A picture of Claire Phillips and her daughter Dian. Claire entrusted Dian into the care of Margaret for a number of years. Dian was with Margaret when they finally met up with the American forces on liberation.
Manila, Tsubaki Club 3, "Claire Phillips (High Pockets) operator of the Tsubaki Club - Espionage par excellent. Author of 'Manila Espionage' Binfords & Mort 1947"
From "Darkroom Soldier": "Our Beautiful Spy. Claire Phillips operated the Tsubaki Club in Manila, a secret center for Allied underground and Filipino guerrilla activities. Known to the Allies as 'High Pockets', Phillips hosted Japanese military brass and extracted information from them. After the Battle of Manila ended, Hill's friend Dale Risdon met Phillips and took these photos of her and her child. Hill saved these images, sent them to Martha, and noted that Phillips 'is holding a lot of cans with bails and a little child is standing beside her.' After the war, Hill contributed ten photographs to Claire Phillips' book, 'Manila Espionage.' ("Darkroom Soldier" caption authored by George Venn), 1945-07-08
Here are the other two photos connected with Claire Phillips that I referred to above. They are also from the Fred Hill Collection.
Manila, Tsubaki Club 1, "Site of the Tsubaki Club - An information gathering point operated by Claire Phillips. This picture was used in the book 'Ghost Soldiers.' The story of the 9th Ranger battalion which rescued the remnant of the Bataan Death March survivors."" From "Darkroom Soldier": "Tsubaki Club Gate. An unidentified WAC poses before bombed out ruins of the Japanese Officers Club operated by Claire Phillips" ("Darkroom Soldier" caption authored by George Venn), 1945
If I was going to help the prisoners in Cabanatuan prison camp, I would have to find a new method. I could no longer use the excuse of Filipino relief, which had made it possible for me to go and come from Capas, because all the Filipino prisoners had been released.
There was no use attempting to make any plans until we could look over the ground and find out what the situation was, what possibilities for smuggling there might be, and how we could work out some method for making contact with the Americans.
I sent Naomi with two Filipino boys to the little town of Cabanatuan to scout around and see what they could learn. They went as peanut vendors, hawking their peanuts near the prison gates. Naomi was the first of them to make a contact - with Colonel Mack, who was a slave laborer on a vegetable garden project near the camp.
When I first heard of the garden I thought, "At least the men will be fed here. They will have the vegetables they grow. They won't starve." I never was more completely wrong. There were vegetables, all right, but not for the half-starved prisoners who worked in the gardens, loaded vegetables in carts, and then took them to the kitchens to be cooked for the Japanese.
One of the first questions Naomi asked Colonel Mack was whether Jack Utinsky was at Cabanatuan. He answered that he was going back into camp and that he would be out again that day. While he was inside, he succeeded in asking a number of men about Jack. When he met Naomi again, he slipped her a letter. "This will tell you what you asked." he said, and he went on with his work.
That night Naomi brought me the letter at the apartment.
"Dear Miss U," it read, "you have many friends in this place. It is from them that I have been able to get this story of your husband. I am deeply sorry that I have to tell you what I found out. Your husband died here on August 6, 1942. He is buried here in the prison graveyard. I know how you have tried in every way to get word about him. I am sure that this is the true story.
You will be told that he died of tuberculosis. That is not true. The men say that he actually died of starvation. A little more food and medicine, which they would not give him here, might have saved him.
This is terrible new for you, who have, with your unselfish work, been able to save so many others. All of us will always owe you a debt that we can never pay for what you have done.
I do want to say to you that this place is far more dangerous for our work than Camp O'Donnell was. Do not take risks that you took there. If you never do another thing, you already have done more than any living person to help our men. My sympathy goes out to you in your grief. God bless you in all you do.
Sincerely yours, Edward Mack Lt. Colonel, U. S. Army"
I did not cry. I was too numb for that. Naomi said the comforting things one does say at a time like that but they did not seem to make much sense. I sat there holding the letter. Jack was dead. He had starved to death. If he could have received just a little of the food I had given to others, he might be alive. If I had found him four months sooner, he might be alive.
In one way, it was a relief to know the truth. Every night, until I heard that he was dead, I dreamed of him, always climbing, climbing the stairs, and never reaching me. And during the day, with every atrocity story, with every hideous thing I saw, I wondered, "Is that happening to Jack? Is he being tortured? Is he ill? Is he starving? Where is he? Where? Where?"
Now at least I could remember him without fear, a tall man - six feet - with dark brown curly hair and green eyes. When I last saw him he had weighed 180 pounds. How he must have changed before he died! He had been witty and entertaining, spoke Spanish flawlessly, and eleven dialects as well. He knew the Islands as few Americans knew them.
He had gone to Manila first as a lieutenant in the Army in 1913. During the First World War he was sent to Siberia; and when the war was over he left the Army, after being made a captain, and became a civil engineer in Government service.
It was 1934 when I married him. I had gone out to the Philippines, a young widow, just twenty-six, with a small son. It was to have been a six-month visit but I loved the Islands and the visit stretched out to seven years by the time Jack and I were married. His work was on Corregidor, the Rock, the impregnable fortress. It was a good life, full of movement and fun and people, with all the easy warmth and gay companionship of Army life in a tropical city.
I had returned to the States to see the New York World's Fair. One morning I was listening to the radio and heard an announcement that the Government would soon order all Navy women to leave the Philippines. That meant the next order would apply to Army women and I had no intention of being shelved somewhere away from Jack, if there was going to be trouble. I headed straight for the Pacific Coast to catch the first boat for Manila.
No women, Army Transportation informed me, would be permitted to go back to the Philippines. The way they said it sounded pretty final. But Major General Walter K. Wilson was in the States and he had been in command at Corregidor. He knew Jack. He wrote to the Quartermaster General in Washington, pointing out that I had lived in the Islands for many years, my home was there, and my husband. So they let me go.
The ship that took me back was a small vessel that had formerly belonged to an Alaskan fishing fleet. The Etelon carried 85 Air Corps officers, 428 soldiers, a few nurses, and me. I seem to remember that most of the time aboard ship was spent playing poker, one of my favorite amusements. When the boat docked at Manila, I introduced one of the boys to Jack and he said, "Sir, may I suggest that if you plan to retire soon, you take your wife with you on world cruises. She'll be able to pay the expenses."
Jack laughed. "It's a good idea," he said. "But not yet. We'll wait until we are old."
Then came the order - which I refused to obey - that all American women were to return to the States. Instead I took the little apartment in Manila. Jack was sent to Bataan.
It was at Christmas time that he came back to see whether I was all right. We had two days together, punctuated by bomb blasts.
On December 28, Jack had to go back to Bataan. That day Manila was declared an open city, and as though in mockery, the Japanese poured on the city the worst bombing it had suffered. I was caught in the raid and I thing the longest four hours in the history of man was the stretch I spent in an iron chicken coop below Quezon Bridge. I didn't dare get out of it and I expected the bridge to go every minute.
Jack and I had little time together those two days. I was working at top speed at the hospital, and running the canteen, and helping pick up the pieces from the bombing.
