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Capillo bombed and sunk in Philippines 12/26/41 [Date provided by member of crew] President Grant crew left behind in Manila, Philippines result of ship's emergency departure on 12/11/41

Ruth Alexander crew left ashore in Manila, Philippines 12/28/41

Wawa scuttled in Hong Kong to avoid capture 12/11/41 (British owned - Panama flag)

* Ship unknown

Database format: Name-Age-Home-Position-Location-Outcome

 

Excerpt from

http://users.owt.com/leodonna/Recon-Santos.htm

The Recon Platoon at Los Baños by Terry R. Santos,

the Provisional Reconnaissance Platoon, 11th Airborne Division

The Recon Platoon was assigned three important tasks for the raid: 1. Mark the beach landing zone for the Amtracs. 2. Mark the Drop Zone for B-511th . 3. Neutralize the Japanese sentries, at the guard posts, pillboxes and bunkers at the moment B-511th jumped at the timed hour of 0700. Our assault team (Ed. Note: One of several assembled for the raid) was comprised of troopers: Botkin, Call, McFadden and myself, together with a squad of 12 Philippine guerrillas. Our assignment was to knock out the two Japanese pillboxes with our machine gun. Being we did not have a light machine gun, we used a Browning Automatic Rifle (B.A.R.). Let me state, without equivocation, that were it not for the Filipino guerrilla guides, with their intrinsic knowledge of the terrain, the Recon Platoon would have never found the various strong points, the Drop Zone, or the Beach Landing Zone, in the dark of the night. They took us overland through flooded rice paddies, circuitous routes in order to skirt the various enemy listing-posts and outposts. It took us about 10 hours to arrive at our objective near the Los Banos prison. Just as we crested the bank of Boot Creek, at 3 minutes before 0700 hours, firing erupted. This alerted the Japanese gunners in the pillboxes and as we charged their positions, the first bursts from their machine guns wounded troopers, Call, Botkin and our faithful Filipino guerrilla guide. We continued firing until we silenced the pillboxes. Then suddenly a third, unexpected, and unreported machine gun opened fire on us. We soon spotted its location on a knoll, near a large tree, overlooking our exposed position. We kept pouring fire into the area until the B-511th troopers reinforced us to eliminate it.

About the Author: Terry currently lives in San Francisco, CA. and still keeps in touch with Recon members and their wives.

Minor editing provided by Leo Kocher Courtesy of "WINDS ALOFT" Quarterly publication of the 511th PIR Association

Ed. note: It was later confirmed that two guerrillas, Sgt. Atanacio Castillo and Cpl. Anselmo Soler were killed during the raid by the Japanese. It was estimated that about 80 Japanese guards were killed during the raid. Contrary to original reports, the Japanese Los Baños camp commander, Konishi was not killed. He was later observed, working as a Filipino labor, by a liberated internee. The internee notified the local police, who jailed him. He was subsequently tried for war crimes and sentenced to prison and hanged.

Los Banos Laguna

 

Mark Gerhard  Alness (Capillo12/26/1941) Canton SD Deck Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Oscar William Andreasen (Capillo12/26/1941) San Pedro CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines  Released

 

Sidney Ashton (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

 Watsonville CA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Felix Balano  Los Angeles CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Fred Barter (Capillo12/26/1941) Los Angeles CA Cook  Japanese: Santo Tomas prison and civilian internee Philippines [also listed as Los Banos] Released

Truman Carson Beaty (Wawa 12/11/1941) Ligonier PA Wiper Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

Emsley William Beck (President Grant 12/11/41)

 Del Paso Heights CA Steward Japanese: Los Banos Philippines Released

 

Edwin Joseph Bee (Wawa 12/11/1941) El Paso TX Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Charles [Charlie]   Begley Cincinnati OH 2nd Cook Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Leo Besser  (President Grant 12/11/41)

San Francisco CA Steward Japanese: Los Banos Philippines Released

 

* Alex Grove  Brockway Seattle WA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Donald Howland Buckalew  (Capillo12/26/1941) Long Beach CA O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Frank Woodruff  Buckles Oakland CA Purser Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released also WW1 veteran

 

James Burns (President Grant 12/11/41)

