"WATER WATER NOWHERE - BUT WE FOUND A DROP TO DRINK "
_________________
Tony Sierra
John Lindgren,
Don Abbott
Bob Flynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Lindgren: "The southern part of the west coast finally celebrated the Corregidor jump on the right day, Saturday 15 February. As we all know, it was 16 February 2003 in Manila Bay as we celebrated the great day on Saturday the 15th here in the Southland."

Tony Sierra: "I am thinking this very moment as I did most of the day yesterday (16 February)  about what each of us was doing fifty-eight years ago.  I question any trooper present on that fateful day on the Rock did not have the same thoughts.  The platoons of the second battalion were forming their areas and perimeters around the western side of the island, more exactly from Battery Wheeler on past Cheney Ravine.

These items of discussion are minor but in the scheme of long time history it is important that future students know about them.  The final curtain is in the end made of minutia from the men on the ground.  I sense we have almost exhausted the large picture presentation but probably we can elicit interest by men who follow this writings touching on the day to day items. 

I recall some years ago Ralph Leyva (First Battalion), Arnie Williams (Third Battalion), Andy Andos (Hq. Company) and I (Second Battalion) drove across the country (Los Angeles to Hot Springs, Arkansas.)  The trip took several days and comes to mind as one of the highlights of my attendance to the reunions.  It brought men from varied units close and each related many experiences not known by the others.  It shows that each trooper is a separate story and can shed some light sometime on strange moments.

More intimate to me was the recalling of Charlie Christian and I scrounging around for water.  As you recall, it was a scarce item. 

We sought canteens on those fallen troopers scattered around our area with scant success.  Others had probably beat us to the punch.  At any rate, I think about those troopers left there and sadden when I see their faces in memory.  Those from other battalions have their own similar thoughts.

Where have all the years and the chutes gone?"  

 

John Lindgren: Water was a scarce commodity on Topside but we know now there were at least four good sources of water - unfortunately none of them available to us for three days.  There were three springs in Cheney, James and Engineer Ravines. The fourth source of water was in several large tanks at the Bottomside beach brought by landing craft from Bataan by the Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. No one knew of the ravine sources and the road from Bottomside to Topside was not open and would stay closed until 18 February.  That meant three days on two canteens.

The S-4 had arranged for a "free" drop of five gallon water cans on the 17th. In spite of considerable losses there were enough cans salvaged to give each man about a quart of water, excluding the 1st Battalion reinforced who were not present on Topside yet. 

If "D" Company got their share of this water, I missed getting any of it. The people in the rifle companies toiling under the hot sun suffered infinitely more than those who were in the shady Topside Barracks.

There would be no real relief until  the water was brought up from Bottomside the 19th . Magnus L. Smith, assistant regimental S-3 says the road to Topside was not open until  "...late on the 18th." Donald A. Crawford, assistant regimental S-1 and Lawson B. Caskey, 2d Battalion commander say it was closer to noon. I believe that Smith was in the best position to know.  (These statements are from the unpublished monographs at Ft. Benning.)"    

 

Don Abbott:  "I remember well the scrounging for water. 

I, as most everyone, had two  canteens and  nursed them through a couple or three days but finally ran  out. Since we were fairly close to the four water tanks at topside, I wandered  over to see if they had anything in them.  They had been hit numerous times with shells and bomb fragments so they were a kind of a mess. In  order to get down to the small amount of water you could see on the  bottom you had to climb rungs of ladders to the top and then go down to  the bottom.  The return was the same, only opposite.   

There was, maybe, six inches of water on the bottom of the tank I'd climbed but the water looked pretty doubtful.  Although I used the halizone tablets we all carried, I have often thought this doubtful water  could have been the reason I came down with (yellow) jaundice.  How about  that diagnosis?  Could that have been right?   

Bob Flynn: Ed Flaherty and I hit on the water tanks early.  From the top rim of the water tank we lowered our steel helmets by rope and hauled up enough of the grimy stuff to fill four canteens.  We boiled the water and sweetened the brew with halizone tablets.  It wasn't sparkling waters but it was wet and did the job.  No ill effects were ever noticed and none reported. 

Prior to the jump on Corregidor our supply officer, Captain Robert "Cracker" Atkins met with Warrant Officer Lloyd McCullough to work out a plan for daily drops of supplies on Corregidor. 

The Plan?

A single C-47 would fly over Corregidor twice daily at irregular time spans and drop re-supply bundles from 200 feet.  The drops would be made on the parade ground in front of the Mile-long Barracks.  Later the drops were lowered to 100feet. Color-coded parachutes were used to distinguish the contents of the bundles.

RED was for Ammo and Demo materials; 

WHITE was for Medical supplies;

BLUE was for water; and

GREEN  for all other supplies.

The 161st Parachute Engineer Company did, in fact, establish a water-point at the only then known spring on Corregidor." 

 

Tony Sierra: Some summers ago John Lindgren and I had a doubting discussion as to the existence of a small spring at the base of Cheney Ravine.   This was discovered only after several thirsty days had passed by one of the patrols by "D" Company.  Again I cannot recall the details of how the chow came about the first two or three days.  (16,17,18 of February)  Abbott tells the number of K-rations each jumper carried.  How about after these were chowed down? Did someone from "topside" come daily and distribute more or did someone from each outlaying unit form a detail and haul it back to the platoons?

I personally do not recall having any hot food on the island. 

Did some unit set up a mess hall and have the units come by and form a line or what?"

  

 

 

BOOZE AND BOOTY | THE TRUCK | THE CORREGIDOR BRASS TURKEY SHOOT | FT MILLS PLAQUE | BOB HOPE AT NOEMFOOR | NO SUICIDE CLIFF | 'DOC' BRADFORD | MYSTERIOUS WAYS | MY FIRST COMBAT PATROL | THE DEATH OF BENNY SLOWE | MIRACLE AT NOEMFOOR | THE DEATH OF KARSTEN HALL | SONGS & SLOGANS |WATER, WATER NOWHERE | NO SMOKING! | BRONZE STAR AT BANZAI POINT | ON THE BEACH AT CORREGIDOR | REUNION GOSSIP 1949  |  CORREGIDOR WHISKEY

 

 

 

         

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