Then Jack had to go back. He stood at the window a long time. At last he turned around. "I came back here," he said slowly, "thinking I'd have to pull you out of a ditch. Instead of that, I found you scurrying around, pulling other people out. I'd like you to know, darling, that I'm very proud of you."
I never saw him and never heard from him again.
The reason that had been the mainspring of my work was gone. But remembering that Jack could have lived if he had had food and medicine, I was determined to go on. It was more important than ever to go on.
Naomi was to go to Cabanatuan and work there as a vendor. The second day she rounded up two Filipino women who wanted to help. They lived near the prison gates. Naomi could stay with them, and they would get about and make contacts with the Americans as they went to and from the camp and vegetable farm. The husband of one of the women, an American Negro, was one of the prisoners there.
It seemed like a good start and I made a promise to myself that I would go on with the work until the Yanks came back or until the Japanese caught me.
Our first contact augured well for the work. Lt. Colonel Mack would be able to help us at Cabanatuan as Colonel Duckworth had done at Camp O'Donnell. What had become of Colonel Duckworth I did not know. Word had reached me that all full colonels and generals had been sent to Japan - but not Colonel Duckworth. He was ill, and the Japanese wanted no tuberculosis, dysentery or any men who were unable to work in the land of the Son of Heaven.
The size of the job appalled me. There had been 1700 prisoners at Camp O'Donnell. At Cabanatuan there were more than 9000 men. It was a mountainous task, and if these prisoners were to be kept alive, my operations would have to be speeded up and handled on a far greater scale than I had ever contemplated at O'Donnell. Well, there was no point in being scared before I even got started. The idea was to make a beginning of some sort.
At Camp O'Donnell we had smuggled our supplies into the prison in empty trucks and ambulances. The situation at Cabanatuan was different. There was no question of our getting anything into the prison here. As Colonel Mack had pointed out, this was a lot more dangerous than our activities at O'Donnell had been. Our job, therefore was to contact the Americans when they came out of the prison and get our supplies to them directly.
Every day about a thousand prisoners went out to work on the farm where they raised vegetables for the Japanese. When they came out, the guards would allow them to spend their pay by buying from the native vendors who circulated among them with blankets on their heads. Then, several times a week, the prisoners came out with bullcarts pulled by carabao to buy what vegetables and fruits the could at the stalls.
Of course, before the men could buy anything at the stalls they had to have money, so Naomi and Evangeline Neibert, dressed as vendors, with baskets on their heads, went about with sacks of roasted peanuts. They sold these sacks to the prisoners for a centavo, and in each package of peanuts we hid money, as much as two or three hundred pesos, which was possible because all the money was paper and could be rolled up.
It worked like this. A prisoner would come up to a vendor, buy a sack of peanuts for a peso, get back a ten-peso note as change and a bag of peanuts containing a lot more pesos.
This was not a drop in the bucket compared with the needs of the camp. We had to find a way of getting quantities of food to the men. We needed a truck to ship the stuff in, and we needed some place at Cabanatuan where we could dispose of it to the prisoners without arousing the suspicion of the Japanese, who guarded them every minute. It seemed like a tall order, but we managed it.
One of the Filipino dealers at Cabanatuan was a man named Maluto who had a number of stalls in the market there. One day Naomi stopped to talk to him. To approach anyone and ask for help with our work was the most dangerous thing we had to do. Not only the safety of the individual but also the safety of the group was at stake every time a contact was made. For if we made a mistake and struck a collaborationist, that would be the end.
The Japanese had killed Maluto's son and he was no collaborationist. He was heart and soul for the Americans. But when he looked at Naomi he was not impressed. She wore ragged clothes, with a dirty shawl tied over her head, a typical vendor, which was what she wanted. Probably Maluto, like many people who think of underground workers and spies as glamorous people, expected something mysterious, a woman who looked like a storybook character.
Seeing his dubious expression, Naomi just laughed. "If you think I look funny," she said, "wait til you see Auntie."
Auntie was the password at the apartment for me at that time. Before long I was so widely known as Miss U that it became my code name.
Maluto was afraid and he didn't pretend otherwise. But he took my address and he came to see "Auntie". He listened to my story and he promised to help. Yes, he would let us use his stalls for smuggled goods for the Americans.
Now the problem was to get the supplies. It is curious that our smuggling took the form of one apparently unsolvable problem after another. Almost as soon as a problem arose we found a way of handling it.
Through Lt. Colonel Mack, our first contact inside the prison, we gradually worked out the same system we had used before; notes to the men, receipts for what they had received. The only difference was that we could no longer smuggle the notes in by ambulance or have Dr. Atienza bring them out. Each exchange had to be made with the prisoners themselves as they came and went at slave labor, closely guarded by the Japanese.
The need for food and drugs and clothing and - above all - for money was more desperate than it had been before. The conditions under which the men lived were horrible, they were starving and many of them were hospital cases. To get anything, there had to be money. As time went on, I discovered that people who were hesitant or even indifferent about providing money for unknown men would be most helpful if they knew the person whom they were aiding. There was something real and immediate about the hunger of a particular John Smith; an unidentified soldier was hunger in the abstract.
So I sent word that the prisoners were to give us the names of anyone whom they might know in Manila. Lt. Colonel Mack talked to them and asked them to send me any names they could. "But don't waste time thinking about casual acquaintances," he warned them. "Mind, only those you can trust."
One by one, after that, names would be forwarded to me. I never hesitated in approaching these people. They were both rich and poor, and not one ever failed to give me as much as he or she could in money or food. And never was I betrayed. In all my recruiting of volunteer help, indeed, I never met a single fifth-columnist through people whose names were sent me by prisoners in the camp.
Each time I asked for little in the beginning. "Wait for a receipt," I said, "and then you can be sure that your friend actually received what you sent him." When they got the receipts they began to contribute regularly. Each prisoner so provided for meant that there were fewer to draw on the main kitty. And yet there were still so terribly many!
The garage of the Malate Convent was a convenient storehouse. No suspicion was aroused by loads of supplies leaving there, for the Irish priest had a whole countryside, naked and starving, for which they felt responsible.
After a while I began getting so many supplies that it was no longer possible to carry them piecemeal by train. And again, when the need arose, we found the means to meet it. A wealthy polo player, Juan Elizalde, owner of a distillery, gave me the use of a truck and alcohol to replace gasoline as motor fuel.
Elizalde, whom we called Ezy when we began to use code names, was a cultured, thoughtful intellectual, who was well aware of the barbaric implications of Japanese rule and glad to be of use to the organization. He not only contributed the truck but he also gave us everything he could scrape together. Nothing was too much for him to do. Like so many of those who gave us their wholehearted support, he was picked up by the Japanese, and died at Bilibid Prison in the days just before the Americans came back.
Again, as Camp O'Donnell, the almost childish simplicity of our arrangements was their guarantee of success. Several times a week, our truck went back and forth from the convent to Maluto's stalls at Cabanatuan, and the same system of code messages employed at O'Donnell was used.
With the truck I could send quite large shipments to the camp area. There were no difficulties. Our Filipino drivers were within the law. There was little restriction on their moving about. And doctors and nurses were privileged under Red Cross to give relief. So we were able to keep moving without arousing too much comment. The truck was loaded with sweet potatoes, canned food, mongo beans- the latter a superlative preventative and treatment for beriberi.
