January 3, 1942

Bataan

51st Division C.P.

(Provisional Brigade)

 

Slept last night in a deserted nipa shack beside a lazy river. It was very windy and I missed my soft, warm, spring bed. Bothered by mosquitoes the whole night. This morning the doctor gave me quinine. He said “mosquitoes here are anopheles. You might get malaria.”

Spent morning looking for C.P. of Gen. Jones. nobody knew where it was. Major Mascardo gave me a good suggestion. He said: “Follow the telephone wires and they will lead you there.”

My general and Jones had a long conference. I was outside talking to some of the officers who were having fox-holes dug. Officers in this C.P. believe the convoy will arrive in two weeks time. The general opinion is that the USAFFE will be back in Manila “by the end of the month.” Very few think “maybe by next month.”

Concrete impression is that Japs were not such good fighters and that they were very poor in hand-to-hand fighting. Everybody ended conversation about Japs with sigh: “If only we had the planes, not a single Jap would have been able to land.”

Chaplain Quadra caught a chicken and he fried it for the general and staff. I am ashamed I had such a good meal because I know that up to now some of the troops have not yet eaten. I have a feeling food will be a problem here unless the supply system is organized. Col. Caluyag, G-4, said the food for the troops is being cooked right now. My sergeant asked me for a banana. He said he had not yet taken his breakfast.

Saw Gonzalo Gonzalez. He looked very tired. He said: “Phil, the troops have not yet eaten since last night and we have been working and working.” I could not talk to him for a long time because the general was in a hurry. I also saw Fermin Fernando and Alex Albert. They did not say anything to me but they just waived because they were rushing to a truck. They looked very dirty and their blue-denim uniforms were covered with dust. I told the general: “I think, sir, the troops have not yet eaten.” “I know,” he said, “it’s the fault of the damned supply trucks. Nobody knows where they have bivouacked.”

Col. Garcia just came in and told the general that our lines have been stabilized, sector strengthened, enemy not in sight, but that he’d feel better, “if we had more machine guns.”

G-2 section reported that Japs bombed Gen. Segundo’s sector this afternoon. The enemy is evidently massing his troops for a thrust in Mt. Natib. So far he is limiting himself to aerial reconnaissance and bombardment. No fighting in front lines.

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