CORREGIDOR HISTORIC SOCIETY PRESENTS
Click for a detailed
scan of the 4th Marine Defense Sectors on Corregidor.
On 9 April the victorious Fourteenth Army paused
on the shore of Bataan with its next target--Corregidor--dead center in its sights. Many
enemy staff officers, both in Tokyo and on Luzon, wanted to launch an immediate amphibious
attack, taking advantage of the army's success on Bataan. The dearth of landing craft in
Manila Bay, however, effectively served to postpone the operation. Most of the Japanese
landing barges and boats were located in Lingayen Gulf or Subic Bay and had to be moved
past Corregidor's guns to the designated staging areas on the eastern coast of
westwards. The invasion beaches are clearly evident.
On the night of 14 April the first small
group of boats slipped by The Rock, hugging Bataan's shore while the enemy shelled and
bombed the island's north coast to prevent their discovery. Because they were
forced to follow this method of moving a few boats at a time and these only at night and
behind a curtain of protective fire, the Japanese took more than three weeks to assemble
the necessary assault craft.
The need for extreme caution in making the risky passage into Manila Bay was not
the only factor which acted against rapid execution of the Japanese assault plan. In
mid-April a severe outbreak of malaria in the ranks of the 4th Division, Homma's
chosen landing force, severely hampered attack preparations, but amphibious training and
rehearsals continued despite the temporary decrease in the division's effective strength.
Emergency supplies of quinine tablets were flown to Luzon in time to check the spread of
the disease and restore fighting trim.
rare scan is from a Japanese propaganda publication called
The Fourteenth Army was obsessed with the
need for deception and secrecy and stringent security measures were
taken to conceal the preparations for the attack on Corregidor. A
consistent effort was made to create the impression that Cavite Province
was the Japanese amphibious base and that Forts Frank and Drum were the
targets. Landing craft maneuvered off Cavite's shores while the army's
air and artillery pounded the defenses of the southern islands. Two
battalions of the 16th Division feigned preparations for an
attack on Frank and Drum, but there was little doubt at USFIP
Headquarters that Corregidor was the primary Japanese objective.
Every day in April starting with the day Bataan fell, an increasingly
heavier concentration of enemy artillery pieces found firing positions
in the peninsula's jungled hills. At least thirty-seven batteries, whose
weapons ranged from 75mm mountain guns to 240mm howitzers, covered
Corregidor with a continuous pattern of fire that reached every position
and knocked out the major portion of the island's defenses.
Nine Japanese bombing squadrons, capitalizing on the gradual weakening
of antiaircraft fire, were overhead to add their bombardment to the
is a practice shoot of either Smith or Hearn.
drill at an AA Battery. (National
The enemy 4th Division was reinforced for the assault with two
independent engineer regiments to man the transport and support landing
craft as well as a tank regiment and three mortar battalions to provide
additional firepower. The actual landing operation was to be made in two
stages with Colonel Gempachi Sato's 61st Infantry Regiment (two
infantry battalions, a tank company, a mountain artillery battery, and
mortar units) designated the initial assault force. Sato was to land his
unit in successive waves, battalions abreast along the beaches between
Infantry and Cavalry Points on the night of 5 May. After establishing a
beachhead, he was to send most of this men against Malinta Hill while
the remainder of the regiment drove across the tail of the island to
isolate and contain the defenders east of Infantry Point. The plan
called for the 61st Regiment to be in possession of Malinta Hill
by dawn, ready to support a second landing.
Twenty-four hours after Sato's force landed, the division's main assault
effort would strike beaches between Morrison and Battery Points, near
James Ravine, and the neck of the island. This second landing force,
four heavily reinforced infantry battalions, would have the assistance
of Sato's unit which was scheduled to make a concurrent attack against
Ramsay battery hill. Throughout the whole operation the artillery on
Bataan, operating under army control, was to deliver preparatory and
supporting fires, and in daylight hours the army's air squadrons were to
fly close support missions.
The 4th Division had three infantry battalions in
reserve for its attack but did not expect that they would be needed. The Japanese were
confident that their preparatory bombardment had knocked most of the fight out of
Corregidor. Every terrain feature on the island was plotted and registered on artillery
target maps and any signal for support from the assault forces would call down a smother
of accurate fire on the defenders. The enemy felt certain that dusk of 7 May would see
their assault troops in control of Corregidor.
Life on a
Bull's Eye 
half the persons on the Rock were not trained combatants. There were about
2000 civilians and 4000 military personnel in noncombatant supporting
functions. Many of these lived in Malinta where they ate precious food,
contributed little, and administered paper commands that no longer
the other hand, the crews of the gun batteries were undermanned but well
trained, and Col. Howard's 4th Marines were a powerful nucleus of trained
fighters. But they were spread too thin, like a crust.
During the 27 days between the fall of Bataan and the
assault on Corregidor, life on The Rock became a living hell. The men in the open gun pits
and exposed beach defenses were subjected to an increasing rain of shells and bombs. It
became virtually impossible to move about the island by daylight; enemy artillery spotters
aloft in observation balloons on Bataan and in planes overhead had a clear view of their
targets. The dense vegetation which had once covered most of Corregidor was stripped away
by blast and fragmentation to reveal the dispositions of Howard's command. The tunnels
through Malinta Hill, their laterals crowded with headquarters installations and hospital
beds, offered refuge for only a fraction of the 11,000-man garrison and the rest of the
defenders had to stick it out with little hope of protection from the deadly downpour.
of the escapees from Bataan were ordered to join the 4th Marines, thus
adding 72 officers and 1,173 enlisted men to its strength between 9 and 12
The majority of the Army combat veterans, however, "were in such poor
physical condition that they were incapable of even light work,"
and had to be hospitalized. The mixed collection of infantry, artillery,
aviation, and service personnel from both American and Philippine units
assigned to the beach defense battalions was in little better shape than
the men who had been committed to the hospital under Malinta Hill. The
commander of 1/4's reserve,
First Lieutenant Robert F. Jenkins, Jr., who received a typical contingent
of Bataan men to augment his small force commented that he:
... had never seen men in such poor physical condition. Their clothing was ragged
and stained from perspiration and dirt. Their gaunt, unshaven faces were strained and
emaciated. Some of them were already suffering from beri-beri as a result of a starvation
diet of rice for weeks. We did what we could for them and then put them to work on the
The sailors from Mariveles, mostly crewmen from the now-scuttled Canopus,
were kept together and formed into a new 275-man reserve battalion for the regiment, the
4th Battalion, 4th Marines.
