| E. Final Bombardment and Assault Period 10
April-6 May 1942 ^
The CO Fort Frank reported the fresh water line
cut and two lengths of pipe removed. As no other pipe was available the distillation plant
was again put into operation and water rationed to the garrison.
With our forces in Bataan out of the way the enemy
lost no time in moving his artillery forward and into defiladed positions from which to
pond (pound? - Ed) Corregidor and Fort Hughes. He found many such positions in the
valley occupied by our base Hospital No.2 and proceeded to ring this hospital with his
0830- On the morning of 10 April, for
the first time, an enemy observation balloon was seen rising from the vicinity of Lamao,
concurrently with a bombing attack on Topside. A Japanese plane was seen landing on
Cabcaben airfield just behind our troops on the road.
0835- Second string of bombs landed at
0850- Shells from Cavite shore fell near
0950- Fort Frank under fire.
0952- Four flights of three each bombed
Topside and Morrison Hill.
0958- Two bombers hit Topside.
1045- Two bombers again hit Topside.
1056- Enemy shelled Corregidor from south
mainland (Cavite shore).
1115- Bombs dropped at Bottomside and
1121- One plane landed at Cabcaben.
1127- Two heavy bombers hit Morrison Hill.
1144- Four heavy bombers hit between Morrison
Hill and Middleside.
1147 Three planes bombed Morrison Hill.
1220 Japanese plane took off from Cabcaben.
1222 Long column of troops marched north of
1313- Nine heavy bombers, in flights of
three, dropped bombs along south shore roads.
And so it continued hour after hour. Battery C-6Oth
(8-in AA) was located in Morrison Hill, as were Batteries Morrison and Grubbs (James. Ed.).
The AA battery was a particular objective of enemy bombers that day but shortly
thereafter anything visible from Bataan was subjected to gruelling artillery fire at
comparatively short ranges. With the great elevations available in Bataan for CP's plus
captive balloons and their own air-planes to spot artillery fire for them, the Japanese
were able to adjust quickly and accurately on any point desired. This factor contributed
more than any other to the ultimate wearing down of the defenses to a point where its
effectiveness was greatly reduced. The enemy took advantage of this situation to gradually
lower his customary bombing altitudes.
The day was a repetition of 10 April with
frequent bombings of Topside, Morrison Hill, Middleside, and Bottomside.
1730- Five landing barges appeared from
around Hornos Point of Bataan hugging the shore as they headed for the inner bay.
Batteries Rock Point, Sunset, and Hanna opened fire and boats retreated out of sight
around Hornos Point. Observers estimated them as about 42 feet long and with some type of
shield in the stem, probably protecting the power and steering unit.
By that time the enemy had emplaced a number of
his Bataan batteries within range of Corregidor and at 0600 began his intensive daily
artillery bombardments, supplemented by cross fire from Cavite.
Battery Kysor (155-mm) destroyed a Japanese harbor
vessel at the east coast of Bataan but was immediately subjected to enemy counter-battery.
Battery Geary then opened fire on the enemy and was
in turn shelled and bombed.
There were nine separate bombings at Corregidor
while artillery fire was almost continuous.
Battery Craighill at Fort Hughes participated in the
counter-battery action and was shelled from Bataan.
Our vessels which had taken refuge between
Corregidor and Hughes came under artillery fire from Cavite.
By 12 April it appeared our own troops had been
moved out of the southern tip of Bataan except for Base Hospital Nos. 1 and 2. General
Wainwright thereupon authorized counter-battery fire against definitely located enemy
targets. All seacoast batteries were then furnished maps of Bataan with the hospital areas
clearly marked and instructed, when adjusting fire on targets in these vicinities, to
approach from the direction away from the hospital. Although hundreds of rounds were fired
in those areas only one accident occurred as far as known. One shell detonated on some
tree tops in a hospital area causing several casualties. Another shell (155-mm) landed in
a crowded ward but fortunately was a dud.
13 April -17 April
During this period there were seventeen separate
bombings of Corregidor, four of Fort Hughes and two of ships in the South Harbor.
Artillery fire from Bataan destroyed one gun at
Battery Kysor on the 15th. The other was removed and emplaced together with one from
Battery Ordnance Point, defiladed from Bataan, near the Ordnance Point cemetery. Batteries
Morrison, James, Sunset, Rock Point, and Hanna, and all seacoast searchlights facing
Bataan were subjected to accurate artillery bombardment, and it was with the utmost
difficulty that Ordnance personnel were able to keep some batteries repaired. As time
progressed some guns were put out of action permanently.
