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Al McGrew

This was not it. 



Japanese troops march through Malinta, with arms shouldered, whilst surrendered troops stand by attempting to come to terms with the unthinkable.

Today, was a down day. 

Today was the Sixth of May and each year it is the very worse down day of all. 

My thoughts always slide back to 5-6-42 , and I recall the events of that day as though it were yesterday. I can smell the smoke and the dust in the air, and can hear the thunder of the bombs and shells. I can see the shock in my Captains face, and the despair in the faces of the men that I have served with. I feel the shock of the axe striking the water jacket of my old Browning machine gun. The enemy planes sweep overhead above the tree tops. Mind keeps repeating if we are quitting why are they firing on us?

I see myself pulling my dogtags from my neck and wadding the tags and the chain in my hand and flinging them down the slope....away from me!  I stare at Bill Krueger and slowly shake my head, not believing this is happening!  I hear the deafening roar of artillery shells rearranging the terrain across the road. Shrapnel rips through the air nearby. Why are we destroying our weapons I think. Some one is shooting at us! Just like yesterday and last night.....and all of the yesterdays before. How long? Forever my mind remarked, failing to remember a time before this hell that had descended upon us. I somehow was moving toward the heightfinder, perhaps I could help there. I found myself stumbling over chunks of broken concrete and tripping on cables, torn from the ground like spaghetti. Sgt. Charlie Jackson was flailing at the long tube of the heightfinder like a madman, yelling, "No surrender!.....No!", the sweat was running down his dirty face in small rivers as his axe ripped into the height finder, the fire control equipment that he directed so well.

I saw around me complete, utter chaos! We had been ordered to surrender! It couldn't be!

Yes, today was a very down day for me.............. 

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