A short distance north of the trees
concealing Belt Line Road is the beginning of an area of desolation.
Bombardment had rendered the area of Batteries Hearn and Smith almost completely
devoid of all vegetation. Only
debris and a heavy dust cover remained. During early 1945, 28 January until 16
February, the B-24's of the 307th Bomb Group joined by A-20's of the 3rd Attack
Group dropped 3,128 tons of bombs on Corregidor, making it one of the most
heavily bombed 1735 acres of the war. Other units joined in, but these were the
Actually the destroyed areas included Batteries Cheney, Wheeler, Boston,
the parade ground, and surrounding areas.
As we advanced west along Sunset Ridge,
Johnson's squad led the platoon with the 1st squad echeloned on their right
covering the area down to the valley and Grubbs Railroad and the parallel road.
Lloyd McCarter lead the way followed by 2nd scout John Bartlett.
Bill McDonald led the 1st squad as 1st scout.
"I remember Lt. Bailey telling us to go
take that hill, never knew the name.
The first time I came up out of the cut-down and on to the Hearn
Magazine, McCarter was 1st scout, I
was 2nd, and you, Bill, were third as always. I had never scouted before.
McCarter was so fast I could hardly keep up. When we reached
the top without opposition we threw hand grenades down the ventilator shaft.
"None of us knew the name of this battery
or Smith, either.
The magazine at Hearn simply came to be called Calhoun's Hill.
Way Hill became Bailey's Hill in the same way. We would name the
valley between Sunset Ridge and Way Hill 'Maggot Valley' in a couple of
days, so I will use this name from here on.
We advanced in open squad column until we
reached Battery Smith. No opposition had been encountered. As the platoon approached
the northwest side of Smith magazine, one of the Tennessee men, called out to
Bill McDonald that he could see a Jap looking at them through field glasses.
Bill looked to check, spotting the Jap officer's head showing slightly
above ground level. At that moment, the trooper who had called out fired his M-1, and Bill saw
the binoculars almost cut in half at the hinge. Of course the Jap died
instantly. When they got there the body was on steps leading to a door of an
underground room or tunnel (probably the oil house for the battery)"
"I remember the Jap looking through binoculars.
We were on patrol and Aimers said "I just saw a Jap down there, and I
shot him, and I want those binoculars when we get there." The distance was so great that I didn't think he saw a Jap,
let alone shot one. When we got
there, sure enough, at the bottom of the steps lay a Jap with binoculars lying
beside him. I tried to throw a hand
grenade through the door at the bottom of the steps.
It hit the side of the door and landed beside the dead Jap and the
binoculars. Later on Aimers proved
that anything he could see, he could hit."
"The flamethrower operator came up and
hosed down the doorway.
Several Japs ran out and were shot down. Later, after things cooled off, and unknown to the rest of
the platoon, they opened the steel door.
Moving cautiously inside they went into a room filled with cases of whiskey, San
Miguel Beer, and a 5-gallon jug of sake."
"Earlier they had found some liquor, and
the best I can remember is after Bill Bailey destroyed the loot."