Books, old and new …

The War Diary of Jane Doner, 2021, by Jane Doner and Craig FredricksonThe War Diary of Jane Doner tells the story of  “a 17-year-old high school senior, born in Cebu City and living there on December 8, 1941 . . . She fled from her home and hid in the jungle during the early days of the war but was betrayed and forced to surrender to the Imperial Japanese Military. Thereafter, Jane was interned in four prison camps before her eventual rescue and liberation in 1945 by the armed forces of the United States. During captivity she endured fear, starvation, disease and the death of many of her friends, but survived to tell the story.”  Published in May 2021,  the book can be purchased through Lulu press.


Rescue Raids of Luzon! (cover)In January 2021, Joe Huber published  Rescue Raids of Luzon!, which chronicles the liberation of the civilian and POW camps. Here is the publisher’s description: “Between January 26th and February 23rd of 1945 on Luzon in the Philippines, America made its greatest rescue of civilians and military prisoners from deep behind enemy lines . . .  This book summarizes these raids and describes the prison camp experience of the author and his family [who were first interned on Mindanao].  Photos, drawings, and old documents help tell the tale. In the largest raid on the prison at Santo Tomás in Manila, his family had “ringside seats . . .”

The book includes numerous family photos and diagrams of the camps and is available on a variety of sources including Amazon and authorHouse.


War and Resistance-Philippines, 2021, Morningstar-According to the publisher’s writeup, War and Resistance in the Philippines, 1942-1944, published March, 2021, “repairs the fragmentary and incomplete historiography of the events in the Philippine Islands between the surrender of Allied forces in May 1942 and MacArthur’s return in October 1944. Chronicles by politicians and guerrilla leaders reflect limited points of view and personal and political agendas. No academic study has comprehensively examined the Filipino resistance with a critical interdisciplinary approach. As a result, this book provides the first coherent narrative of the protracted fighting by 260,000 guerrillas in 277 units across the archipelago.”  Book includes index and bibliography.

James Kelly Morningstar is a retired U.S. Army armor officer and decorated combat veteran with degrees from West Point and Kansas State University, a master’s degree from Georgetown University, and a PhD from the University of Maryland. He currently teaches military history at Georgetown.  He is the author of Patton’s War: A Radical Theory of War.


For Thou Art With Me, 2010Francis C. Gray is a retired bishop in the Episcopal Church and has served in congregations and dioceses in Florida, Indiana and Virginia.  He was born in the Philippine Islands in 1940, where his parents were missionaries, and had a lifelong commitment to world mission.  He was interned, with his parents, at Camp Holmes, Baguio, in 1942.  The photo on the cover of For Thou Art With Me shows the Gray family, after liberation from Old Bilibid Prison.  The book is based on the diaries of his father and was published in 2010.

It can be ordered directly from the author for $13, which includes postage.  You can contact him directly at Karenandfrank@comcast.net.


Released: Poems by Francis C. Gray, 2020Frank Gray also published a small book of poetry in 2020 titled Released.  A few of the titles are:

Prison Food

Death Warrant

Homecoming

The Sacrament of SPAM

This book can also be ordered directly from the author for $13, which includes postage.  You can contact him at Karenandfrank@comcast.net.


Return to Victory, 2021 by James Duffy“Covering both the strategic and tactical aspects of the campaign through the participation of its soldiers, sailors, and airmen, as well as its commanders, James P. Duffy leads readers through a vivid account of the nearly year-long, bloody campaign to defeat over a quarter million die-hard Japanese defenders in the Pacific theater. Return to Victory: MacArthur’s Epic Liberation of the Philippines, is a wide-ranging, dramatic and stirring account of MacArthur’s epic liberation of the Philippines.”   Published in March 2021, the book includes maps, photos, an index and bibliography.  However, it has little information about the civilian camps.


Interrupted Lives: Four Women's Stories of Internment During WWII in the PhilippinesInterrupted Lives is a short book with perspectives by four American women who were interned in the civilian camps: Margaret Sams, Jane Stoll Wills, Sascha Jean Jansen and Karen Kerns Lewis.

Last printed in 2018, it is an excellent introduction to the struggle for everyday life in the camps during the War.  The book includes several photos and illustrations.

Margaret Sams also wrote Forbidden Family: Wartime Memoir of the Philippines, 1941-1945.