Not only was the designation of 4/4 unusual, but so was its makeup and its personnel. Only
six Marines served in the battalion: its commander, Major Francis H. Williams, and five
NCOs. The staff, company commanders, and platoon leaders were drawn from the nine Army and
18 Navy officers assigned to assist Williams. The four rifle companies were designated Q, R, S, and
T, the highest lettered companies the men had ever heard of. Another boast of the
bluejackets turned Marines was that they were "the highest paid battalion in the
world, as most of the men were petty officers of the upper pay grades."
of the very few photographs showing the devastation of Bty. Geary.
The new organization went into bivouac in Government
Ravine as part of the regimental reserve. The reserve had heretofore consisted of men from
the Headquarters and Service Companies, reinforced by Philippine Air cadets and Marines
from Bataan. Major Max W. Schaeffer, who had replaced Major King as reserve commander, had
organized this force of approximately 250 men into two tactical companies, O and P.
Company O was commanded by Captain Robert Chambers, Jr. and Company P by Lieutenant
Hogaboom; the platoons were led by Marine warrant officers and senior NCOs.
good part of Schaeffer's men had primary duties connected with regimental supply and
administration, but each afternoon the companies assembled in the bivouac area where the
troops were instructed in basic infantry tactics and the employment of their weapons.
Despite the constant interruptions of air raids and shellings, the Marines and Filipinos
had a chance "to get acquainted with each other, familiarize themselves with each
others' voices, and to learn [the] teamwork" so essential to
effective combat operations. Frequently, Major Schaeffer conducted his company and platoon
commanders on reconnaissance of beach defenses so that the reserve leaders would be
familiar with routes of approach and terrain in each sector in which they might fight.
While Schaeffer's unit had had some time to train before the Japanese stepped up
their bombardment of the island in late March, Williams' battalion was organized at the
inception of the period of heaviest enemy fire and spent part of every day huddled in
foxholes dug along the trail between Geary Point and Government Ravine. Any
let-up in the bombardment would be the signal for small groups of men to gather around the
Army officers and Marine NCOs for instruction in the use of their weapons and the tactics
of small units. Rifles were zeroed in on floating debris in the bay and for most of the
men this marksmanship training was their first since Navy boot camp. When darkness limited
Japanese shelling to harassment and interdiction fires, the sailors formed eager audiences
for the Army Bataan veterans who gave them a resumé of enemy battle tactics. Every man
was dead serious, knowing that his chances for survival depended to a large extent upon
how much he learned. "The chips were down; there was no horseplay."
To a very great extent the record of the 4th Battalion in the fighting on
Corregidor was a tribute to the inspirational leadership of its commander. During the
trying period under enemy shellfire and bombing when the battalion's character was molded,
Major Williams seemed to be omnipresent; wherever the bombardment was heaviest, he showed
up to see how his men were weathering the storm. When on separate occasions Battery
Crockett and then Battery Geary were hit and set afire, he led rescue parties from 4/4
into the resulting holocausts of flame, choking smoke, and exploding ammunition to rescue
the wounded. He seemed to have an utter disregard for his own safety in the face of any
need for his presence. Survivors of his battalion agree with startling unanimity that he
was a giant among men at a time when courage was commonplace.
Raw courage was a necessity on the fortified islands after Bataan's fall, since
there was no defiladed position that could not be reached by Japanese 240mm howitzers
firing from Cavite and Bataan. The bombers overhead, increasingly bold as gun after gun of
the antiaircraft defenses was knocked out, came down lower to pinpoint targets.
Counterbattery and antiaircraft fire silenced some enemy guns and accounted for a number
of planes, but nothing seemed to halt the buildup of preparatory fires.
On 28 April Howard issued a warning to his battalions that the next day would be a
rough one. It was the Emperor's birthday and the Japanese could be expected to
"celebrate by unusual aerial and artillery bombardment." The colonel's prophecy
proved to be a true one, and on the 29th one observer noted that even "the kitchen
sink came over."
The birthday celebration marked the beginning of a period when the enemy bombarded the
island without letup, day and night. The men manning the beach defenses of Corregidor's
East Sector found it:
... practically impossible to get any rest or to repair any damage to our positions
and barbed wire. Our field telephone system was knocked out; our water supply was ruined
(drinking water had to be hauled from the other end of the island in large powder cans)
... Corregidor was enveloped in a cloud of smoke, dust, and the continuous roar of
bursting shells and bombs. There were many more casualties than we had suffered in the
previous five months.
About three days prior to the Japanese landing, Lieutenant Colonel Beecher reported
to Colonel Howard that defensive installations in the 1st Battalion's sector were:
... practically destroyed. Very little defensive wire remained, tank traps
constructed with great difficulty had been rendered useless, and all my weapons were in
temporary emplacements as the original emplacements had been destroyed. I told Colonel
Howard at this time that I was very dubious as to my ability to withstand a landing attack
in force. Colonel Howard reported the facts to General Wainwright, who, according to
Colonel Howard, said that he would never surrender. I pointed out to Colonel Howard that I
had said nothing about surrender but that I was merely reporting the facts as it was my
duty to do.
The increase in the fury of the Japanese bombardment with the coming of May,
coupled with the frequent sightings of landing craft along the eastern shore of
clearly pointed to the imminence of an enemy landing attempt. The last successful effort
to evacuate personnel from the island forts was made on the night of 3 May. The submarine
Spearfish surfaced after dark outside the mine fields off Corregidor and took on a
party of officers and nurses who had been ordered out, as well as a load of important
USFIP records and a roster of every person still alive on the islands. The 4th
Marines sent out their regimental journal, its last entry, dated 2 May, the list of the
five men who had been killed and the nine who had been wounded during the day's
To one of the lucky few who got orders to leave on the Spearfish the
receding island looked "beaten and burnt to a crisp." In one day, 2 May, USFIP
estimated that 12 240mm shells a minute had fallen on Corregidor during a five-hour
period. On the same day the Japanese flew 55 sorties over the islands dropping 12 1,000
pound, 45 500-pound, and 159 200-pound bombs. The damage was extensive. Battery Geary's eight
12-inch mortars were completely destroyed as was one of Battery Crockett's two 12-inch
guns. The enemy fire also knocked out of action two more 12-inch mortars, a 3-inch gun,
three searchlights, five 3-inch and three .50 caliber antiaircraft guns, and a height
finder. Data transmission cables to the guns were cut in many places and all communication
lines were damaged. The beach defenses lost four machine guns, a 37mm, and a pillbox;
barbed wire, mine fields, and antiboat obstacles were torn apart.
