Narrative Report of Action during War
(The Prisoner of War, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija;
1. In order to make a matter of record the wartime action of Battery C, 60th CA (AA), the following informal narrative history is submitted.
Pursuant to the provisions of War Plans of the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays (AAA) Emergency Defense Plan) Battery C was on “full alert status" during the entire month of November 1941. All men lived in bivouac at their battery’s war position, all housekeeping arrangements were installed, and the battery prepared tactically with high explosive 3” AA ammunition at each gun to fire at a moment's notice. Emphasis was placed on training and on the fortification and camouflage of the position, the yearly target practice season which was forthcoming according to normal peacetime schedule. A new and excellent height finder position was built. Splinter proofing, for the protection of personnel and equipment was continuously improved. After 2 years of intensive organization at the position, chiefly by makeshift methods in the absence of funds and proper equipment, the Battery position was shaping up nicely into a war position worthy of the name. The undersigned had been fortunate enough to serve as Battery Commander for most of the period. The 3" AA guns were given complete and very thorough overhaul by the H.D. Ordnance office, and all ammunition was checked--round by round--by C. Btry officers. The Battery position, which had previously been the scene of moving picture newsreel activity and had been visited by numerous Military and civilian notables, was this month visited by Mrs. Luce (Claire Boothe) of "Life Magazine.”
|November 28, 1941||
Orders were received in the morning of this day for the return, on Nov. 28, to normal garrison duty. It was another battery's turn to go on "alert" status. At about 7:00 pm, the undersigned was notified by the Regimental Executive and Plans and Training Officers, the entire regiment was alerted, and that Battery C would not move from Morrison Hill to barracks on the 29th but would remain on alert indefinitely.
November 29-30, 1941
Battery C, as well as other AA units were kept on vigorous alert status, “ guards" were increased. Gun drills, inspection of armament, tests of AAA intelligence system (regimental air warning network) were conducted. Everything was put in intensive readiness for any eventuality.
|December 5, 1941||
the evening of this day AAAIS and command phone notices were received to the
effect that foreign planes with unknown intentions had been located 160
miles to the north. C Battery (and all AA units) ordered to mention /sic/
instant readiness to fire on aerial targets, and to fire on any unidentified
planes at night.
|December 7, 1941||
The battery furnished a post interior guard duty detail of two officers and about 40 EM. Another warning was received of foreign planes to northward. Orders to fire on identified planes at night or day were now issued. C Battery was ready.
|December 8, 1941||
WAR! Battery alerted, standing by guns, at 4:45 am. (Note- Dec . 7, Noon, in Hawaii. was Dec 8, early am, in the P.I.) We heard radio reports of Pearl Harbor attack. Heard President's speech, declaration of war.
|December 9, 1941||
First enemy action took place in Manila Bay area. At 3:00 am a flight of planes was heard over Cavite province. Nichols Field was bombed. AA searchlights did not illuminate any targets, which were too far out of range. No AA gun batteries fired. The Manila area and Cavite Naval Base were bombed just before noon on this day.
December 10, 1941
C. Battery’s first action. Fired on 26 Japanese heavy bombers flying westward out the North Channel on their return to Formosa after bombing Cavite and Manila. Our shots burst short of the targets due to an error in the AA data computation system. This error was located and eliminated immediately. These planes did not attempt to attack Corregidor. This the first time many of the men had seen or heard AA guns fired. It was the first time service of the guns with live ammunition had been carried out. Only a very little firing was needed to produce veteran artillerymen.
December 13, 1941
The early Jap formations did approach Corregidor both from the east, and the south. They did not overfly the Rock, they split and flew around the island.
C Battery in action again! A flight of 17 planes returning from a raid on Manila approached Corregidor from the east. It split into flights of 9 and 8; 9 going out the North Channel. We engaged these as targets. Our Bursts looked very good. 2 planes were believed downed, one more crippled and the formation was broken up. Battery G on Bataan fired at several of the same flight. Other batteries engaged the other 8 planes over the South Channel. The Navy reported that 10 planes failed to return to Formosa. The regimental HQ was unable to award credit for planes destroyed due to lack of confirmation. Nevertheless Battery C was certain it destroyed two and probably three planes.
December 14-24, 1941
The Japs knew exactly where the fixed guns were even before the war broke out, but they didn't know the co-ordinates of the anti-aircraft emplacements, because we'd only just dug them in. Captain Starr figured that they sent some aircraft towards our positions so they could observe where our anti-aircraft fire was coming from. "
Enemy planes obviously avoided Corregidor lending credence to our claims they inflicted heavy damage on the l3th. Men at Battery C chafed for a fight, hooted and jeered at enemy planes, which very clearly stayed out of range of our guns. We were forced to sit idly while Manila and Cavite were bombed apparently with impunity. Very little was seen of friendly planes. Drills, tests, and inspections were held. The continual improvement of the battery's tactical effectiveness was the driving ambition of every man. After the firings on the 13th, Battery C's men were cool, smooth working artillerymen. The Air guard system, carried over from peacetime alert status was tightened and expanded. One officer, one NCO, two observers and swbd operator were vigilant night and day. The Battery Commander realized that Battery Funds might soon be unavailable if left in Manila banks. In addition, men were unable get to the Post Exchange now. So practically all the available funds were spent for foods, soft drinks and for the general benefit of the whole battery. (This was later seen to have been a wise course when Manila was occupied by the Japanese the battery had less than $46 in the bank-some other batteries had as much as $1200.00 frozen). On Dec.15 the HD was placed on Field Ration status.
|December 25, 1941||
Lt. H.E. Pace donated small Christmas tree and other decorations to the battery. Prior to a turkey dinner at noon a short formation was held during which the Battery Commander spoke to the men and at the end of which “God Bless America” was sung by all. The turkey dinner was interrupted by flights of Japanese planes over Manila Bay. For one half hour the battery stood by to fire, but the planes left without ever coming within range.
|December 26-28, 1941||
Enemy bombers in huge flights of 27, 54, 81--bombed Cavite, Manila Port Area, Nichols Field, Olongopo, Mariveles, but stayed just clear of Corregidor. Bombers attempted to destroy naval vessels in Manila Bay without success.
drill at an AA Battery.
