Mount Macolod, part 2

Reduction of Mount Macolod

Reduction of Mount Macolod

2 April, the 187th attacked and cleared the area to the base of the mountain, but were unable to hold the ridges. One pocket of the enemy were dug in between the two southern ridges and small Japanese patrols were strewn along the highway near Talisay, indicating to Colonel Pearson that the enemy held that sector. His feelings were confirmed when his CP was hit with Japanese 155mm artillery shells. The quick reactions of the 674th Glider Field Artillery Battalion to counterattack saved the 2d 187th.

8 April, General MacArthur released a communiqué to state that because of the 11th Airborne’s actions, “…all organized enemy resistance in the southern part of the island was destroyed and liberation was at hand.” As usual, his assessment of the situation was premature, but it was just the type of enthusiasm that endeared him to the Filipino people. His optimism gave them the strength to persevere through some gruesome events; such as when the 2d moved through Sulac, the men found one hundred Filipinos brutally massacred and discarded in a ravine.

7-17 April, the battles around Macolod continued making this one of the bloodiest battles the 187th ever fought. The regiment received massive downpours of artillery, but when the troopers discovered that the guns were all grouped together, they were eradicated. The 187th was exhausted by this point and diminished even further by casualties and wounded, but rest was not on the schedule.

FDR's death announced

FDR’s death announced

President is dead telegram

President is dead telegram


12 April 1945, while sitting for a portrait, the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, collapsed and died. The unsuccessful haberdasher, Harry S. Truman, would take over the reins of the country.
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I recently learned of the passing of Beate Sirota Gordon. At the age of 22, she was on General MacArthur’s staff to shape the civil rights portion of the new Japanese constitution formulated after their defeat. Further information on this woman will be included when we reach Japan on this blog.
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Guess what! Judy Guion invited me back to write another guest post on her blog, greatestgenerationlessons.wordpress.com. I hope you will all stop in next Tuesday, February 12th and tell us how I did with the Technical units.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 8, 2013, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. My father, Wilbert Lorenz was a replacement soldier in the 187th in mid March 1945 and was wounded on April 8th. From the date he was wounded I believe he was involved at Mt. Macolod.
    He would very rarely talk about his experiences of his one month of fighting, but did once about when he and another soldier went up to a ridge top with an artillery observer.
    On the way up they were bayonet charged by three Japanese from thick underbrush. Dad said the only reason they survived is because the Japanese were out of ammunition.
    When they got to the ridge top they climbed some trees that over looked a valley that had Japanese tunnels near the bottom. He said the artillery observer would call in a shots that just missed the top of the ridge they were on and bounce them of the valley floor into the tunnels. Dad said it only took the observer about 6 rounds to dial in and then took out these tunnels one by one.
    It would be great if someone has more eye witness information about Mt. Macolod; I have read everything I could find and am grateful to have found this blog!!!
    Wes

    Liked by 1 person

    • How terrific to hear from you, is your father still with us? I certainly hope you have been in touch with the 11th Airborne Association and know that you are entitled to become an Associate member. You will receive their newsletter with first-hand accounts, and an assortment of columns. In fact, I am in the middle of a correspondence with Leo who compiles the “Taps” list [similar to my ‘Farewell Salutes’. I have it in my head [Swiss cheese memory and all] that I may have a link to the 187th firing on one of the “Hills” – I’ll have to look around.
      Would love to hear of anything you remember from your father or have found in your research. Gen. E.M. Flanagan [who I am thrilled to say I have spoken with on the phone and have a note from] not only wrote “The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division”, but also “The Rakkasans” – which I’m sure you’ll find very interesting.
      Hope to hear from you again’
      GP Cox

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  2. I like the pictures, maps, documents that add so much to the story.

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  3. To this day the US maintains a very strong presence in the Pacific.

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  4. Interesting and informative, as usual. Great post.

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  5. Always look forward to your fascinating posts!

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  6. …but what is amazing is no matter how much we research and write about it today, the emotions endured by those there – soldier of either side, civilians or natives – can never be fully expressed or described.

    Nice summary once again!

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  7. I intend to translate that post someday on my blog about 23 Squadron.

    http://mpierrela.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/ghislaine-laporte-na-jamais-oublie-son-premier-amour/

    I know we can use Google to translate it, but it does not render justice to what Jacques Gagnon wrote about his meetings with Ghislaine Laporte. Such a beautiful story.

    Now can you imagine when someone will write a comment on your blog telling you his father knew your father? Undescribable feelings…

    What about this?

    http://no23squadron.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/r-c-harris/

    Have a nice day

    Pierre

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  8. The amount of planning and strategy in all these battles boggles my mind.

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    • I know what you mean. Many I have to re-read till my eyes are blurry; that’s why I chose the 187th for that period and stuck with them. Thought it would make it easier to follow.

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