MARCH 1945








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4 - 10 MARCH 1945



4 MARCH 1945


No entry.

"Co. on perimeter -  No enemy activity."

"No patrolling today."

"A large Ammo dump approximately 100 yards from the Company C.P. caught fire. The C. P. was moved to a safe position; The dump exploded but caused no casualties."


"During the great explosion today in the enlisted men barracks, Pfc Whall & Pierce, George was lightly wounded & all blinded (sic) from phosphorus shells. The same shell started the fire & explosions. The remainder of the stay on the Rock was spent on perimeter on Topside along the barracks."


Still finding merchandise. Someone found a large quantity of Wellington boots. I believe this was in the area of the old Post Headquarters Building where our company CP was located. It was thought these were for Jap pilots. There were many small sizes which did not fit our feet. When I got there all the larger sizes were gone and there were many boots lying on the concrete floor. I believe Red LaVanchure had found a pair which were size seven. He had a small foot, size seven.

I almost missed the explosion of the RCT ammo dump at Topside Barracks. This happened Sunday morning 4 March 1945, and I was an eye witness. On that morning I was standing on the second story veranda of Topside barracks. Several of us were standing there talking. Located just to our right on the ground near the RCT headquarters and Harold Templeman's Red Cross station was the large ammunition dump. Someone called out excitedly, "Look, that box is smoking!" We could plainly see a wooden box of white phosphorus hand grenades smoking. This box was on the outer edge of the dump. As we were rapidly evacuating the area we saw two men running toward the smoking box despite cries to get out of there! The men picked up the case and it exploded. I do not know how they survived. The dump erupted into a series of explosions which destroyed the dump and a section of the building adjacent to the dump. Pfc Frank Whall never returned. Pfc George Pierce returned for duty at Negros. These two 2nd platoon men had gone over to the barracks to get water.

 They risked their lives to avert the explosion. Their brave act was never recognized.



National Archives Photo 111-SC-263702




5 March 1945


"Nothing has happened of any importance since the ceremony. The greatest thing was an issue of 5 cans of beer per man yesterday. Small patrols have been going out and get a few Nips killed. Two or three boys have been injured while out souvenir hunting. On the morning of the 6th, a reg't detail is going over to Bataan to dedicate the cemetery. The flies are thicker than ever- no more spraying by planes. We're still on 10 in 1 rations - the water supply is good. We leave the island on the 8th The co has already submitted shipping rosters."



"Co. on perimeter----No enemy activity. One squad went to Memorial Services for 503rd personnel on Bataan.



No patrolling today.








Office of the RCT S-2


APO 73

5 March 45




Organizational chart of "Bay Entrance Defense Force", captured CORREGIDOR, 24 Feb. 1945. Document undated.




















Hq. attchd.







1st Btry(Fort),







2nd  "     "







3rd "     "







4th "     "







HAAN "    "







CHYME "   "

1st Dual purpose gun            
Btry (Fort) Ensign ISHTGURO        

2nd "   "







1st MG Battery







2nd "2 "







3rd "  "







4th "  "







Hq. P1. Suicide Unit







9th Suicide Unit







10th  "







11th  "

Lt.  "













13th  "







Torpedo boat Unit







Water Patrol







"A" Guard Post







"B" Guard Post







?    Look out







183 Material Dept.







3rd Asalu Maru







17th   "     "







     Hakko Maru







     Sukuo Maru







Battery Eng. Personnel






Land Garrison Unit







Signal Unit





















Ad. Unit







     (      ?      )







     (      ?      )







     (      ?      )







     (      ?      )







Armament Unit

Tech. Lt.(Navy)






Expeditionary Unit







Civil Eng. Dept.







219th Const.







328th Const.Bn.







331st Const. Bn.







Medical Unit

Med. Lt.(Navy)






Paymaster Unit







Attchd. Unit







Material Dept.







Transport Dept.







