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Postscript - Also on 21 Feb 1945. . .

 

by William T. Calhoun

 

   

  -  CALHOUN'S  POSTSCRIPT  - 

 

The other two companies of the 2d Battalion both had missions on the 21st to clear the western part of Corregidor of Japs, so we go back to them now.

 

E Company History:  (Abbott's)- "2/21/45  0800  The company with LMG and Engr platoon attached, started on patrol along James Ravine to the beach and along the water to Cape Corregidor. Engr's. closed 2 caves and company killed 16 Nips.  PFC. Culpepper WIA by grenade fragments.  Before we moved along the beach a destroyer laid fire along the high ground overlooking the beach.  On the way back from Cape Corregidor along the road net, we found many vehicles dispersed by the Japs. There were vehicles of all descriptions: trucks, sedans, motorcycles, the Jap version of the Jeep, etc. and all were very well camouflaged. Most were in good condition." 

In this case it is a certainty that our destroyer did shell the bluffs. Don Abbott remembers it today.  Bill Calhon believes these vehicles were the vehicles parked under the trees on Grubbs Trail.  As explained elsewhere the Japs had them here in the vicinity of the "big cave" and the surrounding bomb proofs so that they could be used in a swift movement of the troops in mounting a counter attack against a seaborne invasion.

F Company History:  No entry for 21 February.

There being no official history of the day, the unofficial one is as follows:

We moved back to the Battery Hearn area 21 February. The 1st platoon was given the mission of patrolling down Sunset Ridge to the sea in the Cape Corregidor area.  We were to clear the ridge and the south slope, which is Cheney Ravine. We were sure there were Jap positions in Grubbs Ravine, so we were to avoid this area until a larger force, such as the entire company, would be used to make an attack. At the same time D company moving to the northwest and E Company moving to the southwest would stay on the beaches. Moving along the upper part of the south slope and the ridge we moved toward the sea until the ridge dropped of f too sharply to travel any further. When we on the edge of the bluffs over looking the sea, we heard American voices below us, but could not see them. They were on the  North Shore Road which was cut into the bluffs some 20-30 feet above the narrow beach. After establishing voice contact we found that we were above E Company.  There was no trail or route we could use to get down directly to the road, so we backed up along the ridge for a distance and worked our way down to the road in Cheney Ravine and followed the road around to Company E. We were near the Battery Hannah area. We knew the Japs were around the bend in Grubbs Ravine, because the fire directed at the 2d platoon which killed Patterson came from this area.  E Company had missed this area, because they had followed the shore line,  thus passing about 150 yards west of RC/6.

 

Sometime later E Company took Grubbs Trail off North Shore Road, passed above the two entrances to the big cave and within 75 yards of RC/6.  Evidently the Japs could not see them, because they passed unmolested.  They found the long line of vehicles parked on Grubbs Trail as stated in E Company history. 

After completing our mission to patrol to the sea, and incidentally contacting E Company, we retraced our steps via Cheney Ravine to Sunset Ridge.  In searching this area we followed Grubbs Trail westward and discovered the vehicles mentioned in E Company's history.  There were many old Chevrolet Army trucks- flat beds and rear wheel drive; many civilian automobiles including quite a few convertibles; and odds and ends as stated in E Company's history.  I believe the Japs had collected the vehicles there in order to be able to move their reserve force rapidly to any place where they were needed.  When the vehicles were parked they were concealed from observation by heavy forest and dense foliage, but the intense bombings during January and the earlier part of February thinned out the cover until the airmen were able to see the vehicles lined up bumper to bumper.  It was readily evident from the large number of .50 caliber holes in the vehicles that they had been repeatedly strafed.  They reminded me of the death car of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker which I had seen on display at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport. Several days later when things were quieter we started the lead vehicle, a Chevy truck. What water was left came squirting out the .50 caliber holes in the radiator.  

Or this day, however, knowing that we were in the proximity of the area where the Jap firing came from the day before, we were very cautious and quiet.  As we quietly moved along the line of vehicles, we came to a truck with a Jap lying asleep in the bed.  We jerked him out, set him on his feet, and started back up the trail toward Battery smith.  The prisoner went along quietly for a short distance and then went berserk shouting and spitting at us then fighting and kicking so, this being no place for a ruckus, he was shot.  Our movement to Battery Smith was very rapid but uneventful. I do not know who came up the trail first, E Company or us.  I feel like they did, because we stayed in the Battery Smith area for sometime and should have seen them if they were behind us.  I only learned a few years ago, from Don Abbott, that E company had used Grubbs Trail that day.  I had heard that E Company discovered a line of vehicles  but all these years I thought this was over in James Ravine. D Company and E Company  did not spend the night on the coast as stated in D Company's history.  When E Company came up Grubbs Trail they were on their way to Topside. They occupied their usual perimeter near Topside Barracks.  D Company occupied their usual perimeter at the NCO Quarters.  F Company went back to their position at Post Headquarters-Light House.

So ends our sixth day on Corregidor.  Had the Japs been able to mount an organized attack,  now would have been the time.  The hard work, burning heat, flies, and dust had taken their toll.  Our sleep was now the hypnosis of sheer exhaustion.

 

 

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