New York NY Waiter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* James Edward  Burton Richmond VA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

John Patrick Cassidy (President Grant 12/11/41)

San Rafael CA Purser Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

Robert Rowland Coggeshall (Wawa 12/11/1941) Hollywood C Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

Basel [Basil]  Dedegas (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Frank Lorraine Dulaney [Delaney]   Tucson AZ Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

John De Loffe (President Grant 12/11/41)

Newtonville MA Room Steward Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Rodney Albert  Depue (Capillo12/26/1941) Portland OR O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Donald Clarke  Downing San Diego CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Ingie Dragset (Capillo12/26/1941) Tacoma WA Carpenter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Karl Olaf Dreyer  (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Captain Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Joseph Donald Elwood 34 St. Paul Park MN Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Harry Eric Erickson  (Capillo12/26/1941) New Britain CT Radio Operator Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Joe Taitano [Tatani] Flores (President Grant 12/11/41) Agana Guam [HI] Oiler Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Joseph Friedl (President Grant 12/11/41) San Francisco CA Steward Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Howard Galway  (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

St. Louis MO F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Edward James Gray  (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

Brooklyn NY Oiler Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Lloyd F Harms. (President Grant 12/11/41) New York NY Waiter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Lewis Quincy Haven Jr. 25 San Francisco CA Freight Department, American President Lines employee in Manila  Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

William George Henderson (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

Warren RI F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Henry Hobson  Dunedin New Zealand Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Jack Berger Holt (Capillo12/26/1941)  Seattle WA 3rd Mate Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Jackson Leach  Hoyt San Francisco CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

D'Arcy S. Hunt (President Grant 12/11/41)

Lafayette CA Waiter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Walter  Johnson (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA 2nd Mate Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Joseph Kerop Kay (President Grant 12/11/41)

Los Angeles CA Messman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Harold Maxwell Kelly  Sausalito CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Bo Ming  Lam Honolulu HI Laundryman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Gordon Langford  Lawry [Lawrey]  Burlingame CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Fred McKinley Lee  Hot Springs AR Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

William Arthur Lowry [Lowrey] (President Grant 12/11/41)

Columbus OH Chief Baker Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Carl Axel  Lundquist (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Chief Mate Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Hugh Michael McKeown (President Grant 12/11/41)

Brooklyn NY Waiter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Joseph  McMullin (Capillo12/26/1941) San Pedro CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Louie [Louis] Mee (President Grant 12/11/41)

Oakland CA Laundryman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Gustav Henry  Meyer (President Grant 12/11/41)

Kansas City MO Porter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

William Thomas Mitchell  (Capillo12/26/1941) San Francisco CA Engine Cadet Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Stanley V. Mollart (President Grant 12/11/41)

Alameda CA Saloonman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* John Middleton  Nicholas Los Angeles CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

James Francis  Nicholson (Capillo12/26/1941) Irwin PA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

David  Nicoll (Gertrude Kellogg damaged by bombing in Philippines 12/08/41) Brooklyn NY Chief Mate Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

John Robert O’Brien (President Grant 12/11/41)

Detroit MI O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Clarence O’Connor [O’Conner]  (Capillo12/26/1941)  Tacoma WA 2nd Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Francis William Quillinan  (Capillo12/26/1941) San Francisco CA Wiper Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Graham Post  Robinson (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

Geneva NY O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Ludwig Earl Roeper (President Grant 12/11/41)

Hudson NJ Room Steward Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

George Ross (Capillo12/26/1941)  Redondo Beach CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Theodore Lee Ryall Jr (Capillo12/26/1941)   Elk City ID Wiper Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Carl Gunnar Rydberg  (Capillo12/26/1941)  Hilo HI O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

William Robert Shaffer (President Grant 12/11/41)

22 Tacoma WA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Escaped Nov '44; wounded fighting with Hunter ROTC guerillas April '45

 

Herbert Wesley Shaw  (Capillo12/26/1941)  Seattle WA 1st Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Oswald Spatz (President Grant 12/11/41)

52 Hoboken NJ Pantryman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Earl Franklin  Spear New Orleans LA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

John Norman Stewart (President Grant 12/11/41)