Battery C's personnel and equipment were as follows:- 4 officers and 15 EM. The officers were: - Battery Commander, Captain Godfrey R. Ames, Battery Executive, Captain Paul R. Cornwall; Range Officer, 1st Lt. Bernice F. Humphrey; Asst Btry Exec. 1st Lt. Herbert E. Pace Jr. All officers were Coast Artillery officers. The battery was equipped with 4 .3” guns M-3 on mounts M2A2, Director M-4 #172, Height Finder M-1, Two power planes and obsolete Data Transmission system M-4; Ammunition was 3" AA MK IX with 111 Scovil Fuse (Powder time train). Local Defense weapons were 1-50 caliber AAMG on Mount M-1 and 4-30 caliber AAMC on 1918 (Angle-iron) AA Mts. Additional local AA Defense was afforded Battery C by a platoon from Battery I, 60th CA (AA), (50 cal AAMG's), which disposed 4-50 cal. AAMG's in the vicinity of our position. At this time only one battery (Battery B, 60th CA (AA) was furnished with Mechanical Fuse Ammunition, which enabled that battery to reach further up and out than could those batteries equipped only with the less modern "Time-train" fused ammunition. The stereoscopic height finder operators of C Battery had just completed a thorough and intensive 10 week course of instruction under 1st Lt. B.F. Humphrey and were at the peak of training. RCS reading taken every half hour without fail and also at the beginning (or between flights) of each enemy attack. This system of constant checks and recheck of RCS and other settings on instruments proved very effective in producing good altitude readings.
December 29, 1941
Combined air attack on Corregidor! The Japanese radio boasted several times that Corregidor had already been levelled; but heretofore it had not been touched. Bombers arrived at 12:15 pm; dive-bombers hovered above for an hour or more and finally swung in to strike Corregidor. First flight of "heavies” approached from Cabcaben, the alarm was given suddenly. Battery C was in action and firing in less than one minute. Bombs fell on Corregidor. C Battery's bursts were very good. First flight had "come in" at 4300 yards but later flights came in at 6000 yds or higher. Our M-4 director jammed as one flight was carried over. Delicate internal adjustments were required. Disregarding Local Ordnance instructions, Captain Ames told staff Sgt. Paul Davis (AA fire control electrician) to go ahead with repairs Davis volunteered to make. Directors’ side plates were removed and in spite of two or more bombings of Corregidor while work went on, Staff. Sgt. Davis made adjustments and repairs. Battery returned to action and fired effectively on later flights. One plane claimed destroyed, two damaged by Battery C. Between 65 and 90 bombers assaulted Corregidor, about 25 dive-bombers. Dive-bombers strafed the island from several directions. They were very roughly handled by the AA MG's and several were shot down. They didn't return. Bomb screech was terrifying at first, but became familiar and almost commonplace soon. No bombing damage at C Battery. Great non-military damage on Corregidor, but military effectiveness hardly scratched even though air raid lasted 3 hours.
|December 30-31, 1941||
No air attacks. Evacuation of Manila took place. Hq. USAFFE, Att. C. Sayers, Pres. Quezon, V. Pres. Osmena, and other notables now on Corregidor. Water near Corregidor dock crammed with shipping of all types and sizes. Bn C.O. instructed Battery C to be especially ready to engage planes attempting to bomb shipping or piers. P-40’s appeared on friendly Bataan (THIS NEXT LINE ILLEGIBLE)
|January 1, 1942||
No air attacks on Corregidor. Post utilities repaired. Battery enjoyed other turkey dinner.
|January 2, 1942||
"Sneak Raid"; bombers arrived somewhat earlier, coming in over China Sea above solid overcast of clouds and dropped one load of bombs through a tiny momentary hole which then closed up. Planes cruised back and forth for an hour above clouds and then left, one flight dumping its load on Mariveles Barrio area. No AA Batteries fired--Planes were never seen by our battery.
|January 3, 1942||
Bombers returned! Delivered furious attacks from altitudes very high for our equipment (7400- 8500 yds). Attacks lasted for 5 hours; C Battery's fire good. One plane destroyed (official credit) and one claimed as damaged. Bombs landed on all sides of crest of Morrison Hill, but our battery was still unharmed. Morale and fighting trim inspiring.
|January 4, 1942||
Very heavy bombing continued. Chicago men acted like hardened veterans. They could tell where bombs would fall by listening to their screech as they came down. Ten or twelve bombs landed atop Morrison Hill--none, however, within our position--. Smoke from burning barges, ships and oil tanks made observation of planes very difficult. Smoke from rice harvest fires in Cavite and other provinces also made for great haziness. Despite this, Battery C's fire was effective. We saw two planes damaged by our fire limp away.
January 5, 1942
Bombing attacks were somewhat lighter this day. One bomb landed in a tree near #2 gun. It exploded 10 ft above the ground and 20 ft from the small splinter proof shelter inside which were Capt. Cornwall and Lt. Pace. They were completely unhurt. Pvts. Wall and House were slightly injured by fragments. No damage to materiel. Lt. Pace's automobile, taken over by the battery as an organic vehicle, was destroyed. By this time we had really come to swear by our splinterproofs. Planes flew at altitudes from 7200--8500 yds -- usually above 7800 yds. E battery was unable to fire on a number of flights, which were too high to come in range.
|January 6, 1942||
Last and heaviest day of continuous bombing. 40-50 planes dropping 300-500 lb bombs repeatedly crossed over the island. General Moore visited the battery; men pleased, Battery was still undamaged. Very high altitudes continued to be the rule of the day. We were several times forced to watch bombers come over and bomb--never coming "in Range." However, the last flight came over at 7800 yds. We put one of our high explosive shells right into the bomb bay of the middle plane of three (the three we were shooting at). This plane--bombs and all-- exploded, and destroyed not only itself but also the plane on each side of it. C Battery got official credit for 3 planes, all destroyed with one round. Battery C now led the AA batteries of the fortified islands --a lead it never lost. Battery G and Battery C-9lst CA by virtue of dive-bombers bagged over Bataan -- dive bombers avoided Corregidor -- later got ahead of Battery C in total planes destroyed. However, all of Battery C's planes were highflying heavy bombers. AA batteries on the fortified islands never caught up to Battery C. In justice to other outfits we must admit that mechanically fused ammunition which arrived later on helped her to maintain that lead by this time it was apparent to all that Corregidor's AA fire was very effective.
Japanese Heavy Bomber
The smaller bombers were Type 96 (Nell), twin tailed "heavy bombers" that could not climb nearly as high, nor carry near the load of Type 97 (Sally), or 98 (Betty) bombers.
Japanese Heavy Bomber
1. Work on maintenance of equipment, ammunition, etc., went on daily with intensity despite bombings. Splinterproofs and camouflage were constantly improved. It was no longer difficult to persuade men that more sandbags should be filled. It was hard to find empty sandbag! NCOs were schooled in how to fire the battery in case officers should become casualties. This training was intensified later on.
