Go to Heritage Bn ContentsGo to Rock Force Contents

3d Bn move to the heights overlooking the beach so that they can provide cover-fire for the 3d/34th arriving across the beach.  .

The Japanese had forfeited many of their positions around Topside. .

 

G Co moved into the old American AA emplacements 500 yards west of south dock.

 

It was from the above positions that the amphibious assault was supported by fire.  .50 cal MG's were set up in the buildings on the east side of "B" Field to help with this task.

 

Unidentified

 

 


The amphibious assault followed a tremendous bombardment by rocket ships, destroyers and cruisers.

 

At 1030I, the 3d Bn, 34th Inf. hit San Jose Beach. They were subject to automatic fire while crossing the beach.

 


During the operation, the navy lost minesweeper YMS-48 to a direct hit.

 


The destroyers Fletcher, Hopewell, Radford and La Vallette all sustained damage in the pre-invasion bombardments.

 

Go to Heritage Bn ContentsGo to Rock Force Contents

LCI's move towards Black Beach.

Naval gunfire was called in to suppress automatic MG fire across the open beach.

The linkup with Topside would not occur until the road to Topside could be cleard on the afternoon of the 18th.

Go to Heritage Bn ContentsGo to Rock Force Contents

ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM

 

1.       PRIOR TRAINING

          The small unit training of both the combat and service elements of the RCT while on MINDORO paid off.  This was particularly so during the first few days after the drop on Topside.  Here you will remember all elements of the command were engaged with the enemy.  Another place where prior training paid off was when Infantrymen were shifted to the howitzers and functioned as a member of the gun team.

 

2.       COORDINATION AND COOPERATION

 

          The close and efficient support received by the Infantrymen in this show, was accomplished by the many personal contacts, and the cooperative spirit of all the services.  Probably the sentiment attached to the recapture of CORREGIDOR helped.  At any rate it was there.  When an Infantry Commander has destroyers standing by begging for a fire mission and heavily armed aircraft circling overhead wanting to get into the fight, certainly one could say that was cooperation.  When a commander, through his staff and diligent attention to the little points, places these fires in the most advantageous spot, certainly we can say that is coordination. 

 

3.       FLEXIBILITY

          When the Rock Force commander requested that his 1st Battalion be brought in by water rather than by parachute, he was aware of the big job it would be to get the Battalion on CORREGIDOR after the change in plans.  The G-4 of the XI Corps, aware of the SOP of the 503d, placed that system into affect in his movement of the Battalion from San Marcelino airfield to SUBIC BAY.  The Navy aware of the change in plans had LCVPs waiting for the Battalion at the Beach.  The Battalion was loaded on APDs and landed at CORREGIDOR only a few hours after they had flown overt the Island and dropped their bundles.  (See Map E for distance)

 

4.       JUMP CONTROL

          Control during the jump by the control ship enabled a greater number of troops to hit the small jump field.  It is felt this was one of the most important aspects of the air drop.

 

5.       EMPLOYMENT OF AIRBORNE TROOPS

          When one first looks at CORREGIDOR, he invariably wonders where airborne troops could be employed here.  He finds no areas as large as those prescribed in field manuals for the dropping of airborne troops.  If the Commander will take the calculated risk and drop will trained troops with the maximum degree of control, this type of operation can be successful.  In this type of operation, the commander must exploit the principle of surprise to the maximum degree.

 

6.       SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL

          Medical personnel of the combat team worked day and night for the first few days of the operation.  They were augmented by as many men as could be spared from Regimental Headquarters and Service Company.  Maximum efficiency was gained by pooling all medical personnel.  The Medical Section still could not keep up with their work.  Additional personnel are a must for future operations where casualties will run high and means of evacuation are doubtful.

 

7.       SUPPORTING FIRES

          Our troops, throughout the campaign, followed close upon the heels of rolling barrages, or assaulted a position immediately after lifting of Naval gunfire.  When air strikes were employed, the same system was used, most of the time the napalm would still be burning, and the enemy would be caught just emerging from his caves and tunnels.  Often he would still be groggy and away from his gun positions.

 

8.       POSITION OF THE SUPPORT OR THE RESERVE DURING THE ATTACK

          During the attack down the narrow eastern end of the Island, the 3rd Battalion followed close behind the 1st Battalion.  All small pockets of resistance were by-passed by the 1st Battalion and were taken care of by the 3rd Battalion and its engineers.  When the 1st Battalion was so severely jolted by the MONKEY POINT explosion, the 3rd Battalion Commander was so close he could see the disorganization in the 1st Battalion sector.  He was able to immediately push through and prepare for counter-attack.  Had the enemy launched a counter-attack after the explosion, it is doubtful if it would have succeeded.

