THE MOORE REPORT
ANNEX F

the anti-aircraft defense command 
 

Conduct of Operations - 8 December 1941- 6 May 1942
Period 8- 28 December 1941
Period 29 December 1941- 6 January 1942
Period 7 January - 23 March 1942
Period 24 March - 2 April 1942
Period 3 - 8 April 1942
Period 9 April – 6 May 1942

Conduct of Operations - 8 December 1941 - 6 May 1942 ^

 

 

1. In addition to performing the usual functions pertaining to anti-aircraft artillery defense, the Anti-aircraft Defense Command operated an air warning service for all defense and other personnel on the fortified islands of Manila Bay and naval and other vessels nearby.

2. Operations of the active defense were governed by the provisions of War Department manuals; directives from the harbor defense commanders; previously prepared annexes of the "War Plan Orange" HDM & SB; and a few "Standard Operating Procedure" directives promulgated by Anti-aircraft Defense Headquarters and relating to such matters as tactical organization, the conduct of 3-in gun fire, the conduct of automatic weapons fire, ammunition reports and supply, battle reserves of gasoline, "flash" system and other communications procedures. Those directives were supplemented or modified to the minimum extent necessary, and only as occasion demanded, by orders and/or instructions through the normal channels of command.

3. a. The Command was organized initially as follows:

(1)

  Headquarters:

AA Defense Commander:

CO, 60th CA (AA)

Staff:

Regimental Staff, 60th CA (AA), Augmented

Troops:

Dets Hq Etry, 1st and 2d Bns, 60th CA (AA)

(2)

  Mills-Hughes Gun Defense:

Commander:

CO, 1st Bn, 60th CA (AA)

Troops:

(a) Fort Mills: 1st Bn, 6Oth CA (AA) (less Btry "A") with Btrys "F" and "H" 60th CA (AA) attached

(b) Fort Hughes: Btry I 5th CA (HD) Armament: twenty-four 3-in AA guns (Mobile)

(3)

  Fort Drum Gun Defense:

Commander:

CO, AA Dets Btry "E", 5~h CA (HD)

Troops:

Dets Btry "E", 59th CA (HD)

Armament:

two 3-in AA guns (M-1917) (Fixed)

(4)

  Fort Frank Gun Defense:

Commander:

CO, Btry "E", 91st CA (PS)

Troops:

Btry "E", 91st CA (PS)

Armament:

four 3-in AA guns (Mobile)

(5)

  Bataan Gun Defense Group:

Commander:

CO, 2d Bn, 60th CA (AA)

Troops:

2d Bn, 6Oth CA (AA) (less Btrys "E", "F" and "H")

Armament:

four 3-in AA guns (Mobile)

(6)

  Machine Gun Defense:

Commander:

CO, 3d Bn, 6Oth CA (AA)

Troops:

3d Bn, 6Oth CA (AA)

Armament:

forty-eight .50 cal. Machine Guns (Tripod Mount)

(7)

  Searchlight Defense:

Commander:

Searchlight Officer, AA Defense

Troops:

Btrys "A" and "E", 60th CA (AA)

Materiel:

eighteen 60-in Searchlight Units eighteen Sound Locators
four 8CR 268 (RDF) Sets

(8)

  Anti-aircraft Artillery Intelligence Service (and Warning Service)

Troops:

Dets Regt and Bn Hq Btrys, 60th CA (AA)

b. The anti-aircraft machine gun defenses of Forts Hughes, Drum, and Frank functioned directly under their respective Fort Commanders. From time to time the 3-in battery at Fort Frank was released by Harbor Defense to the Fort Commander for firing against land targets in Cavite Province.

c. Because of the reduced strength of the 6Oth CA (AA) there was not sufficient personnel to man all six of the SCR 268 sets and all of the thirty searchlights assigned to Batteries "A" and "E". Further-more inasmuch as defense troops for the Cavite-Batangas headland never occupied that area, which fell into enemy hands almost immediately after the occupation of Manila on 2 January, extension of the searchlight defense into that area was impracticable. In the circumstances twelve of the searchlight units assigned were not needed except for replacement purposes.

d. The names of commanding officers, staff officers and battery officers as of 8 December 1941 are given in Exhibit K, Personnel Annex.

4. For purposes of facility, rapidity, and clarity in voice communications, batteries of the Anti-aircraft Defense were assigned the following code names which, for convenience, will be used henceforth in this report in referring to particular batteries:

Btry A, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Albany

Btry B, 6Oth Coast Arty (AA)

Boston

Btry C, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Chicago

Btry D, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Denver

Btry E, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Erie

Btry F, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Flint

Btry G, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Globe

Btry H, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Hartford

Btry I, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Indiana

Btry K, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Kingston

Btry L, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Lansing

Btry M, 60th Coast Arty (AA)

Mobile

AA Detachment, Btry E, 59th Coast Arty (HD)

Exeter

Btry I, 59th Coast Arty (HD)

Idaho

Btry E, 91st Coast Arty (PS)

Ermita

Btry C, 91st Coast Arty (PS)

Cebu

5. a. On 8 December 1941, Mobile was detached by higher authority; at 1915, proceeded via the harbor boat Mamboucal, without motor transportation, to Manila where, in accordance with a previously prepared ("Sixth Sector") plan, it was disposed to provide anti-aircraft machine gun protection of important localities in the Manila area, including Nichols Field.

b. Upon the detachment of Mobile the following adjustments were made in Machine gun defense disposition at Fort Mills: One section of Kingston was shifted from Spanish Fort to the top of Malinta Hill. Two sections of Lansing - one from vicinity of G-3 Section, Top-side, and one from Topside Water Towers-were shifted to vacated positions at Kindley Field.