The day our shipment was made, one of our workers at Cabanatuan would get word to the prisoners that it was coming and describe what we were sending. That day the Americans would present the Japanese commandant with a list of items they wanted to buy in the market. The list always tallied with what we had for them. If I sent in clothes, they said that was what they needed. Obviously this list could not cover more items than might be purchased with the money they obtained from their "Geneva Convention wages." After seeing that the list and the money tallied the commandant would sign the statement and the Yanks drove their carts off to market.
Or course, they never went to Maluto's stalls first. But after inspecting the vegetables on sale at the other stalls they would come to my friend. There would be a great haggling over price, under the watchful eye of their Japanese guards, then a deal would be made. All of the items on the list would be loaded into the carts. But in addition there would be all the food and medicine that I had sent to Maluto's stalls. Back to camp would go the carts. The first man in the procession would present the list with the commandant's signature. The sentry would examine it. Within half an hour my food and medicine would be doing their jobs.
What happened, of course, was that everything they 'purchased' at Maluto's stalls they really got for free. Then they had their money to buy extra food and perishables that I could not ship them at other stalls. And always, among the sacks they acquired at Maluto's stalls, there would be one that was marked with red lettering, which was taken to our head contact man in the prison. This sack was filled with pesos and a note indicating which men were to receive the money, and how much was intended for each one. The money would then be distributed inside the prison.
As was inevitable with our activities on so big a scale, the little town of Cabanatuan was aware of the work that was being done. Pretty soon almost everyone in town was either working for me or wanting to work for me. There were a few, of course, who collaborated with the Japanese. That was true everywhere. But we soon learned who they were and so we could be on our guard against them. The other people in town would look after them for us.
Narrow escapes were the order of the day at Cabanatuan. Looter and some of her companions were coming back from the slave labor field where they had ostensibly been selling bananas and peanuts when a truck drew up alongside them. The Japanese driver leaned out and asked Looter to ride with him. She was frightened but she dared not show her fear. After all, as a Filipino, she was one of the 'liberated' people. She climbed into the truck and chatted in what she hoped passed for a friendly fashion.
" 'Mericans very funny," the driver said abruptly. "Don't get much money, all time get little bit, but use it like this," and he made a gesture as though stretching rubber.
Naomi tried to laugh but she was alarmed, wondering whether the Japanese had spotted here activities. The driver let her off in town and she reported to me. The whole thing might merely be a chance encounter and and idle comment, but she took care to avoid trucks after that. If the Americans were to be kept alive - if any of them were to be kept alive under the starvation regime on which the Japanese were keeping them - risks had to be taken.
Sometimes the gratitude of the prisoners took odd forms. One lad went to Chaplain Tiffany, who was one of our chief contacts inside the fence. The chaplain gave him money to buy fruit or peanuts from the vendors when he was out working, but the boy said that was not what he wanted. With his face stiff with embarrassment he said he wanted to write a letter but he didn't write good or spell or such. Would the chaplain help him?
They finally evolved this note, which Captain Tiffany smuggled out to me just as the boy had put it down:
"Dear Miss U, I don't need much money but if some of them Miss U group would write me a letter it would build up my morale."
Another one sent me a poem, the last verse of which went like this:
We're the forgotten men of Bataan, Maybe some can prove our worth, And some will tell some strange tale Of this horrible Hell on earth.
Sorry it has been so long since the last installment. I've been subbing/teaching German 1 and German 2 at our high school since October. We are finally on Christmas break, so here we go. Then it will be on to 8th grade science at the middle school in January
Miss U by Margaret Utinsky
page 73 Chapter VII
By the next spring I had gotten thinner, wiser, and harder. I had never been completely alone, but now there were many who worked with me. I want these people to be remembered. No formal list of citations will ever bear their names. No medals will ever reach them. Yet they are all so much worth remembering.
High on the list of members of the group should come Father Lalor of the Malate Convent, who died a martyr to his creed of love. He was known I the code as Morning Glory. Without the assistance of this holy man and the priests around him the movement could not have become what it was.
Ramon Amosategui, dashing and fearless, an ex-Naval officer of Spain, and then a wealthy property owner, was a dynamo of energy for the group and we named him, appropriately, Sparkplug. He was brilliant and tireless and he did not know what fear was. He reached me through his Spanish wife, who, using the beauty equipment as a cover, came to see me and gave me 200 pesos for Lieutenant Arnold W. Thompson. She waited, rather skeptically, as she confessed later, to see what would happen. Then she got a receipt from the prison. As soon as that arrived, Ramon came in.
Even to meet me was a risk for Ramon and he cautiously arranged the meeting through a one-legged guerrilla, Bert Richey, whom we both knew. He said he could get money from all the Spanish group and he proceeded to do it. Then he took me to a meeting of Swiss residents of Manila and enlisted them as donors. He continued to work for us until he was captured and killed at Bilibid during the days when the Japs were murdering thirty men a day at this prison.
It was Sparkplug who set up a forbidden short wave radio in the graveyard with its circular wall and took down the broadcasts in shorthand, though he risked the death penalty every time he did it. He brought his notes to the apartment and I typed them. The typed sheets were taken to Cabanatuan, where our distributors got them to the men who took them into camp so the prisoners could learn the truth about what was going on. They called it "The Cheer," and it made them feel that they were part of things again, not just forgotten men rotting in a foul pen. Possession of these news sheets would have meant torture or death, for the Japanese depended upon the propaganda they issued to break the spirits of the Americans.
Known on the code books as Per was an Italian with Filipino citizenship, whose real name was Paravino. He managed to get us a great deal of assistance from other Italians, and he too, was killed at Bilibid Prison.
From a hospital from which he was never able to leave during the entire period, Ernest Johnson, an officer of the Maritime Commission, rendered a unique service. We called him, and with reason, Brave Heart. Ernest Johnson, shut off from all activity as he was, seemed to be in the center of a web to which he held all the strands. He was associated with the guerrillas in the hills and his hospital room became a meeting place for them. It was through one of them that he first heard of me and he sent for me, asking me to call on him at the hospital. I did so and he offered to help.
He was a man with an infinite number of friends. They came to see him, he would persuade them to donate money and I would give them a code name and see that the receipt went back to Johnson. They never knew who I was; I did not know their real identity. Only Ernest Johnson knew both ends of the puzzle and kept the funds flying. The priests from the Malate Convent would call on him and spend an afternoon talking, drinking rum exchanging rumors and information that could be passed on where it would be useful.
Ernest Johnson was careful not to take risks. He never sent me a message. That was one thing we all learned. Whenever he had news or money for me, he would send a Filipino boy with a bottle of rum. That was his way of telling me that he wanted to see me.
Through Kurt Gantner, a jolly Swiss, known as Curly Top, I got an even stronger hold on the Swiss colony, which had advantages because it was a neutral group. His wife was called Screwball Number Two; her sister, Marceline Short, wife of a major in Cabanatuan, was Screwball Number One, and Mrs. Amosategui was Screwball Number Three. Each one had a job and did it to the very end, when the Yanks came back. Their code names were silly ones but when you are spending your time in a pretty grim way, it helps to have something to laugh about.
