"CORREGIDOR ISLAND OPERATION

USAFFE REPORT No. 308"
_________________
James A. Callender
Captain, A. G. D.
Asst. Adj. General
 

 

 

From our Document Collection  

 

 


 

This report was provided courtesy James Zobel

 

The map enclosures to this report are under construction. 

       
       
   

 
       
       
   

HEADQUARTERS

:

UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE FAR EAST              RA/mab

APO 501

 

FEBD 334                                                   16 May 1945

 

USAFFE Board No. 309

 

SUBJECT:      CORREGIDOR ISLAND OPERATION, 16 Feb - 8 Mar 1945.

 

TO     :   The Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C.

(Thru: Combat Analysis Section, Operations Division, WDGS

 To: Commanding General, Army Ground Forces,

Commanding General, Army Air Forces,

Airborne Training Center, Camp Mackall, N.C.,

Parachute School, Ft. Benning, Georgia.)

 

 

1. Sources: a. Plan and orders "Rock Force", Volume 2,

 

   b. Personal observation of Lt. Colonel ROBERT ALEXANDER, CE (Prcht, and Major WAYNE O. OSMUNDSON, Sig C, Members USAFFE Board.

 

2. Purpose: To furnish ,tactical and technical data on a unique operation and to draw certain conclusions therefrom on which are based certain recommendations on airborne equipment and related matters,

 

3. Sitting astride the entrance to MANILA BAY and guarding its approaches from the CHINA SEA are four islands; CORREGIDOR, CABALLO, EL FRALE, and CARIBAO. For 300 years prior to the American occupation of the PHILIPPINES these islands formed the outer chain of defense for Spain's “Pearl of the Orient”. Her lookouts, posted on their rugged topsides, signaled the approach of Chinese junk, Spanish galleon, Moro vinta, British three-decker, and the advent of DEWEY's White Squadron.

 

 Following the destruction of the Spanish fleet at CAVITE, two generations of American soldiers watched the steady development of these islands as a modern coast defense installation until the broken forces of General WAINWRIGHT lowered the American flag on 6 May 1942.

 

CORREGIDOR is the key position of the four. From it can be supported the sea defenses of the MERIVELES shore and it in turn supports and is supported by the other three islands of the chain. Its possession insures the possessor control of the harbor entrance and this control became a pressing necessity as the flying columns of General WALTER KREUGER’s sixth Army closed in for the recapture of MANILA. It had been emphatically demonstrated by the Japanese in 1942 that amphibious assault of this island could be costly in the extreme. However, the means by which amphibious assault could be avoided lay ready to the hand of the Commander in Chief in the form of a hard-bitten, battle-tested, striking force of proven ability -- the 503d ROT, Parachute. A new type of assault force, this, the product of modern technical skill, whose advent would again startle the lookouts, this time Japanese, posted on the TOPSIDE of CORREGIDOR. Lookouts destined to perish with their kind in flame filled caves or bullet riddled gullies at the hands of Colonel GEORGE M JONES' skilled paratroopers.

  

4. Commanders’ Estimate of the Situation: This extremely interesting document is not available for study but certain aspects of the conditions influencing the decision to assault by air may be discussed. The suitability of an aerial assault was obvious. Its feasibility, while involving some difficulties, was fairly evident but the acceptability of the operation was certainly open to critical inspection and examination.

 


 

   

 

 

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