At this time, Co. "F" consisted of 9 officers and 144 enlisted men. At seven in the morning, the U.S.S Custer weighed anchor and sailed as a part of the convoy. Destination unknown. Morale was high, as a result of the grand food the ship served. Custer dropped anchor in Leyte Gulf, Nov. 19, 1944. Company headquarters and Mortar platoon disembarked from the Custer at 0700 hr. by LCI and landed Maragona, Leyte Island Philippine Islands at 0715 hr, first, second and third platoons disembarked at 1515 hr and landed at 1530 same date. After disembarking and landing the Company proceeded to set up camp. Distance traveled by ship, approximately 1150 miles.
19 November, 1944 to 11 December, 1944, company bivouacked near Maragona, Leyte, training for coming operation. In the meantime the men enjoyed the dandy beach by swimming and playing ball on the sands. Many Nippon planes were shot down from the skies overhead. So foxholes had to be dug beside each man's bed. One day the regiment witnessed a Nippon Kamikase pilot that struck a liberty ship in the (blank space). Many men lost their lives and the ship burned continuously all night. Every night anti-aircraft batteries expended mucho rounds of tracer at the Nips. It resembled Coney island on the fourth of July. The P-38 fighter plane did its job of clearing the skies of (blank space, probably the word Japs.)
11th December, 1944: Company consisting of 5 officers and 132 EM. Broke camp at 0700 and moved down to the beach ˝ mile at Reading Point. Boarded LCI 759 at 1030. Joined convoy and anchored Leyte harbor overnight. Although most of the men were seasick, the morale was high since Peterson, R. L. discovered a strange hatch filled with ice cream powder, peaches and dehydrated milk.
12th December 44: LCI's weighed anchor at 1530 and sailed as part of the invasion force for Mindoro Island, Philippine Islands. Morale is excellent. This is to be the first beach assault company "F" has ever attempted. The following day the convoy received several bombing raids which were met with our own intense anti-aircraft fire. No casualties aboard our own ship. One ship in the convoy was hit by an enemy suicide (Kamikaze) plane.
0720 hour, 15 Dec, 1944: company "F" stormed ashore after a 15 minute naval bombardment of rockets and shells, then continued by foot to San Jose, Mindoro Is., Philippines. The terrain was rough for hiking with our heavy packs, loaded with chow mostly. Company minus the third platoon left to guard general headquarters at San Jose. No enemy ground resistance. Company did routine patrolling and setting up positions. Enemy air activity was very intense. Each man had to dig a deep, standing fox hole because of the punctual night bombings.
29 January, 1945: Captain McRoberts relieved of assignment as company commander and Lt. William T. Bailey assumed command. Company set up camp across the river, west of San Jose. Began intensive training and preparation for another mission. Feb. 7, the company was alerted for coming mission (unknown). The battalion commander gave out with some dope. About this mission we, the 503, would get mucho publicity. In fact the men knew it was Corregidor by guessing, and not officially. Equipment was packed and personnel restricted to regimental area, company consisted of 6 officers and 130 EM.
1120 hr, 16 February, 1945: company "F" took off from Hill Strip enroute to Corregidor Island, Philippine Islands. Pfc McColin LWA while in flight by enemy anti-aircraft fire. 1400 hour, company jumped and was assembled by 1500 hr., 11 [CLEARLY WRONG! MAY BE 1100] men had jumped. Company moved into officers row and went into position for the night. First platoon, in an attempt to take Wheeler Battery lost 2 EM killed in action. These were the first 2 men killed in action from Company "F". They grew fiercer during the morning. First Lt. William Campbell and Sgt. Hoyt were killed. Lt Campbell was killed in front of Wheeler Battery while preparing an attack and Sgt. Hoyt was killed south of jump field "A" while attempting to rescue a wounded comrade. Lt Miller, Lt. Flash, Pfc O'Donnel, Pfc. Anthony Lopez, Pfc Greek Kambakumis, Pfc.Ackerman, Pfc. Harrigan, Pfc. Cherimisin were wounded today.
18 February: 503rd platoon attacked the bunker until no enemy opposition. "F" company now consists of 3 officers and 113 EM.
