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  1. #26
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    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Not since Vietnam. We used to get goodie packs with cartons of free smokes. Of course, they had always been plundered by the fags in the rear areas, and all of the Winstons, Marlboros and Kools were gone. Also used to come in little four-packs in C-rations. Lots of addicts created by Uncle Sam, myself included.

  2. #27
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    @davis - yes, it's a great tour. Even though I was a bit sleepy during the ferry ride to the island, I watched all the docus shown. Very nice docus they were - showed some of the veterans who came back and they recounted their experiences. It also has a significance for me, since my dad was born during the war.

    My grandma married at a very early age to avoid being taken by the Japanese soldiers. It was a love match but I think the marriage was hastened by the war. Unmarried girls at that time were taken as sex slaves ("comfort women"), so my grandma got married fast. My dad said that according to story, when he was a baby, he was hid in a basket and just given food once in a while, since if he was found, he would have been "samuraid" by the Jap soldiers - they killed babies.

    However, towards the end of the war, when the Japs were losing, there was one Jap officer who was kind to him - gave him candies or food, etc. It was said that my dad reminded him of his kid back in Japan. Again, all these are stories from my dad, as told to him by his parents.

    Towards the end of the tour, in the tunnels, they played the national anthem - I became teary eyed at that time. I've only been teary-eyed for the anthem one other time - when I was living abroad, homesick, and attended a gathering organized by the embassy.

    The tour is a bit pricey for ordinary working-class Pinoys, but for me, it was worth it. Most of the ppl in the tour were balikbayans - returnees or vacationers from abroad and visiting family for the holidays. There was also a large tour group from Washington state in the US.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^Not since Vietnam. We used to get goodie packs with cartons of free smokes. Of course, they had always been plundered by the fags in the rear areas, and all of the Winstons, Marlboros and Kools were gone. Also used to come in little four-packs in C-rations. Lots of addicts created by Uncle Sam, myself included.
    Even my dad smoked when he was on the ship and employed by RMK-BRJ in Vietnam. I think he stopped smoking when they returned to PI and life was harder as they had to restart their lives. Also, my mom didn't like his smoking. I never saw my dad smoke, but my grandpa was a smoker of Marlboros.

    Btw, Davis, happy birthday! (I think it's your bday today?)

  4. #29
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    This was the baseball field and a nearby YMCA. (I remembered the Village People. Heh)



    On with the tour. Another tramvia...

  5. #30
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    This was the first set of ruins on the tour - Middleside Barracks. If you guys remember from the map, the island is divided into four sections: topside, middleside, bottomside and tailside. So this is located in the middle portion of the island. This was the barracks for enlisted men. The officers and their families had separate quarters.



    Many tourists that day; we filled up two buses. Mixture of Filipinos (mostly returnees from abroad) and Americans on a tour group.


  6. #31
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    It was a long set of ruins and you'll have to walk a bit


    Another part of the Middleside Barracks

  7. #32
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    This was Mr. Eduard, our tour guide for the day. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Funny too, which is always a plus. He's been featured in several travel shows about the island.



    I'll end here for now. To be continued...

  8. #33
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    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Btw, Davis, happy birthday! (I think it's your bday today?)
    It is.......and thanks!

  9. #34
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    Another informative well written thread. Thanks for the tour Katie, the closest I've been to Corregidor is a box set of DVDs called Battle of the South Pacific. A lot of black and white footage along with commentary. Ineresting history. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  10. #35
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    Thanks Katie for posting. The town I grew up in, had many local Soldiers die in the Bataan Death March. The town had a Memorial for the Bataan Death March on the main drive through town. The park used to have a WWII Tank as a memorial and as a young boy that drew me to the Bataan Memorial Park.

    The prominent memorial on the corner reads:

    "BATAAN PARK

    This park is dedicated by
    the City of Salinas
    to the men who served with
    Company C, 194th Tank Battalion,
    California National Guard, during
    World War II and were captured
    on Bataan on April 9, 1942.
    May time never tarnish the
    memory of their sacrifice."

