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Chapter 09: Corregidor, Philippine Islands


Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor Island, Caballos Island
Photo Courtesy US National Archives

Richard A. Beam - USS Biloxi Interview with Tommy English - 20 Sep 1945 - All Rights Reserved

We returned to the Naval Air Base in early April 1942 and learned that Bataan had fallen. We were then evacuated to Corregidor.

Before the evacuation of Bataan we dynamited all the tunnels, gasoline, and ammunition dumps. Then taking as much food as we possibly could aboard a barge we left Bataan, after scuttling the Canopus.

We arrived on Corregidor on the morning of April 10th, and our personnel and the personnel of the USS Canopus were divided and distributed into different sections of the island to act as beach defense.

Some of us were sent to Fort Hughes, about a mile south of Corregidor, where we were placed on beach defense under Commander Bridget. We stayed on the islands and kept them intact, although we were almost constantly under fire.

CORREGIDOR

BY PFC LEROY GANT - 59th COAST ARTILLERY

How many days, how many nights
have we suffered through this war?
Hopes fading fast that we'll be saved at last,
from this hell on Corregidor.

The enemy is near, but there is no fear
of what may lie in store.
For death is a relief from the misery and grief,
that we have seen here on Corregidor.

Though hope is gone, we still carry on.
Each day is worse than before.
Our hearts beat fast but we'll give our last,
on this place called Corregidor.

No water, no sleep, nothing to eat.
Oh, how painful is defeat.
My God, we can't take much more!
The sun is sinking fast over Corregidor.

THE WHITE FLAG IS UP.
The Japs have reached our shore.
The battle is lost at a terrible cost.
Our guns will fire no more.

So 'til a better day, somehow, someway,
we'll come home again once more.
I'll say goodbye for those who fought and died
on this godforsaken... Corregidor.

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