Corregidor

Corregidor

Overview
Corregidor Island, locally called Isla ng Corregidor, is a lofty island located at the entrance of Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

 in southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor was fortified
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 with several coastal artillery
Coastal artillery
Coastal artillery is the branch of armed forces concerned with operating anti-ship artillery or fixed gun batteries in coastal fortifications....

 and ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 magazine
Magazine (artillery)
Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".-Ammunition storage areas:...

s to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and the City of Manila, from attacks by enemy warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s in the event of war. Located 48 kilometres (29.8 mi) inland, Manila has been the largest city and the most important seaport in the Philippines for centuries—from the colonial rule of Spain
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and Japan and after the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946.

Corregidor (Fort Mills
Fort Mills
Fort Mills was the location of US Major General George F. Moore's headquarters for the Philippine Department's Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. This was one of the locations at which, under the National Defense Act of 1935, coastal artillery training was conducted.-References:*McGovern,...

) is the largest of the islands that form the harbor defense of Manila Bay together with El Fraile Island (Fort Drum), Caballo Island
Caballo Island
Caballo Island is a bluff, rocky island located at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Philippines. It is about 3/4 mile long with the highest elevation at 381 feet high...

 (Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes was part of the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bays built by the Philippine Department of the U.S. Army in the early 1900s....

) and Carabao Island (Fort Frank
Fort Frank
Fort Frank was one of the defense forts at the entrance to Manila Bay established by the United States. The entire island was designated as Fort Frank, in honor of Brigadier General Royal T...

), which were all fortified during the American occupation
History of the Philippines (1898-1946)
This article covers the history of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946. It spans the Spanish-American War which resulted in the United States acquiring sovereignty over the Philippines from Spain via the Treaty of Paris which ended that war, the Philippines as a U.S. territory and later as a U.S...

 of the country.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Corregidor'
Start a new discussion about 'Corregidor'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Corregidor Island, locally called Isla ng Corregidor, is a lofty island located at the entrance of Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

 in southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor was fortified
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 with several coastal artillery
Coastal artillery
Coastal artillery is the branch of armed forces concerned with operating anti-ship artillery or fixed gun batteries in coastal fortifications....

 and ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 magazine
Magazine (artillery)
Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".-Ammunition storage areas:...

s to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and the City of Manila, from attacks by enemy warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s in the event of war. Located 48 kilometres (29.8 mi) inland, Manila has been the largest city and the most important seaport in the Philippines for centuries—from the colonial rule of Spain
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and Japan and after the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946.

Corregidor (Fort Mills
Fort Mills
Fort Mills was the location of US Major General George F. Moore's headquarters for the Philippine Department's Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. This was one of the locations at which, under the National Defense Act of 1935, coastal artillery training was conducted.-References:*McGovern,...

) is the largest of the islands that form the harbor defense of Manila Bay together with El Fraile Island (Fort Drum), Caballo Island
Caballo Island
Caballo Island is a bluff, rocky island located at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Philippines. It is about 3/4 mile long with the highest elevation at 381 feet high...

 (Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes was part of the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bays built by the Philippine Department of the U.S. Army in the early 1900s....

) and Carabao Island (Fort Frank
Fort Frank
Fort Frank was one of the defense forts at the entrance to Manila Bay established by the United States. The entire island was designated as Fort Frank, in honor of Brigadier General Royal T...

), which were all fortified during the American occupation
History of the Philippines (1898-1946)
This article covers the history of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946. It spans the Spanish-American War which resulted in the United States acquiring sovereignty over the Philippines from Spain via the Treaty of Paris which ended that war, the Philippines as a U.S. territory and later as a U.S...

 of the country. The island was also the site of a small military airfield, as part of the defense.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Corregidor played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. Heavily bombarded in the latter part of the war, the ruins left on the island serves as a military memorial to several American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island. Corregidor is one of the important historic and tourist sites in the country.

Geography



Corregidor is also known as "The Rock" because of its rocky landscape and heavy fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

s on the island . Its outline is shaped like a tadpole
Tadpole
A tadpole or polliwog is the wholly aquatic larval stage in the life cycle of an amphibian, particularly that of a frog or toad.- Appellation :...

 with its tail running eastward. Along with Caballo Island
Caballo Island
Caballo Island is a bluff, rocky island located at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Philippines. It is about 3/4 mile long with the highest elevation at 381 feet high...

