr. and 1 from uncle Jimmy. I decided to read Uncle Jimmy's first, that is in inverse order of their importance to me (and I don't mean to infer that I wasn't very much pleased to have Uncle Jimmy's letter and know he was thinking of me) Image my surprise to hear from him that Betty Ann was married to somebody named Jack Dale. So that explained who "Mrs. Jack D. Dale" was-the writer of one of the letters. I have since talked about Jack Dale with Col. Amis and Churchill and am glad to hear some mighty nice things about him. He flew in the P.I. during the war, was given some sort of decoration for his work, flew to Australia and thence to the U.S. where he is now stationed at Glendale, California, where B.A.'s letter was post marked on May 25 '43. The date of their wedding was April 21 ' 43. Tori and the other two children are living at 107 Stedman St., Fayetteville, N.C. where they moved after coming up from Atlanta and spending a month or two with Frances. I'm glad to hear of this. She always kidded me a little for wanting to hie to Fayetteville at the slightest opportunity. Now when she really needs friends, she knows where to turn. Mother Bush, I am glad to hear, is in good health and there with Tori. Teddy is a great big man- 6'1"-and playing football and doing the low hurdles well enough to get to the State Track meet in Chapel Hill. Tori says he is developing into a real fellow-carries the colors in the choir at St. John's and doesn't have to be made to do the things he ought to do. That's good. Also he got a job in a filling station one summer and made himself a little money - all of which will do him no harm. Little Tori is keeping up her music- has done some radio work and some composing which pleases me immensely. I expect great things of her and know I won't be disappointed. And about BA & Jack-he had a date with BA on the Sunday before they left Manila on the Republic-then flew over the transport as it was headed for home. They corresponded after he returned to the U.S. - and, as BA put it she decided to go out to California "to see if there was anything to it" - well there must have been for as I write this, she's a bride of almost a year. And best of all, Tori has met Jack and approves of him. So what can I do except say with all my heart "God Bless you Betty Ann and Jack. May this be the real thing, based upon love, companionship and mutual respect. My you both be happy - and, BA you make him as good a wife as your mother has made me and you'll keep him eating out of our hand the rest of your lives." Last but not least I'm glad to know Tori is well and bearing up under her enforced (but temporary) widowhood as a real good soldier should. She tells me she's keeping well and taking care of herself for me which is just about all I need to know. If I could have "written my own ticket" I couldn't have improved on the news I received. I am really happy tonight- as happy, that is, as I could ever be away from my Babies. And all this happened on G. Washington's birthday!
Feb 23 '44(Wed) 1 yr. & 321
Work in AM - weigh in afternoon. I weigh 65.9 kgm (144.98 lbs.)- a gain of .7 kgm (1.54 lb.) since Jan 28 when we were last weighed. Group Capt. Ridgway (RAF) who I understand is suspected of having some kind of growth in his stomach, was removed by passenger car to the Takao hospital today. This is a good indication of the interest the Nips are taking in their patients.
Feb 24 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 322
Packages were received by the following, Air Commander Modin,, Gov. McMillin, Brig. Gen. McBride -and Jim Hughes (Same kind as his last one) I hear the Nips were very solicitous about Ridgway-quite a change of heart. Rumor -W. Churchill said the biggest troop concentration in the world's history would be completed by March 15. Looks as if things might start rolling any minute after that!
Feb 25 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. &323
Murphy got a "Red Cross Invalid Package" from home-same as Jim Hughes's two and Gen. McBride's. Work in morning at bridge site. Bridge in afternoon with Keltner vs. Corkill & Skinny. Had to get Judge Lynch to take my hand a little while as I had to go over to Squad 12 hut to practice the opening chorus for the "SHIRAKAWA WACKIES" a "home talent" show-to be given tomorrow afternoon. It ought to be good. These young British Officers have written nearly all of it and done a fine job. They surely have a lot of "pep". Our double quartette will sing 3 numbers - a medley, "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere", and "The Bullfrog in the Pool".
Feb 26 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. &324
Worked over at the Guinea (rabbit) grass area. Bridge at 1:30 with Corkill vs. Brougher & McLeod. Stopped at 2:30 for show which went very well. Our double quartette was 13th and were complimented on our efforts. As usual, the young British were the "prime movers" and in rare form. H. Hudson was especially good leading the band and in his Scotch dialect songs. Our youngsters, Tom Dooley, Jim Ferrey, Brown, Levitt & Stu Wood took part, giving a "March of Time" program on the life of a Jewish prize fighter-very good indeed-with a couple of the young British officers helping them.
Feb 27 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 325
Church as usual this morning-sunny and quite warm. Laughie is 52 today. Bridge in afternoon at which Harry S & I beat Ed. C. & Jack K. Tonight there is quite a glow to the south east of us. Of course, that started lots of rumors. Some who were up at midnight swore they could smell oil. I can't pin this on Jack Cook or Bill Morse, though.
Feb 28 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 326
Our squad (4th) catches the afternoon shift this week. Phil Fry came in with the following rumors: Vernacular papers of the 20th and 24th have been received. Germany is concentrating troops on Danish border-some have crossed into Denmark. Eastern front active both North and South. Riga has been bombed a good deal. Two (2) Russian columns have broken through and are now fighting on German soil. The Anti-axis forces have landed North of Rome and there is heavy fighting there. Churchill says the greatest troop concentration in all history will be completed by March 15. The Burma campaign is rolling and Bangkok is being bombed regularly.
Feb 29 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 327
P.M. work carrying dirt "from here to there" in litters. Yesterday I worked with Shorty Mc D.- this afternoon with Harry Skerry. I think this is the last Feb 29th we'll spend in captivity. Our double quartette has been asked to do something in the next monthly show-also to sing a special number Sunday after next at Church service- so we're meeting tonight to make plans
March 1 ' 44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 328
Work in afternoon again. Bridge in morning. Jack & I really took Doc Worthington & Glen Townsend.
March 2 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. &329
Bridge this AM with Cook vs. Harry & Hack. I did everything wrong-even reneged. Work in P.M. on ditch. We can write a 100 word letter It must be in by noon tomorrow.
March 3 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 330
Chuck Lawrence caught a mouse in one of his traps last night. Floyd Marshall is 49 today. Turned my letter in to Sage (Squad chief) at 8:15 AM. No work rice tonight.
March 4 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 331
We were not supposed to work this morning-so Jack & I sat down to a game of bridge with Shorty and Laughie-after losing the 1st rubber we were asked who would volunteer for work, so we relaxed and continued our game. Not many minutes later the call came-""Fourth Squad outside" It seems there were not enough volunteers-only Ives & Rodman from 4th squad-so we all turned out (it was 9:30 by this time) and carried dirt in the litters until 11:30. We got 4 bananas each this morning. At 2 p.m. we were ordered to attend a basketball game-so the Nips could take propaganda movies. They've been swarming around since yesterday taking "shots" of the prisoners washing their clothes (all posed), strolling in the park, playing their musical instruments and at "play" in various ways. Double quartette practice continues. Beans with sprouts were served separately tonight. "Harold Lloyd" who has been away for several days- we hoped to get the Red Cross supplies- returned today with several cows. I haven't seen them yet but understand there are 6 or 7.
March 5 44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 332
There was an air raid alarm last night-not long after "lights out". When I went to benjo (my first nocturnal trip in nearly a week) at 1:30 am, even the black-out light was out. I heard this morning that the guard came in and made the vigilance guard extinguish his black-out light and open the doors. Can't figure that one out. "Harold Lloyd" who is O.D. did not take morning roll call-it was taken by Sgt. Iewei instead. We got 4 bananas each today.
March 6 '44(Mon) 1 yr. &333
Today, if I'm not mistaken, is Duncan MacRae's birthday. He is 53 or 54. We worked in the fish pond this morning. Good cart this morning I hear. Bananas (3d day in a row), lotus root, tomatoes, carrots. Also Tubby Cornell, in charge of kitchen, told me when I went over to get bananas for the squad that the kitchen had received 17 kilos (37.4#) of pork. (A little more than 1.1 oz per P.S.) and "some oil" -which is a good sign. Yesterday at church service I was "stalked" by one of the Nip photographers and snapped. I was leaning against a tree up in Yasame park and, I fear, looking very pensive. The photographers who have been overrunning every thing for the past two or three days have gone-thank goodness. The fewer of these vermin I see the better I like it. We got a bun each right after lunch today & the pork was in the soup- and very good it tasted too. When I say there was pork in the soup, I mean as a flavoring only. The cows have begun to produce milk. Today about 110 bottles (Small sauce size holding about 1/4 pt each) were obtained. The TB patients get 2 bottles AM and 1 PM. Next in priority are the hospital patients who have been specially designated an approved-next come the Nips- and next us. It is dispensed through the P. Ex. at 10 san per bottle. Oh, well, maybe we'll get a taste someday. Understand Lowman is to be in charge of pasteurization.
Mar 7 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 324
A.M. work cleaning hill by charcoal kiln. Time passed rapidly-lots of bamboo scratches though. Today is Jack Keltner's 51st birthday-he got lots of presents- a bottle of milk from Sage, cigar from me, double jointed cigarette (2 "long Toms" put together) from Laughie, & a tomatoe from Judge Lynch. After being forbidden a couple of days-cooking of "water, tea & coffee only" is now "OK". We will be roused between 4:30 & 5:30 tomorrow morning and given 2 min. to get into formation. There will be rifle firing but we are to "pay no attention". This is probably some kind of rescript observance.
March 8 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 325
AM work digging out shelter trench (deepening) near camp H.q. It rained part of the time-some squads were sent in but we were not since there was a shelter nearby- we got wet while working though. Favoritism is being shown in connection with the milk- as anyone might have anticipated-the bottles are finding their way into the hands of the favored individuals.
Harry Skerry, Ed Corkill beat Jack K and me at bridge this afternoon. Ed C. incidentally tells me that he and Mrs. Corkill had rooms with mother in the 30's when he was in N.C on CCC duty. We got a tomatoe each for supper tonight. We were turned out for tengo at 5 AM-we could hear the firing of blank ammunition.
March 9 '44 (Thur) 1 yr. & 326
23 months ago today! Raining all day. No work. Bridge most of the day. Cold, clammy and uncomfortable. 50° at reveille this AM-anyone reading this must realize we are underfed and underclothes-oh for some artificial heat-but while I'm at it I might as well wish for a lot of things.
March 10 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 337
Finally decided to hold tengo formation inside-then since there is some sort of problem being conducted outside (as evidenced by the blank ammo) We were told that roll call would be held "when the bugle blows."
AM work-fish pond-carrying baskets of dirt with Lloyd Mielenz part of the time-shoveling part. 48° F last night according to Col. Wilb Cooper who, as far as I know, has the only thermometer here. This is a low for our stay here. Feels as if it might go lower. I'm sleeping warm these nights-haven't made a nocturnal benjo trip for weeks.
March 11 44(Sat) 1 yr. & 338
43°F last night-coldest yet by 5°. Ives, Christie, Wilterdink got radios this AM-all on. Basket with Quinn this AM from fish pond to the north end of our hut. Bananas- 4 ea.- on cart- 65 ducks in soup tonight. Hear they weigh 50 Kgm dressed (Sounds too much). Rumor- a pig next week, one the following and the rest of the ducks (about 40) the following week. There is a rumor that day before yesterday a Nip soldier came into the kitchen & patted Hersee (British "other ranks") on the shoulder and said "2 yrs you have no women-now war over-soon you go home" or similar words. Take it or leave it!
34 bottles of milk were distributed I hear - 9 to 2nd squad, 25 to 3rd squad-maybe they'll get around to us tomorrow. The ducks will be found in tomorrow's soup I hear. Volunteers were called for to pick the ducks this afternoon, I hear. Ed Corkill & I got broken by Gen. Brougher and Brig McLeod this afternoon (bridge). We each got a bun today. I am on vigilance guard 9-10:30 tonight.
March 12 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 339
Cigarettes, syrup, sugar, tea, pepper & 1 small bottle of MILK!! -through P.Ex. today-also drew money (Y52.85) - P.Ex Scrip, rather. Double quartette sang at church this morning- "Fierce Raged the Tempest". Duck in soup tonight -also promised steamed potatoes-fried tomatoes with rice. No work rice tonight.
It has been announced officially that hereafter Tengo formations in the evening will be held indoors. About supper - it was really good. The tomatoes (and some pumpkins) in the rice was delicious. I took my steamed sweet pototoe (this was one of the times when the promise materialized), peeled it, and mashed it up with some sugar. On this I poured about 1/2 my milk and mixed it thoroughly. This made a tasty desert.
March 13 ' 44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 340
A Nip Captain representing the PW Bureau of Information was here today. He interviewed a number of P.W's (not me, however). No dope except that he's now on the job - just from 6 yrs in China. Mail, Red Cross, etc. etc. were taken up-no satisfaction. He's a former student at Columbia Univ. attitude very friendly, I hear. At end of interview he gave the "thumbs up" sign to all. We worked this afternoon-burning off the hill just north of the Charcoal Kiln. Had to control the fire and got pretty hot working very hard for a very short while, Jack & I "took" Doc W. and Glen Townsend at bridge this AM.
March 15 44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 342
Worked yesterday afternoon hilling corn-this afternoon hauling dirt from fish pond. MacD. & I worked on litter for a while then traded with 2 British officers for 2 Kuwas-it was hot but pleasant.
March 16 '44 (Thur) 1 yr. &343
Work in PM hilling up potatoes. Evening practice with double quartette. We're going to sing "Stars of the Summer Night", I had a Dream, Dear", and "God Bless America"
March 17 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 344
Got tested for glasses today. My left eye takes a +1.25 & my right +1.00 diopter. The glasses I have are both +1.00 and think the new ones when I get them will be some improvement. I need a complete refraction though.
The Co.O. Taiwan Prison Camps comes tomorrow. We work in the morning-policing up probably. Worked this afternoon- 9 of us- with 1st squad hilling up potatoes. 6 sacks of sugar came in today. There are rumors of pig & cow (only rumors). Just saw a copy of the Red Cross News-very interesting- it states that a bulletin of P.W. Camp News is being sent to our families. We got little fish as a separate dish at supper time.
March 18 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 345
We were turned out to work at 8:20 am-worked around until 9 then went out after grass to thatch a roof with. Got one load and "Woka-rei-es" at 10:30 am. Tuna in the evening soup. Cork & I got beaten at bridge by Gen. Brougher & Brig McLeod again. Practice of double quartette continues.
May 19 44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 346
Played bridge through church. Jack & I lost to Shorty & Laughie. Jack & I usually go, but both forgot it today. Sorry to miss the address, as I always get a lot of good out of them. Work rice tonight is for last Sundays police. Hear there are 6 cows (3 fresh) & 3 with calf giving 22-23 qts of milk daily.
March 20 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 347
A.M. work with generals (1st Sq) hilling potatoes. Mac & I have started fermenting some rice and it is a great improvement-tastes something like cottage cheese. Bridge this afternoon with Gen. Bluemel vs. Gens Seals & Jones-we won. I showed Gen. Bluemel the snap-shots BA sent me. We got rice gruel in the morning-Nip orders.
March 21 '44 (Tues) 1 yr. & 348
No work today as the Nips are celebrating the advent of spring, I hear. Bridge morning & afternoon- the same foursome playing (Harry Skerry, Jack Keltner, Ed Corkill & I). Jack & I won this AM. -Corkill & I this afternoon. We bathed at 2:20 PM. This morning's rice gruel was scorched. It was all right otherwise.
March 22 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 349
Rice gruel was OK this AM. Think I'm going to like the change. AM work at fish pond- was paired with Shorty Mac on a litter-but he traded his lot to a British Lt. named BURTON for a KUWA. Had a very pleasant morning chatting with Burton about a number of things. He had something to do with rubber growing in Malaya at war's outbreak-35, married with a 4 yr. old son- has been to America enroute to England from Vancouver, B.C. in '34. Plans to go back via U.S., pick up a Ford in Detroit and then return to Malaya-after this. We got papers today-the latest dated Feb 3 '44. Not much in them-except that the Nips can't lose. Tojo said so. Had an accident, I turned from table without warming and bumped into Mac who was carrying a cup of hot water. It spilled on my right forearm & burned it some. Put some of Mac's face cream on it- then got Glattley to put some zinc ointment on it. I got a much needed hair cut today.
March 23 '44 (Thur) 1 yr. & 350
AM work clearing brush near charcoal kiln. Arm a little sore but it won't blister. Mac & I continue our rice fermentation. I showed Burton how to do it & gave him a taste. Think I've made a convert...It tastes something like cottage cheese (as I've said before) Bridge with Corkill vs. Skerry & Keltner. They won.
March 24 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 351
A.M. work carrying dirt with Mike Quinn. Got a new job today-assisting Chuck Lawrence in stirring soup. I don't have to carry, but do have to wash the utensils.
March 25 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 352
A.M. work hauling dirt (Gil Bell's 52nd birthday). Maneuvering Nip units, heavily loaded-camouflaged. Weighed today - 66.1 KGM-a gain 2.2 kgm or 4.4 lb. No sugar for breakfast. Was interested to read about "DB" Harbison-now a rear admiral-in Nip Times. He was quoted as saying the Nip Navy is being held intact waiting a chance to fight to a decision at a favorable time and place with our Navy. "DB" had just returned from "15 months in the Pacific" Ed Corkill & I won at bridge from Brig McLeod and Gen. Brougher this afternoon. Hear we're to have duck tomorrow.
March 26 '44(Sun) 1 yr. & 353
Nice service this morning. Glad I didn't miss it. It makes me feel better somehow. Windy and warm on Yosama Hill. Duck in the evening soup-34 for 303 PWs/ We got bun each today. I'm about out of syrup-have an extra 1/2 bottle which I traded Laughie a bottle of Ketchup for. Radiograms received by Hilsman, Boatwright, Dooley & Fortier.
March 27 '44 1 yr. & 354
Bridge in morning- Jack & I got "took" by Ed Corkill and Harry Skerry. Work in afternoon on fish pond. "Put out" rather strenuously with a Kuwa-got up a good sweat. Had a nice sponge bath on coming in. I think with a little more food of the right kind, I'd rather enjoy this kind of work. Our double quartette resumed practice tonight. Started on a new hymn we're to sing Sunday after next (Easter).
We get sugar tomorrow, I hear. Pemberton (Br. other ranks) was relieved as Chief 12th Squad for failure to cooperate with the P.Ex. detail. Gen. Sharp has shown some interest in my guitar-I think he must have played one some in his youth. I took mine over and left it with him today. I'll leave it with him for about a week. He rooms with Gen. McBride who has a violin. Maybe the two old gents will get together on a little music.
March 28'44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 355
We got sugar this morning! Whoopee! Sugar issue as per schedule. Work (?) in the afternoon-pulling grass, of all things, from around some strange looking plant that resembles "Kong King" (but isn't). It began to drizzle right after the second "Yasama"- so we came in, arriving back about 3:45 p.m. Rainy, chilly tonight-2 blankets.
March 29 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 356
AM bridge-Jack & I beat Harry & Ed. Work in P.M. -rain-came in from carrying litter with Laughie about 3:15 p.m. There is Australian & British mail on the hill. We can write another 100 word letter-must be in by Friday. Form as usual, except no vertical lines between the words. I'm reading "The Little French Girl" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick-a very beautifully written story.
March 30 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 357
PM work carrying dirt with Jack K. Rain about 3:30 p.m. and we came in. Played bridge. Fresh fish in supper soup. Very good. We practice for Saturday's monthly show.
March 31 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 358
No work today-rain. I hear there may be some American mail on the hill. I wrote & turned in my letter to Tori. One squad gets 9 bottles of milk tonight. I got one. We got 3 bananas each this morning. Fish (little ones) in tomatoe sauce for supper. 5 guys in room 10 got a bottle of milk each today. I'm saving mine for breakfast.
April 1 '44 (Sat) 1 yr. & 359
No work today. 55 1/2 kgm of pork received for tomorrow. Now if the Nips don't take too much we ought to have at least one decent meal. I see where Mr. Savovosin (or something) the Swiss Red Cross representative -and who visited us here some months ago- died on Jan 29 in Yokohama. The show went off in fine style this afternoon. The British youngsters, as usual, did well. So did ours-in a hill-billy sketch. Our double quartette did O.K. in two pieces then muffed the last, "God Bless American" and had to start again. We all felt terrible-but we did our best and sang the last song all right after we finally got together.
April 2 '44 (Sun) 1 yr. & 360
A nice service this morning (Palm Sunday). There was some pork in the noon soup and a lot (by Nip standards, remember) -less than 1 oz per man-in the supper soup. My milk was sour yesterday morning-so keeping it over night in order to use it with the morning lugao isn't such a good idea.
April 3 '44 (Mon) 1 yr. & 361
Raining -no work. Bridge all day- a little pork in a cabbage stew for s upper.
April 4 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 362
This is the last time for 11 yrs 1 mo. & 1 day that the date can be expressed with a single digit - as 4-4-44. We worked this morning carrying litters of earth. I worked with Mike Quinn, we put in our requisitions for syrup, pickled veg, toilet paper, Worcestershire sauce, & pepper for tomorrow's delivery.
April 5 '44 (Tue) 1 yr. & 362
Work-same as yesterday-under a broiling sun-after the morning got away to a slow start. Carried a litter with Quinn again (That boy knows everything- and most of it ain't so). I was interested in watching the young British officers "making little ones out of big ones"-literally breaking up all bricks for use in the walks-a real prison scene. We got syrup (lemon), and the other stuff. The pickled veg. turned out to be desiccated cabbage & needs boiling (or at least long soaking in hot water) to make it edible. I boiled some with Phil Fry this afternoon. It's pretty good when boiled about 30 min. We got a bun each this afternoon.
April 6 '44 (Wed) 1 yr. & 363
Same sort of work this A.M. 2 yrs ago tonight Gen. Parker told me on the 'phone that Gen. Longer, Comd of Phil Dist & Subsector D, II Corps, had been cut off in the west and that I was in command of all his troops in the east- 14th Engr Bn-some P.A. Engineer troops (201st & 202nd Engr Bns) in addition to the 57th--and that Gen. L would attempt to reestablish contact by attacking eastward with the 45th Inf (PS) & some tanks the following morning. I'll never forget with what interest I awaited news of this effort-or how disappointed I was when the attack failed.
April 7 '44 (Thu) 1 yr. & 364
Same sort of work carrying dirt in litters. We are practicing an Easter hymn & it ought to be all right from the way it sounds now.
April 8 '44 (Fri) 1 yr. & 365
Completed 2 yrs as a PW today. I got 5 letters-rather 4 letters & a Xmas card all dated 1942-except one letter dated 1943. Tori's letters (2 from her) were heart breakingly sweet and tender. Two from Fran & the Xmas card from Charlie Baldwin of Madison, Ga, who lived in Gilmore Hall U of Ga while BA was living there. I met her on one of my visits. Fran gave me lots of news-one very sweet message from Aunt Caro, who I was glad to hear is well. Rumor that Guam was retaken March 15-also (and more to the point) we will get pork & potatoes & candy & buns tomorrow. That's really where we live. Phil Fry got a note from Albert Smith (Fayetteville) mentioning me by name. I haven't seen Albert for years-Phil says he hasn't seen him for over 20 years. I was happy to hear that all is well with my babies and that Tori's music is all that could be desired-that Teddy is a big man 6' 150# with a 10 1/2 foot. BA taking a business course-out of college- and trying for a Gov't position-all this was before she decided to marry Jack Dale. Tori says her health is good, which relieves my mind a good deal. God bless her!
