Mount Macolod part 2

The 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 command post was hit with Japanese 155mm artillery shells. The quick reactions of the 674th Glider Field Artillery Battalion to counterattack saved the 2d 187th.

Shelling Mt. Macolod

Captured Japanese artillery, Mt. Macolod

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.

18 April, Col. Pearson brought in tanks and 155mm howitzers to coordinate with the 187th and their fighting would continue for two more days. The 11th Airborne had pushed the Japanese back to Malepunyo. On the 19th, any cave found near the 1st battalion was sealed. Those hideouts discovered near Cuenca Ravine had gasoline drums rolled into them and were ignited by grenades. This not only killed a number of enemy soldiers, but also eliminated the vegetation that would normally provide cover and possible infiltration routes by the enemy. When the battle for Macolod was over on the 20th, the regiment had 13 casualties and 11 wounded.

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.

telegram of FDR’s death

Click on images to enlarge and read.

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Current News – 

The USS Samuel B. Jackson, has been found 4 miles beneath the Philippine Sea.

The USS Samuel B. Roberts sank during a battle off the Philippines’ central island of Samar on Oct. 25, 1944.  The vessel had engaged the Japanese fleet as U.S. forces worked to liberate the Philippines, which was then a U.S. territory, from occupation. The skirmish was the final engagement of the larger Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Eighty-nine of its 224 crew members were killed, according to the newspaper.

“This site is a hallowed war grave,” retired Rear Adm. Sam Cox, head of the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington.

The Sammy B was hit by a Japanese battleship and sank, along with the USS Johnston

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Military Humor – 

How Willie and Joe bore up under the elements… “Now that you mention it, it does sound like the patter of rain on a tin roof”

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jack Avis – Westfield, CT; US Army, WWII, ETO

William L. Ball – Keene, NH; US Army, WWII

Chester J. Bochenek – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B-29 bombardier

Frank Celentano – Simsbury, CT; US Army, WWII, Silver Star

Richard “Bud” Gill – Smithfield, VA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Daniel Krauss – Albrightsville, PA; US Army, 503rd Regiment (Airborne)

Felix Marcello – N. Versailles, PA; US Army, Korea, Co D/187th RCT

Edward N. Patterson Sr. – MO; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Jeffrey A. Peters – Newark, OH; US Army, Sgt., 101st Airborne Division

Ray Shadden – Nacogdoches, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 187/11th Airborne Division

About GP

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

Posted on June 27, 2022, in SMITTY, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 114 Comments.

  1. You wonder how anything ever returns to normal. I think you are right about us hearing more about the atrocities on a daily basis it is making people anxious.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can hear the news right now, and I can well understand people being anxious. But some things are backwards – some people yell ‘defund the police’ and they are the first to complain if the police weren’t psychic and could stop tragedies beforehand.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don‘t understand this defund the police, I wouldn‘t like to walk around without any police officers. My cousins fiancé is a trainee detective, he works so hard day and night and is a very calm, measured person, he has talked people down from suicide and when a lady fell at my brother‘s wedding he was the first on the scene, telling people to give her space and calming everything down and asking calmly if anyone was a nurse or a first aider before anyone moved her. These shootings you have though by young men it is a shame they aren‘t psychic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand why my father didn’t talk much about his time in the Pacific theater. The use of drums filled with gasoline and set on fire to burn out the enemy seems particularly gruesome, though at the time, everyone on both sides did what they felt they had to to survive and win. I hope someday human propensity for war will be just a bad memory, but it seems not much has changed over the millennia except the tools of war become more powerful and destructive. Did you ever watch any episodes of “The Last Kingdom”? Seems not much has changed since the time of the Danes and Saxons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hard to imagine how those brave men fought with no sleep and little rest. My uncles refused to talk about the war and had frequent bouts of anxiety when confronted with war related stories. We have no idea what they really went through.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the Military Humor at the end with a photo of someone over his head in water, giving the thumbs up—and the caption underneath that says: “Everything is Fine!”
    That is exactly how I have been feeling these days, with all the crazy things going on in the world today. What’s happening?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think anyone can answer that with a simple reply. IMO, there are many factors that gradually brought us to this point. I feel advertising the bad news so widely on technology has a lot to do with it.
      Hopefully, here I have made my point that no one really wins a war and we are not living in the world I grew up in – and I miss it!!
      Thank you for your view, Mary.

