December 30, 1941

Ft. McKinley,

Command Post

 

Our division has been ordered to move to San Fernando, Pampanga. The general said that very heavy fighting continues on the northern front. Troops under Generals Capinpin, Stevens, Shalleck and Brower are fiercely resisting the enemy’s full-dress attack.

Meanwhile the enemy has increased intensity of his raids in Luzon. Local air force however has struck back with increased fury. The 11 a.m. communique from MacArthur’s headquarters said that a Filipino pilot and two American airmen show down eight planes in engagements over southern Luzon during the past few days. Cesar Basa of the Ateneo died in one of these raids. His plane was attacked by 50 Japs. (Cesar and I used to swim together.)

Tuned in on radio with Signal Corps boys. Japs seem to be gaining ground in all fronts. Hong Kong’s governor has surrendered. Japanese troops on Malay east coast are reported approaching the Kemmanan area, 225 miles from Singapore. Contact with Kuching, capital of Sarawak has been lost since last Wednesday. Tokyo radio claims they have not bombed Santo Domingo Church.

Just found out there are many Ateneo boys with our division. Among them are Gonzalo Gonzalez, Alex Albert, Fermin Fernando, Henry Burgos, Gregg Anonas, Bert Misa, Saturn Velasco and others. Will try to find out how they are if the general gives me permission. He always wants me to be near him with all his maps and plans. Yesterday he told me that in addition to my duties as aide, I was assigned to also write the history of our division.

Heard the 26th cavalry was annihilated in Pozzorubio. They charged against tanks and artillery. An eye witness claims he saw “headless riders charging onward.” Another said that some members of said unit “jumped at tanks, pried open their turrets and hurled grenades.” MacArthur awarded DSC’s to members of this brave unit. Most decorations were posthumous.

Our division observers reported huge columns of smoke rising into the sky around Pandacan. No information on the cause or source was available in command post this morning. Apparently the Japs are not paying much attention to Open City declaration. However the general said that when we move to Pampanga we shall not cross Manila to abide by provisions of Open City.

Reports received in command post this morning indicate that troops under Gen. Segundo are also moving to Pampanga. Japs are apparently entering Laguna preceded by strong aerial and tank formations. Several young Baguio cadets, recent graduates of the Academy, were reportedly killed in action in the beaches of Tayabas. Capt. Fusilero who was in Camarines said the Japs were well acquainted with the terrain and they carried accurate maps.

Can hear Col. Garcia shouting at truck drivers. He is ordering them to park the trucks under cover of trees. “Do you want us to be bombed?” he is telling the chauffeurs.

Officers of the division spend their spare time discussing about the convoy. Some think it will arrive in a week’s time. Others say it will be three weeks. Fred said “Oh, maybe two months:” and everybody branded him a “low-down pessimist.” Fred explained: “Don’t get excited, fellows. I was only fooling. I think it will be three months.” The chaplain told Fred to pipe down because he was not funny. I ventured the opinion that the convoy would be here in three days and everybody cheered me. Fred said: “What’s your reason for thinking three days?” I said it was not ‘reason’ but ‘intuition’. I also pointed out that Roosevelt said “Help is on the way.” “If it’s the family way,” said Fred, “it’ll take nine months.”

Now Fred’s got me doubting…….

 

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