Lt. Philip H. Nast




Black Beach at the site of former Barrio San Jose. looking towards Topside.















Map 80
Recapture of Corregidor
16 - 28 February 1945














Scene on Black Beach (no higher resolution available)



Two Hour Tourist on Corregidor

Philip H. Nast, Lt., (US ARMY Ret'd.)


Third Battalion was pulled off the line at Zig Zag Pass in Luzon, P.I., on about 5 February '45. We were surprised at the move because although we had taken casualties in the four days we had engaged the Japanese at the Pass, our losses were nowhere near as heavy as were the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 34th Infantry Regimental Combat Team. We walked the ten or twelve miles to the town of Olangapo from which we had driven the Japs late in January.

After the platoon leaders had seen to the "comfort" of their men, the officers were called to a Battalion officers meeting. There Col. Postlethwait informed us that our Battalion was to attack and recapture the Island of Corregidor. The assault force would include one Battalion of the 503d Parachute Infantry. The troopers would jump into the Topside of the Island about one hour before our units would land at the South Dock.

The Colonel informed us that the 3rd Battalion had been selected for the operation because we had been the least hard hit at Zig Zag Pass. The other two Battalions had sustained too many casualties.

Lt. Cain, "I" Company Commander, told me to take my platoon to Grande Island, a small Island in Subic Bay, and to instruct the men in   platoon in the use of the flame thrower and the bazooka. Most of the men  in our company were new replacements that had joined us on board ship as  moved to assault Luzon, on January 19th. We would also have time to allow the men to zero their rifles - something they had not had the opportunity to do before they went into combat. It was believed that the Japanese would be well dug in on Corregidor so that bazookas, flame throwers, and satchel charges would be required. In the course of the day I was able to give limited instruction to the men in my platoon and we rejoined the company.

While we waited for the order to move to the port area, my platoon conducted, as did the other platoons, patrols to ensure that the Japanese did not infiltrate our lines.

On or about the 8th. of February, another officers meeting was held in  a room that had drapes over the windows and sentries outside the house. Col. Postlethwait again cautioned all not to reveal our objective until we were on board ship. At that time,  we would meet with our platoons and tell each man of our mission. He further informed us that intelligence reported that the Japanese were evacuating the Island so that the 1500 hundred paratroopers and our Battalion of 1500 men would be more than enough to overrun the Island in a day or so. That thereafter, we would garrison the Island for a month or two, at which time we would receive replacements and train.

So much for military intelligence, a true oxymoron. It took 10 days to secure the Island, over 5,000 Japanese were killed and we filled the Hospital Ship Hope the first day of the operation.


The Author was a platoon leader, "I" Company, 34th Infantry Regiment on Corregidor.