2. Japanese bombers were of the Mitsubishi 97 type heavy bombers. They also used some older "M.Kado" type planes. These bombers had to fly all the way from Formosa and return. If damaged, even a little, it was improbable that they could return to their bases without great difficulty--they would probably crash in the sea. Hence many planes, we are sure, were destroyed by us by reason that we (the Corregidor AA Batteries) rendered them unable to fly home. However, we only got credit for thrice confirmed destruction clearly resulting from our fire.
3. With powder train fuses our ammunition was effective only to about 8300 yds altitude. However, local meteorological conditions gave us a bonus of 125-150 yds additional altitude in the form of higher than standard muzzle velocity. We used this to engage planes up to just over 8400 yds. When they came in at such altitudes, planes were very nearly overhead already, and bombs had already been dropped when they finally came into range. If they came in above that altitude we were unable to fire.
4. Our guns can only be elevated to about 80 degrees. In the tropical sky--glare and haze, let alone smoke from fires--we could seldom see the planes until they were on their "way in” (all courses on Corregidor were coming in courses) and up to about 45 degrees. The guns then pointed at about 60 degrees to lead the planes. We would track the planes in, guns would be cranked up and up, bombs would come hurtling from the planes, guns would go higher and still higher--then, when almost at the maximum elevation top of the guns, our data would show "in range" and we would get off from 4 to 8 or 10 rounds before the guns hit the elevation stop. About this time bombs would fall about and I’d crouch low in our splinterproofs-jumping up to engage new planes at once after the bombs had fallen. If we had seen some planes coming prior to finishing fire on the previous course we would not take cover but would swing onto our new targets and, bombs be damned, we'd prepare fire on these next planes.
5. Japanese bombs varied in size from 100 to 500 to 1000 lbs. They were personnel and demolition. Most were 100 and 500 lb type, at first most were demolition. Fragmentation bombs were laden with all sorts of scrap metal, nuts, bolts, rivets, etc and even with concrete.
6. Planes had numbered 27 to 75 or 80 per day--each one making at least two trips over the island.
|January 7-13, 1942||
During this period the Battery augmented its ration stores from beached barges along Corregidor's shoreline (with permission from Cm.) "CHICAGO TUNNEL," later a great asset, was begun on Jan 10. St.Sgt. Bernard O. Hopkins began publication of the "Morrison Hill Gazette"--a brief of radio news reports spiced by local news and attitudes--a great morale factor throughout the long months on Corregidor. Hong Kong had already fallen; the battle of Malaya was on. We speculated on the absence of Japanese planes, thinking they were in Malaya or installing oxygen equipment so as to fly over and above us, or were re-organizing, etc. We were happy but wary of the flattering opinion of the London Radio which said the 60th CA (AA) had set the worlds record for AA fire accuracy--we weren't sure we even frightened the Japs.
|January 14, 1942||
Return of Bombers! Came down over China Sea and circled, circled--apparently to gain altitude--and then came in at great altitudes 8500, 8800, 8900 yds. Battery unable to fire except at one or two flights between 8000 and 8500 yds. One plane claimed as destroyed, 1 as damaged. Battery with mechanically fused ammunition bears brunt of firing. We "froth at the mouth" at being unable to fire. No damage at Battery C.
From January 15 to March 23 a period of lessened action prevailed. No heavy bombers appeared over Corregidor during the entire time (although a couple of flights did bomb southern Bataan once or twice late in this quiet period). Only occasional AA firings on observation planes and dive-bombers, which ventured within range while performing their mission over Bataan. Dive-bombers studiously avoided Corregidor except for once or twice to drop pamphlets-- which blew out to sea--and, punctuate them with three or four bombs dropped at vessels around the island. An observation plane--nicknamed "Foto-Joe"-- which was very wily, flew about the area, around the island, back and forth, in and out of clouds, persistently. We fired at him few times, sometimes very nearly getting him, but usually he maneuvered upon seeing gun flashes and "wasn't there" when projectiles burst. We were prevented from frequent firings on "Foto Joe" and dive-bombers by orders to conserve ammunition--not to fire except on planes obviously threatening Corregidor. Ammunition was a very critical problem. In order to avoid waste of ammunition Battery C had upon its own initiative established a maximum of 6 rounds per gun as normal for any firing course. Reasons as follows:
1. With target altitudes so high, firing courses on Corregidor seldom lasted more than 10 to 15 seconds.
ammunition was a terrific short problem; expenditure at Dec 29 to Jan 6 rate
would have exhausted supply in about two months.
3. First 24 rounds fired if “on target" would probably accomplish all the results to be expected. If not "on target" more rounds would be wasted.
4. If first few rounds were not "on target" we would not see bursts soon enough to make adjustments on these very short courses.
5. Planes could probably manoeuvre after first 24 rounds, so adjustments if they could be applied would probably be in vain.
Shortly after Battery C adopted the six round
limits, the regimental commander ordered such a limit for all batteries. As practiced by
Battery C the limit system was flexible. Number of rounds could be
decreased, or if more were desired, "commence firing" was easily signalled a
second time immediately at the end of the first string.
The gun crews, under the efficient and excellent training of Capt.
Cornwall and Lt. Pace, became remarkably well trained and able to act with
great speed and accuracy.
The 1700 odd acres of the tadpole-shaped island of
Corregidor were already well dotted with bomb craters.
Japanese at first used area-bombing tactics, later they definitely picked
out their special targets. Their bombing was never too accurate.
Interior portions of the island are pretty well worked over, but the
periphery which contained most of the military installations was nearly
intact. A continued source of pleasant wonder was the fact that the power
plant and cold storage plant escaped serious damage until April.
The miraculous protection afforded by splinter proofing had become apparent.
Everywhere bunkers, sandbags, etc. arose. Battery C, having started splinter
proofing a year earlier was well ahead of the game. When fairly well
splinter proofed, a piece of equipment and its crew were safe almost
entirely from all but a bomb landing inside the Splinter proof. In our case,
that of an AA battery, all these were open to the sky. Bomb blast and flying
fragments, the greatest threats of "near misses", were practically nullified
by splinterproofs. Overhead covering, unless tremendously thick and strong,
would have been seen an added danger.
"CHICAGO TUNNEL," as Battery C tunnel was called,
progressed apace. Cpl. Bob E. Morrison p1. (Later Sgt.) Edward J. Swanson,
and Pvt. Jose R. Gastelum were the engineers; they did a job truly worthy of
This tunnel in which was later installed the battery mess, saved many a
1ife as later events will show.
Material for timbering the tunnel was
salvaged from the beaches of the island or obtained from the engineers, who
allowed us to use some of their scarce lumber. Other materials came from
demolished buildings salvaged by ourselves. From the demolished barrio
structures came material to build one and two man shacks for individual men
to sleep in.