18-19 February: Fighting was bitter during the night as the enemy attacked time and time again, resulting in the death of Sgt. Donald White and lightly wounding Pfc. Aimers, Albersman, Lloyd McCarter and Benedict Schilli. During the day heavt enemy sniper fire resulted in the death of Pfc. Pasquale Ruggio, and lightly wounded Pfc's Eugene Rasey and Lawrence Rainville. Pfc Fred Morgan was killed today by enemy sniper fire, when the third platoon and company headquarters took a short break before a powder magazine. One man happened to look into the magazine and saw 20 or more Japs. The company laid down rifle fire while the remainder withdrew under the direction of Lt. William LaVancher. In withdrawing Pfc Morgan was shot through the head. Company strength was now 3 officers and 105 EM.
20 February: Pfc. Homer Patterson was killed in Sheeny ravine (as Cheney Ravine was then thought to be.) The same patrol captured 4 trucks, 2 automobiles and destroyed a 6 inch naval gun.
22 February: first platoon moved down Sheeny Ravine in the attack and met heavy enemy resistance consisting of rifle and machine gun fire. During this action, Pfc. Yarrow, Yokum and Sgt George Mikel were killed. Pfc. Stanley Maciborski was lightly wounded in action. Company strength now is 3 officers and 100 EM
4 March, during the great explosion today in the enlisted men barracks, Pfc's. Whall and Pierce, George was lightly wounded and all blinded from phosphorous shells. The same shell started the fire and explosions.
The remainder of the stay on the Rock was spent on perimeter on topside among the barracks.
8 March: Company boarded LCT, hoisted anchor and were underway at 1700 and left the rock in the distance. The following day, Company debarked from the ships at White beach, Mindoro P.I. and arrived at camp area San Jose, Mindoro at 1530hr.
1 April, 1945: Company assigned 3 officers and 36 EM replacements today. Another mission was in the air again. The Regiment was alerted to jump on an unknown island. Company was issued parachutes but that was cancelled in good fashion. But the mission was still to take place with the airborne part out.
7 April, company consisting of 6 officers and 135 EM moved to San Jose strip and boarded planes at 0755 and landed at Iloilo strip, Iloilo City, Panay P.I. at 0915. From the strip the company moved by truck to Iloilo City docks to board another LCI and land at Pulupandan, Negros Island, Philippine Islands at 1735. The company moved to the city square (known as the plaza) where a dance was being held for the liberating Americans and spent the night night on the grass.
9 April: The men had breakfast and company moved out at 0830 to attack San Isidro which was at the foothills of the mountains. For the mission we were assigned 2 M-4 tanks and a demolition section. Unable to cross the Imbang River, the tanks turned back and the infantry went on. The 2nd platoon contacted the enemy in Sinapanan. After the company had been repulsed, we returned to our previous positions which we had occupied the night before. During this action S/Sgt. James Jackson was fatally wounded and 1st Lt. Lee and Sgt. Leroy Eide were slightly wounded.
10 April: During the morning the company perimeter came under enemy artillery fire estimated to be 75 mm, Pvt. Donald Anderson was fatally wounded by this fire.
12 April: Company attempted to attack an enemy held ridge. 1st Lt. William Bailey went to the hospital and command of the company was temporarily taken over by 1st Lt. William Calhoun.
21 April: Company attempted to attack an enemy held ridge but, because of the large number of enemy automatic weapons and bunker systems, had to withdraw until more support could be brought in. During this action, Pfc. Henry McCory and Pvt. Karl Schneider were killed. S/sgt. Chris Johnson and Sgt. William con were wounded.
22 April: During the night, the enemy pulled an infiltration attack. Throwing anti-personnel bombs which fatally wounded Pfc. Ralph Bright. During the morning, the company successfully attacked and secured part of the ridge which we had failed to take the day before. During this action, S/Sgt. Ben Roote was fatally wounded and Pfc. Charleston Penton and Pvt. Allen Khesherewese LWA. The third platoon led the attack.
23 April: the rest of the ridge was taken by the first platoon and secured by company "F". this morning being this action pfc's. Richard [WORDS MISSING] . The company captured 2 heavy [WORDS MISSING], definitely and unknown [WORDS MISSING] Also captured an unknown number of [WORDS MISSING] and carbines.
