Stranded in the Philippines is based on the memoirs of Professor Henry Roy Bell and his wife Edna. After graduation from Emporia College in Kansas, they had gone to the Philippines in 1921 to teach at Silliman, a missionary school founded by Presbyterians in 1901. The Bell family was stranded in the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is their story from then until they were evacuated by a submarine on February 6, 1944. When the Japanese occupied their island of Negros, Prof. Bell first took his family into the hills to avoid Japanese soldiers on the coast.
But in time, some of Bell's recent students climbed to the Bell family's retreat and persuaded Bell to support them in their harassment of Japanese soldiers--but only in food. Yet in time, the young men acquired enough arms on their own to clash with the nearby enemy garrison. They inflicted heavy losses and fatally wounded the garrison commander. By steps, he became fully involved with the resistance. He became a major in the island-wide guerrilla force which he helped organize an intelligence network for MacArthur's headquarters. Despite the organizing success, the Bell's were facing certain capture. With the help from the now well-organized guerrilla forces, the family crossed the island for evacuation by the huge cargo submarine Narwhal when it delivered arms and ammunition for the guerrillas the night of the rendezvous.