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20 - 26 MAY 1945

 

20 MAY 1945

 

 


No. 40
191500 May45
to
201500 May 45

Cool, overcast, intermittent rain.

 3. OUR OPERATIONS:

a. Infantry:

(1) 1st Bn: One enemy killed attempting to penetrate "A" Co's perimeter night 19-20. Otherwise nil activity. An "A" Co patrol received MG and rifle fire vic­inity (14.4-09.5) and killed at least one enemy before withdrawing to bring artillery to bear. An "A" Co patrol reaching vicinity (15.8-09.5) reported recently made enemy tracks but nil contact. "B" Co returned to Bn CP area in preparation to Bn move towards ridge (14.9-11.9)-(15.5-11.4). "C" Co displaced forward to (13.9-10.8) preparing for same Bn advance.
 

(2) 2d Bn: Nil activity night 19-20. A "D" Co platoon reached vicinity (15.85-10.5) and killed one enemy armed with rifle. Twenty yards further the platoon came under MG and rifle fire. In an ensuing fire fight two enemy were known to have been killed; we suffered one wounded. The platoon estimates 20-30 enemy are dug in this vicinity. Artillery fire was placed on the area and at the close of period the platoon is again advancing on the position. No report of further action. One enemy carrying a surrender leaflet surrendered himself to "E" Co vicinity (14.05-10.55).
 

b. Artillery: The artillery fired four harassing missions night 19-20, four preparations in conjunction with 185th RCT's advance and one on an enemy concentration in RCT sector.

4. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: Groups of enemy continue to be contacted in the vicinity of Hill 3355; however, no permanent positions have been encountered. One group, est­imated at 20-30 encountered vicinity (15.85-10.5),was encountered. Action against the position still in progress at close of period. Four enemy apparently stragglers were encountered to the rear of the RCT area.

5. INTENDED OPERATIONS 21 May: A Divisional Artillery Concentration covering the ridges between Hills 3355 and 4055 will be placed during the morning 21 May. Both Bn's will advance under this barrage as far and as quickly as possible. See overlay for concentration area and routes of advance.

   

0730
No activity reported during the nite, we suffered 2 WIA yesterday. Easy co. 
0900

One enemy with surrender leaflet, unarmed, surrendered to E Co.

1600

Dog Co killed one enemy, received MG fire, rifle and a believed American grenade, suffered one WIA, proceeded to (15.85-10.6) and killed 2 more enemy, requested art fire.

1700

Memo from 503d Hqs, 20 May 45, prohibiting the use of land mines as booby traps. All companies & attached units advised.

   
The 3d platoon under Lt Watkins moved E along "SECRET TRAIL" at 0830 appr. 150 yds out, The patrol surprised enemy outpost and killed the sentry. The patrol split with 1st squad under Sgt. Bablock and the 3rd squad under S/Sgt Williams frontally attacking the enemy positions. Two enemy were killed but attempts to flank the position were unsuccessful. Enemy HMG fire wounded Pvt. Brandon in the shoulder and the patrol withdrew and returned to the CP at 1200. On return of patrol the entire Co. withdrew in order to put artillery concentration on enemy positions. Appr. 60 rounds were fired but because of terrain and difficulty of observation were generally ineffective At 1330 the Co. resumed their former positions and the 2nd plat under S/Sgt Minor moved E along crest of ridge to find an accessible route of attack. No enemy were contacted and no route was found. Co. E. withdrew Co. perimeter to allow for night interdictory fire.
Co. remained in position. Activity nil during night. 35 men from Co. went to Bacolod to rest camp. One prisoner taken on trip back to Bn.
 

As noted from the RCT S-1 Journal above this is the last day men will be sent to rest camp.

 

No entry.
 

È

 

 

 

21 May 1945

 

 

1300

Entire RCT received unit citation pursuant to General Orders #112, USFFE, dated 8 May 45 for Corregidor operation.

1700

Orders issued suspending rest camp; too many violations."

 

Unit Co's certified to reading of venereal disease directives to all personnel.

[This last was proof positive that the rear base didn't know a war was going on up in the hills. Then too, after running a rest camp for a few days I'm sure they were tired of all this extra duty and suspended it. At least two companies got to rest 35 men.]


No. 41
201500 May45
to
211500 May 45

"3. OUR OPERATIONS:

a. Infantry:

(1) 1st Bn: Nil activity during night 20-21. The Bn began a general advance toward its objective - ridge (14.8-12.0). "A" Co returned from the right flank and will act as guard and guide along supply route. A "B" Co patrol advanced along base of Hill 4055 and at the close of period had reached vicinity (13.3-11.5). One enemy of a group of three was killed when encountered vicinity (13.3-11.4). The other two escaped to the east. "C" Co reinforced, moved N and E and at close of period had advanced to (14.5-11.1) with nil contact."

"f. One 50 Cal multiple MG and one 90mm rifle attached to RCT and went into position (12.3-10.7) and (12.3-10.6) respectively.
 

4. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: Elements of the 1st Bn advanced toward the RCT objective meeting little resistance. Aerial and artillery conducted day-long softening bombardment of the objective in preparation for a renewed advance by both Bns.

5. INTENDED OPERATIONS FOR MAY 22: Continued advance toward ridge (14.7-12.1)-(15.8-10.7) by both Bns. 1st Bn on the left, 2d on the right."

   

0730
No activity during the nite. We had 2 WIA yesterday. Casualties to date: 38 KIA- 12 DOW- 93 WIA

 

Received memo, 503d RCT, 21 May 45. Subject: Cessation of Rest Camp. Letter read in entirety to all personnel and report of compliance made to Regt'l S-1."

 

[Note: Again staff nonsense. Get out to all the patrols and outposts and read the letter in its entirety and report compliance. The men who will get no R&R sure do need to know that they will get no R&R because some of the men who did get the leave shacked up with women in Bacolod.]

 

0900 Fox co sent out local security patrol along Secret Trail.
1100

Air strike by 4 P-38's, bombe & strafed target.

1300 90mm gun & crew and also multiple 50 MG & crew attached to 2d Bn for rations. These guns are under regimental control.
1400 Rendered certificates of compliance to Regt'l S-1 on 40th Div. Hqs Memo #34, 26 April 45, Subj. Control of Venereal Disease.
1700 Received General Order #112, USAFFE, 8 May 45, Subject: Unit Citation for 503d & attached units in Corregidor Operation.
1730 E Co reports receiving 4 rds from 90mm. No casualties.
   
No patrols. No enemy activity.
Co remained in position during day. Activity NIL during night.
No entry.
 

 

 

È

 

 

22 May 1945

 

 


No. 42
211500 May45
to
221500 May 45

 2. Weather and visibility: Heavy intermittent rain and overcast; visibility very limited.

3. OUR OPERATIONS:

a. Infantry:

(1) 1st Bn: Nil activity night 21-22. A "A" Co patrol moving NE was fired upon vicinity (14.35-11.2). After a short fire fight in which three enemy were killed the patrol attempted to move forward. MG and rifle fire prevented an advance, subsequently the patrol moved to the E. In vicinity (14.6-11.1) the patrol observed enemy to the right and left flank apparently attempting an ambush. Another short fire fight ended in killing two enemy as the patrol withdrew to call for artillery. The patrol estimated the enemy to be about 30 in number. "B" Co's overnight reconnaissance patrol reported reaching vicinity (14.7-11.7) without contact. The patrol stated a possible route to ridge (14.8-12.0) located. "C" Co dispatched reconnaissance patrols to the N, E, and NE searching for route of advance to ridge vicinity (15.5-11.3). Nil report end of period. 

(2) 2d Bn: Nil activity night 21-22. "D" Co advancing toward crest of Hill 3355 at (15.9-10.7) reached vicinity (15.85-10.55) and received rifle and MG fire from the crest and from the right flank. "D" Co withdrew after a short fire fight due to its exposed position. Artillery and 4.2 mortars was brought to bear on the position with unobserved results. We suffered 1 WIA. An "F" Co security patrol received rifle and MG fire vicinity (15.25-09.8). The patrol returned the fire but withdrew in favor of the artillery. A second "F" Co security patrol NE to vicinity (13.4-11.5) reported nil activity. 

b. Artillery: The artillery maintained a harrassing fire throughout night 21-22 on vicinity (16.4-10.6). Continued on call for ground advance, firing several support missions.

 

c. Engineers: Hand and mechanical building and maintenance of supply route.
 

4. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: Increasing enemy resistance is being met by the advance toward the RCT objective especially in the Hill 3355 approaches.

5. INTENDED OPERATIONS FOR 23 MAY: An advance to crest of Hill 3355 by "E" Co and to the ridge. (14.7-12.2)-(15.5-11.3) by "A" and "B" Cos after artillery and mortar preparations

 

P.R. No 38 leaves it unclear as to whether Hill 3355 was taken. It is clear now that it is still held by the enemy. We are learning to use our artillery and heavy mortar support better and better. This saved many lives. Most of the Jap positions were positioned so that they could not be flanked. This necessitated frontal attacks. The only sane method of attacking such defenses was with the maximum use of artillery and all supporting weapons which could be brought to bear.

 


0730
No activity, no casualties yesterday. 1145 Fox Co patrol fired on by rifle & MG fire. 1200 D Co patrol received heavy rifle and MG fire.
1700 No other activity reported. Receiving 10 in 1 rations with fresh bread everyday.

