Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameYetta Jennie Lay 222, G Aunt
Birth25 Feb 1883, Texas
Death22 Jan 1972, Fresno CA Age: 88
FatherFrancis Marion Lay (1855-1918)
Spouses
Birth9 Dec 1873, Sternberg, Austria223
Death23 Feb 1954, Fresno CA2 Age: 80
FatherJosef Tuschka (ca1836-)
MotherMarie Pepperling (ca1838-)
Family Media
ChildrenOtto Joseph (1913-1982)
 Anna Louise (1909-1956)
Notes for Yetta Jennie Lay
The following account of incarceration in San Tomas concentration camp by the Japanese during World War II was written by Yetta Tuschka. Most of our extended family has copies of the original, which are by now brittle and yellowed. The account was digitized by Yetta’s grandson, Ted Tuschka.

LIFE IN SANTA TOMAS 1941-1944
by Yetta Tuschka

Everything dates back to the 8th of December, 1941, for us, but, of course, we were always a day behind.

We lived in a mining camp in Baguio, which is about 145 miles north of Manila. That morning I went to town on the bus with the school children at 8 o’clock. Some of them had heard on the radio that morning of the bombing at Pearl Harbor. We, of course, knew that that meant war.

About half an hour later I was in the grocery store when we heard a noise that sounded like bombing. We rushed to the door, but nothing further happened until we were on the street a little later when a friend in a car picked us up to take us to a shelter and told us that Camp John Hay had been bombed. Several had been killed and injured. One of the bombs was dropped right by the side of the road near Camp John Hay where we had passed just a short time before, making a great hole. The concussion killed a man living across the street from the spot.

I waited uptown at the hotel for several hours before our company bus came for me. The only other passenger was a Mr. Butz, who said, when we passed the site of the bombing that the Japs had asked for it, and they would get a plenty. I mentioned this because that sentiment followed through the whole three years. Americans had no doubt of the final outcome, though all of us thought it would only take a short time.

Many of the engineers from the mining company went right down to Manila to offer their services to the army. Some of them had small children, and most of them will never return.

There soon started first aid classes in our mining community, air raid shelters were built, emergency suitcases packed, etc. We felt quite safe from bombings, however, if we could get to the mine tunnels in time, but they were several blocks away. Some of our Baguio mine officials returning from Manila on the 9th had been delayed for several hours on the way, due to the bombings at Clark Field, where a great number of our planes had been lined up in a row and all the officers and aviators in the mess at lunch when the Japanese planes swooped down on them, wrecking everything, killing and wounding many of our valuable men. No one has ever been able to understand why there had not been more protection since Baguio had been bombed that morning and the news of Pearl Harbor was everywhere.

Very soon mail stopped coming from Manila and we wondered what was happening. Finally on December 22, we were called in the night and told that women and children must be ready to leave at 7 o’clock for Manila, that the Japs were coming up both roads to Baguio. It seemed sad to leave the men behind but we thought it just a safety measure. We could only take hand baggage and I took one suitcase, because I wanted to take along a steamer rug to use when we crossed the ocean. Somehow, I thought that our country was going to ship us out or why were we being sent to the capital city where there was always the main fighting. Later I was glad that we were in the Manila Camp because it is better to be in a warm place when clothing gets so scarce. Then, too, we were never as much restricted by the military as reported they were in Baguio.

We went a round-about way to get to Manila to avoid meeting the Japanese army, and every time a plane flew overhead we were driven under trees and were always ready to lay on the ground if necessary.

When we arrived all hotels were so full that a place was found for our group in a Catholic orphanage in the suburbs and near the airport.

We were only there for three or four days when Manila was declared an open city. Some of the heads of the church advised the mother superior that it would be better to move into a convent in the city, where there would be less danger. Bombings on the night of Christmas Eve frightened us so that we were getting dressed when a sister came and comforted us. She said, "It’s just the hour when our blessed Jesus was born and everyone is praying again." She told us not to worry that they would warn us if the bombings were near our part; so we went back to bed and to sleep.

On Christmas Day our husbands all arrived. They had walked from Baguio; day and night along dangerous precipices, crossing rivers, etc. to dodge the Japs. They certainly looked dilapidated and went right to bed and to sleep. My husband and a friend stayed at the Y.M.C.A. which was near our convent They left home on a few minutes’ notice, bringing only a few things (toilet articles) in their pockets.

We heard that our houseboy lived on in our house to take care of things until February, when the Japanese told him to get out.

Later we learned that everything was gone from all of the houses. Not even the windows were left, and many of them torn down entirely.

The Japanese literally bled the islands of everything worth having. No mine machinery, sugar refining equipment, lumber, oil, pineapples, hemp, or any other allied possessions were left.

The Spaniards were as hard hit as others—whole families were shot down while at the dinner table during the last days of occupation.

We had the horrors of bombing all of Christmas week, hiding under cement staircases, under beams, or if we were up town shopping, for my husband had no clothes, we would dodge into a substantial building until it was over. Japanese bombings only aimed at military objectives in those days. Every ship in the harbor and river was sunk; but sometimes they missed their mark. Fortunately, there was always an air alert signal a few minutes before they arrived. We soon learned to do our ducking when we heard the zooming instead of when the explosion came.

I still think of those days as the most nerve-wracking we experienced because it was now and then; too, later bombings were not by an enemy and we felt confident about the Americans. In staging the air battles, they occurred away from Santo Tomas. We always found shrapnel shells from enemy anti-aircraft after a battle. Occasionally someone would suggest the idea that the Japanese might sometime drop a bomb on us in the confusion of battle and say it was a mistake or that an American plane had done it.

On the night before the city was to be turned over to the Japanese, the oil storage tanks belonging to the companies of the allied nations were all emptied. The oil from one of them near the Pasig River , which winds through the heart of Manila business district, ran into the river. This accidentally caught fire, and it looked as if the whole city was burning up. We lived only a few blocks away and because of it slept little that night

High Commissioner Sayres and family, also the Inezons, were being taken to Corregidor that night. Boats were taking the currency and everything possible from the banks and post office. Corregidor is a well fortified island fort at the entrance of Manila harbor about 30 miles out. Army nurses told me later that the currency was burned up day after day. I suppose they only needed to keep the serial numbers. Later the Sayres and the Inezons left by plane for the states. Many Americans felt to the end that the Sayres deserted us, or rather left us in the air as to our rights. I did not feel that way though, for I knew head representatives of the governments were usually imprisoned. So he could have done us no good anyway, and no doubt in Washington he could be a help. The American consul remained and with the High Commissioner’s staff were interned in a fine house up town. After the consul left on September 26, 1943, the others were interned with us..

