As the night wore on the machine gun fire slacked off, and after 1:50 pm only an occassional bursts was heard. The battery turned in to get what little sleep was possible. Most of the men slept fittfully in their foxholes, fearing to sleep above ground because of the danger of a sudden artillery barrage over our area.
We were arcused about 43:30 am by the sound of mortar fire from Batteries Way and Craighill. ¥rom the battlefield came the crackle of rifle fire. We breakfasted on our emergence rations and prepared for action. Action came at about 5:00 or 5:15 am when the enemy commenced on aerial attack on Kindley Field. It was still so dark that the observers had difficulty in locating the planese However, as many flights were taken under fire as possible. “Boston” was also in action and alternated with us in engaging flights. The two-batteries succeded in breaking up several formations and diverting them from their missions. We believe that we brought dow two out of five planes in one formation and possibly one out of another formatione However, we were not able to get cofirmtion of this due to the lack of communicatons.
On several flights we were unable to pick up the planes With our height finder due to the fact that the instrument was dug-in for protection against shelling and bombing and dot emplaced for enployment against dive bombers at extremely low altitudes. On these flights we fired with estimated altitudes, and with remarkable success for the most part. ‘n one formation, though, we almost met with disaster. A flight of six enemy seaplanes approached from the west. We opened fire with an estimated altitude, which apparently was in considerable error due to the new type of plane encountered and our fire ineffective. The planes spotted our positionfrom the dust and smoxe of firings “he flight turned south, and the planes peeled off on us one at a time, ¢oming down in an almost vertical dive, as compared with the shallow swooping dive of the other dive bombers. 1 watched the bomb separate from the leading plane and coming closer and closer. I rose in my pit and watched the bomb disappear over the clift and hit in Geary Trail less than 75 yards south of the battery emplacements.
Bombs from the other planes struck almost at the same point. In the meantime the battery 50 AA*machinegums Were having afield day. ‘he gunners fired on each of the plames as they came down in rapid succession. ‘Two aircoded guns became so hot that they jammed, and we were never able to get them to
At about 83:15 AM looking down the road I saw two mem approachinge I recognized the two as Staff Sergeant Huffman and Frivate Beasor from the organization and who had been in Melinta Hospital. Sergeant Huffman reported
to me with the remark, “Well, Captain, I thought the battery might have to go
out as infantry and I knew the Battery Commander would need all the old heads
he had with these recruits, so I came back. Besides I want to try out my new
MI rifle. He had braved on artillery barrage at Bottomside and divebombers
near Middleside to return to his organization, and he with a piece of shramel
through his right arm and with a weak left wrist, so that he was unable to
fire either rifle or pistol. However, ~taff Sergeant Huffman had had some
notoriety as a fighter in garrison before the ware
We continued to engage the enemy in the air at every opportunity. about
9330 am the Gun Commander of number 3 gun reported his gun out of action with @ broken equilibrator. After an examination of the piece, ldecided that it
could be fired with only a little difficulty in elevating and ordered it back
into service where it continued to function as lomg as requirede Our last
course was fired a few minutes before 11:00 ame
4t about 10:45 am the AA Gun Defense Commander called me and said that
he had refused an order to lower the national colors and that he, personally,
preferred to continue to fight until engaged and defeated by the enemy at
topside in hand to hand battle
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battle. I agreed; and I believe that this fighting spirit dominated all
the officers and men of the Sixtieth Coast Artillery to the end.
Later 1 was warned to be prepared to destroy all equipment on receipt of
orderse At 11300 am I was told that the garrison battle flag would be lowered
(by another commander; Col Sunker, Seuward Defense Comir has been designated)
at 12300 and that I should execute the destruction of mteriel. Immediately
transmitted this information end order to the battery. ‘The disappointment
of every mam at our defeat was obvious. Howdver, everyme turned to execute
this final order with all the vigor and enthusiasm with which they were acc-
ostumed to executing my orders. 3
Thedestruction of materiel, equipment, and supplies was as complete as
time and circumstance would permit. The guns were fired after the recoil
mechanixms had been severely damaged by armor piercing rifle fire, and the
fuze cutters and data transmission systems chopped and beat up with axes.
the director end height finder were as completely destroyed as delicate instr-
uments may be with rifle and pistol fire and with pick axes,
machine guns end small arms were dismantled and parts damaged and scattered.
Small equipment, supplies, small arms ammunition, and personal equipment,
except that to be carried by individuals, were burned. the small amount of
3″ ammmition remaining after the prolonged activity of the morning was
left undamaged due to lack of time and the fact that personnel was to remain
in the vicinity.
A few munutes before noon from our position we witnessed the lowering
of our battle flag and the hoisting of a white flag of trace. ‘the end of
the battle had comee
We ate a disconsolate lumch of our emergency rations, and prepared our
field bags and rolis to
take with us into the unknowm future. Our last instructions had been to
femain in the vicinity until further information was received, So we disposed
ourselves as comfortably as possible near our fox holes and pits. During
the afternoon the enemy continued to dive bomb various installations and
areas on Topside, coming lower and lower as ‘they gradually lost their fear
of positions which no longer fought back. Several sticks of bombs struck the |
upper edge of the Golf Course and the officers quarters above. Not desiring
to expose defenseless men to needless danger I requested, and was granted,
permission to evacuate the area and go to Wheeler Tunnel for shelter. ‘the
last man left the emplacement at approximately 3:00 pm. We spent sometime
in the tunnel and then went on to the Battery Cheney emplacements where we
spent the nighte We were aroused at 4:00 next morning and proceeded to
Bottomsided where we placed ourselves in the hands of the enemy.