Angels and more

Following are some items relating to the civilian internment camps, liberation of the camps, the Battle of Manila, etc., and the many “Angels” who helped the internees survive. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Angel of Santo Tomas 2022, byTammy Lee
A new children’s book was recently published by Tammy Lee titled The Angel of Santo Tomas. It tells the story of a Filipina doctor, Fe del Mundo, who administered add to the internee children for the Red Cross, in Manila, and at the Holy Ghost Children’s home. She later helped care for the wounded in the Battle of Manila.

Suggested for children ages 5 to 7.

 


Liberated U.S. Navy nurses in Honolulu, March 1945The U.S. Naval Institute recently published The Angelic Nurses of World War II on their website. This brief article tells of their ordeal after the Japanese invasion and in the camps. It has a few photos of the eleven U.S. Navy nurses liberated from Los Baños in February 1945. They were Lt. Mary Frances Chapman, Lt. Cmdr. Laura Mae Cobb, Lt. Bertha Rae Evans, Lt. Helen Clara Gorzelanski, Lt. Mary Rose Harrington, Lt. Margaret Alice “Peg” Nash, Lt. Goldia Aimee “Goldie” O’Haver, Lt. Eldene Elinor Paige, Lt. Susie Josephine Pitcher, Lt. Dorothy Still and Lt. Carrie Edwina Todd. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.


Civilians being collected for internment, 1942Mystery Woman
 
This photo shows a group of civilians being collected for internment in Santo Tomas in early 1942. Can anyone help identify the woman in front wearing the white gloves and dark glasses? If you recognize her, please reply using our Comments form. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 

 


Angels of Bataan – U.S. Army Nurses in Japanese Captivity, is a 45-minute audio recording by historian Mark Felton posted on YouTube.  He has written extensively on World War II topics and posted many videos and audio on Youtube.




The Angel of Santo Tomas drawing, 1943, J. E. McCall

Mrs. Patricia E. Intengan as “The Angel of Santo Tomás,” in the drawing by J. E. McCall, supplied by Caroline Bailey Pratt. This is Plate XXIX from the book Santo Tomás Internment Camp, 1945, by James E. McCall

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Tribute to the late Roderick Hall

Inquirer.net just published a tribute by Manuel L. Quezon III to the late Roderick Cameron McMicking Hall, who died on 13 January 2022. Though Rod and his family were not interned, they became victims of the War. Their story is told and Rod’s post-war life and work are detailed.

For example, the article references the Roderick Hall Collection, a research treasure to those interested in the history of World War II in the Philippines.

Rod will be sorely missed.

Link to the complete article:

Roderick Hall


The disappearance of Father Douglas

Rev. Francis Vernon “Frank” Douglas was born in Johnsonville, New Zealand, in 1910.   According to Wikiwand, “Douglas trained for the Catholic priesthood at Holy Cross Seminary, Mosgiell. Within a few months of his ordination, at the end of 1934, he applied to join the Missionary Society of St. Columban. He was curate at New Plymouth when he left to join the society at the start of 1937. He was appointed to the Philippines in July 1939.”  Father Douglas was never interned, but recently, The New Zealand Catholic (NZCatholic) published The disappearance that should not be forgotten

Father Francis V. Douglas, S.S.C.M.E., before the War.  

In July 1943, Father Douglas was arrested by the Japanese in Pililla, on the edge of Laguna de Bay, and taken to be interrogated in nearby Paete.  The NZCatholic article describes the various attempts to find out what ultimately became of him.

He is one of the over 100 priests, nuns, missionaries and church workers who died in the Philippines during the War.  The complete list will be published in an upcoming post on this website.

Links to more information about Father Douglas:

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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.

Continue reading

Spanish family’s Battle of Manila ordeal

The tragedy that befell a non-interned Spanish family is detailed a recent El País article titled Anna Maria: The Spaniard who survived 16 bayonet wounds during the Battle of Manila.

The 28 August 2020 article, by José Manuel Abad Liñán, begins:

“Anna Maria’s first life began in Cebu City in the Philippines on August 23, 1938. That was the day she was brought into the world by her mother Aurora, the daughter of two Catalans from Cerdanyola del Vallès who had immigrated to the Philippines to work in copra, the dried kernel of the coconut which is used in soaps and oils. Her father, Plácido Antonio, had left Onda in the Spanish province of Castellón to work for the prosperous General Tobacco Company of the Philippines (CdF), the first Spanish multinational. In the end, the family moved to Cavite, south of the capital Manila, where speaking Spanish did not clash so much with chabacano, the creole language spoken by the local population.”

Anna Maria Aguilella arriving in Barcelona in 1946

Anna Maria Aguilella arriving in Barcelona in 1946

At points, it is a very difficult story for me to read, because it echos what happened to my family during the Battle of Manila. In that instance, my mother and grandmother, together with their neighbors, were taken out of their homes in Manila by the Japanese to be shot. Luckily for them, and me, that didn’t happen. However, the outcome for Anna Maria’s family was far more tragic. I think that it is important to read for those who were inside, and outside of, the camps, showing the trauma that far outlasts the experience.

Link to the full article in El País.