Day Two, Friday the 14th Jan. 2011
This was the important day, we were all going to follow the steps of trooper Dick Adams, as to where he landed, where he slept the first night etc. We all met at the Corregidor Inn in the morning and the Inn, as usual, graciously provided transportation to Topside, the Light House to be exact. First the Corregidor Guests had their breakfast served on the very famous pictures veranda of the Corregidor Inn. That is a beautiful setting in the morning with views of Cavite and Bataan on either side.
The North Channel was a little calmer today and it promised to be a beautiful day. In fact the North Channel, in the afternoon turned almost flat with only a very light NE breeze. That was a good omen for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a boat ride planed for the Adams family and Peter and his crew to circle the island.
At the Light House John guided Dick to the large water tanks east of the Light House where Dick slept the first night. We also looked around at the many souvenir shops and the Spanish Museum in the Light House. The next challenge was to go up on the Light House. We know the paratroopers were able to do it after they took procession topside. John accompanied Dick again at this task and I‘m sure he enjoyed that greatly. Going up those steep steps was a piece of cake for Dick.
Peter and I had closer look at the Spanish built structure (north and next of the Light House), which I understand was a water storage also. Attached on the west side or rather built into the west foundation of the Spanish built water tank are about three small basins. Peter surprised me when he said, he had seen similar arrangements in Spain for washing laundry. Just west and next to this it is the new Light House rain water drainage and catchments’ system. That made me wonder whether the water for the Spanish built water tank was collected also this way or at least in part.
We then slowly walked down the steps to the east Senior Officer Quarters (SOQ) because Dick had a memorable experience there. The experience was that he lost his very small religious medallion there and by a miracle found it again. This medallion was special it was given to him by his Mom. If I remember it right all this occurred behind SOQ building 15D. We went there and he relived it and his daughter Alyson took pictures of the medallion laying there on the ground like an reenactment.
Here is the story by Dick as I thought he told it. Dick was helping a wounded comrade up to the SOQs from the golf course which was his landing field. The wounded comrade had his arm around Dick’s shoulder. At the SOQ Dick lowered his comrade slowly to the ground and he figures that at that moment perhaps the wounded comrade tore off the medallion. Later when Dick noticed that he lost the medallion he had no idea where he had lost it. Again later he carried a parachute in about the same direction and he accidental dropped it. When he picked it up he seen his medallion laying on the ground and he still got the medallion today. I think that Dick thinks of this as a miracle and a good omen!
After that we slowly walked towards the former swimming pool via the path along the SOQs and road. Dick jumped as the 5th man in his stick and still landed on the east slopes of Crockett Ravine. We had a look at the swimming pool and Dick said he didn’t notice the swimming pool as he scrambled up to the golf course. He also didn’t see the Battery Geary to his right so he must have landed some where in between. We looked at the east slopes of Crockett Ravine, down from the road and are fairly sure of the area where he landed and scrambled up to the former golf course.
In this same neighborhood is a former fire control station B III-14, just above Geary Trail and Dick could have scrambled up there, near by. I always wanted to find it but never tried yet and mentioning that then everybody else wanted to explore with me. If you could look at the contour lines on the map, if you had one, you can see it is located at the tip of a small ridge line. It is at the curve of the southern road coming from Topside, just going down passed the swimming pool.
Now, more modern road railings have been placed there and it was a little struggle leaving the road and proceed down this small ridge line. But most of our party followed me down and after about 150 feet “There It was!” It was bigger than I suspected and yelled exited back to John “ It is worth seeing”! It had the three angled iron plates in front in the viewing slits holding up the concrete ceiling, that don’t restrict the view of the optical bearing taking device.
Back on the road after all that excitement, it was also close to lunch time, Steve Kwiecinski offered to drop off the Adams family at Bottomside with his jeep. That was done and the rest of us had a leisurely walk all the way down. On the way down we looked at graffiti writing on fresh cement in 1931, maybe by the Bilibid Prison Gang. John pointed at ’his’ infantry defense position and I pointed at ‘mine’ we had discovered separately in the past. We also took the shortcut down from Middleside and found a few trees, from the last storm, had fallen over it. This shortcut path needs some attention!
After lunch at MacArthur Café Peter Parson and Lucky Guillermo with his film crew conducted an interview with Dick Adams. Peter and Lucky teamed up before and have produced CDs, mainly by a method of letting the people being interviewed, tell the story in their own words. They are working with Paul Whitman now on a WWII Corregidor related DVD. Their past DVDs covered: a) “Secret War in the Pacific”; b) “Unsurrendered 100 Voices”; c) “Manila 1945, The Forgotten Atrocities”.
Lucky Guillermo and his crew then departed the Island with the 2:30 pm Sun Cruises ferry. They had other commitments. We all bid good bye and to all of us who just have met here for the first time have the feeling that we gained new friends. We got along with each other real well!
After that some of us rested and some went off to do their own thing, I walked to the south beach on Bottomside and took some pictures there.
We also made plans to meet at 5:30 pm to enter the Manila Tunnel.
At 5:30 pm we went into the Malinta Tunnel and looked at the south ventilation parallel tunnel, the Quartermaster tunnels, the connecting tunnel to the Malinta Hill Tunnel south entrance and the Navy tunnels. We walked thru the 1000 bed hospital tunnel and looked at some of its cave ins. We topped it off by looking close at the gasoline storage section of the Malinta Hill Tunnel system. The CFI provides helmets for this event because the ventilation parallel tunnels are small and one can hurt one’s head easily.
This is the 1st left lateral from the tunnel that connects the main Malinta Tunnel system to the Navy tunnels at the SW corner of Malinta Hill.
A problem arose now, our plan to eat jointly fell apart. The problem was that MacArthur Café run out of ‘Red Horse’ beer (large bottles, they are a better buy) and chicken that was our planned menu. The Adams and Kwiecinski families ended up at “Djiana” (not sure of the spelling). That is the place half way across Bottomside. Peter, John and I caught up with them. Then Dick really surprised me and shamed this sailor in to drinking a couple more small glasses of beer ( all three of us were going to drink water). That “Dogface” of a Paratrooper showed this sailor to have a good time. Maybe, in the future I can return the favor when I’m 88 years old and come across an former soldier, he, he!
ABOUT THE PHOTOSThe images in this article are the editors selection from Karl's Day 2 Photobucket Gallery