Battle of Manila (1945)

The Pittsburgh Press (February 2, 1945)

Yanks ashore southwest of Luzon capital

Other troops gain north of city

New Luzon landing by the Eighth Army put U.S. forces ashore at Nasugbu, southwest of Manila, as Sixth and Eighth Army troops drove on the city from the northwest.

GEN. MACARTHUR’S HQ, Luzon, the Philippines (UP) – American tanks and infantrymen converged on Manila from two sides today.

The capital and the entire Jap defense system in southern Luzon were outflanked with a surprise landing 13 miles below the mouth of Manila Bay.

Amphibious forces of the U.S. Eighth Army, knifing into the enemy’s thinly-held west coast defenses for the third time in 48 hours, swarmed ashore early Wednesday at Nasugbu Bay, 41 miles southwest of Manila.

The landing was completed without loss and at last reports the Americans were advancing inland through weak opposition at a pace that may have already carried them to the shores of Manila Bay, within artillery range of Corregidor.

Liberate internees

Troops of the U.S. 11th Airborne Division who carried out the new invasion captured Nasugbu town, liberating a colony of interned European nationals, and struck out for Tagaytay Ridge, 20 miles to the east, where Highway 3 curves northward to Manila.

The operation started out as a “reconnaissance in force” by units of the 11th Airborne Division, but was turned into a major landing by on-the-spot orders of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, commander of the Eighth Army. He ordered the landing when the first assault units reported only token opposition.

Tokyo broadcasts said the Americans now have at least eight or nine divisions on Luzon and asserted that about 11,000 to 11,200 Yanks have been killed or wounded in the first three weeks of the campaign. The enemy accounts contended that the main Jap forces on the island have not yet been engaged.

Patrols operate freely

The new thrust broke open the back door to Manila, already menaced by U.S. Sixth Army veterans moving down from the north. The Sixth Army’s 37th “Buckeye” Infantry Division was reported 20 miles or less north of the capital, on and probably beyond the Angat River line below Calumpit.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s communiqué said the 37th Infantry Division’s patrols were operating freely throughout the area, indicating that the Japs were making no attempt at a determined stand above the capital.

Caught between the two American columns, the Japs in Manila faced the prospect of retreating southeastward around the shores of Laguna de Bay within the next few days of being trapped and annihilated inside the city. Their only other alternative was a flight to Corregidor for a death stand on “the Rock.”

Battle near Clark Field

As the battle for Manila moved into its final stage, fierce fighting in the foothills of the Zambales Mountains 50-odd miles to the northwest, where several thousand Japs were being bombed and shelled out of their hilltop positions just west of Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg.

Considerably weaker resistance faced the U.S. Eighth Army spearheads advancing eastward across the 18-mile-wide base of Bataan Peninsula from the recaptured Olongapo Naval Base at the head of Subic Bay. Vanguards of the Eighth Army were reported nearing Dinalupihan, 13 miles east of Olongapo, where they were expected to seal off the peninsula by joining Sixth Army forces moving down from Lubao, 10 miles to the northeast.

Far to the north, other Sixth Army forces beat down savage Jap opposition northeast and east of the Lingayen Gulf beachheads. An enemy column was ambushed and destroyed on the Umingan–Balungao road near the eastern end of the American line. The Japs suffered heavy casualties and eight of their medium tanks, eight artillery pieces, 15 tracked vehicles and many supply trucks were destroyed or captured.

Gain four miles

In the upper Agno River sector 10 miles north of Umingan, U.S. troops drove four miles east of Tayug to the Nativad area, while three miles farther north they captured San Nicolas after a six-mile advance eastward from San Manuel.

U.S. heavy bombers dropped 152 tons of bombs on Corregidor and the Cavite Naval Base in Manila Bay, while other raiders swept the enemy’s road lines and airfields in northern Luzon, destroying five grounded planes at the Loag and Tuguegarao airdromes and sinking a small freighter and eight barges off the island’s north coast.

Fighter-escorted PT boats sank another coastal vessel, two barges and two small craft in a sweep around the east coast of Luzon.

Long-range U.S. fighters destroyed six and probably eight more Jap planes in a daylight sweep over Formosa and other raiders set fire to a 10,000-ton enemy tanker south of the Sakishima Islands.

Tokyo broadcasts said Jap submarines torpedoed and probably sank two large American transports and an oil tanker off the west coast of Luzon Tuesday and that a U.S. submarine was sunk by air action somewhere in the Western Pacific.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 3, 1945)

Fall of city imminent –
Two U.S. divisions speed down highways to Manila

One force closes on town only 17½ miles north of Philippines capital


GEN. MACARTHUR’S LUZON HQ, Philippines – Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in a visit to his frontline troops battling toward Manila, said today he believed that U.S. forces would reach the Philippines capital tomorrow.

A front dispatch said the Japs have started demolition fires in Manila.

GEN. MACARTHUR’S LUZON HQ, Philippines (UP) – Vanguards of two U.S. divisions today sped down parallel highways less than 20 miles north of Manila.

Liberation of the Philippines capital appeared imminent.

Japan’s three-year reign of terror and starvation in Manila was entering its last hours just 26 days after the landing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s liberating army on the shores of Lingayen Gulf, 110 miles to the north.

Caught off balance by the multiple American attacks and with their main forces pinned down impotently in the northern hills around Baguio, the Japs apparently had little or nothing to oppose the armored columns sweeping down on the capital.

Mett light resistance

Motorized outriders of the U.S. 37th Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions were meeting only scattered resistance in their parallel advance through the northern approaches to Manila, and there was every prospect that their battle flags would be raised over the city before the close of the weekend.

Official headquarters reports, admittedly lagging more than 36 hours behind the event, said the 37th Infantry Division had finally worked out of the swampy bottleneck at Calumpit and pushed on more than five miles down Highway 3 to the Malolos area, 17½ miles north of Manila, by Thursday night.

A few miles to the east, veteran troops of the 1st Cavalry Division were pushing down Highway 5 below Sabang, 23 miles north of Manila, after a breakneck 57-mile advance in 24 hours.

Capture Cabanatuan

The 1st Cavalry Division, entering the Battle of Luzon for the first time Wednesday night, struck eastward along the Manila north road from Guimba and then south into Highway 5.

Cabanatuan, Santa Rosa and Gapan all fell in swift succession, completely severing communications between the Jap forces in north and south Luzon. Strong armored patrols raced 24 miles past Gapan to reach Sabang by nightfall Thursday.

The stiffest Jap resistance was met at the Pampanga River crossings just above Cabanatuan, where some 300 enemy troops supported by light tanks put up a short, sharp battle that ended in their destruction almost to a man. U.S. losses in the fight were described officially as small.

The Manila-bound Yanks pushed past Cabanatuan without entering the prison camp six miles to the northeast from which 510 American and Allied captives were rescued last Tuesday.

The advance on Manila shook the puppet Philippines government into a frantic appeal for more planes, tanks and guns to bolster Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita’s forces on Luzon.