These were spotted about the area so as to be near the equipment manned,
dispersed so as to avoid undue losses, camouflaged, and in a number of
cases spinterproofed. These shacks were built to keep minds occupied and to
provide shelter for the rainy season. There were no tents or other shelters
for sleeping purposes at Battery C, tents would have been too conspicuous
unless erected where trees for cover were available and this would too far
from the guns. Our men had to sleep practically at their equipment. We had
no relief crews. The men we had were 24-hour soldiers for 5 months.
salvaged from the beaches of the island or obtained from the engineers, who allowed us to use some of their scarce lumber. Other materials came from demolished buildings salvaged by ourselves. From the demolished barrio structures came material to build one and two man shacks for individual men to sleep in. These were spotted about the area so as to be near the equipment manned, dispersed so as to avoid undue losses, camouflaged, and in a number of cases spinterproofed. These shacks were built to keep minds occupied and to provide shelter for the rainy season. There were no tents or other shelters for sleeping purposes at Battery C, tents would have been too conspicuous unless erected where trees for cover were available and this would too far from the guns. Our men had to sleep practically at their equipment. We had no relief crews. The men we had were 24-hour soldiers for 5 months.
|February 2, 1942||
Submarine arrived at Corregidor direct from Hawaii, bringing mechanically fused ammunition. C. Btry got most--B Btry some to replace expenditures. Great optimism at Battery C, were now ready to "Give ‘em Hell." Submarine took some mail back to US for us.
|February 6, 1942||
Cavite shore batteries begin to shell fortified islands--many authorities have opined Corregidor couldn't be shelled from there except by 8" guns or larger. The enemy used UNREADABLE mm guns on Corregidor and larger (howitzers) on the other islands. Captain Richard G. Ivey, 60th CA AA) was called upon to go to Cavite and reconnoiter enemy territory so as to spot counterbattery fire.
|February 11, 1942||
3 Dive Bombers raided Corregidor. They came in from the south, passed over the island, jettisoning their bombs and flying away when AA opened up.
|February 12, 1942||
Cpl. Bob E. Morrison left for Cavite province to act as bodyguard for Capt. Ivey. He was selected from among 9 NCO volunteers by the Battery Commander who was ordered to make selection.
|February 15, 1942||
We observed intense enemy bombardments of Fts. Drum and Frank--lasted all daylong. HD batteries replied--they fired counter-battery missions from time to time all during this period-- but we were not able to observe the effectiveness of their fire.
|February 16, 1942||
Cpl. Bob E. Morrison missing in action when enemy patrol attacks Capt. Ivey's OP. Cpl. Morrison, first member of Battery C to be contacted by enemy, believed to have been killed. Captain Ames visits Bataan Peninsula on 17th and l8th; Capt. Cornwall in temporary command.
Battery C operated a mess for itself and a large number of attached personnel.
The entire mess consisted of about 210 mouths. There were men from 9 other
organizations attached for rations.
The mess force did excellent work, despite hardships.
Pfc. Cody and Pfc. Martin (attached from Hq. Btry 1st Bn) were
especially brave. They refused to leave the mess merely because bombers were
over the island. When bombs seemed to be coming close—then they would make
for momentary cover.
The roster of Battery C included men attached from Hq. Btry 60th CA (AA) and Hq. Btry. Bn 60th CA (AA); these men were integrally absorbed into the battery and several of them distinguished themselves. The platoon of Battery 1 and a command post detail from Hq. and Hq. Btry, 3rd Bn became "courtesy" members of the organization. Relations among the units were always the best.
this was a period of lessened action, it was not a period of idleness. Men
worked day, night, and Sundays.
Improvements without end were made. Rubber covered data transmission cables
were replaced to some extent by salvaged submarine mine cable--thereby
making available sorely needed spare cables. The junction box--distribution
heart--of the data transmission system was put into an underground-concreted
box. Cables were laid in deep, narrow trenches --then closed by 10 and 12
inch powder cans filled with earth, so as to stop fragments and yet provide
easy access to cables.
We were equipped with mobile materiel, but we were fixed in
position-- there was nowhere else to go-and we had to protect our
equipment. Each man had a foxhole of his own near where he slept in which be
could take shelter in case of emergency. In the last months of the campaign
many men slept in these foxholes every night.
In case the enemy tried a landing and broke through
the beach line defenses we had a line of foxholes around the eastern slope
of Morrison Hill, organized by men of Battery C and coordinated with Beach
Defense plans of the 4th Marines. Captain Huddleson, Co. F., 4th U.S. Marine
and other officers of that regiment were our fellow workers. Our men dug
foxholes, planned defense lines, built MG positions, laid barbed wire, and
cleared fields of fire.
All of the above work and much more was done in
addition to maintaining constant alert for enemy attacks. Men stood by in
the blazing "Hot Season" sun for hours, scanned skies, dashed, and dashed
out of bed at night to the accompaniment of the Air Raid Alarm to fire if
necessary. We fired but little for over 2 months, but we were ready at an
instant's notice every bit of the time.
Water pipes to Morrison Hill had been bombed out, and hauling details from the battery waited for trucks for long periods at night and then went long distances--to Bottomside, to the Power Plant, to the bottom of James Ravine etc--to get water. This duty cost the men 4 to 6 hour of needed rest many of the nights. Electric power was off of course, but we operated our radio powered a few short periods each day by means of AA power plants, which were tested and was a routine practice.
|February 20, 1942||
President Quezon leaves Corregidor via ship "Don Estaban" for Cebu--eventually Australia.
|February 21, 1942||
Commanding officers and staff of 200th and 515th CA (AA) regiments on Battery visit Battery C and other antiaircraft battery positions.
|February 24, 1942||
Captain Cornwall visited Bataan, toured positions of C-9lst CA, Battery and other units of the 2nd Bn 60th CA (AA).
Cash on hand in the Battery Fund was used to purchase cigarettes, toilet
articles etc., which were resold
to enlisted men at cost. In this way a great morale
"The Morrison Hill Post Exchange", as we called it with Staff Sgt.
Bernard O. Hopkins as editor was operated.
A library, stocked with volumes donated by the Chaplain and the Fort
Mill’s Post Library was
Free issue under the supervision of Corporal Richard W. Bartz was the
system in this "Bartz Memorial Library."
Entertainment for the men was scarce. Card games, "Bull" sessions, and a
"Mountain Music” orchestra of a guitar, several harmonicas,
and many voices served as diversion.
The intensity of work around the position tended to prevent mental
depression from idleness.