On 15 April during a heavy bombardment part of the
Philippine Army. personnel manning Battery James took shelter in excavation in Morrison
Hill behind the battery. The intensity of the enemy fire collapsed the hillside above the
entrance suffocating seventy Philippine Army occupants. The Seaward Defense Command, some
time previously, had organized a special observation section with officers detailed as
observers in CP's at Topside, Morrison Hill, Malinta Hill, and on the Don Jose,
beached off Hooker Point. From 12 April on, this group concentrated on locating enemy
batteries in Bataan for our counter-battery action.
On 17 April, three B-17's from Australia via
Mindanao bombed Clark and Nichols Fields.
18 April -24 April
For several days no 240-mm howitzer fire had
come out of Cavite and on 18 April the reason was apparent. These heavy batteries had been
moved around through Manila and emplaced in southern Bataan for bombardment of Corregidor.
Thereafter they were a constant threat and with their high angle fire were able to blast
our 12-in mortar pits which flat trajectory weapons had been unable to reach. By that time
a number of our seacoast and antiaircraft guns had been disabled. Battery Morrison was cut
completely and Battery C-9lst had been transferred to Battery Grubbs, two 10-in seacoast
guns facing Bataan. At Topside all AA height finders were cut but one. A telephone circuit
from that one provided altitudes for the other batteries pending repair of their own
instruments. It was apparent that every thing visible from Bataan was fast being put out
of action thus crippling our counter-battery work. To remedy this, it was decided to
select a number of 155-mm positions defiladed from Bataan. Guns were to be emplaced in
some of these to fire counter-battery. That night they would be moved to other positions
and the scheme repeated. The plan worked splendidly. These were called "roving
gun" batteries and were designated by the name of the officer commanding the battery.
The enemy repeatedly put down counter-battery fire
sweeping across the island in the general area from which they knew our fire was coming.
Our personnel would take cover in fox holes until the enemy barrage had passed over and
comparatively few casualties resulted. Minor damage was inflicted on the materiel each day
but frequent inspections and efficient ordnance repairs kept these roving guns ready for
action most of the time. These roving batteries were our main dependence for
counter-battery fire against enemy batteries on Bataan from that time till the surrender.
On 20 April our seacoast searchlights were
supplemented with two "roving" lights. Personnel from E6Oth (Erie) from Bataan
were then manning two spare AA searchlights of A-60th (Albany). Several positions were
selected from which to illuminate water areas. At dark each night these two lights would
occupy two of the positions, operating under the Seaward Defense Commander. At daylight
they would pull back under cover.
During this period there were usually three or four
bombing raids daily combined with a great deal of enemy shelling, especially from Bataan.
On 24 April, starting at 1500, an exceptionally
heavy concentration of 240-mm fire was put down on Battery Crockett (two 12-in guns)
punishing the battery severely. The rear of this battery was toward Bataan and the battery
personnel had erected protective barricades of oil drums filled with earth but repeated
pounding by heavy shells demolished all such construction. No. 1 gun was put out of
action; one man was killed and several injured. Shot hoists were ruined and fire started
in the lower passages of the battery but did not reach the powder rooms. The controlled
mine channel being then subject to artillery fire from Bataan the Navy started sweeping a
channel through their contact mine field South of Corregidor in order to permit passage of
our own boats.
Reports which had been received indicated that the
enemy might be assembling a landing force up to the East Coast of Bataan. After dark on 24
April, the U.S. Engineer launch' Night Hawk, 1st Lt. James Seater, CE, in command
with a volunteer crew of six enlisted men from the 59-th and 60th Coast
Artillery regiments made a reconnaissance up the East coast of Bataan looking for any
concentration troops or landing craft.
Off Lamao they contacted a small boat containing two
Japanese whom they took prisoner. Continuing, off Limay they were hailed by a large enemy
vessel, launch size (120 feet). The' Night Hawk opened machine gun fire killing
most of the crew and setting fire to the boat.
Meanwhile, the prisoners jumped overboard and were
shot. The Night Hawk endeavored to attach a line to the enemy launch to tow her in
but when more enemy boats came rushing out from shore it had to cut loose and run for it.
The Night Hawk returned to Corregidor at about 0505.
Enemy dive bombers concentrated on shipping in
the South Harbor, burning and sinking the harbor boat Miley. There were four
separate bombing attacks during the day besides cross-fire from Bataan and Cavite.
