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Wainwright1 - i . . - . , „ . and begm the deployment of the...
i . . - . , „ . and begm the deployment of the Wainwright's '42 Yule Gift Was Just a Can of Beans Continued from Pago ward and leads into Binalonan directly. directly. For some reason or othe I cbose the old road and by doing so just missed being captured or killed. As I was nearing the town a platoon of four or five tanks rode down the main highway about 20( yards to my left, going south Tlicy wcrn Jnp tiinltfl. My Packard HCdun would have offeree small resistance to them if I had encountered them head-on on the main road. I got into the village aware that at least some elements of the enemy enemy were now between me and Bataan, but could not find Gen Sellcck. Nor could I find any 71st division troops. Reduced to 450 Men But the 26th cavalry was there, with little Col. Pierce right out in the thick of furious combat with the vanguard of the main Jap force. The 26th had been in action action since daylight, protecting the retreat of the 71st to the Agno. By the time I reached it the 26th was reduced to not more than 450 men, I ordered Pierce to get his truck train and his wounded men out as quickly as possible and hold his position as long as he safely could and still be able to withdraw his rerrmining men. When the time came to withdraw, he would back up to the Agno, 15 miles below him, cross the bridge, destroy it and hold the south side of the river. On Christmas Eve Pierce held that position at Binalonan against overwhelming odds until 3:30 on the afternoon of Dec. 24, by which time he had forced the Japs to deploy the advance advance guard of their main column whole main assault body. Here was true cavalry delaying action, fit to make a man's heart sing. Pierce that day upheld the best traditions of the cavalry service, service, and his action led to his being the night of Dec, 24-25 in its with drawal southward. But while I was standing there, viewing the damage, Col. Skerry, my engineer chief, loomed out of nowhere. He already was making plans for temporary repair of the bridge. At the same time he was having charges placed under the undamaged part of the bridge so he would be ready to blow it as noon an the ]Jth got acroifl. or blow It If the Japs got to the river before the llth did. From that point I got in touch with my Alcala headquarters and ordered it back to Bamban, a short distance south of Fort Stotsenburg. Stotsenburg. I told my operations officer, my signal officer and a few enlisted enlisted men to wait at Alcala fo: me. Time for Memories I reached Alcala on the evening of Dec. 24. Christmas eve always was something of an event around our home in the good days, and now I found my -nind going back over those memories of a Christmas Christmas tree, the arrangement of our boy's toys, the carefully wrapped packages for my wife, and all the things that go with a family on that night.. raised to general. the rank of brigadier I stayed at Binalonan with him for two or three hours and then So I got in touch by phone with ' ' ' -- - ' - Necker at RCA in Manila. He was closing- up. The city had been declared an open one. But he was kind enough to get through a message message to Adele. I remember it because it was Jie Jast time I was able to wireless wireless her directly for three awful years. I was hot, dirty .jid hungry from Jie day's fighting, worrying and raveling. But the food which my leadquarters commandant was supposed to send up from Bamban upon his arrival there failed to come. We went to bed that night without dinner. Yule Gift—Can of Beans On Christmas morning, 1941, a .an officer, came past my skele- onized headquarters and gave us a Christmas present. It was a can of beans, pur little force, includ- ing Cols. Frank Nelson and Josh ated. A.v/i binrvr wi Wii t& J1UU1>3 dilU L-lldl , returned to my Alcala headquar- "fj" was mi £ h Wy appreci- ters. En route I passed along the south bank of the Agno and as I crossed the main north-south highway highway at Carmen I noted that Jap planes had bombed the mile-long bridge over the Agno between Carmen Carmen and Villasis. They had destroyed destroyed the south span of the vital bridge, blowing it off its abutment. Vital Bridge Gone It was a time for cursing our luck, because the llth division would have to cross that bridge on Stansell, split it up. It was Christ- mas breakfast, lunch and dinner, ' as well as our Christmas eve din- MARKET -Located SALE NOW AT SOUTH for Reservation a unique now bulk-froxtn food and produce purchased af of flavor—cUaned—blanched— and quicl-froien. Or you may your own produce for this proceji- and game meats, fish, etc., are aged in • our large cold room cutting and wrapping. Will also domestic meet or process and your meat. My withdrawal plan toward Bataan Bataan was divided into five phases, designated as Dl, D2, D3, Dl and D5. Dl called for a withdrawal to a line along Urdaneta, San Carlos and Ag-uilar, about midway between between the base of Lingayen gulf and the Agno. D2 was a line behind behind the Agno. D3 reached from San Joae to Santa Ignaclo and ran through Gerona, 16 miles farthe south. Dl reached from Cabana tuan through Zaragosa, La Pa and Tarlac to the high ground wes of Tarlac. D5 stretched across the broad valley leading down from Lingayen gulf from Bamban on the west to Sibul springs at the foot of the mountains to the east. War Is Different It was unlike any of the textbook textbook retreats I had studied at the war college and at Leavenworth It differed from the retreat of Gen, McDowell's army from the first battle of Bull Run in that that had been a rout. Nor was it like Pope's retreat after the second battle battle of Bull Run, or Lee's withdrawal withdrawal from Gettysburg. In these classic retreats the object object was to get away from the enemy by speed of movement. Moving down toward Bataan we had the definite mission of delay ing the enemy as long as practicable, practicable, not only to permit Gen. Jones' south Luzon force to clear around

Clipped from
  1. The Salt Lake Tribune,
  2. 13 Oct 1945, Sat,
  3. Page 3

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