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(L to R) Albert T. Field, Robert E. Unterzuber and Robert V, Rockensock.



We captured (and later destroyed) six 50 calibre Heavy Machine Guns and two Lewis Guns (a Light Machine Gun) as well as some 60mm Mortars.




"(from right) Richard "Tropical" Peterson, Bill Calhoun, George Montoya, Virgil Short and Burl Martin. Peterson wasn't yet 16.


 - 8 -


"I saw McCarter cross the hill from his position on the south side of the hill and go down near the "bulge" at the northeast corner of the hill.  The "bulge" was the trolley tunnel which ran into this corner of the hill, supplying the magazine with heavy munitions and equipment.

McCarter, as a 1st scout, was armed with a Thompson Sub Machine Gun.  The distance from the hill to the road was too great for effective fire for this weapon.  On his own volition, and without anyone else's knowledge, McCarter climbed his way down the steep slope and took up a position in a shallow gulley by the side of the road,  opposite the upturned trolley cars. From this position he fired directly into the enemy column.  He made several trips back to the hill that night to obtain more ammunition, changing his Thompson for a BAR when it malfunctioned and later, when the Browning failed,  to exchange it for an M-1 Garand rifle.  The BAR had become available after Schilli was wounded.  Finally even the Garand malfunctioned, its operating rod splitting!  How many rounds did he fire to cause this tough weapon to malfunction in such a manner? 

When heavy enemy traffic going up the road had long ceased, McCarter commenced to dueling with Japs who had taker up covered positions around and under the trolley cars.  McCarter, short and stocky, yelled and laughed at the enemy when he was engaged in combat, for he was one of those rare individuals which combat transforms into a state of great exhilaration, so much so that they seem absolutely fearless. I had seen this in him before, and  McCarter was no different that night."  



"The Navy flares continued to light up the night, but in no particular pattern, they weren't constant. The most frequent firing took place from about 2000 hours until around 0200 to 0300 hours, though.  A number of Japs did get past us,  and past McCarter, evidently assembling in the area of the rail and road junctions to our northwest toward Way Hill.  Some of them attacked Bill Bailey's force on Way Hill, and others attacked our east perimeter. A few went on to Topside. 

  After repulsing the first attack,  which came at about 2330 hours,  all was quiet for a while.  After an hour or so the chants began again and continued as before, reaching a crescendo, and then the tide of death would flow in again.  Our confidence remained high,  though as the night drew on, there was an ever growing concern that our ammunition might not see us through to the morning. Sometimes it would go dark maybe fifteen minutes at a stretch. It seemed black as pitch for so long as time passed. "Where are the flares?"

The third attack came in the same manner as the first and second attacks, and was repulsed, but we were now to the last of our ammunition. Johnson gathered up ammo from his 3d squad. Bayonets were fixed, and trench knives readied.  Nor did it help to have the SCR536 radio, for the net was closed. "Where are those flares?" Near dawn the chants started again.  The situation was critical. 

Fortunately for us no attack came.  Dawn broke shortly, and the phrase "immense relief" cannot do justice to our feelings.  

Around dawn McCarter was hit hard by a bullet in the chest, and when it was light, he could be plainly seen in the position where he lay down by the road. It looked to us from a ways off he was dead. Some men went down, even though there was some fire still from a Nambu LMG, and only then was he carried, or rather dragged, back up the hill to its relative safety, into a large crater near the big ventilator.

I figured it would be mid-morning before we could get him through to Topside, and with a bullet entry near the middle of his chest, I was worried about him going into shock. Our Medic, Pfc. Roy Jensurd, had used his supply of blood plasma long before. I went to McCarter several times to reassure him we'd get him out as soon as we could. Each time he told me not to worry about him, that he was doing all right. I never saw any symptoms of shock. He was tough and complaint was not in his vocabulary." 


Richard Lampman

"The next thing I can remember was that two or three of us (I don't know who was with me) came upon a group milling around, trying to get McCarter out of the ravine (RR track area).  The road was wider than most with steep walls on both sides. I do not remember where it went. He was on a stretcher.  The first I knew he had been wounded.  A Jap came out of one of two large concrete double doors, open about a foot or twenty inches behind them and threw a grenade.  It arched up and hit the steel pole that carried the electric wire and dropped back on him. Three others and myself grabbed the stretcher and went out of there in a hurry!!  I don't know what the rest did.

Some of us got to look inside a day or two later. I have never seen so much black gun powder!!  It was in large bins like we used to store oats and wheat on the farm.  We were in some other places loaded with G.P. only not so much."



"At dawn of the 19th I reported our situation to Bailey.  We were cut off to the east by the Japs in the railroad cut, and to the north by Japs under and around the trolley cars. They had a Nambu LMG.  Any movement drew fire from them and the riflemen. We were out of ammunition. We had several wounded who were in real need of medical attention. Pasquale Ruggio, of the 2nd platoon, was hit by rifle fire from the direction of the rail-road cut and killed.  Pfc Lawrence Rainville, mortar platoon, was wounded too. The mortar men, Sgt. Phillips, Burl Martin, George Montoya, the young Richard "Tropical" Peterson*, Virgil Short, and others searched through the dozens of empty mortar shell cartons and found 5 or 6 rounds.  After Ruggio was killed they fired these rounds at the "ditch", or railroad cut. They thought they'd put every round in it. Even the .50 cal was fired towards the cut In truth, there was a crater against the railroad cut which we could not see, and there were over a dozen Japs taking very effective shelter in it. These were the Japs who were firing at us. Those in the cut were unable to climb the high, sheer walls to get into position to fire at us. 

The sun was up now, and the SCR 536 radio was powered up. At this point the CO of D Battery contacted me by radio.  His thin radio voice was quizzing me,

"I can see about 300 yards to the east north-east of your position, looking straight down the cut, and see a group of men in the cut. Are they enemy?"  

"Affirmative. They have us cut off from Topside," I responded. 

"Well, we'll soon take care of that," was his assurance. 

Only when the D Battery's 60 mm mortar battery delivered an awesome amount of fire down the cut, where it created a carnage exploding between the concrete walls, was the problem eliminated.  Later we would find the bodies so heaped up and mutilated that we could not get an exact body count. 

We evacuated our wounded. Pvt. Lloyd McCarter, Pfc. Benedict Schilli, Pfc. Richard Aimers, Pfc John Albersman, Pfc. Lawrence Rainville, and one of the LMG section men, possibly two, were wounded. All the wounded were litter cases, which gave us some problems.  S/Sgt Donald E. White from the 2nd platoon had had moved his position on the southeast corner forward several yards in order to better see the enemy and to control his squad.  For this act of bravery he lost his life. Pfc. Pasquale A. Ruggio, also of 2nd platoon,  was a fatality. The casualty list belied the serious situation we had been in, and how close the Japanese had come to defeating us.  


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