Serling, Rodman, T/4

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Last Rank
Technician Fourth Grade
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1946, 11th Airborne Division
Service Years
1943 - 1946

Technician Fourth Grade

Two Overseas Service Bars

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Serling, Rodman, T/4.
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Home Town
Last Address

Date of Passing
Jun 28, 1975
Location of Interment
Lake View Cemetery - Interlaken, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Lot G, Plot 1044

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Honorably Discharged WW II

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(After the atomic bombs were dropped the 11th Airborne Division was hurriedly flown to Okinawa, then on 28 August 1945 they were landed at Atsugi Airfield, Contrary to claims by the 1st Cavalry Division, the 11th Airborne Division was the FIRST military force to land in Japan, when the 1st Cavalry Division landed from transports at Yokahama, the 11th Airborne Division Band met them on the docks and played "The Old Gray Mare Ain't What She Used To Be" !!)

Rod Serling served as a U.S. Armyparatrooper and demolition specialist with the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific Theater in World War II from January 1943 to January 1945 (Discharged stateside in 1946). He was seriously wounded in the wrist and knee during combat and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Serling's military service deeply affected the rest of his life and influenced much of his writing. Due to his wartime experiences, Serling suffered from nightmares and flashbacks. During his service in World War II, he watched as his best friend was crushed to death by a heavy supply crate dropped by a parachute onto the field. Serling was rather short (5'4") and slight. He was a noted boxer during his military days.

Other Comments:
Rodman Edward Serling was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on December 25, 1924, and grew up in Binghamton, the son of a wholesale meat dealer. By his own account, he had no early literary ambitions, though from an early age, he and his older brother, Robert, immersed themselves in movies and in such magazines as Astounding Stories and Weird Tales.

On the day he graduated from high school, Serling enlisted in the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division paratroopers, and after basic training (during which time he took up boxing and won 17 out of 18 bouts) he was sent into combat in the Philippines and wounded by shrapnel.

After being discharged in 1946, Serling enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he majored in Physical Education. He soon switched to Language and Literature, and began writing, directing and acting in weekly productions on a local radio station. While still a student, Serling sold his first three national radio scripts — and even his first television script, "Grady Everett for the People," which he sold to the live half-hour anthology series Stars Over Hollywood (NBC 1950-51) for $100.

Serling married Carolyn Louise Kramer in 1948. After graduation, the pair moved to Cincinnati, where Serling became a staff writer for WLW radio and collected rejection slips for his freelance writing — 40 in a row at one point!

Serling's fortunes changed when he began writing full-time. From 1951 to 1955, more than 70 of his television scripts were produced, garnering both critical and public acclaim. Full-scale success came on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1955, with the live airing of his Kraft Television Theatre script "Patterns." Deemed a "creative triumph" by critics, and the winner of the first of Serling's six Emmy awards, the acclaimed production was actually remounted live to air a second time on Feb. 9, 1955 — an unprecedented event.

Serling went to work on screenplays for MGM and as a writer for CBS' illustrious Playhouse 90, for which he crafted 90-minute dramas — including both the series' 1956 debut, "Forbidden Area," starring Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Jackie Coogan and Tab Hunter; and the multiple-Emmy Award-winning "Requiem for a Heavyweight," starring Jack Palance and Keenan Wynn that later was turned into both a feature film and a Broadway play. Remarkably, in a milieu that included such writing legends as Paddy Chayefsky and Reginald Rose, Serling took the writing Emmy again the following year for his Playhouse 90 script "The Comedian," starring Mickey Rooney.

A critical and financial success, Serling shocked many of his fans in 1957 when he left Playhouse 90 to create a science-fiction series he called The Twilight Zone.

CBS would air 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, an astonishing 92 of which were written by Serling, over the next five years. His writing earned him two more Emmy Awards. The show went on to become one of television's most widely recognized and beloved series, and it has achieved a permanent place in American popular culture with its instantly recognizable opening, its theme music and its charismatic host, Serling himself. With early appearances by such performers as Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper and many others, The Twilight Zone became a launching pad for some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Serling celebrates his fourth Emmy.