6. Complete S-3 reports, as of 1830 covering the preceding twenty-four hour period, were submitted daily to Harbor Defense Headquarters. Information covered in those reports included:

a. Time of all air raid alarm and all "all clear" signals

b. Composition of enemy forces (number and type of planes)

c. Time of every commencing and ceasing of fire by the Defense

d. Number of rounds of ammunition expended by calibers

e. The damage inflicted upon the enemy, in terms of planes shot down, planes severely damaged and probably lost to him.

f. damages to the Anti-aircraft Defense. The retained copies of those reports, as well as the "Operations overlays," message center register, journals and diaries kept in the Anti-aircraft Defense C.P. were destroyed on 6 May 1942, along with all secret documents and maps, to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.

  

  

Period 8-28 December 1941  ^

  

  

7. During the period 8-28 December 1941 enemy aerial activity in the general area was directed against Manila, Nichols Field, the Cavite Navy Yard, naval and merchant ships in Manila Bay, the Cabcaben area, and naval installations and facilities in and near Mariveles Harbor. Occasionally enemy formations came within range of the gun defenses and were fired upon.

8. The first air raid alarm signal was sounded at 1026, 8 December. There was no action during the ensuing alarm period.

9. The first defensive fire action occurred at 1315, 8 December, when a formation of three enemy bombers engaged in operations over Manila Bay came within range of and were fired upon by Denver and Idaho. One bomber was shot down or heavily damaged by Denver with an expenditure of thirty-seven rounds of ammunition. Idaho fired forty-one without hitting.

10. On 10 December, at 1305, one enemy bomber of a formation of twenty-seven at 22,000 feet altitude was shot down by the gun defenses with an expenditure of 339 rounds of 3-in ammunition.

11. On 13 December, at about 1250, one enemy bomber of a formation of seventeen was shot down over North Channel by the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense. This formation was fired upon also by the Machine Gun Defense, perhaps due to inexperience and nervousness, as the range was grossly excessive for Machine guns. The expenditure of ammunition in this action was also very high for the results accomplished.

12. There were four or five other fire actions during the period 8-28 December. Details of ammunition expenditure and results are not recalled, but on the whole the 3-in gun firings during the early days were below the desired standard of accuracy. This was attributed in part to inexperience and tenseness on the part of personnel and also to probable irregular functioning of reworked powder train fuzes, but variation from expected muzzle velocity was also strongly suspected as an important contributing cause. The lots of 3-in ammunition on hand in the Harbor Defenses were numerous, but on 15 December muzzle velocity tests were fired using ten rounds from each of two lots of which the greatest number of rounds was on hand. The test indicated quite a variation from expected muzzle velocity and the necessary corrections were applied. Incidentally about thirty three and one-third percent of the rounds fired in the tests produced low order of detonation bursts. Another measure taken about the time of the MV tests was limiting a gun battery to not over six rounds per gun at any one target on any one course as per Standard Operating Procedure Directive. (A target having passed beyond or crossed over the defended area and turned back being considered to have taken a new course.) After those two measures were taken and as personnel became more "seasoned" there was marked improvement in gun firings and results were more in consonance with am-munition expenditures.

13. In all their firings throughout the campaign, gun batteries employed carefully prepared precision fire. Individual tracer control was used in all machine gun firings. Standard Operating Procedure limited the maximum range of caliber .50 machine gun to 1000 yards.

14. On or about 26 December, Cebu, which upon evacuation of Fort Wint had withdrawn to Bataan Peninsula, was reassigned to the Anti-aircraft Defense for tactical employment. The battery was thereupon attached tactically to the 2d Battalion, 6Oth Coast Artillery (AA) and assigned to position in the vicinity of the cemetery north of Mariveles, which position is proceeded at once to occupy and organize. Later on, when construction of a landing field in that area was begun, Cebu was, of necessity, moved a short distance northward where it remained until its withdrawal to Fort Mills on the night of 8 April 1942.

15. On or about 27 December, utilizing commandeered and abandoned motor vehicles secured in Manila, Mobile returned via road to Cabcaben and thence by barge to Fort Mills. Upon arrival at Fort Mills that battery was reassigned to its former battle positions. With the re-occupation of those positions by Mobile the released section of Kingston and one of the sections of Lansing reoccupied their former positions at Spanish Fort and the vicinity of G-3 Station respectively. The other section of Lansing was moved to a new position at Ordnance Point and shortly thereafter to a location in the Denver gun position area, that battery having no caliber .50 machine guns of its own.

16. From 8 to 28 December (inclusive) there were twenty-six air raid alarm periods.

  

  

Period 29 December 1941-6 January 1942   ^

  

  

17. The first aerial attack on the fortified islands occurred on 29 December 1941, with Corregidor as its objective. It was a major attack lasting from 1145 until approximately 1415. The attacking forces consisted of three formations of twenty-seven planes each and also approximately ten lighter planes. There were no friendly planes in the air. In fact no friendly aviation participated in the defense of the fortified islands at any time during the enemy operations against them. The heavy bombers-Navy from Taiwan approached in formation of twenty-seven, broke into smaller formation and, in waves, made approximately thirteen crossings over Corregidor in directions generally lengthwise of the island. Altitudes were about 18,000 to 20,000 feet. It is estimated that more than sixty tons of bombs were dropped on Corregidor during this attack. Areas bombed were Topside (mainly), Middleside, Bottomside, and Kindley Field. There was also some machine gun strafing by the lighter planes and the Mariveles area and three boats in North Channel received some bombs. All batteries of the Defense, but mainly those at Forts Mills and Hughes and Globe in Bataan, participated in the action. Exact ammunition expenditures in this or any action of later date were not recalled, but approximately 1100 to 1300 rounds of 3-in ammunition were fired during this attack. In this day's action thirteen planes, nine heavy bombers by the gun defense, and four strafing planes by the machine gun defense-were shot down. Because of the effectiveness of the Machine Gun Defense only one passing attack was made by the strafing planes, four out of ten having been shot down in that passing attack. In fact no further low flying strafing attacks were made on Corregidor, except for occasional individual planes, until the final assault in May 1942. The action on 29 December resulted in the enemy's raising his bombing altitudes from 18,000-20,000 feet to 24,000-28,000 feet.

