The moore reporT

index for part b

A.    Command and Staff
B.    Maintenance Status
C.    Armament
D.    Underground Protection
E.    War Plans
F.     Specific Preparatory Measures
    1. Evacuation of Personnel
    2. Training
    3. Construction
    4. Protective measures other than construction
    5. Increase in personnel on alert status
    6. Increase in garrison
    7. New materiel secured
    8. Mines
    9. Supply
G.    Concurrent Naval Preparation
    1. Dry dock "Dewey" moved
    2. Contact mine fields laid
    3. Radio Intercept Tunnel completed and equipped
    4. Naval Headquarters offices prepared
    5. Torpedo Replenishment Depot prepared
H.    Final Preparation for War



A.    Command and Staff  ^ 

I assumed command of the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays 14 February 1941. The following principal staff officers were on duty in the Harbor Defenses on that date:

Col. Joseph F. Cottrell, CAC, Executive

Lt. Col. Louis J. Bowler, CAC, Adjutant and Personnel Officer

Lt. Col. William C. Braly, CAC, Operation Officer

Lt. Col. Leonard R. Crews, CAC, Supply Officer

Lt. Col. Samuel McCullough, CAC, Intelligence and Executive Officer for Beach Defense

Each of them functioned in that capacity until the fall of the Philippines on 6 May 1942. These officers were particularly suited for duty at Corregidor. All had served there before and were intimately acquainted with the activities and status of the Harbor Defenses. Their courage equalled their ability and to them individually and collectively belongs a large share of the credit for the determined and prolonged defense of the fortified islands.

B.     Maintenance Status  ^ 

There had been a gradual deterioration of all elements of the defenses of the various forts of the Harbor Defenses during the years immediately preceding the war due to lack of maintenance funds. The condition of the materiel and the status of supply cannot be blamed on the former commanders or the War Department. It is within my own knowledge and can be verified from War Department records that successive commanders of the Harbor Defenses had repeatedly called attention to conditions and recommended remedial action and that they had done everything possible with the means at their disposal to maintain the command in a state of readiness for war. The fact that little had been done since the original installation of the armament in the forts to improve conditions to meet the threat of attack from the air and land can be laid solely to our traditional policy of unpreparedness, our limited peace time appropriations, limitation of armament as imposed by treaty restrictions, and the disinclination to expend funds on installations in the Philippines due to their imminent independence and not to any lack of effort or understanding by local commanders and responsible persons in the War Department.

Responsible officials in the War Department had done everything in their power consistent with appropriations to aid in maintaining the Harbor Defenses in a prepared state to meet conditions of modern warfare. As war clouds began to gather in 1941 substantial appropriations were made and such increases as could be done in personnel and materiel allocated to the Harbor Defenses taking into account the priority of the defense of the Philippines and as was consistent with commitments to other projects.

C.     Armament  ^ 

The seacoast armament in the various forts of the Harbor Defenses was all of pre-World War I type. The forts had been designed and the seacoast batteries emplaced prior to the present-day concept of air warfare. As designed and emplaced the armament was admirable for its purpose, viz: To deny the entrances to Manila and Subic Bays to enemy naval vessels. It actually accomplished its mission without firing a single shot at an enemy warship. Although from the observing stations of the command. Japanese cruisers and destroyers could be seen any day maintaining the blockade of Manila Bay well out of range of the armament, not once did an enemy warship fire on the forts nor was any attack made on the mine fields by surface craft. The fortresses were not designed to withstand a landing attack from adjacent shore supported by overwhelming artillery emplaced thereon. The protection of the flanks of the line of fortified islands was a function of such mobile forces as were available in the Philippines. Failure to do this on both flanks exposed the fortifications to a condition which ultimately crushed their resistance and led to their capitulation. With the exception of the turret guns on Fort Drum the batteries were all of the open outmoded type. They were not adequately resistant to air or ground artillery high angle fire attack and, as sited and equipped with ammunition for use against naval targets, were generally incapable of efficiently contributing to the landward defense of the fortresses. Only the turret guns, the 12-in mortars, and two 12-in long range flat trajectory guns on Corregidor, were capable of all round fire.

The 3-in guns available for antiaircraft defense, due to the necessity of siting them practically on the targets to be protected and to limitations of design, were incapable of firing on attacking aircraft before the bomb release points had been reached.