Field dispatches said the terrific impetus attained by the 1st Cavalry Division was expected to carry them into Manila before the 37th Infantry Division, which had been hampered by the difficult terrain around Calumpit.

There were still no reports of Jap destruction inside Manila, and it was believed that only a relatively few key objectives – such as the Pasig River bridges, supply dumps and military installations – would be blown up before the enemy abandoned the capital.

Headquarters said plans are already being made for Gen. MacArthur and other high American officers to enter the city as soon as possible after its capture.

Far to the north, troops of the U.S. Sixth Army’s First Corps, who have borne the hardest fighting of the Luzon campaign, secured the Americans’ east flank between San Nicolas and Natividad, 27 miles inland from Lingayen Gulf and about the same distance south of Baguio.

Block road

Nine miles below Natividad, the Americans threw a block across Highway 8 just south of Umingan and launched an attack on sizeable Jap forces dug in on the outskirts of the town.

Meanwhile, elements of the newly-landed U.S. Eighth Army advanced six miles across the base of Bataan Peninsula east of Olongapo Thursday and were approaching Dinalupihan, where they were expected to effect a juncture with Sixth Army forces moving down from Highway 3.

Other Eighth Army units south of Manila were reported approaching Caylungon, 37 airline miles below the capital, after pushing nine miles inland from their invasion beachhead at Nasugbu Bay. Nasugbu town and Wawa, just to the north, were captured along with a nearby airfield, and headquarters said the Americans were meeting only light, sporadic resistance in their drive on Manila.

Japs attack convoy

Gen. MacArthur’s communiqué revealed that the Japs, repeating their unsuccessful Lingayen Gulf tactics, sent about 30 small boats equipped with depth charges and torpedoes against the Nasugbu invasion convoy Wednesday night. U.S. warships beat off the attack, destroying many of the enemy craft, and the convoy suffered only “minor damage,” the communiqué said.

Other U.S. naval patrols sank or severely damaged 19 enemy barges, five speedboats and a lugger in a night sweep along the northwestern coast of Luzon, and patrolling warplanes sank a Jap destroyer and damaged two others in another action farther north.

U.S. heavy bombers also dumped 109 tons of bombs on the Cavite Naval Base in Manila Bay, while another raiding force pounded enemy airfields in southern Formosa, destroying 30 grounded planes.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 4, 1945)

Fall of Manila due in few hours

U.S. advance guards believed already in outskirts of capital
By William B. Dickinson, United Press staff writer

Closing in for the kill, U.S. troops were expected to reach Manila today as two columns drove down on the Philippines capital from the Malolos and Sabang areas to the north and a third U.S. force drove against the city from the beachhead south of Manila Bay.

ALLIED HQ, LUZON, Philippines – Gen. Douglas MacArthur predicted yesterday that U.S. troops would be in Manila by today, climaxing the 108-day Philippines campaign.

It was believed here early today that advance elements had possibly reached the capital’s outskirts.

The official daily war bulletin issued at 6 a.m. today (5 p.m. Saturday ET) placed Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler’s 37th Infantry Division vanguards “less than” 15 miles north of Manila as of 6 p.m. Friday.

MacArthur, visiting the 37th Infantry Division’s advance units, said at 3 p.m. Saturday: “I believe we’ll make it tomorrow (Sunday).”

It may be stated today that the exact time of our entry into Manila is still uncertain, but it seems possible that advance elements may at least be in the outskirts by the time this is published. Capture of the city was believed to be a matter of hours.

Jap casualties for the first three weeks of the Luzon campaign, which started Jan. 9, were 33,000, it was announced. This compares to 1,271 Americans killed, 219 missing, and 4,099 wounded – a total of 5,389 or a ratio of almost 6-1 over the enemy.

The daily headquarters communiqué today, covering action through Friday, placed the 37th Infantry Division less than 15 miles from Manila, the 1st Cavalry Division to the east 22 miles north of Manila and the 11th Airborne Division coming up from the south 34 miles away. The prongs of the northern and southern pincers were within 53 miles of a junction un the center of the ancient city.

Dispatches from the 37th Infantry Division sector Saturday indicated U.S. troops were near the northern edge of the city.

Reported two miles away

The British radio quoted an unidentified American broadcaster using a mobile transmitter from the front lines that forward patrols had pushed within two miles of Manila without opposition.

The 37th Infantry Division’s new advance represented a gain of about three miles from positions last held before the town of Malolos, 17½ miles from Manila.

To the east, Maj, Gen. Verne D. Mudge’s 1st Cavalry Division veterans of Leyte pushed across the Angat River at the town of Bustos, 22 miles north of Manila. Patrols of that force had reached Sabang, on the north bank of the river 1½ miles north of Bustos, Thursday, but the main body was then well to the rear.

Near highway junction

The 1st Cavalry Division moving down Highway 5 was nine miles north of Biga, 13 miles from Manila and near which Highway 5 merges with Highway 3. The 37th Infantry Division moving down Highway 3 was five miles west of Biga.

At the southern end of the front, in Batangas Province, Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Swing’s 11th Airborne Division troops, who had driven ashore Wednesday, pushed through the town of Caylungon and were 27 miles due south of the Cavite Naval Base.

Troops of Maj. Gen. Charles P. Hall’s 11th Corps driving eastward across the northern tip of Bataan were meeting increasing resistance, the bulletins said, as they reached the vicinity of Balsic, eight miles east of Olongapo and within six miles of sealing off the top of the bloody peninsula.

Advance in north

At the extreme northern end of the Luzon front, Maj. Gen. Innis P. Swift’s First Corps troops battled through the rugged Caraballo Mountains for a two-mile advance 26 miles southeast of Baguio.

Steady progress was also reported near the headwaters of the Pampanga River, where nine Jap tanks were knocked out and heavy casualties inflicted on the Japs. The stubbornly-defended town of Umingan was captured by the 25th Infantry Division.

Heavy bombers, meanwhile, battered Cavite and Corregidor, starting numerous fires and explosions. Jap planes raided U.S. positions on Lingayen Gulf by night without causing damage.

‘Manila Derby’

A front dispatch reported that as Gen. MacArthur approached the front lines Saturday and heard the crash of Jap mortars in one sector, he received a tremendous ovation from Filipinos lining the roads and throwing flowers in the path of his jeep.

United Press staff writer H. D. Quigg with the 37th Infantry Division reported the Yanks were wearing hibiscus blossoms in their helmets as they thrust down Highway 3 in a driver to win the “Manila Derby” against the 1st Cavalry division moving down Highway 5 along the east bank of the Pampanga River.

A CBS correspondent reported from Luzon that pilots of the 1st Marine Air Wing swept over one of Manila’s principal streets at 200 feet without meeting anti-aircraft fire. The pilots reported no traffic was moving in Manila, but that it was possible that Japs had some tanks and armor hiding in strategic spots and were planning “futile house to house fighting.”