The following commendation was issued by the Harbor Defense Commander:

    

 

HEADQUARTERS HARBOR DEFENCE OF MANILA AND SUBIC BAY
OFFICE OF THE HARBOR DEFENCE COMMANDER
FORT MILLS, P.I.

December 31, 1941

Subject:  Commendation
To:  The Officers and Men of the Anti-Aircraft Command
Thru: The Commanding Officer, 6Oth Coast Artillery (AA))

1. The Commanding General, Philippine Coast Artillery Command, desire to make of record his commendation of the performance of all elements of the Anti-Aircraft Defense Command of these Harbor Defenses during the bombing raids on December 29, 1941.

2. On the many reports received at this headquarters, all have testified to the superior behavior of our Anti-Aircraft personnel under heavy bombing attacks is a proud record of soldierly action and a high caliber of discipline under fire which these officers and men have made in this first serious combat action of the war in the Harbor Defenses.

s/t

GEO. F. MOORE

Major General, U.S. Army

Commanding



  

18. On or about 30 December 1941, a detachment of U.S. Marines, consisting of two lieutenants and approximately seventy enlisted men of the Cavite Navy Yard complement, with twelve caliber .50 anti-air-craft machine guns having been attached for tactical purposes, joined and were disposed as follows:

1 platoon (1 officer and approximately 24 enlisted men with 4 machine guns)- to Fort Hughes

1 section (approximately 12 enlisted men with 2 machine guns) - to Fort Drum

1 platoon and 1 section (1 officer and approximately 34 enlisted men, with 6 machine guns)-to the Machine Gun Defense, Fort Mills. Attached for tactical purposes to Indiana.

The platoon at Fort Hughes and the section at Fort Drum functioned under direct control of the respective Fort Commanders. The platoon at Fort Mills was assigned to the position near Battery Cheney theretofore occupied by a platoon of Indiana. The later platoon was moved to a position near the Harbor Defense Searchlight CP, Topside. The section at Fort Mills was assigned to, occupied and organized a position just southwest of the southwest end of the Topside parade ground.

19. There were bombing attacks on the fortified islands daily during the period 2-6 January 1942, another attack on 14 January and another, quite a minor affair, on Fort Frank, on 2 March 1942.

a. Almost all the abovementioned enemy operations began between 1220 and 1310 and lasted from 1330 - in the case of the earlier starting hour-to 1530, except that on 4 and 6 January there were also minor morning attacks of shorter duration and that on 2 March occurred shortly before dark.

b. Altitudes were almost exclusively high - normally well above 20,000 feet. Speeds were around 160 miles per hour, maybe a little higher. Exception is made in the case of the 2 March attack in which the altitude was less, the speed higher.

c. Corregidor was the enemy objective of all attacks except that on 2 January, Fort Drum and on 5 January, Fort Frank were included objectives, and on 2 March the latter was the sole objective attacked.

d. Each attack was met by fire action by the Defense. Except where otherwise stated the enemy attacking forces were composed entirely of heavy bi-motored bombers.

(1) On 2 January there were fifty-four enemy planes operating in the area of the defense at 1430. On 3 January there were sixty-five enemy planes operating over Corregidor at 1245. In the afternoon action of 4 January seven enemy planes were shot down out of thirty-five participating in the attack. On the morning of 5 January, in the course of an attack on Mariveles by five bombers, Globe shot down one and hit another and in the afternoon of that day one bomber was shot down and two others were hit by the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense during an attack on Corregidor. On 5 January the ratio a plane shot down to 3-in anti-aircraft rounds fired to date was one plane to each 126 rounds.

(2) The operations on the afternoon of 6 January were of about the same proportions as those on the afternoons of 2-5 January. Ml were of considerable magnitude. The operations on 14 January were only slightly less in volume and intensity.

(3) The figures given in sub-paragraph (1) above were quite incomplete. For example it was known that at least one bomber was shot down in each of the afternoon operations 2-6 January and 14 January and additional bombers were hit. But other than those given, the results of the defensive fire actions in terms of planes shot down or hit and less severely damaged, and the total number of planes in the attacks were not recalled, nor were there any records or other information thereon available at this time. On the whole, however, the actions were very successful considering the limitation of weapons and ammunitions at hand.

e. The chief area receiving bombs in the above series of attacks was Topside, Corregidor, except on 4 January, when it was Bottomside.

f. Damage to the Anti-aircraft Defense was relatively unimportant. Some 3-in ammunitions were hit and exploded and a few motor vehicles were damaged beyond repair, but all other damages - i~ncluding damages to directors, communications, and one gun mount and cut data transmission cables-were repaired within twelve hours time. Although the gun mount had an outrigger damaged beyond repair, the remaining three outriggers were spread at equal angles and the gun continued in service hence mounted until some days later when the missing part was replaced with one salvaged in Bataan.

g. Battle casualties among personnel at the Anti-aircraft Defense Command were moderate. Among those killed was Capt. Alvin L. Hamilton, who commanded Lansing and was killed at his command post on Geary Point when that station received a direct bomb-hit on 2 January 1942. 1st Lt. Kenneth L. Boggs was thereupon assigned to command Lansing. The battery command post and Geary Point machine gun section were moved to the vicinity of Battery Ramsey.

h. The minor attack on Fort Frank on 2 March was made by two medium bombers. There were no casualties nor damage suffered by the Defense. One enemy bomber was hit by Ermita.

20. The Anti-aircraft Defense Command Post closed at Battery Way at 0315, 4 January 1942 and opened in Lateral 9, Malinta Tunnel the same date and hour. The Battery Way location had received numerous bomb near-hits. Its overhead protection had been seriously reduced by direct hits and timber needed for interior bracing was not available. The change in location afforded the personnel a sense of security, and less disturbance of much needed rest while off duty, thereby making for maximum efficiency of performance. But what was of even greater importance was its proximity to higher headquarters making immediately available very valuable information of enemy aerial activities obtained by the Signal Intelligence Service.

