It was quiet in our sector, as though the
war was over.
Battery Wheeler was dead.
There were no machine guns in Crockett Ravine.
There was not even an occasional Jap popping up out of nowhere to shoot someone
in the head. No sniper bullets
rattled your eardrums as they cracked within inches of you head.
The 850 Japs must be dead.
Todd and some of the others picked up souvenirs, but I could not develop any
interest. Some of the mortar men from their position near Building 28-D
came out and took pictures standing beside the old M-3 AA guns. I was tired,
dirty, hot, and thirsty, and if it crossed my mind that as 1st platoon commander
I should commit my thoughts to my diary, there was always something more
important to do. The next entries
appear only after we got back to Mindoro.
All this after only two days and nights.
The 1st Battalion arrived yesterday
afternoon and with them were my six missing men: Staff Sergeant Charles M.
McCurry, Pfc. Marion E. Boone, Pfc. Ralph E. Iverson, Pfc. Paul A Narrow, Pfc.
Theodore C. Yocum and Pfc. Bill McDonald. Near noon we moved back to Officers Quarters 28-D.
We were issued 2 or 3 K-rations and a canteen of water.
This was the second canteen of water we had received on Corregidor.
We had jumped with two canteens full,
so that in all, we had four canteens of water issued to us to see us
through the first three days on Corregidor.
Actually we wouldn't get more water until the next day, 19 February. This
would be about the middle of the afternoon when we reached the long barracks.
The company history does
not give the date nor circumstances of the death of Pfc. William W. Lee. The 2nd platoon was withdrawn from the NCO Quarters the
morning of the 18th. They moved in
and around Officer's Quarters 27-D. Lee
and several others were in one of the first floor rooms. Lee slipped off his webbed harness and let it slide to the
floor. Speaking of Ed Flash's 'Hornet's
Nest' from which he had just come, he exclaimed, "Boy, I'm glad to be out of
there!" He lay down on the floor,
put his head on his musette
and, as he did, a
large chunk of concrete fell from the wall,
crushing his skull and killing him.
The 1st platoon was given the mission of
capturing one of the Batteries far out on the western end of the island.
I now know it as Battery Smith, for I know the names of all the Batteries today, but at that
time we did not know the names of many of the batteries until we were close
enough to read them, if that was possible. The same goes for the names of the
hills. What are today Way Hill, and Hearn
Hill were in those early days, 'Bailey's Hill' or 'Calhoun's Hill,' often
spoken with a pointing gesture in the air in the general direction of the
briefing was given on a barely adequate
map, since the area was far out of sight.
There were no adequate maps on Corregidor, and even the maps we had did not
identify the batteries, so it was a case of making do with what we had.
There were no provisions for supporting fire.
We had only the platoon SCR-536 radio, so we would be out of
communication, for we had learned by experience it would be another case of "out
of sight, out of contact."
I was to follow the trolley tracks to first of the batteries (Hearn),
turn west, and follow the ridge to the objective.
The nearest troops would be the remainder of F Company upon Topside about
700 yards away, but with no reliable way to contact them should it become
In addition to drawing water and rations we
replenished our ammo supply. Fortunately the supply of ammo was plentiful.
The riflemen filled the pouches on their rifle belts and some picked up
an extra bandolier of 8 clips. Thus
they all had 128 rounds of ball and some had 192 rounds.
The BAR's and TSMG's were equally well supplied.
There were no machine guns or other supporting weapons attached.
The Company left before we did.
They were going to the west end of the long barracks.
We waited until C Company moved in to relieve us.
They also relieved D Company at Battery Wheeler.