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More than eight million dollars worth of silver had been dumped between Corregidor and Caballo Islands. The Japanese had been determined to get it all, but had been thwarted.




This article draws on documents that were donated  by Tore Anderson to the American Historical Collection. They include newspaper articles, the text of an interview, photographs, official documents, and  Mr. Anderson’s personal recollections of his experiences in the Philippines in 1945. The American Historical Collection hereby expresses its appreciation for Mr. Anderson’s generosity.


The American Historical Collection is located Lvl.3, Rizal Library Index, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Hts., Quezon City, Philippines.

This article is by Sara Collins Medina.



Second Lieutenant Tore Anderson, second from right above, with fellow salvagers and a large heap of silver
pesos, aboard the Sub Tender U.S.S. Teak. Note the high-tech equipment in use, i.e., the garbage can.


Salvaging a  Silver Treasure

Diving for Philippine Pesos off Corregidor in 1945


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In July 1945, a young 2nd Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers named Tore Anderson, from Kearny, New Jersey, was hastily summoned to Washington for a mission. Born in Sweden, an immigrant to the U.S. at age 3 1/2, he was an electronics engineer, a rare specialty for the armed forces of those days, and had spent the previous months at Sperry Gyroscope in suburban New York trying to persuade them to build 300 copies of a new mine detector he had designed for use against Japanese anti-boat mines in the Pacific. At this time, the Pacific Islands, including the Philippines, had been liberated, but the war was not yet over: the Japanese homeland still held out—the dropping of the atomic bombs was yet to come—and his mission was labeled secret.

In Washington, Anderson was informed that he would accompany a shipment of portable mine detectors built by Schlumberger to Manila. He was fitted out with full overseas gear, includiing a .45-cal. automatic pistol he says he was “damned if he could hit anything with,” and was on his way via Honolulu, Johnson Island, Wake Island, and Clark Air Base in Pampanga. Finally, some 48 hours later, he arrived in Manila by truck. “First order of business,” Anderson recalls, “you go to the PX and buy a bar of soap, then give that and a GI shirt to the Filipino tailor, and the next day you have an ‘Eisenhower jacket’ made from your shirt hemmed around your waist (much cooler) and a long-billed cap so you look like a real old-timer.”




*Some authorities put the number at 16,486,490 and we won't quibble it.