Ordnance Depot







Signal attendant







111th Fishing Unit





















Searchlight Unit







MARIVELES Laundering







Ex editionary Unit







   (TN Sic)





























F.X. Donovan
Capt., 503d Prcht. Inf. RCT

Note: Captain Itagaki of the Japanese Navy was the commanding officer of CORREGIDOR. He is listed in other documents captured as CO 31st Special Naval Base CORREGIDOR. - POWs all state he was killed by a parachutist 16 Feb. and buried.



6 MARCH 1945


"On perimeter      No enemy activity. Ordnance inspection." inspection.

"3/06/45 A large Ammo dump approximate 100 yards from the Company C.P. caught fire. The C.P. was moved to a safe position. The dump exploded but caused no casualties."


A result of rewriting the "E" Co History some weeks later in Mindoro is that Don Abbott's rewrite got the date incorrect - it occurred on Sunday 4 March.








Office of the Commanding Officer

APO 73

6 March 1945


MEMO: Silver Star and Bronze Medal Awards.


TO:   CO, 2nd Battalion, CO, Regimental Hq Co.


1.    There will be a formation at 1330 hour, 7 March 1945, at the flag pole area for the purpose of presenting the Silver Star and Bronze Medal awarded to members of the 503d R.C.T. Presentations will be made ed General Hall, CG XI Corps.


2.The following personnel will represent the 503d R.C.T.

a. Demolition Platoon, Reg't. Hq Co.

b. 2nd Bn, 4 Platoons.

(1) Hq Co.  - 1 platoon.

(2) "D" Co. - 1 platoon.

(3) "E" Co. - 1 platoon.

(4) "F"Co.  - 1 platoon

 3. Uniform will be coveralls, helmets, boots or shoes w/leggins, web belt with medical pouch and one canteen, and weapon.The following


4. The following persons to be awarded will report at the flag pole area at 1245 hour in uniform required less weapon.


1st Lt. Roscoe Corder, Co. "E"

2nd Lt. Samuel E. Waddle, Hq Co. 2nd Bn.

S/Sgt. Robert L. Thompson, "F" Co.

S/Sgt Bryan Owned, Hq Co. 2nd Bn.

S/Sgt. Robert A Handy, Hq Co. 2nd Bn

Cpl. Richard M. Taylor, Hq Co. 2nd Bn.

Cpl. James A. Cornett, Reg Hq Co.

Cpl. Delbert L. Parsons, Reg Hq Co.

Pfc. Joseph N. Cubbage. "E" Co.

Pfc. Charles W. Bowman, Reg Hq Co.


5. Units will be in formation at 1310 hour. Major Caskey is CO of troops."



(Page 2 of this Order is unavailable to me)




7 March 1945


GENERAL ORDERS 8 and 9 issued (see below)

On perimeter preparing to move out. Reg't ammo dump burned.


Presentation of awards took place. Lt. Hill was presented the Silver Star and Pvt. Jandro the Silver Star posthumously. Pfc Cubbage and Lt. Corder were awarded the Bronze Star."


No entry


Another ceremony was held at the flag pole. Major General Hall,  XI Corp Commanding General, came out to the Rock to hold an awards ceremony. It appears that a number of officers and men had to be selected for awards. Many recommendations had been sent in for awards, but these had not been approved and returned, so each company was directed to select a certain number for Silver Star Medals and Bronze Star Medals.








APO 471


7 March 1945



NUMBER #8&9    )









By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (Bulletin 43, WD, 1918), a Silver Star is awarded ed the Commanding Gen­eral, XI Corps, to the following named officers and enlisted men:


1st Lt Hudson C. Hill, 0379623, INF (CO, Co "E", 503d Inf)

Capt Charles H. Bradford, 0348272, MC (Hq 2nd Bn, 503d Inf)

Pvt. Joseph J. Chartier, 11013558, (Co "C", 161st AB Engr Bn)