Amazing Grace, 2015, by Grace BrownAmazing Grace: The Unbroken Spirit of a Japanese Prisoner of War, was published in 2015.  “In early 1942, Grace Brown was taken a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines along with her husband Caldwell and their three-month-old son Iain [first on Cebu and later at STIC]. Their ordeal lasted three and a half years during which time they were starved and at the mercy of their captors.
For most of that time, Grace had to care for her son alone after Caldwell was taken from camp by the Japanese. She endured the next two years not knowing if her husband was alive or dead.
At her lowest point, Grace started keeping a secret diary, which she hid in her son’s teddy bear. Finally, back at home in Scotland, she wrote this dramatic account of all they had been through, which is being published for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.”  Son, Iain A. C. Brown reports that the book is available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.  You can also contact Iain at brown@carlton-brown.eu.


Disclaimer: The inclusion of any titles in this list are intended to benefit the interests of our readers and do not imply any endorsement.

R. G. Southerton drawings from the Hoover Institution

There is a small collection of drawings by former STIC internee, Robert Grindley Southerton Jr., in the Hoover Institution Archives, in Palo Alto, California.  I found them in a folder in the 37-box collection of materials donated by Roger Mansell.  

In 2005, Robert’s daughter, Lorna Loveland, wrote on Tom Moore’s website:

“My father’s name is Robert Grindley Southerton (RGS 2) . He was interned in Santo Tomás in the Philippines with his mother, Edith Southerton, when the harbour was bombed and the ship’s crew mutinied. They had been on holidays in Australia and were returning to Shanghai when war broke out. They only got as far as Hong Kong. My grandfather, whose name is also Robert Grindley Southerton, [had] sent his wife and my dad to Australia for safety and that was how they ended up in Santo Tomás.”

Robert Grindley Southerton Jr. (Source: Lorna Loveland)

Robert was about 16-years-old when he made these drawings in 1942.  In 1943, he and his mother were transferred back to China, to be reunited with the rest of their family at the Yu Yuen Road Camp, Shanghai.  Robert died in 1980 in New South Wales, Australia.

Photo courtesy of Lorna Loveland.

Credit for making these available is courtesy of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.  Link to a longer article on the Southerton family.  Click on any of the drawings to enlarge.

R. G.. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas main building, 1942
R. G.. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas main building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of the courtyard of the Santo Tomas main building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of the courtyard of the Santo Tomas main building, 1942
R. G.. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas Education building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas Education building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of restaurant at Santo Tomas, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of restaurant at Santo Tomas, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas main Seminary building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas main Seminary building, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas University campus, with notes, 1942
R. G. Southerton drawing of Santo Tomas University campus, with notes, 1942

The Andersons of Davao

Alonzo and Mayte Anderson, 1946

Alonzo and Mayte Anderson, 1946

A brief article was published last week in the Adventist Review regarding the lives of two former Davao and STIC internees, Alfonso and Mayte Anderson.

The author, Bruce N. Anderson, begins “For more than three decades, Alfonso Nils Anderson and his wife, Mayte Landis Anderson, were missionaries to the Japanese people, first in Japan, then in the Japanese community in the Philippines, where they survived three years in the harsh conditions of World War II internment camps.”

The article describes the background and marriage of the couple and details their years in Japan, from 1915 – 1937. It then tells of their move to Mindanao and ultimately their internment in Davao and later Santo Tomás. For more, link to the full article. This article is also published in the Encyclopedia of Seventh-Day Adventists.

Photo courtesy of Bruce N. Anderson.

Huber family Philippine saga

Joe Huber Jr., 2021The story of the Huber family in the Philippines is told in a recent Akron Beacon Journal article titled Raised in the jungle, Cuyahoga Falls man recalls Goodyear rubber plantation. In the article, Joe Huber Jr. recounts growing up on a rubber plantation, on Mindanao, and being interned in Davao and later in Santo Tomás.

The Huber family included Joseph C. Huber Sr., Thelma Thompson Huber, Joseph C. Huber Jr. (born 1934), Barbara Jean Huber (born 1935) and Stephen Lewis Huber (born 1936). Joe Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, while Barbara and Stephen were both born in Zamboanga, Mindanao.

The article spans the family’s story before, during and after the War and includes several family photographs, including some that show the rubber business on Mindanao. The family was repatriated on the S.S. Klipfontein leaving Leyte in March 1945, arriving in San Francisco on 21 April 1945. For more, link to the full article.

The Joseph and Thelma Huber family in 1945, after liberation.

The Joseph and Thelma Huber family in 1945, after liberation. (photo courtesy of the Akron Journal)

Former STIC internee, Ruth Renfrow, reaches 100!