Craighill, Geary and two roving batteries fired counter-battery.
2158- At this time a heavy shell
exploded in the midst of a large group of men outside the west entrance of Malinta Tunnel
causing about fifty casualties. Several were killed instantly.
Starting at 0323 the enemy shelled Bottomside
and Topside until 0630, then ceased firing until 2200. The Navy Inshore Patrol placed two
vessels east of Corregidor to patrol about 600 yards off shore during hours of darkness in
order to give warning of the enemy approach by a vertical sweep of their searchlights.
There was no bombing that day.
Enemy artillery opened fire against Corregidor
at 0305, shelling the Kindley Field area for. fifteen minutes. There were four bombing
raids during the morning; Malinta Hill, 92d CA area and roving battery Farris hit the
The afternoon was quiet with a few rounds on
Bottomside starting at 2020.
2409- Beginning just after
midnight, enemy artillery put fifteen rounds on the North dock area.
0843- Heavy truck movements through
Cabcaben having been spotted roving batteries Byrne (Wright. Ed.) and Rose opened
interdiction fire. These two batteries were in action against enemy targets five times
during the day and Battery Monja once. Battery Rose set fire to a Japanese harbor boat,
the Apo with four direct hits.
1061- Two dive bombers bombed ships in South
Harbor but missed all.
1105-- On another raid, bombs were
dropped on D-6Oth (Denver), water tanks and Battery Keyes starting fire at the latter.
l208- Battery Way (four 12-in mortars) which
had been out of service for several years had been taken over by E-6Oth when they returned
from Bataan. Having completed reconditioning the battery, it was proof fired shortly after
noon and reported ready for action.
0730- Almost concurrently Air Raid Alarm
No.260 sounded, two flights of bombers hit Fort Hughes, three dive bombers hit Malinta
Tunnel entrance and South dock, enemy shells from Bataan hit Bottomside and his
observation balloon rose above Cabcaben.
0755- Six dive bombers dropped bombs
on Malinta Hill and 92d garage.
0800- Extremely heavy shelling at both
portals of Malinta Tunnel and North dock.
0821- Enemy shelling Topside while
observations plane overhead adjusts fire. Stockade level and Spanish Fort receiving some
0840 to 100O- Counter-battery fired from
Marshall (Wilson. Ed.), Crofton, Way, Cheney, Craighill, Geary, Byrne (Wright. Ed.),
Rose, and Farris.
O923- Bombs dropped on west end of
0935- Battery Ramsey and H-6Oth bombed. Fire
started below Middleside Incinerator.
0957- Middleside barracks bombed; some men
0958- Enemy shelling near North Point.
lO02- Two ammunition dumps at Topside
1012- Fires in stockade burned
1031- Cheney area under fire.
1037- Enemy shelled Malinta Hill.
1040- James Ravine under fire.
1120- Heavy shelling of Malinta Hill
1240- Four planes attacked Fort Drum. No
1255- Three planes glide bombed Fort Hughes.
1405- Batteries Gulick and Monja fired at
enemy targets in Bataan.
1507- Battery Koehler fired a truck column on
1625- Eight bombers dropped several strings
of bombs; at B-6Oth, head of Ramsey Ravine, parapet of Battery Way and Middleside
1750- Battery Marshall fired interdiction
fire at intervals until 2000.
As a result of the above enemy action a number of
our observing stations on hills were destroyed. The power plant for No.8 fixed seacoast
searchlight atop Malinta Hill was hit and burned. The 1.1 quadruple mount on Malinta Hill
was wrecked and several were killed. The three 75mm beach defense guns atop Malinta Hill
were destroyed and two ammunition dumps were burned as well as several buildings.
2300- That night two naval sea planes from
Australia, via Mindanao, landed in the bay South of Corregidor. They brought some
medicines and 740 mechanical fuzes for 3-in AA ammunition.
As soon as these were unloaded, fifty selected
passengers (including about thirty-eight American nurses) were taken aboard and the planes
took off for Lake Lanao, Mindanao. In spite of a full moon shining, the ships had not been
detected by the Japanese.
Fort Hughes was bombed three times and Corregidor,
six. The whole island was raked by artillery fire until 2235, the heaviest
concentration being on Battery Way where, in spite of approximately 100 hits, its four
mortars were still ready for action.