I gave the steamer rug I had brought along from Baguio to my husband for a bed. After a few days the Red Cross had made wooden beds for us. My husband fell heir to a thin mattress, but he had no sheets for three years—just lay on the steamer rug, which we frequently sunned. The Red Cross supplied a thin cotton blanket for covering and a net

My husband and I both lived in the same building and could at any time go to the other’s door and call. Sitting the halls on benches or chairs was always permissible. Our men frequently came into our rooms on cleaning days to help with lifting things. There was a large plaza in front of the main building where people gathered in the late afternoon and evening until 9 o’clock. This was the most refreshing part of the day. At first, many sat on a mat on the grass, but the Japs stopped this; also any show of affection. Several persons of Manila donated expensive lists of music records that were broadcast over a loud speaker at this hour. On Sundays we usually heard classical numbers, then occasionally popular plays were given over the loud speakers by local talent. Also out on the plaza was a "Theater under the Stars," as the stage was called, where we saw a movie occasionally which the Japanese loaned us from the film found in the movie houses uptown when they took over the city. Japanese propaganda was thrown on the screen first. .

Dave Harvey, a former night club entertainer, deserved much credit for working so hard to keep the camp spirits up. For a long time he put on a stage show once a week. He had to take most of the leading parts himself. His "Take It or Leave It" programs were popular and one that caused so much laughter was "The Lost Tribes of the Philippines," in which internees were evoluting in front of us from spic and span persons of January 1942 to a little less and less clothing and rags finally with only a banana leaf held in front of them. His (Dave’s) dancing was always enjoyed; in fact, he worked so hard for us that when the end came, his health was gone. Soon after we were all settled in our new surroundings, there was community singing in one of the large patios, led by Dave. We all sang with a bang, "Hail, hail, the gang’s all here, What the hell do we care?" Little did we think that it would be so long until we were out. Even at the end of six months many, many men were betting that we would be out by Christmas.

I often thought that the mystery of when the end would come may have been one thing that held us up. We finally settled down to thinking that this was our part in the war and that perhaps our government felt that our camp helped to build the morale of the Filipino people. They seemed to feel as strongly as we did that the army would be back to us some day. Such devotion as those poor people showed shall not be forgotten. As long as gifts could be sent in through the gate, they poured in, and no doubt in many cases, they deprived themselves to do so. The Japanese never ceased to be surprised at this, for they could see that the majority of the Filipinos were not so taken with their "co-prosperity" idea, They would explain to the Filipinos through their paper that face-slapping was the least form of punishment with the Japanese and that they must not be offended at that. The Filipinos are sensitive and this prevalent custom offended them greatly.

We had not been in camp long when we were one night seated in the hall playing bridge or Mah Jong or visiting, when a tremendous noise came that sounded exactly as if a bomb had been dropped in our building. Such scrambling you have never seen. Tables were knocked over and cards scattered everywhere. People ran to their rooms and crawled under the beds; many had heart attacks. It seems that an American plane had flown over; the Japanese anti-aircraft commenced to shoot from the roof of a building nearby. The reverberation of the sound down into our patios made it seem so loud. I think now that we were still quite nervous from the earlier bombings in Manila. On February 15, three of our men (Australians) were shot for escaping over the wall. Everything possible was done by our committee to stop such a drastic sentence. Bishop Binstead of the Episcopal church spoke Japanese and tried to make a plea, but to no avail. Even an old Japanese commandant, dressed in civilian clothes, went out of camp to try to intervene; but the military orders were not to be cancelled, and they wanted to make a lesson of it in those early days. They were splendid chaps, and this saddened the camp no little.

In March twelve navy nurses were brought in; and in July seventy-two army nurses were brought in from Corregidor. Every one was so wild over seeing them that I have often wondered if that were not the reason that the army nurses were not put in a house apart from others for several weeks and not allowed to talk to us. The navy nurses had come earlier but there were not so many of them, and they had not come directly from the fighting zone. Later these grand girls were to take care of us at the hospitals, navy going to Los Banos with the first group when our camp was divided.

Our food was bought with Red Cross money until July when the Japanese took over this at forty centavos per day per person. This equals twenty cents of our money.

By this time we had a well organized committee. From the beginning we had self-rule with everything having been submitted to the Japanese for approval, of course, and with certain rules and regulations from time to time being ordered by them. There was a squad of Japanese guards at the front gate and a few around elsewhere, but our American men policed the buildings and grounds day and night to be ready for any emergency. Amusing things came up; for instance, one old couple who were quite tough announced that they had been sleeping together for the last forty years and expected to continue in spite of rules; so a space out near a stairway upstairs was fixed for them with a curtain around it. The joke was on a certain guard who had not heard about this and one night was just about to intercede and enforce the rules; for it looked to him like he could see a man and a woman sitting there on the bed. Another guard came along and explained.

About the food: our committee of efficient business men saw that there would have to be a way to supplement the food as forty centavos was not enough. So a 10% tax on anything bought at the canteen, vegetable market, restaurants, vendors, etc. were all taxed, for there was plenty of money circulating in camp.

I heard one rich Jewess say that she and her husband came in with a hundred and fourteen thousand pesos on their persons. At that time our own buyers were allowed to go out and purchase our supplies. They had to go to the fields to engage enough for our needs. The income from the taxing helped a lot; then added to this came the income from taxing the "shanties" to help with camp expenses. Many, many of them [shanties] came into being and served as an outlet for the much needed rest and privacy, especially for people with children. The starting of these shanties came when you could see a little lean-to way out on the campus with a canvas top to keep off the sun—much like the squatters’ homes which we see on the desert. A couple would take their trays of food out there to eat and be quiet. Nothing was worse than eating under the long dining sheds with all the crowds of people. The fly was one of the worst problems. Anyway, the shanties grew and grew. Some of them a good sized "nipa" dwelling with a bamboo floor, and palm leafed covered roofing. Many of them had beautiful flower gardens and vines. Reed furniture was sent in from the homes of Manila people. Even iceboxes and a chaise lounge were occasionally seen coming. This was probably the first time in history that the homes of the "400" were those who lived in shanties; for it did take money to build them. Many times I felt refreshed after a visit with friends who owned a shanty. Before the end, many of them sold for two or three thousand Philippine pesos. Finally there were 683 shanties with 1108 persons living in them. This, of course, had to be regulated , and each locality had realized this early; so they elected a mayor, etc/ called the streets all kinds of humorous names. The main drag was usually a boulevard. One of the larger sections was called "Glamourville," another shanty town, "Garden Court,"etc.. Later they elected a section supervisor , who acted as a monitor did for rooms; and he reported to the general office and was a helpful person in this community. Most of the two peso taxes from the shanties went for improvement of the grounds and camp welfare.

The camp was organized to the last degree. There were experts in almost any line. We had with us the American heads of various industries of a large city. Many interesting devices were worked out by them when materials became scarce. For instance, they wanted a loud speaker in the "Fathers’Garden," a beautiful green spot where lectures, church services, high school commencements, etc.. were held. Wire enough could not be procured to do this work, so they used the barbed wire fence along the way to get electricity for aloud speaker carried over to the garden.