April 9 '44 (Sun) Easter 1 yr. & 366
We begin our 3rd year as PW's today. This AM 2 yrs ago it was "touch & go". We sang our song this morning. It went OK-some even went so far as to say it was "beautiful". We got candy (1 bag) & buns (2 ea.) this afternoon. Ed Corkill & I played bridge against Jack K & Harry Skerry. We started off "bad" but then staged a garrison finish on the last rubber-bid 6 hearts & made 7, vulnerable-and beat us. Ken Lowman came in this afternoon & sat on my bunk. Said he'd been thinking our bet over and decided he really had lost and that I was "on his list" for $100. Laughie for $50. Will miracles never cease. Art exhibit today. Pork in noon & supper soups. Speaking of 2 yrs ago when we were surrounded just off Trori 20 m Bataan- we could have made a last stand 'a la Custer & died like heroes (or something) -and had we not known of Gen. King's intention to ask for terms that morning, we undoubtedly would have fought it out right there- but under these circumstances, I cannot help feeling that Gen. Bluemel would have made an error (indeed a false one) had he done otherwise than surrender as he did.
April 10 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 2
This morning while playing bridge I was handed an invitation to dinner with the "MUNG" club on Tuesday, April 10 '44" This club is composed of several musically minded British junior officers. It was very formally worded with an RSVP at the bottom. Since today is the 10th and not noticing the day of the week, I dashed over to see Major Grazebrook, who I think is the club's president, to acknowledge verbally and accept. He smiled & said there was a slight error in the invitation. It should have read "Tuesday, April 11th)- so I'll have dinner with them tomorrow- bringing my own food, utensils etc., of course. Gen. Drake will be there too, I hear. These youngsters have been giving a series of these "dinners" and importing some of us musically inclined Americans. I think it's a fine idea, and am looking forward to it with interest.
April 11 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 3
Bridge this morning & work, litter carrying- same as yesterday-this afternoon. I hear that 7 rabbits & 2 or 3 chickens were killed today and will be served tonight. All this for only 500+! Well, I went over and had dinner with the MUNG Club. It was a delightful experience & one I shall long remember. There was the ordinary ship table, covered with a white cloth (no doubt, a sheet)-flowers on the table and place cards. We dined and afterward, cold coffee was served - and a lump of sugar was pressed upon me. My coffee came to me in a demi-tasse with GR (George V Rex) on it-from some officers' mess no doubt. In addition to Major Grazebrook, Gen Duke & me, there were Capt. Moss, Capt. Anderson, Lt. Piper, Major MacIntosh-also a Capt Humphreys came in after dinner-so did Jim Ferrey (1st LT AC-USA)-and joined in singing. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable affair-one in which a sincere and, strangely enough, successful effort was made to rise above the surroundings. It was Capt. Jock Moss's birthday 3/31/44 and we attempted to singe a "round" dedicated to him-words by Piper, music by Grazebrook.
April 12 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 4
Usual AM bridge-same crowd. Harry & I lost to Jack & Ed. In afternoon we went out to get bamboo. John Rodman was in charge. We were divided into groups & I worked with Kohn & Hirsch. Managed to get a few potatoes now if I can get them cooked, the room members will get at least a bite apiece.
April 13 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 5
I lost at bridge again this morning-this time paired with Jack. Carried a litter with Mike Quinn in afternoon. a "knock-out" bridge tournament begins Saturday 15th. Entry fee 5 cigarettes per team member. Jack & I are thinking of entering. Ed & Harry have done so already. Laughie & Pinkie Ames have entered too. We got some newspapers today-the latest dated late in Feb '44-some going back into Dec '43. To read them, one would think all was chaos in the U.S. and that our Army and Navy were getting the hell whipped out of them.
The German battleship "Scharnhorst" was sunk early in Feb. north of Norway (North Cape) in the arctic. With other German ships they attacked a Russian convoy which was being escorted by American & British ships. Apparently news of O'Donnell etc. has reached the U.S. & an investigation of our treatment of interned Nips and their treatment of P.W.'s has been started. This by either the Red Cross, or some neutral nation, I understand. Thank God for that.
April 14 '44 (Fri) 1 yrs & 6
The Nip Times of Dec '26 43 says that the American AC bombed Taiwan on Nov 25 (Thanksgiving)-see diary of that date-maxing a radius of 2000 km. Working parties Nov 25 were double timed in from work at 3 p.m. We got 2 buns each today. Work in p.m. as usual.
April 15 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 7
All squads worked this AM-on "fish pond" -practiced with combined choral group at 4 p.m.-after a short rehearsal the night before for the purpose of catching up on rehearsals previously missed.
April 16 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 8
Church this am as usual. Jack & I played Capt. Hammon (Aust) & Lt. Bladon (Br) in the "knock out" bridge tournament and got "knocked out" by 1370 pts. I played lousy. But they had the cards to eliminate us in spite of all we could have done. Chuck & I started another week of soup serving.
April 17 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 9
Work in AM this week. Dug potatoes with the 1st squad-it was OK. This is Gen. Parker's 55th birthday. I went over to wish him luck. Hard to realize he is 3 mos. younger than Gen. Brougher who looks at least 10 yrs his junior.
April 18 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 10
Work this AM, chopping grass in peanut field. Squad 1 was digging potatoes nearby-OK Gp Capt. Ridgway returned from a hospital at Takao where he has been since Feb. Got 2 letters today- 1 from Tori (2/2/43) and one from BA (1/7/43) The news of all my family was wonderful. I think if I could have prescribed it myself I wouldn't have had it any different.
April 19 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 11
Our glasses came today. Mine too small. I'm trying to read Nicholas Nickleby by Dickens. Finding it dull. Hoed peanut patch this morning near potatoe patch. OK Bridge. This afternoon-we're rotating after each rubber & keeping score. I'm big loser so far.
April 20 '44 (Thu) 2yrs & 12
Broke my glasses trying to widen the nose piece. A.M. work hoeing the peanut patch-no potatoes. There is a persistent rumor that we have Pilau (Pelew) about 600 mi. E of Mindanao. We got one bottle of milk each today.
April 21 (Fri) 2 yrs & 13
Braley, Collier, Stowell got radios today, the two last getting acknowledgement of receipt of letters. That's good news for all-some of our letters got through-maybe mine did! The rumor persists that some prisoners are being taken away-Laughinghouse, Ames, Churchill (All A.C.) , Mielenz & Stickney (both Engrs) are 5 of the names mentioned. I took my glasses over to the hospital and turned them in for repair this morning. That may be the last I'll ever see of them (Though, where are few yen are involved-and no food-the Nips seem rather eager to give service). A.M. work planting (?) peanuts-very much OK. They were sorting potatoes nearby-also OK. The Sgt. made Jim Manees lead the Carabao while he ploughed. Jim didn't seem to like it. This is the 1st anniversary of Betty Ann's marriage to Jack Dale. I do wish them all that is good and my supreme hope for them is that it is the real thing with them and that it's for keeps. B.A. is a grand girl and will make Jack a fine wife-and all I hear of him is good--so their marriage has everything in it's favor. B.A. has, of course, gained most of her impressions of married life from her observation of Tori and me. So at least she's seen what a good wife can be-and knows that her mother and Dad are married for "keeps". I hear Dick Rogers got a radiogram too.
April 22 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 14
All squads turned out for work-ours planted peanuts-OK. I was accused, unjustly of course, of eating TAKUSAN (many) peanuts-when it was only SKOSHI (few). We turned out this afternoon to police Yasame park-some bridge, we got syrup & coffee today. I traded a large bottle of ketchup and a small W. Sauce to a Dutch officer for a bottle of syrup.
April 23 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 15
Arrived at O'Donnell after 15 hellish days-two years ago. This is ANZAC Day-also St. George's Day. There will be special music at church today.
April 24 '44(Mon) 2 yrs & 16
PM shift this week.- 8 of us go for bamboo - through by 3:30 but sentry doesn't dare bring us in before 4:30. Got a little hardboiled egg today. I gave it to Judge Lynch who need it more than I.
April 25 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 17
Usual P.M. work Leavitt, USN, ensign, talks to room tonight on Houston experience, but I'm practicing with choir and can't be there.
April 26 " 44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 18
Work in PM planting rabbit grass. Hot sun. Checked one man short coming in-had a long wait till it got straightened out. Usual Nip slowness to understand. Air raid (probably local practice) at about 8 PM.
April 27 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 19
General police this AM- preparatory to the expected inspection at end of week. More bridge with usual foursome in which I picked up a few points. hear that Cap Bishop got bopped this AM-Rumor-Germany protests to Geneva re flattening of 5 cities on Rhine: Polan, Celebes & Borneo being bombed, Finland asks for peace terms. General Bluemel got a package containing a sweater-apparently a letter referred to it as containing some stockings and razor blades (but these were gone); the package came from Tokyo wrapped in Nip paper and bearing the address of some Swiss subject-all very confusing. Work this afternoon on rabbit grass beds. Buns today.
April 28 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 20
It is rumored that tomorrow, being the emperor's birthday, will be a holiday-and that we'll work Sunday to make up for it. Wood tells me that Taiwan has been bombed 4 times-since the Thanksgiving bombing and that Bob Hoffman saw the flash from one of them (Didn't get this from Bob). We are pretty sure there was a bombing on Jan 11 '44. There is, we believe, an electric power plant 15 or 20 km N. of us here. Maybe that was the objective.
April 29 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 21
Emperor's birthday-also Al Balsam's 55th. Yesterday's re holiday came true-also about work tomorrow. There is pork somewhere-and we'll probably get it tonight-we got 6 pieces of candy and 4 bananas each today. Largess from the Nips! we did get a few pork shreds & some flour in some very well cooked beans for supper.
April 30 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 22
Mother's birthday-she'd have been 74. A very lovely lady and a wonderful mother. May my daughters be like her. There is rumor of some kind of change. First 40 or 41 men are to leave here next Thursday May 4th- then all generals and American Colonels go to Karenko-next "all but generals and American Colonels leave here". This is to be a non-work camp. It has been raining all day-otherwise we'd have worked to make up for yesterday's holiday.
May 1 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 23
General police outside and in this morning-rainy all day. Warned to "stand by" for a 1:30 p.m. formation tomorrow in "full dress"-including shoes. There will probably be a speech. Bridge this afternoon with Gen. Bluemel vs. Gens Jones & Seals (we won).
May 2 '44 (Tues) 2 yrs & 24
Formation at 1:30 p.m. & speech by Camp Commandant (Bob Hoffman said it was the most conciliatory speech he's heard yet.)
May 3 '44 (Wed ) 2 yrs & 25
"Little Sister Alice's "birthday. Chuck Lawrence, Hilsman & Pilet got mail. I hear there's more. Here's hoping. Capt. Robt. Hunt (Brit) goes to hospital. Don't know what for or where they took him.
May 4 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 26
Ed Corkill is 52 & Al Stowell 49-birthdays. no work. Rainy.
May 5 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 27
My family left me 3 yrs ago today. They sailed on the USS Republic. I got 2 letters, one from Teddy & 1 from Fran, both dated 8-25-43.
May 6 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 28
Corregidor surrendered 2 yrs ago today. I hear that an officer named Osborne (Who served on Bataan under Col. Young) has been writing articles re Philippines-and fighting there-for US newspapers. Young says Osborne was with him at the surrender. Laughinghouse says an officer named Gause who had served under him near Orion and who came to Corregidor at the time of Bataan's surrender, has returned to the US and written newspaper articles. (He saw Gause the day before Corregidor surrendered-and he (G) was planning to get away with another officer named DUCK.
May 7 '44(Sun) 2 yrs & 29
Services at top of Yasame Hill. Usual activities. Pork in beans with supper.
May 8 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 30
Bridge in AM with usual crowd. Work in PM. pulling cart carrying sod. Animals in draft! Very hot, hard work. Gen. McBride was sick about evening tengo. Alex Quintard is 52. We got beans.
May 9 '44(Tue) 2 yrs & 31
Jim Monihan is 55. Gen. Sharp found Gen. Allen Clay McBride dead in his bed this AM just as he was getting ready to attend roll call. I am particularly sad about his as I knew Gen. McBride very well and admired him so much. He came out to the PI on the Grant with us in Feb '41. He was also on the Leonard Wood from Charleston to San Francisco. Funeral services at 4 PM today. He seems to have had a presentiment of his death judging from certain writings he left-one a message to all his fellow PWs, written as recently as April 20. He was a hard worker and had been out yesterday bareheaded in the broiling sun, I hear. It came to light after his death that he had been awarded the S.D.M. which was presented to his wife at the War College. Two years ago we were preparing to leave Camp O'Donnell for Tarloc. I tried to get permission to remain with the other officers of the 57th, but it was no go.
May 10 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs &32
Arrived at Tarloc from O'Donnell 2 yrs ago today. First made acquaintance of Eddie O'Connor. I found him on the other end of a mosquito box I was hoping to get. "Don't grab it out of my G.D. hand!"-he yelled. We have been practicing (the double quartette) - John Pall and Gundam Sage's "Every Waking Moment". Worked this afternoon- got a few potatoes, despite some warning! I hear we're to have corn for supper. Got a towel (about size of a postage stamp) and 3 bars of Nip soap today. Just had the best bath I've had in months. The showers were on. There was a hot sun this afternoon and I think I burned a little, worked with a KUWA. Col. Wardle (Brit) got kicked this afternoon. The Nips seem to have turned on a little heat. A lovely sunrise this morning. This is Confederate Memorial Day in N.C.
May 11 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 33
I went over this AM to go over the air to Sage's song our octette is practicing. Gen. Beebe is working out the tenor. Bridge for rest of AM. Brig McLeod got kicked this afternoon. The 1st Signal (digging potatoes) was "shaken down"
May 12 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 34
Same with Gen. Beebe this AM-He's working out the baritone for Sage's song this time. Tubby Cornell has quit the octette-account he's so little time for recreation & prefers to do other things. Tom Dooley is still singing baritone. Gen. Beebe will fill in until we can get someone else. This PM, 4 of us from 4th Sq. worked with 3rd Sq. weeding the peanut patch. Hear we have bamboo detail tomorrow. The generals sent a letter requesting that all PW's over 50 be not required to work (about 270) in number. Hioki wants all who don't think they ought to work for age or health reasons to turn their names in. Then they'll be examined. If they're considered fit for wok or just don't want to work, they'll be put in a separate squad and given limited food and not allowed to lie on their bunks or play cards during the day. In other words, we must work-OR ELSE! He admits that we're not being treated in accordance with the Geneva treaty- that is, 100%. Siesta hour is to be resumed June 1st- afternoon work, beginning now, he says, will be so timed as to avoid the intense heat-but we were out at the hottest time this afternoon. I got burned a little yesterday and today, though my hide is pretty tough by now, and have a slight bellyache. Gave my regular rice and soup away to night.
May 13 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 35
Didn't feel very good this morning, so didn't go bambooing with "Dai Yompan". Corkill & I got beaten at bridge by Brig McLeod & Gen. Brougher-the first time I've played with them in several weeks. The newest lieutenant returned today from some trip & brought back 5 packages & some mail. Chuck Lawrence, Atkinson, and Hoffman were among those receiving packages. Chuck's was packed by his wife, several packages bearing a Romney W.VA label. All the razor blades had been opened and examined as had a pack of chewing gum (including individual sticks)-a pack of Farina and a can of Ovaltine-busy little fingers at work! Chuck Lawrence, Jack Vance, Ed Aldridge and Squire Forster have been featured by Malcolm Fortier in his cartoons -rather their Tummies have. He refers to each of them as a "second front".
May 14 '44(Sun) 2 yrs & 36
A special service in honor of motherhood was held this morning. Capt. Wilterdink sang "Mother o' Mine" very beautifully. I wore a white flower in memory of my own mother and my thoughts and prayers were with Tori and Mother Bush (so glad she found her George-and hope he'll finally do something about it). We can turn in 100 word letters tomorrow.
May 15 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs &37
We worked this AM-hoeing peanuts-sun very hot. There is much excitement this afternoon; 768 Red Cross Packages have come in, with about 300 more to follow-also some P.Ex. Supplies-mostly cigarettes & cigars. Chuck says a package contains 1 can Klim (1#), 2-12 oz cans Spam, 3-12 oz. cans corned beef, 1-1# pkg. prunes, 1-can pate (milk & meat) about 4 oz. 2 cans soluble coffee (About 3 oz cans), 1-6 oz. can salmon, 4-4 oz cans butter, 1-6 oz can jam, 2 cakes toilet soap, 7 pkgs. cigarettes (mixed 20's) 2-type D Army Rations (chocolate-about 4 oz ea.), 1- 8 oz pkg. cheese, 1 pkg. sugar (1#), & 1 can opener. Chuck says we ought to get about 1 4/5 parcels each.
May 16 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 38
The three ranking generals of the various nationalities represented here (Gens Parker & Ilgen & AVM Maltby) suggested that a committee be appointed to distribute the Red Cross parcels. This was vetoed by the Camp Commandant, Lt. Hioki. So then Gen. Parker sent around a questionnaire to Americans asking two questions: 1) Do you think a reserve supply of food should be established for American hospital patients.? 2) Will you contribute to this reserve? As far as I've been able to learn, the answers to both questions have been unanimously "No". Our letters were all returned-to be resubmitted. I understand they want all requests for packages eliminated. I suppose they want us to say the Red X packages have been received. We worked in the peanut patch again today.
May 18 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 40
This a.m. squads 1 & 2, normally scheduled for work, stayed in to receive their Red Cross parcels. The rest of us went out-I as usual to the peanut patch. I've caught the detail for the past 4 or 5 days. This afternoon we were marched up to the shoe room after first paring off. We got 3 parcels per pair. Shorty MacD. & I pairing off. We got 2 invalid parcels containing bouillon & a variety of special number like "ham & eggs." When we came back we inventoried the parcels and divided the items as far as they would divide equally, and pooled the other items which included 1 can Klim, 1/2# Kraft cheese. One of the first things I did was to "polish off" a 4 oz. can of "ham & eggs"-eating it with 1/2 bun I had saved. I advertised some fish flakes I wanted to trade for American cigarettes and got 4 packs Chesterfields for 7 cans fish flakes, making 18 packs of cigarettes in all.
May 19 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 41
Raining this AM & no work. I have a very lame right shoulder & crick in my neck on that side. If it isn't better tomorrow I'll stay in from work. Traded Frank Nelson 2 cans Fukushinzuki (pickled veg.) for 2 packs Camels & not bad. Had milk & raisins & sugar in this mornings Lugan. A bit extravagant but so good. Made the noon soup edible by dissolving an envelope of Bouillon in it. Put some butter on my supper rice. Yum! Yum!
May 20 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 42
Stayed in from work this am. Had some salve put on an eruption on my back (probably the result of too much sun) -worked some of the soreness out of my back. Started rehearsing with the British, American Dutch choir-some bridge with Gen. Brougher & Brig McLeod. Harry Skerry is taking my place this afternoon.
May 21 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 43
Fran's birthday-Happy birthday, Fran! May I see you before the next one. We were allowed to resubmit out letters today. Traded 2 cans pickled veg to Frank Nelson for 2 more packs cigarettes-also 1 can to Malcolm Fortier at same rate. Raining all day. Services inside 12 squad hut.
May 22 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 44
Rain-now work today. Am reading "The City of Beautiful Nonsense" by E. Emple Thurston. So far, I find it a beautifully written, & somewhat whimsical romance. Very entertaining. As a bit of light fiction, I would place it with "The Little French Girl" by Ann Douglas Sedgwick.
May 23 '44(Tue) 2 yrs & 45
Work-bamboo-this AM. Understand we will work mornings only from now on. Nugent gave me a pair of Dutch (Green) breeches today. Very thoughtful of him. Said he wanted to give them to "Somebody he liked who needed them". I certainly fulfill the last part of it anyway. Fish soup, Nasi Goreng (Rice fried in grease) and succotash for supper. Octette practice resumed tonight. Last night I heard a very interesting talk on "Dunkirk" by Capt. Derrek Archer (Brit-RA) who was there. We got candy today.
May 24 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 46
Work-back of charcoal kiln this am-KUWA. We got weighed today-I weigh 150.9#-a gain of .22# since Apr 22. Mail today for Americans. I didn't get any however, neither did Judge Lynch or Shorty MacD from my "cell" However, I'm not blue about it, as all of it WD all mail, and, while I'd have loved to have some, my Aug. '43 letters from all members of my family contained such wonderful news, news I couldn't possibly have improved on. Jess Traywick got a letter from Lt.Col. Alexander who as a Capt. FD at Ft McClellan several years ago while I was on ROTC duty at Ga Tech-Alexander sent me his regards.
May 25 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 47
Harry Skerry's 55th birthday- I gave him 2 potatoes. Also Bill Holt's 48th.
May 26th '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 48
Teddy's 16th birthday! What a fine fellow he must be and a budding athlete too- 6'1" and 150#- maybe more now-football & track. I'm delighted about it all. Wish I could see him. He's certainly living up to his part of our bargain. AM work carrying dirt on a litter with Jim Monihan. Rumors- Rome in American hands (verified, I hear, by papers which are on the hill). Tojo's radio speech re naval battle and loss of 20 war ships. Germans strategic withdrawal from Poland. The gold inlay came out of UR3 today-afraid I swallowed it. Gosh I'd like to get to a dentist.
May 27th '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 49
11 of us go bambooing. Hear a very odd sounding plane (single engine), Rumored it is American. I doubt it.
May 28 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 50
Our double quartette sang "All is well with my Soul" this AM at church-a nice Memorial Day Service by the chaplain.
May 29 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 51
Capt. Bob Davis is 61-our double quartette is practicing for the June 3 show-singing "Carry me back to old Virginny", "Every Waking Moment" (words & music by Gordon Safe) and "Homeland Ties" to the tune of Cornell's "Far Above Cayuga's Waters"
May 30 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 52
Memorial Day- and I am 50 years old- and might just as well admit it. Got packs of cigarettes from Ray O'Day; Dick Mallonee, Jack Keltner, Harry Skerry & Laughinghouse-also a cigar from Ed Corkill and a bottle of syrup from Judge Lynch. Just to see if I could do it, I went out and got a nice hand balance-the first try. Not bad for an old man!
May 31 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 53
Got 1 pack of Old Golds, 6 utility blades (Gillette type), & 1 cake of soap, as part of Red Cross division.
June 1 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 54
There was a distribution of some odds and ends of Red Cross today-we drew for places & then each chose an article in rotation. I got a housewife, a package of Union Leader pipe tobacco, a toothbrush "made for Prophylactic", a poster board container of Williams Tooth powder and a Gillette type razor made of some kind of plastic.
June 2 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 55
Judge Lynch is 62 today-we made a fuss over him and everybody gave him something-worth cigarettes.
June 3 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 56
Monthly show-no rain- sunny & very hot. Young Britishers, assist. by Jim Ferry burlesqued Hamlet. Levitt's magic was good. Double quartette sang 3 songs all right.
June 4 ' 44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 57
Work this AM-church at 11:15. I went.
June 5 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 58
Worked (outside police) until 11 AM. There was mail. All members of the room except MacD, Keltner & me got some. Heard Laughie say most (if not all) of his were copies of letters previously received.
June 7 '44 (Wed ) 2 yrs & 60
Nugent, Gebow, Mitchell & Plummer begin 5 days in guard house (ASO) at noon- also all other squad 4 members begin doing 1 day in turn since ASO can't accommodate all at once.
June 8 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 61
I got a coat, pair of trousers & a pair of sox from Red Cross shipment.
June 9 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 62
Prison Camps Commandant here. Room representative (Judge Lynch from our room ) called to Camp H.q. We will vote on volunteering for work. This squad voted 31 No- 4 yes-Chuck Lawrence didn't have to vote as he is Camp Commodities Officer-Kohn, Hughes, Ives & Johnson voted yes. We got typhoid shot today.
June 10 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 63
Lots of reactions from typhoid shots. I had a good night but am getting a headache-not to be outdone. There was choir practice this PM but I didn't attend-because of headache. Did play bridge against McLeod & Brougher with Ed Corkill though they won.
June 11 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 64
Eddie O'Connor & I sang a duet in church- "Saved by Grace". Harry & I beat Ed & Jack at bridge this afternoon. Pretty good soup for supper, though no meat in it.
