Manuel "Manny" Nevarez
Manuel's entire story "Diary of Manuel Nevarez" (pdf)
After graduation from high school in June 1939, Menarez, joined the Salinas' 40th Tank Company of the 40th Infantry of the 40th Infantry of the California National Guard. In Sept. 1940, it became Company C, 194th Tank Battalion and in February, 10th, 1941 the US Army activated the unit into federal service. In Sept. 8, 1941, Manny found himself on the USS President Coolidge, heading to the Philippines, to protect the parameter of Clark Air Force Base. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Clark Field he was ordered to Bataan to try to halt the advancing Japanese. On April 9, 1942, his company lost 10 tanks and six men and joined the Bataan Death March. While he was held at San Fernando to clean a warehouse, he found a small tablet and a pencil he used for a diary at Camp O'Donnell. The Japanese discovered and confiscated his small book and he beat him severely. He started a second diary, but it too was taken from him, this time at Cabanatuan. In mid-1943, he departed to Japan on a hellship in mid-1943 he began another diary and this one survived.
Manuel salvaged this diary by holding it between his legs and other occasions he buried it in the ground.
Picture to the right below is Manuel G. Nevarez shaking hands with Mike Elmore, Exalted Ruler Reno Elks Lodge 597, after receiving Purple Heart.
Diary of Manuel G. Nevarez
Written during World War II while being held a Prisoner of War by the Japanese(Note: Except where required to correctly identify a location or event, no attempt has been made to correct for spelling or grammar from original writings)
1-28-44 Friday, had a very rugged day, a bit sick, worked hard, loaded 20 car of dirt. Everything is still the same, waiting for the Yanks and Tanks.
2-15-44 Tuesday, went to work, had a hard day, as usual, nothing new.
2-16-44 Wednesday, got a slap by the Tayivan and it rained all morning and still had to work. Boy all of us sure were wet.
2-17-44 Thursday, had a hard day, had a little awakening to do because there was one of us missing at time to come home, but was alright after a wait about one hour and a half. Just that somebody changed companies and didn't report it and they checked up and found the missing man.
2-18-44 Friday, another hard day, still waiting for the day to come, sweating blood little by little.
2-19-44 Saturday, had a miserable day today, had a little fever and worked hard but made it alright.
2-20-44 Sunday, still a little sick but made it alright, nothing new.
2-21-44 Monday, felt a little better this morning and feel a lot better this night, had a good supper and thinking of home, hope this day will come soon.
2-22-44 Tuesday, I'm well again, hope to god I don't get sick again. The Japanese thing(k) we are sabotaging because don't work hard enough to finish their airfield.
2-23-44 Wednesday, the boys at the garage got caught bringing in food from the outside so they were warned if they were caught again their money would be taken away from them.
2-24-44 Thursday, had a hard day, loaded 22 cars, they are working us hard because they want to finish part of the field so they can use it.
2-25-44 Friday, we worked very hard because they are in a hurry to get through with a part of the field , the tayivan want 22 but they only got 20, we gypped them out of one.
2-26-44 Saturday. today was the same, but we haven't finished yet, made 21 loads, two boys had a fight, the reason I don't know, I guess they came home so tired, anything they say to each other, it annoys them and that made them fight.
2-27-44 Sunday, we are all trying to finish but we still go plenty more.
2-28-44 Monday, well we are still waiting for the day to come when we will be through. As for the Yanks and Tanks to come, nothing new.
2-29-44 Tuesday, Well we finished today but we changed our position to a different place but we are working as hard now.
3-1-44 Wednesday, we've had a day at rest at last, but always thinking of home.
3-2-44 Thursday, had a nice day of work, not pushing us, had it pretty good, nothing new.
3-3-44 Friday, nothing new except that work is still going on as before.
3-4-44 Saturday, had an easy day, loaded 15 cars and very easy in the afternoon, I got a hold of a little P-40 fuel, drank a little, not enough to get any effect, everything else is OK.
3-5-44 Sunday, today lots of things happened, two of the boys that were working with us got drunk on P-40 fuel, they sure wee beat up by the Japanese and were told that we got no more meat and very little chow and anybody got caught with P-40 fuel would get tied to a post for three days.
3-6-44 Monday, we sure had a swell day, we didn't work hard, we even had a break, came in at 4 PM, that was because the Tayivan had to get some kind of shot or some kind of test, heard a rumble we are supposed to leave here soon after the 1st of April.
3-7-44 Tuesday, not so bad today, worked very easy and heard today that a plane supposed to land, that's all.
3-8-44 Wednesday, a fair day, it didn't happen after all, I mean the airplane, I guess it won't be long now. everything the same.