After the production of The Twilight Zone ended in January 1964, Serling remained active in television and movies, winning an Emmy for his Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre adapted script "It's Mental Work," and hosting and writing episodes of the 1970-73 anthology series Rod Serling's Night Gallery. There, his script "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" earned an Emmy nomination as the year's Outstanding Single Program. Serling returned to Antioch College as a professor and lectured at college campuses across the country. Politically active, Serling spoke out against the Vietnam War in the late '60s and early '70s.

Rod Serling died on June 28, 1975, in Rochester, N.Y., of complications arising from a coronary bypass operation.


Shortly after its operations in Leyte ended, the division was notified that it was destined for combat in Luzon, to the north of Leyte.  There, the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment would make its first combat jump, with the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment and the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment making an amphibious assault to secure a beach-head for reinforcements. On 27 January, the 187th and 188th GIR set sail for Luzon, while the 511th flew by C-46 Commando transport aircraft from Leyte to Mindoro. Then, at dawn on 31 January, the two Glider regiments landed in naval landing craft near Nasugbu in southern Luzon; after a short naval barrage and strafing by A-20 Havoc light bombers and P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft, they secured a beach-head against light Japanese resistance. The 188th rapidly advanced and secured Nasugbu, with its 1st Battalion advancing up Highway 17, a major highway in Luzon, to deny the Japanese forces any chance to set up defenses. Simultaneously, the regiment's 2nd Battalion advanced south and secured the right flank of the division after crossing the River Lian. By 10:30 am the 188th had advanced deep into southern Luzon, allowing the 187th to come ashore and relieve those units of the 188th that had secured the right flank of the division. By 2:30 pm, the 188th had reached the River Palico and secured a vital bridge over the river before it could be destroyed by Japanese sappers. It then continued its advance by following Highway 17 to Tumalin, where it encountered heavier Japanese resistance.

Map of the Philippines showing the island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

The 188th continued to advance against increasing Japanese resistance until midnight, when the 187th took over the lead; the 188th then followed the 187th, the two units resting briefly before coming to the Japanese main line of resistance. This consisted of a series of trenches, linked to a number of bunkers and fortified caves manned by several hundred infantry and numerous artillery pieces. At 09:00, the 188th launched an attack on the Japanese line and managed to break through by midday, spending the rest of 1 February mopping up resistance in the area. On the morning of 2 February, another attack was launched, breaking a second Japanese line of defense and pursuing the retreating Japanese troops. By midnight, the 188th had breached a third Japanese line, and the divisional reconnaissance platoon had reached an area near Tagaytay Ridge where the 511th PIR was scheduled to conduct its airborne operation.

The airborne operation was scheduled for 2 February, but was rescheduled for 3 February due to continued Japanese resistance slowing the progress of the two Glider regiments. Maj. Gen. Swing only wanted the operation to go ahead if the Glider regiments were in range to provide assistance to the 511th if Japanese resistance was heavier than expected. Due to there only being forty-eight C-47 Dakota transport aircraft available, the regiment was forced to conduct the airborne operation in three lifts. The regimental staff, the regiment's 2nd Battalion and half of its 3rd Battalion would be dropped first. The rest of the regiment would be dropped second, and then the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion would be dropped in the third lift.

At 03:00 on 3 February, the troops of the first lift entered their transport planes, and at 07:00 the first transports took off, protected by an escort of P-61 Black Widow night fighters, flying over Mindoro and eventually following Highway 17 all the way to Tagaytay Ridge. The ridge itself was an open space some two thousand yards (1,829 m) long and four thousand yards (3,657 m) wide, plowed in places, and had been mostly cleared of Japanese troops by local Filipino guerrillas. At 08:15 the first echelon of the first lift, approximately 345 men, successfully dropped onto the drop zone, although the second echelon, consisting of approximately 570 men, were dropped prematurely and consequently landed about eight thousand yards (7,315 m) east of the drop zone. The second lift also encountered problems with accuracy, with some 425 men dropping correctly but another 1,325 dropping early due to pilot error and poor jump discipline.