Another family, every member of which worked for us, was the Mencarinis. The husband, Joaquin D., was known as Rocky, his wife, Augustina, as Boots and later as Sunflower, the daughter Elvira as Little Boots, the oldest son, Manuel as Hotshot,and the youngest one Ralph as Skeezicks.
There were two Russians who did a good job for us. The woman, whom we called Bakala, was married to Walter Jastin, an American civilian in Cabanatuan, whose anxiety had drawn her into the group. The man, Herman Roles, was cashier in a Russian cafe, where he received and sent messages and money. He possessed a remarkable memory and checked nightly on the funds he handled, balancing them to a cent. His code name was Fancypants.
Brother Xavier of the De La Salle College worked under the name of Mr. X. An excellent helper was Scatterbrain, whose husband, an American sailor, died in Cabanatuan. Her real name was Madeline Cripe. One of Dr. Moreta's daughters was known as Cleopatra; a Spanish girl named Solita Cerco, signed her notes as Sally Brown. Bill Orland was known as Speedy, and Dorothy Claire Fuentes, mother of little Dian - of whom a great deal more later - was called High Pockets.
One steady contributor to the community fund and to a Major Howard Cavender during his imprisonment was Don Vincente Madrigal, a man of great wealth and owner of the Madrigal Steamship line.
Early in the work at Cabanatuan I met Nati, a lovely Spanish girl who had married an American officer a year before the outbreak of the war. Her husband, Lieutenant Walter Ashborn, had been sent to Bataan and he had managed to get a note to her by a Filipino boy. Nati decided that she would go to him. It took two days, by foot and by banca, but she got to Bataan and met her husband. A kindly C.O., Major A. E. McConell, discovering that she had been doing secretarial work, gave her a job and let her stay.
Then word came to surrender. The group to which Lt. Ashborn belonged thought they would try to get into Manila by truck. But they met the Japanese instead. They were forced out of the truck, carrying their equipment, beaten, and kicked into line and ordered to march. They were struck if they looked back.
Nati watched her husband through her tears as long as she could see the line. She never saw him again so she came to me, knowing I had the most complete lists of the prisoners, and hoping I might have some word of him. I had. Lieutenant Ashborn had died in prison of dysentery and starvation. So Nati rolled up her sleeves and went to work for us.
Our contact men inside the fence had code names too so if any notes were found, and soon enough they were, the identity of the men would not be known to the Japanese. Lt. Col. Edward Mack was called Liver and Chaplain Tifffany was known as Everlasting. Through these two men, by the way, we smuggled out a practically complete roster of the camp, which was later turned over to the War Department to check on the last-know whereabouts of missing soldiers.
And all the time, of course, Elizabeth Kummer helped us in essential ways, which made the functioning of the organization possible, and her husband gave and gave.
There were not, as you can see, very many of them. They represented men, women and children; people of different nationalities, people of different races. They all risked their lives, not once but over and over again, and always deliberately , of their own free choice. They were, I think, pretty swell people.
I think this is the Church affiliated with the Convent. Those familiar with Manila please let me know if this is wrong. The pictures don't seem like they are of a church that is only 60 years old.
NUESTRA SENORA DE LOS REMEDIOS (IGLESIA DE MALATE)
Only a few people know or care about the history of that quaint little church by Manila Bay. The Parish of Our Lady of Remedies, popularly known as Malate Church, was built by the Augustinian Order during the late 16th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Manila outside of Intramuros. In 1591, Malate had only one church and one convent, both of which were severely damaged during the 1645 earthquake. In 1667, it again suffered destruction on orders of the 24th Governor-General of the Philippines, Sabiniano Manrique de Lara. It was done under duress due to the threat of Chinese pirate attacks led by the dreaded Koxinga. A decade later, Fr. Dionisio Suarez began reconstructing a new church and convent made of bricks and stone. Fr. Pedro de Mesa completed the construction in 1680. The church was occupied and vandalized by the British when they invaded Manila in 1762. Further destruction happened in 1868 during an immense typhoon. Fr. Francisco Cuadrado reconstructed the church in 1864. This third church is the Malate Church that we know. Fr. Nicolas Dulanto made some restoration work on the church, including the completion of the facade's upper part. Trefoil blind arches are at the church's facade, indicating Moorish art influence. The attached belltowers give an impression of solidity and strength by its massiveness (emphasized by very few openings), as if to "squeeze" the middle part of the facade. Solomonic columns superpositioned over the Romanesque columns give Malate Church its baroque feel. During World War II, both Japanese and (especially) Americans wreaked havoc all over Manila, making the city the most devastated city next to Warsaw, Poland. Malate Church wasn't spared; only its walls remained after the hostilities. But the Columban priests - the current residents and caretakers of the church- restored it to its original beauty and splendor during the 1950s.
PETER FALLON Killed 10 February 1945 during the fierce U.S.-Japanese battle for Manila. Japanese Navy personnel surrounded Malate church and convento and took every male they found on the premises (20 in all), along with four priests of Malate parish - Johnny Heneghan, Pat Kelly, Joe Monaghan and Peter Fallon. The four were never seen alive again. Nor were their bodies ever recovered. Peter Fallon was 50 years old. Peter was born in Ballinlass, Dunmore, Co. Galway (Tuam diocese), 22 February 1895. Educated Ballinlass N.S. 1901-1906; N.S. Dunmore 1906-1909; St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, 1910-1915; All Hallows College, Dublin 1915-1918. Joined Columbans and was in Dalgan 19 18-1922. Ordained 1922 and went to Hanyang, China; was there 1922-1930. Went to Philippines 1931.
JOHN HENEGHAN Killed 10 February 1945 in Manila. He was 62 years old. (See Peter Fallon above). Born Louisburgh, Co. Mayo (Tuam diocese), 19 December 1882. Educated St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, 1894-1900. Ordained Maynooth 1909 for Tuam diocese. Curate in Annaghdown, near Tuam, 1909-19 10. Curate Tuam town 1910-1916. In Easter Week 1916 he heard the confessions of Tuam Volunteers on their way to Athenry to joining the Rising. He said to a fellow priest the following morning with tears in his eyes: "if those brave lads are ready to die for Ireland, I, a priest, ought to be ready to die for Christ". He joined to Columbans in 1916 and was the first editor of the FAR EAST. He went to the Philippines in 1931 when he was 49 years of age.
PATRICK KELLY Killed in Manila 10 February 1945. He was 46 years old. [see Peter Fallon above] Born Tullamore, Co. Offaly (Meath diocese), 10 January 1899. Educated St. Finian's College, Navan and Mullingar, 1904-1909. Maynooth 1909-1915. Ordained for Meath diocese 1915. Curate Dunboyne, Co. Meath, 1915-1921. Joined Columbans 1921. He helped establish Columbans in Australia and was Spiritual Director to the Brothers in Dalgan before going to the Philippines in 1929. Was first Superior of Columbans in Philippines. Among with Johnny Heneghan. Peter Fallon, Joe Monaghan and John Lalor were attached to Malate parish the convento of which was the 'Centre House' for Columbans in Philippines. Malate parish was also the parish for English speaking Catholics (m mostly American) in Manila. During the Japanese Occupation American civilians were interned in Santo Tomas University campus in Manila. American POWs were in prison-of-war camps. Paddy used to visit the civilian internees in Santo Tomas - he insisted to the Japanese that he was their parish priest and chaplain.