Civilians ordered out

A United Press dispatch from the 37th Infantry Division’s front said the Japs ordered civilians to evacuate Manila – the city’s population had been swelled from 673,000 to one million with the influx of war refugees – and roads leading northward from the city were clogged with weary natives.

The dispatch said that two columns of gray and white smoke rose 4,000 feet over the city. They came from the railroad yards and dock areas, indicating the Japs might have begun destroying military installations. It reported that only a few Jap troops and marines remained in the city.

‘Fight to last,’ Jap general says

By the United Press

Japan “will defend the Philippines until the last” and will fight on to final victory “even though Tokyo should be reduced to ashes,” Gen. Iwano Matsui, president of the Asia Development Headquarters of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, told a Tokyo rally today.

Matsui’s speech, broadcast by Tokyo radio and recorded by United Press at San Francisco, emphasized Japan’s East Asia policy and declared the Nipponese would not “abandon the Philippines to Anglo-American aggression.”

The Japanese general declared that President Jose Laurel of the Tokyo-sponsored Philippine Quisling government “must not taste the bitter cup as Aguinaldo did 40 years ago.”

Message from President Roosevelt to Philippine President Osmena
February 4, 1945

The American people rejoice with me in the liberation of your capital.

After long years of planning, our hearts have quickened at the magnificent strides toward freedom that have been made in the last months – at Leyte, Mindoro, Lingayen Gulf, and now Manila.

We are proud of the mighty blows struck by Gen. MacArthur, our sailors, soldiers, and airmen; and in their comradeship-in-arms with your loyal and valiant people who in the darkest days have not ceased to fight for their independence. You may be sure that this pride will strengthen our determination to drive the Jap invader from your islands.

We will join you in that effort – with our armed forces, as rapidly and fully as our efforts against our enemies and our responsibilities to other liberated peoples permit. With God’s help we will complete the fulfillment of the pledge we renewed when our men returned to Leyte.

Let the Japanese and other enemies of peaceful nations take warning from these great events in your country; their world of treachery, aggression, and enslavement cannot survive in the struggle against our world of freedom and peace.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 5, 1945)

Half of starving Manila freed by avenging Yanks

Japs in southern part of city burn buildings for last-man stand

The end of a long, hard road for Gen. Douglas MacArthur was the entry of U.S. troops into Manila from the north and east. Other U.S. forces were gaining against the Japs on both sides of Manila Bay.

MANILA, Philippines (UP) – Avenging U.S. troops seized control of virtually all the northern half of burning, starving Manila today.

The Americans freed 3,700 imprisoned American and Allied civilians and captured the Presidential Palace.

The 1st Cavalry and 37th Infantry Divisions stabbed into the heart of the Philippines capital from the east and north and rapidly were mopping up the last enemy pockets north of the Pasig River, which bisects the city.

South of the 200 to 300-yard-wide river, several thousand crack Jap Marines were blasting and burning docks, warehouses, bridges and other vital installations preparatory to what may develop into a last-man stand in the southern half of the capital.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur at last reports was waiting impatiently in the northern suburbs for the bridging of one last river for a triumphal entry into the city he was forced to abandon to its fate three years, one month and three days ago.

A CBS broadcast from Luzon said President Sergio Osmena and Resident Commissioner Brig. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo landed at a Luzon airport from Washington Sunday and headed south to join Gen. MacArthur in his return to Manila.

MBS correspondent Royal Arch Gunnison jubilantly reported that Manila had been “liberated,” but all other sources emphasized that the southern part of the city was still in Jap hands.

100-mile advance in 36 hours

The 3,700 American and Allied civilian internees were rescued by a mechanized flying column of the 1st Cavalry Division at the Santo Tomas University concentration camp in the heart of Manila Saturday night after a spectacular 100-mile advance in 36 hours.

Virtually all of the buildings in the camp area, including the infamous, ancient Bilibid Prison, had been cleared of Japs by last night. The Americans fought literally room to room for some of the buildings.

Brig. Gen. Williams C. Chase of Baltimore, who commanded the rescuing “flying wedge,” said the condition of the internees was “most pitiful.”

“They are practically skin and bones,” he said. “It would break your heart to look at them.”

Other elements of the 1st Cavalry Division pressed on to the north bank of the Pasig River and seized the Malacanang Palace, former residence of the U.S. governor general and later the seat of the Quezon government.

The 37th Infantry Division entered Manila from the north at 6:30 a.m. yesterday and by early afternoon was within a few hundred yards of a junction with the 1st Cavalry Division units at Santo Tomas.

Airfield in suburbs overrun

The infantrymen overrun the Grace Park airfield in the northern suburbs of Manila. Though pitted by U.S. bombs, it was expected to be repaired quickly. At least one artillery observation plane has already landed there.

Both the 1st Cavalry and 37th Infantry Divisions met only sniper and machine-gun fire in their advances into the capital, but fierce fighting was expected when they attempt to force the Pasig to clean out the remainder of the city.

“It may be a hell of a job,” one high officer said. “It may be several days before we have the city cleared out, but the Japs have no chance now.”

The Jap garrison was doomed to death or surrender. Its escape to the south had already been cut off by the 511th Paratroop Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division, which seized Tagaytay Ridge and city 30 miles below the capital Saturday morning.

By Saturday night, the paratroops were only 18 miles south of Manila and advancing against light opposition.

The 11th Corps, moving toward Manila Bay fropm the west coast of Luzon, was believed on the point of sealing off the Bataan Peninsula.

The 1st Cavalry and 37th Infantry Divisions found northern Manila little damaged, thought several fires were burning in the area. Great clouds of smoke from the area south of the Pasig River, however, cast a huge pall over the capital.

First observation indicated the Japs for the present were confining their demolition below the Pasig to bridges, warehouses, supply dumps, docks and other similar installations and not indulging in blind destruction.

The demolitions shook the ground for a radius of 20 miles about Manila and for a time there was an explosion every 10 minutes. An observer who flew over the city said the National City Bank Building appeared to be smoking, but the Bayview and Manila Hotels were intact.

Even should the Japs not scorch southern Manila, heavy resistance on their part might force the U.S. command to use artillery and bombers against the fortified area, resulting in major destruction.

The 1st Cavalry Division jumped off from the Guimba area of central Luzon Friday for its 100-mile dash into Manila. Several hundred Japs were slain as the flying columns smashed through enemy pockets in a wide, enveloping sweep that carried through the hills to the east of the capital.

Captured intact were the Novaliches watershed and great dam and reservoir some 20 miles northeast of Manila. It was possible, however, that the Japs destroyed the pumping station inside Manila since city water was cut off in at least some sections of the capital.

Manila Bay, one of the world’s largest landlocked harbors, was reported a graveyard of sunken ships, most of them destroyed by U.S. aerial bombs but some scuttled by the Japs.

A Jap Domei broadcast said U.S. troops landed Jan. 18 on Kolo Island, largest of the Sulu group in the Southwest Philippines midway between Mindanao and Borneo, with a force of 3,000 troops and more than 10 tanks.

