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 24, 1942

Several days have passed since my last entry, during which time I have been keeping busy around camp, digging ditches and the like, trying to keep out of trouble. Apparently there is no change in our military position for we are still here and there continues considerable air activity, all Jap.

There is some talk about the exchange of diplomats and civilians between Japan and the U.S. but so far nothing definite. Midway or Wake Island was named as the trading post, either of which would suit me fine for I feel I could almost walk home from there, knowing I would be seeing you at the end of the trip.

Mosquitoes have always been a damned nuisance in the tropics but it seems that they have all congregated right here at this camp for some sort of a convention. This is all filled in ground of old garbage and what-not, which does not help out the situation. We are allowed to sit out in front of the building until 11:00 PM but if there is no breeze, the mosquitoes will eat you alive, so we usually retire early, under the net, to get away from them. The curfew hour is 7:45 PM when everyone must go to their respective rooms and report in, so that they can check up that no one has escaped during the day.

I have met several young fellows in here that I did not know before, who are pretty good scouts. We usually have a little rummy game every night to kill the long evenings and talk about the "binge" we are going on as soon as we get out of this dump. It has been more than ten weeks since I've had a drink so you can imagine that I am rather dry and in a bad way. There will probably be plenty of excitement in town after we get out of here and for some time to come, so it is well that I am writing this now, for all this camp life will soon fade out of ones memory and it would be a job to write even one page about it after it's all over.

Rumors still persist that we have had all sorts of reinforcements out this way but I doubt it, for I have yet to see any of our ships flying over. About 75 Jap planes just flew over camp in the direction of Bataan, which looks like our lines are in for a heavy attack. Every time I see those son-of-a-guns flying over with no opposition and realize that we are at their mercy, it is enough to drive one "screwey." And as long as we see those devils flying above us, we know it will be some time yet before we get out of here. Personally, I doubt if we will be out before the first of June, if then.

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget