attack by the 503d platoon described in the "F" Co. history was the
1st platoon's occupation of Battery Smith, met with no opposition. The three
officers were 1st Lt. Bill Bailey, 1st Lt. Bill Calhoun, and
1st Lt. Dan A. Lee. The latter
was a replacement officer who had
joined us just a short time before the Corregidor jump and had been
assigned to 2nd Battalion Headquarters Company.
"F" being short of available officers, Lee
had been assigned to "F" for this
were some forty or more bodies of the enemy dead lying around, mostly within our
perimeter this morning. I do not
know if any were killed during the night. I
doubt it. I feel these were killed
during the afternoon of the 16th and the day of the 17th. I never did find any evidence that the enemy was trying to
infiltrate our position during the night of the 16th.
The wind rattling the tin was the enemy. In the bright, clear early morning sunlight the area looked
so desolate and ravaged, it reminded me of pictures I had seen of devastated
areas in World War I. Smoke was
still coming from the magazines of Battery Wheeler, and the odor of burned flesh
hung in the breeze, permeated the area. The
heat from Wheeler was still radiating out quite
a distance, discouraging close examination.
One thing was certain, and that was there were no Japs alive in
Battery Wheeler no matter how many tunnels led into it. The great battery, so
awesome and impregnable yesterday, was now a tomb.
Gifford said thirty to forty Japs had run
out of the battery just before the flames erupted.
Along with the Americans, they had raced shoulder to shoulder toward the cliffs,
with only one thought in mind for this brief moment.
That single thought was to escape the terrible tongues of flame which were
reaching out seeking to engulf them.
One "D" Company man, Pfc. Thomas T. DeLane was killed.
One man broke his leg and was dragged along by his buddies in terrible
pain. It was later determined that
about 65 Japs were incinerated inside the battery.