Day Three, Saturday the 15th Jan. 2011
Today turned out to be super calm in the North Channel which is unusual for this time of the prevailing NE winds. The Adams family, Peter Parsons, four other walk-in Corregidor guests had scheduled to drive around Corregidor Island by native outrigger boat with Steve Kwiecinski being the guide. Well, they couldn’t have picked a better day. One sour note about this event is, I heard the comment that the waters of Manila Bay couldn’t be more polluted than they are today. Other than that the boat riders had a memorable experience, they wont forget.
John Moffitt and I teamed up, walked to Battery Ramsay and started down Government Road. We wanted to walk to the intersection of the Geary Trail and Government Road, Road Junction 60 (RJ 60) and then go topside following the Geary Trail. We had read in Steve and Marcia Kwiecinski’ Blog that those two roads were terrible grown over at places and his “Bolo Boys’ cleared a path on Geary Trail and are now clearing a path on Government Road.
And indeed we came across one young “Bolo Boy” who was working hard on the Government Road. Because of all the growth we promptly missed the large round water tank on the Government Road and I even missed the turn off to Geary Trail at RJ 60. But I caught myself right away because the road embankment at RJ 60 is a landmark.
Although I had heard from John and our friend Tom Aring that just a few yards up the Geary Trail is the butt of a 6 inch projectile sticking out of the ground and I missed that too. My eyes are just always in the geography viewing mode and don’t seem to have the desire to spot WWII memorabilia. And indeed, as Steve and Marcia said in their blog and news letters, at least in two places the tropical growth was so bad that it easily would have discouraged hikers to proceed. But his “Bolo Boys” saved the day for us.
One thing the Geary Trail is famous for is the wall of caves. Many are small and are not really inviting any more to enter. There is also a few bigger ones. It is said that one unit of the 4th Marines which was placed here had dug them. At the trail bend where the roofless emergency fire control station E I-6 (E I-6) is located, I counted 8 small cave or tunnel openings. Then are some that have been buried by time and the combat in 1945.
E I-6 Emergency fire control Station is located on a tip of a ridge line and the Bolo Boys also cleared a path to there. We checked it out and had a grand view of the Manila Bay South Entrance, Caballo Island aka Fort Hughes, Cavite Province, the other two fort islands Fort Drum, Fort Frank and we even could see the shore line below because it is a straight drop down from here. That wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the Bolo Boys clearing the brush around it.
We went all the way to the new discovery from yesterday, the B III-14 Control Station and looked at it from below this time. From here we proceeded to Belt Line Road where we were yesterday and entered a small ridge that leads to the berm, west side of Battery Geary. In quick order we revisited the small concrete structure there, the 12 inch mortar that was tossed there from the infamous explosion at Battery Geary, EG II-3 and B II-10 Woodruff Control Stations.
Our next goal was to find E II-5, just east of Battery Crockett, john had tried 2 times and I had tried 1 time in the past, all unsuccessful. Well we hacked and cut our way in that jungle and this time with 2 pair of eyes we found it. John spotted concrete and that was it but it was completely grown over and we worked for a while to clear it good. One unique item we found is a huge piece of concrete from the Geary explosion landed right into this bath tub shaped control station. On my 1932 map is another sign next to it, consisting of a “small triangle, then B 14” Maybe my Coastal Defense Study Group (CDSG) friends can help out on this question.
B III-14 looking down from behind it, one can see the steps going down to it
Just a few feet north of this control station we spotted two pyramid shaped concrete bases maybe 2 feet high, maybe they have something to do with that other sign on the map.
It was getting noontime and I had to go to the hotel to arrange for my return trip, so we trekked on down using a couple other shortcuts. I got my reservation on the 2:30 ferry, preceded to the MacArthur Café settled my affairs and got ready to leave. Everybody else was also there, Peter and I said good bye to the Adams family and thanked them for a memorable visit. We both were leaving and we also took leave from John who is staying one more day with the Adams. Steve and Marcia were also there and we said good bye to them also. As of this moment they already have sent out their newsletter writing about his rare event of a WWII Veteran returning to Corregidor and the Philippines:
It was smooth ride back to Manila with Sun Cruises ferry, got a taxi without a hassle this time to the Passay Victory Liner Terminal. It was another great visit to Corregidor. One thing I don’t mention too much and I really should is that all the people on the island are most friendly and are plain friends. Every time all the people on the island make us feel welcome. Thank you’ People of Corregidor’.
A weather note, when my bus left Passay it started raining strongly and that lasted all the way to San Fernando Pampanga. Strong winds and cooler temperatures must have entered the Philippines at that moment.
While on the island I heard that the resort in the 92nd Garage area is acquired by another investor who has plans. But I didn’t look as to what is going on if anything. Although the lady in charge of MacArthur said something that a group of German Engineers (tourist visitors) are scheduled to arrive in March and will stay there? Sun Cruises also seem to renovate the ‘Cafeteria’, the one that is located between the MacArthur Café and the Corregidor Inn on the former Skipper Hill.
ABOUT THE PHOTOSThe images in this article are the editors selection from Karl's Day 3 Photobucket Gallery