In sorting through other Corregidor X files, I've found a couple of other files that may give us a clue to the owner of the gold braid. In addition, some of the related files reference casualties from Denver Hill and others that were buried outside the East entrance of Manila Tunnel and I think both have been discussed in other threads.
Very interesting thread. I have doubts that X-334 could be Captain Noel Castle, though, having come across five photographs of him, none of which show him wearing glasses. He was also a member of the USMC Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Team which leads me to believe he had extremely keen eyesight.
Captain Noel O. Castle
I am inclined to SWAG that X-334 is the remains of a naval officer from the 4th Provisional Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment that was almost entirely composed of USN personnel (about 95%) including many from the USS Canopus. They were the reserve force that was thrown into battle in the Denver Hill water tanks area on May 6th. According to several accounts including John Gordon's Fighting for MacArthur (p. 235, 291) many men in 4/4 were not issued steel helmets, which may explain why X-334 did not have one.
I am aware of the names of only two naval officers that were KIA on May 6th. Lieutenant Bethel V. Otter had been the gunnery officer aboard the Canopus and commanded Company T of 4/4. At about 0730, he and Ensign William R. Lloyd, formerly of the gunboat USS Oahu, led four volunteer sailors in an assault against a Japanese machine gun located in a pit near the Battery Denver-fresh water tank area. They wiped out the enemy gun crew with grenades but the weapon was soon manned again. The six Americans then rushed the gun pit and in the ensuing fight only one man survived (Ghosts of Canopus, p. 123 and Fighting for MacArthur, p. 292).
Lieutenant Bethel V. Otter
Ensign William R. Lloyd
X-3741 contains a map showing where the remains BTB (believed to be) those of Otter and Lloyd were recovered. See pages 19, 21 and 25 in the file.
Given that the remains of Otter and Lloyd were apparently recovered after the war, we still do not have an identity for X-334. The name of Commander Ryland D. Tisdale has been mentioned. He began the war at Cavite and then transferred to Corregidor, but several accounts state that he escaped to Mindanao and was killed on May 23, 1942 at Tamparan in Lanao Province while fighting Moros who were collaborating with the Japanese. I have been unable to learn anything about Lieutenant Commander Robert C. Winters. But Lieutenant Otter is widely reported to have been the senior USN officer KIA on Corregidor May 6th.
Captain Harold E. Dalness, US Army, commanded Company R of 4/4. After the war he wrote a monograph about the battle for the Advanced Infantry Officer Course at Fort Benning. According to John Gordon, Dalness wrote that 4/4 suffered at least 15 officer casualties (as well as about 150 enlisted casualties) in the final battle for Corregidor. While the numbers are not broken down into KIA and WIA, Gordon notes that many of the wounded left behind were almost certainly killed by the advancing Japanese as 4/4 retreated from Denver Hill to the final line outside Malinta Hill. In Fighting for MacArthur (p.234) Gordon wrote that the officer ranks for 4/4 comprised 1 Marine, 9 Army and 16 Navy officers. Therefore, there must have been more USN officer casualties than Otter and Lloyd.
I will SWAG that X-334 is one of these 15 officer casualties from 4/4, and a USN. Another possibility is that a USN CPO or senior petty officer may have been given a battlefield promotion to an "O" in the final days and was wearing that cover during the battle. Probably no paperwork survives indicating this-
Chad - I thought the same thing about glasses and the rifle team, but just recently I came across a magazine photo and ad of a target shooter wearing some very fancy eyewear which provided vision correction specifically for target shooting. I can imagine that back in the WWII era they well might have employed such glasses to get a little extra edge. In those days, telescopic sights were very uncommon and probably not allowed in matches.
With that said, I like your analysis better than mine. The only hole in your theory is that the remains of Otter and Lloyd were identified and buried in the States - which is why their names don't appear in the ABMC database as MIA's. However, I know from sad experience that while the AGRS identified most of the remains they found, their identifications were very, very suspect. Unfortunately, we don't have their Individual Deceased Personnel Files which would tell us how they were identified (and then allow us to speculate about whose remains were identified as Otter and Lloyd).