26 April: The past two days had been spent quietly in the mens positions, giving all a chance to write home and to clean weapons for the action that was seen in the future. During the afternoon of today, an enemy artillery shell burst over the company C.P. and fatally wounded Pfc. Virgil Turber.
27 April: Company moved out on the attack after a heavy artillery barrage and advanced to hill, approximately 200 yarps in front of our perimeter. The first and second platoons led this attack which resulted in Pfc. Morton Kaufman being LWA. 4 MCG's [sic?]were captured.
28 April: Company spent the morning doing local patrolling. Sniper fire killed Pfc. Ace Dibble and seriously wounding Pfc's. Woodrow Hart and Johnny Peters.
29 April: During the night the 1st platoon's perimeter came under enemy mortar fire which resulted in the death of Pfc. Ralph Iverson and Pvt. Dallas Workman.
3 May: 1st platoon moved up into the forest approx. 80 yards to set up a platoon outpost, there they contacted approx. 200 enemy and were surrounded. 2nd platoon went to their relief and after fierce fighting both platoons withdrew, leaving an unknown number of enemy dead. During this action, Pfc. Jose Caldron was killed and Pfc. Allen Martin was fatally wounded. Pfc's Perry Bandt and Phillip Smith were LWA.
23 May: The company .moved out on a recon in force this morning and after moving about 800 yds., contacted an unknown number of enemy dug in on a very steep ridge. Pfc's Robert Unterzuber, Charles Kruse, Walter Maniak and James Wilson were SWA. After a heavy mortar barrage, the hill was successfully taken with the third platoon leading. The enemy had buried most of theirs so that the exact number of killed was not known.
28 May: 1st Lt. Bailey resumed command and 1st lt. William Calhoun was dropped as Company Commander and resumed duties as Exec. Officer.
29 May: During the day, the company attacked a position and was forced to withdraw and call in artillery. During this action, Pvt. Frank Siket was LWA.
30 May: Company made a successful attack today and counted 11 enemy dead and captured 2 LMG's. It is believed that the enemy pulled back many of their dead with them, as they withdrew. During this action Pvt. Robert Hahn was LWA.
1 June: The following days were spent in short patrols. The men have been in combat for 61 days. Everyone is hopefully waiting for the relief that is supposed to come.
6 June: The orders to move to the Regtl. C.P. came today. The men are in good spirits with thoughts that the mission had at last come to an end. The long hike down steep ridges and treacherous ravines is made. The men cheer as they come into open terrain and into the sunlight.
10 June: 2nd platoon plus one section of LMG, moved to Victorias. The rest of the company to follow tomorrow.
11 June: 1st platoon minus 12 men moved out and set up around Malago River bridge to act as bridge guard. 12 men from the first platoon moved to the Inbang bridge. Third platoon set up on the Malato river bridge with the .first. The mortar platoon set up just outside of Bacolod. Second platoon and Co.HQ set up just in rear of the Municipal building in Victorias.
12 June: Second platoon left Victorias on patrol at 1300 hr. To N.E. Patrol was unable to reach Cadiz and returned to Manapla for information and guide. Received information on Japs in area and patrol found and killed four.
13 June: numerous Japs reported in outlaying area. Four patrols departed at 0800.to try to contact the enemy. One patrol found four dead Japs. Other patrols reported no activity.
16 June: Two road patrols were the only patrols out today. Met no enemy resistance. Company observed memorial services.
18 June: Second platoon patrol with outpost in Fabrica left there to patrol Hinygon district S.E. of Fabrica, only approach was by railway. About five miles out, received report from civilian that seven Japs were eating in his home. Patrol approached house and about 50 feet away, were fired on by shotgun. Patrol assaulted house and after fire fight, counted six dead, however the one that escaped took the shotgun with him.
19 June: Mixed patrols including Filipino regulars departed Fabaica at 2200 hr. To approximately 10 miles S.E. of Fabrica. Japs told farmers that they would surrender to American soldiers but not to civilians. Patrol reached farmers house before daylight and surrounded farmers house. Farmer met the patrol leader and informed him that the Japs had children in the house. The patrol leader elected to wait until day break before taking any action. The patrol leader instructed, the farmer to tell the Japs to either surrender or release the~children. The Japs freed the children and as soon. as they cleared the house, opened up with a machine gun and aerial bombs. After the house had been assaulted, patrol found four dead, and two wounded Japs. Buried the dead and brought the two wounded in as prisoners.
