IVERSON, Ralph L.
Pfc
36314689
 
29 April 1944
Negros, P.I.
 
 
 

 

The 2nd Bn S-3 Journal for 29 April 1945 contains the following entry:

Suffered our heaviest day yesterday for casualties, 8 KIAs, 17 WIAs. D having 9 casualties, E Co-7, Hq-5, and F Co-4. Bn strength by Co as follows, Hq Co-10-0,127-EM, D Co 3-0,88-EM, E Co 4-0,95-EM, F Co 4-0,104-EM. All companies reported attempted infiltration that was repulsed.

Lt. Calhoun recalls:

Two "F" Company platoons were dug in on the narrow ridge. One was the 1st platoon, as the battalion history states. I believe the other was the 2d platoon. Dan Lee had returned from the hospital that day. He was sacked out near me at the company command post. He was the 3d platoon leader. One rifle platoon, as well as the mortar platoon, was in the draw with the company headquarters. Lee would have been up on the ridge, had his platoon been up there. I am positive about Lee for a reason I will give in a moment.

Shortly after dark, or no more than an hour, a Jap suddenly came running down the trail which followed the narrow ridge heading south. He was waving a white "flag", but he was screaming and yelling to the top of his voice and jumping up and down as he ran. After a momentary pause the men realized this joker was marking our position. Unfortunately a large number of the men opened fire, sending the Jap to his ancestors, but also marking our position. We did not have to wait too long for verification of this, because mortar shells  soon commenced to raining down in the immediate vicinity.  This was by far the heaviest shelling we had experienced. Our mortar platoon sergeant, S/Sgt Johnnie "Red Horse" Phillips soon had his 60's in action firing counterbattery fire. Then the 81's from battalion joined in with Red Horse acting as their FO. We believe this action saved us from even heavier attack. Iverson and Workman were killed by a round that fell directly into their foxhole. Iverson was an old veteran and Workman was new. We usually put a veteran with the less experienced at night. The next morning when we could see the remains of these two men it was not a pretty sight.

 The reason I remember Lee so well is that when the Jap barrage started several rounds came in close together. Some of the rounds overshot the ridge and fell near us. I said "Uh-oh!" and Lee promptly countered with  "Uh-oh's right!"  The Jap mortar men did keep the ground rocking for a while. We were much relieved when silence once more returned.

From "Bless 'em All."

 

 

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