The Air Force, a few P-40's and some other planes, performed feats of daring under our guns (Morrison Hill faces Bataan) and C Battery was in position on the slope towards that position. From there we could observe a panorama of 180 degrees to the north-from CHINA SEA around to the city of Manila. The Air Force in its mission of observation, escort, and occasional bombing carried out despite frequent bombings of its Fields--daily at the least--inspired us.
|March 2, 1942||
P-40's bomb Japanese vessels in Subic Bay with excellent results.
We heard heavy artillery barrages on Bataan.
Of the action on the front lines we learn little, but we could see
plenty of the dive-bombers in action. We fretted for a chance at them.
General MacArthur left about Mar. 8th, and General Wainwright assumed command. Soon afterwards General Wainwright visited the battery position. General Moore, Harbor Defense Commander was an occasional visitor of C Battery's position. These visits were fine for the morale of the battery.
In order to provide a place of safety for
valuables, the Battery Fund safe was used to keep money and valuables for
This safe was looted at surrender time and all in it was lost.
Filipino employees (K.P.'s, etc) were retained in
the employ of the battery. On the whole they were loyal and reasonably
When issued gas masks they became very happy and felt safe from all
After receiving mechanically fused ammunition, we made every effort to avail ourselves of all its potentialities; this ammunition had a maximum effective altitude (at very close-in range) of about 9100 yds. Our director was fitted to compute data only up to 8500 yds. Lt. B.F. Humphrey did an outstanding job of computing just what corrections in fuse range and current elevation had to be applied to the director to enable us to hit targets at altitudes of 8500--9100 yds. while our director was computing for 8500 yds. The corrections computed by Lt. Humphrey and checked by the Battery Commander worked very well. No difficulty was encountered in applying corrections-and their effectiveness was indicated by planes actually destroyed. By making our equipment handle targets higher by 600 yds than the equipment was designed to handle, we were able to keep up with the increased altitudes at which enemy planes later flew.
|March 15, 1942||
South shore batteries shelled all fortified islands all day long. Military damage very slight. Activity of Jap naval vessels, Reports of large flights of planes, Rumors of action in Visayas and Mindanao all pointed to possible increased activity in our area.
|March 23, 1942||
Sometime prior to this date we had heard a story that Gen. Wainwright had given by the Japanese till this date to surrender "or else." No surrender was given and nothing special happened.
|March 24, 1942||
Air attacks resumed! Planes were heavy bombers at great altitudes, 8350 -9,000 yds. Battery C and Battery B, with “mech.” fuses do most of firing. One flight dropped bombs on Ordnance Magazine on Morrison Hill 250 yds from Btry C. Ammunition exploded with machine gun rapidity, showering vicinity with HF shells (many exploding in air), shrapnel, fragments, even until evening. C Battery was forced to remain in splinter proofs or on hands and knees from 10:30 am until 5:00 pm. One man slightly injured. Planes were now swerving and dodging after having dropped their bombs. Nevertheless we punished them. Battery C claims one downed and one damaged. Flight were of 27, 18, 12, etc. Altogether about 60 planes in four raids on this day. First night raids! Battery C unharmed although bombs thoroughly sprinkled the vicinity. Dive bombers particularly active over Bataan; they really dived for a change.
|March 25, 1942||
43 bombers in 5-day raids. More in 4 night raids. Enemy bombers now averaged 90 plane-trips per day over the island. Btry C gets official credit for one plane at night, damages one.
|March 26, 1942||
C Bombed! In order to
dodge AA fire enemy flights cut to 3 planes each--reappearing frequently but
not in large flights. At about 10:00 am a flight from the N.W. dropped a
3-bomb "yardstick" load alongside Battery C's position.
The same planes circled and returned to drop their entire loads onto the
C Btry position. Ht Finder position hit--one bomb 10 ft behind it, one 4 ft in
front of it. Crew and
instrument miraculously saved by splinter-proof.
Oil shed, Ordnance ("Cabcaben")
magazine, tractor shed (and tractor) all demolished. All communications cut.
Btry out of action--Ht Finder unable to function.
With great rapidity an emergency line was laid to get altitude readings
from Battery B. Cables to guns
were replaced; battery was restored to action in order to fire with
excellent results on the very next flight of planes--less than ½ hour
after the bombs landed.
In the bombing, PFC Swickard was injured--he was later awarded a Purple
Bombers continued the attack.
Battery C’s communication detail did an intrepid job of restoring the rest
of our lines amid continued bombing.
Cpl. Bartz, Pfcs Holm, Schwab, Van Urling, Pvts Williams, L.G., Tidwell and House all cited for gallantry in action and awarded Silver Stars. Ammunition trench also struck by bombs, about 25 rds H.E. destroyed. Battery C commended by Bn HQ for excellent recovery and resumption of firing. One of the planes, which bombed us, we destroyed--we had seen the bombs leave the planes and watched them fall all the way down.
|March 27, 1942||
Two raids during the day, altitude 8400 to 8900 yds. Only one night raid. Btry C claimed one plane destroyed.
|March 28, 1942||
Battery C Bombed again. This day a flight of 3 planes put its entire load right into the battery position. A few bombs land near the mess hall, destroying the meat house and a Ford truck in the road; a few more landed near the East M.G. position. Rest inside Gun square. Battery put out of action for 4 hours. No casualties, guns --all equipment except a few cables--unhurt. Another victory for splinter proofing. General Moore was correct when he told us that our months of labor on splinter proofs would prove its value. Our fire destroyed one of the planes, which bombed us. Communication section again excepllent in working under bombardment. This day Battery C was for the first time shelled from the south shore. 8 105 mm rounds landed within 25 yds of #4 gun, battery on constant alert for 14 hours. Incendiary bombs at night burn our barracks at M/S.
4 daylight raids and 4 night raids. Battery C gets official credit for destroying one plane, damages one.