After his death an American wrote to the Columbans saying "Fathers Lalor and Kelly did heroic work for U.S. prisoners of war in Bilibid and Cabanatuan". (I remember reading a book around 1950. It was written by a woman-Journalist, whose name I forgot. In it she referred to the Malate priest and their work for Interned civilians and U.S. POWs. She wrote that the convento in Malate parish was a centre for storing medicines and food, which the Filipino underground movement used to smuggle into the internment and POW camps. In the latter stages of the Japanese occupation conditions were very bad in the camps, and food was scarce and medicine even more so. The Japanese may have found out about this.
That the priests were engaged in this humanitarian work would seem to be confirmed by the award (posthumous) of the Medal of Freedom by the U.S. Government to Fathers Lalor, Kelly and Heneghan some years after the war. The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian decoration, which the U.S can give to non-U.S. nationals.
JOSEPH MONAGHAN Killed In Manila 10 February 1945. He was 37 years old. See Peter Fallon and Patrick Kelly above. Born Banbridge, Co. Down, 17 November 1907. Educated St. Patrick's N.S., Banbridge, 1912-1920; St. Colman's College, Newry, 1920-1925. Went to Dalgan 1925 and ordained there 1931. Went to the Philippines in 1932.
JOHN LALOR Killed in Manila on 13 February 1945, during the battle between Americans and Japanese for the city during Second World War. John was attached to Malate parish, the only Manila parish at that time of which Columbans had charge. [see Patrick Kelly above] While the battle raged, John was working under an assumed name dressed in the white suit of a doctor in the Malate school, which had been converted into a hospital. He helped in the hospital, cared for the sick and the dying. He celebrated Mass in the darkness of the night. A shell explosion killed him. He was 47 years old. Two hundred died in the hospital compound and are buried there. Born in Cork City, parish of St Mary and St Anne, on 9th August 1897. educated in Mungret College. Came to Dalgan in 1921. ordained 1924. went to Hanyang, china 1926. went to the Philippines 1934.
In chapter 8 Margaret tells of how she meets with guerrillas, and subsequently helps two of them when they are ill and hurt.
Chapter 9 describes how on September 28 Margaret is picked up while working at the hospital by the Japanese for questioning. They took her to Fort Santiago. Hours of interrogation ensued. Margaret had to be very careful in her answers. When repeatedly asked the same questions she had to remember to give EXACTLY the same answer as before or risk a beating.
Inadvertently one of her answers triggered the first of the beatings.
“They switched back to my visit to the States. “Then where you go?” “To San Antonio” “When you get there?” “The Fourth of July” (To the Japanese using the term 4th of July meant she was American)
That did it! The officer jumped from his chair, purple with rage, the veins in his forehead distended, and struck me full in the face with his fist. The blow knocked me out if the chair. I think it must have been then, that very first day, that they broke my jaw.
I fell sideways, a bit behind the chair, and lay there in abject terror, seeing the officer's hand close on the hilt of the saber. I had seen enough beheadings to know what these men were capable of doing. I didn't dare move.
The interpreter stood waiting. Finally the officer said, “Kura! Kura!” an almost untranslatable word that means everything from 'all right' to 'let's get going' Painfully I pulled myself up and for good measure the officer kicked me as I rose. My mouth was full of blood and broken teeth. I spat them out on the floor.
I hope I never hear anything again about the stoical Oriental. At the slightest excitement, the Japanese begin to scream. Already the room that had been so quiet was a seething commotion. The officer was screaming at me. The spectators in the hallway were jabbering. Only the Filipino lay on the cot, unmoving........
“You go to New York to see Fair? You are American” (World's Fair)
There were a lot of Japanese looking at the Fair, I told them and they certainly weren't Americans. This was the first flash of spirit I had shown and every second I expected that fist to crunch into my face again, or the officer's fingers to tighten over his saber. I was almost dead from the strain of holding out my arms, from my sore mouth and jaw. At least that is what I thought then. Later on I learned what real pain is like.'........
“Get up! We go now.” They beckoned to a guard. I got up stiffly. My arms tingled as I let them drop to my sides. My jaw throbbed. There was dried blood on my mouth. my gums, where the teeth had been broken, were sore and swollen. My bare feet made almost no sound as I went through the doorway with the guard. The Filipino still lay motionless on his cot.
We went along a hall, down the stairs, across the patio, through the arches, and down a narrow corridor. They pushed me into a cell and the door clanged shut.”
Chapter 10 is about her torture and imprisonment.
“As soon as I heard the guard go away, I jerked off my dark glasses and looked around. I was in a cell about eight feet long and five feet wide. The only light came from an aperture above the door. At one end of the cell, there was a bucket of drinking water, but no water in which to wash. At the other end there was a hole in which a covered bucket was lowered, the only sanitary facility provided. Every morning the bucket was taken from behind the wall, emptied and returned to the hole.
The cells were built between two walls. In the inside wall were the doors leading out into the corridor. Beyond the outer wall was the outside wall of the prison. Between the two, there was a narrow passageway for the prisoners who performed the menial tasks of the cell block. These were priests who, because the people seemed to hold them in veneration, had the greatest humiliations heaped upon them by the Japanese. They were forced to strip down to a G-string and empty the slops of the other prisoners.
That night there were seven women in the cell. Only two of them could speak English but they all crowded around me, whispering, avid for news. It was like a thirst upon them. None of them had had any word of what was happening in the world outside in over three months.
“When will the Americans come?” they asked, “When will the Americans come?”
I told them all I could of what was going on, sketched the news that had come by shortwave radio. And those who could speak English retailed the news to the others and told me about my cell mates. I was the only one, it turned out, who had not been committed to prison by the Japanese courts for one offense or another.
One of the women who could speak English was the wife of Dr. Vincente Domingo. On August 26, 1943, the doctor had been taken from his home to his office by a detachment of Japanese. There he had been commanded to open his safe in which he kept thousands of peso. He gave his captors the combination, but they could not manage it and they forced him to open the safe. Then, in their greed to snatch the contents as fast as they could, they allowed him to sit at his desk while they looted.
That was a mistake, for Dr. Domingo kept a revolver in his desk drawer. He whipped it out and shot all four men. Three of them died, but the fourth was only wounded. The doctor grabbed his valuables and fled. The Japanese whom he had failed to kill notified the police and soldiers went to his home. Mrs. Domingo was pregnant but that did not prevent them from beating her unmercifully, as well as the doctor's younger brother. Then the two of them were dragged off to Fort Santiago to be held as hostages. The three small Domingo children were left with servants. Mrs. Domingo was not questioned, but she lay in the cell week after week, her one hope being that her baby need not be born in that terrible place.......................
And over and over, while we exchanged those hurried furtive confidences, the women repeated, “When will the Americans come?” That they would come, they never doubted. But when? How long would they be called upon to endure this horror? I could not give them a satisfactory answer.