3-9-44 Thursday, boy things sure changed today, when we came in from work we heard the rumor that we are going to be sent to Japan, I hope no that's all that really any good I mean news.
3-10-44 Friday, boy we are all excited because we saw 36 plane and thought something was up but to our surprise it was only an Army day for the Japanese.
3-11-44 Saturday, well at least it happened today at 4:20 PM an airplane landed and it was successful, no crashup, it landed three times to try it out and I guess it was alright, took off the third time and didn't return, but we not through yet.
3-12-44 Sunday, today is our day of yasome, I mean rest, the boys are sure in a rage because there is a shortage of tobacco, it has been this way for about two weeks now, I sure hope they get tobacco in soon.
3-13-44 Monday, went to work today, had a pretty hard day, heard a rumor today that the Yanks will be here by the 1st of April and also we receive packages.
3-14-44 Tuesday, yes today we got our packages, I mean they got them because I didn't get any, Charlie and Gorney and all the rest got one and just to see Chare and Clyde open theirs, it sure made me unhappy but I guess I'll get mine later I hope.
3-15-44 Wednesday, I had a very lonely day always thinking why I don't get one but I won't give up hope and we quit working early, the reason I don't know.
3-16-44 Thursday, still wishing that they bring the rest of the mail to see if I got one or not, nothing new.
3-17-44 Friday, had a hard day because I got a bite on my and sure hurt.
3-18-44 Saturday, I just made it today, I went to sick bay and told me to come back in the morning to have it cut.
3-19-44 Sunday, they cut it alright, I went through a lot of hell, I cussed and sweated cold and had a hell of a morning I didn't work.
3-20-44 Monday, not so bad today but still weak, rumor today that they might bring some more mail. I sure hope so. I didn't work today either.
3-21-44 Tuesday, I'm still on quarters, I hope I can stay until Saturday or at least nothing else new.
3-22-44 Wednesday, still quarters today. I'm going to see the doc and if i get worse Q?, well I m still Q, nothing else happen, of yes it did, I won a lot of money but I lost it all the same nite.
3-23-44 Thursday, another day on quarters, I getting better though ?, went to work next day, received letter today from home, made us all very happy and we are still expecting some more, I hope we get them soon.
(Gap)3-29-44 Wednesday, nothing new except some more planes landed at the field and there's a rumor we might leave this place, where to we don't know.
3-30-44 Thursday, not a bad day today, came home at 3:30 PM easy day.
(Gap)4-9-44 Sunday, yes Easter Sunday, today we got our last red boxes, it 7 men to a box, we had a good Easter dinner Gorney and I and we got a rumor that McAuther and Nimitiz is in Palaw and it won't be long until they will be here.
(Gap)4-18-44 Tuesday, we are still building revetments, how-many we don't know, hey have women and little girls working out the airfields laying sod, they supposed of have bombed mending three days ago, I have time to don't know.
4-28-44 Friday, today one of the boys got caught with a note passed by a Filipino, he was not harmed much, just a few slaps on the face, but we expect it worse.
4-29-44 Saturday, today we got our day of rest at last, we are going to get American cigarettes and tobacco, both fresh and paste or powder.
5-12-44 Friday, well today is my birthday and we had a hard day working out on the airfield, just thinking of the things I would do if I was free but I guess must has to be a sad day for me, thinking of home all the time wishing this dam war would end sometime.
(Gap)5-14-44 Sunday, we had a days rest today, the chow is very lenned now and getting worse every day and work getting harder too, boy the Yanks and Tanks better some soon or else.
5-15-44 Monday, had a very hard days work, very tired, it was windy and got all dirty, there was fight jut (just) as we got in, Mascoto and Ross, he owed him $150.00, I owe some too but not very much, I sure been having bad luck lately, in fact all month, I hope it changes some day, no rumors as yet, oh yes I just heard that Germans evacuated the Black seas.
5-16-44 Tuesday, they took inventory of our money, to check just how much money we had but the reason for this was that so much money was coming into that want check up or more or less put a stop to it.
5-18-44 Thursday, today we had a very hot day and very hard working day, boy is it the chow getting scarce more and more every day, if this keep up any longer none of us will be able to do much work, not the way they want it done, no news.
5-20-44 Saturday, well it has come at last, I meant the rain & not the Yanks and Tanks and day before yesterday, a boy had another guy hit him with a pick handle so we would get a broken wrist so he wouldn't have to work and his wish did come through, he is on quarters now, he doesn't have to work for about 1 or 2 months and a day before that another boy stuck his arm under a car that was used for hauling the dirt out to the fill, boy work is so hard and chow so scarce that times I wish I have the nerve to do the same, nothing new today.
