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:

20 AUGUST 2009

LOCALE: CROCKETT RAVINE
OBSERVATION: RE-VISITING THE C-1 TUNNEL
BY: JOHN MOFFITT
 

REF: FOTS2/100427

   

This trip report is in response to doubts and questions I had regarding the Colonel Bunker book excerpts that were posted by Phantom. Do we know for sure which tunnel was his C1 Tunnel? How many tunnels did Bunker have?

Here is a link to the original thread:
http://corregidor.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=talk&action=display&thread=403

Because of our doubts, Phantom and I spent a couple days in the area earlier this year and I followed up with another visit two weeks ago.

The area on Corregidor that we are exploring is at the southern end of a ridge not far from Battery Wheeler.


The double circle with a ‘C’ in it is the Fort Mills Commander’s Station or Command Post. C1 refers to it being the primary command post. The circle with G2 in it is a secondary Gun Group Command Post. These two structures are physically attached but on two different levels. C1 is the upper level. (Map courtesy of Mapmaster).



Overall tunnel sketch.


Here are some recent photos of the tunnel in question:


Looking into the East entrance.



The view back out the East entrance.



The rock pile barrier close to the entrance.



Looking back towards the east entrance from this point you can see the start of a lateral on each side of the main tunnel.

All the laterals look quite similar when viewed from the main tunnel so I will just show you this one.



Looking directly into one of the short laterals.

Recent digging is certainly going on in this tunnel. Candles have been placed around dig holes. Small pieces of metal are neatly piled in a few places. Since the metal is still there, it must not be of much value to them.



Candles and pieces of metal stacked up.



Candles burnt to the ground above some recently dug holes.

There is a very fine layer of dust over all the tunnel floors, especially the laterals. My hiking boots leave footprints that remind me of similar ones left by astronauts on the moon. There is no moisture or wind to disturb them so they would last a long time. Around the holes I don’t see any footprints at all until I look closely. In places I see the outline of a sole but no tread. Sandals/slippers are being worn by the diggers.

One to three feet of small rocks and fine dusty rubble sits on top of the concrete floor today. I can see this floor in three places. One thing that is very evident throughout the tunnel is charcoal and burnt pieces of wood. Lots of it can be seen in the sides of the holes that have been dug. Perhaps that is what remains of the tunnel wall lining that Bunker had installed, it was burnt instead of being scrapped. I still see no holes or metal brackets so the lining must have been just braced to the tunnel walls if at all.



A hole that has been dug down to the concrete floor and continues under it. Maybe the digger was following the piece of wire sticking out from under the concrete. Note black chunks of burnt wood lying all around.


At the end of the wide main tunnel, there is a slight turn and a transition into a narrower tunnel. It continues out to the western entrance which can be seen in the distance.


Approaching the destroyed western entrance you can see a piece of fallen concrete ahead of you.



Inside view of the Western entrance.

To exit the tunnel, climb up over the fallen concrete and rocks to come out on the western slope of this hill.



The view when looking back down into the western entrance of the tunnel.

Holding onto a few trees as you climb up the hillside, keep slightly to the left. In one minute you will be at Col. Bunker’s Dugout.



Looking towards the entrance to Col. Bunker’s Dugout. Some rocks and soil have fallen down.



It is not very deep but carved from solid rock with precision. Perhaps the construction crew had a Colonel looking over their shoulders.



Inside the dugout looking toward the entrance.

Now lets head back inside the tunnel.

There is a side tunnel heading south at an angle away from the main tunnel. At first it is fairly wide but tapers where there is a slight turn to the right. At this turn, a steep slope of rubble is visible and you have to crouch under the low ceiling when starting to climb the slope. I estimate the upward angle to be approximately 40 degrees.



In the side tunnel approaching the rubble slope.



A closer view of the rubble slope.

I have mentioned in earlier posts how hot it is in the Philippines now but within a few steps it feels like I walked into a furnace. The air is dead and it is so humid that my glasses and camera lens start to fog up.

Within feet of the start of the slope I can see a big chamber with a high ceiling. Chambers similar to this that I have seen in the past were the result of large explosions. Making my way up the right-hand side is not difficult.



Looking up as I get close to the top part of the chamber. The right side seems open.

At the highest part of the chamber there is a large crack in the rock. If I moved a rock or two, the crack is possibly large enough to slide through. I would love to know what is past this point but self-preservation kicks in. From here I see an open space between the rocks going about 20 feet further.



Looking towards the crack in the rocks. Note that there are tree roots here. Although there is no breeze from the crack, the surface cannot be too far away.



