A Child’s Life–Interrupted by the Japanese Imperial Army
As a child growing up in the Philippine Islands, Robert A. Wheeler saw his normal childhood change drastically when the Imperial Japanese Air Force bombed Manila on December 8, 1941, the day after their planes destroyed United States battleships at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands.
Bob, his younger brother, Albert, their American father and German stepmother were incarcerated first at Santo Tomas University and later in the Los Baños internment camp, where they spent 2½ years with more than two thousand other Allied men, women, and children, trying to survive on sparse diets under brutal captors.
Then, on February 23, 1945, “Angels” dropped from heaven above to liberate the internees held at Los Baños. Paratroopers from the 11th Airborne Division, particularly the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, rescued the prisoners, who were immediately evacuated to U.S. lines aboard Amtracs by the 672nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion.
Repatriated to the United States in April 1945, the family finally settled in California but never forgot the men who saved their lives.
In his memoir, he describes life as an internee and adapting to a new life in the United States.
To purchase a copy of his book, visit the Veterans Memorial Museum, Book ‘N’ Brush, or Ramblin’ Jack’s Rib Eye.
To read about the author and his book, see The Chronicle article.
“I couldn’t have found a better editor and publisher for my book, A Child’s Life—Interrupted by the Imperial Japanese Army, than Julie Zander of Chapters of Life.
“Everything went smoothly, culminating with a very attractive book that contained historic pictures that Julie found in her extensive research.”
Robert A. Wheeler, February 12, 2019