Despite these problems, however, the entire regiment was assembled within five hours of the first lift landing in the drop zone. After fighting against minor Japanese resistance, by 15:00 the 511th had made contact with the 188th and 187th, and the entire division was once again assembled as a single formation. After clearing the ridge of any remaining Japanese defenders, the division began to advance towards Manila, reaching the Paranaque River by 21:00 on 3 February and encountering the beginning of the Genko Line, a major Japanese defensive belt that stretched along the southern edge of Manila. This defensive belt consisted of approximately 1,200 blockhouses between two and three stories deep, many of which had naval guns or large-caliber mortars embedded within them, as well as entrenched large-caliber anti-aircraft weapons, machine-gun nests and booby-traps consisted of rigged naval bombs. The entire line was manned by some 6,000 Japanese soldiers.

The division was ordered to breach the Genko Line and drive into Manila, linking up with other American forces attacking the city from the north. All three of the divisions regiments were committed, and they began their advance on 5 February, managing to break through the defensive line despite fierce resistance by Japanese units manning it. The 511th had led the assault and broken through the Genko Line, but was soon replaced as the division's spearhead by the 188th; the glider regiment advanced westwards towards Manila in the face of heavy opposition as the 511th attempted to move into the city from the north. By 11 February, the division had penetrated as far as Nichols Field, an airfield forming the center of the Genko Line, heavily fortified with a number of entrenched naval guns and a series of bunkers.

After a short artillery bombardment on the morning of 12 February, 2nd Battalion of the 187th attacked the north-west corner of the airfield while the 1st Battalion of the regiment and the entire 188th attacked from the south and south-eastern corners. This pincer movement succeeded in securing the airfield despite a local counter-attack, and by nightfall, the airfield was secured. The following day, the division advance across the airfield and towards Fort McKinley, the headquarters of Rear Admiral Iwabuchi, commander of the Japanese defenders on Luzon. It was during this advance that Private First Class Manuel Perez Jr. neutralized several Japanese bunkers which were impeding the advance of the division, capturing one single-handedly and personally killing eighteen Japanese soldiers during his actions. PFC Perez was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. On 17 February the division launched its assault on the Fort against fierce resistance, taking heavy casualties as it drew nearer to the Fort, particularly when the Japanese detonated a quantity of naval depth charges buried under a set of lawns near the Fort. The Fort was penetrated by the 511th, however and by 18 February the area had been cleared of its defenders. On 15 February, the 1st Battalion of the 187th, alongside other American units, had also launched an attack on Mabato Point, an extremely heavily fortified position featuring the same entrenched bunkers and defensive positions seen in the Genko Line. It took six days of hard fighting against heavy Japanese resistance before the area was cleared, the airborne troops being aided by multiple airstrikes and the frequent use of napalm and heavy artillery. Sporadic resistance continued until 3 March, when all organized Japanese resistance in the area ended.

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Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle for Manila
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February / 1945
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March / 1945

The Battle of Manila (Tagalog: Laban ng Maynila ng 1945), also known as the Liberation of Manila, fought from 3 February-3 March 1945 by American, Filipino, and Japanese forces, was part of the 1945 Philippine campaign. The one-month battle, which culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater, and ended almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest.
On 3 February, elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division under Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and seized a vital bridge across the Tullahan River, which separated them from the city proper. A squadron of Brig. Gen. William C. Chase's 8th Cavalry, the first unit to arrive in the city, began a drive toward the sprawling campus of the University of Santo Tomas which had been turned into an internment camp for civilians and the US Army and Navy nurses sometimes known as the "Angels of Bataan".