Several batteries engaged enemy targets. Monja sank
a tug boat in Mariveles harbor and later fired on a truck column; Gulick and Farris fired
on the Cabcaben airfield; Rose and Farris exploded an ammunition dump; Wright started a
large fire; Craighill, Rose, and Farris were in counter-battery action.
2403- Enemy shelled Topside.
0205- Enemy shelled Kindley Field area.
0402- Enemy shelled from Kindley Field to
0505- Enemy shelled Middleside.
0828- Two dive bombers hit Fort Drum.
Four dive bombers hit 92d garage.
0830- Two dive bombers hit Fort
0921- Three dive bombers hit Fort Drum.
1004- All clear.
1120- Battery Gulick opened fire on truck
column in Cabcaben Battery Gulick opened fire on truck column in Cabcaben.
1140- Enemy shells from Cavite fell on Ramsey
1220- Battery Koehler fired counter-battery.
1227- Enemy resumed shelling from Bataan.
1320- Batteries Craighill and Cheney fired
1341- Air Raid Alarm No.273.
1405- Six bombers bombed vicinity of RJ 43
and West of Malinta Hill.
1440- All clear.
1515- Air Raid No.274. Eight bombers came
over. Bombs dropped on Malinta Hill. AA opened fire. Bombs hit both entrances,
Malinta Tunnel. Much mess equipment, motor transportation and communications destroyed.
1540- Air Raid No.275. Bombs aimed at Drum.
Most of them hit in water. One machine gun destroyed. During afternoon Fort Frank under
fire from Cavite shore. Thirty-six shells fired, nine hits on land. No serious damage.
Between 1700 and 1800 two air raid alarms (276 and 277), but no bombs dropped. After dark,
Navy continued sweeping a channel through their south channel mine field and blew two
0730- Corregidor under fire from Bataan.
0800- Air Raid Alarm No.278.
0840- Load of bombs dropped Malinta Hill to
0900- More bombs at Bottomside.
0915- Big load of bombs on Fort Hughes and
our boats in San Jose Bay.
Station B9 (Gillispi) wrecked and two Navy men
killed. Water barge and Mine Planter Harrison hit. Harrison burning at 1000.
Chief Warrant Officer James Murray, Master, killed.
1030- All clear.
1100- Corregidor under fire from Bataan. Fort
Hughes under fire from Cavite.
1130- Air Raid Alarm No.279. Our AA
firing at two planes over South Channel.
1150- All clear.
1330- Air Raid Alarm No.280. Our AA opened
fire. Enemy opened artillery fire concurrently from Bataan against Corregidor.
1400- All clear.
1530- Heavy artillery fire from Bataan
fell on Corregidor and Fort Hughes, Battery Cheney under fire, also G3 station.
1542- Fort Drum turrets (14in) opened
counter-battery against Bataan.
1557- Enemy opened counter-battery against
Fort Drum from Cavite side.
1620- Battery Koehier opened counter-battery
against Cavite batteries.
This day the heaviest concentration yet experienced
of 240mm fire fell on Corregidor, plastering the whole island. During a five-hour period
twelve 240mm shells per minute or a total of 3600 hit in the Geary, Crockett area at
Topside. Various other calibers were also being used.
1627- A terrific explosion rocked
Topside. A 240mm shell fire had penetrated and blown up Battery Geary magazines.
1635- Message received from C-1 (Fort Mills
Primary Fire Control Station) requesting medical aid be sent to Battery Geary. First Aid
station at Wheeler Tunnel contacted through PACP and word received that a Medical Officer
and aid detail had already proceeded to Geary.
1640 to 1940- Meanwhile, many communication
lines cut throughout the Harbor Defenses.
Battery Koehler failed to silence Cavite guns so
opened counter-battery again. Heavy truck movements north of Mariveles noted by C-1 but
not communication C-1 to G-4 or G-4 to its batteries. Battery Crafton at Fort Frank got
away with two shots but came under heavy counter-battery fire from the Cavite side and
took cover and resumed fire later. Battery Marshall at Fort Drum fired thirty rounds at
three targets in Bataan, believed to have been with good effect. No.1 Harbor Defense
searchlight near Battery Point subjected to terrific concentration of 240-mm fire and
light buried. Some 306 live shells exploded there and 195 duds. Battery Marshall
apparently silenced these enemy guns.
1945- Communication re-established to C-1
3 May (Sunday)
0545- Engineers during the previous night had
drilled hole through concrete wall of Battery Geary to get at entrapped personnel. Water
and food passed through hole to four entombed men at 0100. At this time the hole was being
0645- Air Raid Alarm No. 281 One low
flying plane overhead and our AA machine guns opened up but no bombs dropped.