June 12 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 65
1st work since our status on volunteer work came to a head. This AM the gates were closed- unusual. No (shoes) brought down- also unusual. This is the 5th day in the ASO for Nugent, Plummer, Mitchell & Gebow. This afternoon at 1:00 PM the bugle sounded for siesta hour. A few minutes later the call for Tengo was sounded. We were in formation by 1:05. Then the Nips proceeded to go through our rooms "with a fine tooth comb"-the general (feeling) is that that inspection was precipitated by the discovery of the knives owned by Mitchell-Plummer (That's why they went to the ASO). They took out all the sharp pieces of bamboo & wire or other metal. Don't know whether or not they found any knives, while all this was going on we remained in formation-being told to Wakari at 3:25. Then a meeting of squad chiefs was called & they relayed the following information: No shoes will be in PW's possession at any time. (Kaunko) regulations will be enforced. Only one pair of slippers & 2 pr clogs (1 regular & 1 bath) in PW's possession. No lying or sitting on bunks. "No work, no rest". During day, lights permitted for meals only. No cards (including solitaire) or musical instruments playing except Sunday. Yasame Park is closed. No PW leaves enclosure except when sent for. No private ash trays. No outside smoking. All PW's turn out for police at 8 AM & again at night. Rooms will be kept clean & ready for inspection at all times. There will be 4 or 5 inspections daily. Showers will be repaired for use of enlisted men after work. Other PW's will not use. Punishment for violation of regulations. "This" in response to Gen. Brougher's question "is not in any sense to be construed as punishment-for our failure to volunteer for work. There will be no siesta hour-and no shoe shines (sick in quarters). Bill Dalton who has been ill with malaria and hit by inoculation of the 9th was taken to hospital on stretcher. Hear Hugh Dumas went to hospital today too. I hear that some Dutch officer who has been in the hospital for some time has just died. His name was Major L.F. ELZENGA (Fin)
June 13 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 66
There was an air raid alarm about 2:45 AM. The sky was overcast and the moon less than half full. Nothing unusual this morning. Police at 8 AM. Kohn, Hughes & Ives were sent for by the camp Cmdt. We thought , of course, it had to do with their volunteering to work. Though we wonder why Johnson was left out). However we learned later it had to do with some questions about artillery-Kohn is CAC, while Hughes & Ives are FA.
Major Elzanga's funeral was held at 4 p.m. Chaplain Binderman in charge. Hooks, his new Lieutenant, and "Walrus" were there-so courteous and concerned. At a certain point near the end of the service, Gen. Ilgen, the senior Dutch officer here stepped forward and spoke in Dutch, then James translation into perfect English. It was a very beautiful tribute to Elzanga. beginning with his record of service-very impressive and appropriate, I thought. At the end of the service, the three Nips marched lifting the plain pine box which was covered by a few small bunches of flowers, and bowed- Hicks giving the command "Kei Rei".
June 14 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 67
I was due for a tour of vigilance guard from 4-5 this AM, but since I had taken Lloyd Mielenz's tour last time, Judge Lynch waked him at 4 and Lloyd finished out the night. A good deal for both of us. There is a rumor that we bombed the BONIN Islands May 30-31 and took them June 1st. Personally, I don't believe we're going to take the Bonins until after we take the P.I.- maybe not then- It seems more practical to me that we should retake the P.I. first, then join up with Stillwell in China- and then strike the Jap mainland.
I heard Hioki quoted as saying that the Russians had pushed the Germans back a great distance-that he didn't understand why, unless Germany was holding out troops to protect the west. When asked if the airport had yet been opened he hesitated and said "no". This is Mike Quinn's 49th birthday. He gave me a copy of "The Shield of Faith" by Rt. Rev Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen an abridgement of his book "The Armor of God" which contains "Reflections and Prayers for War Time"-very interesting.
June 15 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 68
Got 2nd typhoid shot this AM. Read the letter signed by Gen. Ilgen & Parker & the AVM setting forth instances in which the Nipponese have failed to live up to the Geneva Treaty re treatment of PW's. An excellent document in my opinion. I am making a copy of it.
June 16 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 69
Comfortable night-no unfavorable reaction from typhoid shot. A bombshell was thrown into our midst at a squad chiefs meeting this AM-it was announced that 1) Capt. Egan (Brit) would go to the guard house (ASO) for 5 days for having a knife 2) Brig Crawford gets 3 days -same place- for having shoes in his possession. 3) A young British officer (Lt. Mason) and a Dutch officer get 24 hrs each for lying on bunk 4) There will be no salutes exchanged between prisoners 5) PWs will not visit other barracks 6) PWs will not collect in groups-a group being more than 2 people 7)Yasame park is still closed 8)Vigilante Guard cannot read 9) There will be one or more roll calls by squads or groups or groups of squads, once each 24 hrs.
June 17 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 70
We can play cards this afternoon and I for one am looking forward to it. Bridge makes the time fly as nothing else does -and that's what we want time to do in this place. I got "Northwest Passage" from Wray-want to re-read it. Think hardships of Rogers Rangers returning from St. Francis will mean more to me now.
June 18 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 71
Church service at 9 this AM in squad 12 hut- Yosame Park being closed. After service there was communion. I took my first communion as a PW-under rather interesting conditions. The chaplains "altar" was a common table placed so his back was to the NW entrance which looks out through a barbed wire fence onto the Guard House, and from where I sat I could see the bomb shelter in front of the guard house and the bamboo and barbed wire fence beyond. Across the road on a little hill about 7 small boys were playing and chattering. They were less than 50 yards away and showed a great and noisy interest in our service. As usual, we had Braly and his violin, as well as Grazebrook and his accordion. The chaplain had his communion equipment-the sacraments consisted of diluted strawberry syrup and a very stale cracker (the chaplain must have had this a long time-and made considerable sacrifice to accumulate his materials.) More bridge this afternoon-The 9th & 10th squad turned out last night.
June 19 '44 (Mon) 1 yrs & 72
The 7th (Dutch) squad was turned out last night. More BONIN rumors are going around-lots of optimism prevails. Bets are being made about going home. One PW had a good rumor-we'll be out before Xmas. He had no trouble getting his money covered. He's too optimistic. I believe 1945 is the year and will put Oct 1st as the outside date, with a landing in Japan mainland by Sept 1.
I have 100 temp-grippe. Feel "achey and Painy" all over. I got Capt. Bob Darrow to take my temp. Gillespie put (arypil) in my nose and gave me a gargle.
June 20 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 73
We were rounded out at 10:30 last night for check-all squads in this bldg. (3,4, 5 & 6) There is a rumor that "There is a diplomatic rift between Germany and Japan". If true, this looks as if the Japanese embassy in Berlin may have been withdrawn on order to save documents', etc. in case Germany falls. We get issued gargle & then required to gargle by squads-a whole syrup bottle full.
June 21 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 74.
Longest day of year-Mass gargling after morning Tengo. Phil brought in the following rumors 1) In naval battle of Taiwan-date unknown but recent,-we lost 10 ships, the Nips 16 2) Manila, Bangkok & Singapore have been bombed 3) British detachments have landed in Sumatra 4) The Western front was opened up in Belgium a month ago. 5) The tripartite pact between Japan, Italy & Germany has been dissolved. I felt feverish tonight & got Capt. Bob to take my temp again-it was 99.5°
June 22 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 75
Sneezing all day-ache in every joint, but, as far as I know, no fever. Rumor of Naval action between Taiwan and China coast-also that MacArthur is in Borneo. The gargling "By the numbers" continues. Sgt. Odelin left today for an unknown destination-before he left he said he thought his new assignment had to do with censorship. I hear he was a school teacher in Canton before the war and has a very good friend-a school chum-at Williams U., somewhere in Japan-a native. Perhaps that explains it.
June 23 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 76
Malcolm Fortier is 64 today. The OD room was shifted from the other end of this hut to the room in this end occupied by Fortier & Campbell, who were moved to the old OD room & transferred to the 5th squad.
June 24 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 77
Judge Lynch, Abe Garfinkel, Kohn & Hirsch were playing bridge in the OD room this afternoon when Yamanaka (interpreter) came in. He asked who gave permission to play there & took their numbers. In view of the recent sentencing to several days in the guard house-they are all pretty badly worried. There has been a rule for sometime that no one is allowed in the OD room except on business. I've been notified that there is some mail on the hill for me. Hooray! It's been raining all afternoon-word just came around that the mail would not be distributed today. Oh well, Bridge all afternoon with the same crowd.
June 25 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 98
Church service at 9 AM in 11th squad hut. Bridge till noon. Practice with British "choir" at 2:30. Fairly generous portion of pork in evening soup-don't get this wrong- it means about 1/2 oz. per P.W. No mail today. Quite disappointing. There is a rumor that there will be no more sugar or tobacco issue.
June 26 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 79
Rumor of Americans & British in France. A large group of E.M. went upon hill for mail this afternoon-then we were called up. I got a letter from Tori (7-8-42) and one from Albert Letty (8-23-43).
Tori's letter, very dear and sweet, written when she was ignorant of my status and terribly worried naturally-a very brave letter- made me love her even more. Some interesting news of BA-winning Beauty Review (or "that beauty thing" as Tori calls it) at U. of Ga., being ??O Sponsor at GA and Tech-also sponsor of an ROTC Co. at Tech. Not bad! I appreciated Albert's letter. He spoke of young Jim's success at flying school, which was good to hear -also of meeting Col. Geo. S Clarence. It was nice of him to take time out to write to me and I appreciate it.
June 27 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 80
The rumor about a landing in France seems OK. A Nip Sentry, it seems, pointed out the map of France to Brig Maxwell and one other and made a line with his finger from across the channel. The 8th Squad is being broken up. The 4th, 5th, 6th and 3rd Squads are getting 4 each. Don't know where the rest are going. Room 10 (ours) gets Lathrop. Maher, Pedersen and Quintard are our other three. It will mean more crowding-and we're crowded enough now. More prisoners are coming in we hear. That's the reason for the change. Later I hear the reason was to give more room to the 9th and 10th squads. We didn't get Lathrop after all. It was Horan who is in the hospital and will probably be there for some time. Rumors- British landing in Norway-evacuation by the Nips of the Celebes. Also (and this is claimed to be news) the Russians have advanced beyond Warsaw-within 100 mi. (or Km?) of the German border. Another rumor-Russia has declared war on Japan (a Nip sentry is reported to have told this to an American soldier). Just saw a copy of Public Law 490-77th Congress-Chapter 166-2nd Session- HR 6446, approved March 7, 1942, which provides for Prisoners of War (among others) their allotments continuing-also filing of income tax returns, moving of dependents household effects-and 10% increase for foreign service (20% for E.M.) The provisions of this bill will remain in effective until 12 months after the present war is declared at an end by the President.
June 28 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 81
12 young British officers came in from a camp at Taibo-this was a camp devoted to river improvement and was flooded. They say their camp commander told them before they left that the Americans and British landed in France on June 6-and that Germany had evacuated Greece and Crete and Albania-also that the Russians are in the Balkan oil fields. There is also a wild rumor that the Nips have taken Vladivostok.
June 29 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 82
About the landing in France-we hear that the first wave consisted of 40,000 troops-that the air was "black" with planes, and that it was made under the protective fire of 60 cruisers. Personally, I discount the importance of naval gun fire in assisting a landing. Of course, there must be warships to put at the ramparts and their gun fire may as well be used-but they can't do anything the airplanes can't do much better. There is another rumor of Konoyi's having replaced Tojo as Nip Premier.
June 30 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 83
Rumors today have the Russians in Prague, the British landing in Denmark and claim that Nagasaki has been razed. Raining all afternoon. This morning all medicos were called up for questioning by the Camp Commandant. Don't know the whys or wherefores of it yet-maybe never will, but one thing is certain-there'll be some rumors-if I know that crowd.
July 1 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 84
3 packages were received (Boatwright, Stansell & Evans) -also siesta hour form 1 to 2 pm has been announced.
July 2 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 85
Pilet, Moore, Mead, Ausmus and Martino got packages this morning. Breakfast was an hour late-no lights until 5 am (the cooking usually begins at 4 am)
July 3 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 86
More packages today (7 in all) the ones I know got them are Worthington, Foster, Pugh, Hirsch, Morse, Churchyard. Later I heard the 7th was Yankey. I hear that a great many planes have gone out today- all headed N & NE, Rumors- 200,000 paratroops & airborne troops -followed by 200,000 in transports-constituted the landing force in France; 5 Taiwan ports have been blasted; Tojo is really out; the interpreter told several e.m. "You know all the rumors and so do I. Well, you don't know the half of it"- or words to that effect.
July 4 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 87
INDEPENDENCE DAY in US-and here too, but only in our hearts. No holiday for us. Last year, there was no work by Americans-seems to me there was some port in the soup, but I can't remember and don't have my notes to refer to. Crews had a disappointment today- was called to Camp HQ-apparently for a package. When he got there it turned out to be a package all right but the addressee was Creusere. I've started another brew of fermented rice-after having discontinued for some time.
Mac and I were all set to open a can of corned beef tonight because though they killed a pig we weren't scheduled to get any. However we found so much fried tofu and peanut oil in the supper soup we didn't feel that the C.B. was indicated-so are saving it for another time.
July 5 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 88
This is J.P. Horan's & Roscoe Bonham's 53rd birthday. They also enlisted in Texas NG 28 yrs ago today. They celebrated by having lunch together and opening a can of "dog lip" (Nip M&V)- in the QD room. I am room orderly today.
July 6 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 89
K.L. Berry is 51 today. Syrup (both kinds) & Savory salt (among other things was received by the P.Ex. We got an issue of P.Ex. "scrip".
July 7 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 90
Don Hilton is 48 today. 4 packages were received-Gen. Jones, Dick Rogers, Jim Menzie & Col. Dougherty being the lucky ones. We got a dysentery shot this A.M.-played "catch" with Laughie a little while. Sugar came in on a bull cart & was promptly taken up on the hill- an unusual procedure. Hioki has been away all day. A sentry had Gen. Pierce standing at attention (arms extended) today.
July 8 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 91
Callahan gets a package. We got almost a double issue of sugar today. Lloyd Mielenz also got a package. Yesterday while talking to him I told him he'd surely get one today. I hear Gen. Pierce was taken in the guard house this morning-didn't hear what for. Last night squads 3-6 incl. were turned out at 11. Horan fainted just as he counted "San ju San". Squads 1, 2, 7 & 8 were turned out twice-and squads 9 & 10 3 times. Nobody gives a damn. We can take all this sort of thing the Nips can dish out. They think they're being tough.
Got lemon syrup, ketchup, savory salt & lemon sodas today (the last thru the mess-others P.Ex.) - also 8 bananas each-also several pineapples- our room got 2 for the 8 of us. We can write another letter (aren't the Nips being good to us?) It must be in by tomorrow night. Practiced with the choral group this afternoon. Major Grazebrook, who is in charge, had to leave before we did-isn't feeling well. I hear Chaplain Binderman has been sick. Gen. Brougher will conduct service tomorrow.
July 9 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 92
Yesterday was a holiday ("Festival of the Stars" we hear)-maybe that's why the Nips showered us with "goodies". It's also rescript day today. The reading of the imperial rescript has been smaller recently. Bridge yesterday, today as usual- same foursome. I was big winner today. Don't ask about yesterday.
July 10 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 93
Judge Lynch got a package today-and gave me a pack of chewing gum. He got clothes, insignia, a small chess set, too. Major B.R. Brown and Cpt Nugent also received packages-just saw Collier & Cook with theirs- and Cornelius, Brit. hospital orderly, with one (probably for some patient-don't know who)- later it was for Braddock. Alex Campbell got one too. Maybe they'll get to me someday. Who knows? Took our shoes out of shoe room & cleaned them today. PM tengo formation postponed to 10 or 11 p.m.
July 11 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 94
Perry Ames is 48 & Hugh Dumas 49 today. Eckles got a package- I hear there are about 4 more. Dare I hope? Penrose came down the hill with one about 3 PM-also Col. Cooper. Hear there was a broadcast at 9 last night (to entire Nip nation-probably a pep talk of some kind-Fight 'em Yale). That undoubtedly accounts for last night's late tengo.
July 12 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 95
Well, somehow, the rumor hounds have gotten the gist of the Monday night broadcast. It was an exhortation to the Nip people to "cooperate with the New Govt."- The following got packages today- looks as if I'll just have to wait for my turn- Horan, Roberts, Skerry, Balsam, & Gen. Bluemel. Churchyard & Pilet got mail dated Jan '44 today. Lots of good war rumors-an engagement between Nip Navy & Combined Brit. & Amer. navies. Others receiving '44 mail (Some as late as Feb '44) were Lowman and Teague.
July 13 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 96
Squads 1 & 2 were turned out last night (2 having "topped" twice)-also some others. A good deal of fighter plane activity this AM. We got a dysentery shot this AM. We got it. McD, Kohn, Laughinghouse, Lynch, Horan & I got a Canadian Red Cross package to divide today-so much velvet. Pilet told me there are about 500 letters the interpreter is working on-we ought to get a distribution tomorrow. Pilet, I hear, got 12 yesterday. The Red Cross parcel contained a small bag of salt & pepper, a 5 oz. bar chocolate, 1 box crackers, 6 of prunes, 7 oz. raisins, 1 oz cheese, 1/2 lb. sugar, 1 bar soap, 4 oz. tea, 8 oz salmon, 1 tin sardines (about 4 or 5), 1# Cow Bell powdered milk, 1 # maple leaf creamery butter, 1 # orange marmalade, 12 oz canned beef, and 12 oz meat loaf.
July 14 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 97
Bastille Day! 26 years ago I was on board the RMSP Desna with the 17th MG Pm, 6th Div, enroute to France on my first great adventure. Last night I had a cracker & a piece of cheese from the Canadian Red Cross box. The raisins, prunes & chocolate were also divided. This AM we split up the marmalade 8 ways, so after "breakfast" I had cracker & marmalade and a cup of coffee. No squads turned out last night. This morning the 7th (Dutch) squad was turned out for work-Grumpy in charge-I hear they were told to form "with shoes". A young blond (novice) officer had different ideas and fell in wearing slippers. "G" called him on it and the young Dutchman replied that slippers were "just as good"-whereupon "G" made a speech-said orders from Nip officers & NCO's must be obeyed-that this time the officer would be taken to the guard house, but next time he would be "treated as an enemy on the battlefield" (I wonder how much "G" knows about the battlefield.) "G" then took the offender by the wrist and marched him up to Camp H.q.-kicking him several times as they went through the gate. Later he came down with two sentries (the 7th Squad was caused to fall in inside-also the 8th squad)-don't know the reason for this-and the 7th Squad was made to fall in again, count off and all those (6 in no) without red sick tickets. Of those 3 were sent up the hill with the other 32 (35 in all) & the young Dutch officer evidently went to the guard house for he was seen no more after "G" led him off. Several days ago a young British officer (FIRTH) was taken to the guard house for lying on his bunk. Fry, Stevens, Gillespie, & Bittner got packages today. Phil's was badly smeared with soluble coffee. He gave me some candy, 2 Gillette blades & a deck of small solitaire cards. At Tengo tonight there was a ruddy glow in the SW-remained too long, most of us thought, to be a sunset afterglow. It would be too bad if it were an aviation fuel dump somewhere-we've had a lot of lightning today-some of it close. Hope they distribute the mail tomorrow-and I get some. We're to work, a squad at a time, clearing some of the nearby hills (mosquito control)- all but "shu shins" (sick in qtrs.) will be turned out. Hear the young Dutchman made some sort of a provocative gesture that "G" interpreted as threatening-sot got 10 days in the "ASO"-klink, to you-
July 15 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 98
Ed Corkill got notified that he had a package-right in the midst of a bridge hand-three guesses as to what he did. Hear Rutherford got one too (his 2nd) -also Davis, Corkill, Jack Vance & Blount. I still have hopes.
July 16 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 99
The weekend bridge was most devastating and disastrous-for me. Jack K & Cork were big winners (in that order) while Harry & I lost (I being by far the big loser) Didn't go to church.
July 17 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 100
3rd & 4th squads worked this am.-clearing weeds over by the pump house (mosquito control). Chase, Swanton, McLennan, Seals, Sage, Peck, Wilterdink & & Young-got packages. I hear Hugh Dumas did too but don't know yet. Later- he did. Others receiving packages were Steel, Cottrell, Searle, Killen, Foster, Traywick, Mallonee, Lough, Chynoweth-What has become of mine?
July 18 '99 (Tue) 2 yrs & 101
No work. Jack Vance got some mail-4 letters I hear. The following got packages-Carter, Kohn, Lee Vance, Rodman, Roy Hilton, & Bill Dalton. John Rodman got some jumbled words-a game which has been affording considerable amusement and interest.
July 19 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 102
No mail or packages today. We worked from 2:30 to 5 PM-the 3rd squad also. Got my permanent 1st lieutenant, 26 yrs ago today.
July 20 '44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 103
No work-rain this afternoon- 7th & 8th were scheduled. 8 young Brit. officers were caught on their bunks after bugle blew at 2:30. They were stood up in their shorts in the rain in front of the guard house for about an hour.
July 21 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 104
Lot of mail distributed to Americans today. All members of my room got some but Shorty MacD. & me. Some mail was dated as late as April '44-we worked this afternoon. I don't know when the sun has ever felt so hot.
July 22 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 105
We weighed this AM. I weigh 65.1 kgm (143.22#)-a loss of .9 kgm (1.98#) in past month. I've lost 7# in past 2 mos.- and am glad of it. I feel better than when I weighed 150 (more than I've weighed in nearly 30 years). Bridge with Harry & Ed & Jack this afternoon. I've had good hands and am ahead so far. Raining all afternoon. Landed in France (Le Havre) 26 years ago today.
July 23 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 106
Church this AM as usual & bridge afterward. I'm still way ahead of the boys. We got a bun this morning & Mac & I are opening a can of PREM for lunch. So I'll have a Prem sandwich this afternoon.
July 25 '44(Tue) 2 yrs & 108
Tengo at 1:30 AM -work this morning.
July 26 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 109
Pork in the soup tonight
July 27 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 110
Some pork grease in noon soup.
July 28 '44(Fri) 2 yrs & 111
Work this A.M. Levitt, Foster, Horan, Galbraith, Brougher, Laughie, Stansell, Stevens & Churchyard got radiograms. (Levitt's first word since captivity-awfully glad he got one). Rumor of "peace soon". "Smiley", Eiwei & one guard-also that Nip officers went somewhere for a conference last night. No lights last night-no tengo formation.
July 29 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 112
Usual work & bridge with Jack, Harry & Ed. Harry is suffering with a cold but his enthusiasm for bridge isn't dampened. I am a little in the hole as a result of this afternoon's play. Jack is quite a bit behind.
Stopped at 4:30 to practice with Grazebrook's group.
July 30 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 113
Church as usual-good sermon as usual-pretty humorous. Bridge afterward & in afternoon too. Jack & I ended up way behind with Ed & Harry big winners. This is Bonner Hardee's birthday. After church this AM, KL Berry asked me & a bunch of Texans in his room to sing :Home on the Range" and "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You"-Don't know just what the occasion was-& KL didn't say.
July 31 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 114
All day police. Rumors are that we have taken one of the islands between Taiwan & Japanese mainland (Ryukyu group) also that an 81 yr. old Lt. Gen. and Admiral, & Shigamutsu are a sort of triumvirate running the Nip Gov't now.
Aug 2 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 116
Balsam gets caught on his bunk between noon and siesta hour. He has had an attack of "flu" and is recovering.
Aug 3'44 (Thu) 2 yrs & 117
We work this afternoon-roll call at 2 am.
Aug 4 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 118
Balsam gets called to H.q. for lying on bunk-and Lathrop for going to bed before "lights out". Balsam got 4 and Lathrop 2 days in ASO. Roll Call 2 am. P. Ex. scrip issued today.
Aug 5 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 119
My own little Betty Ann is 20 today. My thoughts go back to Ft. Sheridan, Ill, and the eventful day. Our first baby! Tori & I had come down about 10 days before. The doctor said our arrival had been well timed- only a matter of hours. Well, we waited and since nothing happened & Tori felt OK we kept going farther & farther away form home-base. Last night 20 years ago we went to a show in Chicago. BA has been married now for over a year-an old married lady (1 yr. 31/2 mos.). Here's a heartful of love to you, BA, and hoping you and Jack are, and will continue to be, as happy together as your dear mother and I have been. Bridge today as usual-I'm a little ahead today.
