This feature is a permanent extract of the best REDISCOVERING CORREGIDOR posts from our Bulletin Board

 

FIELD NOTES

 

 
MISCELLANEOUS TRAVELS
ON CORREGIDOR 1

MISCELLANEOUS TRAVELS
 ON CORREGIDOR - 1

VARIOUS SCENES - PART 1
THEN AND NOW

ENGINEER RAVINE

THEN AND NOW

BATTERY GEARY
AIR RAID SHELTER PART 1

BATTERY GEARY
VINTAGE IMAGES PART 2

BATTERY GEARY
 TODAY - PART 3

GOAL-POST RIDGE

BATTERY RJ-43

NAVY RADIO INTERCEPT TUNNEL ,  FOTS2/110423

TAILSIDE CEMETERIES, TOMBSTONES, FOTS2/110316

MALINTA HILL,
COMPARISON 1977 SLIDES, FOTS2/090820

MALINTA HILL, GUN POSITION LOCATED,  FOTS2/110320

MIDDLESIDE BARRACKS,
EXT & INTERIOR,  FOTS2/101210

NORTH OF KINDLEY FIELD,
WALKING WEST,  FOTS2/101210

TAILSIDE, LT. LAWRENCE'S GUN POSITION, FOTS2/110205

OFFICER'S COUNTRY,
GOLF CLUB & POOL, FOTS2/100329

ROCK POINT,
SEARCHLIGHT NO. 2, FOTS2/091205

SEARCHLIGHT  NO. 2, DAMAGE BY LANDSLIDE  FOTS2/100415

GUN GROUP COMMAND POST, NO. 1, INTERIOR, FOTS2/090823

REVISITING BUNKER'S C-1 TUNNEL, FOTS/100427

DID BATTERY GRUBBS JUMP THEIR TRUNNIONS, TF/100120

INFANTRY TRENCH LINES ON TAILSIDE, FOTS2/090408

MALINTA GASOLINE STORAGE LATERALS FOTS2/090517

BATTERY WAY, PRE-WAR & SPECS, FOTS2/100523-1

BATTERY WAY, INTERIORS, PIT & STATIONS,  FOTS2/100523-2

JAPANESE TWIN 25mm AA GUN, IDENTIFICATION, FOTS2/100121

MARIVELES TUNNEL No 1,
 WELTEKE 110103

BATTERY SUNSET
 FOTS2/110514

 

 

 

 

 

FIELD NOTE:

 

PLACE: CORREGIDOR DATE:

29 MARCH 2010

LOCALE: TOPSIDE, OFFICER'S ROW, CLUB
OBSERVATION: OFFICER COUNTRY
BY: JOHN MOFFITT
 

REF: FOTS2/100329

   

First on my “to do” list this Corregidor trip was a visit to the Officer’s Club for "ironman." Since the day I arrive is a partial hike day, I thought wandering around that area would be a great way to spend the afternoon.


1924 photo labelled “Officer’s Club.”

The Officer’s Club was also known as the “Corregidor Club”.The club bordered on the Corregidor golf course. Here are two pre war views of that 9-hole course.


Corregidor Golf Course



Corregidor Golf Course

The ferry docked at 9:30am and after walking up to the Inn, checking in, gearing up and bumming a ride, I was at the Spanish Flagpole on Topside at 10:45am. First stop was up the hill to the Lighthouse for a cold drink. It is really starting to get hot on the island now and I was anticipating a thick and thorny trek in a few minutes.


The rebuilt Spanish Lighthouse, photo taken in February, 2010.

The buildings surrounding the courtyard contain washrooms and six different gift shops.

The weather this day would swing from dark and cloudy to bright sunlit moments which are always a challenge to photograph in the jungle. It was hot but due to a very dry El Nino season this year, the vegetation is quite dead which makes for good visibility. Even many vines were dead so continuous cutting was not necessary. I took advantage of this to check out the whole area.

Starting at the Lighthouse, my plan was to walk down to the row of Senior Officer’s Quarters. After exploring them a bit I would try to find an old path down towards the Officer’s Club which is the most direct route. After photographing whatever was left of the club I would pass by the tennis court to the swimming pool and then out to the road. It seemed like an hour or two at most would do it but I kept coming across things to check out. By the time I got back to the Corregidor Inn, it was 5:40pm.



1936 Map covering today’s exploring area. (Map courtesy of Mapmaster)

It takes all of one minute to get from the Lighthouse down to the old road behind the Senior Officer’s Quarters. These particular buildings are mostly out of sight to the day tour crowd so the grounds have not been cleared of grass this year.