 

The fresh bread is like the cream for the coffee mentioned in the 16 May entry.   It did not seem to get to the line companies. Cream! This brings to mind the battalion journal entry for 16 February where we got "flour" for breakfast.

 

   

At 0900 the CO, Lt. Collins, the 3rd plat under Lt. Watkins, and the 2nd plat under S/Sgt Minor moved E on "SECRET TRAIL" to assault the enemy position. As the 3rd plat led up the side of the ridge an enemy outpost opened fire and wounded Pvt. Rouse in the head. Under heavy small arms and HMG fire the 2nd and 3rd squads laid down a base of fire. The 1st squad under S/Sgt Dablock unsuccessfully attempted to flank the enemy on the left. While the 3rd plat continued to fire, the 2nd plat attempted to flank the position on the right but were prevented by the steep slope leading to the Jap position.

 

When flanking the enemy was found to be hopeless, the Co withdrew and returned to the perimeter at 1330. One enemy was killed during attempted night infiltration.

 

Co remainded (sic) in position. Men returned from rest camp. Appr 10 Nips infiltrated into our perimeter during night. One Nip placed a 15 lb charge into the tent of 2nd platt HQ. failed to explode. Also threw a small anti-personel (sic) (bomb) that did not explode. One Nip K.I.A. No casualtys. Nips were dressed full combat equipment, banzai sticks, hand grenades, ropes, engr shovels & picks.

No report.

 

   

After the enemy evacuated this area attacked by "D" Company, it was discovered that the position consisted of a total of 24 pillboxes in three supporting lines surrounded by slopes too steep to climb without great difficulty.

The difficulty encountered in the terrain upon which  we were operating,   now on the right flank, and the excellent use by the Japanese in developing their defensive positions is well explained in the following "Historical Report (Intelligence), Operation 1A Negros (Occidental):

"Also the sector, now was composed of mountains from 2000 to 6000 feet in height, which terrain became more suitable for the enemy when he chose to defend. The enemy location mainly always on the higher ground was more favorable for ambush; a manuever which the enemy used with success particularly at the top of steep climbs in well camouflaged positions and at very sharp turns in the trail. The usual outposts were encountered as each group, no matter how small, was moderately security conscious."

 "On mountain trails which were consistently on volcanic ridges, in many tcases long stretches of the trail were only a few feet wide with sides running 80 to 90 degrees, dropping down many hundreds of feet to a chasm or a river. At a point where a climb was too steep to reach the next higher and wider level, a Jap machine gun position or point of heavy fire would be encountered, pinning the troops on the trail and making necessary withdrawals hazardous."

As can be seen from the reports, we are now encountering organized resistance.

 "The movement to the rendezvous point ordered by Lt. General Kono April 29 to Hill 3355 was still in progress. In the confusion many (of the Japanese) had become lost in the extremely rugged country to be passed through on their way to the objective. Many small groups had taken the opportunity during the confusion to desert and roam the hills.

The enemy's potential strength, though not organized, decreased little. While the above conditions existed it did not alter the same vigorous resistance by small groups when contacted with our forces was unavoidable."

 

 

È

 

 

23 May 1945

 

 


No. 43
221500 May45
to
231500 May 45

"a.   Infantry:

(1)   1st Bn: At 221745 a returning group of six from "C" CO's position encountered nine enemy vicinity (13.0-10.7). Six enemy were killed and one of our troops was wounded during the resulting fire fight. A litter party was dispatched from "A" Co to bring the wounded and was ambushed by an unknown number of enemy using MG's and rifles. The litter party returned the fire in a twenty minute engagement and then withdrew because of darkness. We suffered one wounded in this encounter. "A" Co killed one enemy later in the night as he attempted to pass through the perimeter at (14.05-10.70). Nil other activity night 22-23. "C" Co began advancing toward the ridge (14.7-12.0)-(15.8-11.0) at 230730 reaching (15.75-10.8). Two enemy were killed in route and six more after the company had taken up its position straddling the ridge. "B" Co displaced forward to "C" Co's previous position (15.35-10.8) without contact. "A" Co platoon began advancing at 230830 with the mission of engaging the group ambushing the litter party 221800. A short fire fight resulted in which "A" Co suffered 1 KIA and 1 WIA. Enemy casualties were unknown. The platoon withdrew to place 4.2 mortar on the position. At close of period another force was investigating the results.