Aug 6 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 120
Lathrop got out of the ASO at noon-none the worse apparently. Balsam gets out Tuesday. Both get "docked" for the days in ASO. Rainy today.
Aug 8 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 122
No formation last night. Rescript Day!! Police on Yasama hill.
Aug 9 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 123
Two nights now with no unusual tengo formation. Police (grain cutting) around fish pond.
Aug 10 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 124
2 yrs ago today we were getting ready to leave Tarloc-for who knew where! Midnight tengo formation. Child Harold ("Junior" to some) on duty. Police this morning-inside police in afternoon. KL Berry who has been allowing his hair to grow for some time and has developed some of the tightest little ringlets (That might well be the envy of any debutante) -had it all cut off today. Quite a change in his appearance. Maybe Ted Sledge will be next-thought that is a little too much to hope for. Pat Horan fainted over at the bathroom this afternoon.
Aug 11 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 125 (856)
The Senior Camp Commander is here- we spent this morning policing inside of quarters and "stood by" all afternoon with blankets left out on bunks in prescribed manner - only to learn, about 4:30 that we'd do the same thing again at 8 AM tomorrow. I took some things over to Pat Horan in the hospital. He seems O.K. but very weak-seems to want sympathy- which he didn't get from me.
Aug 12 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 126 (857)
I have a mole on my neck that is beginning to bother me. Itches. I want to tear it off.
Aug 13 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 127 (858)
I "took" the boys at bridge this week-end. Church this morning. Got some nitrate of silver put on my mole. It's better already (Glad I did it)
Aug 14 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 128 (859)
I complete 27 yrs service today-2 yrs ago we put in at Takao on the Majora Maru.
Aug 15 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 129 (860)
I was commissioned 27 yrs ago today. We worked out by the "Canteen" Bldg. south of the compound-rain cut it short. We sat around and talked-Rumors- extracts from Nip Times of June 20 (lost)* We got glass rod test at Takao 2 yrs ago-sprayed before we got into boats which took us to the Otaru Maru ("Stinki" Maru to us all ever since that trip) where we were shown to our "state rooms".
* Very sketchy-but here they are: Battle lines in Italy - UDINE-BELLANO-PIEVE-LIENZ MONDOVI-FUSSANO-SALUZZO. Albania (US Forces) AGRIPA-PRIZREN Southern France- MENDE-BARSAC (LUZERE) -SAN SAURIENT (Bordeaux) LECROIX. W. Germany-ST. GOAR - Heidelberg-Sternberg. Column of St. G moved to Trier. E. Germany DRMBERG-OHLAU. Douglas Barracks (1000 mi. E. of Formosa) BORODINO-Cape ENGANO (N. Luzon E. of Aparri) -SAMAR BOMBED. Paratroops landed in Hong Kong. Heavy Fighting -JUNG CHUNG & Taiping (W. of AMOY). American patrol boats at KONGMOON & SHEKLUNG (W & E resp. of HONG KONG)
One of the Nip Sentries had Gen. Cox (D) standing at attention for quite a while this afternoon. I got another treatment for my mole. Also something different. My whole neck on the right side burns like hell.
Aug 16 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 130 (861)
No work for 4th squad-rain in PM-Squads 1, 2 & 10 work in AM. I got Col. Ashbrook's atlas & Judge Lynch & I checked locations of places mentioned by Nip Times. Rumors (See yesterday's entry). I gave Levitt my harmonica today. My neck is burned and the skin is coming off.
Aug 17 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 131 (862)
The old sow died, squads 7, 8 & 9 work. Worthington and a Brit. doctor examined the sow-find she died of a heart attack and is fit to eat-so she will be in tonight's soup. A good many don't like the idea of eating an animal that died of natural causes. I don't either but it's meat and I'm not going to let any silly qualms keep me from a good meal. Tengo at 2 AM- 1st in about 5 days. Glattly put some salve on my neck and was apologetic about burning me unnecessarily.
Aug 18 '44 (Fri) 2 yr. & 132 (863)
Tengo about 2 this AM. The Nips are getting back in form again. We worked this AM. My neck is healing OK. Am reading "Whitelocks of Jalna" Tori likes these Jalna stories by Magodela Roche. We got 2 bananas. (The first since July 8th) this AM.
Aug 19 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 133 (864)
One squad was turned out to work this AM.- the 3rd. There were 14 workers and 23 "sick, lame & lazy" They came in at 10:15 AM. What's wrong anyway? Finished my Jalna book-enjoyed it very much & got "Sinbad the Soldier" -a R.C. Wren book.
Aug 20 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 134 (865)
Several boxes received today-Eddie O'Connor got one. Went to church. Good address-I'm still ahead of the boys in our bridge game.
Aug 21 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 135 (866)
Weighed 63.2 kgm (139.04#) today-a loss of 1.9 kgm (4.18#) since last weigh in-or 6# in past 2 mos.
Aug 22 '44 (Tue) 2yrs & 136 (867)
Found some bedbugs today. Put my stuff out in the sun. Took straw out of mattress cover & laid it all out. Put it back later. No bugs in mattress or blankets. Think there may be some in wall but can't find them-did discover one on my gas mask cover. Other squad (5 & 6) have them, I hear, but so far I'm the only victim in my room.
Aug 23 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 137 (868)
Work this afternoon. Skerry, Carter, Townsend, Kohn & others got radiograms undated. Balsam learned today that he was "docked" for his 4 days in the ASO. (Y20.00). I have a neuritis in rt. elbow. We "tengoed" at 5 AM. I catch vigilance guard tonight. Poor sleep on my newly restuffed mattress last night. Spotted fish in supper soup.
Aug 24 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 138 (869)
Pat Horan back from Hosp. Fish in supper soup. Very good. The men get pork. Arnold Funk was stung several times on left hand by hornets this AM at work. Chase in hosp. for general build-up-milk, eggs (wonder if he'll get any)
Aug 25 '44(Fri) 2 yrs & 139 (890)
Tengo 4:45 am. Sugar is here-enough for 2 issues. We got one today. Hooray! I've been out for too long. Arnold Funk has his arm in sling today. Air raid alarm 2:30-4:00 PM. Bananas received but the Nips took them, giving a few to our E.M. "Junior" is O.D. so we can expect anything tonight.
Aug 27 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 141 (872)
Horan fell out at evening Tengo last night. Chuck Lawrence & McCafferty took him away. He didn't faint- Tengo at midnight last night. My right arm is still bothering me-it's been about 6 wks now. The ulna bone seems to be involved. Today is Jim McRae's birthday.
Aug 28 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 142 (873)
"Joe" has been throwing his weight around- took Grimwood (Br Col.) & Lane (same) and another to guard house. G. was talking to Moir (Br. Brig) through window (mustn't do that) -Lane had on a Nip belt buckle. Don't know outcome.
Aug 29 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 143 (874)
No Officer work today. A 199 kgm pig was killed this AM. The Nips took both hams, shoulders and all other good parts, as usual-that's our pig farm.- The EM. will probably get the rest. Extra guards over 11th & 12th squads & even Jimmy (cow head). Camp H.q. acts as if all is not well.- Germany out (again!) and Hong Kong retaken. We get lemon syrup.
Aug 30 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 144 (875)
No work-or passing through gate. Am reading "While My Patient Slept: by Eberhardt. Good supper-fried TOFU in soup-separate dish of beans boiled with ketchup & hog fat. Yum Yum. Rumor- for 3 wks, flights of 200 bombers working on Japan's industrial centers from Nagasaki to Tokyo. Everybody optimistic-any thing can happen any time. A well calf was born at 4 PM today. Tom Derham says by next Monday the milk output will be increased by 3 gal per day (about 70 small bottles)
Aug 31 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 145 (876)
Gen. Pierce got a "love tap" from a sentry. New restrictions announced. No talking through windows- Chaplains can't visit or be visited except after Church Sundays-pieces of iron must be turned in. Junior Tengo was at 11:30 last night- a "nice boy". Judge Lynch gave me 4 Daitin cigars. Surprise-Ken Lowman asked Laughie a few days ago if he'd rather have pesos in payment of the bet he won or wait & get dollars. For some reason, Laughie took pesos. We can write 1 letter every 2 mos., no more Raggle Taggle-a good magazine-sorry about this. Beautiful moon tonight-almost full. Green. It's what novelists & poets term "gibbous". Nice work this afternoon with Col. Giblin. Col. Dougherty got slapped this afternoon by Yamanaka. Orders were that those who received packages in Aug. submit inventories. Col. D. reported in writing that he'd rec'd the address & wrappers but no contents. Yamanaka called him on the hill & accused him of trying to be smart & slapped his face, first with a paper-then with his hand. Sgt. Eiwei took reports at tengo tonight. He usually routs us out when he's on so I guess we can expect the worst tonight.
Sept 1 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 146 (877)
Activity last night-Nips having air raid drill- no meeting but tengo anyway. Morning tengo at 7:30 after breakfast. The rumor about Red headlines in Nip paper haven't yet been explained-some have it as announcing Russia's entry into the war. Others, announcing the conscription of all Taiwanese-still others, Germany's surrender, but one thing I'm certain of-nobody knows. Did a sizable laundry & took a shower this AM. We got a new veg. in the cart this AM-like a potatoe only flatter-Chuck says they are Taiwanese potatoes-always count on Chuck for an answer-He not know, but he's always in there pitching. Broke my glasses several days ago & turned them in today for repair. Roll call at 8 PM, lights out at 9 p.m. from now on.
Sep 2 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 147 (878)
-Water shortage- 9th & 10th squads (young Brit.) have been carrying - a good deal to the Nips. This shortage will continue for some time & I suppose we'll all be pressed into service.
Sept 4 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 149 (880)
Pump has been fixed, I hear. Mail on hill & lots of it, I hear. The "Royal Family" (Pilet, Collier, J Vance, Hilsman, Hoffman, Gillespie & a few others rec'd theirs this AM.) Feb '44 is latest date so far. Here's hoping. I'd give something very precious for a letter of that date saying all is well with my "babies". They can keep my package for one postcard from Tori. Rumors-Kamchatka peninsula leased to U.S. and Brit. for air bases. A landing has been affected in HOKAIDO (this is premature)
Sep 8 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 153 (884)
Nunez Pilet says there's a rumor that mail will be distributed this afternoon. I hear Johnnie Pugh heard from his wife that a Major Stephen Mellins CAC (on Cabanatvarilist) is in U.S. & that she had dinner with him & his wife. Also rumors of 4 other similar cases-OSBORNE Inf., DOBREVICH Marine, DIES AC & MADISON-no mail distributed No reading of Imp Rescript. War broke 2 yrs & 9 mos. ago.
Sep 9 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 154 (885)
I got two letters-Fran (Dec '43) & Max Westphal (Jan '43) Everything OK. Max says Helen Boyle is with her at Ann Arbor. Shorty MacD for 3rd successive time, got no mail. Gen. Weaver got sixty-word letters. Mine were of only 25 words.
Sept 11 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 156 (887)
Nips are dissatisfied with discipline & say "disciplinary action will be taken on the spot" in future.- A resumption of "bopping". 2 brigadiers got it today, I hear, for visiting outside their squads.
Sept 12 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 157 (888)
In future, evening tengo formations inside. We got a bottle of milk each (1/3 pt) today. The first since 6/23-before that 5/22, 5/7, 4/1 & 3/12.
Sept 14 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 159 (890)
Allirol (D) to hosp yesterday-malaria or "blackwater" fever- Gen. Sharp got stood up by Joe-not on time at tengo. Tengo this AM at 3. A pig was killed this AM 4 planes-each towing a glider-too close for targets-passed over today.
Sept 15 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 160 (891)
British got mail this AM. Lots of air raid activity last night. Reveille formation 7 AM-no tengo. This is our 21st wedding anniversary-the 4th apart-what can one say when one's heart is so full? My thoughts and love are with Tori today-but no more than any other day-that would not be possible. She knows all this-and is thinking of me now as on any other day-but the day does have a very special meaning to us both. Make our reunion soon, Oh Lord, I pray. Make it soon! But let's not compromise with our enemies. Make it absolute surrender no matter how long. I would cheerfully rot in this prison camp before I would consider anything else. Time is precious but we can wait. Fraser, Cumper, Howe & Dinwiddie (Br) were beaten this afternoon-not working hard enough. Fraser had to be carried to the hospital. He had fallen on the concrete floor at Camp H.q. & struck his head on a corner. Grumpy, Yamanaka, the little sentry with the big mole beat him.
Sept 16 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 161 (892)
The AVM went up the hill past the interpreter this AM and got an interview with Hioki-took the 4 officers with him. The AVM reported the interview as "quite satisfactory" I hear.
Sept 17 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 162 (893)
Church as usual-good address. This would be Mother's & Daddy's 54th wedding anniversary-I think of them both often-especially today.
Sept 19 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 164 (896)
Cut grass with a pair of scissors this AM. Rumor of heavy fighting on Hokaido (There's that one again!) -reduction-rice ration for Army, Japs withdraw from Indo China. Priorities on milk issue answered- 1) hospital 2) working E.M 3) Camp overhead 4) you and me: Chuck L & Jack K. have both been passing theirs around the room. Very generous, but I would do the same.
Sept 21 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 166 (897)
McCafferty carrying soup this AM used an old sock to keep the handle from cutting his hand. In passing the bucket over, the sock dropped into the soup-a nice flavor was added: Autumn solstice -sun rises exactly in E & sets exactly in W-so I'm told
Sept 22 '44(Fri) 2 yrs & 167 (898)
Laughie notices a rupture. Hokaido rumors continue-also that Sakhabu is in our hands (Fantastic!)
Sept 23 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 168 (899)
Col. R. POSTUMUS (D) died of heart attack last night. Funeral this afternoon. A Nip Autumn Holiday.
Sept 25 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 170 (900)
I weigh 62.7 kgm now against 63.2 last month. Everybody lost something. 137.9# (my present wt) isn't bad-only 10# under normal. 75 gallons of pineapple jam rec'd by P.Ex. today.
Sept 27 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 172 (902)
Lemon syrup-2 cans f. flakes, plus a part of the jam (f 4.60 in all) No tobacco.
Sept 30 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 174 (905) Out of a clear sky comes the
news that all American, Dutch & Australians *pls. 1 e.m. with each
nationality) leave tomorrow for destination unknown. I hear they're to dress
warm-(Mullins is the Amer. E.M. I hear also Beaton the Australian-and DAM the
The total no then, is 31 [16 Americans-3 Maj. Gen., 12 BG& 1 Sgt.; 5 Australians-1 Maj. Gen., 1 Brig & 1 Gunner; 9 Dutch-8 Maj. Gen. & 1 Rat) It has been interesting, trying to "G2" the move most of us feel that, under pressure from the north & anything possible in this area, the Nips are simply removing the cream (those of greatest bargaining value) at this time.========================================== ============================================================= Sometime ago General Bluemel showed me a copy of a letter he'd written to the War Dept. recommending me for a DSM, here's hoping I get it. It will be interesting to the family-particularly Teddy, I suppose. This morning, the British Generals and Brigadiers were warned to get ready to move in a day or two (Air Commodore Modin announced that in our room)
Oct 1 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 175 (906)
The 31 I listed yesterday got away from here by truck about 1 p.m. This morning I traded my mattress for Gen. Bluemels. Hope I got rid of my bedbugs but I doubt it, as I believe some are inhabiting my wall. We believe this group is going to Japan by plane. They were told to carry warm clothes. Hope this whole thing has great significance. Harry Skerry was by with ===bridge ending up +45. I am at +5 and Jack +7- leaving Ed Corkill -67. I hear the two slept here with about 40 aboard)
Oct 2 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 176 (907)
Rumors and speculations have been tumbling all over themselves. Judge Lynch who has been a rather sane oftenest all along thinks it is about the end....... Many, including myself do not agree- but we can't explain why. I hear Sgt. Johnson quoted as saying 3 pigs would be slaughtered tomorrow. Siesta, Bugle 1 1/2 hrs late. Hear there was a special radio broadcast.
Oct 3'44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 177 (908)
The remainder of squad 2 are not leaving today. Morale is high and lots of rumors are making their appearance. This of course is nature. Brig Simson who heretofore has been very pessimistic is quite the reverse now-believes Germany is out and that another 6 mos will see the end. Well, we know nothing but I'll wager something big has happened.
Oct 4 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 178 (909)
There are many here today who will bet money that Germany has folded-I don't think I'll cover any of it. It is rumored that our generals are on their way home. This, I feel sure, is silly. We got a bottle of coffee syrup today -which is more to the point-and Bob Hoffman brought me my reading glasses - which I broke quite a while ago and turned in for repair on Aug 31. That's the speedy action we get around here. The charge Y4.80 I noticed on the payroll there was a charge of Y8.40 on Sept 30. I wonder what that could have been for.
Oct 3 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 177 (908)
The dope we got on waking up was that 1/2 squad leaves today at 9. Also that they can take 30 kilos (66#) and that the officers left in charge of our general's luggage are to get out ours and I have 20 kilos and bundle it up for shipment with the British today. This baggage angle rather explodes my theory about them going to Japan by plane. Now I don't know what to think. Chuck Lawrence just told me the 10-1 group & those leaving today & tomorrow will assemble at Taihoka & from there proceed by plane to their destination. Well, 18 Britishers left right after noon today-2 Maj. Gens (Keith-Simmons & Key) 13 Brigadiers, & 3 enlisted men) No pigs were killed today.
Oct 5 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 179 (910)
Under the new "system" of milk issue both Chuck and Jack who are on the staff, get milk every few days. They have both been very generous with it, passing it out to those who need it-and to others. Chuck is going around the room and it was my turn tonight. I put it on my rice with some coffee syrup (all the sweetening I had) and it was very good indeed!
Oct 6 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 180 (911
The last British group got away at 9 am -1 e.m. and 21 off. (1 Adm., 2 Maj. Gen., 1 Air Commodore, 1 Naval Commodore and 16 Brigadiers).
Oct 7 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 181 (912)
Meeting of squad Chiefs & special staff on hill at 8 am. We leave here-that is all Cols. & corresponding ranks-some time after Oct 12. All enlisted men except Davidson, Lease and Keaton go with us. Heavy baggage will be inspected Monday. Today is Walter Hall's birthday-also the 22d wedding anniversary of Wayne & Helen Hunt's marriage. Now they're divorced-probably for the best. Wayne I hear is remarried & living in Texas. Helen ought to be married to Harry Jarret by now. Well, best luck to both of them-but especially to the children, Patty & Sonny.
Oct 8 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 182 (913)
Got most of my stuff together & went to church. Chaplain Bindeman made a fine talk, prefaced by a very sincere address of farewell to those of us who are about to leave. On returning to the squad room I was greeted with the information that there would be an inspection of heavy baggage at 1 o'clock formation. I had very little to do, so got through in plenty of time. All the baggage was lined up in front of the hospital and parallel to the building. We lined up behind our baggage facing the hospital. Soon a detachment of Nipponese soldiers came down form the hill and went through our effects- "busy little fingers" as usual. it took only about an hour and a half to complete. After that, Jack, Harry, Ed and I played bridge as usual. After supper we were informed that we leave early tomorrow morning. Reveille 3 AM-Tengo immediately afterward-followed by breakfast. We will each be issued a rice ball for lunch.
Oct 9 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs +183 (914)
I have been a prisoner of war 2 1/2 years today. We got up as we were told at 3 AM- and moved out at 4:40. I had my guitar wrapped in a sheet half- Judge Lynch gave me when he discovered he had no way of taking it-Pat Horan's musette bag (Pat was sick and got a chance to ride)-a blanket roll with my mosquito bar inside- and my matting bag crammed with odds and ends. Altogether I had more than I could comfortably carry with my pistol belt with canteen around my waist, my Nip canteen over my shoulder. I next put on my guitar-a la troubadour, then over the opposite shoulder the musette bag. Next came the blanket roll-finally I put a stick through the handles of the matting bag (made of sawali) and put it over the shoulder that was protected by the blanket. All in all it was a very cumbersome load. As I said we got underway at 4:40 am-and marched the company miles to the narrow gauge railroad-through the little "barrio" of Shirakowa. It was a hot, disagreeable walk. I had on too many clothes, my baggage was poorly hung on me, and I was not in the best of marching condition.--no one will be surprised when I say I was glad to get to the little dinkey railroad and pile into one of the gondolas that were waiting for us. There was no delay in starting. We were right behind the engine about the third car-and got a liberal sprinkling of cinders. After a short distance we came to a "Y" junction where another engine was put on the other end & pulled us the rest of the way. This was less unpleasant as we were farther from the engine and got fewer cinders. We finally reached TAINAN, were lined up along the railroad and instructed about loading. Almost immediately the train rolled up and we piled on-no delay there. In an incredibly short time the train was moving. We headed north so we knew our destination was KULUNG the port for TAIHOKU. It was a tough ride. For about an hour I rode opposite Quesenberry & Bonham. Then we had to get out-as they were taking our coach and the next one forward up-and change to another one. Here I found myself at the rear of the car sitting next to Dinty Moore. I was facing to the rear-and the seat opposite was reserved for the guard. There was room on the guard's seat for my guitar so I didn't have to carry it on my knees as I had done up to then. Soon it was time to eat-so I got out my rice ball. Being hungry, it tasted pretty good. Dinty was eating corned beef out of a can-and evidently felt sorry for me so gave me a big spoonful of it. I objected rather half heartedly-and ended up with the corned beef-which helped immensely to get the rice down. I think this was one of the most generous acts I've seen in many a day. And I hereby go on record here and now as being grateful to the "Brigadier". As we approached Taihoxu the country got very hilly and, as nearly as I can remember, we passed through no less than 9 tunnels. Perhaps there were more. There were four with intervals of only a few hundred yards between them. Finally we passed through Taihoku and came on to the place where we embarked. There are two ports for Taikoku I understand-and we went to the one northeast of that place. There we found large and elaborate dock installations which contrary to what most of us expected, were in good condition and undamaged.
On that trip up many civilians including very young school children apparently unattended by adults. The people looked well fed-but their clothes for the most part were well mended reminding me of most of the uniforms of the Nipponese soldiers I have seen. When we got to the port we got off the train and had to march about 1/2 kilometer to our ship, the ORYAKU MARU. We were herded below-246 of us and assigned sleeping space. It is impossible to stretch out and when you lie on your back you are in close contact with the people on either side. There are two decks, each about 11 ft. deep (from front to rear) and there is about 6 inches clearance overhead when you sit erect. We started loading at about 5:45.
I was one of the first aboard and got a place where I could store my guitar overhead. After loading and crowding in was completed we got a bucket of rice, some small Irish potatoes boiled with jackets on in something salty and greasy-there was also some fish I hear but through an error the group I was in got none. The rice and potatoes were very good. The rice-of a much better quality than that we've been getting at Shirakawa. We had gotten no Irish potatoes since leaving Karenko so these tasted like something directly from Heaven. We are just about the waterline and it is frightfully hot and the air is foul-full of body odors. There is a little stream of salt water in the benjo-no flush water at all. I am located between Col. E.H. Johnson-on my left and Capt. Wilterdink (USN) on my right. Capt. Lowman (USN) is next on the right and Col. Carter McLennan is next on the left. There is a group of enlisted men on board who left us at Karenko and went to Tomajato with the generals. Among them that I can think of now are Crockett & Drew of the British and Kelly (American) who came to Karenko with the Mindanao group. They say Generals Wainwright, King & Moore left Taiwan with the British generals, Perceval & Heath several days ago by plane. They had a radio up to that time and the news that came through was all good.
