COMBAT OVER CORREGIDOR
by Charles H. Bradford  M.D.
Standard Landscape, 10x8 in, 25x20 cm
288 pages


     "Combat Over Corregidor" is a tribute to the humanity, camaraderie, teamwork and strength of purpose of the ordinary American citizen soldier on Corregidor rather than a sequential retelling of individual battles on a distantly relevant Philippine battlefield. Charlie Bradford (he was uncomfortable with "Doc") was a surgeon in the Second Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, and a valuable member of the "Rock Force" when it retook Corregidor in one of the most dangerous airborne envelopments of World War II. "Wherever you were, you could turn around and Charlie would be there," one veteran later commented. It was a life defining moment for all of them. Throughout his life, though, Charlie would talk little of it. "I never get to talk to people about the 503rd. Unless they were there, who could I tell all this to? They'd never know what I'm talking about," he confided to John Lindgren, another notable 503d personality of WWII.

     During the immediate months after Corregidor Charlie completed a private manuscript of his own experiences, and of what he heard first hand. It reflects the attitudes and language of the era. He remained reticent concerning the publication of his manuscript beyond the ranks of the 503d PRCT, though he allowed it to be used as an "Anonymous" reference source by those writing of Corregidor. This manuscript remained a dog-eared insider's secret for over fifty years, but it should now take its crucial place in the 503d PRCT's History and Heritage. The men of the 503d PRCT, who have not always been entirely happy with what outsiders write, quietly defer to Charlie's manuscript as the closest to the reality of Corregidor, " Corregidor before the scenario writers made comic-strip heroes out of the real men who fought there."

     The manuscript is now published in its entirety, together with identifying notes of the individuals involved, so far they have not been lost in time.


                                                                                         o-0-o

     The attack which resulted in the recapture of Corregidor Island was filled with so many alarms, so many fears and doubts, so many personal tragedies and triumphs, that no author could describe it adequately. My attempt here will be merely that of a sketch for recording first hand impressions, which I am writing down hurriedly in order to catch some of the vividness of freshly glowing recollections before they have burned out in dying embers. Under these circumstances, the narrative will naturally be filled with inaccuracies. False reports will color it; prejudices may taint it; errors may creep in; and rumor will usurp the place of facts. Later on authentic historians can straighten the facts out, but don't forget that what they write will not be true history; not as we saw it in the making. The men who act are the true historians. Unless you understand their confusion, their emotions, their error and false starts, the meaning of their deed will seem obscure. Here, then, I have allowed the events to write themselves in a faithful record of scenes and circumstances which had no parallel in our lives previously, and which, in years to come, will seem to belong to a mythological epoch.
    Charles H. Bradford M.D.
 
     
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