 

(2)   2d Bn: "At 230120 a small raiding party estimated at 6-10 attempted infiltration of "E" Co's position vicinity (15.55-10.50) with the results of one known enemy dead. Others thought to have been wounded due to abandonment of several "banzai" sticks. One 25 lb homemade bomb failed to explode when thrown into the foxhole of one of our troops. Nil other activity night 22-23. "D" Co, returning to become Bn reserve, went into position (13.85-10.85). At 231200 sniper fired on three Engineers attached to "D" Co when they were filling their canteens at a water hole outside the Co perimeter. All were killed and the attackers withdrew before a rescue party could reach the scene. "E" Co resumed its attack upon the enemy position vicinity (15.85-10.55) after artillery fire on the position. They again drew heavy MG and rifle fire but were known to inflict a known 2 enemy KIA before again withdrawing to await a mortar barrage on the position. "F" Co dispatched to attempt a flanking movement against "A" Co's opposition, encountering fire from at least 2 Mg's and additional heavy rifle fire vicinity (14.3-11.2). Fire and movement against this force cost "F" Co 4 wounded before Co withdrew in favor of a mortar concentration. 

b. Artillery: The artillery has kept continuous harassing fire on all suspected and likely enemy positions throughout the period, in addition to one direct support mission and working two air-strike targets. 

c. Engineers: Continued maintenance and building RCT supply routes. Three engineers attached to "D" Co were killed at a water point outside the Co perimeter by an unknown number of enemy. 

d. Air: Two morning air strikes at (15.7-11.3). 

4. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: 1st Bn succeeded in reaching RCT objective, ridge (14.7-12.0)-(15.8-11.0) and taking up positions astride a probable enemy route between Hills 4055 and 3355. 2d BN encountered an evidely (sic) well emplaced enemy position vicinity (15.85-10.55). The position denies access to Hill 355 from SW by our forces. Small enemy groups were encountered throughout the sector.

 

5. INTENDED OPERATIONS FOR 24 MAY: Continued development of ridge (14.7-12.0)-(15.8-11.0) by 1st Bn and assault of HILL 3355 by 2d Bn."

   

0730
E Co reports group of enemy infiltrated their position, placed a hale made bomb on one of our men which did not detonate. Dog Co had one WIA yesterday, enemy rifle fire.
1035 Easy Co moved out in the attack.
1100 Fox Co patrol met enemy MG & rifle fire, suffered 5 WIA.
   
Co left at 0820. and moved SW 2000 yds to occupy "F" Co position. As the lead scout entered the area enemy sniper killed three attached engineers. A patrol from 2nd plat. under S/Sgt Minor were unable to locate' enemy. Attempted night infiltrations were repulsed by small arms fire by mortar and 3rf plats.

1st platt made an attack against a heavily defended ridge to our front. Area attacked had been heavily plastered with 75's and 4.2 & 60mm prior to attack. When platt moved forward they came under heavy sniper fire, and finally withdrew back to perimeter. No activity during night. Two NIP bodies found by 1st platt, prob K.I.A. by arty. 

The company moved out on a reconnaissance in force this morning & after moving about 800 yds. contacted an unknown number of enemy dug in on a very steep ridge. Pfc's Robert Unterzuber, Charles Kruse, Walter Maniak, and James Wilson were SWA. After a heavy mortar barrage, the hill was successfully taken with the third platoon leading. The enemy had buried most of theirs, so that the exact number of killed were not known.
   

The withering blast of fire we ran into suddenly left a deep impression in my memory. We were ordered to move to the northeast to the relief of "C" Company. We were to move along a steep ridge and attack the enemy's flank. The enemy was in position on a hill, and withstood "A" Company's efforts to drive them out of their position.

The ridge was a typical one described in the "Historical Report." The trail ran along the narrow, twisting crest (possibly three feet wide) of the ridge, The trees were relatively thick. The size of the trees varied from saplings up to about six inch diameter trunks.

Pfc James Wilson, 2d squad, 1st platoon was the 1st scout.   As we were struck by a heavy hail of machine gun and rifle fire which swept the top of the ridge. Wilson, Unterzuber, Kruse, and Maniak were all hit, and fell  immediately. The third platoon was following the 1st. There was a bend in the ridge. The 1st platoon, consisting of about sixteen men had passed the bend when the Japs opened fire. Wilson fell down the steep slope of the ridge on our right and disappeared several yards below into the heavy brush, where he could no longer be seen.  The other three wounded managed to stay on top of the ridge. The problem was how were we going to get to Wilson? One thing was certain. We would not leave him unless we knew he was dead.

The slope down towards Wilson was almost vertical. We had not been able to spot a single enemy, but they could see us. Any movement brought brought an immediate response from at least two machine guns and many rifles. Suddenly there was movement in the bushes some twenty feet below. It was Wilson!   

Some of the men slid and 'fell' down towards him and got him up on the trail.  A bullet had cut the muscles and tendons at the base of his neck, and he could not raise his head. It lay over on his shoulder to the other side. We got everyone back to safety.