5-21-44 Sunday, today it looks like rain where we were working, it rained out in the distanced, a rumor started today in fact some of the supervisors took the numbers of some of the men that he looked that were in good shape, for what reason I don't know, but I imagine they will be going out some place, where we don't know, details later on.
5-22-44 Monday, another rugged day that no rain yet and no rumors about the numbers of yesterday, today a son of a ? made us work until 6 PM and the rest of companies work until 6 PM and were although just waiting for us. They moved all their airplanes to another field, the reason we don't know as yet, but I think they are going to stop working on the field during rainy season.
5-23-44 Tuesday, well yes, here it is the 23rd of May and still waiting for the Yanks and Tanks, never mind that we had a pretty cold day, it was partly cloudy but still worked hard just the same, Charley and talked about home today and sure lonely for home and we were planning on a camping tour for Charlie and I wish well be granted soon, no other news.
5-24-44 Wednesday, yes another day of hard work, had a light rain today and some of the boys tried to catch two caribou's but didn't succeed, there was nothing but pick and shovel men. News oh almost forgot there was something new, they stole some Red Cross chow from some of the officers and enlisted men, they had their chow in the supply room, who stole it they didn't know. I guess they won't know.
5-25-44 Thursday, yes today was moving day alright but we had to work anyhow, had a nice dinner at noon today but never enough rice, just enough chow to keep you from starving. I sure was lonely today.
5-26-44 Friday, well Santa Claus is here again, the Philippine Red Cross donated some food and shoes and various other things, today I got 8 cigarettes, 2 pieces of chocolate bar and 1 Spam, can of peanuts, Y2 package cigarettes, Y2 soap, 5 tines of bananas, boy they sure came in handy, because I sure was hungry after a hard days work, there's a rumor that we might have the day off tomorrow because it Navy for the Philippines.
5-27-44 Saturday, yes today was Navy day alright but we had to work anyhow but tomorrow will rest and oh yes we got a good ration of chow, a big pig and some good vegetables, the food is betting better outside a lot we don't get enough rice.
5-28-44 Sunday, today we had a day off, had pretty good chow and got 4 little pigs and we receive our pay. I got $2.80 for a whole month pay, the day was very sad thinking of home.
5-29-44 Monday, worked today, felt pretty good until noon and I really felt miserable but still worked today, the doctor have me Q's because I still had a little fever, but I still don't know if I feel so good yet, it rain at 8 PM and boy it sure did rain like I never seen before, it only lasted about 72 hour or so.
5-30-44 Tuesday, still had a little fever, no work today.
5-31-44 Wednesday, I did go to work today, but I did a lot of sleeping and a lot of resting, nothing else, new.
6-1-44 Thursday, yes another month and a hard days work, had to work today being that I couldn't get a little temperature so I could stay in, it wasn't so bad, I felt pretty good, it didn't rain, the rumor is that the Russians have driven the Germans out of Russia and they are turning for the rest of us, I hope they will come soon, it did rain about 6:30 PM, only for half hour.
6-2-44 Friday, rain like hell this morning just before we had to go to work but that only last for a half hour and we had to go to work, had a very muddy day and not so hard, oh yes today I got caught for Japanese guard dealing with other Japanese, but nothing was said about it, I sure was lucky and how.
6-3-44 Saturday, today was my unlucky day for me after all, just about the time for us to come home, I dropped a rock on my right foot and sure fix it up, I don't know if I have any broken bones or not, I guess it just sprained.
6-4-44 Sunday, I stayed in today on account of my foot but they were going to send me out work until I went this morning and told the I couldn't not with my foot the way it is and they cud down on the rations for the Q's men, down to 2/3 rations,the son of a ? yes I mean it too. Moven out all Philippinos and Spamen and out drawing blood and Navy moving in and Philippinos leaving out of Manila to their province and Japanese going to Ft McKindly and Price are very high in Manila, Rice cost $500 for 68 kilos,sugar cost 600 peso and it didn't rain.
6-5-44 Monday, stayed in again, my foot not bad just swollen from the hit of the rock, nothing else I might go to work tomorrow, I hope not.
6-6-44 Tuesday, I did go to work, it was awful hot and worked pretty hard, we caught a caribou and thought we were going to get it but no, they got it, yes the Japs. (Today was D-Day in Europe)
6-7-44 Wednesday, I had a good day today, a little tired, today we all got a package of tobacco which made all boys very happy and more than the rumors put out today was also good that we made a landing of Parachute troops on France and by sea too.