0745- All clear.
0800- Air Raid Alarm No.282. Topside under
artillery fire from Bataan.
0820- Rescue work at Battery Geary completed.
Four men dug out alive and sent to Malinta Hospital via ambulance. (Note: One of
these died later, the rest recovered)
0830- Enemy artillery fire increasingly heavy
and dust blinded our spotters.
0843- Planes overhead Enemy 240-mm fire fell
on Fort Hughes.
0900- More air activity overhead. Fort Hughes
240-mm shelling slackening. One plane over Fort Frank but no bombs dropped there.
AA Battery at Fort Hughes firing.
1000- Battery Marshall, Fort Drum, fired nine
rounds at enemy guns north of Babuyan, Bataan silencing them, at least temporarily. Only
sporadic smaller caliber shelling now. All clear.
1125- Air Raid Alarm No.283. Load of
bombs dropped near Kindley Field. No AA fire. All AA defense crippled by loss of guns,
height finders, personnel, due to artillery fire, also to displacement of D-6Oth to new
1240- All clear.
1245- Air Raid Alarm No.284. Battery Wright
(D-91st "Roving" 155-mm at Topside) opened fire on enemy truck train parked
north of Cabcaben, near bridge with apparently good effects.
1325- Load of bombs dropped on Malinta
1400- All clear.
1436- Air Raid Alarm No.285. James Ravine
1450- All clear.
1455- Air Raid Alarm No.286. Salute Hill and
North Shore hit.
1515- All clear.
1625- Air Raid Alarm No.287. Boats in
South Harbor attacked by dive bombers.
1700- All clear.
1900- Corregidor under lively artillery fire from
Bataan. Considerable truck activity in vicinity of Cabcaben.
2200- At about 2000 a U.S. submarine stopped
just outside the South Channel Mine field for an hour. Navy small boats were sent out to
her via the recently swept channel through the mine field. Departures included: Colonel
Doyle, 45-th Infantry; Colonel Irwin, G-3, USFIP, with complete rosters of all Army, Navy,
and Marine Corps who were alive then; Colonel Jenks, Finance Officer, USFIP, with all
money accounts; Colonel Hill, Inspector General, USFIP; Colonel Savage, Air Officer,
USFIP; Colonel Ramsey, Veterinary Officer, USFIP; five Naval Officers; thirteen or
fourteen Nurses, ANC; many USAFFE and USFIP Records and Orders and several bags of mail
for States. (Note: This was the last outgoing mail, personnel and official orders
before surrender of Corregidor on 6 May.)
Battery Craighill fired counter-battery in vicinity
of Mariveles. Enemy artillery active during evening against Corregidor and Fort Hughes but
quieted down around 2200.
4 May (Monday)
0730- Air Raid Alarm No.288.
0800- Corregidor under heavy artillery fire
0827- All clear.
0900- Air Raid Alarm No.289.
Observation plane overhead adjusting enemy artillery fire which then increased in volume
after having slackened before 0900.
1000- All clear.
1030- Fort Drum turrets started
1035- Air Raid Alarm No.290. Boats in
South Harbor but missed.
1125- Three planes dive bombed east end of
Corregidor. Topside still under artillery fire. Communication lines C-1 to G-3 out; TI
(Time Interval) bell system and Air Warning lines out.
1200- All clear.
1300- Air Raid Alarm No.291.
Corregidor under heavy cannonading from Bataan. String of bombs out phone lines
"H" to C-1between Malinta and Topside.
1330- Another load of bombs on Topside.
1350- All clear. Our observers
reported string of fifteen invasion barges being towed North to South out of range beyond
1445- Batteries Monja and Wright (roving
155-mm D-91st) opened fire against Gorda Point.
1452- Corregidor under fire from Bataan.
1500- Air Raid Alarm No.292. Planes
overhead. Heaviest general artillery bombardment yet, falling on Corregidor: all calibers
including 240-mm. A continuous drumfire of bursting shells.
1551- Planes overhead again. Radio
communication established with C-1 through Navy Queen Tunnel. Artillery bombardment
1640- All clear.
1700- Fort Drum under fire from Bataan and
1710- Air Raid Alarm No.293.
1740- All clear.
1808- Air Raid Alarm No.294. All defense
crippled so very little fire. Battery Cheney under artillery fire from Bataan.
1838- All clear.