Of course, you do lose points for being absent for so long. <G>
Last Edit: Aug 25, 2015 10:04:47 GMT 8 by JohnEakin
Very informative post, Chad, and excellent photos. I've spent most of the evening reading the x files that John posted and am finding that they are full of insightful information, particularly the letters from Chaplain Borneman and the bodies found near the East entrance of Malinta Tunnel. One of the things that continuously inspires me to research Corregidor is the fact that there were hundreds of men that died during the siege whose names exist only in obscure documents, scattered in archives and personal collections all over the world. One of the pieces from these files that fascinates me is that the very landscape on which these men died and were buried had changed since the day they were laid to rest, making it more difficult to locate the remains after the war. The re-taking of The Rock plays into the picture when thinking about this, and I have overlooked this fact for a long time, until recently.
Hundreds, if not thousands of eyewitness accounts exist, especially when dealing with information on those who died. Whether it be on Corregidor, Bataan, in POW Camps, or Hellships, these guys went to extraordinarily great lengths to document their fallen comrades. I'm optimistic that a true accounting can be made. However, that doesn't mean that all of the unknowns can be determined from these records, but I believe some of them can.
I believe the "gold braid" probably was Navy as mentioned in the report. Navy officers wore gold braid chinstraps on the service cap in all forms of dress, and the cap cover would have been khaki for wear during active duty, which was worn by Navy officers on Corregidor. Marine officers chinstraps were gold with a central red stripe, but they were only worn with the white or blue cover for dress. The chinstrap in active duty was cordovan leather. So this remains a mystery.
Additionally, I recall reading somewhere that the 4th Marines lost all their dress uniforms during their transfer to PI. They would only have had their khaki during the battle. Those cords worn by the musicians would not not have been present, and the colors on them were red and gold, the Marine's colors. So Chadhill may be on to something here.
Post by Pat McConnell on Apr 7, 2018 0:58:13 GMT 8
Re: LCDR Robert Chalmers Winters, the US Naval Academy Register of Alumni lists "5/6/1942, Pearl Harbor". Haven't confirmed, but I suspect he might have been aboard a Patrol Squadron (VP) 13 plane that crashed that day. (When I do confirm, it will be posted to usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/ROBERT_C._WINTERS,_LCDR,_USN )
The April 1, 1941 Navy Directory lists him as a LT with VP-25 in Pearl Harbor. Obviously a lot happened in that year, but it's a data point.
BLussier: I am the niece of Pvt. Robert D. Turner 13030357 listed as MIA on Corregidor. Still working with DPAA on Robert’s case. In the first entry on thread you mention a report and give info from Col. (Chaplain) Boerman that references cremating bodies in tunnel
Mar 6, 2021 10:58:01 GMT 8
BLussier: Is it possible to get a copy of that report? DPAA analyst never heard this before. I read the same info in a book. It was reported by a doc in the tunnel. Unfortunately I did not write the book title/ author info so can not use that info as evidence this
Mar 6, 2021 11:02:20 GMT 8
BLussier: is what could have happened to Robert’s body. Thank you! Bobbye (Turner) Lussier
Mar 6, 2021 11:04:28 GMT 8
raycoinhound: I sugest all members read this one!!!Fowlerville news and views 11/08/20 page 15.. The article shows Andy age 99 My mother Jackie age 95 and me in the middle age 68> . Andy saw all the paratroopers jump off his distroyer which shelled Corregdor in Feb 1945
Apr 20, 2021 12:06:19 GMT 8
raycoinhound: all members you better read this one.Fowlerville news & Views 11/08/20pg 15. Andy saw the 503 jump into battle on Corregidor. His Distroyer shelled the island and as soon as they stopped down came the 503rd!Andy is 99, my mother 95 and me 68.I take him out
Apr 20, 2021 12:09:58 GMT 8
raven316: Which tin can, my dad was on the USS Crosby, APD 17
Apr 21, 2021 1:55:19 GMT 8