6-8-44 Thursday, things did happen today, Mike Mascato got caught today traden with the Tayivan, had a hard day very hot and lots of planes take off today, know, I saw them go south east and Jimmy a Mexican kid from Texas the two as caught trading.
6-9-44 Friday, it sure was hot all day, working like hell, pushing us all the time like a bunch of slaves, they are trying to finish the rest of the field before the hare rains get here.
6-10-44 Saturday, a very bad day today because many of the boys got hurt, some by the Japs in charge of us,one other by the heat they are sure giving us hell because they think we are doing sabotage by not putting out as many loads as they want, but how can when we do the work when we are hungry all the time and so hot that we get weak and can't put out no more, it rained at 8:15 PM, a rumor that we doing very good in France and that it wont be long now, they are driving Germans out of France.
6-11-44 Sunday, today is our day of not doing nothing, the boys just lying around doing a lot of rest, we sure need it and others playing cards, black jack, poker, the chow is still very poor, rained again 8:30 PM, three boys went to Bilibed (Bilibid) today with broken arms and hand and others to Pasig for dental work, brought back good news for France, tow landings rage, and on Belgium and Holland, New Guinea.
6-12-44 Monday, stayed in today, had a bad foot, the boys had a easy day today, that what they said the supervisors did not beat up anybody today that they are taking it easy on the boys but the chow still lousy, it just started to rain again 7 PM.
6-13-44 Tuesday, went to work today, had it very easy, not so bad, nothing new except they are still fighting in France.
6-14-44 Wednesday, work was so so and so many of us are getting so tired of the work that some of the boys are breaking arms and fingers and only last night one of the boys tried to break his arm but only bruised it, no luck.
6-15-44 Thursday, today they brought in two boys from out from the field one with a broken hand and another got a pick stuck on his foot. Harvey and Boarg, work was usual no rain.
6-16-44 Friday, boy things are really getting tuff when the chow is so bad that some of the boys are eating rats and cats, boy I'll have to be a lot more hungry than what I am in order to eat a cat or rat and I am so hungry that I could anything but I guess I'll starve I hope not.
6-17-44 Saturday, rained like hell this morning, I mean rain, we had to work in the rain, we came in about 4 PM, but all soak and wet, two more boys with broken hands.
6-18-44 Sunday, a very gloomy Sunday, rain again, but we were lucky today, did get wet, but it rained all nite.
6-19-44 Monday, today worked all day,didn't rain all day but we had narrow escape, just as we got home it really came down but not mud on us today, a Tayivan boy died out at work about 11 O'clock this morning, rumor as follows, more the Tayivans refused to go to work today but they went to work the next day, they are worked day and nite.
6-20-44 Tuesday, no rain got very cool today, didn't work very hard because we have a long track to haul out on the show is getting a little better but still very little rice.
6-21-44 Wednesday, not so bad today had air raid and we are all prepared with black out lights, the paper around our lights just in case.
6-22 44 Thursday, longest day of the year and we had a very wet one too, trained about 3 PM and we worked in the mud and some of got wet, boy it pure miserable t work, good news today Guam has been taken and a big Navel Battle west of there but Guam has not been taken, mistake.
6-25-44 Sunday, we dint work today Charlie and I cooked beans and potato soup, Vances send him in his package thinking of home of the good food we would be eating and wish the darn war would be over soon situation in Europe is very good for our side we a making be progress.
6-26-44 Monday worked today and boy was it miserable I'm out of hoes and I got to work bare foot never had I been without shoes and it sure hard on my feet.
6-27-44 Tuesday an easy day, but the chow is sure is bad, we got very little today, we got 2 whacks across the ass for not loading our cars, the other fellows in front of us were loaded be we wait because it was time to come home. We got it for not having our car loaded.
6-28-44 Wednesday, they say Suneberg fell the 26 of June, I sure hope it true had a pretty hard day hungry all day long all of us talk just about chow and what we will eat when we are free again.
6-29-44 Thursday, not so bad today, were so hungry that some of the boys when we came home along the road they pick some kind of dobie weed to eat, what it is I don't know but that just to show how bad it is I hope we get free soon and get us out of this hell hole.
7-4-44 Tuesday, worked hard all day and thinking of what we would be doing if we were free on this very day fourth of July.
7-5-44 Wednesday, Charlie's
brother he had to work too on his birthday we had some beans at noon to
celebrate with ha , also thinking of the
good time we had on his last
birthday in the USA,
they caught a boy
7-6-44 Thursday, another hard day work, good news and at the same time bad because there no water the Jowin plant in Manila had some thing wrong but we soon had water.
