Thursday Off Alasasin Pt.
My, My! What a day! We stood by all night getting ready to get underway. Meanwhile we noticed many fires being started among the hills of Bataan. Apparently it was ammunition. We didn’t know it at the time but things were crumbling on Bataan. It was the beginning of the end. We sat tight at our anchorage and noticed the Jap planes getting closer and closer. It was obvious as the day went along that they were stopping bombing to keep from hitting their own troops. In the afternoon 3 Amy officers paddled out in a banca and said they had 19 more men ashore that they would appreciate our saving. We immediately sent a motor launch after them. Even while saving them Jap bullets were whistling around. About an hour before we had seen Jap planes land on our airfields at Bataan and Cabcaben. When the men came aboard we fed and clothed them. They were pitiful – remnants of the 31st Infantry. They had been one step ahead of the Japs for 2 days, with no food. Completely exhausted – some of them couldn’t even swim they were so tired. We also picked some up from a small navy boat so that our total was 60. About 3:30 an artillery battery from Cabcaben started shooting at Corregidor, and then the tug “Henry Keswick” next to us. Needless to say, we got underway and headed away zigging for all we were worth,. Meanwhile the Jap heavy bombers dropped eggs on “Corregidor”. We zigzagged at various speeds. The “Keswick” had been hit and eventually was beached; her captain, Lt. Donaldson, was killed. Meanwhile the Japs shifted their aim to the ship next to us again. They came close but didn’t hit. Then the dive bombers appeared and we had to fight them off amid all that. Finally, we got fairly well clear and midway between the south and north shore batteries of the Japs. Things were fairly quiet until dark, We spotted the Jap battery on the Cabcaben airfield. It set fire to one of the Corregidor ferries. At dark we went into South Harbor and anchored in the middle. Before midnight we got rid of the soldiers and the Captain went in to Corregidor.