The logical landing points for an assault against Corregidor, the entire East
Sector and the ravines that gave access to Topside and Middleside, received a special
working over so steady and deadly that the effectiveness of the beach defenses was sharply
reduced. Casualties mounted as the men's foxholes, trenches, and shelters crumbled under
the fire. Unit leaders checking the state of the defenses were especially vulnerable to
the fragments of steel which swept the ground bare. By the Japanese-appointed X-Day (5
May) the 1st Battalion had lost the commander of Company A, Major Harry C. Lang, and
Captain Paul A. Brown, commanding Company B, had been hospitalized as a result of severe
concussion suffered during an enemy bombing attack. Three Army officers
attached to the Reserve Company, an officer of Company B, and another of Company D had all
been severely wounded.
Despite the damage to defenses it had so laboriously constructed, the 4th Marines
was ready, indeed almost eager, to meet a Japanese assault after days and weeks of
absorbing punishment without a chance to strike back. On the eve of a battle which no one
doubted was coming, the regiment was perhaps the most unusual Marine unit ever to take the
field. From an understrength two-battalion regiment of less than 800 Marine regulars it
had grown until it mustered almost 4,000 officers and men drawn from all the services and
142 different organizations. Its ranks contained 72 Marine officers and
1,368 enlisted Marines, 37 Navy officers and 848
bluejackets, and 111 American and
Philippine Air Corps, Army, Scout, and Constabulary officers with 1,455 of their men.
The units that actually met the Japanese at the beaches--1/4, 4/4, and the
regimental reserve--had such a varied makeup that it deserves to be recorded:
|USMC & USMCR
|USN (MC & DC)
|Philippine Insular Navy
|Philippine Army Air Corps
The Japanese Landing
This Japanese photo
clearly shows the difficulties which they had landing over the rocky
beaches at night. It was taken post-surrender, as the officers
on the left are quite casually standing about, and the sun is in the
post-surrender photograph. Probably produced in 1939, with the exception
of the turret and main armament, this tank is basically the same in design
as the model 2597 medium tank produced in 1937. The turret has been
improved to accommodate a modern high velocity gun, probably of 47-mm
caliber. As usual there is a rear turret machine gun, and with the long
overhanging rer portion of the turret, simultaneous firing of both weapons
was possible. During the landing, a US M* (abandoned in Bataan) assisted
the two tanks across the beach and up the hill. There were only
three tanks in the invasion force.
The area chosen by the Japanese for their initial
assault, the 4th Marines' East Sector, was a shambles by nightfall on 5 May. Two days
earlier the regimental intelligence journal had noted that:
There has been a distinct shifting of enemy artillery fire from inland targets to
our beach defenses on the north side of Corregidor the past 24 hours.
This concentration of fire continued and intensified, smashing the last vestiges of
a coordinated and cohesive defensive zone and shaping 1/4's beach positions into an
irregular series of strong points where a few machine guns and 37mm's were still in firing
order. A pair of Philippine Scout-manned 75mm guns, located just east of North Point,
which had never revealed their position, also escaped the destructive fires. Wire lines to
command posts were ripped apart and could not be repaired; "command could be
exercised and intelligence obtained only by use of foot messengers, which medium was
uncertain under the heavy and continuous artillery and air bombardment."
Along the northern side of the hogback ridge that traced its course from Malinta
Hill to the bend in Corregidor's tail, Company A and the reserves of 1/4 waited doggedly
for the Japanese to come. There was no sharp division between unit defense sectors, and
the men of the various units intermingled as the bombardment demolished prepared
positions. Along the battered base and sides of Malinta Hill, a special target for enemy
fire, were the men of Lieutenant Jenkins' Reserve Company. Next to them, holding the
shoreline up to Infantry point, was a rifle platoon organized from 1/4's Headquarters
Company; Captain Lewis H. Pickup, the company commander, held concurrent command of
Company A, having taken over on the death of Major Lang. The 1st Platoon under First
Lieutenant William F. Harris defended the beaches from Infantry to Cavalry Points, the
landing site selected in Japanese pre-assault plans. Master Gunnery Sergeant John
Mercurio's 2d Platoon's positions rimmed the gentle curve of land from Cavalry to North
Point. Extending from North Point to the tip of the island's tail were the foxholes and
machine-gun emplacements of First Sergeant Noble W. Well's 3d Platoon.
Positions along the top of the steep southern face of the East Sector's dominant
ridge were occupied by the platoons of Company B under First Lieutenant Alan S. Manning,
who had taken over when Captain Brown was wounded. The machine guns and
37mm's of Captain Noel O. Castle's Company D were emplaced in commanding positions along
the beaches on both sides of the island; the company's mortars were in firing positions
near Malinta Hill.
At about 2100 of 5 May, sensitive sound locators on Corregidor picked up the noise
of many barges warming up their motors near Limay on Bataan's east coast. Warning of an
impending landing was flashed to responsible higher headquarters, but the lack of wire
communication kept the word from reaching the men in the foxholes along the beaches of the
East Sector. They did not need any additional advice of enemy intentions anyway, since the
whole regiment had been on an all-out alert every night for a month, momentarily expecting
Japanese landing barges to loom out of the darkness. The men of 1/4 had withstood some
pretty stiff shellings, too, and they waited, but nothing to compare with the barrage that
began falling on the beach defenses manned by Harris' 1st Platoon at about 2245.
The Japanese had begun to deliver the short preparatory bombardment designed to
cover the approach of Colonel Sato's assault waves which was called for in their operation
plan. If Sato's boat groups adhered to their schedule they would rendezvous and head in
for the beaches just as the artillery fire lifted and shifted to the west, walling off the
landing area from American reinforcement efforts. The regiment would be ashore before the
moon rose near midnight to give Corregidor's gunners a clear target. In two respects the
plan miscarried, and for a while it was touch and go for the assault troops.
The artillery shoot went off on schedule, but Sato's first waves, transporting most
of his 1st Battalion, were carried by an unexpectedly strong incoming tide hundreds
of yards to the east of the designated landing beaches. Guides in the oncoming craft were
unable to recognize landmarks in the darkness, and from water level the tail of the island
looked markedly uniform as smoke and dust raised by the shelling obscured the shoreline.
