GEORGE J. MIKEL
George J. MIKEL
Pvt., "F" Co, 2d Bn, 503d PRCT
K.I.A., Grubbs Ravine, Corregidor
22 February 1945
"The company was combing snipers out of Sheeney Ravine on Corregidor Island, Philippine Islands, on the morning of February twenty second when the enemy suddenly opened fire from the front from positions in three mutually supporting and well concealed caves. On the opening burst George fell seriously wounded. The platoon medical aid man rushed up to where George law and he too was seriously wounded before he could attend to George. George then started to crawl back, but his first movement drew a hail of fire from the enemy and was killed instantly. "
William T. Bailey
George Mikel was a 501st Parachute Battalion member who refused rotation or 30 day's leave to the U.S. On Mindoro, he asked to be reduced from SSgt (mortar platoon sergeant). After his request was refused, he went AWOL for several days after asking me if I would take him as a private if he screwed-up. I reluctantly agreed because he was good NCO. I assigned him as an extra runner.
As we neared the corrugated metal building built on the left
bank of Grubbs Ravine , I could see it well. It was on ground level, which was about three feet
above the dry stream bed, and was approximately 12' x 12'. There were no windows that I could see. Maciborski was
the next man on my left. Mikel the next on my right. Maciborski passed the
building on the far side from me. I could see the top of a large cement
culvert (RC-6). Maciborski passed on by the building door which was located
on the west side. He did not look in. I hopped up on the bank to take a look.
Mikel hopped in the bed behind where I had just left. Maciborski looked toward
us and all hell broke loose.
The noise of gunfire was coming from seemingly everywhere. Maciborski
fell. I looked down into the stream bed where George Mikel was laying on his
back, not moving, with at least a thigh wound. He was wearing dark
sunglasses and I could not see his eyes to see if he might still be conscious,
although he was just mere feet away. I did not believe him dead at that point.
We were close to the culvert. Machine gun fire was coming from our
flanks, the very spot where our supporting platoons were supposed to be. Heavy
rifle fire was coming from our front, particularly from the South Shore Road as
it curved and descended toward RC-6. At this point, neither could we see
openings towards my left, between us and the Grubbs Trail.
I could see that the area was open around the road. Large trees still stood at the culvert but bombs had cleaned out the smaller trees and brush so that visibility was very good. The same was true looking up the slopes on both the right and left. I could see debris and dirt flying from machine gun bursts along our the line where my men lay. I reported the situation to Bailey and used the best language I could command to express my feelings to the platoon sergeants who did not have their platoons in position.
After I had left him, George Mikel had moved. Todd had called him to be still, but George had sat up and was immediately hit in the chest by multiple rifle fire from the eight Japs in the culvert. He had originally been hit in the thigh which was about as high as the Japs could direct their fire.
Pvt. George Mikel, former mortar platoon sergeant, had purposely gone absent without leave for four days, to become Calhoun’s runner. After heroic action on Battery Hearn magazine three nights before, for which he was posthumously awarded a Silver Star Medal, he followed Calhoun closely as they swept Grubbs Ravine knowing there were Japanese Marines there. He purposely chose a position where he felt he would see more action as a platoon sergeant, and accepted the lower pay grade for the transfer.
(Mikel was one of the men in an "F" Co skirmish line which was ambushed in Grubbs Ravine. He was one of four men killed in that action - the other three were Pfc. Paul A. Narrow, Pfc Theodore C. Yokum & 2d Lt. Clifford MacKenzie of 2d Bn Hq & HQ Co.
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