World: Beachhead Abandoned

Staff Sergeant Henry Telker peered through shifting skeins of fog at the Philippine shore, looked at his small, wobbly compass, jotted in his log: "Location doubtful, chart little or no help."

In charge of two LCMs (landing craft, mechanized), Telker had set out on a routine job of ferrying caterpillar tractors from Leyte to nearby Samar. He was puzzled when Jap planes strafed his craft, dumfounded when, after putting ashore in a small cove to reconnoiter, he was welcomed by jubilant Filipinos uttering flowery phrases.

"Where are we?" Telker asked, and an old Filipino answered, "Mindanao." He had inadvertently invaded the largest island...

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