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M I N E P L A N T E R

The US Army Mineplanter (USAMP) HARRISON was commissioned in 1919 and was named for General George Harrison, the first American governor of the Philippines. It maintained the minefield in the North Channel of Manila Bay (the Navy maintained the South Channel minefields from their base in Cavité), adding to the defenses of the much better-known "big guns" of Corregidor. 

The mines of Corregidor were controlled mines,  individually fired by electronic control from a control room. In the case of the field placed across the North Channel, the control room was in James Ravine. Pre-war, the minefields were not placed into operation.

Someone within the War Department must have had a wry sense of humour as West Point graduate (Class of '35) Harry J. Harrison's first assignment on Corregidor was as commander of the US Army Mineplanter (USAMP) Harrison. Prior to his appointment to the command of the boat, he had no nautical experience of any sort.

 

S U B M A R I N E S

For the Navy's twenty-nine submarines disaster came early. In one devastating raid on December 10 fifty-four Japanese high-level bombers completely burned out the compact and crowded Cavite navy base. They damaged one submarine beyond repair, and what was perhaps worse, destroyed 230 torpedoes. From then on the submarines were forced to refuel and take on torpedoes from Corregidor, as the Orange Plan had foreseen. What nobody had foreseen, however, was how difficult submarine operations would be with the Japanese commanding the air over Manila Bay. And so by December 31, all of the submarines had left for Fremantle in Australia.

CORREGIDOR - SAGA OF A FORTRESS
James H & William Belote

 

BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS BY PERMISSION SELMA CALMES, COLOR PHOTO BY KEN POOLE

 

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