Irving Strobing - Final Messages Corregidor

Irving Strobing - Final Messages Corregidor (Illustration) American History World War II Famous Historical Events

As Japanese forces continued their final assault on Corregidor, an American corporal named Irving Strobing was sending messages from deep inside a tunnel.  He - and a few thousand other exhausted American and Filipino soldiers - knew they would have to surrender.

Abandoned by the U.S. government, whose leaders had decided to send their limited resources elsewhere for the time being, the men had fought until they could fight no more.

Twenty-two-year-old Strobing, from Brooklyn, was a signal corpsman who kept transmitting messages which were received by someone in Hawaii.  Irv later learned that he was communicating with Sgt. Arnold Lappert.

At first, his Morse-code messages contained some humor - "How about a chocolate soda?" - but then they grew more serious:

I feel sick at my stomach.  I am really low down.  They are around now smashing rifles.  They bring in the wounded every minute.

Some of his final words described the scene in the tunnel as the fate of the men grew clearer:

The jig is up.  Everyone is bawling like a baby.  They are piling dead and wounded in our tunnel.  Arm's weak from pounding key, long hours, no rest, short rations, tired.

His last transmission was:

Stand By.

Strobing was a Japanese prisoner of war for the next three years.  He survived the war, however, and died of cancer in the summer of 1997.

The Library of Congress provides this description for these two photos:

Photographs of Irving Strobing ... prisoner after Corregidor, one in uniform half-length, facing front and the other seated, listening to radio with headphones.

It wasn't until the 16th of February, 1945, that American troops were once-again able to land on the island of Corregidor.


0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 02, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

Images of Irving Strobing, online courtesy Library of Congress - DIGITAL ID: cph 3c32624. 

The Library of Congress provides the following additional information about these photos:


REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-132624 (b&w film copy neg.).  

Associated Press photograph - No. 9683D. 

Part of:  New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Irving Strobing - Final Messages Corregidor" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 02, 2013. Jan 25, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips