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, 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 the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.  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)

Rosemary Hogan Luciano, Angel of Bataan

Rosemary Hogan LucianoFormer STIC internee, Lt. Rosemary Hogan, is the subject of a recent article in the Muskogee Phoenix by Edwyna Synar titled Remember the Ladies: Oklahoma’s Angel of Bataan.

The article begins “Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nurse Rosemary Hogan was transferred to the Philippines. When the war finally ended, this small-town Oklahoma girl would be one of the most honored and decorated nurses of the war, awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Presidential Unit Citation.

Rosemary Hogan was born in March 1912, in the tiny farming community of Ahpeatone. Too small even for a school, she completed her studies in Chattanooga, near Lawton, where she graduated as valedictorian. A local doctor sponsored a nursing scholarship for Hogan to attend Scott-White Hospital in Temple, Texas. As one of 10 children, this helped her pursue a military career. Hogan was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps at Fort Sill in 1936, serving there until she transferred to the Philippines.

On Christmas Eve 1941, nurse-in-charge Hogan took 50 American and Filipino nurses to Bataan Peninsula to establish a thousand-bed hospital in Limay. In January 1942, the hospital was ordered to move closer to the fighting, to a place called Little Baguio.

She served as assistant Chief of Nurses until she was wounded in April 1942. While she and another nurse were assisting a surgeon in an operation, a bomb destroyed the makeshift hospital. Hogan suffered leg wounds and shrapnel in her arm, nose, and face. She learned later that her left eardrum was also ruptured. The surviving nurses and patients took refuge in foxholes until they could safely move to Corregidor to recover… ”

Link to the full article online.

Lt. Rosemary Hogan gets new bars from Maj. Juanita Redmond.

Lt. Rosemary Hogan gets new bars from Maj. Juanita Redmond.

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

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

Making History with Music…

PFC Richard Burt in uniform and with trumpet, 1944Today’s featured article has connections to the Philippines, WWII and music. It’s a brief story of a young serviceman who signed up with the 746th Far East Air Force Band to perform in the Philippines during the War. In fact, PFC Richard Burt’s group performed for the “Angels of Bataan” when they were awarded Bronze Stars after being liberated from Santo Tomás.

Making History with Music appeared on the History News Network on 13 September 2020. Written by Jason Burk, it details the creation of the band, which was composed of mainly professional musicians. It also describes the efforts to product a modern release of the group’s WWII music. It is an interesting read.

For more information, link to the complete article at the History News Network, or visit the 746th FEAF Band Facebook page.

NARA photos, continued

Following is but 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 Prison, New Bilibid Prison, 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.

Next week, I will continue to publish photographs from other sources.

Filipino refugees taking-shelter in Palo Cathedral Leyte, 1944Filipino refugees taking shelter in Palo Cathedral, Leyte, 1944
U.S. infantry calling for air-support on Mindanao, April-1945U.S. infantry calling for air-support on Mindanao, April-1945
General-Dwight-Eisenhower-signing-autograph-LuzonU.S. General Dwight Eisenhower signing his autograph for Nellie Ordonez on Luzon, 1946. Nellie was a civilian employee at the headquarters of the Pacific Air Command.
Straffing of Zamboanga Harbor, Mindanao 1945Allied strafing of Zamboanga Harbor, Mindanao, 1945
Hidden radio set displayed in Old Bilibid Prison, February, 1945Lt. Homer Hutchinson, of Pasadena, California, shows his secret radio set to other liberated prisoners of Old Bilibid Prison, February 1945. Lt. Hutchinson built the radio with parts stolen from the Japanese and hid it in the seat of a stool.
U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and General Carlos Romulo arriving at Corregidor, 1945U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and General Carlos Romulo arriving on Corregidor, 1945
Two just released prisoners walk with G.I. at Old Bilibid Prison, February 1945Two recently released prisoners walk with a G.I. at Old Bilibid Prison, February 1945
American machine-gunners in position at Randolph Field, LeyteTwo American machine-gunners in position at Randolph Field, Leyte
Invading Japanese bicycle-mounted troops crossing river,1942Invading Japanese bicycle-mounted troops crossing a river on Luzon,1942
U.S. serviceman making a "grass skirt" out of discarded parachutes outside the Recuperation Ward on Leyte, 1945U.S. serviceman making a "grass skirt" out of discarded parachutes outside the Recuperation Ward on Leyte, 1945