From the book, "Santo Tomas" by Frederic Stevens:

Alvah Eugene Johnson is listed on page 513 as a survivor. Unfortunately this is a mistake, as he is also listed on page 492 as dying January 6, 1945. His survival listing is a mistake.

April 25, 2009

Dear Mr. Moore,

Sally Bateman Morgan was kind enough to give me your name and e-mail address. I have been trying to find out more information about my grandfathers, who were both interned at STIC. Sue Trout was able to provide me with some background information on Clinton Floren Carlson, but I have not received any info on my other grandfather, Alvah Eugene Johnson.

I have attached my record for my grandfather, Alvah, and his family from my FamilyTreeMaker program. It details the facts that I have so far. Alvah was first stationed in the Philippines in 1900, during the Philippine-American War. I think that he got married there and had at least three children with his wife, Rosario Maria Lagasca. Coming back to the States, they had a son in San Francisco, then they moved to Brooklyn and had more children. At some point, they moved back to the Philippines and had even more children, including my father. In the Stevens book on Santo Tomas, Alvah is listed as having died in STIC on 6 January 1945.

My other grandfather, Clinton Floren Carlson, was by himself in STIC. His wife was of Spanish origin and was not interned. My grandfather told me that he was one of the cooks for the children, and he was very proud about them surviving the Camp. He died in California in 1998.

Alvah Eugene Johnson had a large family, but his wife was a Filipina, so I don't think she was ever interned. One of Alvah's daughters was Myra Paradies and she, and the Johnson family, are mentioned in one of Ronald Reagan's books (see below). My father, Roy Wallace Johnson, and his brothers Donald and Arthur may have been interned together with Alvah at STIC, but I don't have any hard evidence for this.

From the book Reagan: A Life in Letters, 2004, page 261: Myra Paradies, whose father [Alvah Eugene Johnson] was American, "lived in the Philippines with her husband, and two of her children were captured and made to stand outside their home while the Japanese burned their house to the ground while two other daughters died in the burning house. Myra was shot but survived. Myra's brother, Don Johnson, was imprisoned in Manila with his wife, children, and parents, where some members of the family died; another brother was captured and tortured."

I have mailed off for birth certificates for the Johnson children born in the U.S., but I don't know the best way to get info about births, marriages and deaths in the Philippines, especially since some of these happened during WWII when records were probably destroyed. My parents were about eight-years-old when the war began, and they never talked much about Santo Tomas.

Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Cliff Mills

If you would like to share any information about this Johnson family
or would like to be added to my POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let the me, Tom Moore, know.

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