2 ESB LCMs (592 EBSR) approaching Corregidor loaded with troops of the 3d Barraliohn, 34th Infantry (Reinforced). The 1st wave is just hitting the beach, 2d wave is in smoke, and the 3d wave in the centre of the picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2nd  and 1st waves are just retuning from the beach, as the 3d wave heads in. 

 

 

 

 


 

3

On 25 February two of our LCMs were swinging around Corregidor when they saw a smoke grenade go off in the vicinity of Wheeler Point on the "Rock".  Since this was a prearranged signal for distress, the boats moved shoreward to look over the situation.  They found a paratroop patrol fighting furiously but pinned on the beach, which offered little protection from the heavy machine gun fire coming from the heavy brush and caves on Wheeler Point. One LCM headed full steam for the beach while the other remained offshore to cover her approach.  By this time the enemy fire was now directed at both barges as well as at the patrol on the beach.  The shoreward bound LCM under the direction Of T/5 Stanley Jarris of Beacon, New York, made its way through water infested with “niggerbeads” and with partially submerged rock reefs. Then it happened.  A heavy swell lifted the barge and dropped it fast on a jagged rock. The other LCM of Company A, crewed by T/4 Raymond E. Enos of Cudahy, Wisconsin, PFC Paul T. Clifford of Oil City, Pennsvlvania, T/5 Hershel W. Hall of Jackhorn, Kentucky, and T, /5 Jordon C. White of Texarkana, Texas, moved in under concentrated enemy fire and pulled the damaged craft off the rock.  Its bilge pump kept it up.  Then both boats went ashore and hastily took aboard the besieged paratroopers, well and wounded, and got off the beach successfully.

The fight for Corregidor continued for a few more days until finally all enemy resistance was overcome. One objective of the Luzon Campaign had been accomplished the stars and stripes were again flying over Corregidor.  The detachment of the 592d Boat and Shore Regiment that had performed so admirably in the capture of that fortress was awarded by direction of the President a Unit Citation on 8 May 1945. "Their magnificent courage, tenacity, and gallantry avenged the victims of Corregidor of 1942, and achieved a significant victory for the United States Army." This was the Brigade's third Presidential Unit Citation, an honor of which every brigade member will be forever proud.

While the main body of the 592d Regiment was engaged in the Luzon area, Company C of that regiment was completing its missions around Ormoc, Leyte. They had had a pretty rugged going in that area and as a result of losses over a period of time were running short of officers.  However the Brigade got orders to prepare this boat unit for a landing with the l1th Airborne Division at Nasugbu on the west coast of Luzon south of Manila Bay. 1st Lieutenant John H. Kavanaugh was placed in command of the first echelon of Company C to head for Luzon.  This echelon of 21 LCMs in convoy with six FS boats, two destroyers, and three subchasers left Mindoro on 3 February and arrived at Nasugbu in Batangas Province on Luzon the next day.  They found a good anchorage near the Wawa River Estuary and bivouacked there.  At Nasugbu the detachment was attached to the l1th Airborne Division. The remainder of the company under the command of 1st Lt (later Captain) Kenneth R. MacKaig followed, arriving on 10 February. Their work at Nasugbu consisted primarily in the unloading of FS boats but their chief pastime was the capture of Jap Q-Boats. On St. Valentine’s Day the Nips staged a Q-Boat attack on the C Company anchorage, but expecting something of this sort, Lt MacKaig had previously constructed log booms which proved to be a bit too rugged for the plywood boats. During their stay at Nasugbu Company C ran up its total of captured Q-Boats to seven. Since some of them-were in pretty fair shape, Q-Boat racing became one of their favorite sports.

One of the many incidents at Nasugbu will live a long time in the minds of the men of that detachment.  On the night of 20 February a Spanish landowner from the district came to the Company C bivouac area and asked Lt MacKaig, the Company Commander, if he would send boats to the town of Calatagan some forty miles to the south. It seems that that barrio had long been a refuge for a large number of white people who had fled from Manila to escape the oppressive rule of the Japs. They had drifted south and settled in this sleepy peaceful countryside barrio that was in peacetime a favorite resort by virtue of its location in the center of a hunting preserve.  The landowner said that his men had reported to him that the Japs in that area had orders to kill all white people on sight and that already the search was on. He added that his aged mother was in the apparently doomed group and also that attempts by Yank forces and guerillas to pass the Jap roadblocks had failed. Unless help from the sea could be rushed to them immediately, they would surely be annihilated.

A few days later on the 25th of February a strange 592d rescue convoy set out from Nasugbu.  Lieutenant MacKaig was leading in the control boat, the "P-9", which was a Veteran of many an assault landing.  Next were two LCMs equipped with extra life jackets, rations, water, litters, and medical aid men.  The "Susfu Maru", a flak LCM under the command of Lieutenant Kavanaugh and the rocket LCM 292 under 1st Lieutenant (later Captain) Edwin T. Stevenson trailed along behind for rear protection.  Picked riflemen were on each LCM to take care of sniper or Q-Boat attack.  A Filipino courier had been dispatched the previous day with instructions to the civilians. Utmost secrecy was necessary for obvious reasons. A large American flag was to be waved on shore if the civilians were ready and plans had not been discovered.  The civilians were to stay bunched together and sightseers kept away so as to allow greater freedom of fire from our weapons.

/4