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Small arms ammunition explodes in burning warehouses on the Cavite Navy Yard waterfront.

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A little past noon the droning of numerous aircraft engines was heard, followed by an air-raid siren. Marines rushed to the veranda of the Marine Barracks and watched 54 aircraft in three large "V" formations approach. All eyes in the Yard were focused on the aircraft which were widely assumed to be Army Air Corps. The first suspicious sign was a dogfight below the formation. Someone then yelled, "Look at those leaflets come down." Almost in unison, many voices yelled out, "leaflets, hell they're bombs!" The naval base was rocked by the first bombs striking the ground. Marines, sailors, and civilians crouched under the nearest cover with no formal shelters available.

The first stick of bombs hit the water, as did most of the second, but the rest of the bombs criss-crossed the Navy Yard and small fires began to spread among the wreckage. The Marines of Battery E, on top of the Naval Ammunition Depot, opened fire as bombs hit first on one side of their building and then on the other, splashing mud and water over them. Private First Class Leslie R. Scoggin called out the plotting data for the nearby battery, but found the aircraft were flying above 23,000 feet, far above the range of the battery. Luckily, no bombs actually hit the depot.

Photo: National Archives Photo SC 130991