We even had a meteorologist of the American Airways, who warned us when there was going to be a typhoon or a flood.. We did have two good sized floods, which covered the grounds and stood several feet high in most of the shanties. Lights went out, toilets wouldn’t flush, water was unfit to drink, etc. but we always came out of our troubles. The men had emergency tanks of water on the roof, and pretty soon with the use of hose, water was at hand.

Someone made a list of "Who’s Who" for the camp which included many worthwhile lecturers and gave us food for thought for many months in the early part of our long confinement. Some of these men were caught in Manila when their ship was en route to India, or they had been ordered out of China because of war and sought to be under the American flag. Several missionaries, doctors, and dentists were able men and an asset to the camp. We not only had the good, but a lot of scum from other parts; women from the underworld of Shanghai, low class night club entertainers from New York who were continually getting into fights with those of their kind. We had two fine doctors from the Rockefeller Foundation in China, also a nice troupe of entertainers who were on their way to Shanghai. They gave much of their time until 113 internees were taken to Shanghai in September of 42.

Great improvements to the grounds were apparent before long. The British were particularly good at agriculture, and some of them were always at the head of our large gardens. Every hole in the lawns was filled, and they were kept mowed, with the hedges in fine shape; all of this was of course detail. Every man had to work at least two hours per day, but many of them worked several hours more. Women fixed the vegetables ready to cook, also de-wormed the rice and cereal. There was a large shipment of cracked wheat on the pier in Manila en route to China from the U.S.A. when war came. This fell to us and was a source of much nourishment. Towards the end of it, there were still many worms, after it was picked and after we laid them out on the ledge of our white enamel plates, continuing to eat. I remember remarking that not much mattered if you could do that, and a snippy young woman answered that a lot also mattered to her.

Living conditions in our rooms was one of the most trying ordeals. Our entire space was 80 inches by 42 and about 36 inches between beds. This width, as you see, did not leave much space between beds to dress. We had a shelf, but suitcases had to be dragged from under the bed, or if you were fortunate enough to have it on a stand, then there was less room to move around after the nets were up in the late afternoon and covered with mosquitoes. There was nothing left to do but take your chair and go outside. Everyone carried a folding chair with them.

It was not this crowded condition alone, but adjusting one’s self to the various personalities around you. Some slept in the next bed to one they abhorred. A woman in my room had always been accustomed to rising between 4 and 5 a.m. and going to the bathroom to do her sitting up exercises, then returning to the room in wooden clogs which she tip-toed with, and knew that she made no noise. She would then dress, take down her net, make her bed, etc., then out to the yard by daylight. All those near her were of course awakened and bore it without a murmur for nearly two years, determined not to have it said that a lot of women can’t live together without contention. Later, after we were all so worn, we made life so miserable for her that she moved.

I remember that I used to like to greet some of my roommates with a pleasant "good morning," and from them, no answer. One of them said that the reason she didn’t like to say "good morning "was because she didn’t feel that it was a good morning. "Suppose you had just turned over your powder, nothing seemed good to you then," she said.

Many firm friends who went in together in a shanty broke up and were friends no more. I thought of this a lot and couldn’t believe that it would be the same if one of my dear friends from home were there with me. Every room had an elected monitor who had a great time trying to please everyone. Many contentions came over a few in this lack of space.

Some didn’t obey the rules and the others weren’t going to either. We all had to do bathroom duty once a week for an hour; and while this was not such a hard chore, it was easily forgotten. There was also a monitor for the hall of each floor, for there were many things to be settled. All supplies such as toilet paper, cigarettes, etc. were given in bulk to the hall monitor, and she in turn distributed things to the rooms. Also many announcements came through her. Then there was a building monitor who had many things to work over that the building needed. For instance, on a total blackout night, our building monitor brought the Japanese lieutenant right in to show him the danger, with the result that dim lanterns were placed at corners of hallways and the entrance to the bathrooms where there were steps.

Our sanitation and health department was excellent, and no doubt kept down any epidemic of any size at all. We went to get the typhoid and dysentery shots within half an hour after we had arrived in camp and continued to get the dysentery shots every six months thereafter. Later choLera and plague shots were given, and typhoid and vaccinations when due.

The Japanese military or navy officers with all their gold braid would frequently come in for an inspection, and how proud they were over such a fine camp as they had provided for the Americans. As a matter of fact, the Americans had worked like ants getting fine roads, sidewalks, etc. made; and ditches were dug everywhere to provide proper drainage. This was all supervised by engineers.

Our committee soon found out that there was going to have to be a method of punishment for even the small [offenses]; so a small fine was decided upon. The "make me if you can" attitude was becoming unbearable. I don’t think anyone was ever jailed for not working, because the percentage was small of those who refused. This was our own business, approved by the Japanese. They did order some jail sentences when they learned that babies were to be born, especially since some of them were illegitimate. Men were sent to jail for 30 to 60 days, and women were taken out of camp to an internment camp of old men. One lovely couple, who came into camp late because of sickness in the family, had to take the same punishment as the others. Quite frequently, when the charge was serious enough, the Japanese put men in jail; and towards the last, one of our fine doctors was sentenced because he had written "died of starvation" on a death certificate and refused to change it.

I have not stated that all of the first two years of the internment camp we were under protective custody, and while our committee had many times to work hard and tactfully to get from the Japanese our just dues, and a good lawyer was on the committee to advise. We often knew nothing about the ups and downs. Rules of international law and other international decisions meant very little to the Japanese.

The first two years we went about our work and were bothered very little by them. The grind of living among this crowd of people all the time, and the strain of standing in all the various lines for hours to get things became very wearing. We even had to wait at times to brush our teeth.

I find that I have written down in my diary a part of a poem that expressed my feelings. It was written by William Cowper, many years ago, and ran like this:

Oh! For a place in some vast wilderness
Some boundless contiguity of space,
Where rumor of oppression and deceit
Of unsuccessful or successful war
Might never reach me more;
My soul is sick with every day’s report
Of wrong and outrage with which the earth is filled

My husband and I ate at a little card table in the hall near our room and had a small built-in closet above the table to hold the dishes, etc. This was a great help in getting away from the crowds who ate at the dining sheds.

For a long, long time things would be brought to the front gate by people’s servants or friends to be given to internees. After inspection by a Japanese committee, our men took charge of those things and distributed them to the mob of internees waiting for them everyday. Notes were forbidden except by permission, but all kinds of schemes were fixed to send notes in or note among these parcels. Finally one day the finding of a note brought quite a big threat from the Japanese, which I will give you in the form of a note from our committee to us. It is one sample of the serious situations, which arose occasionally.

