WWII POW Diary 1942-1945
Herman Knight Beaber was a minister in the United States. He sailed for the Philippines on January 12th 1941 to help spread Christianity in that part of the world.
On December 7th 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and three days later on December 10th they attacked the Philippines Islands. Herman spent three years as a prisoner or war under the Japanese. During this time he wrote a powerful and telling POW diary which is a compelling story of his fight to stay alive during times harder than many today could imagine. Reading this work will take you back to times that many want to forget. Take yourself back into the past and relive the brutality and romance of the Second World War through the eyes of another.
William Rowan, a WWII historian in this book review states the following: "No account of conditions in Manila during the Japanese occupation would be complete without including John S. Beaber's carefully edited account of his father's WWII Philippine diary entitled Deliverance! It Has Come! As a missionary to the Philippines, Herman Beaber was allowed to spend most of the war outside the prison camps. Initially, most missionaries registered at Santo Tomás and then soon afterward were released only to be reincarcerated again in July 1944. Herman Beaber kept typed and written records of his observations throughout the Japanese occupation. He details the early months of the war, describing each air raid carefully as regards the presence or absence of American fighter planes, how many Japanese planes were seen to be shot down, and what the intended targets probably were. His information seems accurate and should add measurably to other accounts.
One of the most interesting aspects of Herman Beaber's diary is the background coverage he gives regarding a fellow missionary named Ernest Stanley. Stanley appears in Clio Mathews Wetmore's book entitled Beyond Pearl Harbor (reviewed at this website along with the other Philippine prison-camp books) as one of the unsung heroes of Santo Tomás. Based on information that Clio received, Clio cites Stanley as a British agent responsible for tipping off MacArthur as to Japanese plans to murder thousands of male prisoners February 4, 1945, and retreat from Manila with the women and children as hostages. The tone of Beaber's numerous references to fellow-missionary Stanley during the days and weeks before the war seem to me to cast considerable doubt on Wetmore's conclusion that Stanley was a British secret agent planted by British Intelligence long before the war. It will be interesting to see how history treats the Stanley story in the years ahead.
After being rounded up in July 1944, Herman Beaber and many other missionaries spent an uncomfortable night sleeping on wooden desktops or the concrete floor at Santo Tomás. Early the following morning then were shipped off to Los Baños prison camp south of Manila. Here, Beaber adds valuable detail of conditions in Los Baños and of the rescue of the camp February 23, 1945.
John S. Beaber has done an excellent job of editing his father's diary. The book is available as an e-Book 'through Global Publishing Bureau Limited and is currently listed as a Best Seller'. It is thoroughly documented with footnotes. John's website contains additional illustrative material and photographs as well as many important links to related sites. It is this factor that makes this site one of the most useful to ex-POWs.
John S. Beaber