It was my 8th-grade history teacher, Mr. Danhausen, who started me on my life-long obsession with World War II.
It was my friend, Anthony Garrett, who provided me with a copy of his grandfather's journal.

Elwood Llewellin Garrett was an American businessman in Manila at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
This is his story, as he recorded it, of living under Japanese rule in an enemy-occupied foreign land.

March 15, 1942

(This entry is quite extensive, so for the sake of readability, I have broken it down into 3 installments; this is the 1st.)

Sundays are not much different from any other days in this camp, except that I do no washing of clothes and just lounge around. They do have church services, both Catholic and Protestant, but you know me when it comes to going to church.

So that this may be complete, since my previous letter, I shall try to give you a brief resumé of events preceeding our internment, all of which may sound like just so many words scribbled down, but it is keeping me busy and out of trouble and some how I seem to get a great deal of pleasure in thinking that some day you maybe reading it.
On Monday morning, December ninth, we read in the paper of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and could hardly believe it. Naturally it stirred up a lot of excitement and but little business was done that day. As a matter of fact, there has been very little done ever since. Around midnight of this same day the full realization of war hit us when the Japs bombed hell out of Nichols Field which is about a mile from my apartment. They came over in two great waves and bombed for several hours and sure made a killing; put our air force out of commission completely before they got off the ground. It rather appears that there was plenty of fifth column workers in our service for the Japs certainly caught us flat-footed and took complete command of the air from the very first day. To think that the devils caught us completely unprepared just makes my blood boil. I used the word "unprepared," whereas I probably should have said that it was due to traitors in command of our air service. To substantiate this, I record the following which, from all reports seems to be a confirmed fact. What the official U. S. Army report may show will probably never be revealed but this is what we have on it.

Clark Field, located near Fort Stotsenberg, approximately seventy miles from Manila, one of the principal U.S. Air bases in the Philippines was bombed at at 12:30 noon on December ninth Monday, while the entire Air Corps was attending a specially called meeting being held in a building near the hangars. This building was one of the first to be bombed resulting in many casualties. Have not heard how many were killed in this. Our planes were all over the field and were completely put out of commission by enemy action. It is reported that there were about one hundred planes at this base, pursuits, bombers, etc., lost in this raid. Now, mind you, all this happened during the mid-day and only seventy miles from Manila or Nichols Field, another large Air base. We saw none of our planes in the air on this day. Then about 12:30 A.M. mid-night or twelve hours later the Japs raided Nichols Field and wiped out our air force there, on the ground. If that doesn't give all the appearances of a sell-out, well, I don't know what a "sell-out" is all about. Not even any anti-aircraft gun fire from our forts. We have, since being locked up, heard rumors that the U. S. Commander of the Air Corps out here at the time, has been taken back to the States, court martialed and shot as a traitor. However, the last sentence is only a rumor and I wouldn't vouch for it. Will probably never know the real truth as it is certainly a case of "dirty work" somewheres along the line. From then on they came over Manila when ever they wanted and bombed everything they wanted at leisure, with nothing to stop them. What few anti-aircraft guns we had were a joke. A small boy could have done as well with a sling-shot. To see those Jap planes, fifty to a hundred at a time fly over us without any opposition and bomb hell out of us, made one sick right at the pit of the stomach. All that one could do, was to curse the devils and hope they would fall apart. At the time of this first raid on Nichols Field I was just getting down to doing some heavy sleeping when I heard the first string of bombs which I thought was thunder close by. Then I heard the air-raid sirens and by that time I was fully awake and realized it was not thunder. In nothing flat I was dressed and down the four flights of stairs where everyone from the apartment had congregated to watch the fire-works. Just about that time the second wave did their dirty-work and it felt like all hell broke loose. They apparently hit part of the hangars and oil supply for the flames were shooting two and three hundred feet into the sky. Some while after, another wave, having the fires to show them what was left came over and made a killing. There was absolutely no resistance from air or ground by our forces although little was thought of this at that time.

Several of us from the apartment walked out toward Nichols Field (like a bunch of dopes) to see what all was going on, but soon changed our minds when the second half of the second wave let go their wares. The whole thing must have so dumb-founded us that we could not use any sense of judgement, while on the other hand, we figured they were going to blow Manila off the map so one place was as good as the other. There were no air-raid shelters near by anyway and all we could do, was take it. If you think a new born baby is helpless, you "ain't" seen nothin' 'till you have been on a spot as we were.

Needless to say, there was no sleep for the balance of the morning. Several fellows came up to the apartment where we hefted over a few to quiet the nerves and/or etc.

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