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A. Looking in the lower entrance on the north side of Denver Hill.

BATTERY DENVER TUNNEL
 

Text and Photos by John Moffitt

In the dry season, this is a dry and dusty tunnel but there is evidence on the cracked floors of a lot of water in there at times. The soft rock interior appears to be volcanic in origin with lots of dust. Even thought it has survived all these years, I have a slightly unsafe feeling in this tunnel. I prefer solid rock.

 After crouching low to get inside the entrance, you make a rounded turn towards the right. Mid turn is a short dead-ended lateral on the left. Just ahead is a Y intersection. The tunnel going right is dead-ended so the main tunnel continues to the left.

 The tunnel is low enough that you now have to bend over while walking. After a fairly short distance, you come to an approximately 60 degree upward slope covered with roots and vines. It is very dry and dusty but you can feel a breeze coming towards so you know there is a surface exit somewhere ahead.

 On climbing up to the top of the slope, the tunnel turns 90 degrees to the right. Very soon there is a 45 degree vine covered incline up to the surface. I scared/was scared by one of those 4 ft lizards which was up there. Those buggers sure can run when they want, fortunately in the opposite direction.  

When my heart rate returned to normal, I could see some faint light at the entrance. Since there were so many roots on the slope to the surface, I did not climb up there and exited the tunnel the way I entered.

 On my next trip to Denver Hill (May, 2009), one of my goals that day was to find where the upper entrance to the tunnel reached the surface. Earlier I had recorded a GPS waypoint at the lower entrance and would use that from the top of the hill as a guide.

 Usually tunnel entrances are found at a depression in the side of a hill so you can walk until you see one. This strategy is useless in this area because of all the bomb and shell craters everywhere. You have to go look in each of them. My plan was to start at an old concrete structure on the ridge just west of the tunnel down below. From there I would zig zag horizontally going east and west down the hill.

 Walking was generally not difficult this time of the year but I still had to bypass a few impassable areas due to thick vegetation (bamboo, vines, bushes and thorns). On my third pass I realized I was already too far down the hill.

 The tunnels shape is irregular so I knew the upper entrance would not be directly above the lower one. Since I had only been in it once (Feb, 2009), I decided to go down and into the tunnel again to make a better estimate. On doing this, I had a feeling that the upper entrance would be slightly to the right (west) of straight up the hill.

 Continuing up I found nothing. As I could now see light through the trees up the hill in front of me, I knew I was getting near the top of the ridge along Denver Hill. The only thing between me and the top was one of those impassable areas slightly to the right. Since there was basically no where else to look, I started to cut my way into it.

 After only a couple of minutes, I could see the part of a vertical shaft but could not get near it from this direction. I circled around until I could approach much easier from the upper west side.

 The vegetation is extremely thick here and I had to cut roots and branches for 10 minutes just to clear enough space to take a decent photo.

 From the surface, a smooth walled vertical shaft goes down approximately 15 feet and then the 45 degree downward slope starts. The entrance is clogged with large and small roots and vines. I would guess the troops had a vertical ladder or some sort of steps down there but nothing remains today. The opening is quite large and looks almost as big as Moores Hole above the Middleside Tunnel but not nearly as deep.

 Talk about lack of hindsight, this upper entrance is roughly within 8 vertical feet of the crest of the ridge and only 30 feet from the concrete structure in which I had started this mad journey!!!

 Later, I took some photos of the crude defensive positions along the top of the ridge for Phantom.

 The rainy reason has started a little early this year so there were lots of mosquitoes but fortunately no snakes. That in itself made for a good day. 

That reminds me, the manager of the hotel told me they caught two cobras near the hotel and fed them to the cats. See EXO, those cats are good for something.

 One interesting note, while searching for the upper entrance to Denver tunnel, I found two more tunnels. They were hidden quite well and difficult to see. Both have near collapsed entrances but it would to be possible to get in both by sliding in on your back. From looking in the entrance with a flashlight, one tunnel is dead-ended after about 15 to 20 ft. The other one goes straight in and then turns toward the left so I cannot see how far it goes. There is a slope on entering so a rope (and a buddy) would be wise.

 

John Moffitt

 


B. Looking back towards the lower entrance


C. The tunnel makes a gentle turn towards the right.


D. Y intersection just ahead

 
E:
from the Y, the right side tunnel is dead-ended

F. From the Y, the left side tunnel continues. The ceiling is low along here.

 

G. Near the top of the 60 degree incline you can see the tunnel continuing to the right

H. Looking up part of the 45 degree incline to the surface. Light can just be seen at the end

I. Looking down into the upper entrance to Denver Tunnel

 

 

J. Start (and end) point of the search for the upper tunnel entrance. This building is not on maps. Could this have been Battery Control for Battery Denver since there is no structure designated for that?

 

K. One of the two other tunnels I hidden by vegetation

L. The same tunnel after clearing away some vegetation

M. The second tunnel after clearing away some vegetation.

 

Malinta Gasoline Storage System | Middleside Officer's Qtrs | Btry Denver Tunnel | The Final Line of Defense | Not Finding RJ-43 Btry Chicago
 Malinta's Navy Tunnels (Part 1) (Part 2) | Type 96 AA Gun | A Walk on Tailside | G-1 Command Post

 

GHQ  Historic Corregidor  | Harbor Defense of Manila & Subic Bays  |  Corregidor Under Siege  Retaking Corregidor  |  Rediscovering Corregidor  | Units & Personnel  |  Concrete Battleship Secret Corregidor PX  |  Now Showing |  Archives  |  Bulletin Board | Galleries  |  Mail Call | Links | 503d on the Rock  | 503d Heritage Bn. Rock Force