The Acacia Tree at Los Baños Camp

Notice on the map, to the lower left is an open field with the Acacia tree. Near it is a line representing a freshly dug ditch 5 feet deep and six feet wide. It was to be the mass grave for the 2,000 civilians in the camp. that very day. This photo today shows a beautiful play field.

The rescue was planned carefully to coincide with the Japanese daily routine of leaving weapons inside while they exercised outside from 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

At 7:00 am the American soldiers who crept up Boot Creek, threw smoke bombs into the camp. The paratroopers then dropped inside the enclosure and took over the camp. The Japanese fled. The Amphtracs amphibian trucks, arrived to carry out the weak and starving civilians. But they were terrified and would not come out of their dormitories. So the soldiers set fire to the dormitories and got people out of the camp to safety.

At the Baker Memorial Building, on the upper right of the map, are these memorials of the internment camp.

Since my father talked about this rescue all my life, and there are several books written about it, my son and I found it a most meaningful part of our trip. My father also wrote a book, “Looking Back”. Available on Amazon.

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