Capt Herbert O. Eppleman, 0400784, DC (Med Det, 503d Inf

1st Lt James P. Gifford, Jr., 02036054, INF (CO, Co "D", 503d Inf) Pfc Frank B. Keller, 36737199 (Co "D", 503d Inf)

Pfc George G. McBride, 39561967 (Med Det, 503d Inf)

Cpl Delbert L. Parsons, 7023908 (Reg't Hq Co, 503d Inf)

S/Sgt Robert L. Thompson, 19063140 (Co "F", 503d Inf)




By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order No. 9419, 4 February (Sec III, Bull 3, WD, 1944) a Bronze Star Medal is awarded ed the Commanding Gen­eral, XI Corps, to the following named officers and men:


Pfc Charles W. Bowman, 35609719, (Reg't Hq Co, 503d Inf)

1st Lt Roscoe E. Corder, 01301388, INF (Co "E", 503d Inf)

Cpl James A. Cornett, 38077010, (Reg't Hq Co, 503d Inf)

Pfc Joseph M. Cubbage, 14009068, (Co "E", 503d Inf)

S/Sgt Robert A. Handy, 1108424, (Hq Co 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

S/Sgt Bryan Owned, 18040835, (Hq Co 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

Cpl Richard L. Taylor, 33268901, (Hq Co 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

2nd Lt Samuel E. Waddle, 0203 6716, INF (Hq Co 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

Pvt Donald G. Bauer, 15089889, (Hq Co, 503d Inf)

1st Lt Joseph A. Bitala, 0888703, INF (Hq 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

1st Lt Laurence S. Browne, 01284094, INF (Hq 2d Bn, 503d Inf)

1st Lt Daniel A. Lee, 01821733, INF (Co "F", 503d Inf)



                    J.A. ELMORE

                     Brigadier General, G. S. E.  

                   Chief of Staff






                    PAUL OED

                 Colonel, AGD,

              Adjutant General





  "D" & "F"



Hill is still a 1st Lt. at this date.



I do not have all the general orders making awards on Corregidor, so I do not know all the men and officers who received awards for valor. I will list those whom I know:
  Private Lloyd G. McCarter Congressional Medal of Honor "F" Company
  1st Lt Joe M. Whitson Distinguished Service Cross "E" Company
* S/Sgt Edward Gulsvick Distinguished Service Cross "E" Company
* Pfc Howard Jandro Silver Star Medal "D" Company
  Pfc Morris Tamaroff Bronze Star Medal V "E" Company
  S/Sgt Joseph Gouvin Silver Star Medal "D" Company
* Private George J. Mikel Silver Star Medal "F" Company
  Pfc Anthony D. Lopez Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
* Pfc Clifton L. Puckett Silver Star Medal "D" Company
* S/Sgt Harold W. Scmiddle Silver Star Medal "D" Company
* 1st Lt Joseph A. Turinsky Silver Star Medal "D" Company
  Capt Charles H. Bradford Silver Star Medal 2d Bn Hq Medic
  1st Lt James P. Gifford, Jr Silver Star Medal "D" Company
  1st Lt Hudson C. Hill Silver Star Medal "E" Company
  Pfc Frank B. Keller Silver Star Medal "D" Company
  Pfc George  G. McBride Silver Star Medal 2d Bn Hq Medic
  S/Sgt Robert L. Thompson Silver Star Medal "F" Company
  1st Lt Roscoe Corder Bronze Star Medal V "E" Company
  Pfc Joseph M. Cubbage Bronze Star Medal V "E" Company
  1st Lt-Edward T. Flash Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
  Pfc Angelos Kambakumis Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
  1st Lt Daniel A. Lee Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
  Pfc Robert O'Connell Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
  S/Sgt Bryan Ownby Bronze Star Medal V 2d Bn Hqd
  2d Lt Samuel E. Waddle Bronze Star Medal V 2d Bn Hqd
  S/Sgt Robert A. Handy Bronze Star Medal 2d Bn Hqd
  Corporal Richard M. Taylor Bronze Star Medal 2d Bn Hqd
* S/Sgt Donald E. White Silver Star Medal "F" Company
  T-5 William E. Ashton Silver Star Medal 2d Bn Hq Medic
  Pfc James P. Wilson Silver Star Medal "F" Company
  1st  Lt William T. Calhoun Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company
  1st Lt Charles M. Preston Bronze Star Medal V "D" Company
  Private Benedict J. Schilli Bronze Star Medal V "F" Company