This communication was sent to our executive committee for broadcast and to be read by the monitors in the rooms, and to be posted in the rooms and hallways.

Camp Administration:

(Accompanying the order from the commandant, this came from our committee to the internees)

The commandant has very definitely indicated the dissatisfaction of the military authorities with the manner in which the rules and regulations governing conduct of the internees has been observed. He has questioned whether all of us fully realize our position as internees in the circumstances of war. The package line incident (meaning notes passed) is but one of the criticisms. Others concern the discrete behavior of certain internees both inside and outside of the camp. While he realizes that the vast majority of internees are probably complying with the requirements, he is finding it constantly more difficult to overlook and explain the recurrence of infractions by the small minority. In order that internees may clearly understand what is expected of them, we quote the following communication received from the commandant today
.
October 21, 1942

To Executive Committee
Santo Tomas Internment Camp

Referring to conversations during the last few days with the chairman and other members of your committee, I wish to emphasize that the conduct and action of a certain number of internees in this camp has not been satisfactory, and I find it necessary to instruct you to take whatever corrective steps may be necessary, so that the internees will realize that they must conform to certain fundamental conditions. In this regard, I wish to confirm the various rules and regulations which have been made from time to time by the camp commandant with certain changes necessary to meet existing conditions as follows:

The Nine Rules

1. No internee shall leave the camp without a written pass from the commandante’s office. While outside the camp, internees must confine their activities strictly to the purpose for which the passes are granted., and restrain from circulating about the city unnecessarily and from visiting public places. Discussions of subjects pertaining to the war and the administration of Japanese military forces are prohibited.

2. Unless properly authorized, no internee shall communicate or attempt to communicate with any person outside or passing through the package line by writing, signaling in any manner whatsoever. Any authorized communication must be confined exclusively to matters personal.

3. The possession of radios, cameras, flashlights, and weapons of any kind is prohibited; provided that patrols and monitors may use flashlights in line of duty.

4. No intoxicating liquor shall be brought into camp, nor shall any internee produce, possess, consume, sell, or give away, or otherwise handle the same.

5. All outside shanties and camp grounds must be vacated by 7:15 p.m. and from this hour until curfew hour at 9:00 p.m. all internees shall be restricted to that certain designated area in front of the education building, restaurant, and main building, and the space under the dining sheds. The roads between buildings will be available to access the various buildings until 9:00 p.m. except that the boards walk to the gymnasium will be limited after 7:15 p.m. to men only.

6. Each internee shall report in person to his room monitor at 9:00 p.m. unless he has previously so reported and is in his bed or actually engaged in some camp duty at such an hour. Between 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. no internee, not properly authorized, shall leave his respective building area except in case of emergency, in which event he shall be accompanied by a member of the patrol. All except emergency lights in the hallways and bathrooms shall be extinguished at 11:00 o’clock.

7. No gambling shall be permitted at any time and all card playing and other games shall cease at 10:45 p.m

8. Internees shall conduct themselves in an orderly manner at all times and each shall perform his or her share of camp duties as assigned to them.

9. Internees shall be responsible for maintaining and preserving proper order as well as sanitation and health conditions, also for the regulation of internal activities in strict accordance with all rules and regulations of the camp.

Your committee is hereby instructed to regulate the operation of this camp in accordance with the foregoing fundamental principles and it should be clearly understood by your committee and by all internees that if the administration of the affairs of this camp cannot be conducted in a manner satisfactory to the authorities, it will be necessary to take other and more stringent action.

It is further ordered that all violations other than petty infractions of the internal rules and regulations of this camp be reported to the commandant’s office. Such reports to include a statement of the facts in each case.

The form and degree of punishment will be determined by the military authorities.

Your committee should bear in mind the fact that even a very small number of violations of the rules may be detrimental to the interests of the group as a whole.

A. Kodaki, Chief
Dept. of External Affairs

You can see how this would make every one very serious for a while. On many occasions the fine group of men on our executive committee would have long meetings with the Japanese committee and would avert a crisis.

The to think that for a few weeks before the end came, two of these fine men, the head of the executive committee and the finance and supply director who was our own mine director, were sent to jail in our camp for a short time, then taken out of camp and executed. Many were truly martyrs to our cause.

None ever knew why the Japanese seized them, but there were spies in camp. Some of them women; and it may have become known to the Japanese that these men had been known to send their personal money to the war prisoners who were sick and starving.

The Japanese always suspected that aid was being sent to the guerillas from the camp, but they were never able to pin anything on anyone. Two other fine men were taken out at the same time as the executives and executed.

The U.S. Army came and took away one of the American women who was suspected of being a spy., and I later heard that she was shot because the evidence was found among her belongings. She deserved the worst; for I can think of nothing so horrible as reporting on your own people at such a time as this. She no doubt received money from the Japanese for this.

In October 1942 I made a note in my diary that the dinners were pretty much a set diet. Saturday nights, chili with usually one vegetable, rice , banana. And most popular of all, two small lemons. Another night a vegetable stew and then , the most popular of all was pork and beans night. Internees usually had some bread and honey for dessert, or maybe a salad made out of green vegetables bought at the market. This does not sound, and thought I mention that, we were so thankful it was no worse. The mess cooking was far from appetizing. However, as compared with the food we had in 1944, this would have been "manna from heaven." Some of the above menu was supplied by our committee from funds they had gotten from taxing our purchases, etc. Our budget at this time from the Japanese was 70 centavos per day (35cents U.S. currency). As you will see this had to take care of everything. Our committee budgeted it as follows:

Food 48.2%
Utilities 5.8
Medical 4.9
Family aid (relief) 3.8
General supplies 2.0
Subsistence 1.9
Sanitation 1.8
Maintenance 1.7
Miscellaneous .5
Total 70.0

Once in a while some Americans, who had been hiding in the hills, came and gave themselves up; after much questioning, the Japanese would receive them. Many of them had contracted malaria and had gone through many more hardships than if they had gone to an internment camp in the beginning.

I never missed a day from work in all that long time until a few weeks before the end. I worked at first helping prepare the vegetables, also de-worming the rice; then after four months there, I was asked to pour the cocoa at lunch time for an hour and a half for the teen age and old people’s line.

After that I was in charge of the high school and college reference library. We had about 500 books in circulation. There were so many qualified college teachers that a course in first year college was offered, primarily to keep high school graduates from losing so much time. Several schools were allowed to bring in their libraries from the city, and, of course, they were censored. Some maps were removed from the encyclopedias; in fact, one volume of the Britannica they kept—the "C" one, which we supposed had too much about China. Several valuable private libraries were brought in to us because they would be looted outside. We had a well organized book binding group; and besides our own, we mended all the grade school books. There was plenty of work, but also plenty of good help. The school people were most appreciative and glad to work with us. There were about 700 school children through high school.