 

9.       INFANTRY TANK TEAM TRAINING

          During the push down the eastern end of the Island by the 1st and 3rd  Battalions, the two tanks on the Island were used extensively.  During the first days fighting, maximum efficiency was not gained in the employment of these weapons.  This was due to lack of prior training in this type of warfare.  After the first days experiences, the Tank Infantry team began to click.

 

10.     SPECIALISTS

          The Japanese troops on CORREGIDOR were disposed to repel an amphibious attack from the sea.  They knew first hand what this type of assault had cost them in 1942.  Theirs was a good defense.  To illustrate the effectiveness of this defense, let us look at Phase II of the operation.  The 34th landed under the supporting fire of one Battalion from Topside on commanding ground.  A tremendous rocket and naval gunfire preparation preceded their assault.  Their casualties were heavy in both men and equipment.  On the following day, when the 1st Battalion attempted to land on the same beach, they were driven off.  Destroyers had to come in close to silence these guns covering the beach.  There were few on the Island to cover the landing of the 1st Battalion three battalion combat teams.  The 1st Battalion was pinned down on the beach 32 hours after the first airborne troops had landed on the Island.  From these facts, it can be assumed, that the casualties for storming San Jose beach without friendly troops on Topside, would have been far greater than the heavy injuries received during the two airborne drops.

 

LESSONS

 

1.  All men in a parachute unit must be trained to fight, employing any weapon in the organization.

2.  Close coordination and cooperation featuring the personal contact is necessary for a truly successful combined arms assault.

3.  Knowledge of the supporting and supported unit lends flexibility to an operation.

4.  Control, either in the air or on the ground, must be present during the dropping of parachute troops and equipment in a restricted area.

5.  Airborne troops can be employed in seemingly impossible areas if the troops are well trained, the drop controlled, and the commander willing to take the calculated risk.

6.  Medical detachment must have additional personnel assigned for future operations.

7.  Attacking troops, should follow a rolling barrage or an air strike as close as possible, to catch the enemy before he can regain his positions, and while he is still groggy.

8.  The support of reserve should follow closely behind the Assault Unit, to mop up and to bin in apposition to exploit gains, or to be committed quickly when needed.

9.  Parachute troops should have training with tanks to perfect Tank Infantry teamwork.

10. By employing special troops in the role they are trained and equipped to perform, the overall casualties for an operation will be less.

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |   7

 

 

 

 

         

OUR WEBSITES

AUTHORS

FEATURES

STAND IN THE DOOR!

FOLLOW

Corregidor Then and Now

Don Abbott

The Lost Road

Battlebook - Corregidor

Bulletin Board / Feedback Forum

503d PRCT Heritage Bn.

Gerry Riseley

Combat Over Corregidor

Japanese Unit & Troop Strength

503d WWII Honor Roll

Rock Force

William T. Calhoun

Amid th' Encircling Gloom

Ft. Benning Monographs

Taps

Coast Artillery Manila & Subic Bays

John Lindgren

The Rock Patch

503d PIR as a Case Study

Rock Force Honor Roll

4th Marines on Corregidor

George M. Jones

By Order of Maj. Kline

Engineers' Report - Corregidor

Site & Navigation Info

Bless 'Em All

James P. Lowe

 

 

 

503d PRCT Assn Official Website

Robert W. Armstrong

REFERENCES

FILM CLIPS

503D HERITAGE

Concrete Battleship

Verne White

1936 Corregidor Map

503d Jump at Nadzab

by Article Title

Battle of Manila

Jim Mullaney

2/503 Vietnam Newsletter

Cleaning Up Corregidor

by Author Name

Fall of the Philippines

(more)

1945 Jump Map

Interview - Clevenger

by List of Recent Articles 

 

 GO TO CONTENTS

The 503d PRCT Heritage Battalion is the Official Website of the 503d Parachute RCT Association of WWII Inc. Join with us and share the 503d Heritage and values.

So that the last man standing shall not stand alone.

 

 

Copyright , 1999-2011 - All Rights Reserved to The Corregidor Historic Society, 503d PRCT Heritage Bn. & Rock Force.Org
Last Updated: 29-03-11