"NO SMOKING "
_________________
Francis X. O'Neill Jr. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

That first night  on Corregidor I spent in the vicinity of the one of the water towers. Stan Crawford, later killed at the graveyard on the end of island, and I shared a foxhole. 

Lt. Leathers, the 3rd platoon leader,  passed the word "NO SMOKING" About 11:00PM Stan asked me if I wanted a cigarette.  Together we got down as far as we could in the hole, cupped our hands and lit up.

Other fellows followed our lead. There was a metal pole about 5 ft in back of us. All of a sudden all hell broke loose.  Bullets kept hitting the pole with a ringing effect. No one was sure where the firing was coming from, so we just fired in front of us as the rest of the fellows in our platoon did.

We suffered no casualties although we heard some calls in Japanese.

After about ten minutes the firing stopped.

Lt. Leathers came down to each hole and wanted to know who started the firing and who was smoking.

Stan, in his dry humour voice, said immediately  that we did since he smelled cigarette smoke in front of us. 

"Those damm Japs were smoking, so I opened up and so did the rest of the line.Those bastards could smoke and we couldn't. That made me mad." 

Leathers, a tall, well-built man from California,  and a capable officer, had all to do to keep his temper.

Of cause I supported Stan's story.  

We both lost a stripe.

When he asked Leathers why, he was told his story, although good, was not good enough, Leathers had smelled American cigarette smoke.

Stan did not question the Lieutenant's sense of smell.

Later  Leathers  put Stan in for the Silver Star, which Stan was awarded posthumously. Crawford was a courageous man  with a dry sense of humor  and a good friend. I still pray for him. I'm  sure many strange things happened that first night. This was only one of them.

 

 

BOOZE AND BOOTY | THE TRUCK | THE CORREGIDOR BRASS TURKEY SHOOT | FT MILLS PLAQUE | BOB HOPE AT NOEMFOOR | NO SUICIDE CLIFF | 'DOC' BRADFORD | MYSTERIOUS WAYS | MY FIRST COMBAT PATROL | THE DEATH OF BENNY SLOWE | MIRACLE AT NOEMFOOR | THE DEATH OF KARSTEN HALL | SONGS & SLOGANS |WATER, WATER NOWHERE | NO SMOKING! | BRONZE STAR AT BANZAI POINT | ON THE BEACH AT CORREGIDOR | REUNION GOSSIP 1949  |  CORREGIDOR WHISKEY

 

 

 

         

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