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.
COORDINATION AND COOPERATION
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.
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
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)
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.
EMPLOYMENT OF AIRBORNE TROOPS
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
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
In this type of operation, the
commander must exploit the principle of surprise to the
SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL
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
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.
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.
POSITION OF THE SUPPORT OR
THE RESERVE DURING THE ATTACK
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.
INFANTRY TANK TEAM TRAINING
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
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.
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
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
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
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
All men in a parachute unit must
be trained to fight, employing any weapon in the
Close coordination and
cooperation featuring the personal contact is necessary for
a truly successful combined arms assault.
Knowledge of the supporting and
supported unit lends flexibility to an operation.
Control, either in the air or on
the ground, must be present during the dropping of parachute
troops and equipment in a restricted area.
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.
Medical detachment must have
additional personnel assigned for future operations.
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.
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
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.