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DUANE E. LARSON
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Duane E. Larson

Pfc., Battery A, 462nd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion

KIA 'Monkey Point', Corregidor

26 February 1945

 

My father is Duane Larson, a paratrooper killed in action on Corregidor on February 26, 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart. I was eleven months old at the time he was killed. My paternal grandmother told me that on the day my father died he volunteered to take the place of a friend who was ill and went out on patrol in his place.

My father is buried in Niles, Michigan, the small town where he grew up. His father visited the grave every day for the rest of his life.

Dolane Larson

Duane Larson, was assigned to Battery A of the 462nd Parachute Field Artillery. The 462nd, along with the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 161s Parachute Engineer Company formed the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team (RCT). Pfc. Duane E. Larson, our records show, was killed on 26 February 1945.

On that date the 503rd RCT lost more men killed or wounded than any other day in the two weeks we were on Corregidor. An underground facility near the "tail" of Corregidor had held a Navy Radio Intercept unit during and before the siege of Corregidor. This was a very important facility and participated in breaking the secret Japanese Code. This was an important factor in the battle of Midway Island which marked the beginning of the end of the Japanese conquest. Between the surrender of the Island on 6 May 1942 and our parachute invasion of the Island on 16 February 1945, the Japanese had stored a large amount of explosives in the tunnel. The 503rd RCT approached the facility on 25 Feb and were in the process of routing the Japanese out of the tunnel on the morning of the 26th.  A tank, assigned temporarily to us, was firing into the entrance when a catastrophic explosion shook the Island. The 503rd had more than 50 men killed outright and more than 150 were seriously injured. Your father, undoubtedly, was caught up in this tragedy. 

Don Abbott

Dolane

I wondered how it was that a 462nd Trooper would be killed in the explosion at Monkey Point.  The best reason that comes to mind is that he was with them as a forward artillery observer. 

Maj. Arlis Kline
Commanding Officer
462d PFAB

                


 

 

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Last Updated: 09-04-10