D. Underground Protection  ^ 

For years efforts had been made to secure funds for adequate bombproofing of utilities, command posts, fire control cables and installations, and for adequate personnel shelters and beach defense installations. Except for three bombproof shelters for a very limited number of personnel located in James Ravine at Breakwater Point, in Power Plant Ravine, and the Malinta Tunnel System such adequate facilities were practically nonexistent upon outbreak of war. The Malinta Tunnel System had been constructed in spite of all restrictions. (Intra-link to the Article by Paschal R. Strong "The Lean Years") This tunnel system under Malinta Hill on Corregidor consisted of a main tunnel about 30 feet wide and 1400 feet long, with a number of laterals opening off each side (See Exhibit J). One of these led into Malinta Hospital with its lateral forward while another on the opposite side connected through to the Navy tunnels constructed in 1939, 1940, and 1941 and located under the south side of Malinta Hill. A double track electric car line led through the main tunnel of the Malinta System. The whole system had reinforced concrete walls, floors, and overhead arches, and was equipped with powerful blowers for ventilating purposes. While not complete in many details as planned, this tunnel system when expanded and improved as described in Exhibit "E", did furnish shelter for a hospital, high command headquarters, essential utilities and supplies, shop facilities; and for operating personnel of service, headquarters, and signal troops. Without the shelter afforded by Malinta Tunnel it is believed organized defense in the Philippines would have collapsed in its early stages. Before the outbreak of hostilities most of the laterals leading off the main tunnel were filled with ammunition which later had to be removed to other less secure storage to make room for command requirements. The space provided for hospital facilities proved to be inadequate and before the end, four of the laterals leading off the main tunnel had been converted into hospital wards.

E. War Plans  ^ 

To anyone serving in the Philippines during the years immediately preceding World War II the thought of war with Japan was ever present. A surprise attack on Corregidor was a distinct probability. Visualizing this, war plans provided a dual assignment for all Harbor Defense troops: first, an M-Day assignment to their organic armament; second, an assignment to emergency Beach Defense missions in the event of a surprise landing attack by the Japanese prior to a formal declaration of war. Since 1934 one antiaircraft battery and a skeleton beach defense had been maintained on a twenty-four hour alert status. In addition to its vulnerability to surprise attack by Japanese task forces there was an immediate situation at Corregidor which, while apparently harmless, constituted a real threat to the garrison. Any night from Topside on Corregidor looking out toward Manila a hundred or more vessels of the Japanese fishing fleet could be seen drifting about within 1500 or 2000 yards of the Corregidor shore Each of these boats was capable of carrying 100 men. The thought of what might happen some dark night if these boats fully loaded with armed Japanese made a dash for the Corregidor shore while the garrison was quietly sleeping was an unpleasant one. Such surprise rush on Corregidor beaches from the fishing fleet, combined with an air attack might well have been launched without warning and unless the garrison was on the alert would have had a good chance of success.

F. Specific Preparatory Measures  ^ 

As time progressed from February 1941 it became increasingly evident that world conditions and America's participation in international affairs were such as to make war a distinct probability in the immediate future. Accordingly, early in 1941 intensive preparations were instituted for the provision of such means as were possible to increase the effectiveness of the Harbor Defenses; and efforts never slackened until the fall of Corregidor on 6 May 1942. For purposes of this report it is thought significant to list and briefly comment on such preparations for improvement of the defenses of the fortified islands as were accomplished or instituted during this period. Exhibit "E" hereto covers in more detail some of the more important projects started just prior to and during this period.

           1. Evacuation of Personnel  ^ 

Early in the year the evacuation of the families of American personnel in the Harbor Defenses to the United States was initiated the last of them left the fortified islands in June 1941.

The evacuation of Bilibid prisoners was initiated and 4,000 other civilian Asiatics evacuated from Corregidor to Luzon. The evacuation of the civilians was completed in August 1941 and the last of the Bilibid prisoners were returned to Manila in December 1941.

2. Training  ^ 

Each training year it was the practice to stage what was known as a "War Condition Period," wherein the command was tested as nearly as was practicable for its war readiness. This year the time allocated to this training phase was doubled. Training hours were also extended and on an active basis regardless of the rainy season which previously had always been for indoor instruction.

Frequent H-Day, Beach Defense, and Antiaircraft Information Service exercises were conducted.

A series of conferences on war plans was conducted.

A four-month radio operator school was conducted and the radio network enlarged and improved.

Special plans were completed for protection from incendiary bombing and many practices in air raid alarms held, both day and night, to include occupation of air raid shelters, tests of alarm devices and blackouts.

A Philippine Army training center for seacoast artillery was established on Corregidor and four batteries trained.

Special firings were conducted by all units.

A special school for Diesel tractor drivers was established and intensive training given.

Special training in extended order and infantry minor tactics with special reference to beach defense assignment of respective units was given.

A paratroop defense was organized and troops trained.

3. Construction  ^ 

Nine new antiaircraft machine gun towers were constructed and five existing towers were strengthened.

Additional wells were drilled on Corregidor. One at the west end of Malinta Tunnel proved to be of inestimable value to the garrison. The distillation plants at Forts Drum and Frank were overhauled and put in operating c6ndition.

By means of salvage cable telephone, communication was established between Fort Wint and Olongapo.

Open Fire Control stations were inclosed, and the fire control system revised to include assignment of new base lines and new base end stations.

New magazines were constructed at Batteries Rook Point, Sunset, Kyser, and Frank North. All tunnel work expedited.

New barracks at Forts Mills and Hughes were constructed and old ones rehabilitated.

Additional water storage tanks were erected to provide reserve water supply and operating pressure for the water and sewer systems in Malinta Tunnel Hospital.

