February 1, 1942

Civilian Camp

Bataan

 

Thousands of homeless civilians here. A lot of hungry men, women and children. I saw a little girl trembling when she heard the rumbling of a truck. Shell-shocked. It is an awful sight.

Sent here by General to interview some of the civilian evacuees. Perhaps some of them may have information on Japs.

Talked to a man of about 24 years. He was crying. He said the Japs caught him and his wife when Japs advanced. He said the Japs tied him to a chair and in his presence more than 10 soldiers abused his young wife. “Then the other night,” he recounted, “they told me to fetch water. I escaped and left Lourdes, my wife.”

One man said Japs are in Balanga schoolhouse and they have tanks under trees in the town plaza. I asked him to sketch the place by memory.

The civilians built houses out of tree branches. Some of the soldiers helped them. Many were suffering from malnutrition.

Presence of these civilians –thousands of them– will further diminish our food supply. We cannot permit these people to starve.

Raid. Can see 14 planes. Very small.

 

(later)

 

Several Jap spies caught mingling with civilians. They will be brought to our C.P. for questioning. My sergeant says: “How do we know, sir, if some of these people are spies posing as homeless victims of Japs?”

Japs bombed civilian army. Pandemonium. Panic. Men, women and children killed. Saw long procession of dead being carried out through small gate in endless line of stretchers.

Will stay here tonight but I don’t think I will be able to sleep with horrors I have seen and heard.

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