 (which lies about 2000 meters south of the "tail's" tip), Corregidor divides the entrance of Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

 into the North and South Channel. Corregidor and the other fortified islands fall under the jurisdiction of the province
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

 of Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

.

The island is about 6.5 kilometres (4 mi) long, and it is about 2 miles (3.2 km) wide at its widest point with a total land area is about 900 hectares (2,223.9 acre) or roughly 3 mi2. The island is divided into sections:

Topside


The island's biggest area, which points towards the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

, rises prominently to a large flat area that is called the "Topside". Beneath this was the fortified communications center of the island, as well as the location for the Army headquarters, barracks for enlisted men, a branch of the Philippine Trust Co. bank, the Cine Corregidor movie theater, officers' quarters, underground ordnance shops, the traditional parade grounds, an Officers' Club with a 9-hole Golf Course , tennis courts, and swimming pool, and the bulk of the batteries that constituted the strength of Corregidor.

Middleside


Middleside is a small plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 that interrupts the upward slope from Bottomside to Topside, and was the location of 2-story officers' quarters, barracks for the enlisted men, a hospital, quarters for non-commissioned officers, a service club, PX, and two schoolhouses—one for the children of Filipino soldiers and the other for American children.

Bottomside



Bottomside is the lower part of the island and is the neck that connects the tail and head of the island. South of Bottomside was Barangay
Barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...

 or Barrio
San José (near what was Navy Beach); on the north is what was Army Dock, with its three large piers, and, east of Bottomside, is the Malinta Tunnel
Malinta Tunnel
The Malinta Tunnel is a tunnel complex built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. It was initially used as a bomb-proof storage and personnel bunker, but was later equipped as a 1,000-bed hospital. The main tunnel, running east to west, is ...

. The Malinta Hill separates Bottomside from the Tail End.

Tailside


The Tailside or Tail End is not a given name, but it is the remaining portion of the island where different memorials, shrines and the island's airstrip are located. Kindley Field was constructed in the early 1920s and named in honor of an early hero of the U.S. Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

. The airfield was operated then by the army, and the navy had a hydroplane
Seaplane
A seaplane is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water. Seaplanes that can also take off and land on airfields are a subclass called amphibian aircraft...

 base. The short runway, cramped and hilly terrain had limited its use.

Geology


Corregidor and Caballo islands are remnants of a volcanic crater
Volcanic crater
A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is typically a basin, circular in form within which occurs a vent from which magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. A crater can be of large dimensions, and sometimes of great depth...

, the Corregidor Caldera
Corregidor Caldera
Corregidor is an extinct volcanic caldera located at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Republic of the Philippines. The caldera is composed of the islands of Corregidor and Caballo in the province of Cavite, which are believed to be the exposed rim of the volcano.-Physical Features:Corregidor is...

, which was last active about one million years ago. However, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology still classifies Corregidor as a potentially active volcano.

Spanish colonial era


The island fell under Spanish sovereignty in May 19, 1570 when Manila Bay (Luzon) was taken by the advancing forces of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

. Legazpi was authorized by the Spanish Crown to establish the capital in Manila and expelling or converting the Muslims from Mindanao and Luzon. Corregidor was used as a support site for the nine Spanish galleys used during the campaign.

Under the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 rule, Corregidor served not only as a fortress of defense, a penal institution, and a station for Customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 inspection, but also as a signal outpost to warn Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 of the approach of hostile ships. Corregidor came from the Spanish word corregir, meaning "to correct." One story states that, due to the Spanish system wherein all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and corrected, the island was called Isla del Corregidor (literally, Island of Correction). Another version claims that the island was used a penitentiary or correctional institution by the Spanish and came to be called El Corregidor.

On November 23, 1574, the Chinese pirate Limahong
Limahong
Limahong, Lim Hong or also called Lin Feng was a notorious Chinese pirate and warlord who invaded the northern Philippine Islands in 1574. He built up a reputation for his constant raids to ports in Guangdong, Fujian and southern China...

 and his 65 vessel fleet, with 3,000 men anchored between Corregidor and Mariveles. From that site he launched two successive attacks against Manila, commanded either by Limahong himself or the Japanese Sioco. Both of them failed their purpose before a fierce battle defense led by the governor Juan de Salcedo
Juan de Salcedo
Juan de Salcedo was a Spanish conquistador. He was born in Mexico in 1549 and he was the grandson of Miguel López de Legazpi and brother of Felipe de Salcedo. Salcedo was one of the soldiers who accompanied the Spanish colonization of the Philippines in 1565...