Each two story building appears to have housed two individual families. The bottom floor has no interior staircase up to the second floor. A large exterior staircase goes up to the second floor and each floor has their own fireplace although they utilize the same chimney.



View of a Senior Officer’s Quarters in better times. They are large two story buildings with fireplaces, porches, exterior staircases and a perimeter wall between the two houses.

I wandered around a few of the buildings but since they are very similar, I will show you photos of in and around 17-D.


Standing on the concrete paved road behind the houses. 17-D is to the right and 16-D is ahead of me. This is the back of the buildings adjacent to the Lighthouse.



From the rear corner of 17-D, here is a side view of 18-D.



The exterior staircases of both 17-D and 18-D.



17-D lower porch looking towards 16-D.



Looking out a window towards 18-D.



Part of the interior of 17-D.



The lower fireplace of 17-D.



Part of the interior of 17-D.



Upper rear corner of 17-D looking towards 16-D.



Looking down from the front corner of 17-D, you have a clear view of the exterior staircases and the perimeter wall between here and 18-D. Under the grass at the gap in the walls is a set of steps. From here I will go straight ahead across the old road and head downhill.



February 16, 1945 photo of the Zone B parachute jump in progress. You can see the Senior Officer’s Quarters in question taken 65 years before my photos. The concrete path down towards the Officer’s Club is clearly visible.

OK, time to head down the hill towards the Officer’s Club. I walked to mid way between 17-D and 18-D and headed into the bushes. Within seconds I could see a nice set of concrete steps going down. This might be easy after all.


Looking up the concrete steps below the Senior Officer’s Quarters.

At the bottom of the steps was an open area with high grasses. The map showed a Caddy House just ahead on my left but I believe that is gone now. In its place is an abandoned radio site that we discussed in this thread: http://corregidor.proboards.com/index.cg....read=587&page=3
 


View of the radio site taken from near the bottom of the steps.

I spent some time here and then got back on track towards the Officer’s Club. Just past the road to the radio site, the first concrete walkway up to the club was in view.



This was a wide raised walkway at the northern corner of the building.



A view of steps from one of the other walkways at the same end of the Club.



There appears to have been a concrete porch with a concrete railing along the front of the Club. (This does not agree with the photo but I will get to that later)



A better view of the concrete porch at the southern corner. The posts of the railing are almost gone but you can see what it was.

Behind the porch, the main floor of the Club was raised off the ground. This was a very common building practice, especially in the tropics.



Standing where the floor would have been looking towards the rear of the porch. One of the concrete floor supports can be seen. There are many of them in a grid pattern.



Most of the concrete floor supports look the same.



Near the back of the building is a narrow concrete wall.



Here are the steps up to the south side of the building.



I kicked this glass which was lying among the leaves so I propped it up for a photo.

Ahead I could see a low concrete wall with rectangular floor supports so I assumed that was the rear wall of this single story building. I was in for a surprise.



Low concrete wall with rectangular floor supports.



When I got there, not only was I now looking down at a lower level to this structure but there were many concrete walled rooms towards the right.

The left side has high concrete pillars equal in height to the single story’s pillars so it appears that the upper level extended out over this lower level along the side facing the tennis court. The left side was open under the upper level. The right side had numerous rooms under the upper level. There are no steps between the two levels of the Officer’s Club. All lower level doors except one side door open out towards the tennis courts.


The single side doorway to the lower level rooms.



Another view looking down.

At least one purpose of these rooms was toilets and showers probably for the tennis court and golf course. Broken chunks of porcelain litter a couple areas.



Water pipe running along a wall.



Collapsed interior concrete walls to toilet/shower area.



One of the rooms with the roof partially destroyed.



Another room. A sink is the large item on the floor.



There were many broken plates on the floor of one room. I was expecting them to be stamped “US Army Quartermaster Corps” but I finally found a small piece to say where they were actually made.



Some broken plates can be seen on the floor in this photo.



There was a big window here which looks out onto the tennis court.



The largest doorway facing the tennis court.

After viewing the map and photos, here is something for you to think about. I am wondering if the 1924 photo which is labeled as the “Officer’s Club”, is actually the small “Recreation Building” shown on the 1921 map. The old photo shows a simple structure but what you see in my photos seems to be much more substantial.



1921 map (Map courtesy of Mapmaster)

As a reference I added the location of the concrete walkway at the edge of the Golf Course. Note that in 1921, the tennis courts are located where the future large Officer’s Club will be located. The swimming pool, trolley line, Caddy Stop and a few other smaller structures do not exist yet. A small Recreation Building is to the left of the tennis courts.


