CALDERON, Jose L.
PFC
38442049
New Mexico
3 May 1945
N
C
7
51

"The S-3 journal for 28 April 1945 does not mention any replacements being directed to "F" Company,  but this was the day that an unfortunate young paratrooper arrived.  Jose Calderon will be fated to spend less than a week with his new company."

The F Company History for 3 May contains the following entry:

1st platoon moved up into the forest approx. 1000 yds. to set up a platoon outpost, where they contacted approx. 200 enemy and were surrounded. 2nd Platoon went to their relief and after fierce fighting both platoons withdrew leaving an unknown number of enemy dead. During this action Pfc. Jose Caldron was killed and Pfc Allen Martin was fatally wounded. Pfc.'s Perry Bandt and Phillip Smith were LWA.

Extract from "Bless 'em All"

Lt. Calhoun recalls:

For several days "F" Company had been maintaining an outpost, previously described, a mile or so up in the forest. The 1st platoon was manning this outpost with one section on LMG's attached. On the 3rd we sent the 2nd platoon up to relieve them along with the other section of LMG's. About the time the relief force arrived on top of the hill a large Jap force attacked from the southeast side of the hill employing a number of automatic weapons, a large volume of rifle fire, and heavy mortar shelling. Our force answered with fierce fire power. After about twenty minutes the Japs withdrew. The 1st platoon returned , and the 2nd platoon with their attached machine gun section stayed. Calderon from the 1st platoon was killed, and Martin from the 2nd platoon soon died of his wounds. Bandt from the 1st platoon and Smith from the 2d platoon were wounded. I believe there were casualties in the machine gun platoon. The battalion S-3 journal is incorrect in the number killed, so their wounded number may be incorrect.

 Although the S-3 journal made no reference to the allocation of replacement into "F" Company, Jose Calderon was in the assignment of replacements on 28 April.   There is more about this unfortunate young paratrooper who was to spend less than one week with his new company. The morning of the 3rd, after the 2nd platoon had left, a cablegram came in addressed to him informing him that his wife had given birth to a baby boy. The wife and baby were doing fine. We didn't know this boy, but it was a very sad group of us who viewed this message after we found out the young father was dead. During the period I commanded the company I wrote the letters of condolence to the next of kin. This was one of the most unpleasant tasks I ever had the responsibility to perform. The letter to Jose Calderon's wife still haunts me.

The outpost was out of radio contact, so these men were cut off from support. I requested that in the face of such strong enemy activity the men be brought in. This was refused, and I was told that there were no strong enemy forces left in this area, that the enemy was withdrawing and that there were only small delaying parties were left in our sector.

 

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