.

In November and December 1600, the surroundings of Corregidor Island were used as berth by the Dutchman Olivier van Noort
Olivier van Noort
Olivier van Noort was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the world.Olivier van Noort was born in 1558 in Utrecht. He left Rotterdam on 2 July 1598 with four ships and a plan to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands...

. His sailboats Mauritius and Hendracht were engaged in pirate activities on the sailing route to and from Manila. This situation was overcome after the naval combat of Fortune Island on December 14, 1600. As a result, Spain lost its ship San Diego but captured the Dutch sailing boat Hendracht and Oliver van Noort retired from the Philippines.

As a consequence of these events, and also to prevent a sneak attack by the Muslims from Mindanao, a watch vessel was settled in Corregidor to control the entrance to the bay. According to data from 1637, this vessel had a crew of twenty men, who were paid 540 pesos a year to perform this vigilance task.

Corregidor Island was taken over by the Dutch in June 1647 and from there they launched an offensive against Cavite which was repelled by the Spanish garrison, under command of Andre Lopez de Azalduigui. However, the Dutchmen would remain in the island for seven more months as it served them well as an operations base to intercept Chinese merchant traffic in the vicinity of Luzon and Cebu. Finally they withdrew with little of their expectations fulfilled.

During the British attack and its following invasion of Manila and Cavite in October 1762 by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

  troops of Admiral Cornish and General Draper, Corregidor was used as a anchorage for warships, particularly the HMS Panther
HMS Panther
Six ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Panther, after the panther, whilst another two were planned: was a 54-gun fourth-rate ship of the line launched in 1703. She was rebuilt in 1716, hulked in 1743 and sold in 1768. was 50-gun fourth rate launched in 1746 and broken up in 1756. was a...

 and the captured warship, the Spanish galleon Santisima Trinidad
Santísima Trinidad
Santisima Trinidad may refer to:* The fortress of Santísima Trinidad in the Kingdom of Chile that existed on the north shore of the Bio Bio River in what is now the commune of Laja in the Biobío Province of Chile....

, during November 1762.

The arrival of the Spanish fleet, led by General Ignacio Mario de Alava, with the mission to place the Philippine Islands on alert, did not affect the luck of Corregidor Island. He limited his activity to the setting up of a naval station at Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

.

On January 18, 1853, the Corregidor Island Lighthouse
Corregidor Island Lighthouse
The first Corregidor Island Lighthouse was a historic lighthouse located on the island of Corregidor, in the province of Cavite, Philippines. The light station was one of the most important lights in the archipelago. It was established in 1853 to guide ships to the entrance of Manila Bay on their...

 was first lit on the highest part of the island to mark the entrance of Manila Bay to vessels coming in from the South China Sea. The Spanish government built the Second-Order light, which is situated 639 feet (194.8 m) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 and visible for 20 miles.

Spanish-American War


Corregidor Island was included in the Philippines defense plan presented in 1885 by General Cerero, but no action was taken. When the U.S. Navy's attack was thought to be imminent, a 12 cm gun, the "Hontoria System", which came from the Spanish Navy
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

's cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 Antonio de Ulloa
Antonio de Ulloa
Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Girault was a Spanish general, explorer, author, astronomer, colonial administrator and the first Spanish governor of Louisiana.Rebellion of 1768]]....

and two shorter ones of the same caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

, from the Spanish warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 Lezo, were installed on the rocky island El Fraile. On the south side of Corregidor, the Spanish army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 installed three 18 cm artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 pieces which came from the Spanish navy cruiser Velasco
Spanish cruiser Velasco
Velasco was a Velasco-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy which fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.-Technical Characteristics:...

which was undergoing reparation works.

On the midnight of April 30 to the 1st of May 1898, U.S. Navy Commodore George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

 led his naval squadron, with his flag hoisted on board the armored cruiser
Armored cruiser
The armored cruiser was a type of warship of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like other types of cruiser, the armored cruiser was a long-range, independent warship, capable of defeating any ship apart from a battleship, and fast enough to outrun any battleships it encountered.The first...

 USS Olympia
USS Olympia
USS Olympia may refer to: is a protected cruiser in active service from 1895 to 1922, most notably in the Spanish-American War, and presently a museum ship in Philadelphia...