    Excerpts from a history of the unit:
    "The Salinas company was organized as Troop C, Cavalry, National Guard of California on August 5, 1895. It was the first guard unit formed in the Central Coast region.

    ...on February 18, 1941 Company C was inducted into the Army and entrained to Fort Lewis, Washington with 103 officers and men. The men were told that they would be in federal service for only a year until the regular Army had time to train and field an armored force. As it turned out, February 18 was the last time some of the boys would ever see Salinas.

    ...On September 26, 1941 they arrived in Manila and had the distinction of being the first U.S. Armored Force deployed overseas in what was to become World War II. The battalion of 410 men was loaded on trucks, minus the tank crews, and was taken to Fort Stotsenburg, 65 miles North of Manila. The tanks followed as soon as the turrets were reattached that had been removed in shipping.

    ...As it turned out the US and Philippine troops were doomed from the start of the war by the lack of air power, supplies and reinforcements. However, due to the heroic efforts of units like company C, the Japanese advance was critically slowed.
    After the order to cease fire on, April 9, 1942, there was a 24-hour lull before the Japanese troops appeared. During this time Company C was ordered to destroy their weapons, equipment and records. More salient to the starving troops the Quartermaster Corp. distributed their remaining food supplies to any men fortunate to be in the vicinity. They were completely unaware that as prisoners of war they would not be humanely treated.

    ...The Japanese commander arrived on horseback, April 10th, and among other things was amazed to learn how few tanks had been opposing them. General Homma had estimated U.S, tank strength at 600 to 900 and afterwards acknowledged that the tanks and artillery were the primary reason that the Japanese offensive timetable was seriously delayed.

    The rumor was that the Japanese would load the prisoners into trucks and travel north to a prison camp on Luzon. This proved to be an ugly deceit as the men were looted of their personal possessions and lined up in column of fours and marched north from Mariveles, which is at the southern tip of Bataan. Along the way the Japanese picked up U.S. and Filipino troops until by the time they reached Lamao April 11th, there were an estimated 55,000 Filipinos and 10,000 Americans in the column. The troops had not had any food or water since April 10th and weren't allowed anything to drink until the night of the 11th, in spite of the oppressive heat and humidity.

    ...Accurate figures of the death toll during the march are unobtainable but it is estimated that about 10,000 Filipinos and 600-1000 US soldiers died before the ordeal culminated at the railroad depot in San Fernando.

    ..The surviving members of Company C were scattered all over Japan, Korea and even Mukden, Manchuria ...
    Upon the surrender of Japan and the liberation of the prisoners in August 1945 by U.S. and Russian armies, the men were gathered up and sent, in most cases, to the Philippines for preliminary examinations, medical treatment, new uniforms and an attempt to straighten out pay records. By various means they were sent home to an Army Hospital nearest their home town where they were eventually discharged.

    ...Company C, 194th Tank Battalion, was officially inactivated April 2, 1946 in the Philippines and thus the chapter closed on a heroic outfit.

    ...These deployments of the National Guard underline the critical importance of the citizen soldier available at any time for a call to arms and may we never forget that reality."

  11. #36
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    Once again, thanks for the trip report! I did the same tour 3 years ago, and it was one of the highlights of my trip to Manila. My only wish is that I did the 2D/1N trip since there was a lot of times I felt rushed to get back on the tram for the next stop. My only other comment (other than it was a great day) is that the ferry terminal is a little difficult to find - our taxi driver, and none of the others he tried to get directions from - knew where to do (we ended up getting off and wandering around and finally found it).

    The other visit I really enjoyed was the American Cemetery (I think Davis recommended this one) - not only beautiful and peaceful, but a great learning experience about the Pacific during WWII.

    thanks again!

  12. #37
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    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno5 View Post

    The other visit I really enjoyed was the American Cemetery (I think Davis recommended this one) - not only beautiful and peaceful, but a great learning experience about the Pacific during WWII.
    It is a fabulous spot. I'm sure Kate has been there, but it should be a must do on a Manila stopover.

  13. #38
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    ^Thnx for all the comments and replies. I'll add pix when I've got more time as I'm on my fone now & I have a day job. Lol.

