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Monday, February 24, 2014

WWII Begins in Dumaguete

WWII Begins in Dumaguete (Part I) 
(This will likely be the same scenario if tensions will escalate in the South China Sea)

Residents of Dumaguete woke-up on Monday morning December 8, 1941 to hear the news broadcast that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. On that day at 10:00 o’clock in the morning President Arthur L. Carson of Silliman University announced that students should go home and take the safest transportation possible. In the following days all available boats and buses were crowded with students bound for home. Those who were from Luzon, Mindanao and other islands farther had no more transport going home, or if there was any, it was very risky. There was the scare of imminent Japanese invasion. There was panic buying and soon commodities like soap, matches, canned goods, milk, needles, threads, etc. disappeared from the stores. Students taking ROTC were called back for special training. The high school graduates (boys) were called for military training in the summer of 1941.

On January 3, 1942 two hundred Silliman ROTC boys were inducted to the USAFFE by an American officer, Lt. Stephens. The Japanese in the province were rounded up and interned in the crowded provincial jail. People in the towns were given certain precautionary measures to avoid being detected by Japanese planes. Practice blackouts were continued and in Dumaguete the air raid warning siren was sounded from the Electric Power Plant. Air raid shelters were constructed in various places in the town, usually under houses, roadsides and near the markets and stores.

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