John H. Bradley, ex-STIC internee and author

John Hilton Bradley 1945 repatriationJohn H. Bradley was five-years-old when he and his parents were interned in Santo Tomás Internment Camp in January 1942. His father, Noble James Bradley, was born in Lyons, Indiana. His mother, Amelia Mary Langley, was born in Melbourne, Australia. They met in the Philippines and were married there in 1934. Noble, however, died shortly after liberation and John and his mother were repatriated on the S.S. David C. Shanks to Australia arriving in Townsville in April 1945. While in Leyte, John was given a U.S. Army captain’s helmet which he seems to have worn for his entire journey (see photo). They were part of a large group of Brits and Dutch arriving in Sydney.

After the War, John and his mother returned to the Philippines. Later, they traveled on to the U.S. to begin new lives. He is a graduate of West Point, the US Army Command & General Staff College, and Rice University (MA History), and is a retired Army officer and a Vietnam veteran. He has written, or co-authored, several books.

MacArthur Moon by John H. BradleyOne deals with Santo Tomás! Entitled MacArthur Moon, and published in 2021, it is an “enhanced” memoir built around Amelia’s memoir and John’s remembrances of internment in STIC. It is a huge compendium of stories, photos, facts and lists that cover the story of the Bradley family before, during and after the War and touches on many of the other internees. There is also a fair amount of military activity. It also has an index of those mentioned in the book and a bibliography. Overall, it is a gritty story of survival in the largest civilian internment camp in the Philippines.

It is available on Amazon.

Remind Me to Tell You by John BradleyAnother of his books deals with a 26th Cavalry officer who did not survive the war. Entitled Remind Me to Tell You, A History of Major Harry J. Fleeger and His Friends, POWs of the Japanese, it covers Fleeger’s actions and the actions of his friends on Luzon, Bataan, the Death March, Camp O’Donnell, Cabanatuan, etc. Published in 2010.  The book is based on Fleeger’s diaries. The appendices provide abundant data on the 26th Cavalry. Bibliography and “People Index” are also included.

It is also available on Amazon.

STIC Signature Songs (and Sources) by Martin Meadows

Music in a WWII Internment Camp

Introduction. “Music is the art of arranging sound. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies” (Wikipedia).

Similarly, music is also a key element — interestingly, perhaps oddly — of internment-camp life, although that is not always fully acknowledged, or even recognized. As such, music is one component in such camps of what I call the Diversion Factor. The latter encompasses those activities that can serve at least two important functions: acting as a unifying element for camp prisoners; and offering them distractions from the burdensome reality of captivity. The concern here, in other words, is only with those activities that can unify and/or be enjoyed by a camp’s inmates as a whole, as distinguished from their purely personal or group pastimes/distractions (card games, chess, reading, etc.).
 
The next section will trace the nature and scope of the Diversion Factor in a particular internment Camp, to provide context for examining that Camp’s musical component (Camp is capitalized to distinguish it from the generic internment camp). But to begin with, three points of clarification relating to the title are in order. First, for anyone unfamiliar with the subject, the acronym STIC refers to Manila’s Nipponese-controlled Santo Tomas Internment Camp (a.k.a. Manila Internment Camp). STIC’s 4,000 or so civilian inmates — Allied-country nationals, mostly Americans — endured over three years of privation (1942-1945), culminating in starvation rations, during World War II (WWII).
 
Second, the term “Signature Songs” refers to those musical works I consider to be the most reflective and representative of everyday Camp existence, and thus in a sense also of Camp history in general. In effect, the four compositions I have selected as Signature Songs are the equivalent of Camp theme songs, even anthems, and as such their study can provide insights, for former internees and especially for non-internees alike, into the nature of Camp life. Rephrased to drive the point home, this survey of the most noteworthy STIC-related music seeks to portray its role in and significance for Camp life — as based, again, on my own judgment.
 
Third, this study aims to ascertain the sources — meaning the composers and the recording artists — of the four Signature Songs. For this account goes beyond simply identifying and describing the songs in question. The fact is that information about sources — aside from being worthwhile (to some) for its own sake — can provide additional insights into Camp history. Last (and surely least), the very process of seeking such information (regardless of success) serves to satisfy my personal interests, including my sense of order. But enough of preliminaries; we now turn to the substantive portions of this STIC-music retrospective.
Continue reading

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

To get future postings from this website via email, please “subscribe” using the box at the bottom right of this page.  Subscriber information is never sold or shared.

