Returning to the 92nd Garage area, four or five days after the surrender, I was again called upon by the Japs to work on a detail that was loading supplies and materials on board a Jap ship that was docked at the south dock. We were carrying Portland cement from Queen’s Tunnel, which was about half a mile. There was a large detail doing the loading. The Japs did give us some water and going in and out of the tunnel, we could manage to sneak a bite of food now and then. It was about mid-afternoon when on our way to the ship, each with a sack of cement, that I said to the four men closest to me, “Let’s take five.” (meaning a short break or rest). [sic] When I spoke, I did not see any Jap guards, but we had rested no more than three or four minutes when two Japs charged us with their fixed bayonets and marched us on down the road toward the ship that we had been loading. Here we had to pass by an old rock quarry; there was but one way in and out of this hole, and the walls must have been about fifteen or twenty feet straight up and down. The Japs forced us to go into this hole. After getting to the bottom of it, they made us move to the south edge of this hole. Not until this time did I know that there were three other Japs on the opposite rim of the hole. When one of the guards yelled something, we looked up and saw three Japs sitting behind a machine gun. The two that brought us down, and the three that were on the rim talked back and forth for a minute or so, and then one of the Japs brought over some rope. Before tying our hands behind our backs, they gave us a drink of water and offered us a cigarette. We each drank the water, but refused the cigarett. [sic] Then they tied our hands. Realizing that we were about to be shot down in cold blood, I again whispered a prayer. There was a loud shout and the guards with us moved back. The Japs on the rim cleared the machine gun, traversed it from left to right and aimed it in the pit at us. They seemed to be toying with us as a cat toys with a mouse. Then it finally happened: a loud command, and the machine gun began to fire. They fired about four or five feet over our heads. The three on the rim cleared their gun again, pushed down on the butt of the gun and laughed as though it was a big joke. The two guards in the hole with us then cut our hands loose, and told us to go back to work. I was not only scared that I would die in that hole, but believe that I came as near death that time as at any time while I was in prison.

Until the day that we left Corregidor, I had any number of minor experiences, but not any more like the two that I have stated above. I had a real bad wound now. I had been grazed by gun fire on the defending of Water Tank Hill, and the wound had not seemed much at the time, but infection had set in and my leg was beginning to look swollen and black and blue. I managed to get hold of two sulfa tablets and mashed them up and put them on my leg. This helped, but my leg continued to give me a lot of pain. It was not healed until some time later in Camp No. 3 in Cabanatuan.

Comments
  1. Chris Reeter says:

    Heather I’m on board. I look forward to the entries. It has been a long while since I studied the fall of Corregidor and the events that followed, so I did a quick Google search to refresh my memory. Anyway, I look forward to the entries as they come. Hope all is well with you and yours.

  2. curiositycat says:

    Hi Chris, great to hear from you! We’re doing great, and I hope you are as well. I’ve learned more about the war from reading (and uploading) Uncle Pierce’s diaries than I ever did in school. Glad you’re along for the ride, and please share any related details, info, or stories you dig up or happen to already know.

  3. emanniii says:

    Hedder. Well done. Even though I know how the story ends, I can’t wait to read the next installment.

  4. Jaimie T says:

    All caught up. This is great.

  5. curiositycat says:

    Thank you! This project is gaining traction quickly–very encouraging. I’m so glad to see you both over here. Even though I’ve read the diaries multiple times, I’m enjoying reliving them as I type each entry in. I’ve got everything scheduled through the end of the year already because some nights I just can’t stop with a single day. I hope you’ll all remain as riveted by his story as I am.

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