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.

Newly liberated Los Banos internees being evacuated, February 1945Internees wounded in the taking of a prison camp at Los Baños, Luzon, Philippine Islands, await evacuation.
Mr. & Mrs. Michael O'Hara and family, February 1945Mr. & Mrs. Michael O'Hara, and children, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, liberated from a prison camp at Los Baños in February 1945, are interviewed by an Army representative before boarding an Amtrack. The O'Hara family, from left to right: Kathleen, Michael, Michael Jr., and Lorraine, February 1945 after liberation.
Sister Mary Alphonsa Bergeron at liberation, February 1945"A happy nun, Sister Mary Alphonsa held prisoner by the Japanese in Los Baños Internment Camp, Luzon, tells of her deliverance, to Cpl. Vick Campbell of Schenectady, New York."
Joyous internees as they arrive at New Bilibid Prison, Luzon, where they were to receive medical attention, food and clothing."Joyous internees as they arrive at New Bilibid Prison, Luzon, where they were to receive medical attention, food and clothing. The Japanese did not respect the clergy; the priest had been interned at the Los Baños."
Members of a tank corps talk with liberated internee Bernard Herzog, 1945Members of a tank corps listen intently as an internee, Bernard Herzog, who lost 78 pounds and is suffering from Beri-Beri, talks over the days he spent In the Santo Tomás Camp In Manila.
U.S. Liberation forces oversee cleaning of Old Bilibid Prison, 1945U.S. Liberation forces oversee cleaning of Old Bilibid Prison, 1945. All furniture and bedding were burned and buildings were cleaned and fumigated and cleaned for housing of prisoners until they could be moved to a rear area.
STIC burials of former internee, 1945A simple ceremony is held within the compound of Santo Tomás as our honored dead are laid to rest. A group of liberated internees witness the ceremony conducted by the Rev. in former prison camp garden.
Destroyed Japanese plane, 1945, San MiguelA destroyed Japanese plane, a Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally," 1945, San Miguel airfield.
Cavite, in Manila Bay, after Allied bombing, 1945

STIC liberator passes

George Mark Fisher, 2020 photo

“George Mark Fisher Sr., age 100, longtime resident, of Walkersville, MD, passed away July 11, 2020, at Montevue Assisted Living in Frederick MD. Born in Bedford, PA, on June 21, 1920, he was the son of John M. Fisher and Edith G. Fisher. He was a graduate of Bedford High School, Bedford PA. George joined the United States Army May 1, 1941 and served 21 years as a career enlisted soldier. He was a combat veteran of World War II serving in the Pacific Theater with Co. “B” 44th Tank Battalion and later in the aftermath of the Korean War.

George received numerous awards, decorations and citations for his exemplary service including the Purple Heart. He was honored to have participated in the Philippine operation known as “The Flying Column” that resulted in the rescue of 3800 allied civilians held prisoner in the Japanese internment camp for three years at Santo Tomas, Manila. His tank “Georgia Peach” and its crew were among the first arrivals to rescue these civilians. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he worked 15 years in civil service at East Coast Relay Fort Detrick and Flair Armory 558 Signal Co. US Army Reserve Unit Frederick MD.”

Click to link to the entire Frederick News-Post article.

More online articles involving internees

Following are some more 2017 articles involving former civilian internees of the Philippine prison camps. Click the title to link to the full text:

Some 2017 articles involving former civilian internees

Following are some 2017 articles involving former civilian internees of the Philippine prison camps. Click the title to link to the full text:

More articles involving former internees

Following are some 2015-2016 articles involving former internees of the civilian Philippine camps:

New YouTube videos show different Manila perspectives

Angus Lorenzen in 2015 YouTube video

Angus Lorenzen in 2015 YouTube video

A new video, featuring ex-Santo Tomas internee Angus “Andy” Lorenzen, was recently posted on YouTube. In it, he primarily discusses the liberation of the camp in February 1945. Another former STIC internee, Alix Boisseree Bensen, makes an appearance in the video. The video was produced by Jarel & Betty Wheaton for Peninsula Seniors, of the Palos Verdes Penninsula, in Southern California. To view the video, link to Lorenzen video on YouTube.com.

Evelyn Berg Empie, 2015 YouTube video

Evelyn Berg Empie, 2015 YouTube video

Another video available on the site is A Child in the Midst of Battle, by Evelyn Berg Empie, concerning Japanese-occupied Manila. Evelyn recounts how her German family came to the Philippines and what life was like during occupation outside of Santo Tomas. She describes the Battle of Manila from a 13-year-old’s perspective. Link to the video on YouTube.

My Experiences in Manila,
G. R. Horridge

This document, by British internee G. R. Horridge, was written shortly after the end of the War and is provided courtesy of Mr. John Horridge.

