Feb. 16, 1942 (Monday)

Netherlands East Indies

These damned Dutchmen — I’m getting rather tired of them. They got toward all of us as though they were doing us a great favor to let us on this damned island. I’ll admit there are some exceptions, but the majority are just civil — no more. They never put themselves out for you, and will let you sit at the table with them for a whole meal without speaking anything but Dutch, despite the fact that most of them speak English.

The exceptions among them are those who have spent a great deal of time among English or Americans, like Von Ouen (father is the Dutch minister to Chile) and Ben Kruys, who, incidentally, departed this morning for Batavia, as some sort of adviser on the U.S. Navy staff. Was sorry to say good-bye to him.

News came in this morning that Singapore surrendered last night — the impregnable Singapore has fallen before MacArthur, who was not expected to hold them off even this long. The Dutch are quite shocked, and realize that the full weight of Japan will descend next on this little island of Java. I’ll bet the Japs will pay more dearly for Java than anything so far.