If anyone had any doubt about our freedom, just try to get out at the front gate. I often thought of the Arizona Penitentiary grounds at Florence, where you could see people wandering around. We were very much the same.

In late 1942 I was offered a day out in the city as a reward for work. This was done for many to encourage workers. My good husband could not understand why I cared to go; but I wouldn’t have missed that one day of being free for anything. I spent the time with a Scotch friend who was staying out with her children. Had a grand time and arrived back just three minutes before the time was up.

Wild rumors were an every day occurrence. The camp dog was nicknamed "Rumor." Many, many transcripts were smuggled in every day. Some of them paid for and were sent by those who had illicit radios on the outside. Sometimes these transcripts were tied to a rock and thrown over the back wall where there were many shanties. I find that in looking over the back numbers of magazines, we had a fair report of the war as it progressed. There was at least one illicit radio in camp. Finally a crisis came about this and all shanties within ten feet of the wall had to be moved, thus leaving a broad space for the Japanese patrols. This space later became gardens and only a path was left for the patrols.

Another crisis was when all people from shanties had to move into the buildings. What a commotion this caused because people with children and many others did a lot of cooking. Stoves were brought from shanties and placed along the sides or roadways around the buildings, and people half camped. Over a thousand people were affected by this.

Again our committee worked hard to get this order changed. The principal argument was that the cooking done in the shanties relieved a great deal of the strain, as well as the expense, from the central kitchen. A great many people had brought in a world of groceries with them. Another thing, men had been allowed to sleep at night in the shanties, and this had greatly relieved the housing congestion. Finally it was fixed up; but the Japanese required that all shanties had to be open from three sides so that passers-by could see all through a shanty when passing by. Then the new alterations on the shanties commenced. Also there were to be no drop curtains.

There was always a lot of complaining about the camp management, also the graft in the kitchens, with the result that we had well ordered elections. The Japanese’ only request was that they pick the chairman from the ones we elected. They always chose one who could speak Japanese. These men usually knew the customs in Japan well, and would bow and flatter the commandant so that they could get better results. Many internees objected to this and thought he should be firmer about our rights. Finally the Japanese wanted only a committee of three, but the others were used as the heads of important committees and it all worked out.

When later on other camps were brought from Davao, Cebu, and other cities to our camp, the same talk and criticisms were evident. So I decided that the fault was that of the people under strained conditions.

Those leaders who were heads of their companies in normal times went right along doing their best, observing office hours the same as if a good salary were provided. There was always a British representative on the camp committee because there were more than a thousand of them with us. Many warm friendships among us were formed. There were 15 nationalities in all represented. The great crowds of people around was the thing that was most wearing. The Japanese could never figure out how the camp had so much money to spend. We had to sign many forms as to nationality, age, how much money we had, where we got money, etc. Of course no one told the exact truth, because it was none of their business.

Many people borrowed from the rich Chinese in the city. Many times these men loaned without interest, and much of it they will never see again. As long as people went out on passes, this was easy to get. I had a friend who walked right in at the gate with $4,ooo in his pocket for some friend. Hundreds of others did the same. There was a quarter of a million pesos spent at the canteen each month. The market place was a mad house every morning and a great deal of money taken in. All these figures had to be furnished to the Japanese office. Most of the larger companies gave a monthly allowance to their employees and a loan to their people if needed. Our company was very good to us, and since arriving in the States, we do not seem to owe them anything; besides paying us an amount for several months after arriving to get insurance and back promises fixed up. Forgot to say that in some cases, the money lenders on the outside had to give up their lives for the deed when the Japanese caught up with them.

Some Red Cross kits came from South Africa in December ’42 and in January ’43 relief kits came from Canada. Later on in ’43, bulk supplies, yardage, etc. came from the American Red Cross. We heard that the ship with bulk food had been sunk or taken by the Japanese. My, the joy we had upon receiving this bit of good food and clothing, shoes, etc. saved the day, and a few letters too were grand.

There were three transfers made of the internees from our camp to a new one the Japanese made at Los Banos, a resort place. The first group took about 800 of our young men. We all felt that they wanted them out of the reach of the army if they should lose. These young men had furnished the baseball games of the early days, which gave so much diversion to throngs of people every late afternoon. The wise remarks from the fans made the typical American baseball spirit. We also had football in season and many took part who had been members of the larger U.S. college teams. The British soccer games were so tame compared to baseball that even the British were rooters at the American games.

The lawyer of our internees committee was finally banished to Los Banos, the Japanese announcing that he was on the military black list. Not much effort was made to keep him, as his life might be at stake. This proved to be a fine camp. But when those 2500 were still in the hands of the Japanese for two weeks after the taking of Santo Tomas, we were worried about our friends, for they could be held as hostages. Our army took care of that and the rescue was spectacular and extremely interesting.

One morning at breakfast time while the Japanese were doing their exercises and guns standing against the walls, there came our large planes flying low and parachutes commenced landing; at the same guerillas rushed in from the adjoining jungle. The guards were shot at once and internees told to rush down to the lake to the amphibious tanks waiting for them. People had to leave everything behind and run. These 60 tanks had to make two trips to get them all across and Japs were firing on the last crowd that left, but none suffered anything but minor wounds.

One thing never to be forgotten will be the jovial spirit of these American people. Even when conditions looked darkest, they joked. Japanese propaganda in their newspapers was so childish. In the accounts of every engagement with the enemy all of their planes returned safely to their bases. Each time it was the same way, and we learned too that American gains in a battle were often given as their own. Filipino newspaper boys would sometimes call out that the news is the opposite.

Very early in the war Geisha girls were brought from Japan to entertain the officers on the outside and we heard many tales. I have shown you that we had everything in the organization that any town has, even to the New England Town Hall meetings, Ladies’ Aid, and most important of all, the City Council meetings, which at times took in all the shanty area supervisors, room monitors, etc.

I must mention the fine unselfish service of some of the finest people in camp. A bank manager had charge of a place where mosquito nets were washed free of charge. This was considered a sanitary measure. Bed bugs were one of the greatest pests, and cleanliness kept them down. Many chairs and benches in the halls had them, so it was, as one writer expressed it, "Internees bounced instead of sitting." Another service I shall never forget was the care of the much used first floor bathroom.. A group of fine women scrubbed it thoroughly every morning; even the walls where the showers were, to keep down the mildew. All of this was to take care of our health. You can see that in a place like this there would be tragedy in some couples’ lives; a great deal of romance for some, and pathos that was heart breaking.

A fine young priest was much in love with a pretty girl, and while some condemned him, I whispered in his ear that "All the world loves a lover."

One young woman almost lost her mind because she had lost track of her husband and was in the hospital for a long time. She became well enough to help the nurses and stayed on. Her husband, a newspaper man, arrived with the first troops the night that Santo Tomas was taken; and after locating where she was, went running to the hospital. Patients had all been moved to the ground floor for safety and when he called, "Virginia, Virginia," it was easy to hear. Everyone was crying over the reunion.