Oct 10 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 184 (915) (1)
Didn't get much sleep last night. The Nipponese wouldn't start up their force draught or blower. We are trying to prevail upon them to start it-as the heat and condition of the air down here are always more than even a stout heart can bear. The morale is surprisingly good in spite of conditions. An organization of the groups of twenty was completed today. I'm in Sage's. The others are Manees, Bonham, Peck, Hamilton, Monihan, Steel, Johnson, McLennan, Wilterdink, Lowman, Rawitzer, Worthington, Killen (American). Hopkins and Simson (British) Vromans, Waal, and Van Rhee (Dutch). We are called squad G. The Nipponese feeding plan is based on the number 20- on this ship at least. We have been issued 20 rice bowls, 20 small soup bowls (and I mean small) and 20 tea bowls. They are kept in a cupboard just outside our sleeping space. The rice comes in a bucket about 8" in diameter at the top-and about that deep. Then in a tray about 1 1/2" deep which fits into the top of the bucket, our allotment of other food comes- except for breakfast when the soup comes in a separate bucket. We had a good rich miso soup this morning. At noon, we had the usual rice plus some sort of a boiled sea weed and a small and very delicious piece of fish. With all the meals except breakfast so far we have had small slices of raw ginger that has been well soaked in brine. The Japanese are strong for that kind of stuff-either brined cherries or something like that. The time has been killed by playing cribbage with Johnson-this afternoon I played a little bridge under deficiencies-Jim Monihan who was playing with Ken Lowman vs. Charlie Steel and Jimmy Manees-asked me to take his hand as his back was getting sore. For supper there was more rice, seaweed & ginger plus a little very tasty stewed meat of some kind. All in all, the food is ten thousand percent better than what we have been accustomed to-but that has been true of every ship we've been on yet. If we weren't herded down here-like so many rats in a kop,things wouldn't be so bad. The blowers have cooled things off quite a bit (see underscored entry of 10-12-44.
Oct 11 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 185 (916) (2)
Not much doing today. We were hoping we'd be well under way when we awoke this morning-but nothing doing. In spite of the improved food, I wish they'd delayed our departure from Shirakawa until they knew we were sailing that night. We got up on deck for about 20 min. yesterday afternoon-the fresh air was wine to our lungs. We "rise" at 6 AM- have Tengo at 6:20, eat at 7, 12 and 5:30. Then Tengo again at 7, and lights out at 8. It has been announced that Tengo will be held at 6 o'clock tonight. Food-usual breakfast of rice and soup-lunch, rice with seaweed, ginger & fish, supper same as lunch substituting meat for fish.
Oct 12 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 186 (917) (3)
Haven't moved yet. Forgot to say that on Tuesday we moved out to the harbor, which is land locked with a very narrow entrance. By night though, we were back at the dock. There are some Nipponese troops on board, also some sick and wounded soldiers.
At 8:35 AM there was an air raid-and there were about 4 or 5 others during the morning-no chance to wash the breakfast dishes-much AA fire and a number of bombs-not too close to the ship. I have heard some of our group estimate that there are around 80 ships in the harbor. I can't verify this but it sounds about right from what I saw yesterday. Some of our group could see the attacking ships thru the port holes. The first group was of seven ships followed by a recon group of 8. One was seen to be emitting a plume of black smoke after the AA fire had been under way for a little while. No bombs could be identified during the first attack but several of the explosions heard later were definitely not AA fire. It is a unique situation in which to find oneself. I cannot wish our planes to miss their targets-yet a direct hit on this ship would spell instant death to most of us. My hope, therefore, is that this ship gets underway soon and makes port in safety. I have heard that she will fly the Red Cross flag on account of the sick and wounded Word has been passed that there will be no noon meal. "Rice" will be served at 3 PM-and that will be all for today.
I heard this morning that the sick and wounded had been taken ashore this morning. One of the precautions the Nips take during an air raid is to close the bulk head (water tight door) between this the rearmost compartment and the next one forward. Our two benjos are in the next compartment so that means that during a raid, we just have to squeeze our knees together until it's over. Six o'clock Tengo was held on deck and this gave us all a chance to get a much needed breath of fresh air. There was one unpleasantness, however. On the way up the stairs, Col. Hopkins (Brit.) was just ahead of me and Jim Monihan preceded him. As Him was going up the steps, the "Two star" lieutenant came boiling down followed by the little interpreter. He made him & Col. Hopkins, who by that time had his feet on the steps, come back down. Then he bawled them out in Nipponese and tapped each of them lightly on the head with his sword scabbard (a favorite stunt of theirs) Jim tried to explain to the interpreter that we were going just as rapidly as we could when he was bawled out again-this time by both of them-and jabbed on the chin with the lieutenants sword hilt-not very hard, however. He had previously hit both Hopkins & Monihan a second time with his scabbard-so this was Jim's third and he was really boiling mad-but we have learned to control ourselves since we've been prisoners. To do otherwise would be disastrous.
Only two meals today-breakfast at regular time-and the 2d meal about 3 o'clock. Sage got bopped because we were not prompt enough at Tengo formation.
Oct 13' 44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 187 (918) (4)
Friday the thirteenth-and Shorty MacDonald's 53d birth day. What a predicament to find oneself in-on his birthday or any other day. We are still tied up at the dock. Wish they'd either take us off here or make a break for open water and try to get to where we're going. A few more days of this and we'll all be "nuts". no water to wash with we've been forbidden to use the saltwater spigot in the benjo. "It's too unsanitary". Sage who is O.D. says the interpreter asked him if we preferred 3 meals a day or two. Sage answered "three" at once. The interpreter told him he thought we might prefer 2 meals a day because the hurry of getting the dishes up and washed after the evening meal might "make some of use nervous".
The first and only air raid today came at 2:09 PM. Even here the rumors do
not pass us by. On yesterday's activities-there were 400 planes from 6 carriers,
giving their attention principally to the Kareuko area.
The next claim 121 of our planes (1-23 yr. old aviator captured) and about 1 plane lost "Self blasted". 6 of the wounded taken ashore from this ship were killed in the raid here and one lost a leg. They claim to have sunk 2 of the carriers. I hear that in our raid on Manila & vicinity on Sept. 21, 500 planes were used-Nips claim thirty-odd & we admit 15 lost.
Oct 14 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 188 (919) (5)
We had a little flurry of AA fire at 8 AM indicating that Uncle Sam or John Bull has been taking a little "look-see"-maybe taking a few pictures. The morale in this group is amazingly high, under the circumstances. Here we are in our 5th day on board this ship and not once have we been allowed any fresh water to wash with. Last night I went to the benjo, and took my face towel with me. I chose one of the 4 cubicles that has a very leaky valve, soaked my towel in salt water and sponged all over. It was very refreshing-and the only available water since we have been forbidden to use the spigot in the benjo. Today we have been warned against doing what I did last night-on the ground that the water is pumped up from the bay right beneath the ship-and is saturated with feces. They want us to protect our health-but don't give us the means with which to do it. Since Wednesday the breakfasts have been the same but there has been no fish or meat. It may be that since the sick and wounded have been taken ashore, "Grumpy" feels that there is no occasion for using either meat or fish. There has been an improvement in the supply of tea. I got a canteen full this morning and may get more this afternoon. I've been making the time go by playing cribbage with "Johnnie" Johnson. I beat him pretty badly & regularly at first but today & yesterday he's evened things pretty well. We broke even 3-3 yesterday, and he won the play-off this morning. Then he proceeded to take 3 out of four this afternoon. Floyd Marshall had a hemorrhage today, I hear, and is now in the hospital bay-where Pat Horan and Capt. Campbell (Brit) are the other patients. Capt. Campbell and Nick Galbraith got a touch of food poisoning a couple of days ago. Nick did not go to the hospital. Capt. Minhinnick tells me this afternoon that Capt. Campbell is OK again and looked fairly bright yesterday afternoon when I saw him.
There are 13 squads of prisoners-12 of 20 members and 1 of 19-making a total of 259. There were 246 in our Shirakawa group-and we found 13 British, American & Dutch enlisted men on board when we arrived. Two Britishers I recognized were Drew and Brown, both of whom gave me a number of good recipes while we were allowed to go up on deck for a breath of fresh air. Yesterday and today. We've had our 6 o'clock tengo formation on deck. Heard this afternoon that the wounded had been returned to the ship. Didn't see any signs of them when we went up to Tengo tonight. The lifeboats have been out (the davits turned out) ever since we came aboard. Tonight the "Jacobs ladder" was hung over the railing. Seems to me I saw one soldier with the Red Cross arm band coming aboard as we came down from Tengo. It goes without saying we're still tied up to the dock at KIILUNG, or wherever it is.
Oct 15 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 189 (920) (6)
We're still here and, of course, wondering how much longer before the ORYOKU MARU make a break for it-or the Nips decide to give up the idea of taking us to Japan and let us go ashore. The presence of our airplanes in this area evidently has them worried. This is one of their better ships and one they do not want to lose. She is turbine driven, I hear, and will do about 19 knots. This has been a quiet day-the usual inconveniences. I got up just before reveille this morning and took a sponge bath in the salt water out of the leaking valve. Kept it away from my face-but don't think it can make my body much filthier than it is-and it is so refreshing. There are rumors that we're leaving tonight-the same one that has reared its head every day since we've been aboard. This is the sixth day-and we/re hoping, of course, it won't be much longer. As I think of the "8 AM Air Raid" yesterday, I think it is possibly there were no planes over head at all-that the Nips were just clearing their guns. We had fish for lunch which was a bright spot in an otherwise drab day. Tengo on deck at 6 p.m.-a few minutes (about 10) for fresh air-then back to the dungeon again-this completes our 6th day. Hamilton has symptoms of malaria and has been "off his feed" for a day or two. He went to the hospital bay this afternoon. I got around to see Judge and Jack and Shorty and Laughie and Chuck who are "quartered" on the port side of the ship. Shorty & Jack have managed to promote a bridge game with Boudreau and Mr. Webb (Brit. Red X). Some of those near me have been managing a game now and then too. It was drizzling at 6 PM Tengo and the rails were wet, so many of us wiped our hands on them to wet them a little in some fresh water.
Oct 16 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 190 (921) (7)
This our seventh day aboard the Oryoku Maru. There is a rumor we're leaving "today"--the same one we've been hearing ever since we came aboard. This morning we were taken onto the dock just off the ship and given a good bath. There was a big fire hose running fresh water! We took our soap up with us and had a very refreshing bath- I managed to wash out a very dirty pair of drawers. Came down-dried off; powdered all over with some of the Shirakawa P.Ex. antiseptic powder & felt much better. For lunch we had the usual rice and a small piece of fish. Very good indeed. The sun was shining brightly while we bathed-quite a contrast to the cloudy, overcast conditions of last night's tengo. We can't circulate very much so don't see the others who are living in other parts of the ship- unless we bump into them in the benjo line or accidentally elsewhere. Have seen Phil Fry only twice and Col. Browne about the same number of times. 6 PM tengo on deck, as usual. The Sgt. who came with us from Shirakawa took the reports and let us stay on deck for over half an hour. The harbor showed no activity as far as I could see. We had supper consisting of the usual rice, which is good in quantity & quality, and some sliced (or shredded) cabbage prepared with soy sauce and sweetened slightly. It is a little warmer than usual down below and the sweat is rolling off. Glad I brought my fan along.
Oct 17 '4 2 yrs & 191 (922) (8)
Glad we didn't know when we came aboard how long we were going to stay-maybe I'm glad I don't know now. This is our 8th day. This morning a short while after the usual breakfast, we were taken up on the dock and hosed down again. Very refreshing and invigorating. We had a nice piece of fish each for lunch. I've spent most of the afternoon "kibitzing" a bridge game in which Harrison (Brit.) and Hugh Dumas were playing Dick Rogers & Dick Mallonee. Johnnie Johnson beat me three games of cribbage this morning before I knew what had happened. He's been awfully lucky, reeling off 12 & 14 hands with an occasional 24 thrown in. He took Roscoe Bonham into camp the same way yesterday.
Lunch was "served" at 11:30 AM and supper consisting of rice and the same kind of cabbage we had last night at 3:30. Tengo on deck at 5 PM. We were allowed to remain above until 6 PM. There was little or no activity in the harbor except on the part of several ferries that were transporting both civilians and soldiers. I hear this is some sort of a holiday-that may account for some of the civilian crowds. Today we were warned against using any of the tea for shaving or cleaning our teeth, or washing. Some of us have been doing that because we're not allowed any water for any of those things-that is, there was no fresh water provided until yesterdays bath. The other night one of the enlisted men started for the benjo with a cupful of tea and a toothbrush (he speaks & understands a little Nipponese). The guard asked him what he was going to do & the E.M. told him. The guard called up the stairs & told someone the situation. The reply came down "That is not necessary" so the e.m. did not brush his teeth in the benjo. Danny Nugent tells me his accommodations on board this ship are better than those he had on the November '41 "PIERCE". So we have to bear in mind that as bad as these conditions are, they are no worse than the Nipponese impose upon their soldiers and better than at least one of our enlisted men has experienced on one of our own ships. But, for a group of high ranking officers, these conditions are deplorable indeed.
There was a sharp earthquake tremor at 7:35 AM. We are against the dock and there were three or four lateral motions.
Oct 18 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 192 (923) (9)
No bath this morning. The medicos and those sick that were able went on deck for fresh air. I talked with Col. Dougherty this morning. He tells me that he and Hoffman had an informal conference with Grumpy 5 or 6 days ago-as the result there have been several improvements in our conditions 1) more tea 2) more liberal permission on leaving port side port holes open (the upper tier over there have no lights ) 3) Medicine for sick charcoal for diarrhea & liver extract for Capt. Campbell & Floyd Marshall 4) Bathing arrangements 5) More time on deck at evening tengo. They are working and getting arrangements for life preservers for each of us when we get under way. On the whole, conditions have improved in a good many ways since we came aboard and the food has been better than the Shirakawa food ever was. There is barley in the rice, which is of a much better quality than the rice we had at Shirakawa. The flies are bad down here and there isn't much improvement. We have no way of killing them. There was a small coal barge loading coal into this ship on the starboard (bay) side forward most of the morning-this is undoubtedly for the use of the galley, as this certainly is not a coal-burning ship, and if it were, the coal would not be loaded from such a small barge. I hear that two Nipponese women are on board-and that they are nurses. We went up to 6 PM tengo-exactly at 6 and came back below immediately after the formation. Lights out about 7.
Oct 19 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 193 (924) (10)
Last night was out 10th aboard. It was very warm. I heard this morning that Col. DeCarre and Col. Simson (Brit) had fainted as the result of the heat. Don't know whether it was this morning or when.
It's all very vague. Last night at Tengo we were informed that there are about Y2600.00 worth of cigarettes & toilet paper aboard for us. The Nipponese officer in charge had Callahan, Culver & Vance before him to find out the procedure of charging us for them. I hear that a big bundle of cigarettes were delivered below just as the lights were turned out last night. The guard passed down a caution against talking after lights out. Chuck Lawrence who is O.D. has just announced that all officers beginning with Americans, will go on deck to sign a payroll deducting the value of the cigarettes they are to get-when I signed the payroll the balance shown opposite my name was Y5816.31. I think the last balance I noticed on the payroll was Y5831.00. If this is true, the charge for this tobacco issue is Y14.69. Last night when the tobacco came in I hear they gropped off John Rodman and made him sign for the whole thing. Capt. Wilterdink has a fever of 105 and goes to hospital bay. Col. Simson transferred to another squad. His place is taken by Capt. Chapman takes his place. Lives across on port side of ship and takes his meals over here. We got 11 packs of 10 cigarettes each plus 6 cigarettes. Some guys got 8 cigars-the extra one by cutting cards-and some got 7. We had about 55 minutes on deck at evening Tengo tonight. Fish for lunch today.
Oct 20 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 194 (925) (11)
A meeting of squad chiefs was called this morning and they were informed that the upstairs & downstairs groups would change places-we spend the next hour doing so. There is no matting upstairs-the boards are quite rough & there are few places where one can sit erect. I got a place with a line of board ends under it and I anticipate some discomfort. However, I have folded my blanket with mosquito bar inside so as to make as good a pad as possible. It is much cooler up here (where I am writing this) on account of the blower outlets which can be adjusted as to direction- but not amount of air. After the shift was completed, Howard Frissell was moved up between Col. Hopkins (Brit.) & Judge Rawitzer. Then "Judge" R. felt the blowers would be too much for him so he switched places with Bill Dalton, who moved up from below. It is reported that a number of women and children have come aboard. I hear Jack Stansell counted about 15. I have just heard an announcement that we go up 2 squads at a time and may smoke while up there. Looks to some of the diagnosticians as though we may shove off this afternoon or tonight. We got 15 min per squad on deck (aft-starboard) -ours was 2:20 - 2:35PM. Feared we might not go up for the 6 PM Tengo, but we did-stayed up for 35 min. I hear Josh Stansell is sleeping in Capt. Wilterdink's space tonight. It will be crowded, be we will make out. In morning, some of the squads down, sight was lost of the fact that there is slightly less floor space down than up. The result is that many of those who moved down literally have no place to lie down-that was the reason Howard Frissell moved back up this morning. I hear Capt. Wilterdink returns to the squad tomorrow. He is not well yet, but they need the space in the sick bay. Johnnie Johnson tried to insert an electric light bulb into a vacant socket-and "blew" all the rest of them. Fortunately it did not affect the one in the narrow hall (practically at my feet) so I get a little light. Those in rear are not so fortunate. They are pretty sore too, incidentally. It has been rainy and foggy all day. At 2:30 you could barely see the bases of the three radio towers across the harbor.
Oct 21 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 195 (926) (12)
Josh came up last night just before lights out, and, contrary to my expectations, we spent a fairly comfortable night (that description being purely comparative). We were taken up on deck for morning Tengo-still rainy & overcast. I believe that a few additional troops have come aboard. After Tengo we came right down and breakfast was served-the usual thing. I played cribbage with Johnson this morning. Since the first day or so, he has beaten me. This morning was no exception. For lunch we had something new-and very good. It was rice with small bits of chopped meat (tasted like mutton) mixed up and cooked a little with some of the grease. Capt. Wilterdink came up, just before lunch and we're all better. Fish and rice for supper. Capt. Chapman is now eating with the squad below us. Weather overcast. Evening tengo on deck. Practically no harbor activity.
Oct 22 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 196 (927) (13)
Usual breakfast-fish & rice for lunch. Morning tengo on deck. Some soldiers have come aboard & I hear they are bringing some of the sick & wounded back on board. We were warned this afternoon to conserve water and/or tea, as a number of passengers were coming aboard-That is no rumor- and has given rise to much conjecture. Just heard one of the Dutch Naval Officers say this ship is about 160 odd meters long with about an 18 meter beam. Capt. Campbell (Brit. Nav) estimates the tonnage at about 10,000 tons. We had cabbage and rice for supper. Scudder who has been at one of the portholes on the dock (port) side of the ship most of the afternoon estimated that about 300 passengers-mostly wounded and sick-came aboard this afternoon. Mitchell, who is located near him, told me this. The following instructions have just been issued-no tampering with lights, Be careful of water, as there may be a shortage, Don't plug up air ducts, Don't stand in area near foot of stairs. All these were accompanied by the usual threats. Guess what they were and you'll be right. We got one "break". Just before 6 p.m. Tengo-5:44 to be exact, according to Charlie Steel-the lights, which have been off since last Friday afternoon, were repaired and turned on. The 6 p.m. tengo was held downstairs, incidentally. All these things indicate that there will be a move. Most of us feel that since the sooner it starts the sooner we'll be out of this hold, the start will be welcome. As I've said before, the sick and wounded aboard, plus the women and children, plus the fact that this ship is highly prized by the Nipponese, means that they'll do everything possible to make the trip as safely as possible. The morale on the part of all prisoners has been wonderful so far, in spite of rather deplorable conditions. It certainly makes on feel proud of them-Americans, British and Dutch of all ranks-without exception. I saw Floyd Marshall this afternoon. He looks much better, has begun to eat his food and his morale is good. Pat Horan is getting along O.K. These doctors and medical orderlies deserve a lot of credit for their fine work in cramped space and under adverse conditions. I just heard today that Col. Gillespie was directed to bring medical supplies for 30 days before he left Shirakawa. Tonight is our 14th aboard the ORYOKU MARU and we complete two weeks at about 6 p.m. tomorrow. Just before lights out, Howard Frissell went to the benjo & got one of his hands wet on a leaky valve. The sentry saw it as he came out and raised hell. Called Bob Hoffman & had Howard standing at attention. Finally he said he'd forget it if Howard would say he was sorry-which he was glad to do-thus ending the episode. Just before lights out, word was passed that if we do leave tonight, the bulk head between our quarters and the benjo will be closed and we will have to go above and then down again in going to the benjo.
Oct 23 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 197 (928) (14)
Last night at about 9:15 we upped anchor and pulled out from the dock. At 10 p.m. we were making full speed, or so it seemed. During the night, I awoke with quite a benjo urge, I got up in 100% darkness and went to the stairs. As I started to go up the vigilante guard told me there were 3 people already at the benjo and I'd have to wait until they got back and until another party of 3 was formed. Well I waited and waited. They finally returned, but there were no other customers. Finally Parsons, one of the vigilance guard told me he'd go with me if we could get a third. About that time Evans, the other v.g. woke up Gebow, his relief and the three of us, Parsons, Gebow and I, made the trip. At 5 AM, I am told, the Oryoku Maru stopped and dropped anchor. Of course that information called for conjectures on where we were. Some voted for the China coast, and some for one of the chain of islands extending a little east of north from Taiwan. Now we have another angle-no less a person than Col. Braddock is reported to have seen 3 radio towers (one with the top cross arm missing(the same as the three at Kiirun). If this is true, here we are back again where we started. If this is correct, why did we return? Was the blockade working better than the Nipponese anticipated-or what? Maybe the Captain forgot something and had to come back for it. Oh, well, as like Tori once said "life is so complicated." We had the usual breakfast-but no tea- at least none yet (9:20 am). Today, I believe is Wayne Hunt's birthday. I hope he is very happy. He ought to be 47 or 48.
I was in the benjo this afternoon and had a pretty good look at the shore on the starboard side. There were the three radio towers (one with the little top cross arm missing) and in the same relative position). Even if the top cross arm was left off the third tower by design, there was enough of the shoreline visible to convince me that we are back in Kiirun harbor. A few, including K.L. Berry, do not believe we are, but the large majority think as I do. Last minute instructions before lights out- 1)Lights out at 6:30 p.m. (what a long black out that will be!) 2) No wearing of shoes to benjo (As a special concession--feet may be rinsed under the salt water tap)--rubber soled shoes and sneakers (Chaneles) seem to be OK, 3) No smoking while ship is under way.
October 24 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 198 (929) (15)
Last night at 6:20 we began to move out of Kiiruu Harbor. At 6:30 PM, without the formality of a roll call, lights were turned off leaving us in utter blackness. Before leaving, the bulk head between us and benjo had been closed and a couple of little yellow men had come around to see that all portholes were up tight. It is definitely to our advantage to have the ports water tight. Didn't drink much water yesterday afternoon, so got away with a benjo-less night. Lights came on at 7:15 am 13 hours of absolute pitch blackness-and by that I mean we had no light for that time. I am on duty rustling dishes for the 3 meals today (incidentally, we've succeeded so far in getting 3meals, per day- they usually come pretty close together-something like 7:30 am- 11:30 am & 3:30 p.m. but the hours are flexible) After breakfast, I took the dishes & buckets up to the bottom of the stairs with Van Rhee who is on duty every day. Then I got in the benjo line & finally got to benjo-when I rinsed my feet in the salt water however, I didn't do so well. Lathrop who had just done the same thing, got a love tap on the nose and I garnered one on the arm. I had heard from Charlie Steel, who told me he saw it, that we were being convoyed by a destroyer. He said it was about 1000 yards off to starboard. Someone else had reported one off to port-destroyer also. I looked in the fleeting chance I had on returning from benjo, but saw nothing. There had been an announcement earlier that the interpreter wanted the prisoners informed that we were being convoyed by "destroyers" (note plural). So far, no mention has been made of life preservers for prisoners. Don't know whether Bob Hoffman has had a chance to raise the point or not.
