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Pfc "A" Company

DOW, Watertower Hill, Corregidor

- 25 February 1945



In Guthrie's book, it is stated that on 25 February "C" Company captured Water Tower Hill. In my opinion it was "A" Company who captuted it. This is where and when Lt. Sullens was killed, Harvey Hicks, James Jordan and Alfred Balliet were also killed at this time. None of the abovementioned died immediately but they were all so badly wounded that they died. Hicks was in a position with Sullens and had his foot blown off. Sullens was so badly hit that he couldn't move. He was talking but stated thathe was unable to be of any help. Jordan was hit real bad in the belly but was able to tell us that he had no further need for his TSMG. Balliet was hit badly in the upper left arm - I'm sure it got into his chest - and I lighted a cigarette for him. I later discovered when I was evacuated to Subic Bay that Balliet had died.

Jerry Riseley
letter to Don Abbott 6 Nov 1990 


 Corregidor. The Bastion of the Philippines.

That's where it happened.

"A" and "B" Co.'s had taken Water Tower Hill by assault that evening at dusk. There had been many casualties, and now it was night. We were expecting a counter-attack momentarily. Suddenly we heard the cough of the Japanese knee mortars. A few moments and we could hear the first shells descending, making that peculiar flopping noise as they turned over and over in the air. The first one landed about thirty feet from me. It landed between the leader of the third platoon and the platoon sergeant. The concussion was terrific.

The platoon leader died almost instantly. The platoon sergeant's leg was blown off. The sergeant was calm, until he was informed that he was going to die. Then he began to scream, "I don't want to die. I don't want to die."

His screams had to be muffled, but still during lulls in the firing those of us in the perimeter could hear his cries, growing weaker, and weaker, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die," until death came.

As I said, the casualties had been heavy in that assault on Water Tower Hill. Among them was a particular friend of mine, a Christian man, and true to the Lord. He was the first scout of the third platoon. He fell, mortally wounded, in the last successful effort of the assault.

I saw him just a few minutes after he was hit. He was shot through the stomach, and in great pain. Still he smiled as cheerfully as ever. He had a terrible wound, and death was coming closer, and closer, but his voice was firm and cheerful.

I only had time to press his hand, and pause a fraction of time for a word of prayer. I was a B. A. R. gunner and could not he spared from the assault.

That evening after dark, I was one of those detailed to carry back the wounded and dead. I was able to speak to my friend again. . I could not see him in the darkness, but he was still cheerful, trusting in the Lord. Though he did groan with pain, still  he was not in despair at all. My friend died that night on the operating table.

There were others of the Company in the hospital that night. They told me that Jordan was cheerful to the end. They told me how he spoke to the men in the other litters, about how Jesus was able to save and keep and satisfy. Which way will you die? I saw the platoon sergeant's face the next morning. It was a twisted mask of horror. The horror of his fear of death.

Will you go out into eternity unprepared, as he was?

My friend died, at peace with God, with the World, and himself.

He trusted in Jesus as his Saviour.

Jesus said, John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life:  he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall  he live."


Ferris Champney




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Last Updated: 28-12-10