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December 24-31, 1941

The next day, December 24, we moved to the Mariveles cutoff and there bivouacked. We were awaiting the arrival of our AA guns. Christmas Day 0600 we were ordered to form a machine gun company and all day long we went through drills and school — drills stopped during air raids and school started. With a feeling of having accomplished a lot during the day, we attended an officers’ conference that night to find that the 4th Regiment was going to the ROCK but we would remain behind and set up our guns in the Mariveles area. From AA to rifles to machine guns with 12 hours wasted on the 25th, then back to AA — quite a bit of transformation in work and
storm but we had turkey for dinner under the trees of Bataan jungle. We did a bit of wondering about this move considering the tactical situation, and we lost our 50 cal. gunners. But things were not so bad — we were on our own again and knew we would be back in action against the enemy in a very short time.

For the next three days we went to.the battery position and worked setting up guns and making a close local reconnaissance. During one of these work days heavy bombing of Mariveles burned out the town and we could not return to our camp for hours, and then had to take a long detour. We worked hard setting up our camp and liked everything but its location. We were in the midst of five targets but on the approach to none — this gave us good shots at a lot of targets but made it next to impossible for us to protect for we were on the targets and not on the approach as we should have been. Our 50 cal. men and guns were all sent to the ROCK, therefore we were at first unprotected against strafers. During the three days we ate and slept well in our camp in the hills but, on the 28th of December, we moved to the Rice Paddy.

We loaded ammunition during air raids all day long and succeeded in getting three 50 cal. machine guns which our men unloaded from the dry dock while it was being bombed. Little by little during the day we brought in the
necessary gear for firing and, late in the afternoon, we were elated and were then ready for action.

The next morning we started our search for sand bags but found that all had been sent to Corregidor. However, our guns were set up so when enemy planes came in for more than two hours we stood to our guns and gave them a lively reception. We certainly did not feel too secure, however, for we did not even have fox holes for protection. The sand bags were obtained the next day and at dark we started our emplacements — between dark and dawn we put in around four thousand sand bags but, when we fired the next day, we felt the work of the night before well worth the trouble.