1900 to 2230- Fort Drum and Battery Gulick
fired counter-battery at enemy positions near Cabcaben. Our searchlight No.2 and Emergency
searchlights (Mobile) were on alert for possible landing attacks by the enemy, but none
developed. Harbor Defense Headquarters building hit by bombs today, also Post Exchange
again and the Post Office building which burned.
Desultory enemy artillery fire throughout the
evening. Our communication and ordnance details out repairing damages from today's action.
The bulk of enemy fire was switched today to beach defenses, especially James Ravine,
Power Plant Ravine and the beach between North and Cavalry Points. Some machine guns and
5 May (Tuesday)
During night communication lines repaired between
"H" Station, C-1 and all outposts.
0835- Air Raid Alarm No.295.
Corregidor under heavy fire from Bataan. Some AA fire.
0905- Fort Drum under artillery fire.
O923- Corregidor being bombed, hit
0955- All clear.
1003- Fort Frank and Corregidor
received artillery fire. Battery Marshall opened counter-battery silencing one 240-mm but
others continued. Air Raid Alarm No.296.
1055- Battery Craighill opened
1100- All clear.
1106- - Air Raid Alarm No.297. Five dive
bombers attacked Corregidor. AA fire opened.
1130- All clear.
1203- - Air Raid Alarm No.298.
Corregidor bombed. AA fire opened promptly.
1230- Heavy counter-battery fire
opened concurrently by Batteries Crafton, Marshall (Wilson. Ed.), Way, Cheney,
Wheeler, Monja, and "roving" Batteries Wright, Rose, and Gulick at selected
targets in Bataan. Several enemy batteries silenced and three ammunition dumps set on
1250- Forts Frank and Hughes under
1300- All clear.
1315- Fort Drum under artillery fire
1327- Air Raid Alarm No.299.
1400- All clear.
1447 - Air Raid Alarm No.800. AA fire
1515- Fort Hughes hit by bombs. Both
pits at Battery Craighill filled with debris. Six men injured. Corregidor under
intermittent artillery fire during afternoon.
1800- Seaward Defense opened heavy
bombardment against selected targets including Cavite side. Fire promptly returned by
enemy. By 1887 all the fortified islands were under heavy fire. On Corregidor, James
Ravine, the North Shore and the tail of the island were pounded terrifically.
Communication lines were cut in many places; numerous beach defense guns and B.D.
searchlights put out of action and many beach defense land mines blown up by enemy
2100- Beach Defense reported manned.
2230- Message from "H" Station to
Beach Defense Commander, C-1 and AACP as follows: "Prepare for probable landing
Japanese cannonading of tail of island very heavy,
telephone communications out in many cases. Two Naval vessels were stationed as usual on
nightly watch east and north-east of Corregidor to warn of the approach of enemy landing
boats by use of vertical sweep of their searchlights.
(Note: At this time beach defense
installations on the north side of the island were practically nonexistent. Barbed wire
entanglements, land mines, machine gun emplacements, and personnel shelters and most of
the 75-mm beach defense guns had been destroyed. The north side of the island was bare of
trees and vegetation and the ground was powdered dust. All wire communications had been
shot away. Command could be exercised and intelligence obtained only by use of foot
messengers which medium was uncertain under the heavy and continuous artillery and air
action. It had been estimated by Harbor Defense Headquarters that the Japanese had from
350 to 400 guns emplaced on Bataan Peninsula varying in caliber from 75-mm to 240-mm.
Later, Japanese officers informed various prisoners of war that the Japanese had 422 guns
firing at Corregidor and that they fired over 200,000 artillery shells during the last ten
days prior to the surrender.)
2350- No warning received from Naval vessels
on watch, but at this time a runner arrived at "H" station from North Point and
reported an enemy landing.
(Note: As really as can be determined the
first wave of the Japanese landing attack hit the beach at 2330, 5 May 1942.)
Seaward Defense Commander was ordered to send
personnel from B, C, D, H, 59th CA manning Batteries Cheney, Wheeler, and Crockett to
positions in Beach Defense Reserve; later other Coast Artillery troops manning seacoast
and AA armament were released to Beach Defense Commander in accordance with prearranged
plan of priorities. Enemy barrage caught C-59th (Capt. Harry Schenk) at Bottomside,
Captain Thompson killed, among casualties.
6 May (Wednesday)
2450- A messenger from Lieutenant Colonel
Biggs, 92d CA, brought word he had formed line across Kindlev Field Water Tank Hill with
Batteries "E" and "F" 92d CA (PS) and was cooperating with Marines in
defense in East Sector.
