CLIFTON L, PUCKETT
Clifton L. PUCKETT
Pfc, Rifleman 2d Platoon, "D" Company 503d PRCT
K.I.A., Beach (west) of Wheeler Pt., Corregidor
24th Feb 1945
February, D Company was on the beach beneath Wheeler Battery, cleaning out
the caves other companies had not done.
The beach was narrow, I believe about fifteen feet wide.
The area was so confined our three platoons were mingled.
As we slowly advanced we formed a loose scrimmage line, some of the
riflemen slogged along on the inclined edges of the cliff and some of us
were on the flat sand, some even in the shallow water.
Every now and then one of us would slip on the wet round stones and
fall into the water. Several
caves were wiped out with heaved grenades and firing by every rifleman who
could see the opening.
One of our men was killed and one wounded.
The Company commander ordered the patrol back to Cheney trail where
we had entered the beach.
We had gone only a short way when all hell broke loose.
massive fusillade of machine gun and sniper fire rained down from caves on
the side of the cliff too high and too obscured to see.
Nine troopers fell.
I was in the water seeking to hide behind stones, but they were too
looked to the cliffs for the source of the firing and saw nothing.
The commander called for LCMS to rescue us, withdrawal was
impossible. The wait for them seemed eternal as the firing continued.
of the sergeants yelled, “Here
come the boats, you guys get off your asses and bring the bodies out!
We ain’t leaving this beach without them!”
slung my rifle and joined several others headed toward the cliff where most
of the bodies lay.
How we were not hit, I never knew; the good Lord must have been with
or three of us picked up the boys as best we could.
I grabbed one by his harness straps and another trooper grabbed his
we laid him on the sand I saw he was shot through the neck.
Blood was spurting out and running onto the sand.
I put my hand over the gushing blood but I could not hold it.
It continued dripping out around my fingers.
I looked at his face and thought it was Shreifels, our Platoon
sergeant, called ‘Radio’ Howard was already on the bouncing boat and
guys get those men on board and quit looking up the cliff, we gotta get the
water was armpit high near the boat’s ramp and I fought to keep the
wounded soldier’s head above water but I could not.
The waves and the weight I was carrying nearly downed both of us. His
face kept going under and I could see the gushing blood mixing with the salt
Finally those on board grabbed both of us and dragged us aboard. I dropped, exhausted. It was only when we were away from the cliff’s firing and on the bouncing waves that I saw it was R.V. Holt I had dragged on board. I cried all the way back to South Beach and walked away from the others to meditate on the fate of that fine paratrooper.
have never forgotten him.
The 503d PRCT Heritage Battalion is privately supported through membership fees, PX Sales and donations made by like-minded private individuals who believe in the 503d Lineage and Heritage.
Copyright ©, The
Corregidor Historic Society - All Rights Reserved