, eastward along the southern coast of Corregidor Island, beyond the reach of Spanish batteries and with no navigational lights on.

At a distance about one mile off El Fraile, Dewey's fleet changed course to the North East, steaming towards Manila. When they were discovered, the Spaniards fired from El Fraile's artillery. American response followed immediately, first by the McCulloc and then by the Boston, Raleigh and Concord. Since the fleet speed was ten knots, they were soon far away from the Spanish batteries. Dewey sailed for Cavite where he destroyed the naval forces of Admiral Monojo.

Once the Cavite shipyard was subdued by means of a Stipulated Pact, two American ships went ashore at Corregidor Island on the 3rd of May forcing the Spaniards on the island to surrender. Colonel Garces, chief of the coast batteries at the entrance of Manila's Bay, and the island's governor, First Class Naval Lieutenant, Augusto Miranda, were urged to come to terms with the Americans, and so they did. Therefore, Miranda remained on the island with only 100 soldiers and the Spanish Flag on top; Garces and officers under his command, as well as 292 men with their weapons and ammunition, were transferred to the Mariveles port. From there they were conducted along the provinces of Bataan and Pampanga until they reached Manila on the 5th of May. There they joined the Navy battalion which was already quartered in Sampaloc.

On the 4th of May, the American ships opened fire against the 100 men who, according to the pact had been left on Corregidor and demanded the garrison forces be reduced to 25 men. The Spanish governor consulted Manila authorities, and they ordered the evacuation of the island. The troops were sent to Naic, Cavite on boats while the governor was transferred to the American cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 USS Baltimore
USS Baltimore
USS Baltimore may refer to:, was a 12-gun brigantine that served in the Continental Navy from 1777 to 1780., was a 20-gun ship built in 1798., was a side-wheel steamer captured in 1861., was a protected cruiser commissioned in 1890....

 and became a prisoner with his family. The Americans offered to liberate him but the Navy Lieutenant rejected. Shortly afterwards, he was disembarked in Balanga, Bataan. In this way, the Spanish presence on Corregidor Island, which had lasted 328 years, came to an end.

American Colonial Period



In 1902, the island was organized as an American military reservation. In 1903, a convalescent hospital was established by the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

.

In 1908, a Regular Army post was established on the island, designated as Fort Mills
Fort Mills
Fort Mills was the location of US Major General George F. Moore's headquarters for the Philippine Department's Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. This was one of the locations at which, under the National Defense Act of 1935, coastal artillery training was conducted.-References:*McGovern,...

, in honor of Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 Samuel Meyers Mills, Jr., Chief of Artillery of the U.S. Army from 1905 to 1906. By early 1909, H Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 was assigned to Corregidor and started on the construction of concrete emplacements, bomb-proof shelters, and trails at various parts of the island. This pioneer engineer company left Fort Mills on March 15, 1912. All or part of 35 different numbered Coast Artillery Corps companies served tours at Fort Mills between 1909 and 1923.

The defense of Corregidor was the immediate responsibility of the Philippine Coast Artillery Command, commanded by Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 George F. Moore at the start of World War II. Stationed on the island after the return to the regimental system in 1924 were the following regular units:
  • 59th Coast Artillery
    59th Coast Artillery Regiment (United States)
    -History:During the Philippines Campaign the regiment opperated the following Batteries* A Battery Hearn* B Battery Crockett* C Battery Wheeler* D Battery Cheney* E Battery Fort Drum * F Battery Smith* G Battery Fort Hughes...

     (U.S. Regular Army)
  • 60th Coast Artillery AA (U.S. Regular Army
    Regular Army
    The Regular Army of the United States was and is the successor to the Continental Army as the country's permanent, professional military establishment. Even in modern times the professional core of the United States Army continues to be called the Regular Army...

    )
  • 91st Coast Artillery
    91st Coast Artillery (United States)
    The 91st Coast Artillery Regiment was an Regular Coast Artillery regiment in the United States Army, and part of the Philippine Scouts.-History:...

     (Philippine Scouts
    Philippine Scouts
    The Philippine Scouts was a military organization of the United States Army from 1901 until the end of World War II. Made up of native Filipinos assigned to the United States Army Philippine Department, these troops were generally enlisted and under the command of American officers, however, a...

