The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Severo K. Guerrero, Jr.

“We started eating stray dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, eels…eventually we started eating sweet potatoes… I ate sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—boiled, roasted, fried, and raw.” (Audio Interview, 10:25)

   Severo K. Guerrero, Jr.
Placeholder Image
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 9901st TSU-SGO Detachment, Medical Corps
Service Location: Philippines; Camp Lee, Virginia; Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; Camp Detrick, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois
Rank: Major
View Full Description

Born in Michigan in 1924 to Filipino parents, Severo Guerrero spent the first six years of his life in Chicago. His family returned to the Philippines in 1930, and beginning in December 1941 he lived under the Japanese occupation until his repatriation in April 1945. During the latter part of the occupation, he became a teenage guerrilla fighter working with the underground resistance movement. In August 1944, he was captured and spent five months in the Santo Tomas interment camp. Guerrero’s interview recounts the intense food shortages his family experienced during the occupation, his work as a tank rider with the American forces, the ever-present risk of execution during his internment, and his post-war career with the American military as a tropical medicine physician.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (2 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (45 min.)
»World War II Experience of Severo K. Guerrero, Jr.
 Other Materials
»Student research paper [May 12, 1999]
More like this
»The War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (2 items)
The beginning of the Japanese occupation; coping with a lack of food and other extreme conditions; being saved from execution as a result of his father’s status as a Mason; being taken as a prisoner of war and detained at Santo Tomas. (07:15) Japanese taking food to prevent hoarding; stress of living under occupation; mass execution of Filipinos following the discovery of a Life magazine in the area. (01:36) 

Home » Severo K. Guerrero, Jr.
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us