The debris from constant bombardment gave Malinta Hill the appearance of a moonscape. On the western side, the fractured rock was more than fifty feet deep in places. The extent of the landslide which cut the south road, killing six men, can be seen. The hill is still so fractured that area is prone, even today, to landslides.










































Malinta Hill  bisected Corregidor and prevented any Japanese reinforcements from moving towards Topside.





"I" Company on the second day, set about the mission of (missing text) where they dropped off onto the saddle midriff. The company commander personally led the attack - direct the use of flame-throwers - blew and dug and burned the hard-fighting Japs out of position after position. The day's action netted the company a score of 31 counted Jap dead.

At 0500 on the morning of the 17th two parties of Japs appeared from out of nowhere and attempted to infiltrate the "HQ" company perimeter at the beach.. Both parties were beaten off - one by the 2nd, one by the 4th platoon. Daylight disclosed a total of 59 bodies lying in the rubble a stone's throw away. The squads that accounted for most of them wore machine-gun squads...but oddly enough, not a single machine-gun was fired. The Yanks did the work with carbines and grenades.

Many a fine target was found for the 81's of "H" company during the day. The mortars fired always with good effect.

An L company patrol, augmented by a demolition squad, went out on a mission to seal off two large caves on the eastern side of MALINTA HILL, just below its crest. The occupants of the first were easily and effectively trapped. The     much-encouraged patrol continued to the second one, where, a little overzealous, they installed so profound a charge that - instead of being blown shut - the cave was blown open as wide as a cellar door in a country town. The Japs inside were flushed like a covey of quail to the delight of the sharpshooting Yanks nearby.

A 75mm Edgewood Arsenal Gun was found by the company on the east side of the hill. It was duly knocked out. A sort of trap-guard was set up around the blasted caves as the company settled down for the night.

Communication with 3rd platoon was finally reestablished. Firing had been heard all day from that group's position on MALINTA POINT. They’d spotted a water-hole where the Japs around ENGINEER POINT came for what was apparently their sole supply of water. All  day, they picked off Nips by ones and twos.

The order was to sit tight. "K" company sat. The BLT was so thinly spread out that reinforcement was impossible. Most of the canteens in the company were empty ... most of them in the battalion were empty ... but the Nips had destroyed the distilling plant from which the BLT had planned to supply itself with water. The only source was MARIVALES, 5 miles away across the water.

The big blue flies buzzed and lit and stuck and persisted and swarmed. The sun was relentless. Jap machine guns pop-popped now and than ... not long enough to disclose their locations, often enough to slow things down and keep everyboy ducking. The Navy hammered the cliffs on the western shore of BREAKWATER POINT. Still fire came from them.

At 1700 the previous day, remote contact had been made with the 'topside' troopers of the 503rd. At 1000 February 17th, their regimental commander met the C0 of BLT #3 near what had been SAN JOSE like Stanley meeting Livingston. Coordination of plans was made on the spot. The 503rd had serious landing casualties, many battle casualties, all of whom needed evacuation. The only road from SAN JOSE to the western mountains was well covered by Jap fire from many angles - most notably the ice plant installations.

BLT #3 began immediate preparations to get transportation for these wounded through.

Tank fire was called for again, to quiet the Japs in the west entrance of the main tunnel. "A" company's 3rd platoon, on the (missing text) went for more, until finally the Japs had had enough.

When the enemy had gone back down the hill, "K" company counted 20 of its men hit     - among them the officer who had taken over when the company when the CO was killed. Another lieutenant assumed command, the company's third leader in as many days.

The company officers - only three of them now - crawled through the moonlit gloom checking their men. Eight men left in the 1st platoon. Nine in the second. Eleven in the weapons platoon. Third platoon far away on MALINTA POINT. A few clerks, linemen, cooks, etc to help out. Thirty eight men and three officers  ...and the whole northern half of MALINTA HILL to hang onto.

There were 8 grenades in the company 'when the Japs came up the hill again at 3 o'clock on the morning of February 18. It was a monstrous, bloody, twisting turmoil of flesh and sweat and shells and hot lead and cold steel. They kept on coming until 4 o'clock. Then they had spent themselves.

"K" company counted off again. Thirty-three men – three officers fit for duty.

Before them and below thorn on the churned-up limestone of MALINTA HILL, 150 Jap cadavers stared unblinking into the dawn.

Early on the morning of the 10th, the 2nd platoon of "A" company, running a gauntlet of fire from the ice plant which covered the only available trail, carried sorely needed water and rations p to "K’ and "L" on MALINTA HILL - brought down "E" Company's casualties.

"I" company moved out to clean up pockets of resistance around North Dock. It had been done by early afternoon.

"L" company, making maximum use of precisely accurate naval (missing text) MALINTA HILL. They blow up 3 naval guns in installations and one 14-inch piece. They accounted for at least 30 more Japs. They also proved that the enemy had expected the landing to be made EAST OF SAN JOSE, rather than AT SAN JOSE, for the eastern side of MALINTA HILL literally bristled with the guns of heavy calibre that would have brought tragedy down upon any invading force they could have hit.

ENGINEER POINT, commanding the roads which led out onto the eastern reaches of CORREGIDOR was still in enemy hands - still holding out. Air Support struck it with demolitions and Napalm at 1400. The effect was good.



 Surface of the Moon is Chapter 10 of  the memoir "GI In the Pacific War"  and can be purchased direct from the Authors at wrussiello<at>cs<dot>com