The 61st Regiment's 2d Battalion, slated to follow close on the heels of the 1st,
was delayed and disrupted by faulty boat handling and tide currents until it came in
well out of position and under the full light of the moon.
When the Japanese preparatory fires lifted shortly after 2300, the troops along the
East Sector beaches spotted the scattered landing craft of the 1st Battalion, 61st heading
in for the beaches at North Point. The few remaining searchlights illuminated the barges,
and the island's tail erupted with fire. Enemy artillery knocked out the searchlights
almost as soon as they showed themselves; but it made little difference, since streams of
tracer bullets from beach defense machine guns furnished enough light for the Scout 75's
near North Point and 1/4's 37's to find targets. A Japanese observer on Bataan described
the resulting scene as "sheer massacre," but the enemy 1st
Battalion came in close enough behind its preparation to get a good portion of its men
ashore. Although the Japanese infantrymen overwhelmed Mercurio's 2d Platoon, the fighting
was fierce and the enemy casualties in the water and on the beach were heavy. Colonel
Sato, who landed with the first waves, sorely needed his 2d Battalion's strength.
This straggling battalion which began heading shoreward about midnight suffered
much more damage than the first waves. The remaining coast defense guns and mortars on
Corregidor, backed up by the fire of Forts Hughes and Drum, churned the channel between
Bataan and Corregidor into a surging froth, whipped by shell fragments and explosions. The
moon's steady light revealed many direct hits on barges and showed heavily burdened enemy
soldiers struggling in the water and sinking under the weight of their packs and
equipment. Still, some men reached shore and Colonel Sato was able to organize a drive
toward his objective, Malinta Hill.
Individual enemy soldiers and machine-gun crews infiltrated across Kindley Field
and through the rubble of torn barbed wire, blasted trees, and crater-pocked ground to
Denver Battery, a sandbagged antiaircraft gun position which stood on relatively high
ground south of Cavalry Point. The American gunners, whose weapons were out of action as a
result of the bombardment, were unable to beat back the encroaching Japanese who
established themselves in a commanding position with fields of fire over the whole
approach route to the landing beaches. Captain Pickup's first word that the Japanese had
seized Denver Battery came when he sent one of Company D's weapons platoon leaders, Marine
Gunner Harold M. Ferrell, to establish contact with the battery's defenders. Ferrell and
one of his men found the battery alive with enemy soldiers digging in and setting up
automatic weapons. Ferrell immediately went back to his defense area west of Infantry
Point and brought up some men to establish a line "along the hogsback to prevent the
enemy from coming down on the back of the men on the beach."
Pickup came up shortly after Gunner Ferrell got his men into position and
considered pulling Lieutenant Harris' platoon out of its beach defenses to launch an
attack against the enemy. After a conference with Harris the company commander decided to
leave the 1st Platoon in position. Japanese landing craft were still coming in, and the
platoon's withdrawal would leave several hundred yards of beach open. The fact that enemy
troops were ashore had been communicated to Lieutenant Colonel Beecher's CP just inside
Malinta Tunnel's east entrance, and small groups of men, a squad or so at a time, were
coming up to build on the line in front of Denver Battery. The enemy now fired his machine
guns steadily, and intermittent but heavy shellfire struck all along the roads from
Malinta to Denver. Casualties were severe throughout the area.
By 0130 surviving elements of 1/4 on the eastern tip of the island were cut off
completely from the rest of the battalion. Beecher was forced to leave men in position on
both shores west of Denver Battery to prevent the enemy landing behind his lines. All the
men who could be spared from the beaches were being sent up to the defensive position
astride the ridgeline just west of Denver, but the strength that could be assembled there
amounted to little more than two platoons including a few Philippine Scouts from the
silenced antiboat guns in 1/4's sector. No exact figures reveal how many Japanese were
ashore at this time or how many casualties the 61st Infantry's assault companies
had suffered, but it was plain that the enemy at Denver Battery outnumbered the small
force trying to contain them, and Japanese snipers and infiltrating groups soon began to
crop up in the rear of Pickup's position.
The situation clearly called for the commitment of additional men in the East
Sector. Colonel Howard had made provision for this soon after getting word of the landing
attempt. He alerted Schaeffer's command of two companies first, but held off committing
Williams' battalion until the situation clarified itself. There was no guarantee that the
Japanese would accommodate the 4th Marines by landing all their troops in the East Sector;
in fact, there was a general belief among the men manning the defenses which commanded the
ravines leading to Topside that the East Sector landing was not the main effort and that
the enemy would be coming in against West and Middle Sector beaches. Complicating the entire
problem of command in the confused situation was the fact that only runners could get word
of battle progress to Beecher's and Howard's CP. And any runner, or for that matter any
man, who tried to make the 1,000-yard journey from the Denver line to the mouth of Malinta
Tunnel stood a good chance of never completing his mission. The area east of Malinta Hill
was a killing ground as Schaeffer's men soon found out when they made their bid to reach
The Commitment of the
effect of the Japanese bombardment can be seen in this photograph taken
the day after surrender near the main entrance to Malinata Hill.
In Government Ravine the 4th marines' reserve companies
saw and heard the machine guns along the East Sector beaches hammering at the Japanese
landing craft. Major Schaeffer's command was already standing by to move out, and near
2400 Companies O and P filed down the trail and started for Malinta. There was little
confusion, for the men had rehearsed their movements often. Crossing Bottomside by means
of a tank trap which protected them from enemy shellfire, they moved into Malinta Tunnel
where company and platoon commanders supervised the distribution of machine-gun ammunition
and grenades cached there for just such an emergency. Volunteers from the Navy and Marine
headquarters installations joined the companies to serve as ammunition carriers
"although they were neither officially or morally obligated to do so."
Schaeffer reported to Colonel Howard and received his instructions; he was to take his men
out into the East Sector and counterattack the Japanese position. At 0200 the companies
began to move out of the oppressive heat and foul air of the crowded main tunnel onto the
deeply cratered roads which led to Denver. Lieutenant
Hogaboom's' Company P was in the lead,
following the left fork of the road behind its guide, Captain Golland L. Clark,
1st Battalion Adjutant. As the last platoon of the company cleared the tunnel it was
diverted to a vicious fire fight raging on the right of the Marine line by an officer who
had come back seeking reinforcements. Several enemy machine guns had been set up near the
base of a stone water tower forward of Denver Battery and to the right front of the Marine
positions. The platoon, in common with most of the rest of the units that tried to reduce
this strong point, was chopped to pieces by interlocking bands of machine-gun fire.