Ruth Renfrow turns 100

Ruth Renfrow turns 100

Former STIC internee, Ruth Renfrow, was the subject of a recent feature article which appeared in The Union, of Nevada County, California. The article, titled Ruth Renfrow, who spent time in a prisoner of war camp before moving to Nevada City, turned 100 this year, tells the Ruth and Clyde Renfrow story from their first meeting in the Philippines, to marriage, to evading the Japanese after the invasion, to internment and to having two children, Willie and Winnie, in Santo Tomás.

The Renfrow family was repatriated on the S.S. John Lykes leaving Manila on 28 March 1945 and arriving San Pedro, California, on 2 May 1945. The article has several historic and contemporary photos. Link to Ruth Renfrow’s story.

Christmas behind the wire

Recently, I happened upon the recent article This is how Christmas was spent in POW camps, by Roger Towsend, published in the Southern Daily Echo (Redbridge, Southampton, England). It begins:

As Families contemplate their Christmas arrangements in this most extraordinary of years, many will find it hard to accept that this cannot be like any normal year and that we may not be able to visit our loved ones.

But let us remember that this is the 75th anniversary of the repatriation of our Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW) to Southampton and Liverpool around this time in 1945.

Perspective may be able to enlighten our thoughts at this time.

Though the article concerns mainly British civilian internees and POWs, it reminded me of the situation in the Philippine camps, where parents worked hard to normalize the wartime situation for their children. In his book, Santo Tomas Internment Camp, Frederic Stevens devoted a chapter to Christmas, 1942-43-44, where he describes all three Christmas’ at Santo Tomas.

And Sascha Jansen described her family’s creative use of face cream 1944 STIC Christmas Menu in the May 2010 issue of Beyond the Wire:

2 garlic buds
1 can of corned beef (last one from our Red Cross comfort kit)
1 small can of pineapple (last one from our Red Cross comfort kit)
1 taro root (from our Elephant Ear plant)
1 scoop Lugao
We traded a small can of “old” mustard powder for a big bunch of Talinum.

My mother cooked and mashed the taro and added the corned beef to make “hamburger patties.” She cooked them on a tin plate with Mabelline face cream for oil. She made a salad out of the garlic and Talinum.

A small amount of taro was mixed with the lugao and the drained pineapple chunks for dessert muffins. Before serving she spooned the juice over the muffins. It was incredible!

In The Christmas of 1944, from Inquirer.net, very different perspectives from Albert Holland, in STIC, and Warren A. Wilson, in Old Bilibid Prison, are given.

Isabelle Holter wrote a short article about the Christmas of ’44 in STIC, published in the September 2009 issue of Beyond the Wire. Titled Caroling Between Blackouts, the author tells of one child saying:

“I sure hope Santa Claus picks a cloudy day to come, so those bombers won’t bomb him,” exclaimed one, after a day of continuous air raids. Grim indeed was the prospect of any who contemplated serious preparation in celebration of Christmas that year.

Isabelle ends with the comment, “that experience has given us a life-time membership in the fellowship of the homeless, the hungry, the sick and the suppressed, wherever they may be.”

Australian War Memorial photos

This week, I’m posting a small collection of photographs from the Australian War Memorial, at Canberra, Australia. These photos are in no particular order but relate to the Battle of Manila and the liberation of Australian internees in the Philippines. I am not posting descriptions of these photos, as most of them are self-explanatory.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge, but unfortunately, these are not high-definition photos. For print quality images, prints, or for commercial uses please contact the Australian War Memorial. If you reuse these photos, please reference AWM as the source.

On their website, the AWM also has a feature article on VP Day: Victory in the Pacific, and an article on the Japanese surrender at Morotai, on 9 September 1945.

Please use the comment form if you have any comments, corrections, questions or if you recognize any of the unnamed people in the photos.