7-7-44 Friday, almost finished with the cut that they in a hurry with as used had it easy we are getting a little more chow, not very much but it not quite as bad as it was, boy just made it home when it started raining
7-8-44 Saturday, everything the same except all of us are out of tobacco and is getting hard on us on the work, the chow the same. 7-9-44 Sunday, today we dint work, had a good day rest, Charlie Hennera and I had a good meal at noon, coconuts halla.
7-10-44 Monday, worked all day alone and no rain, not until we were ready to come home , boy we really got it, we all got soak and wet.
7-11-44 Tuesday, a very hard today because we had to work in the rain and slide around in the mud like a bunch of pigs and it sure was miserable and today they started build home shelters and trenches around our area where we are held prisoners, I guess it wont be long now, I hope, Tobacco 4:40.
7-12-44 Wednesday, it didn't rain today but we still had to work in the mud all day which hit more hard then when its dry, chow has not improved any, rumors that they caught some Americans, soup rations for today, salt port and salt fish, eggplant and dobie greens.
7-13-44 Thursday, rain all day but we didn't get very wet, worked in the mud, made 13 loads today, rations 2 small pigs, fish eggplant and some camotes and pumpkins, at roll call tonight we were told that all sick men lame and lazy would leave for Cabanatuan.
7-14-44 Friday, we went out to work, it rain all day and we got all wet, made on load, eat dinner, out there after dinner we came home, got her at 1:30 PM, 250 men left for Cabanatuan 10:30 A.M
7-15-44 Saturday, boy the place sure look lonely now but we still went out work we beat the rain today but worked all day long, the chow is getting better.
7-16-44 Sunday, had an easy day work in the mud all day but so hard, today at noon they caught a boy going through chow line twice, he was punished by not giving him his noon meal for seven days (Balatagar Apodaco) and today I was struck by a officer and a hell of an argument about us Mexicans.
7-17-44 Monday, we finished our fill today and we are moving to other place today, make it bigger and every thing looking pretty good now, chow has been improving a lot since the 250 men left ration Pork Sal Fish.
7-18-44 Tuesday, a good day, work kind of hard, rain on and off, just as we got home it sure did come down like a typhoon, I should have said nothing about the chow, the decrees in rice rations, how much I don't know but we sure don't get enough rice because we are very hungry and work hard every rations about the same vegetables and a little meat. 7-19-44 Wednesday a real bad day, made four loads in the morning and eat nd in the afternoon got caught in a storm and I mean a storm, we got all soak and wet all of us shivering cold and with almost no clothing at all.
7-20-44 Thursday, rained all nite and nice and clear this morning and to work in the mud and part rain all day long, just dodging the rain, it was sure a hard day, they say Saipan and Marianna's were taken by the Americans and Japan Palarrw was bombed.
7-21-44 Friday, very poor chow today and yesterday also two times we got rotten pig for rations and I've had to throw them away, another day for dodging the rain and work in the mud, it sure is hard for the guy that are punishing he still is not getting his chow, the American Officers are doing Elving this him, take what little food he gets and he still goes out and works.
7-22-44 Saturday, it rain all nite and still went to work this morning, worked until noon, eat out there, it was still raining when we got through. eating that they had a heart and brought us in at 2 O'clock PM and still raining strong, rations, not so bad caribou meat and vegetables.
7-23-44 Sunday, today it didn't rain much except for light showers send a card home of 25 word message did do anything all day long, just washed a little, layed in bed and read, rations, meat and vegetables, getting little more rice today.
7-24-44 Monday, we didn't dodge very much rain today but it was sure muddy to work, it was not so bad, Charlie was struck by Jap guard on the hand and leg, hurt one of his fingers he had infected, rations, very poor today, just vegetables, chow is so poor, some of the boys are eating greens, so do I when I can get them but at dinner time just to see them eat those greens, it looks like a bunch of horses are eating grass, just think what starvation does to us guys, it wont be long now?
7-25-44 Tuesday, had a happy day today but still worked hard didn't rain in the morning, afternoon it did but didn't get wet, Charlie Sigala talked about our old times back home the thing we use to do and things we are going to do when we get back if we do get back. He talked about Rafy and me about Many Robles and about raising chickens and pigs, goats and two cows, ha,ha,ha!!! Rations, same as yesterday poor, oh, today they put blackout on the airfield.
7-26-44 Wednesday, another pretty good day, Charlie and I worked together again talked about home of my sisters and family and his family especially of Maria Consueld, it rained a little in the afternoon and didn't get wet, rations, little port and vegetables but little and very rice, boy we are almost starving they caught another guy getting rice twice in chow line, the outcome I don't know, he was sentenced for three days without his noon meal or supper.