On Clark's order, Hogaboom deployed his remaining two platoons in line of
skirmishers once they were well clear of the tunnel. The advancing line made contact with
Lieutenant Harris and the remnants of Company A's 1st Platoon holding the left of the
Denver defensive position and tied in with them. Hogaboom found that his right flank was
open; Captain Chambers' Company O which was to have followed him out of the tunnel and
come up on his right was not to be found.
Chambers' men had left the tunnel all right, but almost immediately after the
company column cleared the entrance bright flares were seen going up over the Japanese
position. Chambers and his 1st Platoon leader, Quartermaster Clerk Frank W. Ferguson,
concluding that the flares were a signal to the artillery on Bataan, passed the word along
the line to look for the nearest shelter. The guess on the flares was right, and
Ferguson's platoon was fortunate in taking its shelling in an area where the Japanese had
provided deep bomb craters. The platoon came through with only eight casualties. As soon
as the bombardment lifted, Ferguson moved toward Denver until he was forced to deploy by
heavy machine-gun and mortar fire. He looked for the 3d Platoon to come up on his right
according to plan, but only its commander, Quartermaster Sergeant John E. Haskin, and five
men appeared, the rest had been lost in the shelling. Captain Chambers sent up the reserve
platoon, which was in even worse shape, having been caught in the open near the tunnel
entrance. Quartermaster Clerk Herman L. Snellings had only four survivors alive and
Company O now contained but one platoon and had not yet made its attack.
Major Schaeffer established control over the scattered groups of men from the 1st
Battalion and the reserve and launched three separate counterattacks on the dug-in
Japanese. Sometimes the men would get up the slopes leading to the battery gun pits, but
they were always driven back, fewer in number each time. On the right flank, Sergeant
Major John H. Sweeney and Sergeant Haskin took advantage of the water tower's battered
elevation to hurl grenades down on the machine guns that were holding up the advance;
Haskin was killed trying to get more grenades up to Sweeney, and Sweeney was picked off
after he had knocked out at least one of the guns. Ferguson, who knew and had served with
both these long-time regulars, wrote their simple epitaph:
They were very close friends in life and it was most fitting that they should go
Many close friends died that morning in the darkness and choking dust as the
Japanese and the Americans and Filipinos faced each other from positions less than forty
yards apart. Some men cut off behind the enemy lines still kept firing at occasional
landing craft that were coming in to reinforce Sato. Hogaboom could see the tracers of a
single .50 caliber and felt that "the bullets smacking into the armor of the barges
sounded like rivet hammers rattling away." Every movement of the Japanese boats which stood in
number offshore was counted as an attempt at landing, although many of them were
improvised gunboats whose mission was protecting and supporting the landing craft. But
detachments of Sato's force kept coming in all night, and one enemy lieutenant, probably a
member of one of the 61st's supporting units, gave a vivid description of the
helpless feeling of the men in the barges as they were caught in Corregidor's fire:
American high powered machine guns poured a stream of bullets on us from all
directions. Rifle fire added to the hail of death. Our men who were huddled in the center
of the boat were all either killed or wounded. Those who clung to the sides were hit by
shells that pierced the steel plating. The boat had already sprung several leaks when we
finally came within landing distance of Corregidor. Desperately I gave the signal and led
the charge against the shore defenses. I don't remember how many men responded. I know I
heard only a small chorus. In that mad dash for shore many were drowned as they dropped
into the water mortally wounded. Many were killed outright ... If it had not been for the
fact that it was the dark hour before the dawn, pitch black, I doubt if any of us would be
alive today to tell the story.
However heavy the Japanese casualties were, they did not measurably weaken the
firepower of the Denver position. Each attack by Schaeffer's men thinned the Marine line
still more. Lost were officers and NCOs whose leadership was vital to he operations of
mixed units such as those which held the Japanese at bay. Captain Castle of Company D was
killed trying to silence a machine gun, and many small unit leaders who still held their
place in line were badly wounded. The situation was so desperate that Colonel Howard could
no longer hold his last reserves out of the action. He ordered the 4th Battalion to move
into the East Sector and join the embattled defense line.
The 4th Battalion in Action
Major Williams' 4th Battalion had been alerted early in
the night's action, and he had ordered the issue of extra ammunition and grenades. At
about 0100 he got the word to move the battalion into Malinta Tunnel and stand by. The
sailors proceeded cautiously down the south shore road, waited for an enemy barrage which
was hitting in the dock area to lift, and then dashed across to the tunnel entrance. In
the sweltering corridor the men pressed back against the walls as hundreds of casualties,
walking wounded and litter cases, streamed in from the East Sector fighting. The hospital
laterals were filled to overflowing, and the doctors, nurses, and corpsmen tended to the
stricken men wherever they could find room to lay a man down. At 0430, Colonel Howard
ordered Williams to take his battalion out of the tunnel and attack the Japanese at Denver
The companies moved out in column. About 500 yards out from Malinta
they were caught in a heavy shelling that sharply reduced their strength and temporarily
scattered the men. The survivors reassembled and moved toward the fighting in line of
skirmishers. Companies Q and R, commanded by two Army officers, Captains Paul C. Moore and
Harold E. Dalness, respectively, moved in on the left to reinforce the scattered groups of
riflemen from Companies A and P who were trying to contain the Japanese in the broken
ground north of Denver Battery. The battery position itself was assigned to Company T
(lieutenant Bethel B. Otter, USN), and two platoons of Company S, originally
designated the battalion reserve, were brought up on the extreme right where Lieutenant
Edward N. Little, USN, was to try to silence the enemy machine guns near the water tower.
The bluejackets filled in the gaps along the line--wide gaps, for there was little that
could be called a firm defensive line left--and joined the fire fight.
The lack of adequate communications prevented Colonel Howard from exercising active
tactical direction of the battle in the East Sector. The unit commanders on the ground,
first Captain Pickup, then Major Schaeffer, and finally Major Williams made the
minute-to-minute decisions that close combat demanded. By the time Williams' battalion had
reorganized and moved up into the Marine forward positions, Schaeffer's command was
practically nonexistent. Williams, by mutual consent (Schaeffer was senior), took over
command of the fighting since he was in a far better position to get the best effort out
of his bluejackets when they attacked.