The artillery observer with us told me that he would try to get 4.2 mortar fire on the ridge, but it was extreme range, and their accuracy might be poor, so we'd better withdraw further back than usual. After we moved to a safe distance he zeroed in the mortars, and they thoroughly swept the ridge. There seemed to be no shortage of ammunition now, because they poured a lot of rounds onto that hill. The constant exploding of the shells kept the ground shaking.

As soon as the FO said go, we went as rapidly as we could with the 3rd platoon leading, then we hit the debris. The top of the ridge was a mass of tangled tree debris. Clearing and moving as rapidly as possible we went on up the hill. There was not a shot fired at us. The enemy was gone. We made contact with "A" company. We did not go back and search the area. After contacting "A" Company, and with their objective taken, we move off as ordered by battalion.

We never saw a dead, or live, Jap. We never saw a Jap defensive position. They were buried in the debris. The Japs certainly did not have time to bury their dead. We moved to the south down to a broad river bottom in a very dense rain forest. We set up a perimeter along a broad, well traveled trail near and paralleling a shallow, rapid flowing river.

We'd lost three more veterans. Wilson had been awarded a Distinguished Service Cross and was an exceptional soldier both in and out of combat.  Unterzuber and Kruse were good soldiers. I do not remember Maniak, because he was a newer man. Wilson was sent home. I don't recall the status of the others. We were now half strength or less.

We had not been impressed with the 4.2 mortar until now. This morning we had been given a demonstration of the efficiency of the gun,  even at extreme range, when there was enough ammunition used to properly do the job. The most appropriate word that i can use to describe its effects is 'devastating. They could drop their heavy shells in almost anywhere: draws, deep valleys, reverse slopes, hilltops, wherever they wished. After this we always hoped our support would be 4.2 mortars.

 

È

 

 

24 May 1945

 

 


No. 44
231500 May45
to
241500 May 45

2. WEATHER AND VISIBILITY: Generally overcast with intermittent rain, visibility fair.

3. OUR OPERATIONS:

a. Infantry;

(1) 1st Bn: 1st Bn: 'C" Co kilted one enemy in vicinity of its position on the ridge (15.8-10.8). Two enemy were killed by "A" Co during the night 23-24. "B" Co reported nil activity, and "C" Co reported only movement in the under-brush outside its perimeter. "A" Co dosplaced (sic) to "B" Co's position as "B" Co joined "C" Cp on the objective ridge. No contact was made during these moves. A "C" Co patrol moving NW on the objective ridge observed one enemy that fled apparently injured.

 

(2) 2d Bn: An "F" Co patrol killed one rifle-armed enemy vicinity (14.3-11.2) at 231715 near the ambush which killed two Engineers. "E" Co reported receiving 4 rounds of rifle during the night. Nil other activity. A "D" Co patrol to (13.5-11.7) reported fresh footprints to ne but nil contact. A second "D" Co patrol with the mission of reconnoitering DANAO trail encountered a Regt'l patrol in a fire fight vicinity (14.1-10.1). one of the intelligence patrol had been killed. After exchanging a few shots "D" Co patrol evacuated the KIA and returned to establish an ambush in the vicinity. Nil results at close of period. "E" Co again encountered the strong enemy position vicinity (15.85-1-.55) and placed 60mm. mortar fire on the position with unknown results. An "F" Co patrol found one enemy dead in the vicinity of yesterday's firefight at 1(14.3-11.2). A supply train guard killed one enemy vicinity (14.2-10.3).

 

b.   Artillery: the artillery maintained harrassing fire during the hours of darkness 23-24. Three time on target missions were also fired. An FA Officer verified 2 enemy suicides in vicinity of MURCIA (TOWN). Both were wearing cut off American khaki trousers."

 

c.   Engineers: Continued maintance (sic) and building of RCT supply route.

 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:    Our position on the suspected escape route between HILLS 4055 and 3355 were strengthened, closing that to the enemy. Patrols in the sector continued to encounter enemy in varied locations within the area.

 INTENDED OPERATIONS FOR 25 MAY: 1st Bn to further strengthen its position along ridge (14.7-12.0)-(15.8-11.0) and to patrol that adjacent area. 2d Bn to extensively patrol the area to the SW of the ridge and eliminate small enemy group known to be in that locality."

   

0730

"0730 E Co report's receiving 4 rds rifle during the nite, no other activity reported.

Casualties yesterday, hq Co -  1 WIA,  F Co - 4 WIA

 

0900 D Co patrol moved out to recce Secret Trail.
1500

Lt Watkins D co with patrol assisted RHQ patrol in fire fight with enemy,' evacuated 1 KIA (RNQ) to D Co perimeter.

1600

E Co reports phone wire cut between D & E Cos by enemy. Fox Co reports one enemy KIA found buried.