I turn around to leave and this is the view looking down the chamber towards the entrance. The rubble slope at the bottom is the same one you saw in earlier photos looking up. That is broken wood that you see towards the right. See that white line about 2/3 of the way down the chamber? Note the next photo.


The photo above is going to be a little difficult to describe. From a distance this looks like a concrete slab with a dark horizontal piece of something to the left. On a closer look, the dark object is a piece of wood similar in size to a railway tie.

The dust covered concrete slab is quite large. I cannot determine exactly how big it is as the bottom is buried in the rubble. Between the upper right corner of the slab and the left end of the wood, is a small area where you can look into.

You can see that the bottom of the slab is the finished side and there is a bend where two pieces of concrete come together. It reminds me of the ceiling above the top of a staircase where it is angled going up the stairs but goes horizontal at the top of the stairs. What was this?

Now here is the fun part. Where is the C1 tunnel actually located with respect to other structures and the hillside? Here is an overlay of the tunnel sketch onto the same map as above. Look where the end of the southern tunnel appears.



The tunnel is placed on the map using GPS co-ordinates to get accurate positioning.

No wonder we cannot find another tunnel along both sides of this hill/ridge. When Bunker talks about his tunnel(s) in plural, he is actually talking about a side tunnel in his ONE and ONLY C1 tunnel.

It is time to re-examine Bunker’s text with the assumption that he is talking about a single C1 tunnel with three entrances. In the past I was trying to understand how the tunnel that we see today matched up with Bunker’s text. Lets look at it from the opposite direction. Take Bunker’s text and make it fit the tunnel. With a few exceptions, it actually does fit.


Chronology of C1 Tunnel construction events:
 

      Construction of the main tunnel starting from the east entrance. The sketch shows a large tunnel of equal width going 2/3 the way through the hill. The start date of construction is not mentioned.
 
Second:
SATURDAY 14 FEB. 1942
THIS MORNING AT 6:50 THE ENGINEERS BLASTED THROUGH OUR TUNNEL ADDITION TO THE OPEN AIR. WE WERE GREATLY PLEASED. TWO DULL BOOMS AND THEN TWO SHARP CRACKS AS THE EXPLOSIONS CAME THROUGH, JUST AT ENTRANCE TO OUR HOMEMADE TUNNEL NEAREST C1."

An “additional tunnel” off of the existing main tunnel was constructed and it is the tunnel entrance “nearest to the C1 Command Post.” (i.e a Southern Entrance)
 

Third:
THURSDAY, 26 FEB 1942
"BAWLED OUT OUR CREW, WORKING ON THE SMALL TUNNEL FOR LOUD FILTHY LANGUAGE. IT'S EXCESSIVE USE IS NAUSEATING-EVEN TO A NON-PURITAN".

Small tunnel towards the West Entrance?
 

FRIDAY, 27 FEB. "AFTER BREAKFAST VISITED OUR C1 TUNNEL. THE CREW EXPECTS TO BREAK THROUGH IN 4 MORE BLASTS. "

Small tunnel towards the West Entrance?
 

SUNDAY 1 MAR 1942 "THIS MORNING WITH AN EXTRA BLAST, THE "MINERS" FINALLY BROKE SURFACE BELOW MY DUGOUT WITH THE OTHER END OF OUR MAIN TUNNEL. "

The above three comments cover a four day period. “Below my dugout with the other end of our main tunnel”. No question, it was the West Entrance that was created today.
 

TUESDAY, 7 APRIL 1942
 
“ENGINEERS HAVE FINISHED POURING THE FLOOR OF OUR TUNNEL AND WE SURE ARE GLAD TO GET RID OF THEM.”

Only this year did I see evidence of a concrete floor. Phantom noticed it in the main tunnel when he kicked away dirt at the bottom of one of the digger’s holes. Last trip to the tunnel I noticed two more locations where the concrete floor still exists. Both of these locations are in laterals.
 

Phantom told me that Col. Bunker mentions having the engineers construct a concrete barrier (diversion dams) at the west entrance to stop water from a small stream from getting into the tunnel when the rainy season comes. Well, there is a small dry stream down the north side of that entrance. What appears to be a concrete barrier does lie across the western entrance.



This may be the concrete barrier that even today lies across the mouth of the western entrance.

Now that we know that the southern tunnel goes very close to the C1 Command Post, where is the entrance that was blasted open on 14 FEB, 1942? It should be in the area between B11/11 and C1 itself. That particular area contains samples of every thorny plant that God ever created so Phantom and I had skirted it earlier this year. It was not where we were expecting to find other tunnels anyway.

