Richard A. Beam - USS Biloxi Interview with Tommy English - 20 Sep 1945 - All Rights Reserved
The nite of December 24 we were evacuated from Manila to
Mariveles Bay. We stayed at the quarantine station a few
days and then we were sent on to the Pacific Naval Air
When we arrived here, we were assigned to act as firemen.
I was assigned to drive for the Supply Officer Lieutenant
K. R. Wheeler. I drove for him and then later I took over
the Supply Room of the USS Canopus.
We learned that the Japanese had made a landing on the
southern side of the island, the China Sea side, so we sent an
investigative party there and learned that the Japanese were
pretty well dug in. That was when the first Naval Battalion
We took this Naval Battalion and attempted to drive the
Japanese from their positions, but because of inexperience
of the sailors in the knowledge of jungle and land fighting
we lost several men. We were later reinforced by Cavite and
Shanghai Marines, who also lost quite a few men.
Finally Filipino scouts dropped back from the front lines
and they took over the fighting, relieving our men who had
not had any sleep in days.
The Filipino scouts cleared the Japs out in short order for
they were well trained in jungle fighting.