March 18, 2013


To get to Manila by sea you have to get inside the Manila Bay, which is guarded by four islands: Corregidor, El Fraile, Caballo and Carabao. All were fortified during the American occupation of the Phillipines (begun in 1898), the most important being Corregidor, the largest among them. In 1908, a Regular Army post was established on the island, designated as Fort Mills, and in following year began the construction of concrete emplacements, bomb-proof shelters, and trails. Fort Mills, together with Fort Hughes (on Caballo), Fort Drum (on El Fraile) and Fort Frank (on Carabao), could withstand a six-month-long siege, after which the United States would provide aid.

Unfortunately, in 1942 the Japanese Army invaded Luzon Island from the north and attacked Manila from its landward side, not from seaward, so Corregidor didn't play any role in the defense of the capital of Phillipines. It became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor that Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General MacArthur left for Australia in February 1942, leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command. Although Bataan fell on April 9, the Philippine and American forces held out at Corregidor for 27 days against great odds. On May 6, their rations depleted, the Allied forces were forced to surrender. After only two years and ten months, the Allied forces under the command of General MacArthur recaptured Corregidor... making good his promise to return to the Philippines.

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. The longest-range coastal pieces were the two 12-inch (305 mm) guns of Batteries Hearn and Smith, with a horizontal range of 27,000m (one of these is on the postcard). These guns, due to their flat trajectories, weren't effective against targets on Bataan. During the siege, the island had very little anti-personnel ammunition, in fact only for the 12-inch mortars.

About the stamps
The stamps, depicting Picasso Trigger (1p) and Triton Trumphet (10p), are part of a huge set of definitive stamps called Marine Biodiversity, about which I wrote here.

Corregidor Island - Wikipedia
Corregidor Island - Tourism Philippines

sender: Toni Rose Antonio (direct swap)
sent from City of San Fernando (Philippines), on 28.02.2012

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