Posts Tagged ‘bombs’

July 8, 1945

Posted: July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
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July 8 was a different kind of day than just going to work so far as I was concerned. This was the day that the Japs decided to have an air raid shelter detail go to work in the Camp. They picked four men from each of the work details to build and dig air raid shelters in the camp compound. I was one of the men who werepicked [sic] from the saw mill detail. We were given a pick and shovel to dog [sic] in an area the Japs had already measured off. It was to be six feet wide, five feet deep and eighty feet long. Up until this time, there was no protection of any kind for us against bombs and shrapnel. We were not a privileged group, but the Japs stood over us at all times. We did not have running water in the camp, so every day at eleven o’clock we went across the causeway to carry water about a quarter of a mile. The guards went with us, so there was no possible way for us to get any extra food anywhere.

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It is hard to try to explain the situation in Malinta Tunnel at this time, but I will try. I know that there will be many who will not believe the story that I am about to relate, but with God as my witness, it is all true.

I can never forget the condition of our men as Colonel Sato told us we were Prisoners of the Emperor of Japan. Looking around, I could see our men tired, hungry, thirsty; some were still bleeding from wounds that they had received out on Monkey Point, and others were dying from wounds that they had received. The bewildered look on everyone’s face seemed to say this just has not happened to me. This has got to be a dream; it is not real. But, it was not a dream, and it was Real. Just as Col. Sato passed within a few feet of me, my hand unconsciously went to my gas mask cover, from which I had thrown away the gas mask early in the morning, and filled it with hand grenades. To my surprise I found one grenade still in the case. My first thought was to pull the pin and to throw it into the Colonel’s face and kill him and as many other Japs as I could, but by this time, the whole Jap army seemed to be coming into the Tunnel from the east end. I knew that I could have killed him and maybe two or three more, but I also realized that if I had thrown it, every man in the Tunnel would have been killed. So instead of throwing the grenade as my first impulse was, my hand slipped to the buckle holding the gas mask cover, and I unfastened it and let it slide to the ground.

We were not too long in the Tunnel when they ordered us out into the entrance on the west end. Here we were made to sit down, and then it seemed that all of the Japanese air power had cut loose. The Jap soldiers were waving the Japanese flag and yelling “Bonzi,” which meant victory. We were forced to sit there and to watch them bomb and strafe gun positions on Topside and Middle Side that were still firing, because their communications had been cut, and they had not received the word that we had surrendered. This went on for at least one and one-half hours. We sat there and watched our own men blasted into eternity. In the meantime, the Japanese artillery had zeroed in on these places, and both Topside and Middle Side seemed as though they were going to disintegrate. Bombs are hell, but going through artillery fire is ten times worse than bombs.

We were then told to get back into the Tunnel, and there we spent much of the night. Still we had not had anything to eat nor anything to drink. During the night I managed to get out of Malinta Tunnel over into Queens Tunnel, which was the Navy part of the tunnel. It was here that I found some cans of figs, and that was what I ate. The air pumps in the Tunnel had been knocked out, and the water pumps had long been knocked out, but I was fortunate to find in one small record tunnel a can of water of which I drank my fill and filled my canteen. Then I told others about the water, and it was soon gone.