RAYMOND BLISS, JR. (1915 - 2004)
August 27, 2005
I have a journal written by my mother's first cousin Ray Bliss Jr. who was at Cabanatuan. It began July 11, 1944 and continued to February 7, 1945 after the liberation.
(Click here to read Ray's journal.)
Quite a bit of it is retrospective about the circumstances around his capture and transport to Cabanatuan (he was not in the Death March but was in the hospital at Corregidor at the time it fell, thus was transported to the prison camp by truck) and the first years at the camp. He apparently was not able to write down his memories until 1944. Some of it he wrote on toilet paper but he was also allowed to use a typewriter from time to time. If you are interested I could send you a copy of Ray's journal.
Ray was born October 6, 1915 and died last November 7, 2004. He was very dear to me. Brilliant (he was a solar physicist), witty (that comes out in his journal) but ever scarred by Cabanatuan.
And here's more from Nick. Thanks Nick!
August 27, 2005
Ray, Jr. was the son of Major General Raymond W. Bliss, the Surgeon General of the Army during the Korean War and the person who developed the whole concept of MedEvac using helicopters. The Army hospital at Fort Huachuca was named for General Bliss.
The Bliss family settled very early in New England and Ray Jr.s great grandfather was a sea captain of clipper ships out of the port of Boston in the mid 1800's.
Ray Jr. had a wild streak. He was kicked out of MIT for hijacking a trolley car and according to two renditions he either deposited it on the lawn of the MIT president or in the middle of the Longfellow Bridge up river at Harvard.
He developed the first solar heated house near Tucson in the early 1950s and after a long career of teaching and research at U of Arizona he retired to his late father's home in Chocorua, New Hampshire.
Ray's wife of nearly 60 years, Mary, 90, now lives with her daughter Nano in Ft Collins, CO.
I have no idea of Ray's favorite song. But a few personal things- He climbed Mt. Chocorua every year on his birthday until his mid 70's. His journal at Cabanatuan mentions a mountain to the east of the camp that reminded him of the New Hampshire mountain he loved - Mt Chocorua.
In his retirement he raised sheep and continued to do research in solar energy. He always had a marvelous wit and sense of irony which comes out very strong in his Cabanatuan journal right along with the horrors.
He did not talk much about his POW experiences. In fact not even to his wife until I visited Corregidor on a business trip to the Philippines in the early 1980's. I sent him some pictures of "the rock" and that evidently opened him up so he shared some things with Mary. But I never talked with him about it. I know now that I should have.
or be added to my POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let me, Tom Moore, know.