I have been checking on the grades & nationalities of prisoners and here is all I have gotten:
|Amer||Brit||Aust||Dutch||Total Shirakawa group|
|Group from General's Camp (enlisted men)||
I talked to Col. Dougherty this afternoon. He told me that Bob Hoffman had talked to Grumpy again and had mentioned the subject of life preservers. G. told him that part of the arrangements were up to the ship captain, but that we would get the same safety consideration as the Nipponese troops. So far, no life preservers have been issued and I notice the guard upstairs wearing them. I went to benjo just after supper and actually saw one of our escorting destroyers about 1000 yards off to starboard. That was somewhat reassuring. There are lots of rumors-a couple of days ago there was one about a five-way 'phone conversation between Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill, von Ribbontrop and Shigametsu. The latest one isn't so wild but is probably, also, the product of an imaginative brain: i.e. we arrive in port on Thursday, join the generals, and then go by water to our destination (some have it Manchouko). The other variation to this is that, after joining the generals, we go to our new camp by rail. Or you can make your own guess. Very shortly after we came aboard the interpreter was quoted as expressing the view that the war in Europe would be over by December 1 '44. If true, the last is more significant than the others, since the gent concerned certainly ought to be informed on the current situation. Most of us feel that the reason we went out on the "joy ride" of the 22 was that something went wrong with the rendezvous with the destroyers. Our first impression was that word had been received from Tokyo or elsewhere-that the blockade was such as to make continuation of the run inadvisable.
I saw Judge Lynch while I was up forward rustling dishes about noon. He was looking & apparently feeling OK. Glad to see that. He was quite miserable for a day or two just prior to sailing.
Oct 26 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 199 (930) (17)
Last night the lights went off at 6:15. They came on again this morning at 7:00. During the night the temperature dropped considerably. I started putting on my light wool socks, then my trousers, then my shirt-and finally my wool slip-over which I had gotten out to use as padding under my hips. "Doc" Worthington went up to benjo about dawn-and saw the starboard destroyer still on the job. Another rumor has the trip lasting 5 days. Yesterday I played bridge with "Doc" Worthington against Col. Waal (D) and Sgt. (or Lieut.) Van Rhee (D) the chess expert. We had played them once before. We've won a little so far, I think we will probably play again today. I hope so. It makes the time fly and takes our minds off the cramped conditions in this hole. Later didn't play bridge after all. "Doc" got in another game. However with a little solitaire the day went somehow. Usual breakfast, cabbage & rice for lunch, and a concoction containing potatoes, a few beans, some gravy and, I am told a few slivers of meat, for supper-plus rice, of course. There is a rumor that we go to the KWANTUNG peninsula in the Yellow Sea-Manchoukuo-on the basis of the address that "somebody" claims was on our heavy baggage when it left Shirakawa. I went to benjo this afternoon with Bob Hoffman & he said as far as he know the heavy-baggage was not addressed that way. He believes we'll get in sometime tomorrow and remain in Japan. Pat Callahan says we sailed 5° E of N all day (with the 2 destroyer escort, of course)
Oct 26 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 200 (931) (17)
That number in the circle indicates the number of nights we've been aboard. With the exception of 3 times we were hosed down with a fire hose, not one drop of water has been provided for washing ourselves or cleaning our teeth. There is a salt water tap in the benjo but we have been prohibited from using this except for rinsing our feet after benjo.
I was commissioned in the Regular Army 27 years ago today.
Dick Mallonee tells me that his ship's engines stopped last night and were not started again for about an hour. I understand they usually take aboard a pilot to take them through the mine field- this may have been for that purpose-also due to traffic on the lanes through these fields. If this is true we may have reached Shimonasaki Strait at that time and be in Japan's Inland Sea now. And if that is true, we're probably headed for Kobe. Several people who have been to benjo since daylight say that they could see land to Starboard. They couldn't get a good look to port.
Lights came on at 6:30 this morning., exactly 12 1/4 hrs after they went off. Jim Monihan shaved this morning for the first time aboard and looks like a different man. Capt. Wilterdink did likewise.
There is some difference about the time the ship stopped last night. Col. Stickney told me in the benjo line that the stop was from about 1:30 this morning to about 5 AM. On this benjo trip I saw two (2) destroyers, one on each side and could see bits of land that looked like small islands on either side. I am more firmly convinced than ever that we are passing through, or have already passed through, Japan's Inland Sea. As I write this at 4:45 p.m. I have just heard Stuart Wood say he believes we have been out of the Inland Sea for several hours. I don't know why he should know any more than anyone else about that at least-but he was a language student in Japan & got caught in Manila where he went for some sort of operation at the time of the War's outbreak. However, if he is right, obviously KBOE, which is on the Inland Sea, is not our destination- and it begins to look as if we might be headed for Yokohama or Tokyo, even. Wherever it is, I don't think we can fail to make it by tomorrow sometime. Of course, they will unload the women, children, sick & wounded, and troops first, unless expediency directs otherwise and we may remain on board another day. This may be done in order to allow the crowds meeting the boat to disperse before we land. However, it's my belief that they can get the crowd to do anything they want by using the strong arm, so that may not be necessary. Doc Worthington & I had some nice bridge this afternoon with Col. Waal and Van Rhee. Fish and rice at noon, cabbage and rice for supper. There is no doubt about it, as poor as it is by American standards, this past two weeks the food has been the best I've eaten during any similar period since I've been a P.W. The food on the NAGARA MARU coming up to Taxao form Manila was somewhat better, but the trip lasted only 3 days-and then what a let down.
Oct 27 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 201 (932) (18)
Lights off last night at 5:45 and on again this morning at 6:45. About breakfast time, the water tight door, which one of the naval officers aboard pointed out, should not be called a bulkhead, was opened and word came down giving us authority to open all portholes. At once, those nearest them began the job of loosening the bolts the little yellow men had screwed up so tight just before we sailed (the second time). Charlie Steel took a look out and reported seeing an island off to starboard.
Last night there were long periods some time before midnight when the
propellers were motionless. Then they would grind slowly for a short period,
then stop again. This was repeated many times. Finally at 3:15 am, when I had to
get up to get rid of those two cups of tea I drank for supper, there was the
same thing. At 8:10 am we stopped making headway altogether. We finally got to
where we're going-Bob Hoffman says this is definitely Yokohama harbor. At about
10 AM we were herded up on deck for physical examination, presumably by the Port
Health authorities. They looked in our mouths, examined the skin on our chests
and stomachs, and gave us the usual glass rod treatment. All this was done
alphabetically by nationalities, British, American, Dutch. I got back down below
about 10:40 AM, so had a good breath of fresh air. There was some, but not much
harbor activity-looked astern and to starboard-though what looks like open water
toward the stern on starboard side. Just before being ordered on deck we were
directed to pack our baggage. I had already done some of this, so, there was
little left to do. As I write this, I can move out in "nothing Flat".
All I'll have to do is return my notebook to my (or rather Horan's) musette, do
the same with pencil and glasses, then go. Gil Bell, who usually gets the news
first-and some of the time he is right-says there has been no lunch prepared
aboard ship. If true, we either go without or move ashore in a short while. The
attitude of the Nipponese all through the trip has been typically hostile, but
we will have to hand it to them for several things. They put us on a good ship
and gave us safe passage through blockaded waters to this place, wherever that
may be. I don't know whether I recorded it or not, but on Oct. 10, the day after
we boarded the Oryoku Maru, several members of each nationality were called on
deck and read a message from the Commandant of Taiwan Prison Camps (Sour Puss)
saying how he wished us a safe trip, warning us to guard our health, and saying
he had had put aboard as a farewell present from him to us 1050 kgm of sugar-and
asking us to please share it with the generals when we rejoined them. And oh
yes, saying too how sorry he was not to be able to deliver his farewell message
in person, but that he was unavoidably detained in his office by the pressure of
business. We thought several times during the two (2) weeks we lay in Kiirun
harbor, how pressing that business must have been.
After lying in the harbor most of the day, the propellers started turning and we began to move at 4:40 p.m.. We had finished supper (cabbage & rice) and McLennan had distributed two tea pots of tea or water, or whatever in hell it was. This afternoon I went over to visit on the port side. Watched Laughie & Col. Selleck playing bridge against Col. Stickney & Harry Skerry. Got into a conversation with Archibald Mixson about Kodaks. He speaks very interestingly on the subject. I think I'll get an Eastman 35 mm and the no. 2 projector with automatic feed, plus a 4 ft square screen. With normal P.Ex. discount I should be able to do that for a little under $100.00. Saw Shorty and Jack & Judge Lynch. They are all in good shape and their morale seems quite high. I have a hunch we go ashore tonight. Otherwise why did the Nips tell us to pack our baggage before we went up for the glass rod formation? Well, Bob Hoffman went up and asked the interpreter if we were going ashore today and got the reply "Tell them to lie down" Later the question was practically answered. We have been informed that the lights aboard ship would be out from 10 PM to 3 AM and we have been directed to plan our benjo trips accordingly. A good tip for the diarrhea sufferers, of whom there are a number aboard. I've had a little stomach upset myself-which I hope will pass soon. However, I've picked the best time to have it-as having to trot up and then down again in the inky blackness with the much slower progress-when one group had to wait at the foot of the stairs until the preceding group came back-would have been bad with diarrhea. It was bad enough without it. Well, I'm going to unroll my blanket and prepare for the most comfortable night, I can imagine.
Oct 28 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 202 (933) (19)
We had the blowers off for a while last night and that was bad, but after a while they allowed us to open port holes which helped. Finally the night, or most of it, passed. The lights came on about 3:30 am and we had breakfast about 4:30. After breakfast and a hell of a lot of confusion, canteens were filled and each of us was issued rice and fish for the noon meal. I had no decent place to put mine, and Johnnie Johnson very kindly packed both his and mine into his meat can. We stuck together during the trip and it worked out all right. At 7:00 AM we put on our stuff and got ready to debark-waited around a while, and got ashore at 7:30. It was then I think I offered up the most sincere prayer of thanks of my entire life. I sincerely hope that it got across and that God knows how very grateful I am to Him for bringing us through this trip safely.
We were marched up the dock past the bow of the ship to an area near what was a naval warehouse. There we stopped and were allowed to sit down. All the while workers were assembling for the day's work and we were the objects of many curious glances. All of them-and they included many young girls-bowed most respectfully to the guards with us. Soon we were marched from there across some railway tracks and across a roadway into a much smaller area. The reason for this became apparent where we saw a building which turned out to be a benjo. Some got a chance to use it, but a lot of us didn't. On our right as we went to this place there was what seemed to be a big dog pound. We could hear the yelping of many many dogs and it kept up all the while we were there. While we were standing in this place-at about 8 AM-the bugles began to blow some long call-and slowly the Nipponese flag (red ball and diverging rays to the flag's edge) was raised to the staff (head). It was rather impressive and the people near by (the flag) all bowed. Where we were they paid no attention to it. Soon we moved out to the railroad station a few hundred yards away. On the way we passed an office building. A beautiful green Chrysler (probably from the Philippines) was parked in front. Also an assortment of Plymouths, Dodges etc. I saw no Fords. We passed into the station at 8:40 by the big station clock and looked into cars. We were checked by some girls-about 20 yrs old-who were obviously railroad employees. Our cars were of wood, with upholstered seats & wooden backs. There was plenty of room. 3 passengers to each pair of seats was the system. No effort to pack us in as we've become accustomed to. A seat parallel to the long axis of the car at the rear was reserved for the Major who met the ship and the Lieut. who brought us up from Taiwan. Soon our baggage was located and we settled down. The Major let us keep the windows open and they remained open the entire trip except during the time we were passing through about 5 tunnels. The train started and we were off on one of the most picturesque train rides I've ever taken. The countryside was rugged and practically all of it was under cultivation, reforestation, or some kind of supervision. Everywhere people were working. I noticed lots of figs and persimmons being grown along the way. The persimmons were in abundance-many of them being hung up to dry-and they make a beautiful picture on the trees. The leaves on the hills were beginning to turn various pretty colors. Some officers remarked that the landscapes reminded them of California. The Major overhead this remark made and said in perfect English that he was glad to hear that someone shared his own opinion. After that, he became quite talkative and conversed at length with Bowler & Cook who sat just across the aisle from Johnnie and me. I hear later that he was a graduate of either Columbia U. or Harvard. At about 11 AM two big barrels were taken aboard as we passed through one of the larger towns. They contained lunches-our supper it was explained to us. There were two little wooden boxes to each package-made of very thin wood. The larger contained rice-the smaller an assortment of shrimps and vegetables-all quite salty to go with the rice. A few slices of carrot, a small bit of boiled radish & radish tops, some of the vegetable we referred to in Taiwan as "walking stick" because that is what it looks like before it's cut up. Each box was tied up with paper string and a pair of chop sticks in a paper container was stuck under the string. The treatment seemed to be improving and this "picnic lunch" was a very pleasant surprise. At one station there were a number of school children in formation-boys & girls separate- and they had a very quaint little band that produced exactly the kind of music one would expect., a drum a couple of trumpets and a slide trombone. The children sang-and I mean they all sang. Some boy or girl had probably tried keeping quiet at sometime or other and had decided it was better to sing. Of course we don't know why they were singing or what. The answer to the latter is probably the greatness of Japan and her Emperor-the wonderful achievements of her army, navy and air corps. We reached this place and detrained at 12:35. I had a hell of a time finding a place for the picnic lunch but finally succeeded in making it ride on top of my grass bag. The mystery of our whereabouts began to unfold when someone saw the name of this town, BEPPU, printed on a sign in the station-and remembered that it is on the island of KYUSHU and near MOJI which is undoubtedly the place where we debarked from the Oryoku Maru. BEPPU, I have since learned is famous for its hot springs-and of course, is, or has been, quite a resort town-having, according to the interpreter, about 400 hotels, each with its own natural hot water (probably piped in)! After detraining we formed and waited a while-then marched through the city streets past well behaved crowds to this place. Which is a vacant hotel turned over to the Nip Army for our temporary quarters. After marching about 1/2 mile we were led into this hotel. Took of our shoes and left them at the front door-then were shown to our rooms which are clean and provided with Japanese sleeping gear consisting of a pad, covered on one side with white material, a comforter in a white cover, and a rice husk pillow. On the door of the room I am in was a sign, "Room 23, 6 persons. The room is about 16 ft square and covered with heavy matting laid on in sections something like this:
Each section is about the size of out mat, so 6 people can sleep very comfortably in it without blocking out the two center sections. I threw my stuff onto the ledge (lower left corner of sketch) and took off my clothes. By this time it was a little after one PM Thur. I went down on the floor below (we are on the 2nd) got in line & went to benjo-then in another and sponged off in a lavatory. Came back up and threw myself onto my pad, in the raw-and was dead to the world until about 4 when I got up, dug out my "picnic lunch" and attack it with chop sticks. That done I wandered around looking in at the various rooms, seeing how the others were occupying themselves. Then I got the big surprise. It was announced that supper would be served -I think the time was six o'clock-and we were told to bring cups and spoons. We were divided into 2 sittings and we in our room (23) found ourselves in the second. After a time we got the word and went down to the dining "salon". There we found Bland in charge, assisted by Fuhriman, Churchyard, Pechek and several other of our enlisted men. There were two long tables-the tops about 8 or 10 inches off the floor. We filed in, got our tea in our cups and sat or squatted at the places. The dishes were closer together than we could possibly get so we had a lot of trouble and a good deal of fun trying to fold our legs under us so our knees wouldn't be under the other fellows chin or in the lap of the man across from us. There was a bowl of very tasty soup made principally of cabbage and radishes and thickened a little, probably with flour. In addition we had a roll made of some kind of dark colored flour (most of the "experts" say millet) and unleavened. On the whole it was very good-and very welcome. That over, we returned to our rooms and occupied ourselves until tengo at 8 PM. After that, you know as well as I. It was bed for all of us. These pallets or mats lack a lot when compared with a "Beauty Rest" but they looked plenty good to us and I heard no complaints. Here we are, less than 24 hours removed from the crowded filthy troop compartment where we were locked in and battened down like so many human rats in one large trap-with inadequate benjo facilities and (with the exception of the three times we were hosed down on the dock) absolutely no provisions for washing our bodies or cleaning our teeth-and we find ourselves "guests" in a fairly clan and comfortable Nipponese hotel. I can't figure it out. Every time we've moved yet, we've been told that conditions would improve, so we learned long ago not to get excited about that. But so far the report we got just before leaving Shirakawa has come true. I'm skeptic enough not to believe it can possibly keep up, but there's no argument against enjoying better times when they come along. Before coming into this hotel five of our number, Sage, Chastaine, Christie, Braddock & Quinn were detached from our group and taken somewhere else. Bob Hoffman was transferred over to British group on the dock before we left there. Undoubtedly he's to be used as their interpreter since he speaks the language fluently.
This hotel is the NITCHI MAN.
Oct 29 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 203 (934)
As far as I can remember it, here is our schedule while we're here - Get up at 6:30 AM, Tengo 6:40, Breakfast 8-9 (Don't understand this long wait), lunch 12-1, both 2-3:20, supper 5-6, Tengo 8 PM. I think lights are to be turned out at 9 PM, but I haven't been awake at that hour yet. So can't say for sure. Floyd Marshall is quite sick I hear and he's been put in a separate room with an attendant. Gillespie told me the Nips are quite concerned about him.
Our time has been occupied between doing laundry, mending clothes, and playing cards. On the whole the hours pass fairly quickly. Our room has a small porch equipped with two chairs, a table and some sort of a cupboard. We have a view from two directions, To the southwest I can see the mountains whose tops are frequently capped with clouds. The leaves are turning and they are very beautiful with their subdued coloring. On the nearer less precipitous slopes may be seen large buildings which are either hotels or sanatoriums, I suppose. To the north is a bay on which there are many fishing boats both night and day. By day the sails make a pretty picture as do the lights by night. Just outside our window, three flights down is a river which rises and falls with the tide. Across the river are the homes and shops of the natives. They are always busy at something and it has been interesting to watch them.
Oct 30 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 204 (935)
I hear Floyd Marshal had another hemorrhage last night. I saw Gillespie this morning and he told me Floyd was getting along as well as could be expected. I wonder how well that is.
Nov 2 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 207 (938)
A rumor to the effect that a Nipponese newspaper of Oct 31 reported a landing of 4 American Divisions have landed on Laete, P.I. and that a fleet of 2 battleships and other warships are in Lagaspe Bay. There hasn't been much of interest during the past few days. Yesterday was sunshiny-today rainy and overcast. There have been a number of cases of stomach upset, a few colds and some diarrhea. Haven't heard how Floyd is this morning. The food is inadequate, though excellent in quality-what there is of it. Day before yesterday, I think it was, we had a small but delicious potatoe salad. Last night there was some sort of a vegetable stew on top of some very good noodles. A couple of times we've had rice, barley, and sweet potatoes in it. Rather filling but not "too tasty". Yesterday I broached the subject to Shorty MacDonald of opening our can of corned beef. Capt. Roberts overheard us talking & said he and Capt. Davis also owned one jointly-and suggested that we open one and split it four ways-then open the other later. This we did last night. I had saved a bun from breakfast and split it and put a generous layer of corned beef in between sprinkled with a little salt. I called Phil Fry up and divided it with him-and we both thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches. I saved a little over for half my breakfast bun this morning.
The last two or three days have been chilly but when the sun is shining it comes in our room and warms things up a bit. Ray O'Day trimmed my hair yesterday morning and I now look a little bit more presentable. Yesterday I banged the top of my head on the top of one of the doorways-as I was hurdling the banisters at the bottom of our stairs-nearly knocked myself out, but it is not very sore today. I am thankful for having a hard head. After laying off two days, I had a real good bath yesterday afternoon. We had 15 minutes this time and went about with more leisure than usually. Heretofore the Nips have rushed us a good deal. Yesterday, we went downstairs in groups, by rooms and located our shoes, tying them into bunches by rooms. The little interpreter answered a big question for us a day or two ago. He said we'd all be issued Nipponese Army overcoats when we get to our final destination-also I hear that mail is coming through from the States regularly (the Major who drove with us from Moji is responsible for this) and that there is "Red Cross" for us at our permanent camp. Also we're looking forward to getting our share of the 1050 kgm of sugar when we get there. Spent the morning playing bridge with Dick Mallonee against Shorty MacD. and Jack Keltner. They gave us quite a trimming.
Nov 3 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 208 (939)
The sun is out this morning and it looks as if we might have a bright warm day. The rumor this morning, apparently based on something the interpreter said, has us leaving here "in two or three days at most". There is a boat ride (perish the thought) of 6 or 7 hours which looks as if they're taking us over to SHIKOKU. If that is correct, we may be going to the same camp Gov. McMillin went to when they took him from Guam.
Incidentally, Gov. McMillin says the Nips landed on Guam at the beach where Jim Carrington took Tori and the children and me when we stopped in Guam on our way out to Manila in '41. Tori and the children will be interested in that so I must remember to tell them. I remember where we were there, some child was having a birthday party on the beach and I think our children were offered some ice cream and cake. 3 officers & 36 men of Nip Eastern Army to be out of the Taiwan control & hope we've seen the last of JOE & GRUMPY -that is, until after the war. I think most of us would like to see them then.
Nov 9 '(Thur) 2 yrs & 214 (945)
The days have continued brisk about half rainy and half sunshiny. Roy Hilton celebrated his 52nd birthday on the 7th and broke out a pack of Old Bolds. Gave me one. Aside from being a bit mouldy it was OK. Considerably better than what these people call cigarettes at that. Pat Horan came all the way up here on the third floor to give me a cigar last night. Good Old Pat! I enjoyed it while Jim Monihan and I were playing bridge together vs. Shorty MacDonald and Jack Keltner. There have been the usual number of rumors about where we are headed for and when--Manchoukuo seems to be the favorite now. We're told that it's going to be cold wherever that is. Also that we'll get a cake of soap each month "in addition to the relief supplies" (That sounds as if there might be some "Red Cross" there waiting for us) -also that we'll get some Nipponese Army clothes to augment the "relief" clothing. Yesterday there was a meeting of a number of the senior American officers for the purpose of dividing us up into sections of 8 officers and 2 em each (Except group 3 which I understand had 9). I was asked by four groups if I wished to join. (It seems that the idea is to get people who will be agreeable to each other-and as someone remarked, it was reminiscent of topping for high school fraternities). I understand that I am to be in Col. Eddie O'Connor's group (or section). The others in it, I understand are Frank Nelson, Dennis Murphy, Dinty Moore, Capt. Pederson (the only American civilian-he was in Commander of the USS American Leader when captured), Art Penrose, and Lee Vance. With Eddie and me this makes 8 officers. There are two enlisted men with us who I hear, are to be Foster and Harris, both very good men as far as I know. Tiger Traywick, our Honcho while here, has been making frantic appeals to the Nipponese for more food- so, I understand, has Col. Gillespie from the medical viewpoint. All agree that what we've been getting is not a maintenance ration. In other words, not enough to live on. Teague came up this noon and reported after the 1st Sitting (or "squatting") was through, that there is some toffee in the soup-as was also the case last night, that the buns beginning with supper tonight-will be somewhat larger-though some who've seen them report that they're also somewhat thinner-that we'll get a couple of mouthfuls of sweet potatoe at lunch and, further, that there is about 2/3 of a bucket of sugar to be divided about 132 ways.
It has been of some interest during the past week to watch the ships in this harbor. First an obsolete destroyer came in - was there for the 3-evidently to give shore leave to the crew on the Emperor's birthday. Then I hear there were several submarines several days later after the destroyer left-accompanied by some sort of a ship that looks, except for the lack of superstructure like a small air craft carrier. The theory advanced was that she might be used for practice landings & take offs.
In noticing the daily life of these people-wearing apparel, laundry hanging
on the lines etc. it is quite noticeable how much they go in for wearing red-not
only in solid color but in various rather flamboyant combinations.
There was an air alarm three or four days ago, which the local people seemed to take rather seriously. The children of a nearby school were sent home and we were ordered to our rooms off the covered veranda.
The dope is being passed around today that we leave here tomorrow. I am reasonably sure that the interpreter did day that a move on our part was "imminent". After what we've been through, nothing much can surprise us, though I for one am counting strongly (too strongly, I fear) on having some Red Cross supplies to greet us wherever we go. Also I feel that the mail situation will improve both incoming and outgoing. I am optimistic about this not simply because I know the situation can get no worse and certainly not because the Nipponese Major who accompanied us here from Moji said it would (God knows I learned not to build hopes on their promises and assurances more than two and a half years ago) but chiefly because it seems logical to me that mail should be coming in through Russia over the Trans-Siberian Railroad with regularity now.
I was playing bridge in the same foursome (Jim Monihan, Shorty Mac D. & Jack Keltner) when the announcement came around that we were being taken for a walk. I thought how nice that was. I had wondered all along why something like that hadn't been done before, since we need the exercise. Well we formed up after getting our shoes and putting them on. The groups from the neighboring hotels had done likewise. Soon we moved off on our walk. We were taken toward the bay to an open area near a building we have been able to see from our 3rd floor verandah. We had wondered what sort of a building it was since it seems very modern. It turned out to be a school As we marched up the children clamoured and ran toward us but drew up short several yards away at a word from one of the officers who accompanied us. Soon we found out the purpose of the walk. It was to organize us by small sections. This done, we were required to form by echelons (we leave tomorrow in two echelons-the first, consisting of the British, Dutch and 3 or 4 sections of Americans leaves early tomorrow morning-they get up at 4:30 am and breakfast without tengo formation immediately after. The second echelon leaves soon after lunch. As soon as all the formations had been held, we were allowed about 40 minutes in which to stroll around within the circle of guards-we were not allowed to go up to the sea wall. The captain who is in charge of the move made a speech -of course we understood none of it-but he'll be a wow on the lecture circuit even if he did nothing else. The interpreter got up after the Captain had read his speech and read the interpretation. He was Captain Something or other and was charged with our safe transportation (I was glad to hear that word "safe") to our destination (He wouldn't say where)-that we would necessarily be somewhat confined (I didn't like the sound of that after what we've been through) and that if we didn't do all we should do-or did something we shouldn't-he would be compelled (Much against his will, I am sure) to use "drastic measures." There was much exchange of courtesies between us & him (they are great on that). We would execute "Eyes center" and he'd salute, holding the position while his head and eyes traveled along the entire length of our line (in that way he's saluting us each one individually, I guess) They all seem to hold their breath while doing it and then suck in through their teeth when they finish. Well, the pay off came when we were formed up just before marching back to our hotels (incidentally it was announced that all who lived at the Nitchi San hotel would fall in together; well none of us knew or gave a damn what the name of his hotel was; but we were finally assured that that was the name of this one) The pay off came in the form of the suave, urbane Major who came with us here-and who we were naive enough to think might be of some help in bettering our conditions. He had been standing around in the (wing) all during the organization of the sections and echelons. He was about to make a speech. you just knew he was by the way he got up on the platform and looked us over and smiled. After a pause, in the manner of the trained after dinner speaker, he addressed us. He was Major Tokada of the Bureau of Information, Tokyo, connected with P.O.W. affairs. His senior was General Homada. They were very much concerned about the welfare of this group of colonels and Captains and were certainly looking out for us. In fact ever since we had arrived here he had been, from "behind the curtains" as it were, supervising our treatment (well, after the starvation diet we've had since we've been here, he rather put the finger on himself with that admission) He admonished us to take the best kind of care of our health-said nothing that amounted to a tinker's damn-and sat down, giving us one last benevolent flash of that 24 carat smile as he did so. Well, Columbia diploma and all. That was that.
Last night we had something more concrete to be thankful for. The bun at supper was there, unchanged in size as far as I could see, but there on our plates was some sort of a vegetable concoction with the faintest suspicion of what seemed to be duck gristle & offal, on top of some very nice boiled noodles. All this was in more generous quantity than usual and was thoroughly enjoyed by all concerned. I opened my bun with a razor blade, pulled out a little of the center and deposited about 1/2 of my 1/132 of the 2/3 bucket of sugar the Nips issued us. It was a delicious desert. The other half is going into my breakfast bun tomorrow morning.
Nov 10 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 215 (946)
I have just finished wrapping my guitar in the shelter half Judge Lynch gave me before we left Shirakawa. I have rolled my blanket & packed my musette (or rather Pat Horan's) and my basket bag. I am going to wear my green Red Cross suit over my other clothes so I won't have as much to carry in my two bags as I had on the trip here. We are to form, ready to move at 1:50 p.m. in front of this hotel. There have been many parleys with the Nips about Floyd Marshall. I heard he was to be transported to the station-which is a point somewhat nearer here than the place we detrained-in a riksha-and given a litter for the train ride. Right here I'd like to put in my two cents worth about Floyd. He's about my age (50) and has an abscess on his thorax or bronchial tube (I don't know exactly where-but it's not on a lung). He's a sick man. There's no doubt of that. If we go to Manchoukuo, I don't believe he'll live to get home. If they were to keep him here in Japan where there are facilities for taking care of him- and if they'd do what they could for him there's no doubt in my mind that he'll pull through. Then why, since they're so interested in us and want so sincerely to deliver us to our government in good condition, take a man like Floyd and haul him with make shift equipment and without the proper care to a place where the climate is so severe and the clothing so scanty-and everything so problematical-that it's a damned hazardous experience for the most hardy of us, when they could insure his health-and perhaps his very life-by keeping him in Japan. Any way, I don't get it. *
*(Col. Lilly was correct in his prediction. Floyd Marshall died on August 15, 1945 at the prison camp in Manchuria. He was buried the morning of August 16th. That afternoon, Col. Lilly and the other P.O.W.'s learned Japan had surrendered and the war was over.)
This is Mother Bush's 74th birthday, and I wish I could tell her personally how much health and happiness I wish for her. I hope she is located with Tori and happy. I hope she is able to relax a little and take the children pretty much as they are and enjoy them-and let them enjoy her. I hope her health is good-not only for her own sake but also for Tori's. I hope that George, the apple of her eye, now that he is come out from behind his curtain of silence and mystery, will have the manhood and the kindness to make up to his mother for at least a small part of the heartache he has caused her. One gesture from him and she will forgive him for everything-but will he make that gesture. I hope he will. Maybe I'm too bitter about George-and should reserve my opinion until I know his side of the story. Whatever his reason is-whether he's been the victim of circumstance or what, I think he hurt his mother much more by ignoring her for many years than he would have by writing her and telling her just what his circumstances were.
I've just had lunch. There was the usual bowl of soup made of radishes and some sort of leafy vegetable & thickened a little. In addition there were three (3) buns and a small package containing some sliced gobo, or "walking stick", among other things. One bun goes (or rather went) with the soup. The other two and the contents of the package are our supper. It is now about 12:30 p.m. so I think I'll lie down for a while. Wish I could take this warm comforter with me where we're going. I predict that I'll wish for it many times before this winter is past.
We formed up at 1:50 p.m. according to plan. After some standing around we marched to the station. The crowds were curious and as usual, well behaved. It may have been my imagination but their glances seemed less hostile than they were the day we arrived in Beppu. About 3 p.m. we took the train and passed through Moji, detraining about 9:30 p.m. at Hanata-a port located between Moji and Nagasaki. Took a 15 minute ride on street cars which were spotted for our use. Then a walk in pitch black darkness to the ferry-a distance of about a mile. Some argue it was farther than that, but to me it seemed less than a mile, despite the fact that I was overloaded-carrying a canteen, musette, blanket roll, grass bag and guitar, not heavy but very cumbersome. We got to the dock at about 10:30 PM. Had a chance to go to benjo-and the Major gave out a few cigarettes from his own case. Then we went aboard-two decks down below the loading level.
[Here I will go back a little and correct several impressions which I formed at first and which I know now to be erroneous. When we got into Moji our ship (ORYOKU MARU) was lying at the dock headed south (see sketch) While there we could see ferry boats loaded with passengers coming in from the southwest. This seemed unusual, since most of us visualized Shiomonasaki as being directly north of Moji, but a look at a larger scale map shows the set-up somewhat similar to the sketch. Well when we got on the train at Moji we came generally southwest and took on lunches (BENTO) at KOKURA. Then we headed in an easterly direction to our destination, BEPPU, where we stayed 13 days at the Nitchiman Hotel. From Beppu, we headed back to Kokuna from which place we traveled south-west and south to Hakata where we took the street car to the ferry dock]
Down below we found things so crowded that there was not room enough to lie down. Consequently, after much standing around, we were moved up on the next deck where after more milling around and crowding in we spent the night. During the first part of the evening we had a bento issued to every pair of us. D.P. Murphy and I who were to sleep next to each other shared one. It was cold but very welcome. A little later, before we got settled, a bunch of British overcoats were brought down and we cut cards for them as there weren't enough to go around. I was sleepy so asked some one else to cut for me. When I heard that I had cut the 5 of clubs, I rolled over and proceeded to prepare for the best night's rest I could, but due to the fact that one or two of Eddie O'Connor's section, which I was assigned to, already had heavy coats and I had none, I got one after all. I put it over me and slept quite warm-though Murphy's and Lee Vance's body-heat may have had something to do with it.
Nov 11 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 216 (947)
Tengo this morning in place. Sailed about 9 am. "FUKUJU MARU" Then we were crowded up even more so as to allow each of us sitting space only, and the native passengers of all types and descriptions were brought aboard. Judging by the fur coasts and capes with fur ear flaps indicate that some are going to pretty cold areas. Unless they issue us some warm clothing there is going to be a lot of suffering in this group. At 11:00 AM with Nipponese permission, we observed one (1) minute of silence. The Nips did not participate. About an hour before we reached port (FUSAN, KOREA) group leaders were told that we'd spend tonight in Fusan at a hotel-then take a train for our destination in the morning. When we debarked our plans were changed. We went to the "Town Hall", and old theater in bad condition. However, chairs were there for us and we sat down, presumably for a 5 hour wait since the revised plans called for a train trip beginning at 11 PM (it was 6 PM when we got there). Bentos were issued to us, very good with the usual fish rice, gobo, and pickled radish. They also provided us with tea (warm water, actually). Also there were fairly adequate benjo facilities.
At the proper time about 9:30 p.m. we marched to the entraining point. With the Nips there was not the customary sureness as to arrangements. It looked to me as if these plans had been hastily prepared. The cars we were finally located and after a bit of standing around they were loaded. I found myself sitting next to Eddie O'Connor and opposite Leslie Lathrop (there was no one else in our pair of seats). One half of our seats was wet so the fourth occupant was discouraged. Everyone who decided to come in with us invariably felt the seat and moved on. Little sleeping was done.
Nov 12 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 217 (948)
It was pretty rugged going last night. I am weary and sore this morning, but so, I know, are most of the others. Some got a little sleep by lying in the aisles. I spent the day looking at the scenery and playing rummy with Lathrop and O'Connor-using a blanket spread across our knees and the little solitaire cards that Phil gave me. It was cold and soon we could see that every pool of still water along the railroad had a rim of ice on it. There were millions of big crows in the rice-fields that were everywhere. The natives were busy in the fields doing the various things incident to harvesting (most of the crop had already been cut). They used a wooden contrivance for carrying loads which reminded me of the machine gun tripod when carried on the shoulders. On this was a rack to which the loads were made fast. Animals equipped with some sort of pack device consisting of a platform on top of their backs and a couple of large baskets, one on each side. Most of the houses or hovels, are located in low ground so as to be protected from the wind. In flat country they are surrounded with some sort of a mud fence or wind-break. All is squalor in the larger communities. It is a safe guess that most of these are occupied by the Nipponese. Many magpies are flitting around among the droves of crows. There are many beautiful Lombardy poplars all over everywhere and they look very stately as they stand up slender and straight-with their yellow leaves. Frequently, I could see numbers of small mounds along the hill slopes. It dawned on me later that they are graves. On each window of the train one of the brass operating gadgets has been removed and replaced by a wooden block. Every other light in the roof of our car has been removed-as has the shade from every other window. Where those shades have been removed the glass has been painted over and rendered opaque. When we were marching to the town hall in Fusan, I saw an old man evidently a native Korean, who had a long sparse beard He had a funny little black hat on his head-a flat brim and tiny little crown about five or six inches high and only two or three inches in diam. He wore a voluminous white garment which covered everything and reached nearly to the ground. He looked to me as if he had jumped right out from the pages of the National Geographic Magazine. We had a pretty good bento this morning-there were two kinds of fish (a fairly good size piece and then quite a number of very small salted minnows), potatoes, (Irish and sweet), radish (cooked and pickled), fried tofu, and rice. We stopped at a good sized station for a short while and were given a chance to wash up and stretch our legs. Overcoats, made of what seems to be a cheap grade of camel's hair with fur collars, and blue pants- part wool with draw string at waist, were issued-and, boy! Are they welcome. It is getting quite cold. For lunch we had a bento consisting of rice with some grease in it-and also containing carrots (a sort of Nipponese version of Nasi goreng-plus a fairly nice piece of fish. For evening bento we had a pretty good assortment of fish and vegetables with the usual rice plus, of all things! an apple, probably my first one since I left the States and certainly my first since war started. The apple was small but very delicious. Had a chance to stretch our legs again later in the afternoon. I saw Laughie all togged out in a scotch wool tunic (the kind with the rounded corners in front) and a pair of plaid trousers. I forgot to mention that we had received an issue of short coats too during the day. I got an ordinary Nipponese enlisted man's coat-fairly heavily lined and made entirely of cotton. Some of the more fortunate received woolen British coats.
Nov 13 ' 44 2 yrs & 218 (949)
There is some interesting news today-and it's not a rumor-came right out of a Nipponese vernacular paper dated yesterday. During the morning of Nov 11th- while we were on the HAKATA-FUSAN Ferry- 80 American B-29s gave the island of KYUSHU a working over. That undoubtedly was the reason for the changing plans just before we arrived at Fusan. There is a good deal more news but the only items I can recall definitely are that the Germans are bombing Antwerp (So that Belgian town must be in our hands). The allied forces containing the Germans at Dunkirk have asked the Germans for a 4 hour armistice for the purpose of burying dead around that place. About noon today we stopped at ANTUNG the first town in Manchuria just across the YALU-KIANG. We got an issue of 5 cigarettes each today-and I celebrated by taking a much needed shave. Quite a blizzard is raging outside. Everything is white. There is a high wind. Flakes come down-almost horizontally. For noon lunch we had rice cooked with soya beans all through it. There were a few vegetables but no meat or fish.
Nov 14 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 219 (950)
About 2 AM today I am told we passed through a large town. A good many think it was Mukden. I must have been dozing as I have no recollection of it. Col. Cotrell says it was M. and he has a greater than average knowledge of these parts. Incidentally, several of our number have been here before. Dinty Moore has been to Fusan before and recognized certain land marks as we passed through. For breakfast this morning we were given a large bun (Quite cold) and a small amount of sugar. I made a split in my bun, put the sugar in and polished it right off; it was very much OK. They gave us a second bun for lunch at the same time. About noon we had a long halt.
This whole trip has been full of long halts. It seems that this section we're
on has to be cleared from station to station and that may account for it-and is
undoubtedly the result of the last minute change in plans at Fusan.
We arrived here and detrained with little delay at about 2:40 PM. A march of 1/4 mile brought us to our new "home" where we were halted. There were speeches by the Captain in charge of our trip and the Colonel who is commanding this area. There were no indications of hostility. The old man, with some difficulty got up on a table and told us he knew how fatigued we must be from our trip and that he was grateful that we had come through in such good condition. He said we would be required to sign an agreement that we would not attempt to escape, would cooperate with those in charge by complying with instructions-also that we would not attempt to communicate with the outside world in any unauthorized manner. All this we did, being lined up in groups of 10, there being spaces for 10 signatures on each sheet. I was so cold-or rather my hands were-when my turn came that I could hardly write my name. It was bitter cold. After while we were marched inside and assigned to rooms. With the exception of the Generals and Brigadiers who live in the ends of the building in rooms evidently intended to accommodate officers, we are quartered in rooms designed for enlisted men. This building I am told was built originally by the Russians to house their railroad guard. Each room holds 12 men and we are more crowded than we have been since the most congested period at Karenko. It is heated by a large cylinder and stove called a PACHIKA (the Nips pronounce it "Patch-ka") It is very economical to run I understand and we will have to experiment with it until we get the hang of it. In our room, beginning at the south window (there are two in our room which is approximately on the west side) are Capt. Pedersen, "Brig" Young, Eddie O'Connor-our room Honsho by virtue of both rank and popular acclaim, Dinty Moore, myself, and Creusere-all on the south side. On the north side beginning with the window there are Art Penrose, Dennis Murphy, Frank Nelson, Lee Vance, McCafferty, and Josh Stansell. Due to our arrival and attendant formalities supper was late, being served about 7:30 p.m. and consisting of a rather good but highly seasoned vegetable soup (containing some grease-or vegetable oil) and a fair sized hunk of wheat bread. I neglected to say that before the formation broke up the Major from Tokyo (Major Tokata) made a farewell address in which he gave us "excellent" on deportment. He then turned to the officers in charge of our journey and said something to them. There was much saluting, bowing and clicking of heels between them. As he finished his address to us he said he would have something to say to the Group leaders-Col. Cooper, Capt. Wilterdink & Group Capt. Noble (B)-later.
Soon after we dropped our stuff inside we began contacting those who had preceded us. I saw Generals Brougher, Bluemel and Weaver for a few minutes, then went down to see Generals Wainwright and King. I had already spoken to General Moore who came around to greet us. I found the right room and Generals W. and King inside. It was good to see them again after a year and a half. Both looked well, but not as fat as I expected to find them. General Wainwright has always been very friendly to me. Even at McKinley where I was in charge of the school-he told me on at least three different occasions that I looked more like a field soldier than a special duty soldier to him. During the war he was most complimentary to me for the records the 59th Inf. had made (of course I did not place any personal interpretation on this however) and on several occasions complimented me personally for the way I had performed my duty. Of course he is very friendly and says nice things to many, but coming from him, who is a field soldier, who has been decorated for extraordinary heroism in action, it means a great deal to me. Today after the preliminaries were over he spoke of the progress we both have every reason to feel is being made in the Philippines. He said to me "Lilly that's where you and I ought to be"-then, after a pause, "You know I'd feel mighty proud to have my name associated with yours in combat again." After that which made my chest swell way out I could only assure him of what a privilege and honor it had been to serve under him in action. I suppose I shouldn't write about this, but it made me feel so and humble since I am aware of my shortcomings, that I can't refrain from doing so.
Gen. King told me that 1482 Red Cross parcels had definitely been received here and handled by prisoners. He has not actually seen them himself, but has it from one of our enlisted men who handled them. That, definitely, is the best news we've had yet. It's what we've been hoping for and half-way expecting. 11-5-44 After a while someone told me our heavy baggage was out on the parade. I went outside with many others and proceeded to locate my two packages and bring them upstairs to my room. Unpacked my box (partially) and was getting ready to do the same for my burlap bag when word came that the Nipponese directed all baggage to be returned. So I repacked my box and took both my bundles down in compliance with instructions. A few minutes later word came along that there were two packages short-and finally, after a long wait, the baggage was delivered and down I went again. On returning, I opened my burlap bag I had packed it at Shirakawa-two bags-one inside the other-with my two pair of wooden clogs, three powdered milk cans filled with my share of Laughies and my salt, and the gas mask pouch I'd been using as a musette until Pat Horan let me have his for use in this trip only. The bag I opened was mine without question. There was my name on it. It was tied with a rope around the neck whereas my arrangement had been a rope run around both ways making a rather compact bundle. When I untied the rope and look in, I saw nothing I had ever seen before except my two pair of clogs. I looked everywhere for clues as to ownership-and finally ran across some personal mail of Capt. Minhinnik British Navy-so I turned it over to him-and he claimed most of it and gave the rest back. So far, I have not found my stuff, or the owner of the odds and ends I have left (1 unopened can of 2 min Quaker Oats-and a half container of Nipponese washing Powder.
One thing of interest that I should not wish to omit. Last night on the train, the Captain in charge of our transportation called a meeting of a group of officers of all nationalities. This meeting was held in the car just in rear of the one I was in. Col. Cooper our group leader asked if there were any in our car who wished to attend. Being curious, I said I would-and went on back with him. There we found the Captain and interpreter with several soldiers in the forward end of the car. Seats had been removed (or rather cushions) and placed across the aisle. He and the interpreter sat on one facing to the rear. On a couple of others facing forward sat the P.W. group attending the meeting. They were Capt. Wilterdink, Capt. Mulock (RN), Gp. Capt. Bishop (RAF) Col. Fleischer (D), Col. Thyer (Australian), Col. O'Connor, Gp Capt. Noble (RAF) and several others including myself. The interpreter conducted the meeting and asked various ones for their reactions on the trip-emphasizing several times the fact that neither he nor the Captain were connected with the officer charged with general P.W. supervision. Capt. Wilterdink spoke first, expressing his appreciation, on behalf of the American group, for the considerate treatment we had received since coming under their control. Others of the British (Noble), Dutch (Fleischer) and Australian (Thyer) groups made similar statements of appreciation. Capt. Mulock spoke at some length on the difficulty of the older men (he is 63) getting along harmoniously with the younger ones and expressed the hope that at the new camp some thought would be given to allowing the older men a little less crowded accommodations than the others. The interpreter conversed with the Captain about this and assured Cap Mulock that this would be done. It was interesting to me to see the Nipponese clerks taking the interpreters Nipponese translations down in shorthand. I had often made the statement that of all the complicated things I could think of, that procedure would be about the most complicated. Members of the group expressed the hope that the kind and considerate treatment we had received since our arrival in Japan would be continued at the new Camp. The interpreter replied to this by saying that he knew the new Camp Commandant well; that they were personal friends and that he knew the new camp commandant to be a fine gentleman, who was a graduate of Cambridge University. All through the meeting the interpreter referred several times to the "honorable position of the P.O.W." What a change from the attitude of most of the Nipponese we've been associated with. At O'Donnell, I remembered quite well, we were told how we had insulted the Nipponese flag and how the Camp Commandant had the power to kill us and would personally like to do so, but for the orders to the contrary issued by his superiors.
The attitude here has been most pleasant (by comparison with Shirakawa & Karenko). There is no bowing and scraping to the Nipponese I am told. Gen. Brougher says the meals heretofore have consisted of corn meal mush (sweetened a little about twice a week) for breakfast, vegetable soup and a hunk of bread for lunch, bread and bean soup for supper with sometimes an added dish of vegetables-and that, on the whole, the quantity is good. Certainly the bread and soup tonight was "what the doctor ordered"-in my case anyway. The building seems bleak and cold but ought to warm up when we get the combination on these "Pachinkos".
Nov 15 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 220 (951)
It was announced early this morning that the Colonel who addressed us yesterday would make an inspection of barracks at 9 AM tomorrow. Also we got an issue of 5 packages of cigarettes each-also one bag of some kind of nuts each. They look like peanuts but aren't. Only guess is soya beans processed in some special manner. The inspection was conducted pleasantly, hurriedly and perfunctorily. Last night the Nipponese who took the tengo formation said "Good night" very pleasantly before he left. A piece of news which made me think that maybe on our journey from Taiwan our position was probably more precarious than even we suspected - and God knows, we suspected it was precarious enough. General Perceval has actually talked to a man who is a PW, was enroute from the South (NEI or Singapore, I don't k now which) with about 1200 other British Prisoners of War, when the transport he was on was bombed and sunk just off the Philippines. He (The man Gen. P. Talked to) was one of only 57 survivors. Other transports than his were also sunk.
This is bad news except for the fact that it indicates something of the activity of our air corps. Maybe some of those transports were carrying American prisoners! I sincerely hope not. Incidentally, General Moore also talked with this survivor- so it's not a rumor.
A library of about 350 books-Freddie Ward says there are that many good ones-will begin to function in a few days. It is being "readied" now. Also, Gen. Funk is making an effort to get pipe tobacco from Mukden or Harbu.
