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"BEFORE THE BIG BANG"
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Jerry Riseley
 

 

 

 

During the course of his research on the Navy Intercept Tunnel at Monkey Point and what occurred there on 26 February 1945, Don Abbott wrote to some of his fellow troopers who had survived it. This response is from Jerry Riseley.

 

 

 

6 Nov 1990

Hi Don,

I “dug” into my old foot locker – vintage 1941 – and I found my 5 year diary that I started on 10 October 1942.  On that date we arrived in Kansas City, MO, changed trains and Barborick, Arbuckle, Dawith, Balliet and I were assigned to a compartment for the rest of the journey to Camp Stoneman where we arrived on 14 October 1942.

I do recall the events rather clearly. I shall relate my recollection of the events immediately prior to the “big bang.”

On 23 February, Company “A” moved from Topside down to Middle or Bottom Side and we spent the day taking baths and just generally cleaning up.

On the morning of the 24th February we moved to the east side of Malinta Hill and it was near the large entrance that I was able to acquire a 9mm Luger and a Nio sword – (how foolish that was now that I look back!)

We moved some distance to the east and formed a perimeter for the night. The 1st platoon of “A” Company moved around Malinta to the north with the two tanksand that was where Tony DeLucia was crushed by one of the tanks. The tank gunners also killed 3 or 4 of our men at the time.

In Guthrie's book, it is stated that on 25 February "C" Company captured Water Tower Hill. In my opinion it was "A" Company who captuted it. This is where and when Lt. Sullens was killed, Harvey Hicks, James Jordan and Alfred Balliet  were also killed at this time. None of the abovementioned died immediately but they were all so badly wounded that they died. Hicks was in a position with Sullens and had his foot blown off. Sullens was so badly hit that he couldn't move. He was talking but stated that he was unable to be of any help. Jordan was hit real bad in the belly but was able to tell us that he had no further need for his TSMG. Balliet was hit badly in the upper left arm - I'm sure it got into his chest - and I lighted a cigarette for him. I later discovered when I was evacuated to Subic Bay that Balliet had died.

Barborich and I helped carry a wounded guy back to the aid station on the orning of the 26th February. All the “A” Company had moved out toward Monkey Point. When Barborich and I finished our task we took off to catch the Company and they were completely out of sight but there was a lot of ammo flying about, As we rounded the bend, we came under small arms fire so we promptly dove into a ditch on the righr side of the road. We found the Company!!!

Our artillery and the offshore destroyer was shelling the area in and around Monkey Point. When the shelling stopped we moved out and, almost immediately, came under small arms fire again.

“A” Company guys ended up quite close to the air shaft, because there was a Nip in the shaft who refused to leave the shaft so he was given the FT treatment.

There was a steep incline to the west of the main entrance to the N.I. T. There were 10-12 Nips that were coming right at us up this steep incline. One of the platoon from “A” Company was assigned to provide the tanks with protection as they approached the tunnel main entrance from the west. It seemed to me that I was standing on the road.

Henry Cook told me about an experience he had while we were on Monkey Point. He said that he and one of the very young replacements that had joined the Company looked over the very steep drop off to the South of the main entrance and they saw 5 or 6 Nips that were laying in a row and that they were still asleep. It seems that the new replacement with Cook had a brother killed in he Central Pacific so Hank pointed out the Nips and told him to blast away. Hank said that he got all of them in just a few minutes. Sure sounds like something Hank would have done.  

Warm regards

Jerry

 

 

   

 

 

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