Passing of Isabel Cogan Krebs

Isabel Cogan Krebs, undated photoI am very sad to report the death of Isabel Cogan Krebs on March 13, 2024, in East Greenbush, New York. The announcement of her death appeared on, provided by the Albany Times Union. The obituary covers mainly Isabel’s life post-internment.

Isabel Joan Cogan was born in Davao, on Mindanao, in 1934. Her British father, Edwin Osgood Cogan, was born in Manila in 1903 and worked for the International Harvester Company. Her mother, Helen Olga Cogan, was born in Calcutta, India, in 1909. Isabel and her parents were interned in Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) in early 1942.

After STIC was liberated in 1945 the family was repatriated on the U.S.S. Admiral E.W. Eberle leaving Manila on 10 April 1945, arriving in San Pedro, California, on 2 May 1945.

Isabel was interviewed for No One Asked: Testimonies of American Women Interned by the Japanese in World War II, a PhD dissertation by Audrey Maurer, 1999, City University of New York.

Read the entire obituary at

Photo courtesy of the Albany Times Union.

Passing of Mary June Wilkinson Pettyfer

Mary June Wilkinson Pettyfer (photo courtesy of the Victoria Times Colonist)I recently came across an obituary for Mary June Wilkinson Pettyfer from the Victoria Times Colonist. Mary June Wilkinson was born in Exeter, England, in 1933 and died on 5 July 2023 in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. Mary June, along with her parents, Gerald Hugh Wilkinson and Lorna Mary Davies Wilkinson, and together with her brother, Rupert Hugh Wilkinson, were interned in Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) during the course of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

Mary June is copiously mentioned in her brother’s book, Surviving a Japanese Internment Camp: Life and Liberation at Santo Tomás, Manila, in World War II, 2013.

Rupert and Mary June Wilkinson, circa 1940

Rupert and Mary June Wilkinson, circa 1940

After liberation, Mary June traveled with her mother and brother on the S.S. Admiral E.W. Eberle leaving Manila on 10 April 1945, arriving in San Pedro, California, on 2 May 1945. They later sailed from New York City on the S.S. Queen Mary, arriving in Southampton, England, on 25 October 1945.

Read the entire obituary online at the Victoria Times Colonist website.

Passing of Ian C. M. Hall

I am sad to report the passing of Ian Hall. Ian and his family were largely not interned in the Philippines, during the War, but suffered very greatly at it’s end. Ian died in Palm Desert, California, on 1 May 2023, according to an obituary published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Hall children were all born in Manila and were not interned, as were others of the family except the father, Alaistair Cameron “Shorty” Hall, who was interned at STIC. The children were:

  • Roderick Cameron McMicking Hall, 1932
  • Ian Cameron McMicking Hall, 1934
  • Alaistair Cameron McMicking Hall, 1936
  • Consuelo Angela “Connie” Hall, 1937

Alaistair Hall and his four children,

Alaistair Hall and his four children: Ian, Consuelo, Alaistair and Roderick

On 20 January 1945, the Japanese arrested the mother, grandmother, an aunt and an uncle and took them for interrogation at the Masonic Temple in Manila. They became part of the almost 100 people killed there. Father and children were reunited after the Battle of Manila.

Ian, and his brother Rod, traveled on the U.S.S. General Harry Taylor leaving Manila on 2 June 1945, arriving in San Francisco, California, on 26 June 1945. They were repatriated aboard the the S.S. Eros, leaving New York City on 20 July 1945 and arriving in Liverpool, England, on 30 July 1945.

Roderick contributed to the 2008 book, Manila Memories: Four Boys Remember Their Lives Before, During and After the Japanese Occupation. It is one of the hundreds of items he donated to the Filipinas Heritage Libray, Manila.

Link to Ian’s obituary at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Passing of Joan Casad Ellison, ex-STIC internee

Joan Casad Ellison, undated photoThe Albuquerque Journal recently published the obituary of former Santo Tomás internee Joan Casad Ellison. Joan was born in Manila on 22 November 1929. She and her mother, Haidee Louise Casad, were interned in STIC for the duration of the War and were repatriated on the S.S. John Lykes, leaving Manila on 28 March 1945 and arriving San Pedro, California, on 2 May 1945. She married William Woods Ellison in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in September 1950.

Joan’s step-father, Thomas Harold Casad, was a civilian employee of the U.S. Adjutant General’s Corps before the War. He died in the sinking of the “hell ship” Arisan Maru on 24 October 1944.

Link to the full obituary at the Albuquerque Journal.