George Horridge, pre-WWII

George Horridge, pre-WWII

So many people have asked me about life in an internment camp and if the Japanese ill-treated us, that I have decided to try and give a brief description of the civilian internment camps as I found them in Los Banos and Manila during my three years of internment also a few notes on how I came to find my way into internment in Manila.

When war broke out I was on my way from Shanghai to Sydney via Singapore. I left Shanghai on the “Anhwei” which was one of the last ships to leave and carried about 500 passengers, most of whom had British passports. The bulk of the passengers were housed in the holds of the ship and slept on bunks set up in tiers. In Hong Kong I transferred to the “Anshun”, also bound for Singapore, with 200 Chinese deck passengers on board, but with more cabin space available for European passengers. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour we were south of Haiphong and were instructed by the British Naval Authorities to make for Philippine waters, which we did.

We arrived in Manila Bay about 8 a.m. and found the Harbour crammed with shipping and more streaming in all the time. At one o’clock the Japanese raided Cavite Naval Yard with a flight of 27 bombers and a few minutes later another group of similar size sprinkled the harbour with light bombs. Our ship, the “Anshun” was hit by two bombs and set afire, three people were killed, and about a score wounded. The next day all passengers were discharged, and the ship went out into the Bay again. I heard later that this ship sailed the next night along with many others, and finally reached New Guinea. It appears that she was sunk in Milne Bay and has just recently been raised.

After leaving the “Anshun”, I managed to get accommodation at the Bay View Hotel where I stayed until the Japanese entered Manila on January 1st. The American troops evacuated the city and withdrew to Bataan where they held out against the Japs until May 1942. This gave the Japs a free entry into Manila, which they took over in a perfectly orderly manner. All citizens were asked by the Mayor to destroy stocks of liquor and this order was carried out by the majority of Europeans.

About 150 of us were confined to the Hotel for 3 days and were then taken to Villamore Hall. There we spent one night sleeping on the floor or sitting up on school benches whichever one preferred. We were given one tin of soup during the 24 hours. Next day we were transferred to St. Tomas University, which place had been designated as the main civilian internment camp in the Philippines.

St, Tomas was built as a day university and as such was ill-suited for the accommodation of 3500 boarders, men, women and children. It cannot be compared in general layout with universities in Europe or America. Toilet facilities were inadequate, and there were no showers or baths except in the gymnasium, until we installed them ourselves, and no cooking facilities except those in a small cafeteria which normally supplied ices, cakes, coffee etc. to the students. There was also no dining room and people had to eat off their beds until dining sheds could be built outside.

One of the worst features was the overcrowding and the lack of privacy. Eighteen inches between beds was the order in the mens’ rooms, but the women managed to get a little more room, although even so there was little room in which to dress.
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Los Baños book now available!

Bestselling author Bruce Henderson’s new book, Rescue at Los Baños is now available on Amazon and other websites. The history and conditions of Los Baños Internment Camp are detailed, but the rescue of the 2,147 American and Allied prisoners is the highlight of the book. Some of the internees mentioned in the book include Ben Edwards, Dr. Dana Nance, Jerry and Margaret Sams, Terry Santos, Margie Whitaker and Dorothy Still. The appendix includes the camp roster originally compiled by Carol Terry in February 1945.

Articles on 70-year anniversary of STIC Liberation

The reminiscences of George Fisher appear in the appeared today in The Frederick News-Post. The article, titled Interned Americans freed 70 years ago with help of Frederick veteran, describes what Fisher, then a 25-year-old Army private with the 1st Calvary Division, experienced the night that the American tanks broke through the gates of Santo Tomas Internment Camp on 3 February 1945. The short article can be read at this link.

Another article appears today on GMA News Online, Survivors return to PHL 70 years after liberation from UST prison camp. The article begins “for three years during World War II, American Kathy Elfstrom Cronquist lived on the grounds of the University of Santo Tomas, which the Japanese occupiers had turned into a prison camp for over 4,000 American and British civilians living in Manila.

Cronquist was one of the former prisoners of war who visited UST on Tuesday, exactly 70 years since Filipino and American forces liberated the Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC) on February 3, 1945.” This article can be read at this link.

Another short article, from Coconuts Manila, is titled 20 internees and families to visit UST today on Battle of Manila anniversary. Unfortunately, it doesn’t name the 20 internees who made this trip, but, luckily, there is a follow-up story which also appears: Battle of Manila survivors, 70 years later. This article profiles Joan Bennett Chapman, Roi Doolan, Tim Crosby, Gerry Ann Schwede and Sascha Jean Weinzheimer Jansen. Click the article titles above to link to the online stories.

Other stories that appeared recently include the Philippine Daily Inquirer article titled “Seize the day” people: Kids of war revisit UST (former internees mentioned include George Baker) and Muscatine man recalls liberating camp 70 years ago this week, which details the reminiscences of former Pfc. Bob Harrison on the STIC liberation and the Battle of Manila.