    )
  • 92nd Coast Artillery
    92nd Coast Artillery (United States)
    The 92nd Coast Artillery Regiment was an Regular Coast Artillery regiment in the United States Army, and part of the Philippine Scouts.-History:...

     (Tractor Drawn)(Philippine Scouts)
  • Headquarters, Harbor Defenses of Manila and the Seaward Defense Command.


The Army post on Corregidor was named Fort Mills, that on Caballo Island
Caballo Island
Caballo Island is a bluff, rocky island located at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Philippines. It is about 3/4 mile long with the highest elevation at 381 feet high...

 (Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes
Fort Hughes was part of the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bays built by the Philippine Department of the U.S. Army in the early 1900s....

), on El Fraile Fort Drum, and on Carabao Island, Fort Frank
Fort Frank
Fort Frank was one of the defense forts at the entrance to Manila Bay established by the United States. The entire island was designated as Fort Frank, in honor of Brigadier General Royal T...

. According to the war plan, these forts were supposed to be able to make a six-month stand, after which aid would presumably come from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The fortifications on Corregidor were designed solely to beat off a seaborne attack. When American military planners realized that airplanes would one day render Fort Mills obsolete, the United States was restricted from improving the fortifications by the Washington Naval Treaty
Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was an attempt to cap and limit, and "prevent 'further' costly escalation" of the naval arms race that had begun after World War I between various International powers, each of which had significant naval fleets. The treaty was...

 of 1922. After this, the U.S. Army constructed the Malinta Tunnel
Malinta Tunnel
The Malinta Tunnel is a tunnel complex built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. It was initially used as a bomb-proof storage and personnel bunker, but was later equipped as a 1,000-bed hospital. The main tunnel, running east to west, is ...

, with its series of related laterals, to protect its military stores and vital installations in the event of war.

The island, which sheltered Fort Mills, was a prized piece of real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

. Its defense installations had cost the U.S. government more than 150 million dollars. This amount did not include the expenditure for fortifying the neighboring islands of Caballo, Carabao, and El Fraile.

Infrastructure


There were 65 miles (105 km) of paved roads and trails on the island and 19.5 miles (31.4 km) of electric railroad track. The latter were used largely to haul heavy equipment and ammunition from Bottomside to the different Batteries. The Corregidor High School was where children of both Filipino and American servicemen assigned on the island studied. The island also had an electric trolley system as public transport, a movie house (Cine Corregidor), a baseball field and a swimming pool. The business and social center of this community was found on Topside.

Water supply


Before the war and during the siege, Corregidor depended most of its potable water from Bataan. For this purpose, barges were used to haul water either from Mariveles
Mariveles, Bataan
Mariveles is a 1st class municipality in the province of Bataan, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 102,844 people in 19,460 households...

 or Cabcaben, Bataan.

World War II


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Corregidor was the site of two costly siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

s and pitched battles—the first during the first months of 1942, and the second in January 1945—between the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 and the U.S. Army, along with its smaller subsidiary force, the Philippine Army
Philippine Army
The Philippine Army is the ground arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . Its official name in Tagalog is Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas. On July 23, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III appointed Maj. Gen...

.

During the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42), the Japanese Army invaded Luzon from the north (at Lingayen Gulf
Lingayen Gulf
The Lingayen Gulf is an extension of the South China Sea on Luzon in the Philippines stretching . It is framed by the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union and sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central...

) in early 1942 and attacked Manila from its landward side. The American and Filipino troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

, retreated into the Bataan Peninsula
Bataan Peninsula
The Bataan Peninsula is a rocky extension of the Zambales Mountains, on Luzon in the Philippines. It separates the Manila Bay from the South China Sea...

, west of Manila Bay. The fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942 ended all organized opposition by the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) to the invading Japanese forces on Luzon in the northern Philippines. They were forced to surrender due to the lack of food and ammunition. Eventually, Corregidor and its adjacent islets at Manila Bay became the final bastions for holding out against the enemy, antithesis
Antithesis
Antithesis is a counter-proposition and denotes a direct contrast to the original proposition...

 to being the first line of defense for Manila.

