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

Still more NARA photos

Following is 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 can supply additional information for any of the photos.

Three former Santo Tomás interees speak with U.S. Army soldiers, 1945.  Liz Irvine is third from right.Three young former Santo Tomás internees speak with U.S. Army personnel, 1945. Elizabeth Lautzenhiser, later known as Liz Irvine, is the third person on the right.
Newly liberated Los Baños internees enjoying meal at New Bilibid Prison, February 1945Newly liberated Los Baños internees enjoying a meal at New Bilibid Prison, February 1945
Newly liberated children from Los Baños internees enjoying meal at New Bilibid Prison, February 1945Newly liberated children from Los Baños eating at New Bilibid Prison, February 1945
Rescuing two downed American pilots, a former San Francisco banker, and a guerrilla leader on Luzon, 1945The rescuing of two downed American pilots, a former San Francisco banker, and a guerrilla leader on a lake on Luzon, 1945
3-year-old Bobby Tangen with U.S. Air Force personnel after liberation from Old Bilibid Prison, 19453-year-old Robert Tangen with U.S. Air Force personnel after Bobby's liberation from Old Bilibid Prison, 1945
Elmer Mocklin and Charles Bradfield pushing cart with two caskets of internees killed in Japanese shelling of STIC, February 1945Elmer Mocklin and Charles Bradfield pushing a cart with the caskets of two other internees killed in Japanese shelling of STIC, February 1945
Allied troops advancing past Manila's heavily damaged Post Office, February 1945Allied troops advancing past Manila's heavily damaged Post Office, February 1945
Actor Lew Ayres, "Dr. Kildare, serving in the Philippines in 1945.American actor Lew Ayres, aka "Dr. Kildare," serving in the Philippines in 1944.
Former Los Baos internees-clean-meal-kits-at-New-Bilibid-Prison, 1945Former Los Baños internees clean their meal kits at New Bilibid Prison, February 1945
U.S. Army troops with newly liberated Japanese-beer, Luzon,1945U.S. Army troops with newly liberated Japanese beer, found on Luzon,1945

Elizabeth Lautzenhiser Irvine, 1927 – 2020

Courtesy of the Express-News, 26 July 2020: Elizabeth Lautzenhiser Irvine died peacefully on July 16, 2020 in Nacogdoches, Texas, at the age of 93.

Elizabeth Irvine LautzenhiserElizabeth, known as Liz, was born July 5, 1927 to Roscoe and Mamie (Norton) Lautzenhiser in Baguio, Philippine Islands, where her parents were teachers. They lived most of the time in Manila, until the outbreak of WWII in 1941 at which time they were imprisoned by Japanese forces in Santo Tomas Internment Camp for the next three years. After the war ended, she and her parents moved to the United States. Liz attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In August of 1949, she married Walter Irvine (who, after spotting her playing in a women’s softball league and telling his friends “that’s the woman I am going to marry,” proceeded to start visiting the Whitman Library where she worked and, according to her, he checked out way more books than he ever read!) Together they raised four children while Walter’s career took the family to Seattle, Portland, Houston and San Antonio, and finally to Nacogdoches after his retirement.

Liz participated in numerous activities: troop leader, camp counselor and adult sponsor on many national/international trips with the Girl Scouts; docent at the Houston zoo; teaching swimming and life-saving classes for both the Red Cross and the San Antonio Police Department; PTA member and board member; several outreach programs with the Presbyterian church; San Antonio Citizens Police Academy; square dance club; canoeing club; camping outdoors; and travelling all over the world.
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Even more NARA photos

Following is 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 and magazines. 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 can supply additional information for any of the photos.

Wounded-Los-Banos-internee-being-evacuated-February-1945A wounded Los Baños internee being evacuated after liberation, February 1945
Archibald and Nicholas Mathews taking shelter at STIC during February 1945 Japanese shellingArchibald and Nicholas Mathews taking shelter at STIC during February 1945 Japanese shelling
Mexican pilots serving in the Philippines, 1945Mexican pilots serving in the 201st Fighter Squadron in the Philippines, 1945
A U.S. B-25 bomber attacking a Japanese destroyer in Ormoc Bay, Leyte, 1944
The Bowie family, with new baby Lea, after 1945 Los Baños liberationThe Bowie family, with new baby Lea, after 1945 Los Baños liberation
New U.S. Army- nurses arriving at STIC, 1945"To relieve the nursing problem of Santo Tomás University camp, recently liberated by our forces in Manila, Luzon, P.I., a shipment of U.S. Army nurses arrive in the compound and are immediately put to work in 1945."
G.I.'s cooking meal for ex-Los Baños internees, 1945G.I.'s cooking meal for ex-Los Baños internees, 1945
Bomb damage to the Yokohama Bank, Manila 1945Bomb damage to the Yokohama Bank, Manila 1945
Invading Japanese troops crossing-river on Luzon, January 1942Invading Japanese troops crossing river on Luzon, January 1942
Newly liberated Los Baños-internees en route to New Bilibid Prison, February 1945Newly liberated Los Baños internees en route to New Bilibid Prison, February 1945