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This Day in Norwood History-November 30, 1944-First Lieutenant Max Rabinovitch Tells of Philippine Invasion

First Lieutenant Max Rabinovitch Tells of Philippine Invasion

How First Lieutenant Max Rabinovitch and members of his unit were forced to wade chest deep in water, from their landing barge to shore under a hail of Jap sniper bullets during the Philippine invasion, was told in a letter written by Rabinovitch and received here this week by his parents, Mr, and Mrs. Frank Rabinovitch, 923 Washington street.

Lt. Rabinovitch, who is a member of the Army’s Chemical Warfare Division, wrote:

“We came in on D-Day after the Navy gave this place a terrific bombardment everything was leveled completely on the beach. The big six-inch shells from the battle- wagons made quite a lot of noise.

“From the big ships we came in small landing barges. The one I was on got stuck on some rocks and we waded to shore in water up to our chests. Snipers were everywhere but we went on through. In a short time only dead Japanese remained in the area. They had well-constructed pill boxes and we used grenades and flame throwers to get them out. We moved up rapidly. The guerillas burned down a lot of bridges so the Japanese couldn’t escape with their vehicles and heavy equipment. We got to the first town the next day and came across several large warehouses stocked with rice and other food stuffs as well as a lot of clothing.

SHOT EVERYTHING THAT MOVED

“No one thought of sleeping the first night and we shot at anything that moved in the dark. Next day we moved forward to a large town. We took it and that night slept in the yard of an old school. Some war correspondents who couldn’t get back to their headquarters, slept with us and the next morning I took them back to their headquarters in an old courthouse building.

“The air raids had been coming several times a day and we all dived into our foxholes in a split second. One bomb landed quite close to me and I was almost covered with dirt. Luckily, I escaped without a scratch. There is one plane, a Zero, that has been coming over twice a day. We call him “Washing Machine Charlie.” I think he won’t be making a return trip one of these days.


“All along the way the Filipinos showed great joy. Some of them ran up to the soldiers with bananas, pineapples, chickens and cocoanuts. They looked half-starved and almost everyone was dressed in rags.

The authorities let them help them- ] selves to rice and other foods that, the Japanese had left behind. I met one soldier here who was left behind when the Japanese took this place’ three years ago. He had been fighting with the guerillas in the hills all this time. I suppose they have given up hope for him back home.

“There are still Japanese in the town here disguised as civilians, yesterday they caught two of them dressed in women’s clothes. They are dirty fighters and we have learned all their tricks. They get on their knees when captured and beg that we don’t turn them over to the Filipinos.

SOME JAPANESE ENORMOUS

“Some of the Japanese are enormous and not as small as I supposed they all were. I’ve seen some dead ones who were over six feet. They are few. though, and must come from a certain part of Japan.

“We hear news broadcasts every day. ‘Tokio Rose’ still broadcasts and you would get quite a kick out of her. She has had the American Navy wiped out at least a dozen times in the past two weeks. Listening to her is about the only entertainment we have here.

“The hospitals have been established in stone buildings and it is amazing how well-equipped they are to take care of the wounded. The Medical Department is doing a great job. Some of the doctors have gone without sleep for four or five days.’

In closing, Rabinovitch said: “Don’t worry about me as I am feeling Swell. This can’t last very much longer and I’ll be seeing you.”

COMMISSIONED IN ’43

Lt. Rabinovitch entered the service as a private in February, 1942. He attended OCS in Maryland, received his commission as a second lieutenant in March, 1943, and was promoted to 1st liëutenant eight months later.

Overseas for the past four months. Lt. Rabinovitch was on the Admiralty Islands before the Philippines. His brother, Pfc. Julias is a veterinarian in the Army stationed. in Georgia.

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