At dawn Major Williams moved along the front, telling his officers to be ready to
jump off at 0615. The company and platoon command posts were right up on the firing line
and there were no reserves left; every officer and man still able to stand took part in
the attack. On the left the Japanese were driven back 200-300 yards before Williams sent a
runner to check the advance of Moore and Dalness; the right of the line had been unable to
make more than a few yards before the withering fire of the Denver and water tower
defenses drove the men to the deck. The left companies shifted toward Denver to close the
gap that had opened while the men on the right tried to knock out the Japanese machine
guns and mortars. Lieutenant Otter was killed while leading an attack, and his executive,
Captain Calvin E. Chunn, took over; Chunn was wounded soon after as Company T charged a
Japanese unit which was setting up a field piece near the water tower. Lieutenant Little
was hit in the chest and Williams sent a Philippine Scout officer, First Lieutenant Otis
E. Saalman, to take over Company S.
The Marine mortars of 1/4, 3-inch Stokes without sights, were not accurate enough
to support Williams' attack. He had to order them to cease fire when stray rounds fell
among his own men, who had closed to within grenade range of the Japanese. Robbed of the
last supporting weapons that might have opened a breach in the Denver position, the attack
stalled completely. Major Schaeffer sent Warrant Officer Ferguson, who had succeeded to
command of Company O when Captain Chambers was wounded, to Colonel Howard's CP to report
the situation and request reinforcements. Ferguson, like Schaeffer and many of the
survivors of 1/4 and the reserve, was a walking wounded case himself. By the time Ferguson
got back through the enemy shelling to Malinta at 0900, Williams had received what few
reinforcements Howard could muster. Captain Herman H. Hauck and 60 men of the 59th Coast
Artillery, assigned by General Moore to the 4th Marines, had come up and Williams sent
them to the left flank to block Japanese snipers and machine-gun crews infiltrating along
the beaches into the rear areas.
At about 0930 men on the north flank of the Marine line saw a couple of Japanese
tanks coming off barges near Cavalry point, a move that spelled the end on Corregidor. The
tanks were in position to advance within a half hour, and, just as the men in front of
Denver Battery spotted them, enemy flares went up again and artillery salvoes crashed down
just forward of the Japanese position. Some men began to fall back, and though Williams
and the surviving leaders tried to halt the withdrawal, the shellfire prevented them from
regaining control. At 1030 Williams sent a message to the units on the left flank to fall
back to the ruins of a concrete trench which stood just forward of the entrance to Malinta
Tunnel. The next thirty minutes witnessed a scene of utter confusion as the Japanese
opened up on the retreating men with rifles, mortars, machine guns, and mountain
howitzers. Flares signalled the artillery on Bataan to increase its fire, and a rolling
barrage sung back and forth between Malinta and Denver, demolishing any semblance of order
in the ranks of the men straining to reach the dubious shelter of the trench. "Dirt,
rocks, trees, bodies, and debris literally filled the air," and pitifully few
men made it back to Malinta.
Williams, who was wounded, and roughly 150 officers and men, many of them also
casualties, gathered in the trench ruins to make a stand. The Japanese were less than
three hundred yards from their position and enemy tanks could be seen moving up to
outflank their line on the right. The Marine major, who had been a tower of strength
throughout the hopeless fight. went into the tunnel at 1130 to ask Howard for antitank
guns and more men. But the battle was over: General Wainwright had made the decision to
march through Malinta, with arms shouldered, whilst surrendered troops
stand by attempting to come to terms with the unthinkable.
milling around on Bottomside, amongst the remaining inoperable vehicles on
Propaganda for the
newsreels, Japanese troops celebrate at the site of the Lorcha Dock.
This is from a
Japanese propaganda newsreel , Colonel Paul Bunker having lowered
the flag and burned it prior to surrender.
troops re-enact something that never happened in the first place -
there was NO combat west of Malinta, and don't believe any book which
tells you so.
Colonel Howard had personally reported the landing of the
Japanese tanks to General Wainwright at 1000. The USFIP commander, who had kept current on
the situation in the East Sector throughout the night's fighting, made the fateful
decision to surrender. He later related that "it was the terror that is vested in a
tank that was the deciding factor," for he "thought of the havoc that even one
of these could wreak if it nosed into the tunnel, where lay our helpless wounded..." He
did not believe, nor did any other officer he consulted, that the defenses outside Malinta
could last more than the remaining hours of the day, and he set the hour of surrender for
noon in order "to avoid the horrors which would have accrued had I let the fight go
on until dark."
The order to surrender was passed to the troops on Topside and Middleside
along with instructions to destroy all weapons larger than .45 caliber. The sickened men
of the 4th Marines' 2d and 3d Battalions, who had been forced to stand by helplessly as
they heard and watched the battle to the east, carried the order even further, smashing
their rifles against the rocks. Veterans of fighting in World War I and a dozen
"banana wars" stood unashamedly crying as they were told they would have to
surrender. Inside Malinta, Colonel Howard ordered the regimental and national colors of
the 4th Marines burned to prevent their falling into enemy hands. Two 1st Battalion
officers, Captain Clark and Lieutenant Manning, a field music, and an interpreter were
selected to carry Wainwright's flag of truce to the Japanese. As the white flag was
carried out of the tunnel, Major Williams ordered survivors of the East Sector fighting to
move inside the hill and take shelter from the Japanese bombardment which still was
Captain Clark's party passed the last American outpost; the music sounded off and
Manning was a pole which bore a piece of sheeting. The enemy infantrymen, who had been
given special instructions regarding the reception of flags of truce, did not fire, and
Clark was taken to the senior Japanese office on the island who contacted Bataan and
arranged for a parley on the peninsula with General Homma. When Wainwright, accompanied by
a few senior officers and aides, walked out of the tunnel and up the long slope toward
Kindley Field, he saw dead and dying men on every hand, a grim record of the ferocity of
the fighting in the past 12 hours.
No complete figures exist for the casualties suffered by either side on 5-6 May;
estimates of the Japanese losses range from 900 to 4,000. The strait
between Bataan and Corregidor was heavily dotted with enemy bodies, and American prisoners
on Corregidor estimated that they helped collect and cremate the remains of hundreds of
The detailed losses of the 4th Marines will probably never be known because of the
joint-service nature of the regiment at the time of battle and the scarcity of
contemporary records. The casualties of Marines alone are know, however, and they may be
considered indicative of the fate of soldiers and sailors who served with them. In the
whole Philippine campaign the regiment had 315 officers and men killed, 15 missing in
action presumed dead, and 357 men wounded; the great majority of these casualties occurred
during the battle for Corregidor.
