I believe I have found another book that I should share with the readers on this site.
It pertains to the experiences of a Diplomats wife, her life in the Philippines just before the war started and carries on though the author's time in prewar Manila, on Corregidor, and her eventual escape on a submarine to Australia in 1942 with her diplomat husband.
The title continues with, "EXPERIENCES OF AN AMERICAN OFFICIAL'S WIFE IN THE WAR TORN PHILIPPINES"
The book is out of print, published in 1943, with the language and intensity of a book written at the beginning of the Second World War.
This copy was hard to acquire. I bought it from an online book web site that I check periodically for information on Corregidor.
"This book is complete and unabridged in contents and is manufactured in strict conformity with Government regulations for conserving paper." ( The paper is course and thick and poorly cut.)
From the back cover of the dust jacket.
"BUY WAR BONDS!"
"During the long days and nights on Corregidor the persistent Boom Boom of the 155's on Bataan carried clearly across the narrow channel.
Sometimes the guns would be alarmingly louder. We would hear the Japanese had broken through our lines. The Japanese were constantly reinforced but it was the same exhausted men who had to push them back. And these men retained a touching faith in the resourcefulness and ingenuity of "the folks back home". Their credo was simple, "Hang on with everything you've got. Every minute counts!" (Yeah right, battling bastards comes to mind in reality) my comment.
Thousands of those men are still in the Philippines, still believing. We have been asked to buy War Bonds. We must do so. It's the least we can do."
" In November of 1939, Woodbury Wiiloughby, my husband and I arrived in the Philippines on the CLEVELAND with Francis B Sayre, recently appointed by President Roosevelt to serve as High Commissioner to the islands. 'WOODY" was at that time Executive Assistant to the High Commissioner. ...........................
We could not dream then that, coming into the harbor as we did in the clear sunlight to the noise and the color of a spectacular welcome, we would finally leave the islands secretly, in the dead of night, with Manila in the hands of the Japanese.
Although it was early when we reached Manila Bay that morning in 1939, the air was hazy, hot, and heavy to breath. We had been escorted into the harbor by 12 Army airplanes, which saluted by diving and souring overhead, just clear of the Cleveland's smoke stacks before climbing again. Beside us 2 destroyers kept a steady, dignified course beneath the cavorting planes. As soon as we had anchored , the official greeting party of Filipino's and American's, the Army and Navy, came alongside in launches, bright with flags, streamers, and Island flowers. As we got into our special launch every craft in the harbor let loose with a piercing whistle. And the moment Mr. Sayre stepped onto land to be welcomed by President Manuel Quezon, the heady din of the boat horns was put to shame by the shattering roar of a 19 gun salute.
.................... In fact I soon found that nonsalaried and untitled, I too was a sort of Official. I soon used up my entire stock of 300 calling cards.
One of our first duties was to meet the representatives of the other powers, with some of which we had close ties, the Chinese, the Dutch, the British. We also had to maintain ties with the Japanese, which were neither close nor sympathetic. But they were important.
We met them all during the first round of formal entertaining in honor of the H.C. At the first of these functions, I had the opportunity to see the Historic Malacanan Palace, built by the Spaniards for their governors lived in by the American Governor generals, and handed over to the Filipino people during the Frank Murphy tenure in office.
Malacanan was a beautiful informal house, with a red tiled roof and was situated on a shaded lawn,which sloped down to the Pasig river. On this festive night the driveway was outlines by thousands of varied colored lights. Near the house ,where drinks were served around the green shimmering swimming pool, the groups of Filipino women, in their light dresses with high transparent sleeves, looked like gentile but animated butterflies.
Inside, a wide, graceful stairway and sparkling Chandeliers, made for an effect of spaciousness and coolness. After dinner while the Filipino's paced the lovely, formal dances of old Spain, their was a succession of introductions for us.
...................... Quezon is short slight and appears more Spaniard than Malay. He is a fighter and a strong man. Now his indomitable spirit radiates from his frail, brittle body. We were to see much of him in Manila and later on Corregidor.
