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43rd BG, 64h BS
January 27, 1945
USAF April 12, 1945
US Army April 13, 1945
US Army 1945
Dan Lantzy 1987
Justin Taylan 2004
Tony Feredo 2006
During 1941, prior to the start of the Pacific War, the garrison was increased to 200 men, commanded by Lt. Col. Lewis S. Kirkpatrick and Captain Samuel Madison in charge of the batteries. By the summer of 1941, Fort Drum was ready for action.
On February 6, 1942 the Japanese commenced another heavy bombardment. The fire control tower was knocker down as it was perceived to be an aiming point. On March 15, 16 and 21 were more heavy bombardments but the 14" guns were not disabled.
On May 5, 1942 during the Japanese landing on Corregidor, Fort Drum's gun batteries fired over 100 rounds at the the landing barges and assembly area. The garrison was informed of the the upcoming surrender, they were willing to continue fighting, but lack enough food and supplies. On May 6, 1942 when the garrison on Corregidor surrendered, Fort Drum also surrendered at 11:40am. Before surrendering, the powder stores were watered down with seawater and the guns and generators were damaged.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Fort Drum was never repaired and lightly garrisoned. Lewis S. Kirkpatrick died as a Prisoner Of War (POW). By February 1945 Fort Drum was defended by 65 Japanese Navy personnel, survivors from Battleship Musashi. In late February 1945, a US Navy PT Boat docked at the fort and sent a shore party aboard that was fired on, killing one and wounding another from the crew. After the U. S. Army liberated both Corregidor and Caballo, they focused on Fort Drum. During April 1945 bombarded by USS Phoenix CL-46 and and aerial bombing commenced.
Japanese and American missions against Fort Drum (El Fraile)
On April 13, 1945 at 10:00am LCM 503 landed the U. S Army 151st Infantry Regiment, F Company plus a platoon of demolition men from 113th Engineers B Company onto the top of Fort Drum. After securing the top, a pipe from LCM 503 pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel oil into the fort and explosive charges were set with a thirty minute fuse. When the charges detonated, it seemed to have no effect until the fort's magazine ignited causing a huge explosion that burned for several days. Two weeks later, another force landed to examine Fort Drum without opposition.
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