Nov 16 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 221 (952)
Bill Maher brought me my other burlap sack today. It had come to him containing a good deal of his property from Shirakawa-but none of mine. The food is holding up pretty well. Corn meal mush for breakfast, and bread and vegetable soup for each of the other two meals.- The evening soup has contained a fair amount of barley. I have passed the time since I've been here transcribing some notes I made on the journey (hence some of the errors) and in playing rummy, bridge and solitaire. We sleep fairly warm-plenty of thick heavy blankets containing practically no wool I still have my Army blanket-acquired at O'Donnell. It's a long cold trek to the benjo but the fur collared overcoat solves that problem.
Nov 17 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 222 (953)
The library opens this afternoon-In order to avoid a stampede those in charge have wisely decided to portion off a group of books for each section and limit us to those in our own group. In this way there will be some good books in circulation in each section.
Pat Horan came in today to show me a collar he had made of some grey flannel material and put on his grey wool shirt-a nice piece of needle work. He gave me two pair of socks-one somewhat darned but whole and the other-still bearing the "Interwoven" label right out of his personal package. Mighty generous I calls it. The Major from Tokyo accompanied the Colonel commanding the HOTEN District (I hear its HOTEN and not HOKEN as I spelled it before-and means MUKDEN in Nipponese) on his inspection yesterday. Afterward, he spoke to Capt. Noble and gave him his name and address, saying at the same time that he would be glad to have letters from prisoners of war who had special problems to present.
Arnold Funk has receipted to the Nipponese for a total of 3328 Red Cross parcels-also some Red Cross medical supplies, including surgical instruments and drugs, have been delivered to the hospital. It is encouraging to know that the Red Cross Staff is here and we are expecting a release of some of it at any time. My room (No 26) at the request of Generals Wainwright and Perceval-voted on how we wanted the Red Cross distributed. We voted for one parcel to be issued every 10 days. The great majority of others voted to have all 9 parcels issued at once-the idea being 1) to get them into our hands at once and 2) to prevent their freezing. We have all been required to fill out forms showing our full names, nationalities, grades and where we became prisoners of war. Then the Nipponese assigned us new numbers (before reaching here my Shirakawa number was 65 and my Taiwan number- 82). Here I will be known as P.W. No. 1668.
The camp commandant is 1st Lieut. MATSUMIYA.This place-TEIKATON in Nipponese and CHENG-SHIATUN in Chinese is about 200 km west of HSINKING the Manchurian capital, 175 to 200 KM north of MUKDEN, about 450 km S.W. of HARBIN, and about 1000 km south of the SIBERIAN border.
I had a bath on Wednesday and another one today. Quite the most pleasant experiences I've had since arriving. There is a large rectangular tub or pool-about 6' by 12' with a seat just before the water line running all around. This pool is filled to nearly waist depth with hot water. We pour hot water all over ourselves and wash thoroughly-then rinse off. The next step, if you care to, is to ease your body into this big tub and soak for as long as you wish. I did-and it was great. I was in a real glow when I got out. Then I poured ice cold water all over myself and took a brisk rub down with the towel Thompson gave me at Karenko. On Sundays, I am told, we will be able to bathe ad lite in the afternoon.
I went down to the library and got myself "The Thin Man" by Dashiel Hammett. I've seen the picture starring Myrna Loy and William Powell-as Nora and Nick Charles-but have never read the book.
I've got some of the dates mixed a little in this record-maybe missing them in some cases by a day but no more. In the main, however, the record is accurate. It has been interesting seeing the Generals who preceded us here. Most of them look very well. They say at Fusan they had a supper at the local hotel in real European style-Tables up off the floor, knives forks & spoons plus European food served by waitresses who were supervised by a head waiter in white shirt & black tie- They get no bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning however.
Nov 19 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 224 (955)
We got bread for breakfast this morning-the plan, as I understand it, being to give us bread three times a day from now on. No church services today-arrangements have not been made with the Nipponese authorities yet.
Nov 20 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 225 (956)
The breakfast bread failed to materialize this morning-also the noon soup was pretty thin. Tonight at 6:30, Gen. Perceval gave the section and room leaders a news summary of the war based on his notes taken from the Nipponese radio broadcasts at Taihoku where they had a radio most of the time. It was mostly on the European situation and was all to the good.
It seems that while at the Taihoku camp, both he and Governor Smith (Borneo)-who, until we got here, had never been with us at any of our camps-made a very intensive study of the Nipponese language (undoubtedly they must have had some knowledge of it before) and finally were able to get a good deal out of the radio broadcasts. I understand that both used to take notes and then pore over them together working deductions from them.
Nov 21 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 226 (957)
Again no breakfast bread-again a thin noon soup. Thin by the standards here. At Karenko it would have been regarded as something special. Brigadier McLeod tells me the issue of bread 3 times daily will be resumed probably tomorrow or the next day as additional bread pans for the kitchen have been ordered and are expected to arrive on one of those two days. He also told me we will get corn meal cakes (or corn bread) next Sunday morning instead of the usual corn meal mush.
Nov 22 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 227 (958)
Had a bath today-a grand experience. Lots of hot water and all the opportunity in the world to soak the old body in hot water. Also we got weighed and had our heights measured. I weigh 62.5 kgm or 135.5 lbs.-a loss of about 1/2 lb. since the September weighing. My height is 172.1 cm or 67.75 inc. I can remember my heights as 68.5 in. not many years ago-so if this measurement is accurate, I have contracted 3/4 in-which I understand one sometimes does as one grown older. Most everyone showed a loss in weight since September. We've been getting pretty good food since Nov 10 when we left Beppu but the period from Oct 9-the day we left Shirakawa-to Nov 10 was very trying on everyone, despite the very fair food we got on the ORYOKU MARU. The other hardships during that period more than off set the slight food advantage. The feeling is that now the Nips have got our low weights recorded, they'll uncork our weight curves. That'll be OK by me!
Last Saturday (18th) I had a walk with Gen. Weaver. He told me that his group had been told to get a 400 word letter ready. It would have to be printed by them, then typed (by someone) for their signatures.
Gen. Bluemel came into the room (No. 26) this afternoon to see Lee Vance. Wants him to make a copy of the statement he (Lee V.) gave Gen. B. some time ago on the last day's fighting on Bataan.
A check on all property, Nipponese and personal was made today. Also we had to turn in the length of our feet in inches. I checked with several others who took a no. 9 shoe- and reported mine as 10 1/2 in.
Nov 23 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 228 (959)
Don't know whether this is the New Deal Thanksgiving this year or not. I've got so many things to be thankful for this year that I can use two Thanksgiving Days! In addition to the old blessings-having my family safe in the U.S. with favorable reports and their health & activities up to August '43-Betty Ann happily married to Jack Dale who is so well spoken of here by those who know him-my health has been excellent so far- in spite of the fact that nearly all my fillings have dropped out I have no toothache. Yet (??) and many other things including the successful progress of the war (hear one of the Nip papers claims 1100 allied planes made their appearance over Taiwan last part of October-in addition to all these blessings, we've just come through an experience that could have been disastrous to us all- also we are much better off here- not only as to food but quarters and clothing as well-than we've ever been since we became prisoners of war. Well, any way I'm thankful for many things-and I humbly thank God for them.
The library is taking in the books belonging to the high ranking group-and it is rumored that their party bases here next Sunday or Monday.
Crews and Townsend beat hell out of Jack Keltner & me at bridge this morning. I picked up S-Axxx H-AK D- C-AQJ108xx and bid 2 C. Jack had D-Ajxxxx and practically nothing else so bid 2 D From then on the bidding between Jack & me went "3C 3D-4C-5C 5D doubled here by opponents-I then bid 6 C and Jack took me out with 6D. This was doubled, and I, feeling Jack must have solid tops in his Diamonds, redoubled. Glen Townsend, on Jacks left held D-KQxxx and we went down 6-or 3400 points- by far the biggest setting we've ever had. Oh well!
Nov 24 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 229 (960)
Two pieces of bread for breakfast-for bkfst & lunch-also a third piece for supper. Jack K. and I got a little revenge on Crews and Townsend this morning. Didn't quite make up for yesterdays' setting, but it helped. We were issued 5 packs of cigarettes each today. There was a check on blankets. Some sort of a "cake" was served in addition to the evening soup. It was heralded as a "fish cake" but consisted of a concoction of kafir corn, potatoes cooked fairly solid-and rather tasteless, with no fish.
Nov 25 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 230 (961)
Bread continues 3 times a day- 2 buns for breakfast & one for supper. Josh Stansell has "flu" and is taken to hospital. The fishless "fish cake" was repeated for supper tonight. I am reading Woodrow Wilson's case for the League of Nations. I appreciate now how our failure to enter it broke his heart. If all nations and their representatives were as honorable as they should be, or as I believe Mr. Wilson was, the thing would be workable and practicable. But it is not cynical to say they are not-and never will be- it is just an admission that civilization has not progressed that far. In my opinion they never will -and there will always be wars bred by the same forces that have always bred them. I hope I am wrong. Some day nations may cease to fight-though I doubt that very much. If they do, it won't be because of any predisposition to forthrightness between them. It will be that wars and mechanisms with which wars are made have grown so terrible as to threaten mutual annihilation.
Rumor-some Nip soldier said the war in the Philippines is "all over". Hoffman, I hear, read in a Nipponese paper of the landing in the P.I. of a large allied mechanized force-the Nips expressing their surprise as to how it was accomplished.
The Interpreter-a buck toothed, obsequious fellow- is supposed to have told Pilet-after P had described our Taiwan treatment-that we will not be treated that way here. Also he is reported to have said that we get sugar & Red Cross "very quick".
Nov 26 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 231 (962)
Cornbread & bun for breakfast. We get an issue of those processed soya beans-which have a very pleasant nutty taste but are awfully hard on teeth-unless soaked for a long time in water. Jack Keltner & Harry Skerry beat Ed Corkill & me at bridge. No arrangements for church services yet. I have a dull sort of an ache in my right rear lower molar where a large inlay has come out. I feat the worst, but am hoping for the best. There is nothing I can do about it-rather a hopeless feeling. Its very cold outside. I hear it has been down to 11 F since we've been here-though I don't know who has a thermometer. The Nips took Col. Coopers thermometer away from him on our arrival here.
Nov 27 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 232 (963)
General King fell last night while attempting to go to benjo-and it is feared fractured his hip. He bumped his head against his bunk I hear. Gen. Moore tells me this morning that he (Gen. M.) does not believe the bone is fractured, since Gen. King can move one of his legs this morning-while he could not move that leg last night. Don't know that that proves anything-but it does I suppose indicate an improvement. Hope Gen. Moore is right! I know lots of people, including myself, I'd rather see hurt than Gen. King. There is a Red Cross rumor-each of the 34 members of the departing General's party gets 10 individual parcels. The rest of us will get our parcels issued item by item.
Nov 28 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 233 (964)
No supper soup tonight-some kind of a turnover with a concoction of potatoes, a little onions & some Kafir corn (or barley) in it. Not bad but rather tasteless. Also the same sort of patty we've gotten before only larger (1/9 pan instead of 1/12 as formerly. Bread in addition.
The Nips opened, inspected and placed the contents of 120 Red Cross parcels item by item on the shelves in their warehouse today.
All British over coats were ordered in today. We had formerly been ordered to turn in one of our 2 overcoats. Because of its superior warmth I had elected to keep my British over coat and turned in the Nip one with the "fur" collar-even moved the buttons over on the British coat so as to get a better fit. Well, here they come along and take up my good coat and give me a Nip coast too small and made of material inferior even to the one I turned in. Just another proof of the maxim that "a PW can't win". The senior generals leave at 6:30 am Friday Dec 1. I hear Gen. King will have to spend 18 weeks with his hip in a cast. It must be fractured after all.
Nov 29 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 234 (965)
It has been announced definitely that the high ranking group leaves early Friday morning. This morning there was a little sugar in the mush. It seems they issue sugar to the kitchen once a week and it's just enough to sweeten it once-so they throw it all in every Wednesday morning. The two British soldiers with their accordions and the Dutchman with his mandolin, came up and we had some music. They play in my key- "C" and I play along with them as far as I can. So far it hasn't been too bad.
Nov 30 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 235 (966)
This is the real Thanksgiving day-and, as I said last week, I don't have to be a Pollyanna to be really and truly thankful. My family is safe and, I believe, well. Tori is doing a fine job, as always, of taking care of the children, my only fear all along has been that some way, some how, she would fail to take as good care of herself. However, her letter of August '43 has assured me that she is doing "everything" I want her to do-and she knows I want that-so my fears on that score have been dispelled. I am well-and have come through the war, O'Donnell, Karenko, Shirakawa, and the trip from Kurun to Moji safely-so I really couldn't ask for very much more. I am as certain as I am that I'm a P.W. that our armed forces are going great guns and that in due season we shall be out of here and with our families again-and I don't think that will be long.
Some good news about the Red Cross. The interpreter who came to accompany the high ranking generals to their new camp said that it has never been the intention of the Nipponese to issue the Red Cross item by item to the officers-only to the enlisted men. I have a hunch we're going to get an issue on Saturday. Can't help feeling optimistic about it-just a hunch. Some news that's not quite so good. I hear the same interpreter says all mail for us has to go to Tokyo first and that the crossing of the China Sea from Kyushu to Korea is becoming increasingly difficult but hoped that our mail from home could be censored by the local Nipponese authorities.
Dec 1 '44 (Fri) 2 yrs & 236 (967)
The high rank got away at 6:30 this morning according to plan. General King, I hear, went away with them-on a stretcher, covered with many blankets. He goes to a general hospital near their new camp, I hear. General Wainwright left a letter to all of us-his farewell. I haven't seen it yet but am looking forward to reading it.
Yesterday, Jack Keltner and I went over to the hospital to see Josh Stansell, Col. Dougherty, Capt. Davis and Floyd Marshall. We saw them all. Josh is much better-had a case of primary pneumonia. Capt. Davis is getting over malaria-and Col. Dougherty is recuperating form a heart attack he had at Beppu. All are doing nicely. But I was particularly pleased with Floyd's appearance and general attitude. His eyes were bright and his morale good. He gets about a quart of milk a day-the others almost half that amount-and is getting along fine. Capt. Campbell (RN) Col. Hopkins, Brig Wildey (all British) are in the hospital too-and seem to be doing all right.
This afternoon I moved out of Room 26 into Rm 29. The other room members are Al Balsam (Room Honsho), Phil Fry, Ray O'Day, Jack Uhrig, Ed Aldridge and Pat Callahan. Floyd Marshall is also assigned to this room and his bunk and some of his effects are here-but it will be a long time before Floyd joins us here-if he ever does. However he's OK and I think now he has a better than even chance of getting back with us.
The crowd in this room are congenial-though no more so than the crowd in Room 26 - and I think a "ijo" will be "arimason".
Dec 2 '44 (Sat) 2 yrs & 237 (968)
A rather uneventful day-even as P.W. days go. Col. Richards was taken to the hospital tonight-"flu", I think. He has been remarkably healthy and active ever since I've known him-and I believe this is his first illness of any consequence. While I was writing this someone told me he had pneumonia. Hope this isn't so, but according to what Josh Stansell told me, the sulphur-deridatine they have for that purpose is absolutely effective-and that is encouraging as it removes all need for the oxygen tent and other things I have always associated with pneumonia.
The Camp Commandant made an inspection of quarters this afternoon-said our room was O.K.- It is very amusing to see a bunch of high ranking army officers scurrying around preparing for inspection-folding blankets and overcoats just so and placing pillows and other items in the prescribed positions-just like a crowd of military school cadets. A couple of rumors seemed to crop out of the inspection-one is that there are beans in the kitchen and we'll get them tomorrow-another: Another inspection of Red Cross will be made on Dec 5th-and the issue will begin at the rate of an item a day beginning on the 6th-still another: a bag and a half of sugar (270 pounds) have been released for issue and the issue begins tomorrow. That's about the crop. It was announced tonight that the Camp Commandant will inspect every Saturday - at the same time as today-also that blankets, etc will be kept in the same arrangement as required for inspection-every day from breakfast to supper-also we may lie down in the afternoon. Looks like things are beginning to close in a bit. The food has been definitely on the wane since the rank left yesterday.
Dec 3 '44 (Sun) 2 yrs & 238 (969)
Church service this morning-in the room now occupied by the library (which has been moved within the past few days) Lucas conducted. The Camp Commandant was there and made a very toothy little address-with many hissing intakes of breath which in every case were echoed by the interpreter. He said we would in future be allowed to have our services without interference. He had gone to school once where he came into contact with Christianity and understood it. He explained that the regulations under which the P.W. camps in the Hoten District were conducted, required the presence of a member of the Camp Staff at all services. So saying, he and the interpreter went across the hall and sat at a table out there.
Brig Trotl, the Camp Administrator , was with them. It seemed good to hear
another service and, though I missed Chaplain Bindeman whom we had all grown to
like so much at Shirakawa, I enjoyed it very much.
Just before lunch we received an issue of sugar-about half a pound, I should say. This was very welcome to all of us, of course. They've issued us something about once a week since we've been here. Twice it was these coated soya beans, and once it was candy.
Chet Elmes who has some administrative duty in connection with the mess, says we're to get bean soup, boiled potatoes, and a baked patty for supper. The noon soup today was a good deal better than it has been for the last two or three meals. I am distressed and alarmed by the news that Floyd Marshall had another hemorrhage last night-losing several ounces of blood. When I had one of my rare conversations with Floyd recently (this was at Beppu when I stumbled by accident upon his room) he told me his trouble was an abscess on one of his bronchial tubes. I had previously heard from a reliable source that Col. Gillespie had said what Floyd needed was to have his bad lung collapsed and given a rest. I don't know, but it doesn't sound logical to me that you'd collapse a lung-because of a bronchial abscess-all of which makes me wonder if the doctor hasn't been attempting to allay Floyd's worries of tuberculosis by telling him he has this abscess. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me Floyd has tuberculosis-and I'm still wondering if it wouldn't have been a very humane act on the part of the Nips if they'd kept him in Japan and given him the treatment he needs.
I hear Col. Richards was delirious last night and is being treated for pneumonia-which, I suppose, means he is being given sulphur pyridine-or what ever the sulphur direitine is they use in such cases.
I had a piece of bread with sugar on it for dessert this noon-also a little sugar in my tea later on. I've got to be as abstemious as possible with this sugar as no one knows when we'll get any more-and it will do more good on the morning mush than any other place I know.
While Jack K. and I were playing bridge with Wallie Mead & Scudder (who beat us) we got an issue of packs of cigarettes and one small box of candy-so the day hasn't been entirely wasted after all.
A.V. M. Maltby asked the Camp Commandant about the Red Cross issue today-and was told that the issue was being held up on account of the letter of protest at the item by item issue- which letter had been referred to the Hoten District Headquarters (Mukden) and that the issue was being held in abeyance pending a reply.
Dec 4 '44 (Mon) 2 yrs & 239 (970)
This morning Col. Gillespie came in our room with Browning, one of the hospital orderlies to show him where to get Floyd Marshall's sugar. There were also the cigarettes and candy, so I asked Gillespie if I should send the cigarettes, thinking he could not possibly want them in his condition. To this, Gillespie replied that he probably would want to have them as he was very sensitive about getting his issues-and "we're doing everything we can to humor him". He then told me that Floyd had had a very severe hemorrhage last night-the most severe he'd had yet. In fact, he was given an injection, or transfusion, of plasma last night. I asked him if he considered Floyd's condition as very critical-and he said "Oh, yes" From the way he said it I could tell he considered Floyd's condition very grave indeed. It looks bad for poor old Floyd and I fear for his chances of coming through.
The sugar in the morning mush really helped a lot.
Last night all the predictions about supper came true. There was a thick soup-more than a bowl of it-with lots of well cooked, tender beans in it. Then a patty of kafir corn and probably some mashed potatoes. In addition we each got a small Irish potatoe. On the whole, the best meal we've had since arriving. The beans were tender, as I have said, and quite tasty, having a flavor slightly reminiscent of the field pea that we Southerners are so fond of-a biscuit and some pork would have made the whole thing perfect.
Had a walk-about 4 times around the loop on the south side of the barracks-three times makes a mile I am told.
Rumor-one of the Nipponese papers in October reported that the Russians were within 20 km of Budapest-also that the British and Americans have surrounded Metz.
I got into quite a conversation with the interpreter this afternoon. He says we'll get beans regularly now-as they are plentiful. Spoke of getting new cauldrons for the kitchen. I'm not quite sure whether he said we'd get them when the new cauldrons came or not. There was some reference to new cauldrons.
I wonder how Floyd is getting along. I can't keep him out of my mind. I pray that he may improve.
Tonight we had a nice bean soup-the beans nicely cooked tender and soft. There was also a patty consisting of the usual Kafir corn etc. I got a bowl full to the brim, plus a little extra. I saved out about a half a small cupful and am going to heat them in the morning and put them in my corn meal mush. I hope I can save a little sugar that way but knowing myself as I do, I am sure I'll put in just as much.
Dec 5 '44 (Tue) 2 yrs & 240 (971)
Yesterday while talking to Ken Lowman, he told me he was going over to the hospital and I asked him to find out all he could from a professional viewpoint about Floyd Marshall's condition-and what the doctors really thought about his chances. This morning he sent me a message by Gil Bell that "Floyd's number is up". That makes me blue and I can't get it out of my mind. I have prayed hard for Floyd-harder than I've done for a long time-and I, somehow, can't feel that God has let him come this far through all we've had to suffer, only to cut him down now. So I'm still hopeful though depressed by the reports. I was talking to Shorty MacDonald this morning and he told me he'd gathered form Gillespie that these plasma injections can do him a lot of good-and carry him along for a while, but even that won't save him unless his resistance is equal to the demands upon it. Later (about 6:30 p.m.)- I just talked to Gillespie about Floyd. He had some fresh hemorrhages this morning. His condition is very poor-and, in Gillespies word, "he is just hanging on". The beans and patties continue, much to our delight. They are very, very welcome. Last night I saved out about half a small bowl of them for breakfast this morning. Phil did the same and we heated them over the coals just before breakfast, and then added a little sugar because the mush didn't taste quite right without it. I'm not trying that experiment tomorrow-though I may do it again sometime.
We got an issue of toilet articles from the Nipponese today. It consisted of 1 toothbrush, 1 tooth powder, 2 cakes soap (1 laundry, 1 toilet), 1 towel, 1 small bundle of toilet paper, and 2 pencils. Glad to get his-particularly the soap, as I have been using a piece the size of a robin's egg now for about two weeks!
Dec 6 '44 (Wed) 2 yrs & 241 (972)
No report on Floyd's condition this morning. They say Col. Richards is doing all right though-as he is beginning to eat again. Bridge this morning-Jack & I beat Clem Townsend & Crews. We play pretty even as a rule. The ones holding the cards coming out ahead. Phil Fry asked me to play with him a game with A.V.M. Maltby and someone else this afternoon at 2:45. Hope I can keep from letting Phil down-as it's a little faster company than I'm accustomed to.
Jack Keltner, who is in charge of food distribution in our section, told me right after lunch today that we'd have the following for supper: 1 dipper full of beans (no soup), a serving of "American Pork Gravy" (don't know how this will work out as a British soldier is on duty in the kitchen) -also a patty (1/9 of a pan)-plus the usual bun of course. Sounds pretty good.
Dec 7 '44 (Thur) 2 yrs & 242 (973)
I hear 50 radiograms have been received today. Jack Uhrig, I hear, got one. We played bridge, Jack & I with Jess Traywick & Nunez Pilet this morning. We won. At about 11:15 am there was an air raid alarm-followed by a tengo formation, which I suppose was routine. I don't know, of course, whether the air raid alarm was practice or "record"-but we are pretty sure that Mukden has been bombed within the last few months. Pechek is coming down the hall now with the radiograms. He's here now. Uhrig really got his-and so did Callahan and Aldridge in this room. McCafferty got one too-addressed to "Brig Gen." McC.
No word of Floyd Marshall today. (Later) Jack Keltner saw Gillespie & says Floyd's condition is slowly but surely getting worse. There seems to be no hope. Just a matter of time now.
Radio dope: Peggy Aldridge is married, Browne's son has entered Vanderbilt (so radios) must have been sent after September '44-as B's boy was not due to finish high school until this year.
Return to Index of Col. Lilly Papers