U.S. Liberators attacked enemy installations on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay Friday and next day hit the Cavite Naval Base, just south of Manila, causing many fires and explosions.

Attack bombers struck enemy defenses at Balor Bay on the east coast of Luzon, while fighters badly damaged two enemy destroyers off the north coast.

Light naval units strafed coastal installations and damaged seven beached barges in Salomague Harbor north of Vigan on the northwest coast of Luzon.

Emaciated internees hoist U.S. troops on shoulders

By Robert Crabb, United Press staff writer

Robert Crabb, a former member of the United Press staff in Manila, was interned at Santo Tomas University with his wife and two children when the Japs captured the city in 1942.

SANTO TOMAS INTERNMENT CAMP, MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 3, delayed) – The grounds and buildings of ancient Santo Tomas University were a joyous sight tonight as 3,700 internees – mostly Americans – sought the strength to carry on their shoulders the husky young Yank cavalrymen who freed them from the Japs.

Almost hysterical joy swept all of the internees as we heard the first shots, then realized American soldiers at last had arrived to free us. We hung from windows and rushed from buildings to shout encouragement without heeding Jap defense fire.

Even hostages happy

As I write, a small enemy detachment is holding out in the education building where about 300 internees are still held, but even there the prisoners are in high spirits, they are shouting constant advice to the carefully-attacking Americans.

Cpl. John Hencke of New York City was in command of the jeep which first crashed through the gates of Santo Tomas spearheading the cavalry force which made a dramatic dash through the city’s back door.

As the camp began celebrating its liberation, the first question asked of all troops was, “Did you bring any food?”

The soldiers broke out their field rations, although they themselves were hungry after their spectacular dash. They gave out all their rations in a few minutes. For the first time in many months the internees ate without worrying where the next meal was coming from. Camp administration officials promptly announced that tomorrow morning’s mush rations would be 125 grams instead of the usual 70.

Salmon and marmalade

For years to come, Cpl. Hencke will be a household word for the Crabb family. He gave my wife, our two children now in internment and me a meal consisting of salmon, marmalade, coffee and condensed milk. My wife, who is an Australian, cried when she saw the “Made in Australia” label on the marmalade container.

Even more than 36 hours after their liberation, American internees are finding it difficult to realize they actually are under the American flag again. Hundreds wept openly this morning as the Stars and Stripes were run up on the university’s flag staff for the first time in more than three years.

Reporter finds wife among 3,700 rescued in Jap camp at Manila

Allied civilians cry hysterical welcome to liberating U.S. soldiers
By Frank Hewlett, United Press staff writer

MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 3, delayed) – Some 3,700 thin, hungry Allied civilians, 2,500 of them Americans, cried a hysterical welcome to liberating American troops at the Santo Tomas University internment camp tonight.

Among them was my wife, Virginia, from whom I parted on New Year’s Eve of 1942 to go to Bataan with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. She had insisted on staying behind in Manila as a nurse in Santa Catalina Hospital.

I found her there today, recovering from a nervous breakdown. Doctors said she would be fully recovered now if she had had sufficient good food. Though never a big girl, her weight has dropped to 80 pounds. But I found her in excellent spirits.

Routed quickly

The Japs were routed quickly from most of the buildings in the camp area, but were still holding out in the former education building of Santo Tomas University late tonight with nearly 300 American, Dutch and British internees as semi-hostages.

Troops of Brig. Gen. William C. Chase’s mechanized flying column surrounded the building, but hesitated to use machine guns or other automatic weapons for fear of hitting the civilians.

Shout engagement

The civilians, nonetheless, shouted encouragement and advice from the windows of the besieged building. They included many women and children.

Hewlett, in a later dispatch, said a truce was arranged under which the 221 internees were released unharmed and the Jap force of 65 men under Col. Hayashi was permitted to leave the university area unmolested.

The internees were so overjoyed at the arrival of the American troops that they insisted on lifting them to their thin, emaciated shoulders and carrying the soldiers through the buildings.

Conditions ‘pitiful’

Robert Crabb, another member of the former United Press staff in Manila, his wife and two children were among those set free.

Gen. Chase, after a personal inspection of the concentration camp, described conditions as “most pitiful.” Most of the internees, he said, were suffering from malnutrition and were “practically skin and bones.”

“It would break your heart to look at them,” he said.

Relief convoy waiting

He urged that first priority should be given food and medical supplies for the internees.

A broadcast from Luzon said great motor convoys with doctors, Red Cross staff men and enough equipment to build a large hospital were waiting north of Manila to enter the city as soon as bridges were restored. They were also bringing 12,000 letters and other messages to the internees, the broadcast said.

Gen. Chase’s flying column, consisting of a small force of tanks, jeeps and troop-laden trucks, shoved off at 1:00 this morning on a reckless dash over a seldom-used, rough road into Manila from the northeast. The toughest fight of the day came at Novaliches, 10 miles from the capital, but brushes with the enemy were frequent all along the route.

Bypass Japs

Lt. Col. Haskett Conner Jr. of Wakeman, Indiana, led this special force which undertook the mercy errand on special orders from Gen. MacArthur, who ordered them to take any risks to get through to Santo Tomas, liberate the civilians and then protect them until stronger forces could be brought up.

Col. Conner bypassed several pockets of Jap resistance without slowing down. Our force exchanged fire with the Japs, then roared on by.

Four former Manila residents – Phil Dunn of CBS; Carl Mydans of Life; Dean Schedler of Associated Press and I – made the trip together in one vehicle. Snipers and machine guns firing on both sides of the road had us ducking most of the afternoon.

Opposition weakens

Strangely, the nearer we came to Manila, the lighter the opposition was. As we passed each kilometer, someone would remark: “Hell’s going to bust loose any minute now.”

But as we reached Grace Park airdrome, which is littered with wrecked Jap aircraft, the sniper fire was lessening. We sped past Del Norte, Manila’s greatest cemetery, then into Avenue Rizal.

We moved down Avenue Rizal several blocks, then the columns split with half of it taking up perimeter positions and the remainder moving on to Santo Tomas.

Vehicles mobbed

Civilians moved our vehicle, cheering and offering us portions of their meager food supplies. They passed out iced water, beer and liquor. The women were weeping while the men saluted and children squealed in delight.

But the Santo Tomas reception was even more delirious.

A grenade hurled from the Jap guardhouse at the entrance to the prison camp delayed us until tanks were brought up under the orders of Maj. James Gearhart of Sante Fe, New Mexico, a range officer who says he knew personally almost every New Mexico National Guardsman taken prisoner on Bataan.

Told to hold fire

Maj. Gearhart led his men into the 55-scre university grounds, warning them to hold their fire and not endanger the lives of the internees. Creeping along the buildings for what seemed an eternity Mr. Mydans and myself reached the main building where the windows were filed with excited faces. The internees were yelling so loudly we couldn’t distinguish anything they were saying.

We entered the building and were mobbed. The women kissed us and then these thin, starved people lifted us on their shoulders – an honor that should have been reserved for Col. Conner and his men. But Col. Conner’s forces were still busy outside killing Japs.