  

  

Period 7 January-23 March 1942  ^

 

  

21. Other than the two attacks –14 January and 2 March– mentioned in paragraph 19, there were, during the period 7 January-23 March (inclusive) no enemy aerial operations of any importance to the defense of the fortified islands within effective range of our anti-aircraft armament located thereon. Exeter, Denver, Ermita, and Idaho each engaged in brief fire actions at small enemy formations entering their fields of fire, and one or more fire units of Mobile engaged in two brief fire actions, each at a single plane passing over or close-by Corregidor. But generally the enemy appeared to carefully avoid the area. On the other hand, in their operations over Bataan enemy formations not infrequently came within effective range of Globe and/or Cebu and were fired upon with very good results in terms of planes shot down and additional planes hit but not destroyed.

22. There was a total of forty-eight air raid alarm periods during this period of twenty-five days.

23. Two thousand seven hundred rounds of 3-in H.E. shell with mechanical fuzes arrived via submarine on 3 February 1942 and partly filled the sorely felt need of greater range. This ammunition was distributed to Boston and Chicago in such amounts that together with the mechanical fuze ammunition remaining on hand at Boston those two batteries had equal amounts of such ammunition; and there were thenceforth two batteries which could be expected to reach the enemy effectively at the higher of his customary operating altitudes. This distribution was a compromise as between providing for more effective coverage through increased volume and flexibility of fire, over shorter period of time, and providing for minimum possible coverage over a maximum possible period of duration.

24. Also late in January 1941 a 1.1-in quadruple mounted automatic weapon intended for shipboard service, together with several thousand rounds of ammunition, was turned over to the Defense by the local Naval authorities. Under supervision of the Machine Gun Defense Commander that weapon was emplaced on an especially constructed concrete base atop Malinta Hill. A small Crossley automobile motor, a tank and a small boat pump, all salvaged, were used in the water cooling system. Manned by a detachment of men selected from the 3d Battalion, 6Oth Coast Artillery (AA) and trained by a Naval gunner, it was assigned to Mobile for tactical control and first got into action on or about 11 February. Although its effectiveness was reduced because there was no director available, the "one-point-one" rendered good service-mainly through its apparent effect on enemy morale, and particularly in the zone lying between the minimum and maximum effective ranges respectively of 3-in guns and .50-caliber machine guns-until it was destroyed by enemy artillery fire a few days prior to the capitulation.

25. In February, No.4 Searchlight Section of Albany, located near the northeast corner of, and one .50 caliber machine gun squad of the platoon of mobile west of Kindley Landing Field, had to be moved to make way for enlargement of that field by the Engineers. Choice of suitable sites was very limited. There were no other localities as suitable as those which had to be vacated. The searchlight section was moved to Cavalry Point. The machine gun squad was moved to the south of the landing field and attached to the platoon of Mobile already in position there.

26. On 15 March 1942 during the course of a heavy bombardment of Fort Frank by enemy artillery situated in Cavite Province, all four of Ermita's guns were damaged. Two of the guns were damaged beyond repair. The other two guns were repaired and the battery continued in service with them until the end. With its fire power thus reduced Ermita was incapable of coping with any aerial attack in suitable strength against Fort Frank, but fortunately the enemy made no such attack.

27. Exeter was damaged by enemy artillery fire from Cavite Province in February, again on 16 February and again on 15 March 1942, but in each of those instances the damages were repaired within a few hours. Later in March (or early in April) Exeter was put out of commission permanently by enemy artillery fire from Cavite and Fort Drum's available means of active anti-aircraft defense was reduced to a few machine guns. However, the enemy had never succeeded in bombing Fort Drum effectively from the air - in fact he made very few attempts to bomb that fort either before or after Exeter's destruction so the loss of the battery was not keenly felt as it might otherwise have been. Exeter's M-1 height finder and power plant were transferred to Idaho. Such other parts of its equipment as might be of use in toto or in repairing damages sustained by other batteries, including its M-4 Director were transferred to Corregidor.

28. Enemy artillery fire from the Cavite shore in mid-March resulted in serious damage to the electrical control system of Albany's searchlight unit on Fort Drum. The light, however, was continued in service by manual control.

  

 

Period 24 March-2 April 1942   ^

 

 

29. After having received replacement for losses suffered in his operations over Bataan and the fortified islands, mainly during January, and having been reinforced by additional bomber units, the enemy air force, on 24 March 1942 renewed their bombing attacks on the Harbor Defenses and points nearby. Those attacks were a part of renewal by the enemy of his general attack in Luzon and there were daily occurrences from 24 March to 2 April, both dates inclusive. During that period of ten days there were a total of sixty-four air raid alarms, of which thirty-four occurred during the day and the rest at night. The period under air raid alarm totaled seventy-three hours and fifty-seven minutes in duration, of which fifty-five hours and fifteen minutes were during daylight and the remainder at night.

30. a. Operations were numerous. There were morning and afternoon bombing attacks and defensive fire actions throughout the period except on 2 April, when they were confined in the morning hours. On 25, 26, 29, 31 March and 1 April, attacks begun in the morning were continued into the early afternoon. There were also one or more attacks, or contemplated attacks each night except the night of 27 March.

b. In addition to the institution of night attacks the following improvements in enemy tactics were noted upon the resumption of the bombing offensive against Corregidor on 24 March:

(1)  

Daylight bombing runs were supported by artillery fire from the mainland.

(2)  

Bombing runs were made from out of the sun, greatly in-creasing our difficulty in picking up formations.

(3)  

A trailing plane was often used following the main bombing unit about one minute behind.

(4)  

Formations changed course and altitude immediately upon releasing bomb loads

(5)

Bombing waves never exceeded nine planes.

c. Corregidor was the objective of all attacks on the fortified is-lands. On a number of occasions there were also bombing operations against Mariveles, and/or other localities in the extreme south of Bataan Peninsula, wherein Globe and Cebu and in some cases gun batteries on Corregidor, were in action.

