January 28, 1942

HQ, MIS

Bataan

 

Gap in western sector widening. Japs penetrating Segundo’s line in force. 1st regular division in wild retreat. Hell has broken loose in this area. Many dying, dead.

No reinforcements can be sent to bridge gap. No more reserves. 1st regular given up for lost. Japs following successes slowly, surely, cautiously.

USAFFE line will be shortened to stabilize and consolidate front. All divisions packing up to make last stand on Pilar-Bagac road. If this line, if this last front line breaks, our days are numbered.

Went to eastern front to see conditions there. Everybody is moving, retreating, to avoid being outflanked.

Saw Jesse Hocson of Ateneo pep band. He is a lieutenant. He said they were told to retreat. He was looking for Juan Fernandez, Capinpin’s aide. Jesse looked very tired.

Leonie who was with me was looking for Manny de Leon but the 201st engineering corps had changed area. We saw Fr. Karasig S.J. who offered us some coffee which we gladly received. Karasig asked me about Morita. He said “Let’s not talk of the fighting.” The father was in a good mood.

Saw Jaime Mercado walking ahead of his troops. Jaime had the same familiar stride but he was very black, sunburnt, unkempt. He looked very much older. His troops were retreating.

Saw Toto Cruz towering over all around him. Leonie talked to him.

Everything down the road troops were groaning under their packs, hastily moving back to the new line. The boys looked weak, thirsty, hungry, dirty, and very, very tired. Some were sleeping in the roadsides to get some rest.

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