If there is a single good reason for the El Nino dry climate this year, it is that ground visibility is the best in years. In many places the thorny plants are still there but their green leaves are gone so you can see further.

The hiking trail to C1 keeps well to the west to avoid this vegetation so I will start at B11/11 and head south. Within spitting distance of B11/11, the hillside drops off quickly but I can see a level bottom and what appears to be a rock-filled crater. Holding onto some branches and vines, I go down the slope.



B11/11 Command Post.

When I look around I see a concave depression in the hillside and a horizontal flat area below it. Everywhere else along this ridge is sloping south. There appears to be a rock filled bomb or shell crater to one side of the depression.

Normally I would not think any more about this area and move on. However, knowing that the south tunnel is almost under me, I think that the chance I am standing at or near the destroyed South Entrance is quite good.



View from the bottom of the rock filled crater looking back up to the top of the depression. It is difficult to get a photo that looks anything like actually being there. The level area is beside and behind me.

The depression in the hillside is only 40 feet or so from the rear door of C1. Since this was the command post of the “Fort Commander” perhaps having access to a nearby bomb-proof tunnel was the incentive for building such a tunnel at this location. I wish someone knew for sure.



The rear door of the C1 Command Post. Note the dense vegetation.

C1 has been cleared recently as part of a trail feature from here back towards Battery Wheeler.

Another thing to consider is: has this south tunnel entrance been covered up after a wartime explosion destroyed it? Remember the post war photo of a bulldozer leveling the Battery Boston area. Well, this is the same ridge, just a few hundred feet further south. As usual, I expect we will never know.

So what about the steep slope inside the semi-collapsed area of the southern tunnel? Doesn’t make any sense. Well actually it does. Look at the map again. This map has 5 foot contour intervals which makes it easy to determine the elevation within 5 feet at any location.

The main east-west tunnel has a little downward slope towards the west. Note the contour lines at the south and the two east/west entrances. The south entrance is quite a bit higher so steps or a ramp inside this tunnel would be necessary to get from this entrance down to the level of the main tunnel.

Unfortunately, few things in life can be determined with 100% accuracy. A few comments by Col. Bunker do not agree with what we see today.

 

FRIDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 1942
 
“ARTY ENGINEERS GANG OF GUGUS (FILIPINO SOLDIERS) ARE TRENCHING A 75pr CABLE FROM MANHOLE 43 TO NORTH ADDITION OF TUNNEL”

Two manholes are very close in the area of the tunnel. One is within feet of the rear door of C1 and the other is at the top of the ridge above the Dugout. Knowing the location of two manholes is irrelevant though, there is no “north addition.”
 

TUESDAY, 17 MAR 1942 “PROGRESS ON OUR TUNNELS HAS SLOWED DOWN. THEY ARE NOW LAGGING THE TOPS AND SIDES OF OUR 4 LATERALS.”

\This tunnel has more than four laterals. If he means that they are lagging only four of the laterals then he is not saying it clearly.
 

TUESDAY, 17 MAR 1942 “THE NOVELTY SIDING WHICH I HAD BATTERED DOWN OVER THE 2" CRACKS BETWEEN THE SIDING PLANKS LOOKS WELL.”

I have always questioned if this tunnel was ever lined since there is no evidence of drill holes, or nuts and bolts etc. This siding must not have been anchored to the tunnel walls or ceiling anywhere at all. This was a rush job so perhaps that is not unusual.
 

Even with the above comments, I now think that what we call the C1 Tunnel actually ‘is’ the C1 Tunnel. Too much evidence to think otherwise.

Mr. Phantom, when you return next year, lets have a detailed look around here again. Now we can concentrate is this small area and not try another steep death march down and up any adjacent ravines. Perhaps there are still remnants of his kitchen etc to be seen. Also, another tunnel nearby is mentioned in Bunker’s text.

Thanks for creating one of the longest threads in the Corregidor.org forum’s history. It has been an interesting trip.

A big thanks to Mapmaster because without his maps this trip report would be only three sentences long. A visual representation of where you are in relation to what is around you makes a world of difference.

If anyone has anything additional to add, please do so. In the end, accurate history will be the winner.

Finally, I’ll give you a couple shots of nearby Battery Wheeler. You pass within sight of Battery Wheeler when you take the new walking path to C1.





Battery Wheeler Gun #2 position. The barrel lying off to the side is from the dismantled Gun #1.



Another view of the Gun #2 position.