Posts Tagged ‘Fourth Marine Regiment’

This is the third day, and as the sun is coming up over Manila Bay there is no doubt but what this is going to be another one of those hot, long days. We never knew from one day to the next what each day would hold for us.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. Sgt Downing came up to me and asked that I go with him. I asked, “What for?” He told me that I would help him and some of the other demolition squad dig out the booby traps that we had set for the defense of the Rock. When he asked me to go do this after all the bombs and shells had completely changed the terrain, I knew how dangerous it would be. I was not about to stick my neck out or get my head blown off for the Japs, so I told Downing to tell the Japs that he could not find me. To this day, I have not heard from any of the men that went on that detail.

Here I should like to recognize the twelve Marines in my Service Co., Maintenance Dept., with the Fourth Marine Regiment in Shanghai, China. In addition to Major Williams, a wonderful and great man in battle, others were Pfc. Don Wittke, Cpl. McCormack, Sgt. Blumpkie, Pfc. Rivers, Cpt. Downing, Cpl. “Frenchie” (cannot recall his name); Cpl. Winters, Sgt. Andrews, Sgt. Mize, two others whose names I cannot recall and myself.

On December 24, 1941, all military personnel with the exception of a Navy Chief, Major Williams and we twelve men in the demolition squad were evacuated from Olongapoo, P.I. We were left behind to demolish the submarine base there, and we completed the job on Dec. 26, 1941. From there we were sent to Corregidor, and came aboard the Rock on Dec. 28, 1941. Under the wonderful leadership of Major Williams, we twelve men had the job of setting personnel mines and booby traps until April 9, 1942, when Bataan fell. Immediately the 4th Navy Battalion Reserves were formed with Major Williams as commanding officer. He picked Downing, Mize, McCormick and me to be assigned in charge of a company of Navy boys to teach them brush warfare. Later some of the Navy men credited us with saving their lives from the training routines we taught them.