26 June: Outpost of third platoon sent in Filipino messenger that they sighted two hundred Japs organized and armed. Company commander gathered up 25 men and started to San Pablo to help outpost. Met outpost on way out and decided to come in for reinforcements.
29 June: Second platoon with LMG, attached and working; with Filipino Regulars, attacked a strong point at San Jose, enemy force estimated to be two-hundred strong. Fire fight started at 1700 hr and lasted for two hours. Enemy had well dug in positions and had a good supply of ammo. After fight, 2nd platoon withdrew after counting 20 dead and Filipino regulars counting another 7 dead in their sector. One prisoner was taken.
2 July 45: First Lt. Bailey relieved of command and Capt. William LaVancher appointed new company commander.
3 July 45: Company new less second platoon moved to Hacienda Florencia at co-ordinates approx. (128-1315) map 1-50,000 Victorias River Sheet.
4 July 45: lt. Mathers with one squad left on motor pool at 1300 hr. to San Isidroto to investigate report of 8 Japs in that area. Found no evidence of enemy. This patrol brought back one Filipino that has been wounded by the Japanese. Informal inspection by [WORDS MISSING]
5 July 45: Company patrol of 306 men left Co. at 0800 hr. to investigate report of enemy in San Isidro, San Jose, Bashven area. Patrol to stay out over night. No report at end of period. Civilians turned over 1 enemy civilian and 3 soldiers that had been captured near San Isidiro. All surrendered voluntarily.
7 July 45: Sgt. Roberts with one squad left company at 0845 hr to investigate reports at Nabinag. Arriving there found no evidence of enemy. Requested permission to stay there overnight and permission was granted. Informal inspection by the battalion commander at 1330.
8 July 45: 16 man guerilla recon patrol reported back to "F" Co, C.P. reported that 30 enemy armed with rifles stole two caraboa and kidnapped two civilians. Company sent patrol to investigate but found no evidence of enemy. At 0900 hr., near Bahvan, patrol observed 12 enemy in a patrol. Set up an ambush and killed 2 enemy.
9 July 45: Sgt. Thomas with BAR, sniper rifle, 2 radio operators and 16 guerillas left company CP at 0900 with mission of reco San Isidrio Dap Iap, [Dap Dap?] Paz, San Jose• as follows: Approx. 30 enemy in vicinity of San Jose (35. 2-12.6) armed with HMG, LMG, 4 rifles. Guerillas with patrol reported killing 10 enemy soldiers. Company alerted to move to Fabrica at 1010.
10 July 45: First elements of company boarded trucks at 1630 hr for the move to Fabrica. Due to lack of transportation, the move took approx. 5 hours. Company intact at 2130 hr.and set up in a bonded warehouse in Fabrica. Sgt. Ballard and squad left company CP to set up on airstrip across river from Fabrica.
11 July 45: Sgt. Ballard squad relieved Sgt. Fileds [Fields?]and squad set-up outposts at airstrip area for possible bivouac area for the company. Did not find suitable site to set up camp. Capt. LaVancher called meeting to plat sgt. and plat. leaders for move on 12 July 45.
12 July 45: Company moved from a bonded warehouse to area formerly occupied by "E". Company which is located in Fabrica proper. First squad set up guard for cub airstrip and called back at1235 hr. Lt. Turpin with five men acted as guide and guard for regimental commander to San Pablo.
