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Aboard ship on way to States by Carr Hooper

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  • This was written in hate and bitterness—can you imagine Carr Hooper putting this on paper? A kind gentle man. He lost his bitterness. He returned to the wonderful happy & loving man he was and remained that way as long as God let him live— Ruth Aboard Ship on Way to States When the terrific news of the Pearl Harbor bombing burst on America, we in the Philippines were more than shocked, we were stricken with fear of immediate invasion and with the knowledge that every avenue of escape was closed to civilians with the sailing of the last ship from Manila Bay on about November 26, 1941. This fear was fully justified. A great fleet of escorted transports had been reported by the Manila Bulletinsouth of Hongkong, of December 5 moving in the direction of the Philippines. On December 8 these warships and troops were within legalized waters5 of Phil. When the news came at 4:00 A. M. Monday, December 8 even civilians knew their destination and purpose. Most of the United States bombing squadron at Clark Field was wiped out on the ground at noon of that day. So was the fighter squadron in the dog fight against overwhelming odds at Iba. A sergeant of anti-aircraft at Clark Field told me on December 23 that in the bombing of Clark Field, they, his gunners sat at their pieces and watched Jap formations come into range with orders not to fire unless the enemy actually dropped bombs. They did, and anti-aircraft guns, B17’s, barracks and personnel were wiped out – without delivering a single blow against the great transport fleet then in Philippine waters. War had not yet been declared. The day, December 8 saw frantic efforts on our part to know what was going on and no one knew, or was telling. Rumors had begun. At 2:45 A. M. on the morning of December 9th while I sat facing Nichols Field we had the answer in full, dozens of rockets and flares marked a lane to, around, and out of this important airfield. Spies, and fifth columnsts showed the way and a formation of Japanese Bombers blew to high Heavens any hopes we might have had of resisting in anyway the threat to Manila. The day however was quiet, but December 9th and 10th brought great fleets of bombers – Cavite was gutted and destroyed and ships by the score were left burning and sinking. Ships, we knew by name, lay wrecked at their moorings and Cauite was a mass of flames which devoured some 700 American workers, officers, and marines and uncounted hundreds of Filipinos.
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