Attacks were now more or less on schedule. Flights seldom larger than 3 -- occasionally a flight of six-- altitude of 8000-9300 yds, mostly above 8500 yds. Battery B and Battery C did most of the firing. Jap naval vessels seen patrolling China Sea. Night attacks continued: - combination of HE and white phosphorus incendiary bombs dropped at night. A.A. searchlights did a better job even than was hoped for. Planes were wary--often abandoned attack when illuminated. Night raids really amounted only to nuisance raids. Fires were started near Battery C's position, and many volunteers went to fight them, thereby removing threat from supplies, ammunition, etc. General Moore gave written commendations to a number of men of Battery C for voluntarily fighting those fires. Cavite batteries continued to shell Btry C. As flights of planes came overhead enemy batteries on Cavite shore would shell us--nearly all their rounds landed near #4 gun. The entire area was masked from Cavite. No casualties. We observed seacoast batteries firing on enemy vessels in Manila Bay.
|March 30, 1942||
All-out raids continued. Two planes ventured over Corregidor about 4:00 p.m. Their altitude was exceptionally low--7500 yds bringing them in range for all 5 batteries. Everyone opened fire. Battery H first, Battery C next, etc. Both planes were hit; one burst into flames and crashed into the North Channel losing its wing as it fell. The other glided off to crash in upper Manila Bay. Crowds on Corregidor cheered and cheered. Our men were standing on top of splinter proofs to see and yell. Battery C was convinced at least one plane was its prize; however, neither was awarded due to large number of claims--both were held as Battalion trophies. Parts of the plane were later given to the Bn. as memento trophies.
|March 31 - April 7||
Bombing continued, emphasis now on Bataan, where flights of 9 to 27 H.B.'s and 3 to 27 D.B. 's worked on all areas with ferocity. Flights over Corregidor still in threes. General Moore in C Battery C.P., one day about April 3, to observe two direct hits. On April 5, C Battery got credit for one plane, which exploded, over Manila Bay--flight had just passed Corregidor and only Btry C fired. Total official credit now 9 planes. We saw an enemy attempt to land on east coast of Bataan near Limay turned away.
|April 8, 1942||
Bataan break-through. First signs, confused firing and tank action north of Bataan Field--Demolitions, hurried flight of P-40's. Corregidor guns turned onto Bataan east coast highway. Night on 8-9 one of fireworks display as dynamited ammunition went up. Enemy planes not active in night time.
|April 9, 1942||
Earthquake in early am, followed by man-made tremors as Navy blew up tunnels at Mariveles. "Dunkirk" from Bataan to Corregidor. We stood by to protect evacuation fleet of all types of vessels. Enemy planes did not attack the shipping. Captain Ames made a talk to all the men telling them of the fall of Bataan and that the real fight was just beginning. The men all swore that the enemy would have to come and take Morrison Hill if they wanted it. Ht Finder repaired, returned about April 8.
Battery C shelled from Cabcaben. 105 mm battery opened up on Morrison Hill about 11:00. Heavy Bombers back--every day now without fail. After being bombed and set afire earlier in the day the freighter, SS "Usang" with 1500 tons of bombs exploded in Mariveles Bay--tremendous cloud of debris and smoke--ship entirely vanished. Battery C moved most of kitchen equipment to its tunnel. One plane destroyed, 1 damaged.
|April 11, 1942||
Btry Morrison nearby opens fire on enemy batteries on Bataan. Suffered heavy return fire. Battery C caught plenty of "lefts” Men and officers wounded at BC Morrison. Pfc Chambers voluntarily drove them to hospital at Malinta Tunnel--earned, was awarded a Silver Star for his gallantry in action. Enemy shells aimed at Middleside must have missed top of Morrison Hill-- "parting our hair." 1st Lt. Peterie and 17 men of Btry G attached.
|April 12, 1942||
14 men from 200th CA (AA) and 515th CA (AA) attached for duty (Bataan evacuees). B-17 (Flying Fortress) flies over Corregidor. Battery C had a terrific day. Bombed out of action by flight on which firing at 11:00 am; restored to action and bombed out again at 4:00 pm. Shelled by 105 mm (contact fuse shells) from 10:50 am to 6:30 pm. On first bombing, kitchen shack, communications shack destroyed. Pfc Cody, cook, seriously injured, required amputation of foot. Pfc Urling also injured. On second bombing, C.P. destroyed. Sgt. Swanson killed. Capt Ames, Pvts. Wailer and Husted injured; Cpl. Southwell injured at #2 Gun. Many individual deeds of heroism and bravery were performed by battery personnel. Citations were earned by Capts Ames and Cornwall, 1st Lts Peterie, Humphrey, and Pact, 1st Sgt. Beeman, St.Sgts. Hopkins and Davis, Sgts. Smith and Perry, Cpl Bartz Pfc. Martin, Pvts Husted and Waller. Enemy shelling mortally wounds Pfc. Strauss. Cpl. Kocevar, PFC Sumrow were awarded Silver Stars for attempt to save his life. Vicinity of C Battery’s position now nearly denuded. Trees now merely stumps. Leaves & branches were blown off trees. All erected artificial camouflage was ruined. From now on Battery C was unable to move about or man equipment without being seen from Bataan. Reconstruction & repair work was resumed.
|April 13, 1942||
Shelled again. #1 gun destroyed by direct hit.
From here on till the surrender it was almost impossible to move about during daylight hours except by crawling at C Battery without bringing down a barrage of artillery fire from Bataan. The battery worked at digging trenches leading from one gun position to another, etc. The C.P. and Director Position were rebuilt under conditions of great difficulty and exposure. Most of the work was done at night. Moonlight was so bright as to actually expose men to enemy observation. Our position was shelled every day almost without fail now. When we opened fire on enemy planes we were sure to be thoroughly worked over almost immediately thereafter. A number of times intense 4 to 6 or 8-hour barrages were laid down upon us. Splinterproofs did marvels, protecting men and equipment. At unexpected times the enemy would lay down surprise fire upon Morrison Hill; hoping to catch men unaware. It was necessary to haul water from various places on Corregidor each night. Men doing this lost nearly the entire night's rest--waiting for a truck, dodging barrages, etc. Several times the entire supply of 20-gallon cans of water was destroyed. By good luck and cool headedness no one was killed while at this work. The enemy used 105 mm, 150 mm, 240 mm Howitzer, and later rapid-fire 3 inch or 75 mm guns on us. The first two calibers were most often used. Battery C's position on a slope of a hill facing Bataan was a natural place for newly installed enemy batteries to “target in" on. This they did with exasperating frequency. Battery C expanded and improved its infantry line on the forward slope of Morrison Hill; fields of fire for MG's, BAR's and riflemen were cleared; MG positions were sandbagged; more MG's were begged, borrowed, etc. until a total of seven 30 caliber ground MG's were ready; fox holes were tagged with each man's name and men shown their own fox holes. All this was done in addition to rebuilding the CP and Director position, digging trenches, enlarging "CHICAGO TUNNEL" and repairing equipment. When #1 gun was destroyed we thereby acquired a spare gun crew. We used this for labor, and to enable some men to get a little rest. Gun crews were rotated for this purpose.