Suddenly the slot beside the door opened and a face peered through. “Kneel!” the guard said sharply. “Why you talk?” Without warning his fist shot through the slot and struck me. That was the way I learned the 'no talking' rule.
For supper they gave us lugao, foul-smelling rice boiled in water until it looked and tasted like clothes starch. We had that for breakfast too. That was the only thing I had to eat for the thirty-two days I spent at Fort Santiago.
I crumpled down on the floor with weariness. There was no place to sit. We slept at night on the stone floor without even a newspaper to cover us. My jaw ached like mad, I was thirsty and my body was clammy.
That night I lay down on the damp cold floor of the cell and tried to sleep. I would need all the strength I had and it was important to keep a clear head. But I kept going over and over my story, testing it, trying to find any loopholes. I could not plan ahead. There was no use guessing what they would ask next. One thing sure – I had beaten them for one day at least. I had made my story stick that far. I went to sleep at last.
The next morning I learned the prison routine which never varied. It was as rigid as that of a military barracks. At seven there was roll call, which we must answer. A woman who knew Japanese taught us to answer roll call in Japanese, which was required of us. How many prisoners there were in Fort Santiago I never learned, but there were more than three hundred at that one end of the cell block. I would keep count as the roll call started every morning, so I knew that there were that many within earshot of my cell....................
It was the fifth day I remember best because that was the day the torture started. As soon as I got inside the room that morning, I knew I was in for it. The interpreter was looking too happy to suit me. I had learned a long time before that when the Japanese looked happy it was a bad sign for the rest of us. And there, right on top of the pile of papers I saw my Red Cross application for volunteer work, the application I had signed, in October, 1941, as an American! (remember she had been posing as a Lithuanian citizen since the Japs arrived). There was only one way they could have gotten it – through the Red Cross itself. And that, I knew in a flash, meant the Filipino doctor who had turned me in to the officials during that second trip to Bataan.
The officer motioned for me to sit down. I was so scared I could hardly move but I sat down, thinking frantically, making up and discarding one story after another. This would have to be good. I had to come through this or I would never leave Fort Santiago.
The interpreter wasted no time. He tossed the paper in front of me. “You write that?” I still had no story. I leaned over peering at it, playing for time.
“I can't see very well. Let me take it close to the window.”
I held it gripped tightly as I walked slowly to the window, hoping my hands would not shake and rattle the paper. I held it up to the light and read it, word by word. Then I nodded my head. I could see both of them expand with satisfaction.
“Yes, I wrote it,” I said, “but it wasn't true. I'm not an American. I told you the truth about where I was born but I lied to the Red Cross. I was afraid they wouldn't let me work for them if they knew I was a foreigner.”
The officer made a gesture and the interpreter got up and pushed a bench near the table. He pointed to it.
My heart turned over as I looked at it. But there were no wires attached. That was something. I had heard about the electric machines the Japanese used for torture here, unspeakable torture. There was an electrode shaped like a curling iron which was applied to women. (Margaret describes what happened to two women at this point. It was very vile). One of these women was taken out of Fort Santiago in a strait jacket and sent to Santo Tomas. She was in the psychopathic ward there and finally taken to an asylum for the hopelessly insane. Another victim, who had been raped before the torture, was insane for awhile and later seemed to be nearly normal. But during the shelling of Manila, she lapsed back into a raving delirium from which she never recovered.
But this was just a bench. Its only feature was that it had thin split bamboo across it for a seat – and split bamboo is as sharp as knives. I pulled down my skirt and sat down easily, carefully.
'No, no,” the interpreter said, “Kneel on it.”
My skirt didn't help much, though it did protect my knees a little. I let myself down gingerly on my bare shins and leaned forward to rest my weight on my arms on the table.
The interpreter pushed them off. “Sit back,” he ordered, “Sit back.”
So I sat back on my heels, the bamboo cutting into my legs. That day they really went to work on me. The Red Cross application was the first concrete proof they had found that I was an American. They screamed at me. They tried to tangle me up in questions. They went back to my frequent trips to Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan. They said over and over that I was an American. And the officer kept slapping me.
It went on for hours, the sharp edges of the bamboo cutting deeper into my legs. The bone is close to the surface of the shins. The muscles in my hips and thighs cramped and ached. The questions drilled on and on. And the officer walked around and around the bench, looking to see whether I had found a position that would keep my legs from hurting. Because I hadn't, that made him mad too, and he slapped me over and over. But I was in so much pain every other way, with my legs bleeding, my muscles cramped, that a slap more or less hardly counted.
Only now and then, when they would abruptly stop questioning me and lean back for a leisurely smoke, did I try to shift my weight from one leg to the other to ease the pain a little.
At length they said, “Get up.” I tried but could not move my legs. They started to shout and scream again, “Get up!”
This time I managed to move but I could not get up. I tumbled over on the floor. Pressure on the blood vessels from holding that one position so long had cut off the circulation to my legs and feet. The officer stood yelling. I struggled for awhile before I could straighten out. At last I could get up, then I could stand, then I could walk.
My lacerated legs hurt worse now that circulation was restored. The thought of the lugao made me sick. I stumbled back to my cell. Sometime, I thought, I would have to eat more to keep up my strength – but not tonight. All I could do was lie on the floor and try to protect my cut legs from the dirt. That night I was in so much pain I almost forgot that I had beaten them again. They had not found a loophole in my story yet or they would never have let me go.
They next day we didn't go to the sunny room overlooking the patio. Instead, they took me upstairs to a long room with a piano. …....They had decided to try something else. They tied my hands behind my back, attached a rope to the tied wrists and jerked me up several feet above the floor. While I hung there, they screamed questions at me again and again and beat me with their fists.
That was the beginning of day of alternate tortures. One day would be the bamboo bench, the next day a beating. My legs never healed. And my back was a mess. They got tired of using their fists and began to beat me with the flat side of a bayonet, then with a leather belt that cut across my back.
The legs got worse. It wasn't just the bamboo. When they let me down from the beatings, they would lower me to about two feet from the floor and then drop me. Instinctively my knees would draw up and I would fall on the torn flesh. The first few times I thought the fall would kill me, but I lived through thirty-two days. And sometimes, just for variety, when his cigarette was burning brightly, the officer ground the burning coal into my arm.
All that time, all those days and days, I never screamed. I let them go ahead and do what they liked to me and didn't make a sound. But toward the end, when my shins were a mass of running sores, they took a stick and scraped the sores. I yelled at them.......................
All the time I was in prison I noticed that our treatment changed with the news. If the Japanese military suffered defeats or setbacks, we paid for it. If President Roosevelt talked to the people, describing what had been accomplished, things went badly for us. Our slim rations of lugao were cut. When HongKong was bombed, we really felt it................
I had reached the point where all I could think of at night was, “One more day and I've stuck to my story. If only I can do it again tomorrow.” I couldn't think ahead more than one day.
The days are blurred – the bamboo bench, the beatings – but some things stand out. There was the day when I was being led to torture and I heard a Filipino boy whistling 'The Stars and Stripes Forever'. It sounded like angels singing. The Japanese guard asked what it was.
