Posts Tagged ‘barracks’

On July 10 I was working on the air raid tranch [sic] and on the water detail. I had a really close call just after we had taken our lunch break. I was inside the barracks resting a few minutes before we had to return to work. I was on the top tier in this barracks, also. The Camp Commandant came in, and someone hollered “Kecatskay,” which means come to attention. The Camp Commandant started going through the personal belongings of different ones in our squad. When he came to my bunk spot, he stopeed and picked up my box that I had my diary things in, and began going through it. It was a heavy cardboard box that I had put a false bottom in. [sic] and that is where I kept my records. On the top side of the box I had the diary they were having us keep, along with my toothbrush, razor and other personal items. The bottom of this was held in place with four small nails to keep it from falling out when it was picked up. It looked as if he were trying to figure out why the box was so heavy for no more things than were in the box. I stood there and sweated as he took each thing out, knowing that finally he would get to my notes that I had been keeping and that I would be punished really severely, as this was one thing they would not allow. Luck was with me, and here again God took care of me, for just at that moment the Air Raid alert sounded, and the Commandant dropped the box as if it was on fire and ready to explode in his hands. We cleared the barracks and went to the trench that we were digging for shelter. Here again we were lucky; the all-clear sounded about an hour later, and we did not see one plane.

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Lacking eight days, I was in Camp No. 3 for four months. I have no way of knowing how many P.O.W.’s died of either starvation or of disease, but to my knowledge, the only four men shot were the ones I mentioned earlier. This does not mean that the Japs let up on us. Someone was always getting beat up for no good reason at all. The Japs told us that we would never win the war, and that they were willing to fight a ten year war. We had no news in camp except rumors, but according to the Japs’ story, they must have sunk our total fleet five or six times while I was in this camp.

Forgotten Men

In a camp of nipa barracks,
Lost deep in the Philippines,
Are a bunch of forgotten warriors
With nothing left but dreams.

We’re fighting a greater battle now
Than the battle that we fought and lost.
It’s a battle against the elements;
A battle with life that cost.

But not it’s not how much you know,
Or how quick you hit the ditch.
It’s not the rank that you once held,
Or whether or not you’re rich.

No one cares who you know back home,
Or what kind of life you led.
It’s just how long you can stick it out
That governs your lot instead.

This battle we’re fighting at present
Is a battle against flies and diseases.
And with decent living conditions,
We’d win this fight with ease.

It’s rice for breakfast, noon and night,
And rain most every day.
Then sleep on bamboo slats at night,
With no better place to lay.

We eat from most any old tin can
We’re lucky enough to get.
And the medical supplies we ought to have,
We haven’t seen as yet.

Yes, we’re the forgotten men of Corregidor,
Fighting the greatest battle yet.
Struggling for bare existence,
Through hunger and sickness and sweat.

Those of us who do come through,
Perhaps we can prove our worth
When we tell the strangest tale yet told
Of a veritable Hell on earth.

(Written by a fellow prisoner)

May 29, 1942

Posted: May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

They [the barracks] were about sixty feet long and twenty feet wide. They were built of bamboo and had a thatched roof of rice straw. Each man was allotted a living space six feet long by two and one-half feet wide, with no floor coverings. Each deck was covered with bamboo slats for us to sleep on; otherwise, we would have been sleeping in a wallow. There was no water in camp; each day a water party would go down to the river that was about half a mile from camp. We were allowed one canteen of water each day for drinking and washing with. I never thought I would see the day that I could drink, wash myself in one canteen of water and still have a sip to drink during the night.

Our food consisted of what we called lugi rice- a watery rice mixture. Our soup was still that of onion and leeks; just enough to give the water an onion flavor. This we were fed twice a day. Camp life became routine, and the morale of everyone was quite low. Each new day we hoped that it wouldn’t be long until the Yanks and tanks would be there to set us free, but each day the Japs bragged about how they were winning the war.