He explained to me
that Lt. Cates had come upon a cave with quite a large opening or crawl
area. Lt. Cates
seems, believed that this particular cave had the potential of being a
storage area as
developed into the mountain or rock formation of the island, and he wanted
to explore this possibility but to do so required the use of flashlites. His
specific request was for three (3) flashlites
and he had directed Lt. Barnowsky to locate at least three (3)
Basically this is what
Barnowski explained to me in answer to the question I has asked.
When he had
finished explaining to me what the situation was he paused a second and
stated, "You know Sgt. Aiken, he (Lt Cates) evidently intends to hold a
flashlite in each hand and put one on his pistol
because I sure as hell don't intend to go into that cave with him". I looked
at ole Barnowsky for a second and I burst out laughing as did several others
just grinned and moved on searching for flashlites.
Yes, he found the
three (3) and yes, Lt. Cates and someone else, not Lt. Barnowsky,
entered the cave or crawl area of the cave. Yes, there was a Jap or Japs in
the cave and shortly after entering the cave Lt. Cates and whoever
was with him came out very hurriedly. Wm. Arris can probably give you a
better description as to why they came out very fast, he was much closer to
the situation than I was.
I think white
phosphorous grenades were introduced into the cave and one lone Jap soldier
banzaied "B" CO of the 503 RCT, and as he cleared the mouth of the cave he
charged with a broken Samurai sword. He was quickly relieved of his
assignment and his broken sword. Best I can remember his body was placed in
the mouth of the cave and this became his burial place.
Capt Wirt Cates, (KIA on Banana
Negros Island late April or early May 1945), and Lt. Raymond Barnowsky,
deceased, were here with us today, I feel certain they would both join in a
hearty laugh about the Three Flashlights on Corregidor, February 1945.
Actually I talked
with Barnowsky via telephone several years prior to his death and we both
had a good laugh about this particular incident.
May "The Good
Lord" let them both rest in peace.
Louis G Aiken, Sr
Co "B" 503 PIR RCT
June 42-Oct 45