13 July 45: Company awoke at 1305 and prepared to move. Boarded train at 1307. At 1345, six B-24 bombers dropped their bombs near the train and caused much excitement. We had one casualty from indirect causes. After the bombing, we proceeded to Maniog bridge where company set up perimeter for the night. At 1315, Lt. Whiting with, one squad, proceeded to recon the Polotanguan Manbalico and Dingabongbong bridge, found bridges to be in good shape. Investigated huts 1/2 mile from Dingabongbonq bridge on right side of bridge. Found one boy picking corn and one woman running away. In the biggest hut found two documents. Everything quiet during the night, 'with' one. exception, Pfc. Green, threw a hand granade at a wild pig'which he had mistaken to be a Jap,
14 july 45: Lt. Calhoun with first and second platoon and one section cf machine guns, plus one section of mortars, left by train to recon Buagang lumber camp. After reaching lumber camp, patrol split into two groups. Second platoon went to the Malapasoc* area to patrol that area and first platoon took the track to east of the lumber camp. Second platoon received message that four Japs were in a civilian home. Approaching the house, Lt. Turpin was killed by a sniper. Patrol assaulted house but found no enemy. Patrol returned to camp at1400 hr. First Lt. Mathers was told to report to Regimantal CP at 1430 hr.
15 July 45: Company moved by train to Bugand [Probably Bugang]lumber camp and set up a perimeter. Boarded train at 1545 and arrived at lumber camp one hour later. After arriving here, sent small recon parties out to feel out the area. Patrols returned with reports from civilians that Japs were living in houses on other side of camp. Patrol was sent out to investigate and found no enemy.
16 July 45: First platoon left company CP at 1630 hr to investigate house supposedly occupied by Japs. Returned at 1600,hr. with no activity reported. Third platoon left company CP at 1600 hr, to recon area at Malaspac. On way ran into scattered groups of Japs. Reaching Festinatio, an assault was made and nineteen enemy soldiers were killed. Patrol destroyed food, equipment and eighteen rifles. Patrol returned at 1600 hr. with no casualties.
17 July 45: First and second platoons with 81 mm attached left company CP at 1700 hr. to assault Malapasoc. Arriving, they saw much evidence of occupancy and laid in the 81mm mortars, the patrol then made the assault and one enemy soldier was killed. We suffered no casualties. At 1330 hr the patrol returned to the company CP. Four men investigated a report of one Jap in civilian house, killed same. This was in Lugang camp. Native brought in head of Jap caught stealing food.
13 July 45: Third platoon left company CP at 0800 hr. to recon the Malapasoc and area beyond. Found evidence of enemy but no enemy soldiers. Second platoon left CP at 0800 to relieve the third platoon and reached Malaposaco but found no evidence of enemy activity. Returned to CP at 1700 hr.
19 July 45: At 0830, third platoon moved out on combat patrol with radio communications. One squad plus radio section set up strong point at Malapesco, two squads proceeded to Yaningan creek. No enemy encountered. Patrol returned at 1600 hr.
21 July 45: First and second platoon's reinforced patrol swept the Makatagak river area from 0800 to 1330 hr. Encountered enemy, weather bad.
22 July 45: Company sent out small security patrols from Co. Bivouse [Bivouac?], area. One Jap was killed in a house located south east of company area approx. five kilometers.
23 July 45: Company sent out small security patrols. One squad was sent to Malapasoc but encountered no enemy.
24 July 45: Eighteen men left company at 1800 hr. to Fabrica as honor guard for the Eighth Army commander. Company sent details to clean the area for the pitching of squad tents. Possibly as a permanent camp site. Second platoon left on overnight patrol at 0830 hr. to Danao river area. No activity at close of period. First platoon had recon and security patrol to Malapasoc. No enemy encountered.
25 July 45: Second platoon patrol returned from Danao at 1200 hr after spending night there. Investigated civilian activity reports of enemy soldiers in area but found no enemy. No activity reported for days. Company notified arrival of inspecting general delayed because of breakdown of train.
27 July 45: First platoon left company at 0830 hr. To Altopoloa to contact any Jap soldiers in that area and destroy same. At close of period, reported no activity. Ten man patrol with Lt. Whiting left company at 2300 hr. and proceeded to Fabrica to get further instructions after arriving there.
28 July 45: First platoon patrol returned from Altopoloa at 1200 hr. Reporting no activity. Co. proceeded to move to Malapasoc and set up camp there. Company intact, arrived at Malapasoc, less first platoon.
29 July 45: Lt. Whiting and ten men proceeded to Fabric4 at 2300 hr. Second, third, and mortar platoons, plus Company HQ, moved to Malapasoc and set up camp. First platoon returned and guarded Battalion HQ.
