Operations of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team
Recapture of Corregidor Island
February 16 1945 – February 23 1945
Personal Observation of a Parachute Rifle Platoon Leader
1st Lt Edward T. Flash
About the Regiment
The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment was one of the 4 original Billy Ryder’s Test Platoon Parachute Regiments trained, created and assembled in Fort Benning, Georgia. The 503rd, made of from the split of both Regiments, the 503rd and the 504th. Men and Officers assembled under the 503rd Guidon generated a full size regiment which was activated on February 24 1942 under the command of Brig Gen William M. Miley and Lt Col Edson D. Raff as Executive Officer.
The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment’s first operation was an unopposed landing at Nadzab, in the Markham Valley, New Guinea, on September 5 1943. Although the landings were unopposed, the troops were later attacked by enemy bombers. The 503rd’s deployment helped force the Japanese evacuation of a major military outpost at Lae. During their overland withdrawal, the third battalion of the 503rd had a major skirmish with the Japanese rear guard. On July 3/4 1944, 1st Battalion and 3rd Battalion of the 503rd were delivered by parachute to Kamiri Airfield on the island of Noemfoor off the coast of Dutch New Guinea, sustaining significant casualties from the jump. To reduce further casualties, 2nd Battalion was delivered amphibiously. At the Battle of Noemfoor, the 503rd played a major role in the elimination of the Japanese garrison on that island.