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Albert F. THOMAS

Pfc, 1st Platoon, "F" Company, 503d PRCT 

K.I.A., Battery Wheeler, Corregidor

Friday 16 February 1945


During an advance towards Battery Boston, Lieutenant Calhoun saw that his platoon's right flank was dangerously exposed to Battery Wheeler's high south parapet. Even though he had been told by Captain Brown that Battery Wheeler was void of enemy troops, Calhoun felt very uneasy about his flank being wide open. He sent his first squad, consisting of Sergeant William Freihoff and three men, Privates Glen E. Handlon, Delby A. Huff and Albert F. Thomas, to investigate Battery Wheeler.

The squad was just approaching the rear of Battery Wheeler when it was surprised by a sudden burst of 6.5 Nambu light machine gun fire from a concrete tower above the north parapet. Private Handlon was killed instantly. Freihoff and Huff dashed to the battery's back wall where they descended a flight of stairs in a single bound and ran into a large room filled with American artillery shells and gunpowder canisters that had been sitting there since Corregidor fell to the Japanese. Private Thomas remained outside where he had hastily taken cover behind a mound when Handlon was killed only ten feet in front of him.

Recognizing that he and Huff were now trapped inside the battery, Sergeant Freihoff yelled out to Thomas to go and tell Lieutenant Calhoun what had happened. Calhoun and the rest of the platoon arrived a short while later and took up firing positions in a large crater only fifty yards in back of the battery. A bazooka team started banging away at the tower where the Nambu was located but its rockets exploded harmlessly against the battery's thick concrete walls. Meanwhile, Private Thomas and Sergeant Todd were looking over the crest of the crater trying to get an exact fix on the Nambu, when a single shot rang out. Thomas raised up, turned around, and fell face down into the crater, dead with a bullet through his head.

Gerard M. Devlin

Back to Corregidor

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



Pfc Albert Thomas was the second man in 'F' Company to die. After Handlon was killed, Sgt. Bill Freihoff and Pfc. Delby Huff were trapped in a powder room of Wheeler Btry.  Thomas had been with them and Handlon. He died as he was pointing out to Calhoun and T/Sgt Phillip Todd the room room where the two were trapped.

Bill Calhoun





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Last Updated: 09-04-10