|April 14-20, 1942||
Bombing and shelling continue. Battery C was ordered to fire only on planes at high altitude requiring mechanical fuses. AA Batteries on Corregidor received intense enemy artillery fire. Battery G men detached on April 15, to build a position for themselves on golf course near Btry Geary. Battery C back in action on 17th after extensive rebuilding. Got one plane, one probable. Next day intense barrage put battery out of action until 20th. Pfc Urling, Pvts. Waller and Husted in Hospital. Pfc Suobiron and Pvt. Manacap of 12th Med Reg't (PS) attached as first aid station personnel. Did outstanding work. Work started on new entrance to tunnel from within gun square. 3rd Lt. Soto and 15 EM of First Signal Service Co. (PA) attached. ... Catholic Chaplain Bauman of 91st CA (PS) regular visitor.
|April 21, 1942||
Heavy shelling all day, Btry put out of action again. Ht. finder position suffered direct hit, instrument badly damaged. Recheck of all ammunition ordered by Regtl. CO. Men work all night making check--dodge midnight barrage.
|April 22, 1942||
Repair work carried on in spite of 105 mm barrages.
|April 23, 1942||
Lt. Chancey assigned. Very heavy shelling by 150 mm and 105 mm. Battery ready for action. Altitudes now came only by telephone from other batteries. Chicago’s Ht. Finder in repair shop. Cpl. Southwell broke his ankle in a fall while under artillery barrage. Lts. Humphrey and Chancy exposed themselves to aid him. Silver Stars recommended.
|April 25, 1942||
We were shelled by 240 mm guns. #3 gun position, ammunition trench, area around #4 gun heavily hit. #3 gun bogie tossed 30 feet up on top of gun. Lt. Pace and #3 gun crew narrowly escaped death—saved by splinter proofs. #3 splinter proof one fourth destroyed. Dive-bombers began to work on Corregidor now. They are quite inaccurate.
Sky conditions: - intense heat, glare, and haze made picking up targets a very difficult job. Vitamin deficiency in the diet, although not yet serious, had already caused a lessening in the individual's power of vision. The Battery Commander got cod liver oil and Boric Acid solution from the hospital to try to combat this. Japanese planes very cleverly made their attacks--especially high altitude ones--when the sun was in the position most disadvantageous to AA Batteries. Night bombing attacks ceased about April 15. They had never constituted a serious threat. Bombers alone would have been unable to work such a hardship and loss of ability to fire on Battery C. The artillery from Bataan alone could accomplish that. Despite the rigorous nature of life on Morrison Hill, C Battery was determined to stick it out--not to leave the hill.
|April 27, 1942||
Lt. Phillips (Air Corps) attached. He was met by a 3-hour afternoon barrage. Bombers braver now; came in at 7500 to 9000 yds altitude. F Btry; H Btry and B Btry received heavy shelling too. Battery C went into action and got one plane.
|April 28, 1942||
Terrific barrage fell upon C Battery. Men were standing by to fire when shelling began -- right into position. Battery ordered to “take cover." Lt. Pace remained out to see that each and every man reached safe shelter. When the last man at the guns was safe under shelter Lt. Pace was killed by a direct hit of a 105 mm shell. He was recommended for an Oak Leave Cluster to the Silver Star previously recommended. Lt. Pace was a superior officer. He was described by 1st Sgt. William E. Beeman (29 years' service and was a World War I veteran of France and Siberia) was my idea of an officer and a gentleman. Lt. Pace's coolness under fire and his intrepid bravery were a source of inspiration to the entire battery, officers and men alike.
|April 29, 1942||
More shelling. Btry commander ordered to reconnoiter for a new position. Capt. Ames, Sgts. Perry and Smith and Pvt. Gastelu reconnoitered four areas. These later gone over with other Btry officers. A position near Concepcion Barrio with terrain mask towards Bataan was selected. Regt'l commander and HD Commander were informed of the position selected. Battery C stood ready to start work on this new position, and awaited the commander's decision to go ahead.
|April 30, 1942||
Capt. Cornwall was relieved from the battery and assigned to Battery D as Battery Commander. His farewell message deeply impressed men who had come to admire and respect him greatly. Battery C again struggled back into action. Ordnance repairmen serviced M-4 Director during barrage, ate supper with Capt. Ames in the director splinterproofs as the shells burst around the area.
May 2, 1942
1st Lt. Fortney assigned. Greeted by heavy artillery barrage--definitely a daily occurrence now. HD batteries give Bataan heavy barrage in early morning. 4:00 pm Battery Geary 12" mortars destroyed when 240 mm projectile entered powder magazine and set off 1600 62-pound full section powder charges. One 30-ton mortar landed on golf course; others landed in south channel and on south shore road. Shock like that of an earthquake. Pfc. Tearman killed by flying debris during shelling. Pvts. Goodrich and Hinson exposed themselves to help him. Silver Stars recommended.
On May 2, Battery Geary, 12-inch Seacoast Mortar Battery, was blown up due to the enemy artillery fire penetrating the powder magazines. This Japanese photograph gives the best view of the desolation remaining.
Filipino employees K.P.s, etc., were loyal. Not one attempted to desert the
In order to get paperwork accomplished, consult with AACP, visit men in
hospital and inspect repairs being made on equipment by Ordnance, it was
necessary that frequent visits to Malinta Tunnel be made by an officer.
Due to the fact that treatment of his injury, received on April 12,
required daily trip to Malinta Hospital, Captain Ames made the trip nearly
every evening from April 12 to the end, and took care of these matters.
These trips were usually made in the early evening.
Much of the constant fortification and refortification work was done
during the evenings. The other
Battery Officers deserve great credit for the way they executed the orders
of the Battery Commander and applied their initiative to the problems, which
arose during this work when the Battery Commander was unable to be present.
The terrific artillery barrages to which Corregidor was being
subjected--not to mention the airplane bombardment--were taking their toll.
Beach defenses were badly hit, especially east of Malinta Hill where
infantry lines had become nearly untenable.
AA Batteries were suffering damage--not permanent
but enough to lessen their combined effectiveness materially.
