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.

April 8, 1942

News has again been scarce for the past few days up till this morning and now it comes in a plenty and all bad. It is reported that the Japs have broke through our first lines of defense at Bataan and the situation is very critical for our side. This is supposed to have been broadcast over the only free radio station (free to Japs) in these islands, 'Voice of Freedom' and is considered authentic. This contradicts all previous rumors we have been getting in about the arrival of reinforcements at various points in the islands.

While we are naturally very impatient, being cooped up here in camp, if there is any truth in the above rumor, it rather looks like Uncle Sam has let us down, for there certainly has been sufficient time elapsed to get something over here anyway. There is undoubtedly a lot of things we don't know about what is going on, so best not form any opinion one way or the other. However, such news is very depressing to say the least. Most every ones nerves are on edge this morning and I have seen several scraps among the men. It happens every time. So much for that; we'll try a little more about camp life.

There is not much work to be done around camp anymore, sanitary improvements have been completed as far as possible, the camp is fairly well cleaned, so there is naught left to do but loaf around all day, which makes for a terribly long day. A bunch of fellows in our room have a little poker game every day, losses payable when we get out, which helps to kill some of the time. We use a set of home-made chips, similar to those used for money in the game of Mah Jong, and get along quite OK except that at the present standing I am not doing so well. However, it's on the cuff, so what!

Money is becoming more scarce and we are all in a bad way as every one of us is "broke." Fortunately our Filipino friends have not forgotten us and send us in food and smokes fairly regularly. Several local banks have opened but unfortunately none of us had accounts with them. We hear that it would not have done us any good any way, as all our accounts are frozen by the Japs. All in all, at the moment, the picture of conditions is not too bright as we see it, but here's hoping something breaks in the near future.

Several days ago the rumor was running strong that Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki were heavily bombed again by our forces and that the Japs were ready to declare Manila an open city in exchange for Tokio. Apparently all this was just another rumor for we have received no confirmation of it and we are still here. And that's no rumor!!

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