"PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION"
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Document courtesy of Don Abbott.

 

To see this document in its intended typeface

 

RESTRICTED

HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES IN THE FAR EAST
 

GENERAL ORDERS

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A.P.O. 501

 

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NO..........112

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8 May 1945

UNIT CITATION

 

By direction of the-President under the provisions of Executive Order No. 9396 (Sec I, Bulletin 22, WD, 1943) superseding Executive Order-No.-9075 (Sec III, Bulletin 2, WD, 1942), and of Section IV, Circular No. 333, WD, 1943, the following unit is cited by the Commanding General, United States Army Forces in the Far East:

The 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the following attached units:

462d Field Artillery Battalion
3d Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment
Company C, 161st Airborne Engineer Battalion
   (Now 161st Airborne Engineer Company)
18th Portable Surgical Hospital (Reinforced)
3d Platoon; Anti—Tank Company, 34.th Infantry Regiment
3d Platoon; Cannon Company, 34th Infantry Regiment
3d Platoon, Company C, 3d Engineer Battalion
Company A, 34th Infantry Regiment
3d Platoon; Company C, 24th Medical Battalion
Detachment, Service Company, 34th Infantry Regiment
Battery A, 950th AAA (AW) Battalion
174th Ordnance Service Detachment (Bomb Disposal Squad)
Detachment; 592d Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment
Detachment; 98th Signal Battalion
Detachment; 1st Platoon, 603d Tank Company
Detachment; 592d Joint Assault Signal Company
Detachment; 6th Support Air Party
Combat Photo Unit A; GHQ Signal Section
Combat Photo Unit Q, GHQ Signal Section
 

These units, organized as a task force, distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy from 16 to 28 February 1945. This force was directed to seize the enemy--held island fortress of Corregidor, one of the most difficult missions of the Pacific War. A long prepared and fanatical enemy, strongly intrenched in numerous tunnels, caves, dugouts and crevices, awaited the assault in commanding and extensively fortified positions. The small dropping area for parachutists was bordered extensively by sheer cliffs, with resultant variable air currents and eddies; and previous bombings and naval gunfire had cut trees and shrubs close above ground, creating hazardous stakes which threatened to impale descending troops. The approach by sea, through shallow water known to be mined, led to a beach protected by land mines. At 0830 on 16 February, the initial assault was made by parachute drop on terrain littered with debris and rubble. Heavy casualties were sustained. Two hours later the amphibious elements advanced by sea through the mine field to the beach; and, though many lives wore lost and much equipment destroyed by exploding mines, this element moved rapidly inland and under heavy enemy fire seized Malinta Hill. Meanwhile,

 


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(G.O. NO. 112)                               RESTRICTED
 

the airborne elements, though subjected to intense enemy fire and suffering increasing casualties, were organized into an aggressive fighting force as a result of the initiative of commanders of small units. Advancing doggedly against fanatical resistance, they had, by nightfall, secured "The Top of the Rock", their initial objective. On the following morning the entire task force began a systematic reduction of enemy positions and the annihilation of defending forces. Innumerable enemy tunnels and caves were sealed by demolitions after hand to hand fighting, only to have the enemy emerge elsewhere through an intricate system of inter–connecting passageways. Direct fire of our supporting weapons, employed to seal tunnels and caves, often resulted in the explosion of enemy emplaced demolitions and ammunition dumps, causing heavy casualties to our troops. Under increasing pressure the enemy, cut off from reinforcements, exploded demolitions in tunnels, destroying themselves as well as elements of our task force. At the completion of this desperate and violent struggle, 4,509 enemy dead were counted. Prisoners taken totalled 19. Throughout the operation all elements of the task force, combat and service troops alike, displayed heroism in the highest degree. Parachuting to earth or landing on the mined beaches, they attacked savagely against a numerically superior enemy, defeated him completely, and seized the fortress. Their magnificent courage, tenacity and gallantry avenged the victims of Corregidor of 1942, and achieved a significant victory for the United States Army.

FEXD 200.6

                 By command of General MacARTHUR
 

 

  RICHARD J. MARSHALL,
Major. General, General Staff Corps
Chief of Staff.

OFFICIAL:

 
/s/
R. E. FRAILE
Colonel, A.G.D.,
Adjutant General.
 
 

 

 

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