Passing of Rose Marie Wolff Reilly, former STIC internee

Rose Marie Wolff Reilly undated photoThe Oregonian, of Portland, Oregon, recently published an obituary for Rose Marie Helen Wolff Reilly, a former Santo Tomás internee. Rose Marie was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England in 1936. Her father was James Philips Wolff, a Nestlé Milk Products employee who was born in Hendon, England, in 1909. Her mother was Marie Frances Dumas Wolff, who was born in Los Baños in 1912. Rose Marie’s siblings were Victoria Margaret Wolff (born 1938) and John Frederick Wolff (born 1941), both born in Rizal. The entire family was interned in Santo Tomás for the duration of the War.

After liberation, the family was repatriated on the S.S. John Lykes leaving Manila on 28 March 1945 and arriving San Pedro, California, on 2 May 1945. After the War, the family traveled to many countries, following father James’ work.

Rose Marie married Lt. William H. Reilly in Toronto, Canada, in 1957. Together they had eight children.

Photo courtesy of The Oregonian.

Link to The Oregonian article.

Ex-Los Baños internee Robert Fraser Clingen passes

Robert Fraser Clingen photoCourtesy of The Daily Advocate (Greenville, Ohio): “Bob Clingen (of the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville) went to be with the Lord on Tuesday morning, May 17, 2022. He was a good husband to his wife, Sheryl of 56 years and father to daughters, Liz & Catherine.

He was born on October 20, 1941 to Rev. Herbert & Ida Ruth Clementine (Fraser) Clingen in the Philippines where his parents were missionaries. He was captured with his family and became a Prisoner of War by the Japanese for 25 months in the Los Baños Internment Camp during WWII. They were rescued by General Douglas MacArthur and his troops when Bob (3-years-old) saw the paratroopers coming from the sky, he told his Dad he thought those were Angels!”

Link to the full obituary

Bob’s sister, Elizabeth Ruth Clingen, was born about a week after liberation. All four Clingens were repatriated on the S.S. Mormacsea, leaving Manila on April 10, 1945, arriving in San Francisco on May 6, 1945.

Roy Doolan, 1936 – 2021

I am very sorry to report that Roy Fisher “Mike” Doolan died in Berkeley, California, on 1 August 2021.  Roy was born in Manila in 1936 and was interned with his parents at Santo Tomas Internment Camp from 1942 to 1945.  His daughter, Lark Doolan, wrote his obituary for  It was also published online in the East Bay Express via

Roy was very active in ex-POW organizations.  After retiring, he wrote about his War experiences in the book 
My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II, which is still available on Amazon.  The book contains some articles written by his father, Roy Gibson Doolan.

Photo courtesy of Lark Doolan.

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Passing of Betty Juhan Watt, former child internee

The Santa Barbara Independent recently announced the passing of Elizabeth “Betty” Watt.  Elizabeth “Betty” Juhan was born in Baguio in 1941, just before the War.  Betty and her family were interned in Baguio, and later at Old Bilibid Prison.  After liberation, Betty’s family, including her new brother, Herman, who was born on 29 March 1945, was repatriated on the S.S. Cape Mears, arriving in San Francisco, California, on 12 May 1945.  The Juhan family is mentioned in Rob Colquhoun’s account of the voyage.

After graduating from Venice High School, in California, Betty married her high school sweetheart, Conrad C. Watt Jr., in 1962.

Betty died in Santa Barbara, California, on 20 June 2021.

Link to the full article

Mary Jane Hodges Vance obituary

I am very sorry to report that Dr. Mary Jane Vance recently passed away. The following obituary appeared on the Herald Banner website:

Dr. Mary Jane Hodges VanceDr. Mary Jane Hodges Vance, May 22, 1934 – January 4, 2021

The long-time Greenville educator, consultant, author and speaker joined the choir of angels peacefully at home on January 4th, 2021. Born in Manila, Philippines on May 22, 1934, to American and Spanish parents, Jesse A. and Mary Gamero Hodges, Mary Jane lived an extraordinary life and left an indelible impact on many.

She survived Japan’s Occupation during WWII and sailed enemy waters on the USS Uruguay as the first atom bombs dropped. As a repatriated American citizen, she and the surviving members of her family arrived in San Francisco on August 13, 1945 only to experience the worst riot ever in that city on V-J Day. Her long family journey to the U.S. finally ended in Hunt County, the birthplace of her father.

She and her siblings had been without the ability to attend school for 3 years during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during WWII. Eager to enroll in school here in her new country, she quickly caught up on her missed schooling and even skipped a few grades to complete her high school diploma from Quinlan High School (Quinlan, TX). She excelled academically and graduated with honors for her undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce). During her college years she became a member of many organizations including the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa and then sorority Tooanoowee, which later became Gamma Phi Beta.

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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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