One 2-gun 75-mm battery (Lieutenant Lawrence) near
tail of island had never disclosed its positions and its fire apparently came as a
complete surprise to the Japanese. These two 75-mm guns sank a number of barges and
accounted for many casualties. Lieutenant Lawrence stated later that the continuous stream
of tracer bullets from the shore line gave enough illumination to permit firing at barges.
By 0150 the moon had risen so that effective fire could be placed on landing party. A few
remaining searchlights had gone into action but were quickly shot out. Many boats were
destroyed causing heavy enemy casualties.
(Later information received from Japanese officers
indicated the first wave consisted of 2000 of which approximately 800 got ashore. The
second wave was 10,000: total casualties, 4100 Japanese.) More or less uncoordinated
fighting continued generally throughout the night..)
Battery Way (12in mortars) at Fort Mills manned by
Battery E-6Oth CA (AA) fired on the landing barges as did also the 3-in AA Battery,
Battery Craighill (12-in mortars) and two 75-mm beach defense guns on Fort Hughes.
0400- Fort Drum opened fire on
Cabcaben dock area. At dawn, about 0440 a wave of landing boats was seen approaching
Corregidor. Drum changed targets to boats which were also taken under fire by Battery
Stockade (A-9lst) and Lieutenant Wright (D-9lst) with "roving" 155-mm with
damaging effect. Captain Gulick (C-9lst) with "roving" 155-mm at Ordnance
Instrument Shop, who meanwhile was firing on Cabcaben docks, switched to boats.
This artillery fire broke up what happened to be
another landing attack destined for the Bottomside dock area and Power Plant Ravine.
Beach Defense Commander had reported the situation
under control but landings behind our line near Infantry Point necessitated withdrawal
toward Malinta Hill.
At dawn the Beach Defense Reserve Battalion and
Batteries "B" and C-59th CA and all other available troops counter-attacked in
the East Sector.
This counter-attack drove the enemy back for some
distance and effectively stopped his advance. However, in the early light effective
artillery fire from Bataan was brought to bear on our attacking troops and dive bombers
and strafing planes attacked in large numbers driving some of our troops back into Malinta
Tunnel and pinning all others to the ground on the final defense line east of Malinta
Hill. The entire area of the island between Malinta Hill and Kindley Field Water Tank Hill
held by the Japanese was saturated with artillery fire. Bottomside and Topside also were
thoroughly covered. Our reserves suffered severe casualties passing through these barrages
to the East Sector.
1020- At this time enemy tanks had
landed on the island and were assembling in the vicinity of Kindley Field. General
Wainwright sent for me and informed me that in view of the present situation and what
might be expected to occur during the ensuing night he had decided, in order to prevent
the further useless sacrifice of lives, that he was going to surrender the fortified
islands to the Japanese at noon. He said he was going to have a message to that effect
broadcast at once. He further directed me to have all the armament destroyed in accordance
with secret orders which had already been given to regimental and Fort Commanders, this
destruction to be accomplished by noon and if not completed that nothing should be
destroyed after that time. Plans called for the destruction of all armament above .45
caliber. He ordered further that my command would lay down their arms at noon and at that
time the flag of Corregidor would be lowered and burned and that white flags would be
displayed. These instructions were relayed to all concerned as fast and insofar as
disrupted communications permitted. All units received the order in time to comply with
instructions except Fort Hughes.
This photograph of the
lowering of the Corregidor garrison flag was widely
distributed as Japanese propaganda. It was stage was staged
solely for the camera. Unfortunately, less than careful
scholarship has seen the resulting film clip enter into the
public domain as an actual occurrence. Col. Paul Bunker
commanded a work detail, under fire, which retrieved and
burned the garrison flag prior to the surrender. A member of
that work detail, Val Gavito, has written an exclusive
article for The Corregidor Historic Society about the true
circumstances of the lowering of the American flag over
Corregidor on 6 May 1942.
1200- At noon
the flag, which had been shot down and replaced twice under fire during the siege, was
lowered and burned by Col. Paul D. Bunker, CAC, the Seaward Defense Commander, whose
Command Post was at Topside not far from the flag pole. He was accompanied on this sad
duty by Lt. Col. Dwight Edison, 59th CA. A flag of truce was carried by Capt. Golland L.