The bloody battle for the island fortress did not end with Wainwright's decision to
surrender. The Japanese went right ahead with their assault plan and preparatory
bombardments, paying no heed to the white flags displayed on all the islands in the bay.
Eighty-eight tons of bombs were dropped on 6 May, a good part of them after the
Wainwright, who had released his southern Philippine commanders to MacArthur's control
before he attempted to meet the enemy commander, tried to surrender only the fortified
islands to the Japanese. He was rebuffed coldly by Homma's emissary and told that the
Japanese knew that he was commander of all the forces in the Philippines and that they
would not accept his surrender unless it meant the capitulation of every man in his
command, everywhere in the islands. The American general, convinced that the Japanese
would treat the men on the fortified islands as hostages, perhaps even massacre them if
the fighting continued in the south, finally acceded to the enemy demand and broadcast a
surrender message at midnight on 6 May to all his commanding officers. There was
considerable dissension regarding this order, especially on islands where the Japanese had
not made much effort to subdue the Philippine Army troops, but eventually most of the
organized units of USFIP came out of the hills to lay down their arms. Wainwright felt, as
did most of his advisors at the time, that the Japanese were quite capable of slaughtering
the men surrendered on the fortified islands if he did not insure a complete surrender of
all his forces.
The struggle for control of Manila Bay finally ended on 7 May when the Japanese
occupied the last of the island forts, but for most of the captured men "the fight
for life had just begun." Thousands succumbed in the next three years to
brutal mistreatment, malnutrition, and disease in Japanese prison camps in the
Philippines, in the enemy home islands, and in Manchuria. Two hundred and thirty-nine
officers and men of the 4th Marine Regiment died in enemy hands.
is no fake re-enactment. Hundreds of surrendered troops mill around
awaiting orders as to their fate. The true circumstances of the surrender
will not be known in the West for until 1943-44.
and directionless, many not knowing why they have been surrendered, groups
of men stand around waiting for orders. Some units maintained
cohesiveness due to strong leadership, but others fell apart from
lacklustre officers more interested in themselves than the welfare of
The battle for Corregidor was bitter and confused;
relatively few men survive who fought in the East Sector through the night and morning of
5-6 May 1942. Hundreds of well trained infantrymen in positions within a mile of so of
Malinta Hill were only spectators and auditors of the fighting. The poorest-trained
elements of the 4th Marines constituted the vital mobile reserve. On the surface and in
hasty consideration it would seem that the tactics of the beach defense left much to be
Corregidor, however, was not a fortress with only one entrance. The
beaches fronting the ravines defended by 2/4 and 3/4 led directly to the island's major
defensive installations. The threat of amphibious assault existed all around the island's
perimeter, but especially along the northern and western shores. The Japanese laid down
preparatory fires all along the north side of the island, devoting as much attention to
James Ravine and Bottomside west of Malinta as they did the eastern beaches. Until the
night of 5 May there was no compelling reason to believe that the East Sector would draw
the first assault. And even after the enemy landed at North Point the very present threat
to western Corregidor existed and could not be ignored. To meet it, a number of Army units
were alerted to back up the positions of 2/4 and 3/4.
The problem which Colonel Howard faced of when, where, and what strength to commit
the reserves available to him was a classic one for commanders at all troop levels. If he
committed all his reserve at one time and in the area of greatest existing threat, he
distinctly increased the vulnerability of other sectors to enemy attack. If he committed
only part of his reserve and retained the capability of reinforcing against further
attacks, he stood the chance of not using enough men to have a decisive effect in any
sector. The decision to commit the reserve piecemeal reflected the regiment's estimate of
the enemy's capabilities and intentions in light of their actions. The Japanese,
although opposed by a relatively small force, did not or could not vigorously pursue their
advance after reaching the Denver position. The continued presence of numerous small craft
off Corregidor's north shore indicated a possible, even probable, early attempt at a
second landing. Under these circumstances the East Sector assault might well be a
secondary effort which had stalled, with the enemy's main attack still to come. Actually
this was the Japanese plan, with the difference that the second landing was to follow the
first after a day's interval rather than as soon as the Marines expected.
In large part the 4th Marines' reserve strength was already committed on 5 May. The
Japanese preparatory fires, especially those which were laid on areas in plain sight of
Bataan, made movement by any body of troops extremely difficult--witness the fate of
Company O. The bombardment had the effect of tying the regiment to its
trained infantrymen in its ranks were kept where they could do the most to bolster the
crucial beach positions.
If any sizable number of these men had been withdrawn from the beaches to form a reserve,
it is questionable whether the remaining men could have withstood any enemy assault. Once
the Japanese began to bombard Corregidor in earnest there was no such thing as a strong
beach defense position; the very fury of the bombardment, destroying as it did most of the
prepared defenses and demolishing the major supporting weapons, placed a high premium on
having the best infantrymen at the point where their value would be greatest--the beaches.
The fall of Corregidor was inevitable; the garrison simply did not have enough food
to hold out until relief could arrive. Although the enemy, primarily for prestige and
propaganda reasons, chose to assault the island, they could easily have starved its
defenders into submission. When the Japanese did make their attack they paid a high price
for their haste, but extracted as great a one from the defenders. In the immediate
tactical sense, however, the enemy artillery was the victor in the siege and fall of
Corregidor; no defending force could have withstood its devastatingly accurate
Although it was a defeat, the battle of Corregidor is marked down in the annals of
the 4th Marines as a fight to be proud of. Those who fought and died in its ranks,
whatever their service of origin, were, if only for a brief moment, Corregidor Marines.
war's end, MacArthur allowed Sutherland to exclude Sam Howard's 4th
Marines from a general recommendation that the defenders receive
presidential unit citations on the ground that "the Marines had
enough glory in World War 1."
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Unless otherwise noted the material in the
section is derived from 14th Army Rept; Philippine AirOpsRec; Fall of the Philippines.
4th Mar Jnl, 374.
Many survivors and a number of accounts of this siege credit the Japanese with having as
many as 400 artillery peices firing on the fortified island by 5 May. The figure of 37
batteries (approximately 150 pieces) represents only the enemy artillery units listed in 14th
Army Rept, 187 as part of the Corregidor attack organization.
