David Mattiske - Kamikazes and an airborne assault

Running time
1 min 53 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Anyway, from then on, the kamikazes would annoy us time and time again. Some days they'd come in numbers, and then we'd be at action stations all day. Oh, there'd be five, six, or seven of them around. But they were still learning their tactics. They weren't as damaging as they were later on. We did a bombardment at dawn along the beach, then we came back again to the front of Corregidor, where there's this great cliff. 300 feet high, you know, huge cliff. That's where the headquarters of the Americans were. That's where all their building were, and that's where the Japs were.

It's about 8:30, 9:00 in the morning and I could hear, hello, from the rear, I could hear this enormous sound, roaring. Look up, two lines of Dakotas, huge lines. They can fly over us and head straight for the top of Corregidor. And out they tumble in their parachutes. A magnificent sight, terrible sight, really. Some of them didn't make it. Some of them jumped short and their parachutes got short on the cliff face, you know. They were dangling there, kicking their legs. I could see all this through the, a couple of miles away, but through the binoculars you could see everything, you know. Astonishingly enough, the Japs hardly fired back. They were landing on the rooftops of the buildings and in the gardens and bang, bang, bang. And by the end of the day, they had taken the whole of that position and only lost a few men. That was just astonishing. Unbelievable.

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