* Posthumous

I know definitely of others who were recommended for medals and were not awarded. As an example Pfc Richard A. Lampman led an assault on a Japanese position in the Battery B (Boston) area. Under fire he advance firing his BAR from the hip and took the position killing seven Japanese marines. He was recommended for a Silver Star Medal. Nothing was ever heard from the recommendation.






8 MARCH 1945



No entry


Co. broke camp at 0730 and moved via truck to South Dock. Co. Boarded LCI 545 at 1500 and sailed at 1700.

March Company loaded on LCI (L) 645.

Company boarded LCL (sic) hoisted anchor & were under way at 1700 & left Rock in the distance.

No entry

"H" boards LCI #607 and sets sail for return to Mindoro(Mullaney, Diary Note.)

"I" boards LCI #607 and sets sail for return to Mindoro (Mullaney, Diary Note.)


The number of trucks to transport the RCT was limited. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were on Topside along with the artillery, Regimental Headquarters and Service Companies, and others. Note the early hour of 2nd Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company, then D Company followed at 0730. I don't believe F company left Topside until after noon. I do remember we rode down. I remember we were very interested in seeing Bottomside, because we had not been there. We had lined the road at Middleside to guard MacArthur's route to Topside. I know we went over to the North Dock area, then to the Officers Beach where we looked some suicide boats over. Then we looked at the East Entrance to Malinta Tunnel. I remember there were many rusty 03 Springfield barrels and parts along with splintered stocks which our troops had destroyed before surrendering. As I remember-all too soon it was time to load and shove off at 1700 hour.

Evidently during this time the LCI's were moving in, loading and sailing out into the North Channel. As I remember only one or two other LCI's were loading as we loaded, so this must have been staggered.

The thing which drew our great interest, though, while we were looking around was the Japanese "Shinyo" (suicide) boats. Some of these boats had attacked our fleet when it moved in on Corregidor before the assault. An LCM gunboat had been sunk. Had a amphibious assault been the sole attack, these boats would have played a larger part most likely. The boats I saw had old Buick automobile motors powering them. Before the war, people in the United States well well aware that the Japs were buying old cars from junk yards across the entire country. I remember hearing some old, wise heads saying that we'd be getting that steel fired back at us someday. But this is like Demosthenes futile efforts to rouse the Athenian's... no arms - just live for the day, or as Neville Chamberlain said, "Peace in our time."

The boats demonstrate the type of people we were fighting. There was no way the operator could escape death.

The explosives were stored in front of the boats. A sheet of galvanized steel curved around the inside of the bow. About six inches inside this sheet was another galvanized sheet, nails were driven through the outer sheet with their sharp ends pointed toward the inner parallel sheet. A battery was wire to the sheets so that if contact was made between the two sheet the electric circuit was completed detonating the explosive. Thus any crushing of the bow of the boat by as much as six inches set off the large explosive charge. National archives photo number 111-SC-263697 shows three of these "Shinyo" boats at Officers Beach.

In spite of poor intelligence and the resulting mismanagement, the airborne landing was a brilliant success. This was a classic example of using the parachute assault to its maximum effectiveness. The superior training, aggressiveness, and toughness of the troopers overcame the errors and mistakes. For the most part we were happy, and relived, to be leaving this dusty mass of wreckage where death lurked at every turn. Possibly just as great an emotion was intense pride; we had retaken our great fortress marking this event forever as the high water mark of our lives, or at the least ranking with the high water marks. Memories were indelibly burned in our minds for so long as we shall live. Yet not all was joy. We were leaving behind some forty-nine battalion brothers who would never grow old. Even after forty-five years the grief is still there. Another thought which survives the years is the haunting question, why them and not me?

