SETTING THE STAGE
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from the Journal of the 24th Inf.

 

 

 

"There’s no place to go, once you’re there, but forward. We simply take the hill at all costs and stay there until we’ve killed all the Japs..
..or the Japs have killed all of us."

 

Lt. Col. E. M. Postlewait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map 80
Recapture of Corregidor
16 - 28 February 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The invasion fleet heads towards Corregidor...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and enters into San Jose Bay. Government Ravine is bathed in smoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting The Stage

 

That obscure piece of information which came to CT-34 on February 1st – "Japs observed withdrawing from Bataan to Corregidor via small boats" – had smouldered like the fuze of a time bomb for a dozen days. On February 13th, it burst into flaming significance.

The bombs had been dropped in hundreds. Air Reconnaissance had flown mission after mission. Water-borne reconnaissance had sailed to within yards of the shore. Informants had reported – the enemy had been constantly observed. The moment had arrived for the final plans, and the mission had been assigned.

On February 16th, at 1030 hours, BLT#3 – THIRD battalion, 34th Infantry (Reinf) – would land on BLACK BEACH, at SAN JOSE, CORREGIDOR ISLAND.

Field Order #1, issued from Headquarters BLT #3, APO 21, 13 February – is herewith quoted in part.

"BLT #3

3d Bn, 34th Inf w/Bn Med Sect.

 

Attchd: Co A. 34th Inf

3d Plat, Cn Co., 34th Inf

3d Plat, AT Co., 34th Inf

1/2 Mine Plat, AT Cc., 34th Inf

Det Serv Co., 34th Inf

Det Co C, 24th Med Bn.

3d Plat Co. B, 3d Engr

Det 503d Tk Co.

Det 174th Bomb Disposal Sqd

Det JASCO

Det XI Corps Sig Co.

Det 592d EB & SR (Comm)

18th PSH

552d ES & SR (Shore Party)(ASP)

 

a. Will: on D-plus-1" (16 Feb) "land on BLACK BEACH at H-plus-120," – (1030 hours) -

"(1) Secure IBH

(2) Seize and secure MALINTA HILL."

The garrison on CORREGIDOR was reported by Guerrillas to be between 250 and 350 on December 17th, after that date, it was known that the 3rd battalion, 22nd Field Artillery Regiment, less 1 battery, armed with 159mm guns and totalling approximately 500 men, had come to the Rock. This placed the minimum estimate of enemy troops to oppose landings at 850. Prewar armament repaired and put in fighting condition was reported to include two 12-inch guns, two 10-inch disappearing guns, two 3-inch mobile anti-aircraft guns, and two 37mm split trail guns. So far as was known, the only additional enemy-installed artillery on the island were six 75mm guns. Guerrillas reported the Rock well supplied with food and ammunition.

 

   

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* This document has been transcribed from an imperfect photocopy. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the transcription is correct, there may be errors.