Between December 24, 1941 and February 19, 1942, Corregidor became the temporary location for the Government of the Philippines. On December 30, 1941, outside the Malinta Tunnel, Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines...

 and Sergio Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña y Suico was a Filipino politician who served as the 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon's death in 1944, being the oldest Philippine president to hold office at age 65...

 were inaugurated respectively as President and Vice-President of the Philippines Commonwealth for a second term. General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 also used Corregidor as Allied headquarters until March 11, 1942. The Voice of Freedom, the radio station of the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) broadcasted from Corregidor, including the famous announcement of the fall of Bataan
Battle of Bataan
The Battle of Bataan represented the most intense phase of Imperial Japan's invasion of the Philippines during World War II. The capture of the Philippine Islands was crucial to Japan's effort to control the Southwest Pacific, seize the resource-rich Dutch East Indies, and protect its Southeast...

. In April 1942, one Battalion of the Fourth Marines, were sent to reinforce the island's beach defenses.

The Battle of Corregidor
Battle of Corregidor
The Battle for Corregidor was the culmination of the Japanese campaign for the conquest of the Philippines. The fall of Bataan on 9 April 1942 ended all organized opposition by the U.S...

 was the culmination of the Japanese campaign for the conquest of the Philippines. The island bastion of Corregidor, with its network of tunnels and formidable array of defensive armament, along with the fortifications across the entrance to Manila Bay, were the remaining obstacle to the 14th Japanese Imperial Army of Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma
Masaharu Homma
was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. He is noteworthy for his role in the invasion and occupation of the Philippines during World War II. Homma, who was an amateur painter and playwright, was also known as the Poet General.-Biography:...

. The American and Filipino soldiers on Corregidor and the neighboring islets held out against the Japanese to deny the use of Manila Bay, but the Japanese Army brought heavy artillery to the southern end of Bataan, and proceeded to block
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 Corregidor from any sources of food and fresh water. Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese troops forced the surrender of the remaining American and Filipino forces on May 6, 1942 while under the command of 2nd Lt. Robert L. Obourn, U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps
U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps
The U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps was a Corps level organization responsible for coastal and harbor defense of the United States between 1901 and 1950.-History:...

.

The battle for the recapture of Corregidor occurred between 16th and 26th of February 1945, by American and Filipino forces which liberated the island fortress from the Japanese hands.

Fortifications



There were 23 batteries installed on Corregidor, consisting of 56 coastal guns and mortars. In addition, Corregidor had 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries with 76 guns (28 3-inch and 48 .50-caliber) and 10 60-inch Sperry searchlights.

The longest-range coastal pieces were the two 12 inches (305 mm) guns of Batteries Hearn and Smith, with a horizontal range of 29000 yards (26,517.6 m). Although capable of an all around traverse, these guns, due to their flat trajectories, were not effective for use against targets on Bataan
Bataan
Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and it is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north...

.

During the siege, the island had ample armor-piercing ammunition but very little of the anti-personnel type, which then was of greatest demand for use against land targets on Bataan. In fact, most of the anti-personnel shells were only for the 12-inch mortars of Batteries Way and Geary.

Battery Way



Battery Way
Battery Way
Battery Way, named after Lt. Henry N Way of the 4th U.S. Artillery, is a battery of four 12-inch mortars on the Island of Corregidor. This was the only single-pit battery built as part of the expansion of the U.S. Coast Artillery, and was constructed during the period 1904-1910...

 was named in honor of the Coast Artillery Corps of the U.S. Army, which along with Battery Geary, was the mainstay of the Corregidor Garrison during the Japanese invasion. Its mortars, capable of a 360-degree traverse, could fire on land targets at Bataan. They brought the most destruction on Japanese positions during the attempted landings on the southwest coast of Bataan late in January to the middle of February 1942. These mortars were silenced by enemy shelling in May 1942.

Battery Geary


Battery Geary was a battery of eight 13-ton, 12-inch mortars. Defiladed in a hollow on Corregidor's Southern coast it was fairly well protected from Japanese shelling. However, on January 6, 1942, under the command of Capt. Ben Ewing King, a Japanese bomb landed in a makeshift bunker killing 31 of Battery Geary's NCOs and canoneers. Early in the morning of January 26 Battery Geary opened fire on a unit of Japanese soldiers near Longaskawayan Point on the west side of the Bataan Peninsula. Although the fire was considered accurate and effective Col. Bunker decided to replace Capt. King and he was sent to command HQ Battery on Ft. Drum. He was replaced by Capt. Thomas W. Davis. Later, this battery was pinpointed by the Japanese artillery and was subjected to heavy shelling. One direct hit by a 240-mm shell, which detonated the magazines of this battery in May 2,1942, proved to be the most crippling shot during the entire siege of Corregidor. This explosion tossed the fifty ton barrel of the mortar around, one to a distance of 150 yards (137.2 m), another was blown through three feet of reinforced concrete wall into the adjoining powder magazine of Battery Crockett. Large chunks of steel were blown as far as the Malinta Tunnel, killing 27 of the battery crew instantly. Also, one mortar still had a live round in its breech, and it was in the process of firing the shell when the magazine was hit.