It was surprising how some people will react under great strains. I made up my mind in the beginning that I was not going to let this experience make me grow bitter, for I had lived long enough to know that there is good and bad in any situation; and after all, conditions could have been worse. I was always so thankful that the mosquitoes there were not malarial and the buildings were earthquake proofed.

The Japanese were usually more lenient about requests around Christmas time; and once they allowed relatives of internees, who were living outside, to come onto the campus grounds for Christmas day. Santa Claus was announced over the loud speaker as having arrived at the front gate. There was great excitement among the children when the big gates opened and he walked in. Unselfish men and women in the camp had worked long hours making toys in order to make the children happy. These were distributed from a large tree and everyone had a big time.

The final big crisis came in February 1944 when the military took charge of our camp. Stores and restaurants were closed. Before long the package line at the gate was ended, which meant a very much poorer life for many people. Native doctors and nurses, who had been a great help, were dismissed; and many new regulations went into effect. We then were considered prisoners of war. Always when the Japanese were losing things seemed to get tighter on us; so it meant good news to us as well as bad. Vegetables and fruits were still allowed in and handled by our men; but after a while that ceased too.

They even took over our own storehouse where we always held some emergency food. Local newspapers stopped. Central kitchen commenced cooking out in the yard in big round bin, as there was no more gas uptown on account of no more coal. Food became scarcer every day. We now had to bow from the waist down to every "simp" of a sentinel and of course others. All money except 50 Japanese pesos had to be turned in for deposit at the Taiwan Bank, and only 50 pesos a month per person could be withdrawn. All other money too was asked to be turned in. They gave all kinds of reasons for this—to take care of it for us, to prevent extravagance, etc. , but we knew that they were taking our money away from us. Even though the bowing was a terrible pill, Americans finally turned it into fun. We were awakened by music from the loud speaker every morning. And the next day after the package line was closed. We heard the song "Don’t give up the ship." Once when the camp was pretty low in spirits they played "I wish I were in Dixie." After the money was taken away we had "I can’t give you anything but love, baby."

My husband was in the age group that was not required to work, but he made himself useful around his room and spent a great deal of his time taking care of me: standing in all the lines for food, soap, salt, sugar, cigarettes, etc. We always took the cigarettes because they were exchangeable for valuable food. We did the washing together at the long troughs, and it was a great help to have a man to carry the clothing to the line. Since clothing was so often stolen, a guard was placed there at the public line, even then it was hard. We used a friend’s private line by a shanty. Clothespins were made by splitting bamboo. Truly "necessity is the mother of invention" for we made nice knitted panties out of string with bamboo needles. I made some good face powder out of prepared chalk someone had combined with zinc oxide that I had gotten to polish my white shoes. Never thought I could be so proud of a tin can of the right shape and size I needed.

But I must not forget to tell you of the time when I was sentenced to punishment. The Japanese had it announced over the loud speaker that all first floor rooms would be searched and everyone was to go to their rooms and stay there. They always brought along someone of our executive committee and the American interpreter. Just before they arrived at our room, we could hear them in the next room say that everyone must stand by the side of their bed with any money they had in their hands. I could see the women in my room putting great pads of money in their bosoms. I always kept my Philippine money in a belt around my waist. The interpreter passed the word around that we had better show a little money, so I showed one $10 bill together with a little Japanese money. They took the $10 Philippine money and took down my name and room number. The searching in our baggage was very superficial. We learned afterwards that the whole search was to get hold of $2,500 dollars they heard about some Russian woman having. After a few days I was called to the Japanese office with 20 others from that floor; and after bowing, we had to stand with arms down at our sides and listen to a severe reprimand from one of the Japanese officials. They told us publicity had been given to the matter of our turning in all money and we knew this to be subject to punishment, etc. Never giving us a chance to explain. I was going to say that I had found it among my things and wanted to do the right thing so turned it in. All the others were just as innocent of having much money as I was.; but I still think I was pretty dumb to show them anything. Anyway this official ended by saying that "for this you will be punished by staying in your room for one week, only going out to eat and to the bathroom." I ate all meals with my husband, but had a good rest in my room. If we had been put in jail, it would have meant only rice and water.

Forgot to say that my last months were spent very pleasantly working at the hospital as dishwasher. I gave up the library work, as by then others were trained; and I felt the need of the better cooked food. Miss Mathley, the army nurse (dietician) did wonders. We were allowed to bring our meal home to eat, and in this way I often could share it with my husband. Catholic fathers did wonderful work there as orderlies. Protestant preachers too were very helpful in other places.

On September 21, 1944, the American planes arrived in great numbers just out of a clear blue sky, when other days we had often expected them. It was the most glorious and thrilling sight you could ever imagine. They were at first all in formation and came out of a cloud, but in a few minutes, they broke up into groups and commenced their work. It took the Japs so by surprise that it was several minutes before their anti-aircraft started up. We saw numerous dog fights, but the best of all was the way a plane could dive straight down to its objective, drop its bomb, and come up again. They did a great deal of damage at the waterfront. We were wild with joy. We naturally expected them often again, but it was almost a month before they came. Men who knew said that they came from carriers and were navy planes.

Our music the next morning was "We cover the waterfront." When we first heard of the landing at Layte, Dan Ball, our popular radio announcer worked it in among the evening announcements that it was "Better Layte than never."

The large American Red Cross kits, which arrived for Christmas 1943, had been budgeted to last us many months and were getting low. This really had saved our health, if not our lives. By the end of 1944,, imagine the happiness to the internees when the leaflet was dropped from the planes for Christmas. "The commander in chief, the officers and men of the American forces of liberation in the Pacific wish their gallant allies, the people of the Philippines, all the blessings of Christmas and the realization of their fervent hopes for the New Year….Christmas, 1944."

By this time the food situation was so serious that as many as 8 died in less than 24 hours from starvation. Imagine how I felt when my good husband said that he would not be able to walk out to help hang up the clothes. He had beriberi and his ankles were greatly swollen; it also affected his kidneys, as it did for hundreds of others. He could barely walk around and he looked so pale. He could not be persuaded to come down from the third floor because he loved his room, and besides, if he came down to the first floor it meant living with a lot of old men. They can be so depressed and childish, you know, so maybe he was wise and I didn’t insist. We both lost 50 pounds and I felt that my balance was off and I couldn’t walk in a straight line.

Neutral nationals on the outside had gotten together a nice lot of food to send us for Christmas, but the Japanese would not let it come in. One native doctor was to give 40 hogs, which would have helped a lot. This happened more than once. The average daily per capita calories issued by the Japanese army to the camp during January 1944 was 723.7. When you consider that 1500 calories is the minimum requirement for a person in bed, it is no wonder that people were dying. The doctor said that in another week, had the American army not arrived, we would all have had to take to our beds.

