The war tent contained a sand table,
terrain model of Corregidor Island. Sam Smith was right after all with
his prediction back on Noemfoor.
The 3rd Battalion will jump the morning of the 16th, the
planes will return and pick up the 2nd Battalion. who will jump as the
second lift. The same air transportation group, the 317th Troop Carrier
Group, will transport the 3rd and 2nd the first day and the 1st
Battalion the next morning, 17 February. Intelligence reports the island
is not heavily defended. Sixth Army G-2 estimates 850 enemy troops
defending the island. The island has been bombed by B-24's of the 307th
Bomb Group and A-20's of the 3rd Attack Group since 28 January. They
dropped 3,128 tons of bombs making this the heaviest concentration of
bombs dropped on any target in the entire Pacific War. The island was
closely photographed. Photos made shortly before our D-Day disclosed
one set of footprints across the parade ground. The enormous amount of
shelling and bombing had left a heavy coat of dust on the surface of the
A Navy task force has been bombarding the island for some
time, and they will be standing by to provide fire support on call.
Motor Torpedo Boats will be patrolling the coast in order to pick up
jumpers who land in the sea. We will all wear Mae West inflatable life
There are two jump fields on Topside. These are
designated as "A" Field and "B" Field. "A" Field is the parade ground and
Field is the golf course.
("Golf course" is misleading. It was a tiny,
nine hole, 'Pitch & Putt' course.)
"B" Field is slightly smaller than "A"
Field. The parade ground is located in front of the western half of the
"mile long"' barracks on Topside. "B" Field is located east of the
Officers Club and swimming pool. The eastern half of the Senior officers
row borders "B" Field on the north.
"It is easily
determined arithmetically that a C-47 travelling at dropping speed will
move at a rate of about 150 F/s. The maximum feasible length of "A"
Field being 1050 feet and that of "B" Field 975, the actual time over
the drop zone would not exceed about 6 seconds. Stick time out of the
plane is about .5 seconds per man. Using a drop altitude of 400 feet,
time to the ground amounts to approximately 25 seconds. A wind velocity
of 15-25 mph or 22-37 f/s would occasion a drift of from 500 to 900
feet. during the descent, distances roughly equivalent to the length of
the drop zone."
Source: USAFFE Report Number 308, 16 May, 1945 - Paragraph 7. d
The jumps will be made in sticks of eight due to the
shortness of the drop zones. Each plane will thus have to make three
passes. In the briefings there was some talk of two passes, but I do not
know of any planes that did not make the three. In our battalion we
prepared for three and most of the jumpmasters were to remain in their
plane and jumpmaster each stick. There were also two ammunition bundles
in the plane to be kicked out before the jumpers. One bundle was to be
kicked out before the first stick and one before the second. The reason
for the jumpmasters staying with the plane was that the fields would
already be secured by the 3rd Battalion, so there was no need for the
officers to get down in a hurry. I put T/Sgt Todd in the lead of the
first stick and S/Sgt Chris Johnson in lead of the second stick. I would
lead the third stick. I don't think it would have been possible to get
twelve men down safely, if two passes had been used.