Wife at hospital

I found a little girl who could answer the question which was foremost in my mind. She told me where I could find my wife and kindly offered to accompany me to the hospital where Mrs. Hewlett was held.

It was a reunion after years about which I do not want to think.

The Americans here have suffered terribly since last June when the Japs forbade them to purchase food from the outside. Conditions have been especially bad in the last two months. The ration has not been more than 700 calories a day.

The rescue was the second mass release of Allied prisoners in five nights. Last Tuesday night, American Rangers and Filipino guerillas released more than 500 American and other Allied war prisoners at the Cabanatuan concentration camp north of Manila.

Army to speed internees’ names

WASHINGTON (UP) – Names of American internees rescued in Manila will be transmitted to Washington by the Army and released here by the War Department as rapidly as they can be compiled.

No names had been received up to noon today, and the War Department doubt that any would be received until tomorrow or later, due to the time required for making up the list in Manila.

It was expected that the process of transmitting the names from Manila to Washington would necessarily extend over several days.

The War Department plans to release the names in groups, as they become available, immediately after it has dispatched notification telegrams to the next of kin.

Yanks reach Manila in 26-day drive

City first occupied by U.S. in 1898
By the United Press

The Japanese and American campaigns for Manila were of almost exactly the same duration.

On December 9, 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, the Japs made their initial landing on the city’s home island of Luzon. On December 27, they bombed undefended Manila and on January 2, 1942, their land forces occupied the “open city” and the Cavite Naval Base.

The American Philippines campaign began October 20, 1944, with the landing on Leyte. It moved onto Luzon January 9, 1945, with the landing at Lingayen Gulf and into Manila itself yesterday, February 4.

Jap 24, U.S. 26 days

Thus on Luzon Island, the Jap campaign took 24 days and the American 26.

The first campaign ended with the imprisonment of about 4,000 Americans, Britons and other Allied nationals, many of whom have since been rescued. All U.S. ships and Navy personnel were removed prior to occupation. Jap casualties, while not officially known, were believed comparatively small.

In the American campaign, U.S. casualties from October 20 through January 29 have been 16,806. This is approximately one-tenth of the Jap toll of 164,000 casualties.

Known once as the trade center of the Pacific, Manila is an important prize and one for which America has fought twice – both times with the MacArthur name at the fore.

First occupied in 1898

Manila was first occupied by U.S. forces August 13, 1898, after the Spanish-American War. Spain had ruled the Philippines for 370 years. Although the islands were not officially ceded to the United States until December 10 that year by the Treaty of Paris, the Manila port was reopened to commerce within a week after American occupancy.

Following an insurrection February 4, 1899, President McKinley, on July 4, 1901, appointed William H. Taft as civil governor of the Philippines to succeed the military governorship of Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, father of the present general.

Thereafter began a long-range program of co-benefit aimed at the building up of American trade in the East and the eventual political independence of the Philippines. Until 1936, 65 percent of Manila’s commerce was with America. Manila developed into a modern healthful city with free education and improved living standards.

Landlocked harbor

Manila is the capital and most important city of the Philippines Archipelago with one of the largest landlocked harbors in the world. It is built over an area of 14 square miles around the mouth of the Pasig River on the east and inner shore of Manila Bay, a crescent-shaped bay about 100 miles in diameter.

At the head of the bay stands Corregidor. It was to this fortified island, known to some as the “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” that U.S. forces retreated after their epic 98-day stand on Bataan Peninsula against overwhelming odds. On Corregidor, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright surrendered May 6, 1942.

The modern half of Manila on the north side of the Pasig is known as the Escolta or “Broadway of Manila.” It contains the wholesale and retail districts as well as the homes of native workmen and leads out into the northeastern suburb of Santa Mesa, the exclusive residential section of Americans and Europeans.

Walled city in south

On the shore line south of the Pasig, now known as the port area, is Pier Seven, one of the largest and most modern in the world. The southern half of the city is known as Intramuros because it contains the ancient walled city built by the Spanish.

The Philippines were discovered by Magellan, the famous Portuguese navigator and soldier.

In the early 16th century, Portuguese trade routes were established to the east around the Cape of Good Hope and Spain, seeking a new one, sent an expedition under Magellan to the Philippines Archipelago, then known as San Lazaro Islands. A later expedition found the trading center of Manila, a crudely fortified town on the south bank of the Pasig. In 1571, a Spanish officer took over the town and laid it out as a city.

The earliest history of the Philippines goes back to the period when it was a dependency of a succession of Hindu-Malayan empires in Indochina, Sumatra and Borneo. From 1325 to 1405, it was under the Javanese empire of Majapahit and later was a dependency of China during the Ming Dynasty.

For over 100 years preceding 1565, the island of Luzon was often held by Jap seafaring adventurers while the island was dominated by Mohammedan Borneo.

65 Jap soldiers traded for 221 American internees

Yanks escort enemy to safety in return for leaving prisoners in building unharmed
By Frank Hewlett, United Press staff writer

GEN. MACARTHUR’S ADVANCE HQ, LUZON, Philippines – At dawn today, 65 Jap soldiers were traded for 221 American internees held as hostages in the education building of the Santo Tomas campus.

First Cavalry Division troopers surrounded the building and for six hours exchanged fire with the Japs but none of the prisoners was injured.

Armistice negotiations opened yesterday between Brig. Gen. William B. Chase and Jap Lt. Col. Hayashi, resulting in suspension of firing. Hayashi insisted that his men be permitted to leave the building with packs and weapons and escorted to safety in return for leaving the Americans in the building unharmed.

Japs neatly dressed

The exchanged Japs, more neatly dressed than our soldiers because they had not been in the field, lined up in front of the education building with American soldiers on either side.

Hayashi led his men and officers, carrying their own packs, sabers or pistols. Two Japs limped from battle wounds, while a third casualty was hauled on a two-wheeled cart.

Lt. Col. Charles E. Brady of West Orange, New Jersey, led the American unit. Before departing, this seasoned veteran who led the 5th Infantry Regiment on Leyte, told his men:

The Japs have given us the alternative of freeing them or having all the Americans in there killed. We march down the road with them between us and at a given point we halt and they go on. I don’t want any of you fellows to be trigger happy, but if they fire, give them hell.

Japs nervous

Several blocks from Santo Tomas, our forces halted and the Japs marched off alone. They were nervous, however.

Filipinos jeered and one Jap yelled: “Down with Gen. MacArthur. Down with America.”

The fate of the Japs remained unknown. The city is full of Americans and guerrillas who would love to tangle with Hayashi.

Much credit for saving the hostages goes to British missionary Ernest Stanley, who handled the negotiations and agreed to walk unarmed in front of Hayashi where the colonel could shoot him if things went wrong.

Japs to fight harder than ever, Grew warns

WASHINGTON (UP) – Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew today hailed the recapture of Manila as the harbinger of speedy liberation of all the Philippine Islands, but warned that it will inspire the Japs to fight harder than ever.