One of the pleasantest contacts we had was with General and Mrs. Mac Arthur. they lived quietly and rarely attended or held parties.
(Hang on Okla.........)
My encounters with General Mac Arthur were invariably stimulating. I always felt as if a balloon with the words, " Distinguished General Talks To Young Matron" were suspended above my head.
With that aura of 'Man Of Destiny" which he gives off, it is impossible to imagine Mac Arthur despondent or dejected. In short Mac Arthur LOOKS like exactly what he is."
" Francis Sayre was the third U.S. High Commissioner to the islands. Before the Philippines became a Commonwealth in 1934, the presidents personal representative there had the title governor general, and he was the highest ranking American official in the far east. It had been established by Mr. Sayre's predecessor, Paul V. McNutt, in a protocol skirmish with President Quezon over who should be toasted first at official dinners, that, as representative of the sovereign authority in the islands, the High Commissioner outranked the president of the Commonwealth. Disputes about who outranks who seem really silly until you Remember that the prestige of the emissary's country is at stake, not his personal standing. As a result of his victory McNutt earned the nickname, "toast me first McNutt".
Although the Philippines had almost complete local anatomy after the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, they did not control their own foreign affairs. The U.S. reserved in addition, the right to pass upon Philippine measures affecting currency, foreign loans, coinage, imports, exports, and immigration. This division of American-Philippine authority later helped defeat Sayre's efforts to promote much-needed defense measures before the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941."
"The first 3 weeks we were in the Philippines we stayed in the Manila hotel. .................... I searched Manila for a house, surviving somehow my first shock at the stratospheric prices. .................... Manila is built in the bottom of a low, shallow bowl of land with hills rising on 3 sides, hills seem only on clear days.
The city to me was astonishingly American at first glance. familiar U.S. billboards, air-conditioned department stores and moving picture theaters, with self opening doors and a lavish display of monel metals and plastics, made me feel at home. .................................. Few American's or Spaniards lived in the crowded old walled city in the center of Manila. It would have been considered rather Bohemian of us to settle there, but I did see some lovely old Spanish houses. ........................................ In the doorways and windows men and women chewing betel nut and smoking black cigars, sat gazing impassively at the spectacle of passing life. The smell of this teeming, amiable varied colored section of Manila was an olfactory experience in itself. ......................... At last I found a house, in Pasay.
I had engaged 5 servants to staff the household. Ching a Chinese cook interviewed me, rather than i him. He said he was used to working for people of distinction, and asked how much rent Woody paid. ................................. The cook did nothing but cook, The Lavendera only did the laundry, the house boy only washed the windows.
I soon wished I had never heard the inevitable phrase, " I am not the one Mum".
But one and all, and whatever their jobs, they borrowed money. The cook borrowed money from Woody and when questioned as to what for, he said his daughter had Small Pox! But she had chicken pox, any pox to Ching was Small pox. .........................
With the passage of time I had to admit there was pilfering going on in the household. ......................... Perfume that was put out for their use disappeared along with mine that was hidden behind the castor oil, any taken was replaced with water. ............................. On another occasion each servant came to me complaining of a headache etc and asked for aspirin, and I used up a whole bottle dosing them. This epidemic was curiously coincidental and it was so clear that none of them were sick, that I asked my friends about it. I found that the servants were working an old and well worn racket-- they sold the Aspirin.
The next time Andrea was "sick" I listened to several minutes worth of symptoms. Then I told her she was so ill that Aspirin would not be the right medicine for her. I poured a dessertspoon full of milk of Magnesia down her throat. She complained long and bitterly. But the health of the household remained at a miraculously high level from that day on."
" A great number of affairs that claimed our time were official.
These took place at the U.S. Residence which was just being completed when we arrived in Manila, and combined offices and living quarters for the High Commissioner.