At 1700 hour the LCI's began their departure. The little ships (they were bigger than boats) formed a long line of single file and set a course for Mindoro. Even though there were fewer ships than would have been required to transport the RCT, our ships were not crowded as they usually were with a full compliment of soldiers, an Infantry com­pany. Corregidor gradually faded in the distance - from sight- from our minds, nevermore.

The winds rose with the coming of dark, and the seas became wild. The LCI's seemed to stand on one end and then the other. To doze meant to be thrown out of your bunk onto the unyielding steel deck. Most of us tried various means of tying ourselves onto the bunks with out web equipment.

At dawn most of us were up inspecting our surroundings. Some were hanging onto the railings, heads over the side desperately trying to throw up when there was nothing left to throw up. The galley was particularly noisy. The galley was manned by one cook who prepared meals for the crew. The passengers had to bring their own field rations aboard. In this instance the ship's cook seemed to be the sickest of all, hanging on the chains at the fantail. I don't think he really cared if he hung on or not- a fall into the deep might bring on the peace of Davy Jones's Locker and end all this misery. A look into the galley disclosed the source of the noise. A large frying pan with associated utensils was bouncing from wall to wall. Raw eggs had hit the walls and run down to the floor. Evidently the cook held on long enough to get several eggs into the pan ready to cook when he was overcome, dropped everything and headed for the fantail. The old salts were not happy with this land-lubber who had yet to gain his sea legs. They were hungry.





The Author hangs on the rail. Post-Corregidor, smiles are hard to come by.



9 MARCH 1945


Landed on Mindoro at White Beach at 1400. Moved by trucks to old Reg't camp area. Red Cross sever (sic) sandwiches and cold drinks.


We disembarked at San Jose, Mindoro, and moved back to old camp site."


Company debarked from ships at White Beach, Mindoro, P.I. & arrived at camp area San Jose, Mindoro at 1530 hr.

Shortly after noon we approached White Beach. When  we came off the ramps of the LCI's and waded ashore we saw something we had never been before. There were Red Cross ladies waiting for us with sandwiches and We were conquering heroes. It was great to be alive.

One of the first things we made out on the beach was a sign which read: "BEWARE, PANAMA JONES AND HIS 3,000 THIEVES RETURN TODAY." How thoughtful, truly they had missed us. We almost choked up with emotion.How thoughtful of someone to take the trouble to paint a well built sign! We were not insulted, far from it.  We had worked hard to earn this reputation.  "They damn well better beware," we said under our breaths, "because ready or not, here we come!" 

The past two and one-half weeks seemed almost like a dream. Did it really happen?

Although the RCT system ably suited the combat conditions of  our Pacific war, the U.S. Army had never quite accommodated its services and supply system to RCT's. The biggest disadvantage to being in a Regimental Combat Team,  in comparison with a Division, was that a Division had a Major General commanding.   No base commander dared push a Major General around. We had been ably commanded by a Colonel,  but most base commanders could outrank a bird colonel, and at any table of hungry Generals, an orphan Colonel would naturally eat last.  Lacking this power, we were regularly and royally shafted, so we protected ourselves against the rear base vultures as best we could. Rations, beer, and post-exchange goods were allotted on the basis of population. The "base commandos" kept the goodies for themselves and had the audacity to call us thieves. There was song popular with fighting men which went like this:

"Six dollars a day plus regular pay,
the Japs two thousand miles away.

Sing hardships, you bastards,

You don't know what hardships are."

