At 1000, 26 December, the 4th Marines began to
move to Corregidor. More than 400 Marines of the 1st Separate Marine
Battalion were loaded on board lighters and taken across the
channel. They were then transported by narrow gauge railway to
Middleside Barracks. The forward echelon of the Headquarters and
Service Companies and the 2d Battalion loaded on a minesweeper and
lighters just after darkness the following day. Shortly after
midnight on 27 December, the 336 Marines and their equipment were
completely unloaded on Corregidor.
Two days later at 2010, the 1st Battalion and the
remainder of the regiment completed the transfer to Corregidor's
North Dock. A 1st Battalion Marine private busily carried a box of
.30-caliber ammunition weighing more than 96 pounds to the dock.
Lieutenant Colonel Beecher stepped in front of the sweating Marine
and took the box out of his hands. He then dropped the ammunition
off the dock into the water. The private stared dumbfounded as
Beecher informed him, "You're carrying blanks; we are not using them
anymore." The 4th took six months of rations for 2,000 men, 10 units
of fire for all weapons, a two-year supply of summer clothing, and
medicines and equipment for a 100-bed hospital, to Corregidor.