Bombers got more daring, flew at lower altitudes, and as a result were
Artillery Barrages came at all hours of the day and night. Frequently four or five areas of the island would be under barrage at the same time. Malinta Hill and the area east of it were devastated. The North shore as a whole was heavily worked over. The roads on Corregidor which at one time had been effectively camouflaged by bordering trees (which made natural foliage tunnels through the woods of most of the tactical roads) were now bare and clearly visible--shelves along the steep sides of the island. Traffic on these roads was greatly curtailed. Trucks were very likely to be greeted with sudden fire. Most of the wooden buildings on Corregidor which had not been bombed away had by this time been burned as a result of fires ignited by enemy shells. Our 155 mm G.P.F. (Roving) Batteries did noble work. They drew a great deal of fire upon themselves. The Bottomside area--except for the power plant and cold storage plant, which led almost completely charmed existences--was a shambles. It was a nasty place to cross when going to or from Malinta tunnel. One felt positively in the spotlight for artillery batteries on Bataan as he walked from the power Plant to the tunnel. The road net at Bottomside, the docks, the tunnel entrance, etc. were a constant and frequently accepted invitation to the enemy to shell the area. The road net at Middleside was also a frequent target. All in all, being on Corregidor was (as one news correspondent put it) "like living on a bulls eye." And Morrison Hill was well into the black center. The enemy employed a captive "sausage" balloon on Bataan to spot its artillery fire. Airplanes and ground O.P.'s were also used. Their fire was quite accurate. We learned to respect their ability as artillerymen. Battery C observed and also spotted for Seacoast Batteries.
|May 3-4, 1942||
More and more enemy Batteries active on Bataan, all the way from Lamao to Mariveles. Counterbattery fire from Corregidor, Ft. Hughes, Ft. Drum and even Ft. Frank unable to silence these guns. Water system on Corregidor disrupted. Plenty of water in wells, but power and pipes shelled out. Battery C continued ready for action. Bombers, high and low, now became very active.
May 5, 1942
Hundreds of surrendered troops mill around awaiting orders as to their fate. The true circumstances of the surrender will not be known in the West for until 1943-44. Dispirited and directionless, many not knowing why they have been surrendered, groups of men stand around waiting for orders. Some units maintained cohesiveness due to strong leadership, but others fell apart from lacklustre officers more interested in themselves than the welfare of their men. Hell had only just opened its doors to them.
Whether by disgust at being disallowed to fight ("We were ready to have our own Alamo," says veteran survivor Al McGrew), by a desire to signify the Army's inability to take care of them any more, or by desire to make it that much more difficult for the Japs to identify them, many men removed their dogtags and threw them away, grinding them into the dust.
Barrages more furious than ever now.
C Battery under barrage most of the day, working on trench works in evening.
Catholic Chaplain Bauman at the battery.
Holds confession in the evening and midnight mass in Battery C's tunnel.
Midnight "lunch" served to men. About 12:15 am information that enemy
had landed on eastern end of island received.
Battery C ordered to standby for use as infantry in our foxhole line.
Equipment and ammunition checked.
Men allowed to rest under shelter.
A double serving of breakfast was served at 4:00 am. About 4:30 am 1st Bn Hq
ordered Battery C to man local defense positions. Men went willingly,
enthusiastic at the chance for hand to hand combat. Officers checked the men
into foxholes and MG positions.
At daybreak a terrific artillery barrage fell directly on the line of
foxholes causing numerous casualties.
Dive-bombers bombed the vicinity.
By that time it was apparent that no enemy troops were on the island on the
near (west) side of Malinta Hill.
Marine troops were supposed to hold lines to our right and left flanks under
conditions which called for our battery to man its lines--i.e. when beach
defense lines had been penetrated.
No retirement of Marines from the beaches, no movements of reserves to the
area, and no enemy activity were discernible.
Distant firing of small arms and automatic weapons could be heard beyond
Enemy and friendly artillery was very active. Due to artillery
barrages wire communications with Bottomside
(AACP) had been cut since before 1:00 am. Lines to the 1st Bn C.P.
were cut several times during the morning, repaired, and cut finally at
about 11:00 am.
In order to avoid unnecessary losses, 1st Bn HQ approved the withdrawal
of C Battery's men from the infantry positions to nearby shelter where they
were to stand by for further orders.
This at about 6:30 am. In
the withdrawal of men from foxholes it was -necessary to evacuate the
wounded. Heavy artillery fire continued to fall over the entire
area. Dive bombing and strafing
continued. Pvt. Shook was
killed in his foxhole by a direct shell hit. Pvt. Freeman was mortally
wounded; died the next day.
Others wounded were Sgt. Smith, PFC Thompson, Pvt. Sumrow, Pvt Stanfill and
In spite of the intense artillery barrage and the ever-present planes low overhead, many men performed deeds of brilliant gallantry in succouring the wounded. Private Freeman, mortally wounded, did not wish to have his fellow soldiers expose themselves for his sake. He called “everything is OK here, fellows." As a result he did not receive the help until some time later the help and first aid treatment, which might, if earlier applied, have saved his life. Chap. Bauman scoured the area time after time during the heaviest of the shelling searching for, calling attention to, and aiding the wounded. Others who performed deeds of gallantry and who earned citations were: Lt. Chancy, 1st Sgt. Beeman Sgts. Perry, Smith, and Gajdanowicz, Cpls Davis and Hocevar, Pfcs Holm, Shifflett, Sumrow, Watson and Wright, and Pvts. Creecy, Serna, Smith, Turner, and Underwood. Also recommended for citation was Pfc. Suobiron, Med. Corps (PS).
Men were held under cover and resting until 11:00
am when a message was received from Bn HQ informing the battery that enemy
artillery fire would cease at 12:00 noon, and ordering demolition of
equipment prior to then.
The men were bewildered and disconsolate--many in tears and rage at the
sudden collapse of Corregidor's long stand.
Although they found it hard to understand, they set out with a will to
see that nothing useful would be left of Battery C' s AAA equipment when the
enemy took over.
Previously organized and instructed demolition details went to work. In a short time only scrap metal remained of our AA
All men were ordered to prepare to evacuate
Class "C" (canned) Field
Ration was issued. At
about 1:00 pm, with dive-bombers diving and strafing the road, the battery
was marched to Middleside Tunnel where the wounded, carried there in
litters, were given further medical care and the battery remained till the
When leaving Morrison Hill, C Battery's men were
very downhearted. They did not know till days later why it had been
necessary to surrender and to this day they feel thwarted in their desires
to lock grips with the enemy.
A piteous sight as the battery marched away from Morrison Hill never to
return was the Filipino K.P., Elias Monsalud (nicknamed "Jawbone"), who had
for 13 years been a faithful employee of the battery.
He was in tears, completely broken up, sobbing.
May 6, 1942
|May 7, 1942||
On May 7, along with other troops in Middleside tunnel, Battery C surrendered to the Japanese Army and became prisoners of war.
Ames survived internment at the
POW No. 1 Camp, and even more extraordinarily, survived the
barbaric evacuation to Japan on the tragic
Maru/Enoura Maru/Brazil Maru transports. He died two days
after his arrival in Muji. He was survived by a
daughter, Karol, who was born on Corregidor on 18 March, 1940.
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|Thanks to Tom Gulick for assistance with keying this article.|