 Six dollars was the  per diem (per day) amount paid to rear base people in Brisbane, and at that time it was more than adequate to live in sloth and luxury. Consequently, in reverse proportion to their locality to the fighting, there was a natural enmity between  ourselves and the "PD" men of the rear bases at Mindoro, Hollandia, Port Moresby and Brisbane.    For at the base camps we could see rows of refrigerated trailers loaded with fresh meat, eggs, vegetables,  beer and PX supplies.  For every unit which could be shipped  dried field rations instead of selections from these bounties,  and these had been our staple in the best of times, the PD boys would benefit.  With our  notionally allotted ration of four bottles of beer a week, and our strength at a tidy 3,000 men,  there could be  12,000 bottles of beer in the gift of a Major General.  The same procedure applied for the food and PX issues. Woe betide a PD boy who thus wore a pair of jump boots, whilst some brother had to jump in leggings.  These poor unfortunates might be pressed to work overtime on occasions, so a last verse was added to "their" song with a sight change in the chorus:  

"Now when we get to old Frisco's shore,

the PD boys will be before,

singing' hardships you bastards,

you don't know what hardships are".

One night prior to Corregidor we had received a surprise beer ration.  Well, it was a surprise certainly for the driver of the  truck load of beer which had been "requisitioned" by a "dangerous man" with a .45 caliber pistol.  As the truck was pulling away from an MP checkpoint, his report went, this "dangerous man"  stepped up into the cab from the dark side. After a short distance the driver was asked politely to stop the truck and to get out, a reasonable request with which he readily complied. It is hard, after all, to disagree with the business end of a hand cannon.

The "dangerous man" proceeded to the 2d Battalion area and issued the entire contents of his truck to his Brothers. As so often happens, the story had been exaggerated. The man was not a "dangerous man" at all. He was a good sergeant in “E” Company, doing a good deed for his fellow men. We knew him to be an honest, kindly man of excellent character, oh, and generous.  I will swear to the veracity of this account, because I was issued a case of beer by the good sergeant.

On the other hand, our plans might have to be changed due to circumstances beyond our control. We were usually equal to the occasion, because our training taught us perseverance and flexibility. A good example was an experience of “F” Company's first sergeant, Albert J. Baldwin, a legendary requisitioner. On one occasion Sgt. Baldwin walked into the Quartermaster yard, climbed up into the cab of a loaded truck, and drove off, parking in a secluded area beyond our cantonment area. With visions of canned chicken and other good rations, he found, much to his dismay,  that he had 'drawn' a truckload of canned cherries. Weaker souls would have given up in disgust, but not our indomitable top kick. He organized a work party, and they set out procuring the necessary items to construct a still. Fortunately,  copper tubing and other necessary items were available in the large sugar refinery in San Jose. Soon they had the still working and were producing a very potent, cherry flavored alcoholic beverage. No one was ever sure exactly what this beverage was, but all agreed that when they drank it, you knew you had tangled with something unlike anything you had ever drank before, or would ever drink again.

Incidents such as these had been standard operating procedures (SOP's) in our orphan outfit and when we saw the sign, we smiled knowingly.  Like our famous leader, General MacArthur, "We had returned.”  Even sixty years later, we would regularly gather at our reunions under a banner which proudly announced the presence to all of "Colonel Jones and his three thousand thieves."

We entrucked and were carried back to our old area across the Bugsanga River.





10 MARCH 1945


The wind was blowing up dust from the bare earth where our camp will be rebuilt, just as it was when we had left it.  Physically, the camp would be back in place again. The tents were erected in the exact sites where they had stood before, but it was no longer the same camp.  It should have been familiar, but it was not. Half of us were gone. Every meal in the mess tent was a reminder. Company formations brought on sadness. Once the formation had covered a large area, half-way down the company street. Now it looked as though four squads had fallen out.

One evening, as darkness moved in around us,  I gathered my two prized folding chairs ready to go to the open air movie.  "One for me and one for Emory," until the sadness came calling upon me..."what the hell is wrong with you, Ball is dead." These were times that tested one's mental stability. Any joy over being alive was gone.

The simplest words to describe it, is that it was a time of grieving. We were learning to live with it, and it would be with us always now, our constant and silent companion.










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