Corregidor today


After the War, many people, most of them veterans, visited the island because of its history. Today, Corregidor is a historic monument as well as a tourist destination. Many travel companies offer day tours on the island featuring military installations used during World War II. Most of the war-ravaged buildings have not been restored, and left how it was after the war in reverence to the Filipino and American soldiers who died there.

Pacific War Memorial



Standing on the highest part of Corregidor's Topside is the Pacific War Memorial, which was built by the United States Government to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who participated in World War II. It was completed in 1968 at the cost of three million dollars. The major memorial structure is a rotunda
Rotunda (architecture)
A rotunda is any building with a circular ground plan, sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building . The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome...

 with a circular altar directly under the dome's oculus
Oculus
An Oculus, circular window, or rain-hole is a feature of Classical architecture since the 16th century. They are often denoted by their French name, oeil de boeuf, or "bull's-eye". Such circular or oval windows express the presence of a mezzanine on a building's façade without competing for...

 through which light falls on the altar during daylight hours. Located behind the Memorial is the Eternal Flame of Freedom, a 40 feet (12.2 m) Corten steel structure commissioned
Commission (art)
In art, a commission is the hiring and payment for the creation of a piece, often on behalf of another.In classical music, ensembles often commission pieces from composers, where the ensemble secures the composer's payment from private or public organizations or donors.- Commissions for public art...

 to Aristides Demetrios
Aristides Demetrios
Aristides Burton Demetrios was born and raised in Massachusetts. His father, George Demetrios, was a classical sculptor, trained by Bourdelle, a student of Rodin...

 symbolizing freedom.

Malinta Tunnel


The Malinta Tunnel
Malinta Tunnel
The Malinta Tunnel is a tunnel complex built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. It was initially used as a bomb-proof storage and personnel bunker, but was later equipped as a 1,000-bed hospital. The main tunnel, running east to west, is ...

, which is the last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military prior to the Japanese takeover during the last world war
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, is now home to an audio-visual presentation by National Artist Lamberto V. Avellana of the events that took place on the island, including the reluctant departure of General Douglas MacArthur and the evacuation of the Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines...

 and his family to unoccupied areas of the Philippines and eventually in exile in the United States.

Filipino Heroes Memorial


One of the most recent additions to Corregidor is the Filipino Heroes Memorial located in the Tail End. This 6,000-square meter complex has 14 mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

s depicting heroic battles fought by Filipinos from the 15th century up to the present day. It was designed by Francisco Mañosa, while the murals and a statue of a Filipino guerrilla were sculpted by Manuel Casas. The complex was inaugurated by President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos , popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.Prior to his election as...

 on August 28, 1992.

Japanese Garden of Peace


This garden was built as a memorial to the Japanese soldiers who served and died on the island during WWII. The park includes a praying area, shrines, markers and a small pavilion that houses photographs and memorabilia.

Corregidor lighthouse


The lighthouse
Corregidor Island Lighthouse
The first Corregidor Island Lighthouse was a historic lighthouse located on the island of Corregidor, in the province of Cavite, Philippines. The light station was one of the most important lights in the archipelago. It was established in 1853 to guide ships to the entrance of Manila Bay on their...

 on Topside is one of the oldest landmarks in Corregidor first lit in 1853. In 1897, the defective lighting apparatus was changed extending the range to 33 miles (53 km). The grounds and keeper's dwellings were further improved during the American occupation. During WWII, the lighthouse was damaged during the siege of Corregidor. The lighthouse was totally reconstructed in the 1950s with a different design and stands on the same spot where the first lighthouse once stood. The whole lantern of the lighthouse was recently replaced by the Philippine Coast Guard
Philippine Coast Guard
The Philippine Coast Guard is a maritime law enforcement agency operating under the Department of Transportation and Communications of the Philippines....

 to run on solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

.

External links