"CONCERNING SCHOOL SOLUTIONS AND   HISTORICAL INACCURACY" 
_________________

William T. Calhoun and Paul F. Whitman

THE INFANTRY SCHOOL  MONOGRAPHS

 

After the war, a number of officers who had served in the 503d attended the Advanced Officers Course at Ft. Benning.   Not surprisingly, some wrote their course monographs reflecting upon their personal 503d PRCT experiences. Some illustrated their experiences on Corregidor. Although their monographs deserve careful consideration, they were part of a specific assessment process, and were not written for the purposes of creating historical documents of record.  They were written specifically to bring out tactical principles which were being studied, and there was no weighing of tactical principals against historical accuracy. The result does not, repeat not, create a balanced and accurate source of history.

As those who attended the  Infantry School will always remember, the bottom line is the school solution. Some accounts of fire support and attack can be added or altered in order to bring out tactical principles. The Authors of these reports cannot be faulted from writing to the school solution,  - though in doing so, some egregious embellishments, hearsay speculations and fanciful episodes can and did creep in.

These monographs are not the primary documentation of history and were never meant to be. It must follow that their contents  should not be allowed to form that history. Read them for background and familiarity by all means, and for the military and command principles that they contain - but recognize they are flawed as historical sources, and never quote them as such.  

"OPERATIONS OF THE 503d PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT IN THE ATTACK ON CORREGIDOR ISLAND ,  16 FEBRUARY - 2 MARCH 1945"

by Maj. Lester H. LeVine.

 

Personal Experience of a Regimental Adjutant, which emphasizes operational perspectives.

"OPERATIONS OF THE SECOND BATTALION ON CORREGIDOR" by Maj. John H. Blair, III.

 

Of the monographs, this is the most precise and reliable.

"OPERATIONS OF 503D PARACHUTE REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM  IN THE CAPTURE OF CORREGIDOR ISLAND ,  16 FEBRUARY - 2 MARCH 1945"

by Capt. Donald A. Crawford

 

Personal Experience of a Regimental Assistant S-1, which emphasizes the planning perspectives of the operation.

"OPERATIONS OF 503D PARACHUTE INFANTRY   REGIMENT IN THE MARKHAM VALLEY, 1-7 SEPTEMBER 1943

by Capt. Eldon C. Campbell

Personal Observation of a regimental Parachute Officer, which emphasizes the aerial supply aspects of the operation. A reliable recollection.

"THE OPERATION OF COMPANY E, 503D PARACHUTE REGIMENT AT WHEELER POINT ON 23 FEBRUARY 1945"

by Capt. Hudson Hill

 

Accuracy problems concerning the 'school solution' render this paper unreliable as a historical source. The paper is not supported by the eyewitnesses, especially concerning the attack upon Battery Monja and the death of Lt. Emery Ball.  These concerns are expressed in  The Lost Road.

 

A special commentary on Capt. Hill's map illustrations is available.

"OPERATIONS OF THE SECOND BATTALION ON CORREGIDOR" by Lt. Edward T. Flash

 

Severe accuracy problems concerning the operations by E Company at Wheeler Point, particularly where it relies on the "Personal Knowledge of Capt. Hill."  Entirely wrong when it announces the taking of the battery at Wheeler Point, which was never taken.

"OPERATIONS OF THE ROCK FORCE (503D NOT REINFORCED) IN THE RECAPTURE OF CORREGIDOR" by Capt. Magnus L. Smith

 

Worthwhile reading on the coordination involved, though skims over the details of actions beyond the immediate sight of Regimental HQ at Topside Barracks, particularly the negative ones. His report that on the evening of the 20th there was an intelligence appraisal  " there were no Japs to oppose our forces from Wheeler Pt to Searchlight Pt.," goes towards establishing why Rock Force HQ took its eye off the ball on Topside.  Similarly, the consideration that surrender leaflets might be an effective tool highlights a further tendency towards unreality.

 

 

 

         

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Last Updated: 16-10-12