31. On 24 March, according to the only recorded information available at this time, fifty-three bombers (five waves of nine and one wave of eight bombers) attacked during the period from 0924 to approximately 0950, and a formation of nine and another of seven bombers attacked at about 1435 and 1438, respectively. There was also a bombing attack during the 1552-1620 air raid alarm period, but no information of enemy strength in that attack is available now Allowing for the latter attack and for other probable omissions from the available in-formation, a conservative estimate would place the total number of attacking planes in the daylight attacks of 24 March at the least eighty, of which some formations may have been "repeaters," considering the time intervals between bombings and between air raid periods, and the time-distance between Clark Field and Corregidor.

32. Entries in the "H" Station on Duty Officer's J0urnal on 25 March 1942 indicate that two formations of nine, one of five and one of ten bombers made an attack each-with intervals of from fifty minutes to one hour and twenty-three minutes between bombings during the first daylight alarm period; and one formation of nine bombers at-tacked during the second such period on that date. Considering the duration of the first alarm period and the elapsed time between bombings and also the fact that there were two other alarm periods during the afternoon, the foregoing figures should not be taken as truly indicative of the full strength of the enemy in his daylight operations in the area of the defense, nor of the total number of daytime fire actions engaged in by the Anti-aircraft Defense on 25 March, but they do reflect the minimum strength of enemy forces which succeeded in drop-ping bombs on Corregidor. From recollection I would say the daytime operations on 25 March were in magnitude almost on a par with those on the preceding day.

33. a. There were bombing attacks within the areas of the Defenses during at least twenty of the twenty-six daylight air raid alarm periods of the eight days from 26 March to 2 April (inclusive). Of those attacks three-one each on 27, 28, and 31 March-were directed against Mariveles and/or other areas in the southern extremity of Bataan; all others were directed against Corregidor.

b. During the remaining six daytime alarm periods one each on 27 and 28 December, two on 30 March and one each on 31 March and 1 April-there were hostile aerial activities over or near the defended areas, but insofar as information at hand reveals, no bombings or other forms of attack on those areas. During one of the later periods, however, viz., the first of the two on the afternoon of 30 March, a formation of two bi-motored bombers approached Corregidor at an altitude of a little over 20,000 feet in what may have been an attempted attack. Both of those bombers were shot down by direct hits in a brief fire action participated in by Denver, Chicago, Hartford, and Boston. Intercepted radio messages revealed great concern by the enemy over the loss of those planes, perhaps because of the presence aboard of a person or persons of more than ordinary importance.

34. Because of insufficient information from the only available record and my recollections and that of other available personnel of the erstwhile Anti-aircraft Defense Command still alive, specific details of the operations 24 March-2 April, other than the few already mentioned, cannot be given. (For the same reason, except in a few instances, specific details of the operations 3 April-6 May are not available for inclusion in this report.) Generally speaking, however, the following remarks are applicable to the daytime operations during the period under discussion.

a. Inasmuch as the enemy heavy bomber operations were now based at Clark Field, his attacks extended over a longer period of the daylight hours than those of December January. But the attacks during any one alarm period were somewhat less intensive. Daily aggregate numerical strength of attacking forces after 24 March was somewhat smaller than on that date.

b. Throughout the period the enemy continued his early January practice of operating at high altitudes, but now his bombing altitude averaged even higher than before, being generally from about 7300 yards up to as high as 9300 yards. There were times when all the batteries of the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense, except Boston and Chicago, were kept silent because of limitation imposed by the powder-train fuzes. The need for more powerful weapons such as the 90-mm gun or enough mechanical fuze ammunition to provide all 3-in gun batteries with sufficient supply for a reasonably prolonged period of time – which need had been apparent in the prewar planning and felt in the early January actions – was increasingly felt.

c. Some of the fire actions engaged in by Globe and Cebu were at medium bombers which descended via power glides to lower altitudes. Bombs were released at objectives in Bataan.

d. Considering the limitations of the armament and powder-train fuzes the gun defense did remarkably well in this series of daylight operations. They kept the enemy formations at extremely high altitudes and exacted a heavy toll in planes shot down and planes damaged. In the latter respect the results averaged about on a par with those attained in the 29 December- 6 January actions.

e. The machine gun defenses were rarely in action because of the altitudes at which the enemy conducted his operations.

35. a. The first night operations against the fortified islands occurred on the night 24 March 1942 when three heavy bombers succeeded in dropping three light bombs in Cheney Ravine at 2155, and a similar formation succeeded in dropping a few light bombs on the Bottomside area at 2150. Both of those actions were made at 27,000 feet, were illuminated by the Searchlight Defense and fired on by the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense with unknown results. No damage nor casualties resulted from those two bombings.

b. Just after dark on 25 March another light attack resulted in the burning of a warehouse in the dock area and a barge lying off the Engineer Wharf, Corregidor.

c. During the nine nights–25 March to 2 April inclusive–twenty-one more nine attacks were attempted. In each of six of the attempts the enemy was successful in dropping a few small bombs on Corregidor; no damage resulted. The remaining fifteen attempts were frustrated by the Searchlight Defense. The enemy operations were conducted by small formations of from 1 to 3 heavy bombers flying at from 24,000 to 27,000 feet altitude. All attacks that came within range of the gun defense–nineteen in number–were illuminated by the search-lights.

36. a. The enemy's night operations against Corregidor during the period 24 March-2 April constituted about 75 percent of all such operations undertaken by him against the Harbor Defenses during the entire Luzon campaign. Altogether, his operations during those ten nights and subsequently thereto were very unsuccessful, causing relatively little damage.

b. The Searchlight Defense picked up and carried the enemy every time he came within the range of the lights. Usually illumination by the lights appeared to confuse the aviators. In numerous instances the attackers would, when picked up and carried, turn away; sometimes to renew their efforts from another direction, sometimes abandoning their attempts altogether. Their bombing accuracy under illumination was extremely poor as compared to daylight bombings. The use of Bataan and Corregidor lights on some attacks and the Drum, Hughes, and Corregidor lights on other attacks caused the enemy aviators difficulty in keeping their bombing runs oriented and usually resulted in their dropping their bombs in the water.

c. The Mills-Hughes Gun Defense fired at the night raiders whenever practicable taking into consideration the altitudes which were usually too high for good results with the guns and ammunition at hand. An attempt was made to get fighter support during this period to take advantage of the illuminated bombers, but none was available.

d. After 6 April 1942 the enemy abandoned his night bombing attempts against the Harbor Defenses.