A large edifice on Dewey Blvd., it stood, lonely and imposing, on 16 flat and UN-landscaped acres, with a plain iron spiked fence enclosing all that parts of the grounds not bounded by the seawall.
Visitors entered through unpretentious gates and drove around a big circle to the official Residence.
It was said truthfully enough that it was architecturally unsuitable to the tropics. It was earthquake proof, but the windows and doors were small, whereas Manila houses were built to be almost entirely open to whatever breeze there might be, and provided with great shell windows to be pushed across in bad weather.
The Residence had a narrow roof and flat unprotected windows, which gave it a closed in, prison-like look in contrast with the overhanging, protective roofs of the tropics with a shaped canopy over even the tops of any separate windows.
Air conditioning was a necessity in such a building, and even after double windows had been put in, water poured into the rooms when it rained.
On the other hand the Residence was dignified and of a solid, permanent worth, and no matter how often the Manilan's referred to it as a 'Great old barn of a place' they were proud of it's solidity and dignity
The Residence in Baguio was more like a home. Baguio itself was a delightful retreat, party because it so beautiful, and largely because it was so UN-tropical.
When we did get to Baguio official formality was reduced to a minimum. The Residence of white concrete, with blue shuttered windows, was perched on the edge of a broad ridge with porches and terraces facing a wide valley which dipped and twisted and thrust up over tree clad ridges.
Beyond their humbler summit, peak after peak of mountains rode the horizon.
Early in the morning puffy white clouds filled the valleys. On clear nights the twinkling lights on a far off hill were the only testimony that we were not alone on the planet. Indoors we gathered in front of the welcome warmth of open fires. Baguio was always deeply and completely quiet."
(Anybody notice any difference in these locations today?)
Hey Phantom....Ah, the heady days of peacetime in the far away tropical paradise of the Philippines, so remote from the shaky European situation. Times, they are about to change. Keep posting this good stuff. Cheers.
Yeah okla you can see why we were caught so flat footed when things really got started. There was a distrust of any information coming out of Washington. And the atmosphere was that the Japanese wouldn't dare attack the U.S.
raycoinhound: I sugest all members read this one!!!Fowlerville news and views 11/08/20 page 15.. The article shows Andy age 99 My mother Jackie age 95 and me in the middle age 68> . Andy saw all the paratroopers jump off his distroyer which shelled Corregdor in Feb 1945
Apr 20, 2021 12:06:19 GMT 8
raycoinhound: all members you better read this one.Fowlerville news & Views 11/08/20pg 15. Andy saw the 503 jump into battle on Corregidor. His Distroyer shelled the island and as soon as they stopped down came the 503rd!Andy is 99, my mother 95 and me 68.I take him out
Apr 20, 2021 12:09:58 GMT 8
raven316: Which tin can, my dad was on the USS Crosby, APD 17
Apr 21, 2021 1:55:19 GMT 8
JoAlberto: These are good reads. I am a young girl from Phils very much enthused with Corregidor and its history pre and post war.
Apr 30, 2021 14:20:11 GMT 8
Barbara: My uncle was Spencer Bever, Al and him started this adventure together here in Columbus Ohio...would love to get more direct info about them..thanks...
Jun 8, 2021 6:16:26 GMT 8
Paul Whitman: Barbara - The story of Spencer Bever is told by survivor Al McGrew, his closest friend. They book "Amid Th' Encircling Gloom - Corregidor and Survival" follows their times together until they were split when Al was sent to Japan.
Aug 22, 2021 7:45:49 GMT 8
Paul Whitman: Presently, I am re-working the book for re-release in a large format presentation book. There are 217 mentions of Spence in it. and his drawings.
Aug 22, 2021 7:47:58 GMT 8
JM: hello, may I ask what are the process that authority use to improve or develop the sbfz ?
Aug 31, 2021 0:37:48 GMT 8
EXO: JM - sorry, speculation on SBFZ policy sounds a mite political, and not in our remit.
Sept 19, 2021 6:44:11 GMT 8