37 Chelsea MA Jr. 3rd Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Christian  Knutty Stubo Manila PI Chief Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Ruben  Santurce Suro (President Grant 12/11/41)

PR Busboy Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Willis L. Taylor  (President Grant 12/11/41) 31

Los Angeles CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Thomas Starr  Terrill South Pasadena CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Maurice C. Teurnee 36 (President Grant 12/11/41)

Los Angeles CA Painter Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Robert Lee Thomas 19 (President Grant 12/11/41)

New York NY Galleyman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

David Bill Thompson 34 (President Grant 12/11/41)

Galveston TX Baker Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Don  Tinling Glendale CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Pierre G. Van Den Plas 49 (President Grant 12/11/41)

New York NY Room Steward Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Charles O Vanderburg.  (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

 San Francisco CA Messman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Joseph Barry Vernick  (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

Honolulu HI Oiler Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos and Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Jack Colvin Von Hess  (Ruth Alexander 12/28/1941)

Los Angeles CA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Charles William Weil   (Capillo12/26/1941) Vashon WA

 3rd Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

Jack Williams 34 (President Grant 12/11/41)

San Francisco CA Steward Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

* Randall William  Wright Paulsboro NJ Messman Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

John Yartz 44 (President Grant 12/11/41)

Baltimore MD Janitor Japanese: civilian internee Los Banos, Philippines Released

 

University of Santo Tomas

 

* Nasr Mourad Ali  Alexandria Egypt A.B. Japanese: Santo Tomas prison Manila Released

 

John Baptist Ball (Capillo12/26/1941)  Seattle WA Steward Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW

 

Nick  Bartolomeo (Capillo12/26/1941) Long Beach CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Max Walter Brummett  Shanghai China A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Hugo  Ferguson Calgan (Capillo12/26/1941) MO Oiler Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Herman Cook  (Capillo12/26/1941) Rosendale MA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW

 

William Henry Gates  (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Ch. Engineer Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW 01/20/44

 

Felipe Hill (Capillo12/26/1941)  Napa CA A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW

 

Patrick Merell  Holton (Capillo12/26/1941) Chester PA F/W Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW

 

* Francis Kelley James  Kingman AZ Second cook and baker Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Oscar Carl Johnson  (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Bosun Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Died Japanese POW

 

Anton Essendorf Larsen  (Capillo12/26/1941) Staten Island NY F/W Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Tun Yun Lee (President Grant 12/11/41)

 New York NY A.B. Japanese: Santo Tomas; tranferred to jail  Released 02/03/45

 

Claude Alfred  Leftridge (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Messman Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Frank Eugene Long (Capillo12/26/1941) Portland OR A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Robert Neilon  Morrison (Capillo12/26/1941) Ogden UT F/W Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* David Fulton Norvel [Norvell]   Atlanta GA Messman Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Oscar Persson  Los Angeles CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

William Quincy  Porter (Capillo12/26/1941) Logansport IN F/W Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* John Joseph Rogers  Jersey City NJ A.B. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Edward James  Steeves (Capillo12/26/1941) Lynn MA Oiler  Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Charles George Sturman  Manila PI Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Ben Patton [Patten] Sweeny President Grant or President Harrison Montebello CA Purser Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas Philippines Released

 

* David  Pendleton Thompson San Francisco CA Wiper Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas

 

Sinica Seth  Wade (Capillo12/26/1941) Seattle WA Messman Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Herbert  Ward (Capillo12/26/1941) Chicago IL O.S. Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Amos Maltby   Waterbury Long Beach CA Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

* Henry Bernard  Wilson Cumberland MD Unknown Japanese: civilian internee Santo Tomas, Philippines Released

 

Editorial

Father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines 32nd Death Anniversary

September 13, 2009, 5:18pm

The Knights of Columbus (KC) in the Philippines celebrates Monday the 32nd death anniversary of its founder, Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, who also founded the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines.

While it was Rev. Michael J. McGivney who established the KC in the United States in 1882, it was Rev. Fr. Willmann who, in 1905, sowed the seeds of the order on Philippine soil and nurtured it to withstand the test of time.