Mr. Grew, who served as U.S. ambassador to Japan for 10 years prior to Pearl Harbor, voiced the warning and widespread acclamation for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s triumphal return to the Philippines capital.

In Congress, the American return to Manila was viewed as a pointed “lesson in freedom” for the United Nations because of this country’s plans to give the Philippines full independence. The House adopted a resolution by Rep. John E. Rankin (D-Mississippi) instructing Speaker Sam Rayburn to send a congratulatory message to Gen. MacArthur.

Roosevelt hails freeing of Manila

Action held warning to Axis’ treachery

WASHINGTON (UP) – President Roosevelt last night hailed the liberation of Manila as a warning to the Axis that “their world of treachery, aggression and enslavement cannot survive in the struggle against our world of freedom and peace.”

In a message to President Sergio Osmena of the Philippines, released by the White House, the President said that the “magnificent strides” of U.S. forces in the Philippines will “strengthen our determination to drive the Jap invaders from your islands.”

“The American people rejoice with me in the liberation of your capital,” he said.

He promised that the United States would join with the Filipinos – a “loyal and valiant people who in the darkest days have not ceased to fight for their independence” – as rapidly and as fully as possible.

With God’s help we will complete the fulfillment of the pledge we renewed when our men returned to Leyte.

Yanks toast their arrival inside Manila brewery

By H. D. Quigg, United Press staff writer

WITH 37TH INFANTRY DIVISION, MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 4, delayed) – One of the first large buildings reached by advanced elements entering Manila was the Balintawak Brewery and the Doughboys lost no time in toasting their arrival.

The brewery was undamaged, although flames were cracking in a warehouse next door where the Japs apparently had stored supplies.

In the cool interior of the brewery, the Doughboys quickly pulled plugs from a large tank of beer and began filling their helmets and any other available containers.

They naturally had a tough job keeping the floor from becoming flooded. In an effort to help, I filled two canteens, two-quart bottles and my helmet. The cool beverage seemed the finest I ever tasted.

One of the first Doughboys into the brewery was Pvt. Timothy J. Moriarity of Lowell, Massachusetts, who, after sampling a helmet of the cold beer, declared it was even better than the beverage dispensed at Donhue’s “best beer in lower Massachusetts.”

But, he agreed, 33 months of jungle fighting may have biased his judgment.


Simms: Manila victory to alter role of U.S. in war

Fight against Japan becomes moral issue
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

WASHINGTON – The entry into Manila is hailed here as the most important, most significant and most puzzling Pacific development since Pearl Harbor. It alters the whole aspect of our war against Japan.

It is vitally important because our honor and prestige were at stake there. when the Japs hauled down our flag, we were humiliated before every man, woman and child in the Orient.

The loss of Manila will be a corresponding blow to Japan. Half the population of the globe lives in Asia and the Pacific. It was in this area that Japan carved out her new empire – her “co-prosperity sphere.” Here her bandy-legged warriors boasted of their superiority over the Occidentals.

When Gen. Douglas MacArthur enters Manila, the Japs will lose more “face” than they had gained by its capture. Today, their prestige is dragging in the dust from one end of Asia to the other.

Loss of face to be fatal

It is puzzling because nobody knows this better than the Japs. To lose “face” among the hundreds of millions of Orientals whom they have sought to dominate eventually will prove fatal. Why, then, did they not put up a better fight before the Philippine capital? Until recently, they resisted to the last man in defense of every tiny atoll. Why their strange behavior on Luzon?

The answer, some of the experts here believe, may be found in Berlin. The Nazis, like the Japs, at first raced all over the map against less prepared forces only to lose everything largely because they had taken in too much territory. It may be that the Japs know they have lost the war as they originally planned it and are now hoping to avoid complete annihilation by pulling in their lines.

New angle in war

Manila’s fall is significant because from here on out – barring major reverses – the United States can face the war in the Pacific from an altogether new angle. And this is tremendously important.

Territorially, our chief stake in the Far East is the Philippines. Once these are redeemed, our fight with Japan will assume a totally different character, taking its place on the same plane as our fight with Germany. That is to say, our war aim – in the Pacific no less than in the Atlantic – will be to help destroy international outlawry and make the world safe for the peace-loving nations.

As long as the flag of Japan floated above Manila, we were in honor bound to keep plugging away if it took the last drop of American blood and the last American dollar. We had to keep on regardless of whether our Allies helped us a little, a lot, or none at all. It was “our” war.

Moral stake

Once we give the Philippines back to the Filipinos, our stakes in the struggle against Japan are the same as in the struggle against Hittler – no more and no less. As in Europe, our obligation becomes largely moral.

This gives the United States a stupendous advantage at future Allied council tables. Britain, France, Holland, China and Russia will all be more deeply committed in the Pacific than we. Britain must go to bat for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, her East Indian colonies, Hong Kong, Burma and India. France has Indochina to think of and the Dutch Indies will still bind Holland.

Vladivostok menaced

As for Russia, she must reexamine her entire Far Eastern position. Japan shares frontiers with Siberia. Vladivostok is still directly menaced. Russia’s outlet on the Pacific will remain bottled up as long as Japan remains a first-class power, and Japan aspires to nothing less than the whole of eastern Siberia up to Lake Baikal.

Of course, America’s Pacific war aim will remain unaltered. It is to see Japan destroyed as a great power. But if and when the United States asks her allies for help, compliance will be at least as much to their advantage as ours.

Völkischer Beobachter (February 6, 1945)

Die Yankees in Manila

Tokio, 5. Februar – Amerikanische Truppen sind am Sonntag um 17 Uhr aus der Richtung von San Fernando in Manila eingebrochen, meldet die japanische Nachrichtenagentur Domei von einem Stützpunkt auf den Philippinen.

In dem Bericht heißt es, dass die US-Truppen unter dem Schutz starken Artilleriefeuers und Luftabschirmung am Sonntag in die nördlichen Vororte von Manila ein¬drangen und von dort aus am Nachmittag in die Stadt vorstießen. Die japanischen Truppen unternahmen heftige Gegenangriffe. In der Nachbarschaft der Universität Santo Tornas finden Straßenkämpfe statt.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 6, 1945)

City’s fall proclaimed – ‘On to Tokyo!’ slogan of MacArthur now

Bataan Peninsula sealed – Americans prepare for assault on Corregidor

MANILA, Philippines (UP) – Three U.S. divisions today encircled fanatically resisting Jap remnants in Manila.

The action virtually completed the liberation of the Philippines and setting the stage for the next phase of the march on Tokyo.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur officially proclaimed the fall of Manila, capital of the Philippines and largest city yet liberated in the Pacific war, and said the motto of his command now was: “On to Tokyo!”

He said the “complete destruction” of the doomed enemy garrison of Manila was imminent and revealed that another 1,350 U.S. and Allied war prisoners and civilian internees had been freed yesterday with the capture of ancient Bilibid Prison.

