My son Damon is talking to his wife in Ecuador, in front of the Mansion House. My Grandmother Betty writes in her diary, of which I brought a copy, she was glad to get back to the Mansion House in Baguio after touring the mountains with the government delegation. Her husband, Joseph Ralston Hayden was the Vice Governor and and they traveled the very windy roads in cars and sometimes by horseback.
Joseph Ralston Hayden
Never have I been in a cave with NO safety rails or steps, where they were surely needed! But our guide took good care of us. Made for an authentic experience!
Baguio, Philippine Islands.
As we traveled we read my grandmother Betty’s letters written in 1933, when she traveled here as part of her husband’s Official Government Delegation. After riding horseback through some of the villages, she wrote how nice it was to return to the Mansion House in Baguio. It is still the summer palace for the government. Although destroyed and leveled by the Japanese in WWII, it is totally reconstructed.
We went to the towering rice terraces at Malicong. It was a tiny village with only homestays available. Our hostess made us feel welcome, made us dinner and breakfast and her nephew and son were our guides through the terraces.Warm hearts, sticky rice, vegetables, chicken and cold showers. It was lovely.
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.
The Americans of the 11th Airborne Division used this map to plan the rescue.
You can see the double line, which was the fence. In the lower right there is a road into the camp, and it crosses Boot Creek. The small box to the left side of the road is a Japanese guard house. Here is a photo of the guard house today, the bridge over the creek and the creek.