37. On Corregidor, work by battery personnel on the construction of bombproof tunnels at various battery positions and a bombproof cave for Albany's command post on Malinta Hill neared completion.

  

  

Period 3-8 April 1942  ^ 

  

  

38. The period 3-8 April, all dates inclusive, was relatively quiet for the Anti-aircraft Defense. During that time the enemy was concentrating his efforts on his Bataan offensive which culminated on 9 April in the capitulation of the Luzon Force; and except for four small scale bombing attacks on Fort Frank, two or three attempted unsuccessful night attacks against Corregidor by very small forces; and the inconvenience imposed by air raid alarm and alert period, the fortified islands were unmolested from the air.

39. In their operations over Bataan, enemy air formation bomb-attacked the Mariveles area, bombed Base Hospital No. 1 ("Little Baguio") once, and on a few other occasions came within range of Cebu and/or Globe, whereupon one or both of those batteries engaged in fire actions.

40. Of the attacks on Fort Frank, one was made in the morning 4 April, one each in the morning and afternoon 7 April, another in the morning of 8 April. Each attack was by two medium or light bombers. In the four attacks, although Ermita's firing produced no hits, a total of six small bombs hit on the island, whereas ten fell in the surrounding waters. The only casualty and damage suffered by the Defense occurred on 8 April when one bomb of four dropped hit near a .50-caliber machine gun position, wounding two enlisted men and demolishing an ammunition shed. These attacks were made at altitudes in the intermediate zone normally covered by automatic weapons of 37- or 40-mm caliber.

41. From midnight 2 April until dawn 9 April there were twenty daytime air raid alarm periods, totaling eleven hours and thirty minutes duration, and seven night air raid alarm periods totaling two hours and fifty-eight minutes under air raid alert. For the most part these alarms were due to enemy aerial operations over lower Bataan in connection with his final offensive on that peninsula.

42. In the afternoon of 7 April, in anticipation of the fall of Bataan, effort was made to withdraw from Bataan to Corregidor five searchlight units of Erie which were in reserve. But the towing boat and barge which had been sent to Cabcaben for the movement were forbidden use of the wharf there–reportedly by the officer in charge of the wharf area–and the withdrawal was never accomplished. The five searchlight units were destroyed in Bataan 8 April by battery personnel.

43. a. On 8 April, it being apparent that the fall of Bataan was a matter of but a few hours time, orders were issued for withdrawal of the 2d Battalion, 60th Coast Artillery (AA) (less Batteries F and H), with Cebu attached, to Corregidor via Mariveles. There were but few motor trucks available, boat space was limited and it was anticipated the movement along roads in Bataan would be difficult and slow. Accordingly, inasmuch as an additional gun battery at Corregidor was deemed to be more important to the Defense after the fall of Bataan than part or all of Erie's searchlights and RDF's, first priority in the movement was ordered to be given to Globe. It was also ordered that all equipment and ammunition which could not be brought to Corregidor be destroyed, special attention to be given to the destruction of 5CR 268 sets, 3-in guns and fire control equipment and searchlight units.

b. The withdrawal was accomplished 8 April, the water movement and disembarkation being made at night. Much difficulty was encountered in the movement in Bataan. There was a great deal of congestion and confusion along the roads and in the Mariveles area, caused by disorganized troops of the Luzon Force and civilian refugees. Because of forcible intervention by the military police occasioned by those conditions, Globe had to leave two guns behind. But that battery managed to withdraw all other equipment and approximately 650 rounds of 3-in ammunition. Erie and Cebu had to leave behind practically all of their heavy and bulky artillery equipment including two RDF's, searchlights and allied equipment, 3-in guns, fire control equipment, and ammunition. All guns and other equipment left behind were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

  

  

Period 9 April–6 May 1942   ^

  

  

44. Following their arrival on Corregidor the organizations which had been in Bataan were assigned for tactical employment as follows:

a Battery C, 91st Coast Artillery (PS), Cebu: Relieved from assignment to the Anti-aircraft Defense and assigned to the Seaward Defense to man seacoast guns.

b. Battery E, 60th Coast Artillery (AA), Erie: Less two searchlight sections assigned to the Seaward Defense to man Battery Way (12-in SC Mortars). Two searchlight sections under command of an officer (2d Lieutenant Goldsmith), equipped with two of Albany's spare searchlight units which had been in the hands of the Harbor Defense Artillery Engineer, to be held available on call from Harbor Defense Headquarters for employment by the Seaward Defense.

c. Globe: Assigned to the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense. (After a few days rest the battery prepared and occupied a position on the golf course, Topside, Corregidor. Later on, one gun was transferred from Flint to Globe, giving each of those batteries three guns.)

d. Headquarters 2d Battalion, 60th Coast Artillery (AA): To the Mills-Hughes Defense.

e. Headquarters Battery and Ammunition Train 2d Battalion, 60th Coast Artillery (AA): To the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense, Corregidor. Approximately twenty enlisted men detached to the Seaward Defense for observation and spotting duties.

f. Certain commissioned officers of the above organizations were transferred or attached to other units, or assigned to duties away from their respective units as follows:

(1) From Erie: one lieutenant (Fortney) transferred to Chicago; one lieutenant (Cullison) transferred to Denver; one lieutenant (Weeks) attached to Hq 1st Bn, 60th CA (AA).

(2) From Headquarters 2d Battalion: one major (Massello) to duty in charge of training personnel to man Battery Way and placing that battery on active status; one lieutenant (King) to duties in Antiaircraft Defense Command Post.

