Jack Herzig




Before he died, Don Abbott expressed the wish that the website should inherit his papers, as they contained much that would assist any person wishing to research the history of the 503d PRCT.

Not by any coincidence,  this letter had also become part of the "BLESS 'EM ALL" papers, where it is CORREGIDOR APPENDIX NUMBER 6.

Jack Herzig is writing to Louis G. Aiken and Don Abbott.

I reproduce his letter now, as written.

Paul Whitman




29 Nov 1990


Dear LG and Don:


I'm writing the same letter to you. Don, LG sent me your letter about Monkey Point since I had recounted to him, perhaps too many times, my memories of that tragic day. Having also received your letter on the same subject gives me the opportunity to share those memories with you.

Before we went to Corregidor I was scheduled to replace Charles(?) Rice as B Company's second platoon sergeant, but there was a delay in his orders. I ended up as his assistant, but he didn't need much assistance so I jumped in whenever sane back up was needed. That worked out just as well in the end because just before we started around Malinta Hill, a reinforcing bar that I had been using to swing around the corner of Wheeler Battery pulled out of the concrete. The bar, a chunk of concrete and I dropped about 12-15 feet onto a pile of cement, steel bars and other unfriendly materials. I was fortunate to suffer only some lacerated skin and a badly twisted left ankle. A tall, skinny, red-headed medic (whose name LG probably knows) taped me up but I couldn't run worth a damn. I had traded my Thompson for an M1 and a pile of rifle grenades. (Yes, LG, I also took some of the special cartridges and didn't try to use ball ammo.) It came in handy as we sealed the caves around Malinta Hill with help of "our" M4 tank.

After we deployed on the East side of Malinta Hill, B Co on the left (North) and A Co on the right (South) had the mission of clearing the rest of the island. For some reason, the tank, as I recall, stayed mostly on the road in the A Co area.

I remember that our first real objective was what we've since called Water Tower Hill, although I don't find it on any map. LG - wasn't that where Kaczor got his? There were two or three troopers who were lightly wounded or injured who were assigned to me to help me maintain contact with A Co. It was a cute idea but didn't work out in practical terms. It was then that Col Jones decided that he could get a great view toward the east from the top of the water tower itself. We had not secured any of the area beyond there. I was afraid that if Jones was shot up there that we'd come under authority of Joe Lawry, or my buddy Cates or some other rectum so I climbed to the top of the tower, too. Two of my lame and lazy guys came up as well as a medic from Hq 1st, whom LG also probably knows. He was fairly tall, dark skinned and was assigned to B Co from time to time. Jones was standing there like a male statue of liberty and I think, but I'm not sure, that he was looking through his binoculars. His staff, who was staying on the ground and the west (friendly) side of the tower, shouted up that the navy wanted to fire at a group of 40 enemy. Jones said no; he really hated the navy after they drowned one of our B Co troopers when we landed to take the radio station at Palauan the month before. (He still gets mad when we mention that!) Meanwhile, we were starting to hear those nasty cracks when projectiles pass close enough to break the sound barrier, just a few individuals were shooting their rifles at us in a decidedly unfriendly gesture.

Jones then shouted down a fire order that I never understood - first some minutes of destroyer and arty fire, then some minutes of mortars, then MG fire until we get the order to advance. Anyway, the medic took a round in the arm hard moot to knock him down, but fortunately not off the top of the tower. I