We moved out following the trolley bed.
The tracks had been removed near Battery Wheeler.
We moved to the northwest, below Topside. The area was wooded, having escaped heavy bombardment.
As a consequence we had to move cautiously, pausing to investigate
suspicious areas. There were a
number of parallel tracks leading to a car barn, but we followed the tracks west
of these. This set of tracks was in
a cut with concrete walls. We moved along the east side of the cut until we came to a
cut-down where we could go down through the concrete walls and up to the other
side. The cut-down was well
constructed with concrete walls.
Down at the track level we could see that the railroad cut deepened as it ran to
the northwest. The walls appeared
to be 12 to 14 feet tall. The cut
curved on out of sight to the left.
After we climbed up to level ground on the west side of the cut we could see the
bare, bomb-scarred hill which covered the Battery Hearn Magazine.
No foliage was left.
Both Batteries Hearn and Smith were 12 inch
barbette mounted guns, 340 yards distant from each other.
They sat in the middle of huge, round concrete pads.
This gave them the appearance of bull's-eyes since they were out in the open.
Adjoining the concrete pad to the east of each gun was its magazine,
which was covered with dirt forming a fair sized hill.
The man-made hills had very steep sides on the north, west, and south.
The east side of Smith was steep but not so severe as the other sides.
The east side of Hearn was more of a gentle slope which was easy to
Originally Smith was Battery Smith 1, and
Hearn was Battery Smith 2. They were less formally known to the men of pre-war
Corregidor as the Smith Brothers, Pat and Pending (after a popular radio
commercial of the day) and in their day they presented a fearsome twosome. Because of their barbette mounts they could elevate higher
than the disappearing guns in the other batteries.
This allowed them to fire shells at a greater range of 17 miles, so an
enemy fleet approaching would come under their fire first.
On October 29, 1937, Battery Smith 2 was renamed Battery Hearn in honor
of Brigadier General Clint C. Hearn, a former Harbor Defense Commander.
This battery was gas proofed, or its magazine was.
When the gun was fired at the Japs in Cavite in 1942, the muzzle blast of
the first round blew one of the gas proofing doors off its hinges.
These batteries were located on a ridge running east-west.
West of Battery Smith several hundred yards away on the ridge had been the 155mm
gun Battery Sunset, comprising six guns.
The ridge is named Sunset Ridge. Way Hill dropped toward the sea as does Sunset
Ridge. About 500 yards from the sea
and located on Way Hill's ridge is Battery Grubbs.
The western end of the valley between Batteries Smith and Grubbs is a rim
which drops off sharply into a deep ravine. Although the name was not on the map
we feel this was Grubbs Ravine because of
the battery on one side and Grubbs
Trail on the other side,
and always called it that. Sunset
Ridge drops off sharply on its south side to form the north side of Cheney
Ravine; its north side forms the south side of Grubbs Ravine.
Way Hill's ridge forms the north side of Grubbs Ravine.
Grubbs Ravine descends very rapidly to the sea.
Like Cheney and James Ravines, Grubbs Ravine is a natural approach to
There is the railroad cut to the east of
Battery Hearn which extends on to the northwest.
From this region a rail spur comes to the northeast corner of the Battery Hearn
magazine and enters a short tunnel which leads into the magazine.
Proceeding east along Grubbs Railroad as
one nears Battery Smith a rail spur branches of going downhill into a long
tunnel into Battery Smith magazine.
Belt Line Road passes just east of Battery
Grubbs, passes into the valley between Sunset Ridge and Way Hill where it
intersects the road from Topside to Battery Grubbs, and then over Sunset Ridge
about midway between Batteries Hearn and Smith.
The road then runs along the side of Sunset Ridge (in Cheney Ravine) within
about 100 yards of Battery Hearn.
It is in a cut in this area and is further concealed from Hearn magazine by