There was a total absence of meat, milk, eggs, sugar and fat in the diet. Once I paid thirty dollars (U.S. money) for one pound of dirty brown sugar, and it did boost us up a lot. We had budgeted the corn beef from our Red Cross kits to have one once a week, and when that day came, we were exhausted. We made it last for two meals and had opened our last one a week before the army came

The food became so scarce some people would stoop to anything to get more food, never caring whether it made less for others. Never a day passed but that from one to two hundred more meal tickets were punched than there were tickets out. In one case I knew of a family that still used the ticket after a member of the family had been dead two weeks. There was a black market and no one ever knew how the food got into camp, probably over the wall; and, too, the Japanese guards could be bribed. Many traded a diamond ring or watch for food from these guards, and, of course, Philippine money could still be used secretly.

People ate rats, cats and dogs at Los Banos camp. The doctor set the example by killing and eating a dog. He said "This is starvation." For vegetables the tender stems of banana plants were quite good and also lily roots. Some even ate hibiscus leaves. We ate none of these things because the botanist said some of them were poison. Until the last we had a few greens from our camp grounds.

There was a popular fad of copying recipes. Even men were entertained by doing this and many grand cook books were loaned. The doctors saw that this was a form of food mania. Conversations were much about food and about the things we would want first. My wish never changed from some ham and eggs; others thought a piece of bread and butter or a glass of milk would serve them. We never saw wheat flour for over two years.

There was a large exchange board and I shall never forget when I had no more soap to wash our clothes, I decided to go over and look at this board, where I saw that someone wanted to give some soap for salt. I remembered that I had a quart of the coarse ice cream salt, which was the only kind we had. I ran home and brought it before someone else picked up their soap. I received enough soap to carry us for the four weeks more, and was so happy.

In January of 1944, there were 41 illegitimate babies to be born in camp The outlook for this drew quite a bit of the saved up milk from the younger children’s supply in camp, and, of course, there was the pre-natal care of these women. There was always a separate building for mothers and children which helped greatly; and from the beginning there was a great effort made to feed children things needed for growth even though the Japanese always budgeted half the amount for a child’s compared with the adults. Fortunately one committee could change the food the other way around. When the Red Cross kits came, a world of vitamins and much needed medicine came; but it was about exhausted by the end. Like everything else., some people cheated and got more than their share. These things sold for sky high prices outside. The doctor caught on to this and the medical board had to pass on the necessity for certain drugs.

When the Jap military was failing so rapidly, they used our whole front campus to store their supplies, even bringing in ammunition to which our committee objected, as it was dangerous to us, but to no avail. Trucks were going and coming all night. About this time a fine American man was beaten at the gate to try and make him tell something. One of the important Japanese staff officers moved into the camp for protection, but in a short time all the staff were ordered to leave the camp, and they burned papers all night and packed to leave. Our committee was told one day pending their departure, but a statement given out by the commandante said that owing to a change in plans, they were not leaving. Things that they had stored on the campus were taken out again.

Another leaflet dropped on the 10th saying" The Battle of the Philippines is in its final phase, etc.." We saw the stars on the wings of the planes; they flew so low. By this time there were no more Japanese planes ever in sight. We had almost total blackout during these days of January 1944 and how happy this made us. Every evening we sat around in little groups and dreamed of the great day to come. Cigarette smokers were cutting dried papaya leaves very fine to mix with tobacco for making it go farther, and this caused irritation, but anything for a smoke.

One time we had a loud speaker announcement in the middle of the night for everyone to stay right where they were and no lights to be turned on. We were scared to death, of course, but found out next morning that the Japanese suspicions that some men had gotten out, so they pout on this big search in certain of the men’s rooms.

Unless I am to go on forever, I must begin to give you one of the most important papers before I get to the end. This one from Secretary Hull came in April 1943: "We convey to you all our best wishes and sincere greetings. My associates and myself are constantly concerned about your welfare." (signed) Cordell Hull

Notice on bulletin boards accompanying this message was as follows: "The commandant has today requested the broadcast of the following message to the internees. This was transmitted through the courtesy of the Japanese military authorities."

This message from Secretary Hull brought us great satisfaction. Many had felt that we were a mere speck of concern to our country in wartime and there was no particular concern for us. A message from the Red Cross came for Christmas, which brought tears to our eyes. This is a copy of the oath we were asked to sign near the last.

Oath
The commandant of the military internment camps of the Philippines.
I, the undersigned, hereby solemnly pledge myself that I will not under any circumstances, attempt to escape or conspire directly or indirectly against the Japanese military administration as long as I am in their custody.
Nationality Signed

The oath in Japanese language was above this

Our committee objected to us signing the above, and the one below was agreed upon, but a paper went with the oath that we had signed under protest.

"I, the undersigned hereby solemnly pledge myself that I will strictly comply with the Japanese military authorities and will not, under any circumstances attempt escape.".

Signed ________________

A few men who would not sign were called to the Japanese office, One of them said that he would not promise not to try to escape if his children were starving. The Japanese did nothing to them either.

Typical of the menus for the last month or two was as follows:
Breakfast---------------hot rice gruel, water
Lunch------------------soy bean soup (very thin)
Dinner-----------------ground corn, soy bean stew, greens, either sweet potato tops
Fatigin, a native green

Many men, women, and children fainted during the day. If we only could have kept the native food, like peanuts and bananas, life would have been so much better; for the people lost many pounds after there was no peanut butter. The Japanese might have been partly excused on the grounds that there was not enough food available in such large quantities as we needed, but it was just pure cussedness when they would not let food offered to the camp to be brought in. They, of course, wanted to give the impression that the great Imperial Japanese Army was capable of taking care of us.

On February 3, 1944, a U.S. plane paraded over Santo Tomas grounds and dropped a pair of goggles into one of the large patios of the main building with a message something like this, "Roll out the barrel, Santa Claus is coming for you soon." More and more we knew that the end was near, but how or when it would come was a mystery.

The only thing that held my husband up was the courage and conviction that the American army would be here soon. At about 6 p.m. of that day, continuous machine gun fire could be heard in the North. Of course, we had heard much about the landings on our island. At 9 p.m. we heard tanks down the main street in front, and much noise; it sounded like street fighting. We heard a few shots, then heard the front inner gate crash. An immense search light was thrown down the road leading into the grounds. We still wondered whether the Japs were going to pull something in our camp. A big tank followed behind the search light and rolled right on up to the corner of the main building where my room was. We were all at the window watching when someone in the mob following said, "Are you Americans?" About that time two or three of those big brave fellows stepped off the tank, and said, "Yep, we are the Yanks." Such yelling as came forth was deafening. I did not feel like rushing out too quickly, for there was likely to be trouble. Sure enough the ugly old Jap lieutenant who had sentenced me arrived to restore order. An American soldier came up, and when the lieutenant put his hand down to his pocket, the soldier shot him at once. Within twenty minutes to half an hour, our army had control of things except for the commandant’s office and staff. They wouldn’t come out and give up. None had ever thought of it before that above their first floor offices there were two floors of American men’s rooms so that guns could not be turned on that building.

