Document courtesy of Don Abbott.


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I found this document amongst Don Abbott's papers. It had no title page or attribution sheet with it, so for the moment I have had to list its author as "unknown." Thus I am reticent about posting this document, and not placing a CAUTION with it.It is based on hearsay, cites only general sources, does not identify individual witnesses, and relies on official reports which are themselves both cursory and not entirely accurate Consider it illustrative, reflective of the circumstances only in a general manner, and not to be relied on as a prime historical document.




Due to the unusual character of the CORREGIDOR ISLAND operation it is felt a record of the operation in narrative form would be of general interest to all. The following report is compiled mainly from eye witness accounts fitted into the general tactical situation as recorded in official reports. A sketch and photo map is attached-for the clarification of this summary.

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The recapture of CORREGIDOR was aimed at opening MANILA BAY to Allied shipping. The operation planned and executed by troops of the XI Corps, struck the Rock 16 Feb, just 12 days after the entry into MANILA by American forces and accomplished in ten days, a job that required the Japs over 3 months to do.

CORREGIDOR as an isolated military reservation was secure from ordinary intelligence agencies. Attempts to land Alamo Scouts on the Rock were foiled by the presence of Jap radar on the island, therefore, a formal G2 estimate of enemy strength was not given.

As it developed the 3rd Battalion landing team of the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team found themselves dropping on to the top of the Rock into the midst of a Jap force 5 times their own numbers. The preparatory naval and air strike coupled with the suddeness of the paratroops landing were in a large measure responsible for the initial success of the landing for the Japs, driven underground by our coordinated naval and air action, reacted slowly to the vertical envelopment and allowed our paratroops to secure their equipment and organize.

From documents captured on the Rock it is known that the Jap had recognized the pattern of our preparations for attack and had alerted his garrison for an amphibious attack. As a further indication of his complete surprise at our air invasion the few weapons which did fire on our descending infantrymen had to be shifted from ground targets to the air. Adding to the difficulty of our paratroops were the restricted landing areas of the golf course and parade ground, forcing cur C-47s to make 3 and 4 runs to dump their loads. A high wind of 15/20 MPH caused the troops to jump over water west of the island in order to hit the landing ground. Those unfortunate enough to miss the field found themselves in the water or east of the top of the Rock. In spite of all difficulties only 24 men dropped into the water and these were quickly rescued by waiting PT boats. Only a few landed east of the Rock but these unfortunates were killed by screaming Japs rushing out of tunnels and hacking them to death.

The 3rd Battalion, 34th Inf landing at SAN JOSE beach just two hours after the first air drop made the landing under heavy rifle and machine gun fire, charging across the mine strewn beach to secure a beachhead and making contact with the paratroops on top of the Rock in a matter of a few hours.