7-27-44 Thursday, a fair day until the afternoon it started raining about 4:30 O'clock and all of us got wet, should seen all of us like wet rats, it was sure a sorry sight to see, in charge the son of a - - ? - , Charlie and I still had a good day talking of old times, rations the same as yesterday, some Philippinos were caught stealing trees and other things, what they did was execute them
7-28-44 Friday, boy everything is sure against us, it rained all nite and when it time to go to work in the mud and rain, Charley got a bad foot today and he didn't work with me, meat and vegetables but very little, rumors Germany fell and some general revolting, all of the boys working with hardly no cloths and without shoes.
7-29-44 Saturday, talk about those son of --? being mean, it rained all nite still in the morning it was raining so we got payed and thought that we weren't going to work, just stay at the mess hall where we eat, all wet and cold until 3 O'clock and came home.
7-30-44 Sunday, got slapped by a Japanese superintendent, he sure hit me hard, had to work in the rain, almost starving, Charlie is on Q's, he has a bad foot.
7-31-44 Monday, very good all the way around, no rain when we came home we get surprise, we get letter from home, boy everybody is sure happy and gay Charlie got 3, I got 2 so far.
8-1-44 Tuesday, a very nice day, no rain, worked pretty good but still in a rush, a lot of air activities, the chow is still the same, very little.
8-2-44 Wednesday, good day, worked like hell, when we were coming home they used the air raid flag and we also received commissary, everything very high.
8-3-44 Thursday, good sunny day but a little windy, work hard, chow is very serious now, that they are going to give us lugao for breakfast and for supper and team rice at noon and little vegetables, Herrera went to hospital, very sick.
8-4-44 Friday, a mce day but very sad, Herrera is very sick, the work as before, chow is getting worse and worse, Charlie is getting worse, Charlie day dreaming about his house and Rafy that if she still waiting for him, he sure will make her a very happy wife and make up for what he has done in the past.
8-5-44 Saturday, very bad day, worked in the rain all morning and part of the afternoon, Herrera still pretty bad, Charlie and I thinking of home and making plans.
8-6-44 Sunday, today was our day of rest but the dirty son of bitch make us go to work, the chow is still very bad, Herrera the same.
8-7-44 Monday, a fair day but worked like dogs just like slaves, chow is still the same today, we got under shirts from the Japanese, Herrera a little
8-8-44 Tuesday, they brought a phonograph and some records for us from Behbud and sure is nice to hear some state side music.
8-11-44 Friday, easy day but still had to work in the rain, rain like hell all nite and then it quits in the morning and we still go to work, Herrera well again.
10-1-44 Sunday, left Laspines detail and we were embarked on the
boat 5:30 PM, were put down in a hole like
animals (600) six hundred in a hole in the, in the other side I don't know we had an awful time sleeping
together with no room to move,
very hard to go to the latrine.
10-2-44 Monday, if I ever thought that working out there at the field that it was a misery, this is sure a hell of them living in the boat just out all the way from the harbor, we got our first meal this afternoon about 1:30, we hadn't eaten since 11:30 AM yesterday, the boy here are passing out like flies, very little fresh air crowded lying on coal, gravel, they been changing men from the other hole to this hole then about 640 men just imagine what it like, we are supposed to get two meals a day and we are getting vitamin pills.
10-3-44 Tuesday, we had an awful nite last nite, we are still here in Manila Bay, it rained part of the nite last nite and morning, some of the boys are wet and sick and some are having a hard time, they a Red Cross boat came in, I don't know, I'm not sure they gave us about ten and five minutes up on deck out of 24 hours and one canteen of water a day, well we are just getting through eating it about 1:30 PM and we re pulling up anchor, sailing,don't know, they are sure locking us up, they have fasten the board up above with cables and a pike and little air is coming in, they left a little hole to put our chow donw by rope and to pull our defecations out, here one man get very sick and after that they ae us as bad that shouldn't be in this here hole but they don't give a dam they put them down in the hole.
10-4-44 Wednesday, we sailed at 1:30 PM, stopped a Cabcalin and started out at 2 AM this monring, had awful nite, some of the boys sang a little, chow is fair but not so good less than half mess kit of rice, lousy soup, eat any of mine and dine in the afternoon, we are sailing along the coase line about 1/2 mile or little more from the shore. water is a problem, we eat chow and it rained, some of us got all wet, we stopped at Subic Bay for about 1 1/2 hours and we were off again, started again at 2:30 changed some more men from hole because it very bad there.
10-5-44 Thursday, we been off and we travel day and nite, out of water and plenty hot sweating out the Yank submarine.
