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:

5 JUNE 2011

LOCALE: RJ-43 ON TAILSIDE
OBSERVATION:  
BY: JOHN MOFFITT
 

REF: FOTS2/110605

   


“To construct the 8-inch Gun Battery, work included the installation of a gun carriage and gun on a permanent concrete base at RJ-43 at Fort Mills, Corregidor, during February and March of 1942. This gun was proof fired and met the required stability tests”. (The Moore Report Engineer Annex)

“While not part of the permanent Harbor Defenses of Manila Bay, one 8-inch M1888MIII gun on an M1918 barbette carriage was dismounted from its railway car and emplaced on a simple concrete gun block just east of the entrance to the Malinta Tunnel. The gun was destroyed by Japanese bombing after firing a few proof rounds. This was known as Battery RJ-43, for its location near road junction 43”. (American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay 1898 to 1945).




The 8-inch barrel of Battery RJ-43 now sits on display at the North Dock.




Another view of the 8-inch barrel.

 

Finally, after more attempts than I choose to remember, I found the meager remnants of this battery. Some incorrect information in the past slowed things down a bit but thanks to batteryboy, I was now able to start a detailed search in the immediate area of the battery. This area is not large. I could never understand in the past why I couldn’t see the bolts sticking up anywhere.

I picked the end of the dry season when almost all surface grass was dead along the top of that ridge. Visibility was great so it was find it now or wait for another year. Only the heat and thorns required a bit of effort.

I had been told to expect a concrete platform and a ring of bolts on which the big Army 8-inch railroad gun had been mounted. Nothing else was to be seen. As it turned out, nothing was to be seen period!!! Everything including the 100 or so bolts is completely buried in the soil and leaves.

There were a few shallow craters or defensive positions around the search location. At the bottom of one of them, I was kicked the soil while deciding where to look next. Surprise, my foot slid across something hard. It turned out to be concrete but this could have been from any old structure. A couple minutes later I uncovered the first bolts so I was sure I had finally stumbled onto Battery RJ-43.

Due to the hard soil I only uncovered 10 or 11 bolts however that was enough to see their circular pattern. All bolts (cut off 1 ½ inches above the concrete) are covered with nearly three to eight inches of soil. Even the center of the concrete pad is buried at least two inches. Tree roots are starting to grow over part of the gun mount which over time will only make it worse.

 



The first sight of concrete.




I cleared away enough soil and rocks to make some of the bolts visible.
You can see they are part of a larger circle of bolts.

 


Close-up of a few bolts.




A wider view of the gun block where the least amount of soil covers it.


I have never read of any structures or magazine being built to support this battery. One exception may be the RJ-43 Tunnel, also called the Daniel D. Howell Tunnel after the man who rediscovered it in 1996. Here is a link to discussions that took place in the past regarding this tunnel:
http://corregidor.org/x-info/tunnl.htm

The battery itself was named after the nearest road junction which was RJ-43. The tunnel actually passes directly under this road junction so at least the tunnel is well named. What is a bit curious though is how this tunnel may or may not have been associated with the battery.

Here are a few GPS measured distances: Gun block to the center of RJ-43 = 95m (312 ft), center of RJ-43 to the tunnel entrance = 53m (174 ft)

If they desired to have a tunnel for the battery, why not construct it just north of the gun position in the same sloped hillside as the other tunnel further west? It would be much closer (30m or 98 ft from the gun block). Putting a tunnel in the hillside to the south would be even closer.

Imagine being shelled or during an air raid and your shelter is 148m (486ft) away. The route between the two points is fully exposed to Bataan plus there is a significant slope down to the tunnel entrance. I can’t imagine storing heavy 8-inch shells and powder that far away either. One thing we do not know is who built the RJ-43 Tunnel and for what purpose.
 



The partially sealed RJ-43 Tunnel entrance.




Looking back out the entrance.




View inside the tunnel.




A short lateral is to the right.


The last time I was in this tunnel was January, this thing was lying on one of the old wooden trolley ties. It was about 10 feet long and did not do my heart rate any good.



I don’t know what the correct name of it is but I don’t discriminate.
 I hate them all.




At the end of the tunnel is a 60 foot long air shaft up to the surface.




View of the air shaft on the surface.



The gun mount for Battery RJ-43 has been on my “to find” list for so long it has worn a hole in the paper. There is no way in hell I would have found something you can’t see without specific directions. I owe batteryboy a cold beer or three. Salamat po.