    @davis - I haven't been to the American Cemetery, though I've been to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Phil cemetery for heroes) on a school trip. Though I think I didn't really appreciate it, since I was a stupid teenager then. Maybe I'll go to both in the near future and I'm sure I would appreciate it now, as an adult. Then end the day trip at SM Aura (a mall) for some window shopping. Win-win! Lol. I saw the only the exterior of SM.Aura sinxe it's near the S. Korean embassy & I applied for a visa there. Btw, I ended this Corregidor day trip with a visit to SM Mall of Asia. 555

    @CalEden - thnx for coming out of the shadows to post. I've been to the WWII & Vietnam memorials in Washington DC. It was quite an experience, esp if you know of ppl who were involved in those wars, or whose lives were touched by those conflicts. My life was borh influenced by both wars. If interested, I have a thread abt my Vietnam visit in the Vn section. I might visit there again for touring & visiting relatives. Cheers!

  14. #39
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    Nice - I'll be in the Philippines in less than 48 hours.

    Heading straight to the beaches, beers and babes.

  15. #40
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    ^Enjoy your vacation...

    Thanks for the comments and greens, will try to post some pics if my net cooperates.

    The next part of the tour was to view some mortars. The first one was Battery Way, which was named named in honor of 2nd Lt. Henry N. Way, 4th U.S. Artillery, who died in service in the Philippines in 1900. Battery Way was a battery of four 12-inch mortars (not referring to the dry cell/ lithium batteries).



    These are the bunkers where they hid some of the supplies

    Notice from the above pic that there are rail tracks - supplies were transported via rail.

  16. #41
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    These are the different mortars.


    Notice the pockmarks on the concrete - these were due to the bombings.
    The ppl in the pic were Merkins from Washington state, USA. They were with us in the bus/tramvia.


  17. #42
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    Then it was off on the bus/tramvia to go to another site. This was Battery Hearn. From wiki: it was operated by the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment of the US Army. It was one of the batteries operated by the said regiment during the Philippines campaign (1941-1942). The regiment was organized from existing members of the Regular Army and National Guard.

    Battery Hearn and some Washington ppl


    This was a bomb crater nearby

  18. #43
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    This was a spare battery

    The ones seated are balikbayans/returnees from Canada.

    Our groups was mixed; some Merkins, some young Chinese (independent travelers).

  19. #44
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    Bunkers


    These ppl were from the other bus/tramvia

  20. #45
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    To get a sense of scale, the guy is probably 6 feet.


    From the description of Battery Hearn (on the wall):
    On May 6, 1942, the gun carriage was disabled by the crew before surrendering but the Japanese had American POW's place the battery back in service by replacing the mounted gun with the spare nearby and stripping parts from Battery Smith to rebuild the carriage. In early January 1945, a large bomb dropped by an American B-24 bomber exploded beside the gun, putting it permanently out of action and a second bomb collapsed the under ground passageway behind the gun.

    That's all for now. To be continued...

  21. #46
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    ^Battery Hearn was named after Brig. Gen. Clint C. Hearn who commanded the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bay in 1919.

    Will try to load a few pics while waiting, if my net holds...

    The next destination was at the topside (head of the tadpole/island). We went to the Mile Long Barracks - name was because of its length. It served as the barracks for enlisted personnel.



    Barracks and the tramvia

  22. #47
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    Panorama shot of Mile Long Barracks. This was a long continuous building. It appears as two separate buildings now because it was destroyed by bombs during the war.


  23. #48
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    Near the barracks was the parade grounds


    Across the parade grounds was the old cinema/theater.. pics taken from the tramvia

  24. #49
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    From the tram, I took this pic of the war memorial. The two soldiers represent an American and a Filipino; brothers-in-arms against the Japanese during WWII.


    War Memorial from the side, pic taken from the moving tram

  25. #50
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    The tramvia stopped at a viewpoint where one could see the edge of the island (topside). From this side, the town of Mariveles in Bataan province could be seen.


    Another panorama shot. The landmass in the distance is Bataan province.

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