“A Filipino love song.” the boy replied, and he chuckled.
There was the day when the Japanese officer shouted at me that he knew I was a liar. He had found my name as a passenger on a boat and I was listed as an American! I had never been on the boat in my life, and all I thought at the time was that the Japanese were almost as good liars as I was. If was not until I was on my way back to the cell that evening that the full importance of the accusation soaked into my tired brain. They were bluffing. They had no evidence. They could not prove anything. They believed my – they believed that I was Rosena Utinsky.
When that idea finally dawned on me, tears ran down my dirty face. A little light was breaking.”
Makes me wonder why Edna Binkowski makes a concerted effort not only in her book "Code Name Highpockets", to make Margaret Utinski somewhat of a traitor. Edna states that after Margaret was released from Ft. Santiago, the Japs started rounding up Guerrilla and underground members, but the round up began some 7-8 months after her release. Makes no sense that the Japs would wait that long to put any information procured from Utinsky to use. Utinsky did have some kind of mental breakdown and began drinking heavily after her release and some underground members began to avoid her for fear that she would blurt out something but no one has ever proven that she gave the Japs any information and it is all conjecture with Binkowski. In Binkowski's book Claire Phillips claimed to have married a POW named John Phillips, but John swore up and down that he had never married anyone. Edna says in her book that Claire and John were married in a Church, whose name escapes me, in Manila but records of marriages in that church, which has accurate marriage records for that time period, show no such marriage took place there.
I, myself have a great deal of respect for Margaret Utinski with what I know or her.
Here is a precis of evidence that Margaret Utinski gave at the War Crimes trials. I am inclined to agree with you on the conflicts between Phillips and Utinski, and feel that there were some unsatisfactory issues which were not adequately explained in Phillips' story.
58. a. On 2 June 1942, Mrs. Margaret Utinsky, Santo Tomas Internment Camp, was near the post office when two Japanese chased her and struck her several times with the butt of a rifle, beat her over the face with their fists and kicked her on the shins. This lasted about ten minutes. During that time a truck load of American prisoners was halted and forced to look on. On another occasion she was brutally whipped with a rope when leaving the Tutuban RR station. She does not know why. No questions were asked. She was the only white person in sight on both occasions. On October 1, 1943, at 2:00 AM, fifty Japanese officers and men came to her apartment. As many as could, stayed in the apartment and on the stairs, and the rest on the street in front of the building. They searched everything in the place, taking everything out of the desk, looking through all books, trunks, drawers, tearing the bed apart, looking at the bottoms of the chairs, under the mats, and taking the pictures out of the frames. They left at 7:00 AM telling her that she must not move from that apartment. Two days later eight of them came to the hospital where Mrs. Utinsky was working and took her to Fort Santiago. After eight hours of questioning she was put in a hot, dark dungeon with two Filipino girls, one American woman, and a French woman. They were not supposed to talk to each other, and when Mrs. Utinsky talked to one of them she was called to a hole in the wall where the guard struck her on the head with a club. The dungeon was five feet wide and about eight feet long. There was no toilet, only a bucket which was emptied once a day. There was a can of drinking water and a tin saucer that they all drank from. They were given a saucer of rice three times a day and nothing more. Every day she was taken out of the dungeon for questioning, and she was hanged by the wrists or made to kneel on a rack and sit back on her heels while being questioned. When the answers did not suit them (the Japs), she was whipped ,with a leather belt. On two occasions she was struck with an iron bar and several times with a bayonet. At the end of a month she was released and had lost twenty-eight pounds and was hospitalized for forty-five days. Her right arm and leg were injured so that for six months she had to walk with a cane and for a year her arm was still very sore. The French woman, one of Mrs. Utinsky’s cellmates, was given the water treatment. They would fill her with water, then make her lie on the floor with a board across her stomach and a Japanese would jump up and down on it. In the next cell to Mrs. Utinsky were five Jesuit priests. They were allowed no clothes, only a G-string or loin cloth, and they were brutally beaten. Their backs were bruised and scarred. There were blisters showing that they had been burned. One of them was thrown against the stone wall one day when the Japanese were beating him and his arm was broken at the elbow. It was never set. Two months later he was released. He weighed one hundred pounds, although he was nearly six feet tall. He had to have blood transfusions and was in the hospital for several weeks, and then sent to Santo Tomas. One of the first American women to be sent to Fort Santiago was Mrs. Christensen, wife of Captain Christensen who died at Cabanatuan. Mrs. Christensen was so horribly abused that she was a patient in the Psychopathic Hospital for one year. On April 11, 1944, three Mary Nole sisters were taken to Fort Santiago. After four months one of them was released to the Philippine General Hospital. Mrs. Utinsky went to see her. She looked like a little skeleton in the bed. She was a nervous wreck. While Mrs. Utinsky was in Fort Santiago she saw a man brought in with his hands tied behind him, his feet chained together so that he could step just about six inches at a time, being pushed along by two Japanese while others were striking him with bayonets. As he would pass, other Japanese would kick and strike him. The man had been shot, or bayoneted in the shoulder, his coat sleeve and his whole side covered with blood. He was put in a dungeon very near her and she could hear him groan as though in great pain. Some time about midnight he became delirious. The Japanese captain took him out of the dungeon, hands and feet still tied, and in front of her, beat him unmercifully with the buckle end of a heavy leather belt, and told the man over and over that he was going to kill him. This was repeated for three days and nights, and then late one night he was dragged out and never came back. The same captain would stand in front of Mrs. Utinsky’s dungeon and call her name and that of the French woman and when they answered he would tell them they were to be taken to the grave yard the next day. Mrs. Utinsky stated that at the time the Japanese entered Manila they began to tie people in the sun for hours – sometimes for days. She saw five boys tied facing the sun in front of the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Two small boys were lying on the sidewalk. The next day the five who were tied, looked as though they were unconscious. Their tongues were protruding, their eyes glazed and they were burned black from the heat of the sun. The next morning after she saw them, they were all taken away to be buried. The youngest of these boys was nine years old and the oldest sixteen.
b. Soon after the surrender of Corregidor, Mrs. Utinsky was informed that an American who had escaped from Bataan, was hiding a few blocks away, and that he was very sick. She went to see him, and found him suffering from malaria and dysentery. She took him to her apartment as the Japanese were living very near him. She took care of him until he was well and then moved him to a small apartment in Paco. She obtained papers stating that he was a Spanish Mestizo. She returned to her work in Bataan, and several weeks later returned to Manila and learned that he had moved to another part of town and the Japanese had taken him to Fort Santiago. He was there for two months and then released. He would never admit that he was an American, but he had been brutally beaten with saber and bayonets while his wrists were tied behind him. He was given the water treatment. His knee cap was broken by the blow of a saber. She had him taken care of this time by one of her friends as it was too dangerous for her to have him in their apartment. In July, 1944, he was again taken to Fort Santiago and killed the same day. He was Captain Burzon, 45th Infantry, and this was his second time on duty in the Philippines.c. Mrs. Utinsky was in the Barrio of Camachile, Bataan, soon after the surrender of Corregidor. The Japanese were issuing passes and forcing the people to evacuate, leaving their belongings behind. She saw the bodies of two men who had been shot when they were caught trying to catch fish from their own fish ponds. Many of these people were suffering from malaria and dysentery. One woman was on the ground under a tree unconscious. She had given birth to a still-born child early that morning. Her husband was one of the men who had been shot. She had to leave before they were all moved, but she met them on the road a few days later. Some of them could walk no further and were sitting under the trees hoping that someone would give them a lift, but the Japanese were the only ones with trucks and passed them by. Most of the trucks were empty. She saw many families with small pushcarts with their few belongings and children, some carts carrying the dead bodies. She helped some bury their dead after dark. The Japanese Would not let them stop for long at a time. They sent the people to the mountains; when they were there they were told to go back to the low lands, thus they wandered until most of them were dead. (See Exhibit "L".)