Here is the 1936 map again for comparison. (Map courtesy of Mapmaster) This is the configuration of buildings that I saw recently.



 

In the above 1924 view, you see the single entrance walkway but there are actually more walkways. Also, the land in this photo is quite flat at and past this building. This is the same terrain that is shown on the 1921 map where the Recreation Building is located. The large Officer’s Club shown nearby on later maps is on a slope. From the upper side it appears to have been a single story building but on the lower side, it definitely had two levels. As you saw, the lower level has concrete walls and many different sized rooms. Also, there is no concrete railing in that 1924 photo which certainly still exists today.

I expect the numbers of officers (and their families) to use a club was increasing over the years so perhaps the old Recreation building was found to be inadequate. According to LOST CORREGIDOR by Selma Calmes M.D., “the total population of Corregidor and adjacent forts was Officers 125, Warrant Officers 6, Nurses 9, American enlisted 1800, Filipino enlisted 1300, and civilian population of nearly 5000. Most of these people were on Corregidor because it was the largest island and was the headquarters. The overall population on Corregidor in 1935 was estimated to be about 9000”.

My humble guess is that sometime after 1924, the officer’s recreation area was totally rebuilt. The original Recreation building was torn down, the tennis court was relocated and rebuilt then a new large Officer’s Club house was built over top of the original tennis courts.

What do you guys think?

Continuing on, due to thorny vegetation I made a loop around the tennis court area. Other than a long wall at the northern end I did not find any trace of it. One thing I did see was a broken metal communications pole. This type of pole was usually used for power to the trolley lines but no trolley was here.
 


Battle damaged broken metal pole. The top part of the pole lies on the ground where I am standing.


In 1931, General Kilbourne had a swimming pool built. This undated photo looks across about 2/3 of the pool. Only the shallow section of the pool had water in it that day.

The tennis court has been moved by now and the large Officer’s Club may be just out of sight at the far right. The 1932 map does show the large Officer’s Club building existing at that time.

The long wall at the far end of the tennis court is still there and a huge bomb crater is in the middle of the court.

I do not know what the small building to the right of the tennis court is. On a closer look it appears to be built on stilts as you can see tree branches behind it. Below the building you can see what may be concrete steps. This is the exact location of the end of the trolley line. Today you can see the trolley bed (about 3ft lower than normal ground level) in between two short concrete side walls with a concrete wall across the end of the line.

In the same photo, two of the Senior Officer’s Quarters buildings (19-D and 20-D) can be seen at the top of the ridge along with the US flag flying on the Topside Spanish Flag Pole. The Flag Pole (Staff) is #540 on the 1936 map.

One thing I just noticed in the photo is the bench on the far side of the swimming pool. It is made of two shaped concrete ends with wood in between them for the seat and back. One end of a similar type of bench remains nearby today.
 

The 1936 map shows two very small structures to the left of the tennis courts. They are #552, Servants Quarters and #553, Caddy House. Either they are gone or I missed them while wandering around. Vegetation was the thickest in this area plus I did not actually look for them.

The swimming pool, first cleaned out two years ago, still looks pretty good.
 


A late afternoon view of the swimming pool taken from the shallow end.



Looking across the shallow end of the pool. This view is similar to the old undated photo three photos up.



Looking across the deep end of the pool in the direction of the Officer’s Club.



Looking across the deep end of the pool. The Officer’s Club is behind me. Note the center rectangular hole.



This rectangular hole had a metal cover at one time and is as deep as the bottom of the pool. Note the cut off metal pipes that were the supports for the diving board.



Looking across the Swimming Pool you can see the roof of the Caddy Stop above the trees. All that remains of the Caddy Stop are steps up to a rectangular concrete floor and the walls of two washrooms.
 


Steps up to the concrete floor of the Caddy Stop.



The walled area contains two washrooms with doors on opposite sides. Broken porcelain still lies inside the walls.

In this area I saw no remnants of the trolley line but traces of it are probably there under the dead leaves and branches. It was getting late so time to head home anyway. From the Caddy Stop, the road down towards Middleside can be easily seen so I called it a day.
 


Late afternoon (5:30pm) view of the Corregidor Inn as I come around the corner past the Stockade area. My home for a few days is in sight. Behind the Inn is Malinta Hill. The Malinta Tunnel west entrance is visible to the left of the Inn.

In summary, I have been to the swimming pool and part of the abandoned radio site before but I have never explored much further. Thanks to ironman for asking about the Officer’s Club or I never would have bothered going to this area at all. Another pleasant surprise on Corregidor Island.