"NO SUICIDE CLIFF"
_________________
Tony Sierra*

 

 

  *Tony Sierra

to John Lindgren

2 JAN 00

 

Of all the fellows who was 100% in on the Corregidor action, save for the few hours the third battalion was ahead of us second battalion contingent, I remember the least, if all the history coming out recently is to be believed. But now at last I have come across an incident where I have indisputable remembrances, "Suicide Cliff fairy tale."

I was one of the most active of troopers in the so-called two platoons who were assigned to heave the bodies of the killed Japanese soldiers early on the morning after the 19 February. I never saw a single Japanese "leap" over the cliff or any sign that any had done so during the night attack. Any of them that ended on the beach either fell during the attack (which is pure speculation) or were thrown over.

One of us would grab the feet and another the arms and swing them over as far as we could. I believe this was done to reduce the smell of decaying bodies in that tropical setting, if that was ever possible. We were so desperate to get this chore over with that I can't even recall any of us worrying in the least with searching their bodies for souvenirs or even military information.

I hope this sets to rest this small item once and for all, brochures notwithstanding.

 

Don Abbott

to Paul Whitman



The Filipinos love  rumors. If they don't have an old one to pass on they make up a new one. During my first trips back to the Island, in the 80's there was little, or no, electric power. They had the strangest collection of lamps you could imagine but those were hot and smelled bad. A good deal of the time you sat around in the dark, drinking San Miguel, and telling stories (lies). One rumor which has taken on the cloak of fact is the "suicide cliff" along the Cheney road. One 503rd friend who was there the morning of 19 Feb 45 told me the dead Japs began to smell early in the day and he, and others, were detailed to drag them over to the cliff and throw them over. He said one man would grab the feet, another the hands. They would pick them up, get them swinging and then give them a good toss.  When "E" Company was attacking Battery Monja on 23 Feb 45 we saw the results along the hillside to the North of the South Shore Road. There looked to be many swollen bodies and equipment. Graves registration must have spotted the remains later on and maybe they started the rumors about "suicides."

I tried to get this across to some of the Filipino guides but they told me they had many Japanese tourists they tell the story to. The Japs get all weepy and give the guide "big tips". The rumor will continue as long as the Japs tourists come.
 

Don Abbott
 

 

Robert J. Flynn

to John Lindgren

 

Subject: Re: Japanese reported suicides on Corregidor, P.I.

John, 

I talked tonite with one of the former Engineers from the 161st, a Warren Elfrank who was a corporal at the time we jumped on Corregidor. He related that his squad which was led by Sgt. Eugene Whitman, was sent to Wheeler Battery after the fighting to help dispose of the bodies of the enemy and recover the dead and wounded American troops. His account supports your recollections and those of Tony Sierra. Warren indicated that the men assigned to the detail paired off and took the Japanese corpses by the arms and legs and swung them over the side. He indicated that he could not see the beach below and had no idea where the bodies would come to rest after they were disposed of. That puts the beach patrol that I was in at a different location on the island. There aren't many of our engineer group left but I will pursue this until we get at least one other eye witness. Cecil Duquesne should be able to shed some light on this. 

Bob

 

 

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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