10-6-44 Friday, today some the Yanks sunk a ole tanker and caused a lof of excitement, all the boys get in a turnoil, several boys have died, Charlie and Herrera are still holding on, water is very limited.
10-7-44 Saturday, everything is still pretty bad, water water is what we need, they don't even give a dam, for the chow, we have been going and haven't stopped yet last nite we had a hell of a nite, very scared and they be sunk and would make it, even so weak from lack of water and chow and fresher air.
10-8-44 Sunday, a very bad day, sweating it out and no water but a 1/4 canteen cup of water, a very bad nite, everybody dust like a bunch of wild men, they this way because they scared and weak and as a nicb and thirsty.
10-9-44 Monday, still out at sea and things are getting worse and worse, still very little water and last nite for me, the worst nite of all, some more died and one killed by mauty and the Yanks sunk another ship by submarine.
(Gap of 8 Months)
6-16-45 Saturday, had a very nice day at the shop, did a lot of welding, when we came home we were searched because somebody stole 8 pairs of sock and four toels, we had a shake down in our barracks and lots of the boys lost many things, we didn't get any supper until 11:30 PM but still they have not caught the thief.
6-17-44 Sunday, morning and a very nice day but we haven't had our breakfast until they get crook, who stole the stuff and I'm very hungry and we are cleaning our squad room, well they finally fed us but they did not catch the thief, we got all three meals in one at 3:45 PM, things are sure rugged and getting worse every day but we won't give up.
6-18-45 Monday morning, boy things sure did happen this morning, we fell out for roll call and there was four of the new men escaped and stood outside until 9 AM without breakfast, we went to work at 2 O'clock PM, we had three meal, the others did two, we didn't do nothing, they are still looking for the guys that escaped.
7-14-45 Saturday, today at 7:02 AM we had a air raid, it lasted until 9 AM, w were taken up the hill from where we work to air raid shelter.
7-15-45 Sunday, the day is not so bad but a guy out of the new men got caught trying to steal cigarettes or chow and this morning R.O. Jensen died, lack of medical attention and foo, they cut down our cigarette issue because men are trading their food for cigarettes.
7-16-45 Monday, had an air raid last nite and the rest of the day was very quiet, worked pretty hard, received one cigarette.
7-19-45 Thursday, I had a misunderstanding with a guy at the factory and we had a lttle fight but the guard stopped us, he hit me on the leg with his rifle and Percy got it too, he was trying to break it up and he got because he thought he was fighting, we finish the fight at the barracks, I won.
7-20-45 Friday, we had a small air raid, we went to our fox hole, stayed there for about 1 hour, every else pretty good, nothing else new.
7-21-45 Saturday, today a very wet day didn't do much all day.
7-29-45 Sunday, had an air raid last nite and nite before we had air raid very often but we yet heard or seen an American plane ,today 4 or five high officials of the Japanese Army to inspect our camp, they are here now, what the outcome will be I don know as yet.
8-8-45 Wednesday, had air raid all day loong and Tuesday was the same way. (This was two days after the 1st Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the day before Nagasaki)
8-10-45 Friday, today just before quitting I got slappepd around or mean boxed around like a Joe Lewis, last nite had and air raid.
8-11-45 Saturday, very quite a day little work, good health rumor we get two days off Sunday and Monday.
8-12-45 Sunday, today Sunday was very nice, went to church services and went down town for a load of wood.
8-13-45 Monday, had all day off, I don't feel good in all day, I got worse at nite, had a fever.
8-14-45 Tuesday, still sick didn't go to work, a rumor guards are changing tomorrow.
8-15-45 Wednesday, today I feel better today no fever, standed a little of my chow again, the rumor came true, the new guards came at noon, payday today.
8-16-45 Thursday, Howard, one of the new men that suppose to be in the guardhouse was caught stealing rice, bungley rice beans, this morning things did happen, the special duty ment were ready to go to work when a telephone call from town to let nobody go to work, right away all of us said the war is over, no work all day.
8-17-45 Friday, well at last our dream came true so far, the war is over, today just a few men worked, but work on the garden, today they told the boys that they would push cars at the mine, we will not do any more hard work and we will not go down town to work at the shop.
8-18-45 Saturday, just laying around doing nothing just like we had always dream to do. Our dream and prayers were answered at last.
8-19-45 Sunday, today a very nice day everybody happy waiting for the Japanese Lieutenant to come to find out the truth about war.
8-20-45 Monday, today at 11:15 PM, we got news everybody had been waiting fore 3 1/2 years at last we were told today, the war is over, that we will be going home soon.