Among the objectives of the KC, a Catholic, family, fraternal, and service organization, are to render pecuniary aid to its members, their families, and beneficiaries of members and their families; offer mutual aid and assistance to its sick, disabled, and needy members and their families; promote social and intellectual interaction among its members and their families; and encourage and conduct educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and welfare, and public relief works.

The first KC council in the country, Council No. 1000, was established within the Walled City of Intramuros with 31 charter members, all of whom were Americans. Today, the Philippine KC has thousands of members from numerous councils all over the country.

A Family TV Mass will be concelebrated today at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros to mark his death anniversary, co-sponsored by the various KC councils.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 29, 1897, Rev. Fr. Willmann entered the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1915, and was ordained priest on June 20, 1928. He was initiated into the First Degree on June 30, 1938, through KC Council 1000 in Intramuros, Manila, and was appointed Chaplain of that Council, a position he held until his death in 1977.

During World War II, he led KC members in undertaking various projects, including the provision of welfare assistance to prisoners freed from the Japanese concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac, and the operation of a canteen and recreational hall for USAFFE soldiers. He was arrested and imprisoned at the University of Santo Tomas and later at the concentration camp in Los Baños, Laguna, where he and other prisoners were later freed by American liberation forces. Recognizing his significant contribution to Philippine society, Rev. Fr. Willmann was granted Filipino citizenship by virtue of a presidential decree a few years before his death.

In observing his 32nd Death Anniversary, let us keep aflame the legacy that Rev. Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, has bequeathed our country, the Knights of Columbus.

 

http://www.iberianet.com/articles/2009/07/11/news/doc4a4e4a192eece262280366.txt

Never forget

BY MARY CATHARINE MARTIN
THE DAILY IBERIAN
Published/Last Modified on Friday, July 3, 2009 2:09 PM CDT

The call rang out over a rain of bullets: “The Yanks are coming!”

That’s what the 3,700 prisoners at Santo Tomas internment camp in the Philippines shouted on Feb. 3, 1945 — the day they were freed after being held captive for more than three years.

Now, 64 years later, the lives of a former prisoner and one of the men who freed her have intersected once again. Rosemarie Weber, 78, was a prisoner of the Japanese at the camp from age 10 to 13. Chelly P. Mendoza, a resident of Baldwin, served as a member of the medical squad attached to the 1st Calvary Division of the Army, which helped liberate the camp.

 

 

Weber, Mendoza and his wife, Anna Bell, are in touch almost daily, the result of a recent piece Weber wrote in SABER, the newspaper of the 1st Calvary Division. In March, the three met in Houston.

Weber said she has written in the newspaper before, but this is the first time she has gotten so close to anyone with whom she corresponded. Much of the reason is Anna Bell, who has been “so wonderful” about keeping in touch, said Weber.

Anna Bell keeps records of everything from the Western Union telegram she received when her husband was wounded to his commendations, the crinkly brown paper pressed safely behind the plastic.

During the second World War, however, the events of which those papers brought news were anything but safe.

When U.S. forces arrived in Santo Tomas, the 3,700 prisoners held at the internment camp were starving. They had been there for three years and had seen their daily rations limited to about 600 calories toward the end of the war. Many died from diseases like wet and dry beri-beri and dysentery. Weber’s mother, Eve, was in the hospital and weighed only 65 pounds.

“When they came, I was sitting upstairs in the room, but I was the only one there,” said Weber. “I thought it was raindrops. I was eating my half bowl of gruel ... I looked outside, and there was no rain. I realized later it was bullets.”

Aided by Filipino guerillas, tanks from the 44th Tank Battalion rammed through the walls and soldiers with the 1st Calvary Division poured in.

Rosemarie ran downstairs and heard all the prisoners screaming, “The Yanks are here!”

“Can you imagine, after 37 months of only seeing Japanese?” she asked. “It was just the greatest sight in the world. Everybody was crying. They were crying, sharing food with us. They gave us K-rations, candy bars, bread ... I hadn’t seen bread in 37 months. It was just tremendous.”

In the time since he was drafted in August 1942, Mendoza had fought in New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, Leyte and Luzon. He carried stretchers and drove the ambulance, earning a Bronze Star for ignoring personal danger, devotion to duty and evacuating casualties with “cheerfulness and efficiency,” according to the letter that accompanied the award. 

