This view was taken from high on the northern slopes of  Malinta Hill across the North Dock area towards Topside. The three docks are the Lorcha Dock, North Dock, and Engineer's Dock.











Engineer's Ravine is swathed in smoke as men of the 3d Bn., 34th Inf. Rgt. crouch down low and observe for any potential movement   across the North Dock area. They are positioned on the slopes of Malinta Hill, near Malinta Point.










Things go quiet for a while.


That afternoon, the paratroopers’ assaults began to force some Japs out of their caves and tunnels on the side of Malinta Hill that faced us. Suddenly, we saw about half a dozen of them scurrying out of the caves, like a bunch of monkeys, trying to move to the right. They looked confused and disorganized, as though they had taken a wrong turn. They panicked when they discovered they had suddenly become targets on the side of the hill facing us. Almost everyone on the beach immediately opened up on them. One sergeant next to me pulled out his .45, which was only good at point blank range, and began firing at them. I told this jerk, “Put that thing away! You can’t hit anything at this range.” I didn’t fire either, because my grease-gun was only accurate up to 100 yards, and I might have hit our own men in front of me. After a few moments, the Japs disappeared back into the caves, and we ceased firing. I don’t know if we even hit any of them.

That night there were more flares, and around 11:00 pm, we heard tremendous firing from the top of Malinta Hill that lasted for two or more hours. At daybreak on the 18th we got word that the Japs had made a fanatical counterattack during the night on Companies K and L which were holding the top of Malinta Hill. They had been hit hard and there were many casualties. That morning the medics began to transport the wounded down the trail on the side of Malinta Hill to the aid station at our beach position in preparation for evacuation from the island. The trail was a steep, narrow, twisting ­pathway.

By the second day of our landing, a short section of the trail had come under sporadic fire from a Jap machinegun nest. The Japs still held positions in the nearby high ground that was full of caves and tunnels. They had managed to place a machinegun that could hit the trail at one point from far range. On the morning of the 18th, four medics were bringing down a wounded man on a stretcher—a casualty from the night attack on Malinta Hill. Suddenly, they came under machinegun fire at the vulnerable point. They panicked, dropped the stretcher with the casualty, and made a run for it down the hill. Col. Postelthwait pointed to the wounded man and shouted, “Someone get that man!” I was closest, so I ran up the trail. It wasn’t a conscious decision to take a risk or to do something heroic.

The Colonel had ordered something to be done, and I was in the position to do it. As I reached the wounded man on the stretcher, machinegun bullets dusted up near my left boot. Even though he had certainly already been treated, my training automatically kicked in.  I turned the man over. There was a gaping bloody wound in his chest. I pulled out a sulfa packet, ripped it open and poured the powder on the wound. A few other men, including Frank Alvarez had followed me up the trail. We all grabbed the stretcher and brought the wounded man down to the aid station. All the while, we were under fire, but no one else was hit.

Decades later, Frank said that one of the medics had been hit, which had caused the panic, and that we also rescued him as well. It could have happened that way, although I don’t remember seeing the other wounded man. After we got down, I heard that the medics wanted our names because they were going to put all of us in for decorations. “Hey, Russ,” said the adjutant, “I’m putting you in for a Silver Star.” “Okay,” I replied. I didn’t think much of it at the time, because it really didn’t mean much to me one way or the other, and I soon forgot about the whole incident. For me it was just another day of following orders and trying to stay alive at the same time. I later heard that the stretcher casualty didn’t make it.