A water line was completed from Calumpan dam to Fort Frank.

Roads were constructed to antiaircraft positions on Bataan; the runways at Kindley Field were lengthened and approaches cleared.

Beach defense obstacles were erected and the excavation for Malinta Tunnel Hospital was completed.

Additional beach defense pill boxes were constructed.

4. Protective measures other than construction  ^ 

Measures were taken to shield battery and observing station lights fr6m view from sea and air.

All materiel were overhauled where necessary and the mine project revised.

Antiaircraft machine guns were emplaced and protected by sandbags at seacoast batteries for local protection.

Allotments of $40,000 for protective sandbags and $30,000 for miscellaneous items were secured.

Plans and estimates were prepared and submitted for underground protection of personnel at mobile batteries, utilities, supply storage, and certain headquarters; also. for gas proofing of personnel shelters and for air conditioning Fort Drum. At the same time allocations of allotments to beach defense projects were made.

Camouflage measures were expedited including the issue of materials; fields of fire of batteries and view of observation stations were cleared.

Surveillance of sea and air was increased.

Steel helmets and gas masks were issued.

Naval liaison and Inshore Patrol Station were established, the latter put in operation on Corregidor.

Reserve stocks of ammunition, barbed wire, and sandbags were issued.

5. Increase in personnel on alert status  ^ 

A field officer of the day was added to the detail required to be on 24hour alert; all organizations were rotated at their battle stations and the personnel of the garrison on an alert status was increased.

Additional troops and materiel were sent to Forts Hughes, Frank, Drum, and Wint.

6. Increase in garrison  ^ 

Additional personnel was assigned to the Harbor Defense during this period. A small increase was made in the Philippine Scout Component and the 59th CA and 60th CA (AA) were substantially increased, and the regiments reorganized. An intensive recruit training schedule was carried out to bring the new men rapidly abreast of the rest of the garrison.

7. New materiel secured  ^ 

Additional AA materiel was secured and battle positions improved. Additional 155-mm batteries on Panama mounts were installed.

b. The Fort Drum antiaircraft battery was modernized.

8. Mines  ^ 

a. An auxiliary mine planter, the commercial vessel Neptune which was suitable for the purpose, was leased.

b. Controlled mine fields were planted. Work started in July and was finished in August.

c. Four and one-half miles of land cable for the submarine mine project was laid.

d. Materiel was received for a new mine system and new casemate equipment installed and mine field replanted. The independent power source at the mine casemate was modernized at this time. All this work was accomplished in such a manner that an effective mine field was maintained at all times.

9. Supply  ^ 

a. Reserve stocks of ammunition, food, and maintenance stores were built up insofar as obtainable.


G. Concurrent Naval Preparation  ^ 

Concurrently with the above preparations by the Harbor Defenses and supplementing the defense of the fortified islands, the U.S. Navy completed a number of operations of a preparatory nature during the Summer and fall of 1941. Among these were the following:

          1. Dry dock "Dewey" moved  ^ 

The following dry dock "Dewey" was towed from Olongapo to a better protected location in Mariveles Bay opposite Corregidor and an anti-submarine net installed across the entrance to Mariveles Harbor.

          2. Contact mine fields laid  ^ 

Several rows of contact mine fields were laid from Coehinos Point (southern tip of Bataan) to Monja Island and from Breakwater Point on Corregidor to the Cavite shore south of Fort Frank. (See Mine Field Chart, Exhibit 4'B" map.) The Navy contact mine fields together with the Harbor Defense controlled mines completely closed the entrances to Manila Bay.

          3. Radio Intercept Tunnel completed and equipped  ^ 

On Corregidor island the Navy completed an elaborately equipped radio intercept tunnel for use in radio direction finding and communication, together with extensive antennae system and other accessories.

          4. Naval Headquarters offices prepared  ^ 

In a tunnel system under the south side on Malinta Hill, and connecting with the main Malinta Tunnel, offices were prepared for Naval District Headquarters, including radio transmitting and receiving stations. The navy also took over all ship to shore communications.

          5. Torpedo Replenishment Depot prepared   ^ 

Adjacent to Naval Headquarters; in another section of the Navy tunnel, a Torpedo Depot was installed. From this an inclined railway led down to the south dock which was also modified to facilitate rapid torpedo replenishment for submarines. This proved of great value during the war when submarines would enter the bay during the early part of the night, via the controlled mine channel, re-fuelled and replenished with torpedoes at the south dock, and clear the harbor before daylight.


H. Final Preparation for War  ^ 


Late in the evening of 28 November 1941 I received a message from General MacArthur in Manila to the effect that negotiations with Japan were breaking down and that I was to take such measures as I saw fit to insure the readiness of the command to meet any eventuality. I immediately assembled my principal staff officers and the Commanders of the Seaward and Antiaircraft Defenses and directed the complete occupation of battle stations throughout the Harbor Defenses and that all war plans be placed in effect. By daylight 29 November the command was as ready for war as was possible with the means available.