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William W. LEE

Pfc, 2d Platoon, "F" Company 503d PRCT

K.I.A., Bldg 27-D, Corregidor  

Sunday 18 February 1945


During this repositioning of forces a freak accident occurred in the 2d Battalion's area. Private First Class William W. Lee was a rifleman in Company F's 2d Platoon. Like many of his companions, Lee had received a number of bumps and bruises parachuting onto the Rock. But rather than complain about having been injured, he quietly went about his duties knowing that the pain would go away in a few days as it always does after a rough landing. With all of the excitement that took place during the night out at Battery Wheeler, and along Company F's portion of the perimeter, Lee and his companions had gotten very little sleep. So during the initial early morning shifting of forces Lee's platoon was withdrawn to Building 27-D, a bomb-damaged warehouse located well inside the perimeter. There the platoon members were permitted to take a brief rest break before completing the remainder of the move to their new defensive sector. Lee and several members of the platoon walked into an empty room where they each cleared a section of the debris covered floor just large enough to lie down on and take a short nap. Slipping his pack off, Lee let it fall to the floor at the precise spot he had selected for it to serve as a pillow. Then he laid down and-referring to the troubled sector of the perimeter his platoon had just left-said, "Boy, am I glad to be out of there!" At that moment a chunk of concrete fell from the ceiling and struck his head, killing him instantly.


Gerard M. Devlin

Back to Corregidor

St Martin's Press, New York (1992) 
(out of print)


Pfc William Lee was happy the second day around noon when the 2d platoon was relieved at the NCO Quarters and moved back to the safety of the old officer’s home, 27-D. They had endured twenty-four hours of sniper fire from deep Cheney Ravine and suffered numerous casualties including their platoon leader, 1st Lt Ed Flash and platoon sergeant. After they entered the living room, he stopped in the middle of the room and dropped his webbing with attached ammunition and musette bag. His last words were. “Boy! Am I glad to be out of there!” At that instant a huge chunk of concrete fell out of the ceiling of the all-masonry house directly on his head and crushed him.

F Company had lost another good soldier who followed his orders without complaint or question.

Bill Calhoun





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Last Updated: 09-04-10