Encounters with STIC Guards, by Martin Meadows

[The following article was originally distributed by Maurice Francis to his WWII Philippine Internment Email List. If you would like to be added to his list, please send a message using the Comments form. Following the article, I have recapped the previous contributions by Prof. Meadows.]

Encounters With STIC Guards (or, “Nippon” at My Heels)
by Martin Meadows

INTRODUCTION. Whenever anyone asks me what life was like during more than three years in Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) in Manila, one question in particular is sure to arise. That question, usually a follow-up to the most obvious ones about food and housing conditions, concerns the treatment of internees by the camp’s Nipponese guards. When that once again came up during a recent radio interview, it prompted me to decide to provide as detailed an answer as memory would allow (certainly one far too detailed for any sort of interview). This is a purely personal account, one which should not be considered as necessarily applying to the experiences of STIC internees in general. In the following discussion, I distinguish between what I call “routine” and “non-routine” encounters with guards. The former deals with “normal” or every-day kinds of encounters, meaning the type that most internees would have undergone; the latter covers a limited number of interactions which were not “normal,” in the sense that very few other internees would have experienced them. And, to be properly pedantic as befitting a former professor, I further divide (and sub-divide) each of those two major kinds of encounters.

I. ROUTINE ENCOUNTERS. In this classification I distinguish between two types, which I call “random” and “non-random.”

    A. The random category includes, as might be expected, the numerous times when internees happened to randomly cross paths with Nipponese guards. In my case, these instances almost always occurred somewhere on the STIC grounds — that is, not within a building. On such occasions, having been suitably warned as to the required behavior, I made sure to bow correctly — from the waist rather than merely with a nod of my head. The guards for the most part simply ignored me, looking straight ahead as they walked; if and when they did react, it was usually with a head nod. Rarely did a guard actually bow from the waist, and even then only slightly so. Never (that I can recall) did I observe any of the guards bow “properly” in return (nor did internees expect them to do so).

    B. The non-random category includes two kinds of encounters.
    (1) One kind involves regularly-scheduled encounters, meaning specifically the twice-daily roll-calls, in which the residents of each room would, at the direction of the room monitor, bow in unison as guards strode past. (I do not know if this was the procedure in the Annex building, where mothers with younger children were housed.) Precisely because such encounters affected almost all internees, and were routine as well as non-random/regularly scheduled, normally they would require no further elaboration, except of course in the case of an out-of-the-ordinary event, one example of which is discussed as a “non-routine” occurrence (see II. A.).
    Continue reading

A Post-Internment Wrestling Chronicle by Martin Meadows

William Sidney Nabors aka Danny DusekA long-forgotten name from out of the dim and distant past suddenly came to my attention recently as I was looking through a “Maurice Francis Archives” post of 30 January 2022. It concerned an individual named William Sidney Nabors, who in World War II (WWII) was a civilian prisoner of the Nipponese for 37 months in Manila’s Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC). The significance of Nabors is the fact that his assumed name — which he used when he performed as a professional wrestler — was Danny Dusek (pictured at left). Now, while I did not know Nabors, in STIC or elsewhere, I was aware of the name and occupation of Danny Dusek, for he was well-known in the U.S. and the Philippines before WWII. He must have been well-known, as even I had heard of him, although I was not interested in sports at the time and was just 11 years old when I was welcomed into STIC. Probably I knew of Dusek because I was (and still am) a habitual listener to radio, and possibly also because of mentions by my father, who was interested in wrestling and especially boxing (he once took me along to see Jack Dempsey’s arrival at the Manila airport); and publicity surrounding Dusek’s arrival in the Philippines in 1941 undoubtedly was a major factor. [Note: for present purposes, pro wrestling is treated as a legitimate sport.]