The American interpreter, a missionary minister reasoned with the commandant for hours that if he gave up they would have their lives, otherwise the worst would happen.

The Japanese had machine guns at the foot of all the stairs so that none of the men upstairs could come down, though food was brought in. Reports that the Japs were ready to kill us all could not be confirmed. Finally after twenty-four hours, the Japs said they would give up if taken to the gate and given arms., This was done; but, of course, they didn’t get very far as American soldiers were everywhere.

There was so much everywhere the night the boys came. Some expressed it by crying on the shoulder of a soldier, etc. Other internees greeted one another with a big embrace and a kiss. I often wonder now whether the fact that the boys looked so large was because of the contrast with the little Jap soldiers we had been seeing; but they were immense picked soldiers of the first cavalry of New York

The jail door was opened at once and the brave Doctor Stevenson, who would not take it off the death certificate that men had died of starvation, was set free with others.

We stood around in little groups and talked to the soldiers telling of our plight. Some of them excused themselves and in a moment brought back some of .their own food for us. The first thing opened was a can of concentrated beef stew. We each had a tablespoonful as it was.. The canned butter we ate without bread, and then came some chocolate bars. I slept better that night than for a long time. Until I was hurt, I felt that I would have gone through all of the hardships of the three years to have witnessed that one night. A group of boys played the guitar and sang outside our window until late.

Next morning we were saddened because the wounded were being brought in. Our large corner room which held 30 of us was taken over for a temporary hospital. We slept anywhere we could with a friend. All of the various departments connected with a division of the army began arriving, and after a few days big trucks were rolling in with food for our kitchens. We had the same food the next day even, but they didn’t want to start us too heavy.

There were five big bridges over the Pasig River in Manila which the Japanese had kept wired and ready to blow up. These bridges were all no more as soon as our troops came; and one of the big tanks with some of the soldiers who came to rescue us was in the middle of one and went down with it. This is probably why the Japanese made no resistance to the taking of Santo Tomas; they wanted to cut off the American army from the rest of Manila and make their stand there.

Children as well as others were having the time of their lives because the soldiers were giving away candy, chocolate bars, cigarettes, etc. There was plenty of gunfire all around, but it didn’t seem to bother us, for we felt that nothing could harm us now. More and more the campus was alive with American soldiers, and Red Cross people were there. We had the latest news in broadcasts. We could send a free telegram to the folks at home. The soldiers by this time were being welcomed at all the shanties and having meals there with a touch of home life.

After four days of this happiness, the Japanese focused one of their big guns from across the river on our buildings. Several internees and soldiers were killed and wounded the earlier part of the afternoon, and then the soldiers were put to guard the inside of the buildings that were being shelled and keep the people out.

Later in the afternoon after there had been a long lull in the firing, soldiers let the ladies go into my room to get our clothing for the night. I heard of it and went too. The room was full of people when the shelling started again. We ran; but not fast enough. I was trying to take along my suitcase. I realized that my thigh was broken and sat down between beds; and plenty more shrapnel fell around. An officer later came and saw the dead being brought out, and scolded the soldiers for letting people into those rooms. No one was to blame but ourselves. It was only a short time until two soldiers picked me up on a litter and took me to the clinic door where I was soon taken in and immediately given blood plasma. Two field doctors happened to be in camp that afternoon and dressed the shrapnel wounds in my leg, and left the bone setting for another day. They put on a temporary cast and a couple of days later I was sent outside to an evacuation hospital of the army. The doctors debated on amputating at the time of the injury but waited to see. The bone was set four months later after I arrived in the United States.

There was a long procession of big black ambulances with Red Cross on the outside as the wounded were moved over to this hospital. Major Kelly, an orthopedic specialist of Detroit, took care of me and I shall never forget his kindness as well as that of the army nurses. I had an anaesthetic seven times but am well indeed.

I was given the full blood transfusions as needed to make up for so much loss at the time of the injury and all went well. I was taken out of the cast and out of traction for almost a month , then into a very heavy cast for travelling. I didn’t get off for a month after that, and my, the heat I suffered with all those heavy garments. I was given penicillin every three hours day and night for a month.

After thirty-five warm days on the ocean, I was brought straight to this lovely hospital {Marine Hospital, San Francisco} from the ship on a litter. I have been here eight months under the most excellent care, and best of all, I am going to walk after a fashion. One has only to be around where there are wounded soldiers to decide that their own troubles are small indeed. I left the Marine Hospital March 3, 1946.

The most I have to be thankful for is the fact that I am living. The continual kindness of those around me as well as my friends from afar has kept me very happy.

{signed} Yetta L. Tuschka
Notes for Yetta Jennie Lay
Yetta was listed in Who’s Who in American Women, 1958:

1162790
Tuschka, Yetta L 1883-
Who's Who of American Women. First edition, 1958-1959. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who, 1958.
Notes for Otto Joseph (Spouse 1)
Otto Tuschka immigrated to New York at the age of 8 in 1881:

Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934
Name: Otto Tuschka
Departure Date: 19 Jul 1881
Destination: New York
Estimated birth year: abt 1873
Age Year: 8
Gender: männlich (Male)
Family: Household members
Residence: Sternberg, Böhmen

Ship Name: Flamingo
Captain: Bee, B.
Ship Type: Dampfschiff
Accommodation: ohne Angabe
Ship Flag: England
Port of Departure: Hamburg
Port of Arrival: Hull (New York via Liverpool)

Volume: 373-7 I, VIII B 1 Band 044
Page: 1123
Microfilm Roll Number: S_13137

Otto was a chemist who worked in the mining industry. He lived and worked in El Paso, TX; Globe, AZ; Monterrey, Mexico; and in the Phillipine Islands, where he and Yetta were imprisoned by the Japanese in the San Tomas Concentration Camp from 1941 through 1944.

Otto Tuschka filled in his WWI draft registration form on 12 September 1918. He was a chemist with the Old Dominion Company in Globe, Gila Co AZ. He listed his nearest relative as Yetta Jenny Tuschka. Both their addresses were given as Lyman Woods Home, Devereux St., Globe.25

Otto Tuschka was enumerated in the 1900 census as a lodger in the home of John & Mary Friend, El Paso TX. He listed his occupation as assayer.

1920 Census of Globe, Gila Co AZ

Name Age

Otto Tuschka 45 chemist, working for smelter
Yetta Tuschka 35
Louise Tuschka 10
Otto U Tuschka 6
Last Modified 15 Jul 2010Created 21 Aug 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
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