No Change, Still Raining.
The danger seems to be over. However I am keeping my men on duty every night, to guard the president. I stayed in the capital until 11 p.m.
Another wet day. I met General Willoughby going to his quarters at 12:20 p.m. He told me that early this morning 3 a.m. three Japanese transport planes crash—landed on the beach south of Dulag, loaded with troops that were armed to their teeth. They had bombs, hand-grenades and small weapons. Our men thinking that it was one of our own planes, did not shoot until they realized that they were Japanese. They killed two-thirds and the rest escaped. They caught some at noon on road No. 1. This afternoon General Head Quarters issued a memorandum to all officers and men to be on the alert and to carry a firearm and a helmet. I sent for Major Gaviola Commanding Officer of the local constabulary and instructed him to post his men around the building ready to fire at the first indication of landing. I stayed all night up.
Had only two air raids last night (11 p.m. & 4 a.m). A heavy day in the office. The eighth Army has disembarked and the streets were all jammed with trucks and jeeps etc. Three air raids during the day and one tonight so far.
A heavy day of raids. We saw a Japanese twin engine bomber fall in a ball of fire. About 70 planes attacked us during the day, 41 were shot down by our fighters and our Anti-Aircraft guns.
We had thanksgiving dinner. I invited General Willoughby to dine with us. Dinner was considerably delayed due to an air raid warning. Finally we decided to eat. With the help of a small light covered with a black cloth we disposed of the turkey & salad, caramel cake and pumpkin pie. At 9:45 p.m. the all clear signal was sounded. General Willoughby left and I took a hurried bath. At 10:30 p.m. while I was in bed I was startled by three explosions each one nearer. Suddenly we heard the whizzing sound of the bombs falling through space. I tried to dress but realizing the impending danger, I rushed to the staircase to go to the ground floor. My companions and I had scarcely reached the bottom steps when three explosions occurred almost simultaneously. They all fell less then 100 yards from our quarters. One hit a civilian’s house killing one and wounding five. The others fell on the tent occupied by the personnel of the enlisted men’s mess killing the Mess Sergeant and eight cooks. The other landed on an empty lot. After this raid we returned to bed and were rocked out of bed five times by earthquakes. Fortunately they were mild and of short duration.
Another wet day. We had three air raid warnings up till 2 p.m. Situation in and around Limon continues the same, with enemy launching fierce attacks.
It is 31 days since A day. Our situation is growing worse. The continuous rains have made the operations very hard. The mountainous terrain on the west coast of Leyte have made the problems of supplying food and ammunition to our troops very hard. The Japanese have counter-attacked and our troops had to withdraw below Limon. If only Filipino labor could be conscripted the problem of supply would be solved even partially, but both MacArthur and President Osmeña refuse to do it. Fortunately we have air-supremacy to keep their planes from raiding Tacloban. The reinforcements made by the enemy in Ormoc in October have slowed our advance.
Had another bad night with four air raids. Attended 7 a.m. Mass and received Holy Communion.
I retired at 8:30 p.m., foreseeing another bad night. At 9:30 p.m. the air raid signal was sounded followed by a raid, another at 11:30 p.m. which lasted one hour. At 1 a.m. as I lay awake in bed I heard someone knocking at the door on the street. I went to the window. There was a jeep in the street and an officer asked me if that was the place where General Valdes lived. I answered this is General Valdes The he said “I have important information to give you.” I went downstairs and he told me that G-2 had received information of a heavy air raid between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. and for me to stay in a dug out or fox hole. I told the Losa family to stay in the dug out. Two Australian war correspondents, Private Marias and I went to the Capital building where the basement constitutes a good dug out. At 2 a.m. the Japanese dropped 500 pound bombs, fortunately no one was killed and only few were wounded including Lieuenant Katz C.I.C. a good friend of mine. Had lunch at the Officers Mess and later saw the huge crater just outside the house occupied by Colonel Finley, Head Quarters Commandant Advance Echelon.
Quite a bad night. At 11 a.m. President Osmeña told me that he received reports that the guerillas were shooting and killing civilians in Tanauan and Burauen and asked me to investigate. I left at 1 p.m. Arrived at Dulag. Conferred with Colonel Nitz & Major Brooks G-2 XXIV Corps. They told me that the rumor was absurd & false. I called on Major General Hodge, the Commanding General, who asked me to see the men taken by the guerrillas in Tanauan & Burauen. They were kept in a enclosure at Dulag. I went and spoke to all the men and the two women. They all denied the rumor. I returned to Tacloban stopping at Tanauan where the acting Mayor also denied the rumor. I arrived at Tacloban at 7:30 p.m. I took a bath and retired early as I was very weary. At 10:30 p.m. I was awakened by an air raid, which was repeated three times until morning. Note: While I was taking a bath a 50 caliber bullet went through the partition.
A bad night. The Japanese took advantage of the beautiful moon to raid us several times. At 2 a.m. as I lay awake in bed I heard the peculiar noise of the bombs falling through space. I rushed out of bed grabbed my helmet and rushed to the staircase to go downstairs. While I was still at the top of the staircase, two explosions were heard about 300 yards from the house. One family of five was killed. The second bomb fell on the corner of a street nearby wounding a man in a nearby house.