8-21-45 Tuesday, just laying around waiting for the order ot move us out. Oh, yes, 4 of th boys that had escaped about 4 months ago, they wre brought here today from the place where they were held prisoner, boy they look like hell, they sure were treated rough and today we went on a strike for more chow and we got it.
8-22-45 Wednesday, today we got a bull and not bull shit, they killed and boy it sure is good to get meat, not bones like the other time, before they brought in a horse or cow, they would take the meat and give us the bones but this time is the other way around, received cigarettes today, we were told by our Captain that our Army of Occupations would take this island by the 26th of this month 4 to 5 hundred thousand American men and Chinese. China got half of the Mancho (Manchuria) and the other half to Russia and Lavoria (??) independent and Formosa to China.
8-23-45 Thursday, well at last we got our wish granted, I mean by this is tht we are getting the food we can eat, we got a level bowl of beans and some good beef soup, we saw those planes come over us the think they are American planes but myself I don't know, Captain Sato came in today, what news I don't know yet, they had a meeting last nite.
8-24-45 Friday, a nice day, every body happy, full of chow and lots of benjo, today the Japs put up big sign on the top of our roof, I think they are expecting American planes.
8-25-45 Saturday, it rain little yesterday and today it a little cloudy, still waiting to get our orders to move, I hope it come, we seen 12 planes, what they I don't know, they look like Americans but I don't know, they were American Planes, everything the same, just waiting the day to come, I hope it soon, every since we took over the camp we been getting all we want to eat and yet some of the boys don't seem to have enough.
8-25-45 Sunday, today I went to church, we planes again but they don't come close to us, still laying around eating too and 4 boys that we had in the hospital left today for the Japanese hospital, later on we will leave, four planes came over our camp. I don't know if they so or not, I'm a little sick again. I hope I get over, I think I have Malaria.
8-27-45 Monday, nothing new except that the other boys have received help from the Yanks, I've been sick.
8-28-45 Tuesday, this morning at 5 AM little rain, left the main camp at Sundi to see the Red Cross committee, feel a lot better today. Today the American planes came and brought us our relief supplies. We were so glad that we all sat up all nite eating candy, fruit, cookies and smoking good American cigarettes, just like Xmas nite, boy it was a lot of un while it lasted, lot of the boys got sick. Two men were killed by supplies dropped by the planes.
8-29-45 Wednesday, today we held service for the two boys that were killed, we buried ton the top of the hill next to our camp in fact right out of our camp about 200 yards, we also received a complete uniform of khakis, shoes, socks, handkerchief, towel, shaving and toilet articles, plenty of cigarettes and candy and food, everybody contented, Butte Barn not back yet.
8-30-45 Thursday, lucky again we got supply form B-29, food and candy and cigarettes and Beetle Brain came back and the rumors is that we fly to Manila when I don't know. Details later, they brought the same food and cigarettes and candy.
8-31-45 Friday, everything swell, nothing new except they said that extend the signing until the end of September.
9-1-45 Saturday, we cleaned the camp up a little because sure was dirty, I'm still sicke with a cold, everyboday else is OK gaining pounds but I'm not.
9-2-45 Sunday, went to church, everything still the same, still waiting to go home.
9-3-45 Monday, had a dry run with our pack to see how much stuff we are going to take with us, our supply is running low, we want the B-29's to come and bring us a load of supplies to take us out, today they fix a radio phonograph and plays pretty good.
9-4-45 Tuesday, planes came this afternoon but no supplies. I guess account of the rain and low atmospheres, I guess they will come tomorrow, they better or else we out.
9-5-45 Wednesday, today we waited for our ration from the B-29's but he just came around and took our message and we also heard over the radio that some of the boys are already being taken out and for us to hold fast that would be taken out very soon, some of the boys in other camps, the boys are leaving for Tokyo, so that they can get home faster.
9-6-45 Thursday, well the B-29's didn't come today but I guess we will be leaving soon.
9-7-45 Friday, we got our news we have been waiting fore, we leave the 9th, camp 8 and camp 9B. There's a troop ship that's leaving next week, bound for we don't know where, but as long as it will take us away from Japan, we none of us will bloody care, just think of the millions were leaving behind, the bastards that have to live her, we'll leave them their rice and fleas and their lice and we will bid them goodbye with a cheer:
Bless them all, Bless them all, the long, the short, the tall, bless the one stars and bless all the two's bless all the honchos and bless all the fools, for we're saying goodbye to them all, as back to their benjos they crawl, next week we're a nation we'll be on the ocean so cheer up my lads bless them all:
Manuel Nevarez World War II Prisoner of War