The Colonel Edmund J. Lilly collection is an open collection of papers relating to the military service and experiences of a P.O.W. in the World War II Pacific Theater. Col. Lilly was born in North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1915. In 1917, he received a commission in the regular Army. In 1941 he was sent to Manila in the Philippines to serve in the U.S. Army's Philippine Division. He became the commander of the 57th Philippine Scout Regiment. The unit served on Bataan during the Japanese invasion. He became a P.O.W. in April 1942 when the Americans surrendered to the Japanese. For the next 40 months he was in various Japanese P.O.W. camps. To keep his sanity, he maintained a diary in tiny notebooks. In addition to the diary he wrote down poems, songs, recipes, rules for Bridge and everything he could remember. After his release from the camp, he spend 6 months in a hospital and eventually returned to active duty. He retired from the Army in 1953 and returned to North Carolina. His collection of diaries, memorabilia and other materials was donated to the Combined Arms Research Library in 1998 by his daughters, Elizabeth Ann Lilly Barrett and Victoria Lilly MacMillan.
A. Service Records
D. Topical files
Decorations - copies of orders awarded
Fall of Philippines
57th Infantry Guerrilla Regiment
Fort William McKinley
Lilly, Edmund J.
WW II - general
F. Illustrations (prison scenes by Eugene C. Jacobs)
Box 2G. Publications
J. Notebooks (links are to diaries available full-text)
1. Diary, 26 December 1943 - 7 December 1944 (or with handwritten transcription or typed transcription)
2. Diary, 8 December 1944 - 26 April 1945
3. 27 April 1945 - 17 September 1945
4. Prisoners of war, #1: May 10, 1942 - Oct. 9, 1942
5. Prisoners of war, #2
6. Prisoners of war, #3
7. "The Battle of Bataan", by W.E. Brougher; etc.
8. Claims against the U.S.; addresses; etc.
9. Notebook 9: Speech at Karenko, 17 August 1942 - scanned diary at http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/u?/p4013coll8,3320. Transcription at http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/resources/archival/lilly/notebook9.pdf
10. Letter to VBL (copy), 19 November 1943; notes on mechanics
11. Bottle turn-in; PX accounts; etc.
12. Poems and songs
13. Guitar; Bridge; knots; etc.
14. Notebook 14 scanned diary at http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/u?/p4013coll8,3369. Songs and poetry - partial transcription.
15. Contract Bridge
16. Calculus; notes of Bataan campaign, deaths, operations; etc.
17. More songs and poems
18. "Crazy One," by W. Kent Hughes; "Birth of England"; etc.
19. Memoir, 8 December 1941 - January 1942 - scanned diary at http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/u?/p4013coll8,3359. Transcription at /cac2/cgsc/carl/resources/archival/lilly/notebook19.asp.
Box 4 (Notebooks, cont.)
20. Notes re Asia; restaurants; dates
21. Pay data; property claims; bets; PW Info Bulletin
22. Ledger purchased at Hoten, 10 March 1945, with summaries, maps of Bataan, routes of prison ships, etc. (includes 5 pieces re song copyright)
23. Trip home from prison camp, October 1945
24. Handwritten report of Pearl Harbor bombing
25. Small photo, EJL diary on back with transcription (4 pieces total)
26. Food and cigarette labels
K. Recipe file from P.O.W. camps 1942-1945