      Like

  5. My father and I both enjoyed our times of service in the Philippines (he in WW II, and me during the Vietnam War). I had a good working relationship with the members of the Philippine Air Force, with whom I worked “side by side.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve always been fascinated by the unfinished portrait of Roosevelt, and the story behind it. The artist, Elizabeth Shoumatoff, had painted portraits of some of the wealthiest families in the U.S. In 1943, one of these wealthy clients, Lucy Mercer Rutherford, suggested that Shoumatoff, should paint the President. Rutherford set up the sitting, and Shoumatoff began her work. The kicker? Shoumatoff had been one of Roosevelt’s mistresses! Ah, history!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Macolod wasn’t a name I would have expected to be Japanese. Although that made the post even more interesting. Thanks, GP. Have a beautiful rest of the week. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. GP! You too are one of the Brave Men.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a sad time they had. I also can understand your father, who did not want to speak about some things, GP! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • He would talk to fellow veterans, but he could not see telling his own child about the horrors you and now know exist in war. I just wish I had known all this while he was still here.
      Take care, Michael!

      Like

  10. Hi – good post
    And regarding the SS Samuel B. Jackson, that has now been found- what will they do with it?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. So dramatic and so tragic.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you for another wartime story. It brings a bigger perspective to the demise of FDR. and Truman who said yes to the A-bomb. Would it have been different if FDR remained at the helm?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I doubt it. FDR had had spent far more than Congress ever knew about – he had to justify it somehow, as he knew it would come out eventually.

      Like

  13. We could FDR and a few leaders from that era right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Knowing my father was there at this time, as well as your other postings on the Philippines, answers many questions I could have asked my father. He was a First Sergeant while there. Even though I was in the USMC 62-68, he never questioned my time and shared little of his. A bummer for sure. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your service, as well as your father’s. It is a shame he didn’t share more with you, but it is understandable. Thank you for bringing your story to us.

      Like

  15. I can well imagine why Smitty didn’t talk about it. Brave men, fighting a determined and ruthless enemy. My generation was lucky to be spared such a trial, and I have always appreciated that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I did not know that FDR died while the battle in Macolod was going on. I never connected the dates. The one thing I know was FDR was in the middle of being painted by Madame Shoumatoff, who Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd (his mistress) commissioned, and the famous portrait remained unfinished. BTW, I have a portrait of Matt done by the same Madame Shoumatoff when he was young.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. A brutal enemy is met with a brutal attack. Using fire as a weapon is a terrible way to kill a man. It in these circumstances I guess, needs must!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. More horrors. I hadn’t known that about Roosevelt’s death

    Liked by 3 people

  19. .. mourning was dispensed with due to war conditions on the death of President Roosevelt

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It is interesting that the wearing of badges and morning

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Gwen M. Plano

    Thank you, GP. You help put perspective into the craziness of today.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Excellent report, GP. The enormity of the task and the bravery of the troops become very clear after reading this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. The 11th fought hard and well. I hope they received some rest and relief after this battle.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Not really, John. Once they got into the fray, it did not let up.
      (And to think, I am pretty much just following one regiment here. The rest of the 11th was in battle as well.)

      Liked by 1 person

  24. To an outsider, it seems really strange that you had two presidents with the middle, initial “S” but it didn’t stand for anything. Unless I’m mistaken, of course.
    It looks like the Japanese employed the same strategy as the Germans in Russia. Treat the local population as cruelly as you can, and you will avoid the problem of them wanting to fight on your side. The Germans might well have won the Eastern Front if they’d been better behaved.

    Liked by 3 people

    • For Truman, the “S” did not stand for any name but was a compromise between the names of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young, so actually there should not be a period after the S

      Liked by 1 person

  25. My attention got stuck on the comment that Truman was a failed haberdasher . True , but he had the business for only a short time . He had been a WWI Army veteran and was , I think , mainly a politician . Might be a bit like describing Trump as a failed vodka salesman , it seems to me , or even as ” a TV personality. ” But the haberdasher thing is typically mentioned to describe Truman . ( Sorry , I know this is off the point .)

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Those brave men….friends wounded or killed, no rest…and not too much by way of rations, I suspect….but they did it.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Your posts are always a great break from 2022.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. War is hell, GP. Well described, I’m going to read between the lines and guess that Truman does not rank among your favorite presidents. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  29. I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must have been to be in a battle like that.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. I never knew FDR died while sitting for a portrait. Reading the details in this post presents a horrifying image when I stop to think about things like, what it must have been like to be on the receiving end of a 155mm howitzer shell. These men were never out of danger.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. As always, I’m impressed with the strategy and tactics of the leadership and awed by the bravery and tenacity of the soldiers who carried it out. Good job in the telling, GP. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I read that the USS Destroyer Escort Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413), known as the Sammy B, has been named the world’s deepest shipwreck located.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. The coming victory contrasted with FDR’s death at the end was like the transition of scenes in a dramatic play in preparation for the final act.

    Liked by 3 people

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