Mendoza said he still thinks and dreams about the time he spent helping to clear the islands, clearing caves, taking over the islands bit by bit, stepping over dead Japanese soldiers and stepping over American soldiers, some of whose bodies had been mutilated either intentionally or because of injuries they had received from weapons like mines.

“I seen too many of my buddies ... I still think about that. That was so awful,” he said quietly.

Mendoza did not have even one day of leave in his time in the service. His combat, however, came to an end the day the prisoners at Santo Tomas were freed.

It was then that he was hit in the hand with shrapnel, an injury that earned him a Purple Heart. He still does not have full mobility in his hand.

There was fighting after that for about a month on the island, Rosemarie said. Soldiers had to go house to house in Manila to clear the area entirely, and there was a hostage standoff in one of Santo Tomas’ buildings.

“The fires flooded the sky, like what you would see at a sunset,” she said.

Mendoza remained in Santo Tomas recuperating from his injury.

“The boys left to go to Japan. I was still in Santo Tomas,” he said. “Before they got even halfway, it was over with. Japan had surrendered.”

Both went on to live full lives.

Weber has nine children and lives in Wisconsin. Chelly and Anna Bell Mendoza have four children and a home filled with pictures of loved ones and American flags.

Weber said she plans on continuing to write in SABER.

“Every year I get fewer answers because they’re getting older too, but I’ll never stop writing,” Weber said.

“Maybe (the soldiers) from others wars — even though they weren’t in the Philippines, they’ll realize what a difference these men made in our lives. They gave us life.”

http://www.philippinenews.com/article.php?id=3297

LOS ANGELES—Dottie Stone’s recollection of Manila is littered with cold isolation, atrocious hunger, and unmitigated fear in harrowing details—memories of war and grim reminders of the dark side of the human heart.

Along with 2,000 other passengers, Dottie and her family were aboard a ship bound from China, where her British father worked, when Japanese forces attacked a U.S. naval base in the Philippines in 1942. The captain of Stone’s ship decided to anchor into Manila where American forces were still stationed. But when Japanese troops occupied the city, Dottie, with her father, American mother, five brothers and sisters were rounded up and brought to an internment camp at the University of Santo Tomas in Sampaloc district.
Stone was barely 18 years old at that time. That was more than 62 years ago today.

The wounds of war still cut through Stone’s faltering memory but her persistent hopes of healing and closure make her defy time and space to seek the world’s attention towards the past. She believes that not enough attention is given the thousands of American, British, and Filipino nationals who were held captive by the Japanese in Manila for more than three years—as well as the heroism of the soldiers who rescued the UST internees.

“We truly want to dedicate our life to the memory of the so many Filipinos who fought so bravely in those dangerous missions to save our lives. Gen. MacArthur had knowledge that our camp was dynamited and ready to blow us all up. He ordered the troops to head for us at high speed and forgetting anything else,” Stone recalled in an interview with Philippine News. “These Filipino guerrillas did the great job needed to save our lives.”

Although Dottie and husband Salvador Jiron live in Glendale, where 16 percent of the city’s Asian population are mostly Filipinos, nobody seemed interested to talk about the past. “When it came to Santo Tomas, people didn’t talk about it, they didn’t want to get involved,” said Stone. “There were some Filipinos who were more interested with attending a party or wedding in Las Vegas than to support an event where a group of their fellow Filipinos who suffered during the war are present.”

Late last year, an article about Stone and her sisters Elizabeth Waaler and Gloria Rose, that was published in the Glendale News-Press, caught the attention of a Northern California-based network of UST internment camp survivors (both Americans and Filipinos), and invited the sisters to a “reunion.”
“It was like a brick was lifted. We wish we could have all met sooner,” Stone said.

That reunion proved to be a significant step towards healing. Last March, the City Council of Glendale gave a proclamation of recognition to Stone and her sisters and former Army Sgt. Carl Salonites, 89, as representative of the 37th Infantry Division, a combined force of Americans and Filipinos, that helped liberate the UST internees when Gen. Douglas MacArthur stormed Manila in February 1945.