Clark, USMC, who was accompanied by 1st Lt. Allan S. Manning, USMC, who proceeded toward
the Japanese lines until they had contacted the Japanese and were taken to the senior
Japanese officer on the spot.
Meanwhile all records of value to the enemy, secret
maps, papers, correspondence, and diaries were destroyed. Disregarding the flag of truce,
the enemy artillery fire, dive bombing and machine gun fire continued unabated.
1330- The Marine Corps Officers returned to
Malinta Tunnel with the word that General Wainwright should come out to the Japanese
commander if he desired to discuss terms.
1400- General Wainwright took me, Lieutenant
Colonel Pugh, and Major Dooley, his aides, and Major Brown, my aide; and we proceeded,
under a white flag, by car to the foot of Kindley Field Water Tank Hill where we left the
car and walked up the hill to meet the Japanese commander. Dead and dying were on every
hand, the proportion being about three Japanese to one American. Arrangements were made
for General Wainwright and party to be taken to Bataan to meet General Homma. A Japanese
colonel, an English speaking Japanese lieutenant, and General Wainwright's party started
on foot for the north dock via Malinta Tunnel. When about halfway there, fire from the
Japanese in rear was opened against the tunnel entrance passing over our heads and dive
bombers began strafing the area just east of Malinta Hill between us and the tunnel
entrance. The Japanese Colonel declined to proceed any further in that direction. He took
his own officer, and General Wainwright and Major Dooley went back in rear of Japanese
lines and took a boat from North Point to Cabcaben. Lieutenant Colonel Pugh, Major Brown
and I continued on to Malinta Tunnel.
At about 1600 the Japanese took over Malinta Tunnel
and Bottomside. Topside was bombed relentlessly throughout the afternoon. Meanwhile the
Japanese advanced to Middleside and along South Shore Road. At about dark, perhaps 1930
General Wainwright and staff returned to Corregidor, General Homma having refused to
accept his surrender of the Harbor Defense only instead of all USFIP. General
Wainwright contacted the senior Japanese Commander on Corregidor with a view of
surrendering the garrison to avoid annihilation. He agreed at that time also to surrender
all other American and Filipino forces in the Philippines.
2330- The Japanese landed and took over Fort
0300- Japanese forces landed at
James Ravine and Powder Plant Ravine in accordance with their previous plan, but without
Other Japanese had reached C-1 Tunnel and ordered
Colonel Bunker to have all troops out of Topside by 0700 as at that time an intense
artillery and air bombardment would begin. Runners were sent to all groups and all troops
evacuated Topside as ordered. All our personnel, military, naval, and civilian were
congregated in and around Malinta Hill by daylight and stayed there during that day and
succeeding night while the installations of Topside were heavily bombarded.
In the late afternoon General Wainwright and staff
proceeded under Japanese escort to Manila via Cabcaben, to endeavor to contact our other
forces in various locations in reference to their surrender.
Together with certain USFIP staff and several Naval
officers I was held in Lateral 10, Malinta Tunnel. The Harbor Defense staff was held in
Lateral 1. Twenty-four dead in the Hospital could not be buried at once and the Japanese
did not permit it for three days. Looting by the Japanese was extensive. During the day
various officers were conducted to a Japanese Headquarters in the Barrio Market building
at Bottomside for questioning.
0900- All personnel except officers and a few
orderlies in Laterals 10 and 1 of Malinta Tunnel, the sick and wounded in the hospital,
Medical Department personnel, and MP's were ordered out of Malinta Tunnel via the west
entrance, marched around the hill and down to the 92d Garage Area where the Japanese had
decided to establish a Concentration Camp.
1330- Japanese troops landed and took over
Forts Frank and Drum.
2100- 0fficers who had remained in Lateral 1
marched to join the others in Camp at the 92d CA Garage Area. Colonel Cottrell and Colonel
Bowler of the Harbor Defense Staff, my aide, Major Brown and I together with several USFIP
staff officers as well as Captain Hoeffel with his Naval staff were held in Lateral 10 at
Malinta Tunnel. Colonels Stickney and Mielenz, and a group of about twenty other Engineer
officers were held in the Engineer Tunnel in Power Plant Ravine.
Except for a small detachment the surrendered
garrison was kept in the above locations until removed to Manila by Japanese authorities,
the majority being evacuated on 24 May. The captured Fort Hughes garrison was transferred
to the 92d CA Garage Concentration Camp on 8 May. Troops at Fort Drum and Fort Frank were
consolidated at Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas by the Japanese and were also evacuated to Manila
on 24 May.