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. LEGISLATIVE BUILDING, BADLY SHELL DAMAGED. (DONOR: B. COOPER) SEE ALSO P082/68/13,14.MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. FINANCE BUILDING, EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED BY ARTILLERY FIRE. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS ).
SANTO TOMAS, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. GENERAL BLAMEY SPEAKING WITH AUSTRALIAN CIVILIAN INTERNEE TOM RICHARDS AT SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY INTERNMENT CAMP. AT LEFT IS FRANK BUTTFIELD (DONOR: B. COOPER).SANTO TOMAS, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. SERGEANT MATT LACEY; LEADING AIRCRAFTMAN BLUE CUTLER AND FLYING OFFICER BRUCE COOPER, OF THE 6TH WIRELESS UNIT, RAAF. CUTLER IS HOLDING PAM BUTTFIELD, WHO WAS BORN IN THE SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY INTERNMENT CAMP. (DONOR: B. COOPER).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. DAMAGED POST OFFICE AND SANTA CRUZ BRIDGE IN THE FOREGROUND. PARTIALLY DEMOLISHED JONES BRIDGE IN THE BACKGROUND, BEFORE IT WAS REPLACED BY A BAILEY BRIDGE (DONOR: B. COOPER).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA CHURCH, RUINED BY BOMBING AND SHELLFIRE. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. FORMER INTERNEES FROM SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY INTERNMENT CAMP WITH RAAF PERSONNEL AT NICHOLLS FIELD AIRSTRIP PRIOR TO RETURNING TO AUSTRALIA AFTER LIBERATION. THE CIVILIANS ARE FRANK AND PHYL BUTTFIELD AND THEIR DAUGHTER PAM. RAAF PERSONNEL ARE SERGEANT MATT LACEY (REAR); LEADING AIRCRAFTMAN "BLUE" CUTLER (CENTRE) AND LAC E. GWYTHER (SQUATTING). (DONOR: B. COOPER).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. FORMER INTERNEES IN A TRUCK AT NICHOLLS FIELD AIRSTRIP PRIOR TO LEAVING FOR AUSTRALIA AFTER LIBERATION. FROM LEFT, ABE (SURNAME UNKNOWN) AND PAULA PRATT, WHO WERE ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED; MARIE PRESTON HOLDING PAM BUTTFIELD, WHO WAS BORN IN THE SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY INTERNMENT CAMP. (DONOR: B. COOPER).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY AND QUEZON BOULEVARD, SHOWING AMERICAN TRUCKS IN THE STREET. (DONOR: B. COOPER).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. JAPANESE BARRICADES SET UP IN THE STREETS OF MANILA. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. LOURDES CHURCH IN THE WALLED CITY OF MANILA, BADLY DAMAGED BY SHELLFIRE. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. MANILA CATHEDRAL, IN RUINS. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. THE ESCOLTA IN MANILA, WITH THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL BANK BUILDING ON THE LEFT. THIS STREET WAS THE MAIN BUSINESS SECTION OF MANILA. (DONOR: B. COOPER).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. A STADIUM FOR JAI ALAI (FILIPINO NATIONAL BALL AND RACQUET GAME). BADLY DAMAGED BY SHELLFIRE. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. SHELL DAMAGED LEGISLATIVE BUILDING (SEE ALSO P82/68/07,13). APPROXIMATELY 800 TONS OF SHELLS HIT THIS BUILDING, YET FOUR JAPANESE SOLDIERS SURVIVED THE BARRAGE. CITY HALL IN BACKGROUND. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 1945. THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, DAMAGED BY SHELLFIRE. SEE ALSO P082/68/20. (DONOR: B. COOPER; PHOTOGRAPHER: ROXAS).
Japanese surrender at Morotai,, 1945, Australian War MemorialVictory in the Pacific, 1945, Australian War Memorial

More photos from Fred Hill WWII collection

Fred Hill near Dulag, Philippines

Fred Hill near Dulag, Philippines

This week, I’m continuing to show from a collection of photographs from the Pierce Library, at Eastern Oregon University, called the Fred Hill World War II Photographs. Fred served during the War and took many photographs during his service. He also collected photos from others, so some of these may have been published before in books, articles, websites, etc.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge. Unfortunately, these are not high-definition photos. For print quality images, prints, or high resolution tiff files, or for commercial uses please contact the Library Director at Eastern Oregon University. If you reference any of these photos, please cite Pierce Library, Eastern Oregon University, as the source.

Please use the comment form if you have any comments, corrections, questions or if you recognize any of the unnamed people in the photos. Thanks to Patty Gene Croft Stevens for identifying Beulah Schechter and Patricia Chittick in last week’s listings.

I am still looking for people to view a short Japanese propaganda video shot at Santo Tomás early during the War. I am hoping to annotate a version of the video with comments and identify any of the recognizable internees.