 

   
D Company History, 14, 15, 16, 17 May: "" At 0800 a security patrol of the 2nd plat under S/Sgt Minor was sent out and returned at 1000 and reported no enemy in vicinity. At 0830 Lt. Watkins and the 1st squad of the plat. under S/Sgt Dablock moved E to reconnoiter the area 1500 yds s of the perimeter. 200 yds out many Japs tracks were found. on the trail and communication wire to "D" Co were found to be cut.     The patrol returned to report what they found and to take the remainder of the 3rd plt.. As the patrol was returning a four man patrol from Regt'1. Hq. passed through the  area heading E on the trail.    At the point where the 3rd plt turned back the patrol was ambushed and one man was killed. Two of the men were pinned down, while the fourth escaped to get aid. Lt Watkins's plt arrived at the ambush and laid down a base of fire and recovered the body. One enemy was seen, but no known enemy was killed. A night  infiltration was repulsed.

Short patrols, no activity, Nil act during night. Password, Mail Call.

No entry.
   

During one period, I do not remember exactly when, "F" Company was moving up through one of the other companies,  probably "D" Company, and we stopped to rest within their perimeter. There was a trail junction within the perimeter. The ridge was fairly open. Just about the time we settled on the ground, all hell broke loose. The ridge was swept with several minutes of heavy machine gun and mortar fire. The attack stopped as suddenly as it started. The Japs had disappeared. I don't believe either of our companies suffered any casualties.

As I ended the comments on "F" Company for the 23rd, the company was in position on the river. I may be off on the time here. Memory can be fickle. This could have been several days earlier, but it is worth repeating.

We had been ordered to patrol up a broad trail towards a mining settlement located on the river. The Japs were supposed to be in the town (Danao - I don't know). We followed the trail to the bend in the river where the map showed the town to be. There was not a building or sign of a town there until we searched the heavy underbrush and found a number of concrete pillars which had once been the foundations of buildings. These moss covered blocks in the dense jungles were in the right place, but there was no town here and no sign of Japs. To make certain we followed the trail for about a mile further, where we approached rocky eminences rising up a hill. The trail led up between two boulders, huge pillars. As we quietly approached the changing terrain and could see the rocks plainly, we heard voices. They certainly were not American. Using the age old maximum that discretion is the better part of valor, we retraced our steps very quietly. I notified battalion of our findings.

Early the next morning Colonel Jones came up to our position, and he was not happy. He told me he had it on good authority that the mining town was still there, and still inhabited. He told me to give him a rifle squad, and he was going up and would find it himself. I offered to go, but he told me to stay with the company and take care of business. I gave him a platoon - by that point,  all of 13 or 14 men. When the colonel saw the three BAR's,  he questioned me as to what kind of squad was that.  I think the colonel was shocked to see our actual  under-strength. It's one thing to see it on paper and quite another to meet it in person.

Several hours later they returned, and the colonel went on back down the trail alone. The "squad" told me they took Col. Jones to the site where the town had once stood and showed him the concrete foundations. After this they followed the trail until they could see the rocks and were showing the colonel the trail going up between the two great boulders when a Jap machine gun opened up on them. They withdrew without harm and returned to the company CP.       

Given his solo journeys, it is a wonder Colonel Jones survived the war. He would traverse dangerous country alone, without a second thought.  This was almost a daily routine.  I suspect he had been given bad information by the Filipino Army units (guerillas),  itself their daily routine, and he had wanted to see for himself. I expect that somewhere back on the plains, safe from any sudden sound and shock, a group of  guerillas were eating hot rations and bitching about  the lack of supplies being given to them.  Colonel Jones left without expressing an opinion, and I was not about to tell the RCT commander that "I told you so."

 

È

 

 

25 May 1945

 

 


No. 45
241500 May45
to
251500 May 45

2. WEATHER AND VISIBILITY: Generally overcast with intermittent rain, visibility fair. 

3. OUR OPERATIONS: 

a. Infantry:

(1) 1st Bn: "C" Co killed one enemy attempting infiltration of their perimeter during the night. A "C" Co patrol working its way SE contacted three enemy vicinity (15.8-10.75). The lead scout fired on them with TSMG as they were withdrawing apparently wounded. A "B" Co patrol working its way NE along the ridge of its CP were ambushed and suffered one WIA in this action. The patrol withdrew to its CP. Another "B" Co patrol working NE vicinity (15.75-11.1) ran into a newly constructed shack along a trail. They continued along the trail and: 200 yds further the1ffound an abandoned bivouac area large enough for a platoon & also a water point vicinity (15.7-11.35). The patrol continued and about 200 yds further they ran into a platoon of enemy. They engaged them in a fire fight killing 3 enemy & capturing 2 rifles. The enemy were all armed, had warm rations in their mess gears and were equipped with full field equipment. The remainder withdrew to the NW. "C" Co laid a barrage of Arty & Mortar vicinity (15:9-10:75)'and-then advanced to the vicinity 7 received rifle & MG fire. They killed one enemy with a hand grenade as they withdrew. A platoon was sent out to flank the position and were on the move at close of the period.