“It’s my honor that the Filipinos and the POWs want the American people to know about what happened so long ago,” Salonites told Glendale News-Press. This recognition apparently fired up Stone to carry on and get involved in the Filipino community’s quest for recognition of the war exploits of its WW II veterans.

With sisters Elizabeth and Gloria, Dottie helped organize the 67th anniversary observance of the founding of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) July 25 “Celebration of Survival” gathering at Sheraton Hotel in Universal City here. Three of USAFFE leaders—Col. Edwin Ramsey, Commodore Ramon Alcaraz and Gen. Tagumpay Nanadiego—were presented “Awards for Legacy” at the event that again cited the courage of Stone and her sisters.

“I believe that events like this could help bring the veterans together as one,” Stone, who took time to visit Filipino enclaves in Eagle Rock and Panorama City, aside from her Glendale neighborhood, to hand out flyers for the USAFFE event. Dottie believes that WW II veterans, especially Filipinos, should be amply rewarded for the good of the past.

That “medal” comes in the form of the passage of the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 (or S-1315). It was approved by the Senate, by a landslide vote of 96-1, few months ago but the House has yet to schedule the bill for floor debate.
Dottie’s face lightened up as she told the story of at least two Filipinos who helped the internees at UST. While she couldn’t recall the first name of a certain Mr. Dahlen, who helped her family during those years of torment, Dottie could vividly remember pediatrician Fe del Mundo, the first woman admitted as a student at Harvard Medical School in 1936, who tended to the needs of the UST internees.
Del Mundo returned to the Philippines in 1941, shortly before the Japanese invasion of the country later that year. She joined the Red Cross and volunteered to care for children-internees, which included Elizabeth and Gloria, then detained at UST internment camp for foreign nationals. The Filipino doctor set up a makeshift hospice within the camp, and her activities led her to be known as “The Angel of Santo Tomas.”

“Dr. del Mundo is 97 years old right now. We are going to the Philippines in February so that my sister Gloria, who was in my mother’s womb when we were taken to UST, will meet the doctor,” Dottie said.
Dottie Stone, and her sisters Elizabeth Waaler and Gloria Rose, along with what’s left of the Filipino and American World War II veterans, dedicate what remains of their physical energy to let the world know that war is not kind, thereby believing that the human heart has a bright side to it, as well—and that one light radiates with forgiveness and reconciliation.

Dottie Stone’s spirit, like the sweet song of summer, becomes the gift of healing and closure

 

Excerpt

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091025-232129/Filipinos-most-lovable-people-on-earthFr-Reuter

 

Filipinos most lovable people on earth—Fr. Reuter

 

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:25:00 10/25/2009

MANILA, Philippines – From his sickbed, Father James B. Reuter of the Society of Jesus (SJ) expressed his praise and gratitude to the people he has chosen to serve for seven decades.

“I had been asked on many occasions why I have been in the Philippines for 71 years and my answer is, the Filipinos are the most lovable people on the whole face of the earth,” said the 93-year-old Ramon Magsaysay awardee, freedom fighter, and Catholic mass media icon.

Interviewed on Wednesday by the Church-run Radio Veritas, Reuter said, “I cannot think of a place that is more attractive to live in than the Philippines. I have never gone back [to the United States]... I have never considered giving up my vocation here in the Philippines because I think it is beautiful. It is what God wants and it brings me personal joy and gratification.”

“It is a blessing to be in the Philippines,” he added.

The Catholic Church through Radio Veritas is offering a daily Mass at noon for Reuter who is confined at Our Lady of Peace Mission Hospital in Parañaque City which he established to provide free medical services to the poor.(1989 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts. James Bertram Reuter Jr., SJ born 5/21/1916, was @ the Los Banos internment camp 1943-2/1945) 

POW/MIA
Del "Abe" Jones

So many fates are left unknown
And so many rumors that abound
So many families ask the question
When will the answers be found?

So many years have come and gone
Sometimes, hope is hard to keep
There's some that feel there's none
And in some, it's buried deep.

The pain, is in not knowing
How, to put loved ones to rest
When there is no way to prove
They have passed the final test.

But, no matter what the answers
We can't let this cause alone
Until, each and every one of them
Is found and brought back home.

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