Aerial view of Old Bilibid Prison, 1945Aerial view of Old Bilibid Prison, 1945
Young boy sits inside STIC shanty, 1945Young boy sits inside STIC shanty, 1945
STIC shanties, 1945STIC shanties, 1945
Aerial view of STIC, 1945Aerial view of STIC, 1945
Manila Hotel damage, 1945Manila Hotel damage, 1945
U.S. military model of Corregidor, 1945U.S. military model of Corregidor, 1945
Baguio rental cottages, 1945Baguio rental cottages, 1945
Samar Street cleared of mines, Manila 1945Samar Street cleared of mines, Manila 1945
Aerial view of Baguio, 1945Aerial view of Baguio, 1945
Japanese "Sally" bomber being shot down, 1945Japanese "Sally" bomber being shot down, 1945

Another collection of Photographs

This week, I’m showcasing a collection of photographs from the Pierce Library, at Eastern Oregon University, called the Fred Hill World War II Photographs. Fred served during the War and took many photographs during his service. He also collected photos from others, so some of these may have been published before in books, articles, websites, etc.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge. Unfortunately, these are not high-definition photos. For print quality images, prints, or high resolution tiff files, or for commercial uses please contact the Library Director at Eastern Oregon University. If you reference any of these photos, please cite Pierce Library, Eastern Oregon University, as the source.

Please use the comment form if you have any comments, corrections, questions or if you recognize any of the unnamed people in the photos. I am also looking for people to view a short Japanese propaganda video shot at Santo Tomás early during the War. I am hoping to annotate a version of the video with comments and identify any of the recognizable internees.

Fred Hill near Dulag, PhilippinesFred Hill near Dulag, Philippines
Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) shown from street,1945Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) shown from street, 1945
Two young women at STIC after liberation, 1945Beulah Mae Schechter and Patricia Muriel Chittick at STIC after liberation, 1945
U.S. Captain Price with two internee children, 1945U.S. Captain Price with two internee children, 1945
Two young women handling mail at STIC after liberation, 1945Two young women handling mail at STIC after liberation, 1945
Indoor mail call at STIC, 1945Indoor mail call at STIC, 1945
View of Manila from the tower at STIC, 1945View of Manila from the tower at STIC, 1945
Aerial view of Corregidor on 16 February 1945Aerial view of Corregidor on 16 February 1945
U.S. infantryman near the mouth of Malita Tunnel on Corregidor, 1945.jpgU.S. infantryman near the mouth of Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor, 1945
Fred Hill and pals taking a break, 1944Fred Hill and pals taking a break, 1944

Yet more NARA photos

Following is yet another set of ten photographs downloaded from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). They are all in the public domain and can be freely printed, downloaded, or circulated. Many of these photos have been used before in books, magazines and websites. The description for each of the photos is to the right of the photo. Photos in this, and future, series will include STIC, Los Baños, Baguio, Old Bilibid, the Battle of Manila, Liberation, etc. If you publish any of these photographs, please cite the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as the source.

Because there are so many photos, I will continue to post them in weekly batches of ten. Eventually, they will be collected into various photo albums on this site. Click any of the photos to enlarge. Please use the comment form if you have any questions or if you recognize any of the people in the photos.

Liberated Los Banos internees lining up for meal at New Bilibid Prison, February1945Liberated Los Baños internees lining up for meal at New Bilibid Prison, February1945
Liberated Los Banos internees being fed in meal hall a New Bilibid Prison, February 1945Liberated Los Baños internees being fed in meal hall a New Bilibid Prison, February 1945
Liberated Los Banos internees being checked into New Bilibid 1945Liberated Los Baños internees being checked into New Bilibid Prison, 1945, with the Red Cross giving out cigarettes and chocolate.
Baguio bombing damage 1945Baguio bombing damage, 1945
Filipino guerrillas conferring with American GIs, 1945Filipino guerrillas conferring with American GIs, 1945
First helicopter in the Philippines, Leyte 1944First helicopter in the Philippines, Leyte 1944
American paratroopers landing on Corregidor, 1945American paratroopers landing on Corregidor, 1945
American pilot walks away from crashed P-38 LightningAmerican pilot walks away from his crashed P-38 Lightning
First former STIC internees awaiting evacuation, 1945U.S. Navy nurses wait beneath aircraft on the way to being first of the former Los Baños internees to be evacuated in 1945. Chief Nurse, Laura Mae Cobb, can be seen on the right conversing with a U.S. serviceman.
Civilians bombed-out by the Japanese in Tacloban, Leyte 1945Civilians bombed-out by the Japanese in Tacloban, Leyte 1945