Other U.S. forces avenging the bitter defeats of 1942 sealed off Bataan Peninsula and were believed preparing for an early assault on Fort Corregidor in Manila Bay.

Gen. MacArthur said in a statement accompanying his daily communiqué:

The fall of Manila marks the end of one great phase of the Pacific struggle and set the stage for another.

With Australia safe, the Philippines liberated, and the ultimate redemption of the East Indies and Malaya thereby made a certainty, our motto becomes, “On to Tokyo!”

Writing off the eventual loss of Manila, Jap propagandists said that the coming of the Americans to Manila was “exactly what our side waited for, and our bleeding tactics will now enter the positive stage.”

Drive from south

The 11th Airborne Division completed the stranglehold on the battered Jap garrison in Manila by smashing into the city from the south yesterday after an overnight dash of 35 miles.

The 37th Infantry Division, pouring into the capital from the north, and the 1st Cavalry Division, from the east, linked up in the heart of Manila and cleared all of the city north of the Pasig River with the exception of scattered groups of snipers.

The Japs blew up the Quezon and Ayala Bridges across the broad Pasig as they fell back into the southern half of Manila for a last stand. Two other bridges remained intact, however, and may have been captured by the Americans.

Explosions shake ground

Jap demolition squads continued their destructive work in southern Manila, working feverishly against their own imminent destruction. Numerous fires cast a heavy pall of smoke over the city and explosions shook the ground at frequent intervals.

With the 11th Airborne Division’s thrust into southern Manila however, the enemy garrison could be considered “hopelessly trapped,” Gen. MacArthur said.

The 37th Infantry Division captured Bilibid Prison in the northern half of Manila yesterday, releasing more than 800 war prisoners and about 550 additional civilian internees, including women and children.

5,500 prisoners rescued

That brought to more than 5,500 the number of Allied prisoners rescued in the past week, including those at the Santo Tomas University concentration camp in Manila and the Cabanatuan prison camp in Central Luzon.

Most were Americans, but the number also included a scattering of British, Australians, Dutch and other Allied nationals. Gen. MacArthur said the names of those rescued at Santo Tomas and Bilibid would be released as soon as they have been tabulated, probably a matter of several days.

“Every facility of the Armed Forces is being devoted to the care and attention of those who have been rescued,” Gen. MacArthur’s communiqué said.

Hospital move in

Food trucks were revealed to have reached Santo Tomas only a few hours after 1st Cavalry Division spearheads freed the camp. Huge mobile hospitals rolled into Manila today to care for medical cases.

Bataan Peninsula, where the Americans made a bloody stand in 1942 before retiring to Corregidor, was sealed off by a junction of the Eighth Army’s 11th corps and the Sixth Army’s 14th Corps at Dinalupihan, 37 miles northwest of Manila.

With U.S. forces in control of all roads leading into Bataan, the way was blocked for any prolonged Jap stand on the peninsula.

Corregidor bombed

Continuing to prepare the way for an attack on Corregidor, the largest force of Liberators yet struck the island in two raids Saturday. Corregidor must be captured before Manila Bay can be opened to American shipping.

To the north, the First Corps seized most of San Jose, 80 miles above Manila and only 37 miles from the east coast of Luzon, in a drive that cut the main road to the Balete Pass and Cagayan Valley.

More dead on Leyte

Fierce fighting continued in the Munoz sector, seven miles southwest of San Jose, where 25 enemy tanks, many trucks, pillboxes and artillery pieces have been destroyed. Units north of San Jose engaged the Japs in Pupao and advance five miles along the Villa Verde Trail into the Caraballo Mountains.

On Leyte in the central Philippines, U.S. troops counted an additional 733 enemy dead or prisoners.

U.S. patrol planes in the China Sea sank two small freighters off Amoy on the China coast, bombed and strafed parked aircraft at Swatow Airdrome, started fires at Takao, Formosa, and sank a fuel-laden vessel northwest of Formosa.

Bilibid prisoners saved from fire

MANILA, Philippines (UP) – A caravan of U.S. jeeps and trucks roared through the sniper-infested streets of Manila last night to rescue 1,003 prisoners and internees from Bilibid Prison when Jap fires raging on three sides, threatened to engulf the former federal penitentiary.

Every man in the 37th Infantry Division was turned out to evacuate the men, women and children of Bilibid.

Military authorities said the evacuation was completed just in time. Jap mortar fire had been dropping in the civilian and prisoner of war compounds all day. Shortly after the prison was cleared, Jap machine-gun fire started to rake the prison yard.

Those evacuated were 639 U.S. prisoners of war and 465 civilian internees. The civilian group included approximately 392 Americans, 71 British, one Mexican and one Chinese. There were 214 women, 169 men and 82 children, a dozen of whom had been born at the Baguio Prison Camp.

Santa didn’t forget Jap prison – Billy got a whole piece of candy

By Richard G. Harris, United Press staff writer

WITH THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION AT BILIBID PRISON, Philippines (Feb. 5, delayed) – The explosion of Jap demolitions, the rattle of machine-gun fire and the sharp bursts of mortar and artillery shells rattled the walls but Billy and Jamie didn’t seem to hear them.

Billy is 9 and Jamie is 5. They are the children of Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Mathers, of Princeton, New Jersey, and they were telling how Santa Claus didn’t forget them, even last Christmas behind the grim walls of Bilibid Prison.

Billy said he got a whole piece of candy and Jamie got three bananas.

“And I got a cardboard auto from mother and some beautiful pictures, too,” Jamie boasted.

Billy said that was well enough but tomorrow was his birthday and he was going to have a wonderful party.

“You know what I’m going to have for a birthday present?” Billy asked. “We’re going to open a can the Red Cross sent us and I don’t even know what’s in it yet.”

“Shucks,” said Jamie, “you had that before the Americans came. I bet you get more than that old can.”

Tomorrow is going to be a great day not only for Billy but for all the internees. A notice was posted on their bulletin board that tomorrow they will have cornmeal mush and coffee with both sugar and cream. And the children are going to have milk instead of rice water.

The youngsters tagged the American soldiers everywhere, asking their parents why they were so big and husky. Most of the young children had never seen any American soldiers who were not emaciated from life in Jap prisons.

The American combat troops, fighting their way forward on short rations, took one look at the children and handed out all the food they had.

The youngsters scrambled over the American equipment despite the still-falling mortar fragments.

Clarence Mount of Henderson, Tennessee, former regular army man in Manila, apologized for the curiosity of his three-year-old daughter, Patricia Jean.

“You see she was born in prison,” he said, “and she never knew anything else.”

Howard Hick of Easton, Pennsylvania, kitchen supervisor at the Santo Tomas Camp, revealed that the Japs had tried to force him to serve dog meat to the interned children just before Christmas.

Only his flat refusal and the threat that both he and Earl Carrol of Palo Alto, California, vice chairman of the Internee Administration Committee, would resign, caused the Japs to withdraw the order.

The Japs had called two men in one day and ordered them to kill all the dogs in camp, numbering about 100, and use the meat on the chow line.