2 August 45: Patrol from second and third platoons secured drip fire while rest of company remained in company area holding perimeter and getting in supplies. Three patrols from company left Co. CP, met and killed 23 enemy soldiers in proximity of (15/-30.0) Anton River Map Scale 1-50,000.
3 August, 45: First platoon recon patrol went up trail about 2 mi; east of company perimeter and reported killing one enemy soldier and burning twenty shacks. Second platoon patrol reconned trail for 2 mi. northwest of company perimeter and reported enemy soldiers buried in bomb craters. Burned 21 shacks before returning. This platoon sent patrol to Malapasoc with wounded and injured personnel.' No communications with battalion as yet. Fourth platoon sent patrol to Maparo river to escort radio men to company CP, returned at 1800 hr. after radio party did not arrive. Company re-supplied by air at 1600.
4 August, 45: First platoon patrol left company CP at 0800 hr. Proceeded NE of company position encountered 3 enemy and killed same. Second platoon proceeded W of company area, encountering 3 enemy, and killing 2. Third platoon escorted carrying party to. Company CP enroute, killing one enemy soldier. Company moved 200 yds, to new bivouac area.
5 August, 45,. First platoon sent patrol to Malapasoc escorting Major Padgett and sick personnel. Second platoon sent to recon trail net 2 mi. E. OF company area, reported no enemy activity. Third platoon patrol set ambushes on trail to Bago area, reported no activity. Third platoon patrol to Malapasoc reported back to company CP with radio party at 1600 hr.
6 August, 45: Company moved out at 0900 hr. for Malapasoc arriving at 1400 hr. intact. No enemy activity.
9 August 45: Cap. LaVancher relieved of command and First Lt. Samual Kiltler assumed command.
13 August,45: One squad from second platoon with eight engineers attached reported back to company CP at 1600 hr. Two groups of Japs, were encountered with the patrol killing two and wounding an unknown number of others.
1 September, 45: Company was alerted to move to another station. Company prepared by making status and men organizing their duffle bags. The regiment was scheduled to move to Dumeguete, Negros Oriental by LSM. Entruck to Palupandan, board ships there. Within a few days this move was canceled. Few more days passed and the company was again alerted. The company commander held a formation and gave out with the latest poop, the 503rd was scheduled to pack bags for a new station, at Yokohama, Japan. Company supply made out requisitions for winter garments. The morale was high and every man did want to see Japan. Nothing was really definite as to time leaving, etc. Company did its usual guarding of Japanese prisoners of war at Fabrica.
Finally news came down that this intended move too has been cancelled and forgotten. High point men were still waiting to be released from the regiment, (80 points). Another move was to take place and all were alerted. This time it did happen. Entire second battalion, except Easy company, left by truck for Pulupandan, the point to board LSM ships. The trip to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, was almost two days. Arrive in the bay of Dumaguete in the early part of the afternoon, LSM pulled up to the docks and company disembarked. Trucks came to take company and equipment to new camp site, one half mile from the town of Dumaguete. Tents were raised and darkness came, then the camp was asleep. Following days were spent beautifying the camp area, policing of all types was carried on.
THE AUTHOR WAS A LT. IN "D" CO. (NADZAB, NOEMFOOR), THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER IN "E" CO. (CORREGIDOR) AND COMPANY COMMANDER OF "A" CO. (NEGROS)
* The original manuscript referred to the settlement of Malapasco, which is not a currently known placename in Negros. A settlement of Malapasoc is mentioned and referred to in many other 503d accounts, and I have rendered it accordingly. Malapasoc was a temporary settlement in a lumber area, hardly more than five or six old shacks when "F" Co. occupied it. In all likelihood, it may have ceased to exist after "F" Co. literally struck their tents and departed.
There is a Minapasok village in Caltrava, Negros Occidental. This is also rendered as a barangay "Minapasuk."
The confusing nature of placenames in the regional Philippines is common - a place may have a local name, and no official name as the settlement is too small even to be recognized as an administrative barrio. Not assisting the clarity of expression has been the tendency of Army clerks of the time to lack exactitude. Some of them were clearly atrocious spellers. One can almost guarantee that a local placename will have its own Americanization. The Japanese also used their own names for various areas.
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