“I” 60th coast artillery (a.a.)
by Capt. E. M. Shiley
of the Sixtieth CA (AA)
was organized on
was the old
“E”, 60th CA which was split to form Batteries I and L.
property and records remained with
With the men from Battery E and
recruits who arrived from the United States in April,
officers and the strength of Battery I was approximately 110 officers and
men one December,7 1941. The
armament manned by the battery was 12 - 50 cal. machine guns, water cooled, A.A.
tripods. Captain E.M.Shiley
commanded the battery, with 1st Lt. Hackett battery executive and 2nd Lt. Bode
platoon commander. The 1st Sgt. was
Frank E. Minnis and the staff sergeant was B. Vanlandingham.
the evening of November 28, orders were received to double the alert positions
normally manned by
“I” at Morrison Hill and Battery Cheney.
On the morning of November 29th the entire battery moved to the field and
took up their previously prepared war positions. The positions manned were as
follows: Battery CP, in a small
bombproof immediate1y in front of G-4 station on Way Hill. At this position was
the Battery Commander, 1st Sgt., Communication Cpl., battery clerk, supply Sgt.
and four switch board operators. Also
on Way Hill was one machine gun section with one gun mounted on each of two
towers. A section of two guns was
emplaced in dug-in positions near Wheeler tunnel. A section was emplaced in
dug-in positions above Battery James, a section had one gun on each of two
towers at the rifle range and another section had a gun on each of two towers at
Morrison Hill. Finally there was a section of 2 guns in dug-in positions
immediately in front of Battery Grubbs parapet.
The men lived in their pup tents except where there were permanent
installations as at Battery Grubbs. The sections messed with the
mess nearest to their positions.
I did not operate a mess.
positions were so widely separated (see sketch) that a
battery mess would have been impractical.
battery furnished one cook and two civilian K.P.s to every mess at which it had
battery had no assigned transports but one Ford sedan and one 1˝ ton truck were
unofficially loaned by the Quartermaster to the battery and were used during the
entire war for hauling water and supplies to the positions.
Communications within the battery was obtained by laying approximately 12
miles of field wire.
November 29 to Dec. 8th, the battery worked improving their positions,
perfecting communications, installing camouflage and improvising their living
quarters. At approximately 4
A.M. on Monday Dec. 8th the battery was alerted and notified that a state of war
existed between the
From December 8th until December 25th the battery was not in action, the
only firing being that firing of all guns.
Dec. 25th the battery fired at enemy planes returning from raiding Manila
these planes were out of tracer range, but the firing on an actual target was
excellent for the morale of the men.
December 29th Corregidor
was bombed for the first time, bombs landing immediately beside the towers at
Way Hill and badly damaging them. At that time the Battalion and Battery
Commanders decided that towers could not be adequately camouflaged, the men
could not get any protection, it was extremely difficult to get water and
ammunition up a tower, wounded men down and that there was great danger of fire
from guns on one tower hitting the gun crews on the other tower at another
position. Therefore it was decided to move the section at Way Hill to dug in
positions at Rock Point. Also at the
Rifle Range the guns were taken off towers and positions were dug in the
immediate vicinity. During the bombing of Dec. 29 the entire battery was in
action. Two planes were downed by the
battery on this day. From then on until the end of the war the battery received
credit for one more plane. In the opinion of the Battery Commander, during the
war the battery downed more planes than it received credit for, but the numerous
guns of other batteries firing on the same target made it almost impossible to
ascertain exactly whose guns hit the plane.
December 3O, 1941 41 members of the 4th United States Marines under the command
of 2nd Lt. James W. Keene were attached to
I. They were equipped with 6 50 cal guns mounted on pedestal AA mounts.
Four of these guns were emplaced in dug in positions at Battery Cheney to
furnish local protection for Battery F 6Oth, gun battery.
Two guns were emplaced in dug in positions at the end of the Topside
Parade Ground near the baseball grandstand.
These Marines conducted themselves in a praiseworthy manner during the
entire war. They cooperated fully, did their work in an excellent manner and
were at all times ready for action. Platoon
Sgt. H.R. Osborne was especially deserving of commendation for his ability and
his actions. He acted as Marine 1st
Sgt. and was in command of the Marines Detachment during any absence of Lt.
Keene. Sgt. Osborne was recommended
for commissioning by all his officers in the chain of command.
during the early part of December 2nd Lt., later 1st Lt. Apra was assigned to
“I” 60th CA.
He was placed in
charge of the sections at Morrison Hill and Battery James and carried out his
duties in a superior manner; His extreme bravery and devotion to duty caused him
to be recommended for a silver star by his battery commander.
the 1st of January until the lull in the bombing in February the battery
suffered no heavy casualties. Several men received minor injuries and positions
were considerably damaged and had to have major repairs.
During the lull in the bombing the battery was greatly improved.
Much of the field wire communications were duplicated by getting parallel
lines in underground cable. Shelters
of several types were built for the entire battery in anticipation.
Under the directions of the Regimental Executive, Lt. Col. Barr, the
camouflage was completely over hauled and improved.
Finally tunnels for storing equipment and giving protection to personnel
were constructed at Rock Point, Battery James and the position at Battery
March 26th, the positions at Battery
Wheeler suffered a direct-bomb hit killing 2 men, Pfc. Judgil and Pvt. Kelly,
and injuring several others, none critically.
The position had to be rebuilt and a new replacement of men detailed to
man it. Also, on April 14,Pvt.
Green, U.S. Marines, was killed at the Battery F position. This was the only
death suffered by the Marines attached to
the fall and surrender of
and the subsequent shelling of
the battery suffered large losses of materiel and great damage to positions.
Several positions under direct observation from
became untenable with the consequent accurate fire brought to bear on them.
The Battery James position suffered the loss of 1 gun which was replaced
by a machine gun borrowed from Battery G.
position was moved about 50 yds behind the shelter of an embankment.
The platoon at Morrison Hill was first moved off its towers to positions
within Battery C's area. When
Battery C went out of action the Morrison Hill section went back to dug in
positions adjacent to their towers. Their
positions were shelled out three times, the section under Lt. Apra building new
positions under cover of darkness each time.
Both of their guns were put out of action twice, each time the Ordnance
machinists repaired them overnight and they were back ready for action at
dawn. Cpl. Moore was recommended for
a Silver Star for his gallantry in action under fire when he rescued materiel
after the position was placed under heavy shell fire.
Battery F had to abandon its position (3” A.A. Gun) on Battery Cheney, the
Marine platoon of 4 A.A. machine guns was moved to previously prepared machine
gun positions near Battery Hearn, a 12”
section near Battery Wheeler was moved to new positions about 100 yds closer to
May 6, when the order to cease firing was given, 16 of the 18 machine guns of
the battery were in action and firing at all targets within range.
for 4 men who suffered shell shock and were subsequently sent by the Medical
for non combatant duty and for the two men killed in action, the battery
suffered no losses during the war. All
men conducted themselves in a highly creditable military manner, and are worthy
of all praise for their attention to duty and efficiency.
the surrender and until
there had been one death. Cpl.
Matthews died of malaria November 22nd at
prior to the war, three Corporals were sent to duty with the Philippine Army.
All of these men, Cpls.
Sgt. Schwabe,. and Cp1. Bunnell were made 2nd Lts. during the war. One Lt.
Bunnell died at