My 3 visits to Corregidor Island
by George Royer
(Los Gatos, California)
My first visit was in Dec 1945 while I was assigned to CommSeaFrontier Manila. I was an ETM2c maintaining 55 radio transmitters north of the EDSA in what is now Quezon City.
For a naval holiday I took a navy ship out to Corregidor for the day. I was able to witness the destruction of topside and the wrecked barracks and other installations.
In 1993 I visited a missionary friend living near Manila, and decided to take him to see Corregidor. His father had been a naval officer and I thought he should see the island.
We took a day trip, visited the old topside barracks with the same underbrush growing through the damaged barracks. We also visited the memorial and the new museum with many interesting displays from the battles.
One item I saw in the museum was Gen. MacArthur's staff car. A day trip is not the best way to see everything about the island, you need to stay longer. We also noted that there was this nice Corregidor Inn, and I vowed to stay there overnight if I ever returned to Manila.
This particular trip was my first leg of a trip to join a group in Australia. When our group got to Melbourne, we had a very nasty tour bus driver who was not very nice to our group.
He told the story of somebody buying MacArthur's Melbourne house, and the staff car was in the garage. But there was a big mystery! The staff car had disappeared and nobody knew where it had gone. I said (to the whole bus of friends) "I do, I saw it last week". All my friends said touche George, you quieted the driver down.
Two years after the 1993 trip I won first prize in the Philippines "Bring Home a Friend" contest. It included round trips to Manila and many other hotel and resort stays.
I was able to bring my wife and we included a trip to Corregidor with an overnight stay at the Corregidor Inn. The night we stayed, there were no other guests in the inn. The concierge asked us if we would like the night tour of the Malinta tunnel. We of course said yes.
It was the highlight of our Corregidor trip!