(3) From Headquarters Battery, 2d Battalion: one lieutenant (Kilduff) to duties in Anti-aircraft Defense Command Post.

45. a. The enemy air force resumed its attacks against the Harbor Defense on the morning of 9 April and continued them daily, except 26 April, until 7 May inclusive. Also on 9 April the enemy began massing artillery near the southern shore of the Bataan Peninsula and on the morning of 12 April inaugurated a period of daily shellings from that area which likewise lasted until 7 May.

b. Those air attacks and artillery shellings, together with a continuation of the artillery fire from Cavite Province, were obviously for the purpose of wearing down the defenses in preparation for landing and assault operations on Corregidor, and from the launching of the latter operations on the night 5 May they were in support thereof. The Bataan artillery performed its role particularly well insofar as the Anti-aircraft Defense was concerned. Its firings were the primary agency in eventually wearing down the Defense to a state wherein its effectiveness was greatly reduced.

46. a. From midnight, 9 April to 1500, 1 May there were a total of 108 air raid alarms, of which 103 were during the day and 5 were at night. The periods under air raid alarms totaled seventy-eight hours and twenty-eight minutes in duration, of which seventy-four hours and fifty-nine minutes were during the day and three hours and twenty-eight minutes were at night.

b. There were twenty-five air raid alarm periods during the period from 1500, 1 May until the evening, 5 May. The duration of those periods was not of record. By sometime between midnight 5 May and dawn on 6 May the alarm siren system and all telephone communication lines from the Anti-aircraft Defense Command Post had been rendered inoperable because of damages inflicted by enemy artillery fire. Thenceforth there were no air raid alarms from the CP.

47. a. Usually during this period 9 April-1 May the bombing attacks began between the hours of 0815 and 1000, and the last one occurred at some time between 1435 and 1800. On 18 April however, the attacks were confined to the morning hours, and on 21, 22, 24, 27, and 28 April they were confined to the afternoon hours. There were enemy aerial activities during the morning of 26 April, but no attacks were made on that day. There were also hostile low flying aerial activities by very small forces on the nights of 9, 13, 14 April, and 5 May. The latter activity was obviously intended to draw illumination by the searchlights and fire by the machine guns in order to facilitate firing by the Bataan artillery on those elements of the Defense. This thinly disguised ruse by the enemy was easily detected and action by the Defense was refused.

b. From 2 to 5 May (both dates inclusive) there were one or more morning and one or more afternoon attacks each day. On 6 May there were twenty-six bombing attacks on Corregidor, Fort Hughes, and boats in their vicinity.

48. In total daily volume the enemy operations from 9 to 12 April and from 29 April to 1 May (all dates inclusive) were almost on a par, day for day, with those of 24 March. On each of the remaining days of the period 9 April-S May (inclusive) the enemy operations were of smaller scale. On 18, 22, 24, 26 and 28 April they were of very small volume.

49. An extremely large majority of the attacks were directed solely against Corregidor. It was attacked one or more times daily, except 20, 22, 24, 26, and possibly 19 April. Fort Hughes was an objective on 10, 15, 17, 19, 20, 25, 29, and 30 April and 2, 3, 5, and perhaps 4 May also. It was the sole objective on 22 April. Fort Drum was an additional objective on 20, 23, 29 April, and 1 May, as was Fort Frank on 10 and 20 April. Boats at anchor near Corregidor or Fort Hughes were attacked on 19, 23-25, and 28 April and 2 and 4 May.

50. a. Heavy bombers attacked in formations varying in strength from two to nine such planes and at high altitudes. But as the days went by and the defensive firings became less accurate and of less volume (because of damages to equipment and installations from artillery fire and bombings; the necessity of taking cover during enemy counter-battery firings; and somewhat reduced efficiency of personnel through nervous strain and physical fatigue) operating altitudes were reduced some and averaged less for the entire period than in previous periods. The heavy bombers devoted their attention almost entirely to Corregidor.

b. Medium bombers were more in evidence than they had been theretofore. Operating in formations of from 2 to 6 planes, they usually bombed at altitudes of 3000 feet or a little higher, at the end of power glides. Thirty-seven or forty millimeter anti-aircraft guns with directors and remote control would have been very useful in combating their attacks. Until 29 April the medium bombers operated almost entirely against the outpost forts–mainly Fort Hughes–and boats at anchor near Corregidor and Fort Hughes. On and after that date they frequently attacked Corregidor also.

51. Although each attack was met with all of the fire power available, and the personnel never failed to exert their utmost efforts and acquitted themselves magnificently in face of the heavy odds against the Defense, there was a drop in the damages inflicted on the attacking forces, until the last day's action, when the enemy threw precaution to the winds and attacked at much lower altitudes with resulting loss of ten to thirteen planes.

52. As the days passed casualties and damages to equipment and installations mounted. Communications became increasingly difficult to maintain; damages to guns, directors, and height finders rendered them unserviceable in increasing numbers and for increasing periods of time-in some cases permanently. On some occasions there were but one or two height finders on Corregidor which were operable and altitudes were sent by telephone to the other batteries.

a. In the course of the operations on the morning of 12 April bombs and artillery shells fell throughout Chicago's position on Morrison Hill, destroying the kitchen, damaging the switchboard, badly cutting communication lines and data transmission cables, and wounding several men. Chicago was put out of action for several hours thereafter. On 13 April, between 1225 and 1245, in the course of another shelling during an air alarm period that battery lost one of its guns permanently through a direct hit. Thereafter Chicago was bombed and shelled several more times with resulting damages to equipment and on one such occasion–in the latter part of April–1st Lt. Herbert Pace, Jr., assistant battery executive, was killed by a shell fragment while directing gun crews to cover. By 1 May Chicago had been so heavily pounded by the enemy and it was deemed advisable to transfer its remaining mechanical fuze ammunition to Globe and that was done. Movement to another position had been carefully considered. But available and suitable locations affording a reasonable amount of coverage of the approaches from the Northeast, North, and Northwest, and at the same time providing sufficient cover from the enemy artillery fire to compensate for the protection afforded by the bombproofs and other field work of the Morrison Hill position could not be found. Therefore Chicago remained in its initial position and continued in service with three guns, then two, and at the very end one gun, and ammunition with time-train fuzes.

