Saturday, 12 September 2015

13.9.45. Hot fine day. Passed Corregidor in early daylight – there is no obvious sign of hostilities there – no chunks knocked off. Manila Bay simply full of merchant shipping, mostly cargo types. What a spectacle – about 150 I should say. All flying Yank flag apparently. We are anxious to know what happens to us next. Lots of sunken shipping in the harbour too. Excellent food. Lots of chatter & grumbling & rumours all day, particularly a story that no-one in Manila had been forewarned of our arrival. Things moved in the early evening however when we were told the ship was going alongside & that all service personnel including HKVDC would be disembarked this evening. A big rain storm came up to help matters. Disembarkation turned out to be a very slow business, Canadians first, then Navy & then Army with Volunteers last. An American military band on the pier tried to liven things up a bit – a stout effort. Life on the ship was naturally wholly disorganised, & nobody could get to sleep on the decks. I talked with John. Civilians it is rumoured will go ashore tomorrow. Asked him to call on Carrie if he arrived home first. No word of our demobilisation, so I go on as a POW. It was well after midnight when we went ashore. Hospital patients had previously left in many ambulances. After half an hour’s wait in an army truck a convoy of us set off to some clearing camp 17 miles out. I did not enjoy the drive, driving on right hand side of greasy poor roads. Great deal of damage in Manila. Enormous American dumps en route. Sure enough they are organised in a big way.

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