On 15 February 1945 the
3rd Battalion plus "A" Company , Cannon Company, and a Company
of light tanks of the 34th Infantry Regiment left Olongapo and Subic Bay
on three LST's and sailed south to
Mariveles on the south tip of the Bataan Peninsula.
The 34th Infantry troops were under the Command of Lt. Col.
Edward M. Postlethwait, a graduate of West Point class of 1937. Col Postlethwait
served three years at Fort McKinley in the
Philippines Islands. In 1940 he returned stateside and joined the 3rd
Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment as a
Company Commander, later rising to Battalion Commander.
Mariveles had been, some 3 years before on 9 April 1942,
where General King Commander of the Fil-American
forces had sued for a truce. It was also at this place and time that the
Bataan Death March began.
At 8 a.m. on 16 February
1945, 3rd Battalion, "A" Company, 34th Infantry Cannon Company and a platoon of
Tanks, loaded troops and equipment on LCM's for the move of some five miles
across North Channel of Manila Bay to Black Beach on the
south bottom side of Corregidor. Each
landing craft had a vehicle along with troops which loaded the craft to
As the 34th Infantry crossed the channel we saw a
flight of B-24 American bombers fly over
Corregidor and drop their load of 500 lb. bombs, completely covering the
island with a cloud of dust and smoke. Following the B-24 bombers at 8:30
AM, the C-47 transport planes dropped the 503rd paratroopers on Topside.
Our first man on Corregidor was Donald Sletten from
Thorton, CO., a member of a dive team whose job was to go in ahead
and search the landing area for underwater mines. When he and one other
man surfaced they found the landing
boat that brought them in had left without them. They quietly slipped
ashore and hid until the Infantry unit beached.