The initial material available to me (via the various links in the cited Maurice Francis post) about Nabors/Dusek — hereafter cited only as Dusek — revealed that he had resumed his wrestling career when he returned to the U.S. after STIC’s liberation in 1945, and indeed continued it long thereafter. But one thing about that material puzzled me: it did not once mention what I considered to be a significant fact — his STIC imprisonment for over three years. That odd omission (even in his obituary) helped propel my decision to investigate “The Dusek Story” in more detail. This account, which is primarily about his post-STIC exploits in the ring, is intended both to alert the “ex-internee community” to the fact of his imprisonment, and more generally to attempt to rescue from obscurity the post-internment record of one of the thousands of WWII civilian guests of the Nipponese — plus (last and certainly least) in so doing, possibly to stir the interest of any fans of professional wrestling who may yet be lurking somewhere in the audience.
Continue reading

77th anniversary of Baguio/Old Bilibid Liberation

Old Bilibid Prison, Manila

On February 4, 1945, the day after the liberation of nearby Santo Tomás, the Japanese military abandoned Old Bilibid Prison. Later that day, men from the U.S. 37th Ohio Division accidentally discovered over 800 POWs and 500 civilian internees there. The civilians had formerly been held in Bagiuo Internment Camp, but were moved from to Old Bilibid, starting to arrive there at midnight, December 28, 1944.

Spirits Unbroken, 1946, by R. Renton HindAt six o’clock on the evening of the third of February … someone on the second floor saw a couple of “jeeps” arrive at the juncture of Quezon Boulevard and Calle Espana only a few hundred yards away. The boulevard was but a block from us, running north and south, while Espana was the avenue upon which the Sto. Tomas University faced, the buildings of which were plainly visible from Bilibid. Shortly afterwards they were joined by tanks and some army trucks representing a total force of 700 men comprising units of the First Cavalry (mechanized) and the 37th Ohio Division. It required a little time for us to realize that MacArthur’s men had arrived, so sudden and without warning was their advent… It was learned later, that our troops knew nothing of our presence at Bilibid, else we might have been relieved that night. At 8:45 [p.m] the tanks knocked at the Sto. Tomas gates and admission being refused they proceeded to level them and enter the grounds.  R. Renton Hind, Spirits Unbroken, 1946.

Civilian internees liberated at Old Bilibid Prison, 1945February 4, 1945: There had been some snipping on Rizal Avenue, and some soldiers of the 37th Ohio Division, who were preparing to bivouac, were ordered by one of their officers to rip away some boards that covered a large hole in the prison wall and find out what was beyond. When they tore the boards away, they were dumbfounded to find American POWs on the other side.  Donald E. Mansell, Under the Shadow of the Rising Sun, 2003.

On February 5th, the now former internees were move to the abandoned Ang Tibay shoe factory, which the Japanese had turned into an airplane repair show. On the 6th they were finally fed by the U.S. Army. That breakfast on the morning of the 6th will long live in our memories- cereal, milk, sugar, coffee, wheat bread and bacon and eggs. Lined up in four queues the 1300 of us including released prisoners of war were promptly served this wholesome “home-side” food. We wandered about the place all day, listened to the radio, through the kindness of the Signal Corps, talked with the prisoners of war and towards evening-the fire near Bilibid having burned itself out-we were loaded into trucks and taken back to town. Some of us were fired upon by Jap snipers but, fortunately, their marksmanship was poor.  R. Renton Hind, Spirits Unbroken, 1946.

Old Bilibid Prison graves

Old Bilibid Prison graves

February 7, 1945: About ten there were big cheers in the hall and someone said it was General MacArthur and his staff. I was too dull and weary to go to look and not much interested. I was standing in our space by the double bunk when MacArthur came through the door at the far end of the room… When the General passed the bunk he turned and looked into my face directly. He grabbed my hand and shook it, over and over, up and down. I was totally dumb. Natalie Crouter, Forbidden Diary, 1980.

Old Bilibid Prison hospital, 1945

Old Bilibid Prison hospital, 1945

The former internees stayed in the prison until February 22nd, when they began to be flown in groups to Leyte to be repatriated.

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 Berkeleyside.org.  It was also published online in the East Bay Express via Legacy.com.

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.

To get future postings from this website via email, please “subscribe” using the box at the bottom right of this page.  Subscriber information is never sold or shared.

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, who has granted permission to post these items, 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 Lorna Loveland.  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)