I have a feeling that Margaret and Claire were thrown together by place and time not because they were best friends. I think it was a matter of expediency on Claire's part that she left her daughter, Dyan, in Margaret's care while she was incarcerated. I wonder if animosity arose, post war, when Dyan was returned to her mother and maybe Dyan didn't want to go with her. She was very little during the war and had been with Margaret for quite awhile and would normally look to Margaret as her mom. Claire probably didn't look much like her old self when she was released and Dyan may not have fully recognized her as her Mom. Claire would have naturally been upset by this and may have held some animus against Margaret, valid or not. It would be human nature. Then when Mrs. Binkowski researched for her book, she probably felt a closeness, and liking for Claire and may have slightly resented Margaret for Claire's sake. Who knows.......I realize that authors try to be impartial, but with these stories you just can't.
I wonder about the part of the last entry---
All that time, all those days and days, I never screamed. I let them go ahead and do what they liked to me and didn't make a sound. But toward the end, when my shins were a mass of running sores, they took a stick and scraped the sores. I yelled at them.......................
and why Margaret felt she needed to add this to her book. Maybe it was in response to rumors at that time of her giving info while being tortured. I'm sure people assumed she talked. But she seems to have been a VERY stubborn woman, so maybe she didn't. She also turned over lists to the Americans of people she observed during the war of collaborating and helped pursue the charging of at least one newspaper woman after the war.
All I know is that I have a profound admiration for this woman, what she was able to accomplish and what she endured in this time of war.
Last Edit: Feb 27, 2013 6:09:02 GMT 8 by Registrar
Thank you Registrar for posting this. It is excruciating to read, but very informative.
Here is another reference to Margaret from that document:
65. The facts shown above are based upon the sworn testimony or sworn statements of witnesses considered to be reliable because they were eye witnesses or victims of the type of atrocities testified to by each. Many witnesses included in their testimony material which had been told them by another person. Many of these statements are considered to be true, but have nevertheless not been included under the statements of facts shown above because of the possibility of exaggeration or inaccuracy. For example, much contained in the statement of Mrs. Margaret M. Utinsky, a civilian internee in Santo Tomas Internment Camp and formerly a first lieutenant in the U. S. Army Nurse Corps, refers to atrocities cited to her through letters from her officer friends in the service. Only that part of her statement of her own personal experiences and observations is included in facts above. Mrs. Utinsky has been repatriated to the United States.
Claire in front of a mock up of her Tsubaki Club in Manila. Probably for a filming of a movie about her experiences.
In correspondence that I recently received from Fred Hill, he made the point that the photograph showing Claire Phillips in front of the Tsubaki Club was not genuine. A photograph of Phillips, taken by Dale Risdon was used when the book "Manila Espionage" was in preparation. the head and face from the Risdon photograph was transferred to a photograph of another lady standing outside the Tsubaki Club, but they "flopped" the face of Claire so that the lighted side of her face would be on the left, to match the light in the Tsubaki Club photograph. The lady whose photo was taken in front of the club was aware that Claire was planning to write a book and needed a picture, so gave Dale Risdon Phillips' contact address.
Registrar: Those kin who lost relatives on the SS Corregidor might Personal Message me with their e-mail addresses and I will e-mail them some names of people who might possibly be of assistance.
Mar 4, 2015 14:37:49 GMT 8
Paul McNamee: Great exploration.I searched Ft. Wint '73-'78 Wint was evacuated on 12/24/41, The troops retreated to Bataan as per the war plan.They left the guns intact facing out to sea. The Japanese moved them & fired on Bataan. US military came back & bombed it.
Mar 11, 2015 21:29:08 GMT 8
Sue Brooks: Wow, thank you. this was my husbands war.
Mar 14, 2015 5:16:29 GMT 8
John from Montana: Can anyone point me to the history of the Old Spanish flagpole. I know most sources attribute it to a Spanish ship sunk by Dewey in 1898. I'd like more details and proof of its history
Mar 25, 2015 13:17:10 GMT 8
Popular myths exploded: To John from Montana. 100ft (temp) flagpole erected 1910, south-west of Parade Ground. Destroyed Nov 1923. 86ft flagpole erected Dec 1923, south-east corner of Parade Ground, at present location. Flagpole common with US Mainland CAC forts.
Mar 29, 2015 8:03:22 GMT 8
EXO: Kindly furnish reference for flagpole statement. So, if its a myth you are wanting to explode, start a thread, furnish us with the info that you have gathered, don't just make a bald, anonymous statement on a shoutbox.
Mar 31, 2015 20:08:44 GMT 8
batteryboy: The guns at Fort Wint, Grande Island were NEVER moved or dismantled them nor brought them to Bataan. The two 10-inch DC guns from Battery Warwick were brought to Fort Casey after the war. Japanese had their own heavy artillery.
Apr 2, 2015 8:52:08 GMT 8
batteryboy: Would love to know where the flagpole actually came from. So far the old story is that it came from the Reina Cristina sunk at Cavite during the Battle of Manila Bay. New evidence is welcome!
Apr 2, 2015 9:01:02 GMT 8
Popular myths exploded: I was just a passing visitor who provided information for John from Montana's unanswered request. The information you seek is contained within Quartermaster Corps records of buildings and c1922 aerial photos available from NARA.
Apr 2, 2015 11:42:28 GMT 8
batteryboy: On my way to the Rock!
Apr 10, 2015 5:19:04 GMT 8
Query: I took a look at the photos and text on the Museum, and would very much like to get in touch with Mr. Custodio. Can you provide contact info?
Apr 13, 2015 4:27:23 GMT 8
miami: Guys, do you have any information where are the exact location of the American Cemeteries in Baguio City, what condition they're in, and who is the appropriate person/historian that we could talk to about its history? Thanks
Apr 13, 2015 17:29:14 GMT 8
batteryboy: To Miami: Try contacting Camp John Hay Development Corporation or the American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio. They maybe able to help you out.
Apr 16, 2015 12:30:23 GMT 8
batteryboy: To Miami: Try contacting Camp John Hay Dev. Corp or the American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio. They maybe able to help you out.
Apr 16, 2015 12:31:42 GMT 8
Dan Evans: Hi, first ever post. My wife is daughter of George E. Turner, 60th CAC HQ Battery, Sendai P.O.W. Looking for his HQ Battery service record etc. Point us in the right direction.
Apr 17, 2015 8:29:09 GMT 8