b. On 13 April, in the course of a shelling of Denver's area during the 1224-1245 air raid period, 1st Lt. George Levagood, battery executive, and an enlisted man of that battery were killed when a shell hit the executive officer's station, and the director was damaged by another shell which hit near its emplacement. Before and after those events Denver was bombed and/or shelled numerous times, with resulting damages to and/or destruction of equipment and installations, destruction of ammunition, and casualties among its personnel. On or about 21 April two guns were damaged, one of them beyond repair, by a direct hit, the other so badly that several days' work were required to restore it to serviceable condition. On 24 April 2d Lt. Dewey G. Brady (former 1st Sergeant of the battery, who had received his appointment on that date) was killed at his post at the firing battery.

About 24 April it was decided to move Denver to a position near Battery Keyes, authority having been obtained to remove several Navy radio poles near that site to clear the field of fire. The new position was as exposed to shelling from Cavite Province as was the old position, but the Kindley Field Ridge gave it some protection against the shelling from Bataan, which was causing the most damage. The new emplacements were to be dug-in, at night; the three guns were to be moved one at a time and during darkness, so that two guns would always be ready for action during the enemy's customary hours of air operations. Refugees from Bataan were sent to do the digging, but by the night 26 April they had accomplished so little, battery personnel had to take over the work. One emplacement had been completed, two were nearing completion, and one gun was under cover nearby, awaiting emplacement that night when, on 30 April, the enemy commenced intensified shelling of the Kindley Field Ridge and vicinity which, during the ensuing four days, resulted in wholesale damage or destruction of almost all of Denver's materiel and equipment. The two guns still on the ridge, the director, and on 3 May, the height finder, were among the equipment destroyed or damaged beyond the possibilities of repair. The battery was rendered incapable of further gun defense action. (Note: The third gun was destroyed by battery personnel on the night of 5 May.)

c. Due to their locations, Chicago and Denver were probably subjected to greater punishment than the other batteries. Except for the machine gun elements along the south shore of the head of the island, and some of the searchlight sections, practically all elements of the Defense situated on Corregidor sustained severe damages from enemy artillery fire, or bombings, at one time or another during the week or ten days immediately preceding the night 5 May. Among the most severe damages were the following: Boston had one of its 3-in guns hit and damaged beyond repair in late April; Albany lost a searchlight unit on 3 May when a quantity of dynamite, stored on Cavalry Point was hit and detonated by a bursting shell; Globe's height finder was damaged beyond repair by flying fragments when Battery Geary's magazine was blown-up on 2 May. (Note: Flint's height finder was transferred to Globe.) Mobile lost a .50-caliber machine gun when two of its three emplacements at the west end of Kindley Field were demolished by shell fire; and two or three more of its .50-caliber machine guns and the 1.1-in multiple mount weapon were destroyed by shellings from Malinta Hill between 29 April and 4 May. 2nd Lt. Stanley Friedline of Mobile was fatally burned during a shelling of Malinta Hill on 29 April when a bursting shell ignited gasoline in drums stored near a seacoast searchlight power plant shelter in which he and a man of his platoon had taken cover. He died upon reaching the hospital that same day. Kingston's Skipper Hill positions were practically wiped out and three of the four .50-caliber machine guns there were destroyed. The remaining gun was shifted to Spanish Fort replacing one which had been destroyed there.

53. On the night 29 April about 750 mechanical fuzes arrived from Australia via Navy PBY plane. By that time their importance to the Defense had greatly diminished.

54. At the beginning of the period 29 April-6 May the enemy was operating twenty-five heavy bombers dally against Corregidor. During that period his heavy bombers were reduced to nineteen, six having been accounted for by the Mills-Hughes Gun Defense. In the final assault on Corregidor the Machine Gun Defense accounted for four light bombers.

55. Shortly before 2100, on the night 5 May sound locators of the Searchlight Defense picked up the sound of many landing barge motors being warmed up in the vicinity of Limay, Bataan. Upon its receipt at the Anti-aircraft Defense CP that information was at once transmitted to "H" Station.

56. At some time between 2230, 5 May and 0130, 6 May the Anti-aircraft Defense Commander was notified by Harbor Defense that Denver and Flint were being transferred to the Beach Defense for employment as infantry. Subsequently Denver was in action as infantry in the defense of the eastern end of Corregidor. At about 0200, 6 May, Flint received orders from Harbor Defense to report as an infantry company to Headquarters 2d Battalion 4th Marines at Middleside Tunnel. Leaving a detail at the battery position to destroy all materiel and other artillery equipment in accordance with its approved plan, if and when orders for destruction were received, the battery proceeded forthwith to Middleside Tunnel, reported as ordered, and remained there until the surrender.

57. At 1040, 6 May, orders were received from the Harbor Defense Commander to carry out destruction of all materiel of .50-caliber and above, and all other artillery equipment in accordance with previously prepared plans for destruction, commencing at 1100, and to be completed by 1200. On Corregidor this mission was fully accomplished within the time specified. I have since been informed that the instructions were not received at Fort Hughes and the anti-aircraft guns and other equipment of Idaho were not destroyed.

58. The destruction and damages inflicted upon the enemy air forces by the Anti-aircraft Defense during the entire campaign were as follows:

Planes shot down

87

Additional planes heavily damaged and probably lost to the enemy

19

Additional planes hit but less severely damaged

66

Inasmuch as the planes fired upon were for the most part heavy bombers, with crew of six or seven men–the remaining targets being medium and in a few cases light bombers–the enemy's loss in flying personnel was considerable.   

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NOTES:

Corregidor - Then & Now GHQ Coast Artillery - Harbor Defenses | 503d  RHQ |  503d PRCT Heritage Bn. | Rock Force | Board

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