 Unless otherwise
noted the material in this section is derived from USAFFE-USFIP Rept; Moore Rept; 4th
Mar Jnl; Hayes Rept; Capt C.B. Brook, USN, Personal Experiences 8Apr-6May 56,
hereinafter cited as Brook; Maj H.E. Dalness, USA, "The Operations of the 4th
Battalion (Provisional) 4th Marine Regiment in the Final Counterattack in the Defense of
Corregidor 5-6 May 1942," AdvInfOff Course 1949-50, The InfSch, Ft. Benning,
hereinafter cited as Dalness; Ferguson; Jenkins; 1stLt O.E. Saalman, USA, Personal
Experiences 12Apr-6May42, n.d., hereinafter cited as Saalman.
 The former
sergeant major of 2/4 believes that the regiment joined substantially more men than this
figure which appears in the regimental journal. He recalls that the 2d Bn "picked up
for rations, and on the crudest rolls, at least 600 men" and believes that the other
battalions did the same. Jackson.
 Most survivors of
4/4 refer to the battalion as having had approximately 500 men in its ranks. Strength
breakdowns of the 4th Mar exist up through 1May42, however, and nowhere do they support
the larger figure. The S-3 of 4/4 is certain that the total strength of the battalion of 6
May was no more than 350 men. Maj O.E. Saalman ltr to CMC, 22Oct56, hereinafter cited as Saalman
 Survivors of 4/4
are unable to agree on the identity of the man who served as ExO of the battalion; at
least five Army or Navy officers have been mentioned. In addition, the possibility that a
Marine who was closely connected with 4/4 was de facto ExO was
brought out by one of the NCOs who recalls that "Major Williams always
considered Gunner Joe Reardon [QMClk Joseph J. Reardon] as his Executive
Officer and Adjutant." MSgt K.W. Mize ltr to CMC, 1Nov56.
ltr to CMC, 12Nov56, hereinafter cited as Chunn.
 4th Mar Jnl,
BriGen C.T. Beecher ltr to Mr. G.J. Berry, 17Mar50 (deposited by Capt G.J.
Berry, USMCR, in the USMC Archives, 30Oct56).
 Submarines were
the beleaguered garrison's only contact with Allied bases outside the Philippines during
most of the siege. Although the subs brought in rations, antiaircraft ammunition, and
medical supplies on scattered occasions, the amount that they could carry was only enough
for stop-gap relief. For the interesting story of the diversified submarine actions in
support of USAFFE-USFIP see, T. Roscoe, United States Submarine Operations in World War
II (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1949), 23-39.
Philippine AirOpsRec, Plate 8.
 Beecher ltr to
Berry, op. cit.
 The last
complete contemporary breakdown of strength of the 4th Mar by component units is contained
in 4th Mar Jnl, 390. It was corrected through 1 May. A slightly
earlier list dated 28Apr42, detached from the journal book but unmistakably
once part of it, has an interesting appendix which gives the units from
which attached personnel originated. It shows that 26 Navy, 104 American and
Philippine Army, 9 Philippine Scout, and 3 Philippine Constabulary
organizations furnished men to the 4th Mar.
The five Marine officers, two Navy doctors, and 96 Marine enlisted men
previously captured in China and on Bataan have been omitted from these
The 1May42 listing of regimental strength does not indicate the tactical
breakdown of Hq and SerCos into Cos O and P. The figures shown, therefore,
include a number of regimental staff officers, probably two-thirs of the
total, and a few enlisted men who did not serve in Maj Schaeffer's command.
One officer and five enlisted men have been deducted from SerCo's USMC
Strength and added to that of 4/4.
 Unless otherwise
noted the material in this section is derived from USAFFE-USFIP Rept; Moore Rept; 14th
Army Rept; Howard Rept; MG H.M. Ferrell, Personal Experiences 5-6May42, n.d.,
hereinafter cited as Ferrell; Jenkins; H.W. Baldwin, "The Fourth Marines at
Corregidor," MC Gazette, in 4 parts November 1946-February 1947, hereinafter
cited as Baldwin Narrative; Fall of the Philippines; K. Uno, Corregidor: Isle of
Delusion (China: Press Bureau, Imperial Japanese Army Headquarters, September 1942)
(located at OCMH), herinafter cited as Isle of Delusion.
4th Mar R-2 Jnl, 8Dec41-3May42, last entry.
LtCol R.F. Jenkins ltr to CMC, 30Oct56.
 Quoted in Isle
of Delusion, , 17.
 Hayes Rept, Statement
of LCdr E.M. Wade, 65. The general existence of this belief was questioned by one
 Unless otherwise
noted the material in this section is derived from USAFFE-USFIP Rept; 14th Army Rept;
Howard Rept; Ferguson; Ferrell; Hogaboom; Jenkins; Baldwin Narrative; Isle of Delusion;
Fall of the Philippines.
 By the time the
Japanese landed, the only road into the East Sector was that which led through Malinta
Tunnel. The road cut out of the side of the hill on the north had been completely
demolished, and Col Howard, looking for an alternate route of approach, had discovered
shortly before the landing that enemy artillery had blown a deep, ravine-like depression
in the southern circling road that rendered it impassable to organized troop movement. Howard
 Quoted in Isle
of Delusions, 34.
 Unless otherwise
noted the material in this section is derived from USAFFE-USFIP Rept; 14th Army Rept;
Howard Rept; Brrok; Dalness; Sgt C.E. Downing, Personal Experiences 5-6May42,
Ferrell; Hogaboom; Jenkins; Baldwin Narrative; Isle of Delusion; Fall of the Philippines.
 Unless otherwise
noted the material in this section is derived from USAFFE-USFIP Rept; 14th Army Rept;
Howard Rept; Baldwin Narrative; Fall of the Philippines. Wainwright's Story.
 Most American
survivors of the battle mention that they heard from the Japanese later in prison camp
that the enemy had suffered almost 4,000 casualties in trying to take Corregidor. However,
Japanese officers commenting of Dr. Morton's draft manuscript of The Fall of the
Philippines wrote that the total casualties of the Japanese in the
Corregidor operation between 14Apr-7May42 were 903. MilHistSec, SS, GHQ,
FEC, Comments of Former Japanese Officers Regarding "The Fall of the
Philippines," 19Apr42 (located at OCMH), Chap XXXI, 3.
1956. Saalman recalls having remarked to Maj Williams shortly after daybreak on 6 May,
"I believe we could walk from Corregidor to Bataan over dead bodies." In light
of the number of bodies that were collected and cremated, Saalman is convinced that the
903 figure supplied by the Japanese in commenting on the draft of Fall of the
Philippines reflects only enemy dead rather than total casualties.
 See Appendix D
for Marine casualties.
AirOpsRec, Plate 8.
Col F.P. Pyzick ltr to CMC, 30Oct56.
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