Col Samuel L. Howard, right, inspects the beach defenses on Corregidor with LtCol Herman R. Anderson, left, commander of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, and MajGen George F. Moore, USA, center, overall commander of the Corregidor defenses.

On the evening of 4 May a Philippine civilian arrived in a small fishing boat on the beach at Corregidor. The civilian carried a message from Philippine intelligence on Bataan, and was promptly carried to Lieutenant Colonel George D. Hamilton, the regimental intelligence officer. Hamilton called for Sergeant Harold S. Dennis of the intelligence section to read the note aloud, as he was having difficulty disciphering the message. Dennis read, "Expect enemy landing on the night of 5/6 May." Hamilton quieted Dennis, saying, "Hush, hush, hush, don't say another word! Do you want to start a panic?" Hamilton took Dennis with the note to Colonel Howard who listened as the note was read aloud a second time. In the morning of 5 May Howard called a meeting of all the regiment's senior officers. Once assembled, Howard told them the contents of the note from Bataan. The Japanese were expected to make their attack that night or the following day.

There followed a discussion of the probabilities of the landing. If the Japanese were expected that night, the beach positions would be 100% manned at nightfall. If the landing took place at dawn, the positions would be 50% manned until dawn so the men could eat and rest for the coming attack. Curtis asked the assembled officers for their opinions, which was followed by a spirited discussion. Curtis then called for a vote, which was unanimous for the men to sleep until one hour before dawn and then fully man the defenses.

Colonel Howard then spoke and asked for the opinion of Sergeant Dennis, the only enlisted man in the room. Dennis had studied Japanese tactics in China and said that enemy landings were invariably made at night, one hour before the full light of the moon. Colonel Howard thanked him for his opinion, but did not change the regiment's orders. The men would be allowed to sleep for a predawn landing.

Department of Defense Photo (USMC) Phi-9