“Dog meat is much like monkey meat,” said the Jap officer, “and people eat monkey meat.”

When the Americans objected that the dogs were diseased, the Jap said: “But there are many good dogs. The children need chow. You kill the dogs and feed the children.”


Simms: Fall of Manila gives America big problem

Filipinos must get food, clothing
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

WASHINGTON – Manila’s fall marks the beginning of probable the most difficult – because it is the most delicate – phase of our 46 years of association with the Philippine Islands.

Before leaving Washington to join Gen. Douglas MacArthur for the grand entree into his capital, President Sergio Osmena told me something of the conditions in the archipelago.

The plight of the Filipinos is pitiful. The invaders treated them harshly. The farmers were systematically robbed of almost everything they raised, leaving next to nothing which could be sold to the city dwellers.

This meant gnawing hunger if not actual starvation in the towns, also the diseases which malnutrition leads to.

Japs live off country

Unlike Americans, the Japs live off the country. They even steal clothing, selling at black market prices such civilian articles as the soldiers could not use themselves. They often destroy quite wantonly what they can’t take away.

As a result, the Filipinos generally are undernourished, plagued with all kinds of sickness, and pretty much in rags. They are in great need of almost everything – food, clothing, drugs.

U.S. faces problem

The United States now faces a tremendous psychological problem in the Philippines. The people have been treated so cruelly by the Japs for so long that the masses are looking to the Americans for immediate assistance every description. Adequate aid, of course, may be difficult, if not impossible, to provide – at least in the immediate future. Yet unless it is forthcoming the effect is bound to be bad.

European experience shows what to expect. As, one by one, Europe’s occupied countries were liberated, the inhabitants seemed to expect things to change for the better and at once. Overnight they hoped the things of which they had been deprived for so long would reappear. When they didn’t, there was disillusionment. The sick and the starving are seldom reasonable, especially when encountered en masse.

Cites Europe

Europe has shown that mere liberation is not enough. The hungry want food. The ragged want clothes. The ailing want medicine. The homeless want houses and the jobless and penniless want work and security. There is feverish impatience and when relief isn’t forthcoming there is national unrest.

The gist of all this is that while there is undoubtedly a limit to what we can do in the Philippines, it is imperative that we do everything we possibly can. The Filipinos are especially our wards. We are in honor bound to do our best by them – not only for their sake but for our own. For, half the population of the globe, all the yellow and brown races scattered throughout Asia, have their eyes on us. Our prestige is still at stake.

Reporter, wife are near, yet far apart for 3 years

Freed from Manila prison, correspondent goes four blocks to find Mrs. Weissblatt
By Frank Weissblatt, United Press staff writer

BILIBID PRISON, Manila – The arrival of the 37th Infantry Division broke down the walls which for three years had separated me from my wife, who was only four blocks away in the heart of Manila.

We were reunited last night. Although we had been interned so near to each other, our only communication during the three seemingly endless years had been an official card every three months, except for occasional messages delivered by the underground.

Our separation was occasioned, by my status as a war correspondent. The Japs considered me a war prisoner and confined me to Bilibid Prison instead of Santo Tomas where other civilians and their wives were confined. After the 37th Infantry brought about our rescue I went to Santo Tomas where I found my wife.

Keeps prisoner records

In the darkened university halls last night and today I told wives, friends and relatives of prisoners held by the Japs the news of their loved ones at Bilibid, Formosa, Japan and Manchuria which I had compiled while at Bilibid.

Bilibid was a focal point for prisoner movement and I talked to men passing through in the daytime and wrote my record secretly at night, hiding the papers.

We kept our hopes alive on the news of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s island-to-island progress back to Luzon.

The most difficult time of all was during the last few weeks when we knew Gen. MacArthur was on Luzon but had only wild rumors on his progress down the plain.

Hear rifle butts

The food shortage was growing acute, but strength came back to us all when the sound of soldiers’ rifle butts against the wooden shutters on our barred windows gave us the first sign that Americans were in Manila.

One rifle butt knocked a small rectangle of wood from a window. A hand and an unwashed, unmistakably American face appeared in the opening.

The hand held a rifle and nervously fingered the trigger. Just in time its owner recognized us as fellow-Americans.

“How in hell do you get in there?” he shouted.

‘Glad to see you’

“How do you get out of here?” replied a prisoner, jokingly. “We’ve been trying to find that out for three years.”

Hardly a minute later, the soldiers were inside the wall and we were free. We told them the Japs, had pulled out Sunday afternoon.

There were tears of gratitude in our eyes, but the only words we could find to say were: “Glad to see you!”

Stanley and Livingstone –
‘Weissblatt, United Press,’ interned reporter says

Liberated newsman’s leg knit at 30-degree angle after being broken by Jap bullet
By H. D. Quigg, United Press staff writer

**BILIBID PRISON, Manila (Feb. 5, delayed) – Our names aren’t Stanley and Dr. Livingstone, but for a while it seemed as though they should have been.

It happened in Bilibid Prison, that ancient jail in which the Japs have confined 800 Allied war prisoners and 550 civilians for nearly three years.

I was just bedding down for the night on the concrete floor of the prison with an assault battalion of the 37th Infantry Division when someone said there were some American prisoners who just had been freed on the other side of the wall.

‘Weissblatt, United Press’

The night was pitch black. but I felt my way around the wall and along a corridor toward a hum of excited voices.

Suddenly I sensed rather than felt or saw someone beside me. I stuck out my hand, even as did Stanley in darkest Africa those many years ago.

“I’m Quigg, United Press”

The Dr. Livingstone of Bilibid Prison grasped my hand fervently.

“Weissblatt, United Press,” he replied.

And thus I met Franz Weissblatt, 46, who covered the Jap invasion and American retreat from Lingayen Gulf to Bataan for United Press readers three years ago.

He was captured January 7, 1942, the sole survivor of a unit of 15 men from the famed 26th Cavalry Division. The other Americans had been killed when the unit was ambushed by the Japs.

Mr. Weissblatt was sitting in a scout car when a Jap rifle bullet hit him in the leg, breaking the bone. He was knocked to the bottom of the car. Then a mortar burst directly over the car, leaving him unconscious.

Pulled to ground

When he regained consciousness at daybreak, he saw Jap troops crawling forward. He raised his head over the side of the car.

The Japs gave a whoop and pulled him onto the ground, impacting the leg fracture. They forced him to strip and crawl 50 yards to a Jap command post.

After 35 days of traveling around to various Jap headquarters, Mr. Weissblatt was taken to a Jap naval hospital in Manila, where his leg knit at a 30-degree angle without being reset.

He went to various camps on crutches and finally arrived at this former federal prison, where he has been more than 2½ years.

That was “Weissblatt, United Press.”

Mr. Weissblatt’s wife was found doing nurse’s duty at the Santo Tomas internment camp. She had been at Bataan and Corregidor and for over two years has handled the diet for internment camps, feeding several hundred small children and trying to keep them nourished out of a small variety of available foods.