wasn’t called The Rock for nothing. Digging fox-holes was a very difficult
business, and many preferred to find easy shelter rather than go into the mining
As we secured for the evening, a
few of the men, some slightly worse for wear, took cover under the remainder of
a Japanese truck located on the road that ran parallel to Malinta Hill, about a
third of the way down to bottomside. It was here earlier that day that, on the
point just above where the road turned to the right towards the North dock that
Lt. Gordon English was killed by a sniper bullet originating from the ice plant
which was to his left front.
English had walked out on the point of land with a
pair of binoculars and was scanning the area over the ice plant when he was hit. We were on higher ground on the road near the disabled truck
and witnessed the Lt.'s death. The picture (above) looks like the truck, though
the vegetation behind it whispers in my old ear that perhaps I don’t always
recall the topography as well as I should like.
the night, the truck was the scene of a fatal drama.
One of the men who had sheltered under the truck, a medic, saw a Jap
attempting to traverse the road, using the truck itself as cover.
Whether because there was no weapon handy, or because it’s early
morning discharge would have invited more of the same from troopers nursing sore
heads from the evening before, I can’t say, but the Jap was despatched
silently with a trench knife.