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Silence of a Soldier
William J. Duggan
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The Japanese Invasion
The Japanese invaded the Philippines at Lingayen Gulf, off the coast of Luzon.(1) The men at Del Carmen
learned of the invasion by radio. The announcer described the heroism of a single American fighter pilot who
made sortie after sortie over the Japanese invading forces. He was shot down on the second day. He was one of
the first American heroes to face the Japanese onslaught. Bub thought his name was Colin Kelly.
By landing at Lingayen, the Japanese were able to cut Luzon in half.(2) The supply depots that MacArthur
had established between Manila and the northern tip of Luzon were cut off from the American troops in the
south. The 803rd was ordered southward to the Bataan peninsula. Company B was given the job to keep the
road open to Bataan. They held off the Japanese as best they could with one thirty caliber machine gun and their
WW1 Springfield rifles. The ammunition casings for these rifles had to be filed down to fit the bullet chamber.
On one occasion, Bub sat behind the machine gun in the middle of the road. He saw a group of men heading his
way. He could not make out whether they were American or Japanese. He decided to hold his fire until their
identity became clear.
They were Americans. When the men saw Bub behind the machine gun, they thanked him profusely for not
The Americans fought bravely against the oncoming imperial army of Japan. The Japanese invaded Luzon in
late December, 1941. The Americans held them off until April of 1942. The Battling Bastards of Bataan earned
their title. General Douglas MacArthur, commanding General of the joint American-Filipino forces, committed