Jumping on The Rock


Paratroopers of the 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team landing on Topside, the high ground of Corregidor, NARA.

One of the most oft-forgotten U.S. Army combat parachute jumps of all-time was made 75 years ago this week. While everyone knows and celebrates the mass drops at D-Day and Arnhem, and even the earlier Avalanche and Husky landings for Italy and Sicily, the leap made by the Operation Topside drop on 16 February 1945, made by 2,350 men of the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT) is overlooked.

A mass low-level drop made by sky soldiers of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 462nd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, and the C coy/161st Airborne Engineer Battalion onto the high ground of the Japanese-held rock fortress of Corregidor was to link up with a low ground beach-landing made by the 34th RCT and take on the 6,700-man garrison which had been in residence since 1942.

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