(2) 2d Bn: "D" Co heard movement outside its perimeter 232015 and the communications wire to Bn was found cut in several places morning 25; however, there was no attempt of infiltration or attack during the night. Nil other activity night 26-25. A wire party sent to repair severed lines vic (14.0-10.9) observed and killed one enemy. A "D" Co platoon sent to establish an ambush vicinity (14.0-10.9) engaged an unestimated number of enemy using MG and rifles. Four enemy were known to have been killed during the ensuing fire fight. The "D" Co platoon called for 60mm. mortar and was still in contact with the enemy at close of the period. "E" Co reported considerable moaning and groaning in the vicinity (15.85-10.5) a known enemy strong point, after a mortar and artillery barrage; however, the Co was still unable to reach the position due to heavy MG and rifle fire. Ah "F" Co water-detail of 5 men reported an estimated 20 enemy vic (14.5-10,95). An "F" Co patrol dispatched to the area discovered five dead enemy lightly buried and three other mounds thought to be buried enemy dead. these mounds had not been investigated at end of the period.

 

b. Artillery: The artillery maintained harassing fire forward of Bns during the hours of darkness, provided four fire missions in direct support and two time on target missions. In all, 1245 rounds were fired during the period."        [Note: The number of rounds fired is given. Finally we are getting enough ammunition].

4. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: Extensive patrolling throughout the RCT occupied area continued to locate small parties. These parties do not remain long in any one position, with the exception of the strong point vicinity (15.85-10.55). The enemy is definitely attempting to conceal his casualties as evidenced by the burial of the dead.

5. INTENDED OPERATIONS FOR 26 May: Continued extensive patrolling in our occupied area for the known enemy groups continued therein."

6. CASUALTIES:

      a. Our Casualties for the period: 1 WIA.

b. Enemy Known Casualties: 17 KIA, (including 2  Taiwans), 4 POW (including 3 Taiwans)

"

 

[Note: These claiming to be Taiwan may have been Korean like the "Me Taiwan" on Noemfoor Island. For some reason these labor troops conscripted by the Japanese seemed to think they would fare better if we thought they were from Taiwan. It was probably because Taiwan had been Chinese. We, knowing their plight under their Jap masters, felt sorry for both of them.]

 

   

Louis B. Aiken
Platoon Sgt
"B" Company.

B Company's action at the water hole

 

We may or may not have been on Hill 3355 (mountain). Actually I don't know the numerical designation of the mountain, however, I so know what occurred on whatever hill or mountain it was. John Reynolds suggests that it was perhaps 3355 & it sounds like a good number to me.

There were approx. 35 Japs accounted for on top of the ridge of these particular mountains. I recollect someone saying there were approx. 30 Nips accounted for at the one area near the water hole and that includes the two (2) I know I killed there and I'm sure there were a good number wounded in the initial shoot out with my platoon & perhaps that may have been a determining factor in their decision to make a stand on the ridge near the water hole.

We hit it again a couple of days later and they were pretty well qualified & determined to hang on and of course that is where "C" Co came in and took a shot at them, to no avail. It took artillery & mortars (4.2) to knock them out. I remember someone saying something about 7, 8, or 9 machine guns accounted for after the barrage.

I know my platoon accounted for 2 other kills and the 2nd platoon accounted for 1 kill. I can remember on our way to the so called top of the hill where "A" Co moved thru us later that day, McCall was killed. We may have killed others because 3rd platoon got into a good scrap in a gully to our left flank and I moved a part of my platoon into position to give them cover while they withdrew from contact. Anyway, I know "B" Co accounted for at least 5 kills on the hill or mountain and I'm sure a fair number of wounded Japs at the water hole."

   

0730
Comm lines between D 7 f and E & F cut during the nite. D Co reports 2 booby traps set off by enemy.
0940 Fox Co water detail reports about 20 armed enemy.
1100 Dog. Co reports contacting unknown number of enemy, 3 KIA's (enemy) verified. 1455 Hqs Co wire party reports killing one armed enemy on trail.
1630

Fox Co reports finding 5 E-KIA buried, stripped of all clothing.

   

At 0930 the 2nd plt. under S/Sgt Minor was sent out to reconnoiter the Danao area. About 200 yds. from the company perimeter the patrol encountered a large number of enemy preparing defensive positions. The enemy opened fire with automatic weapons and small arms pinning the platoon down. The CO, Lt. Collins, took out a section of atch HMG and one squad of the 3rd plt under S/Sgt Dablock to aid the 2nd plt. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to flank the enemy and a frontal assault attempt was repulsed. One attached machine gunner was wounded.

