Posts Tagged ‘Marines’

Then on August 19, 1945, the Japanese turned over the command of the camp to our allied officers. We had roll call instead of tinko, and later in the day our camp was turned over to Captain Grady of the U.S. Army. Roll call was conducted by grouping the men in the different branches of service; Marines in one group; Navy in one and the Army in another. The British and the Dutch were lined up the same way, and the civilians were to themselves. I did spend one hour that day building fence around our compound.

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June 15, 1942

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

On June 15, the Japs divided the camp members. All of the Army were to remain on the side where I was now billeted; the Marines and Sailors were to move on the west side of a small draw in the camp. I moved to the  west side and stayed in that area until later we were moved again.

The Japs had put up a barbed wire fence around the camp, and they had guards stationed about every fifty yards apart along this fence. Our orders were to stay ten feet from the fence, and any one caught closer to the fence would be shot. The Japs were making believers of us by this time.

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.