The Co. withdrew after killing 3 Japs EM and 1 Jap officer. 60mm mortar fire was concentrated on the area during the rest of the day and during the night.

No activity during day & night.
No entry.
   

Frank Zurovec
BAR Gunner
3d Platoon,
2d squad
 

I was S/Sgt Carl Ballard's 2d squad BAR gunner. This was in the 3rd platoon. John Shannon was my assistant gunner. We were with A. T. Field in a position.

In the dark of the night a lone Jap came up the trail. Shannon shot him with his pistol. Suddenly a Jap stood up directly in front of A. T. who raised  his TSMG , pointed it at the Jap, and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. The gun was jammed. Frank was facing the opposite way with his BAR in place on its bipod. He had to raise the gun up and over, but he managed to do this in time to hit the Jap before he could do anything. The two Japs groaned for a long time. The next morning the bodies were gone. The disappearance of bodies during the night was a regular occurrence on Negros, just as it had been on Corregidor. Nights were not a time for sound sleeping. Earlier we had two men occupy a foxhole with one remaining awake. Later, such as this time, we had gone to three men so that the men could get more rest.


Tony Lopez
Squad Leader
2d Platoon

One of the newer guys was Rieter or Richter. He would fall asleep at anytime. We used to take turns at night on guard 2 hrs each. One night we had a couple of Japs come right up to the edge of our foxholes. We fired on them, but couldn't tell if we hit them, so I passed the word around that we had to keep a close watch. Richter went on guard then, and I didn't go back to to sleep. Soon I heard him snoring from his foxhole. I called to him and he didn't answer. He was sound asleep so I took his Ml from the side of his foxhole.

The next day we are ready to move out and not one once did he mention he had no weapon till I finally asked him where he was going without a rifle. He kind of pretended he had just misplaced it just now, till I chewed him out and told him I had his rifle and how I got it.

 

 

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26 May 1945

 

 


261110
 Gen. Brush ordered 3d Bn return to our control. Co's will start returning as tactical situation permits.
1400 3d Bn returned to RCT control. Units began arriving.
   

No. 46
251500 May45
to
261500 May 45

2. WEATHER AND VISIBILITY: General overcast with intermittent rain, visibility fair.

3. OUR OPERATIONS: a. Infantry:

(1) 1st Bn: Nil activity during the hours of darkness. "A" Co moved forward to join "B" Co & "C" Co's at (15.8-10.9) with nil activity enroute. A "C" Co platoon with the mission of flanking a known enemy strong point vicinity (15.9-10.75) received heavy MG & rifle fire. 2 enemy were killed during this action & they suffered 1 WIA. The platoon withdrew in favor of another series of artillery and mortar barrage. As the period closed artillery and mortar were still being placed in the vicinity. A "B" Co patrol with mission of recco a water point vicinity (15.75-11.3) were ambushed by an estimated twenty enemy. A short fire fight resulted and no casualties were inflicted on either side. The patrol withdrew and artillery fire was brought to bear is in the vicinity of the action. Results not known at close of period.

(2) 2d Bn; Nil activity during the hours of darkness. A "D" Co platoon set up an ambush position vicinity (14.1-10.8) where fire fight took place yesterday. This platoon releived by 31-mm. (81mmm.) platoon. Nil activity reported.. "E" Co less one platoon moved up to "A" co cp at (15.05-10.75), the remaining platoon joining the Co after acting as train guards. "F" Co patrols to K & S of their present position reported nil activity. A patrol from "F" Co with mission to recco trail from (14.6-10.95) to the N reported nil activity at close of period and were still continuing with their mission.

(3) 3d Bn: Reverted to 503d RCT control at 1400 today. They were enroute to this Hq at the close of the period.

      I & R platoon of Hq Co, 160th RCT came under 503d RCT control at 1400 today. They were enroute to this Hq at close of the period.

   

0730
No activity reported during the nite, no casualties yesterday.
1030 Hq's 81mm Mortar platoon occupied position at (10.5-10.75) until releived by Easy Co. Hq's Co. mortar platoon have been guarding Filipino ration party. we are using about 150 Filipinos per day, hauling rations & ammo.
1200 81mm mortar platoon releived by E Co and rejoined Bn perimeter group.
1700 Companies patrolling today, reported no contact. Easy Co moved out at 0800 to take over "A" position. One platoon of Easy Co supplied guards for supply train. 1800 Bn C.O. received orders to displace all companies forward.
   
At 0900 after an intense mortar concentration the 3rd plt. under Lt. Watkins moved into formerly held enemy position without resistance and set up a strong point. The plt. was releived by Hq Co 2nd Bn. and returned to the Co. perimeter.

Entire Co moved out at 0845 hr with the mission of moving in and occupying Able Co's position. Arrived at 1230 hr and went into position. No activity during night."

 

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