Since 4 January 1942, a total of thirty-seven months, the university’s main building had been used to hold civilians. Out of 4,255 prisoners, 466 died in captivity, three were killed while attempting to escape on 15 February 1942, and one made a successful breakout in early January 1945.

At 21:00, a lead jeep crashed into the main gate, triggering a firefight, and its driver, Capt. Manuel Colayco, a USAFFE guerrilla officer, became the first known Allied casualty of the city's liberation. He and his companion Lt. Diosdado Guytingco guided the American First Cavalry. Both were unarmed. Colayco died seven days later in Legarda Elementary School, which became a field hospital. Simultaneously, a single tank of the 44th Tank Battalion, named "Battlin' Basic," rammed through the university walls, Sgt Austin E. Aulds from Texas, a combat medic was the second US Soldier to enter, while four others entered through the Calle España entrance. American troops and Filipino guerrillas immediately followed and, after a brief skirmish, freed many of the internees.

The Japanese, commanded by Lt. Col. Toshio Hayashi, gathered the remaining internees together in the Education Building as hostages, and exchanged pot shots with the Americans and Filipinos. The next day, 4 February, they negotiated with the Americans to allow them to rejoin Japanese troops to the south of the city. The Filipinos and Americans agreed but only allowed them to carry their rifles, pistols and swords. That same day, a patrol from the 37th Infantry Division and 31st Infantry Division came upon more than 1,000 prisoners of war, mostly former defenders of Bataan and Corregidor held at Bilibid Prison, which had been abandoned by the Japanese.

On the morning of 5 February, 47 Japanese were escorted out of the university to the spot they requested. Each group saluted each other and departed. The Japanese were unaware the area they requested was near the American-occupied Malacañan Palace and soon afterwards were fired upon and several were killed including Hayashi. Later in the afternoon, the survivors returned to the university and were captured.

In total, 5,785 prisoners were freed: 3,000 Filipinos, 2,870 Americans, 745 British, 100 Australians, 61 Canadians, 50 Dutch, 25 Poles, 7 French, 2 Egyptians, 2 Spanish, one Swiss, one German, and one Slovak.

Encirclement and massacres
Earlier on 4 February, General MacArthur had announced the imminent recapture of the capital while his staff planned a victory parade. But the battle for Manila had barely begun. Almost at once the 1st Cavalry Division in the north and the 11th Airborne Division in the south reported stiffening Japanese resistance to further advances into the city.

Following the initial American breakthrough on 4 February, fighting raged throughout the city for almost a month. The battle quickly came down to a series of bitter street-to-street and house-to-house struggles. In the north, General Griswold continued to push elements of the XIV Corps south from Santo Tomas University toward the Pasig River. Late on the afternoon on 4 February, he ordered the 2nd Squadron, 5th Cavalry, to seize Quezon Bridge, the only crossing over the Pasig that the Japanese had not destroyed. As the squadron approached the bridge, Japanese heavy machine guns opened fire from a formidable roadblock thrown up across Quezon Boulevard, forcing the cavalry to stop its advance and withdraw until nightfall. As the Americans and Filipinos pulled back, the Japanese blew up the bridge.

On 5 February, the 37th Infantry Division began to move into Manila, and Griswold divided the northern section of the city into two sectors, with the 37th responsible for the western half and the 1st Cavalry Division responsible for the eastern sector. By the afternoon of 8 February, 37th Division units had cleared most of the Japanese from their sector, although the damage done to the residential districts was extensive. The Japanese added to the destruction by demolishing buildings and military installations as they withdrew.

The bitterest fighting for Manila—which proved costliest to the 37th—occurred on Provisor Island, a small industrial center on the Pasig River. The Japanese garrison, probably less than a battalion, managed to hold off Beightler's infantrymen until 11 February.

Mudge's 1st Cavalry Division had an easier time, encountering little opposition in the suburbs east of Manila. Although the division's 7th and 8th Cavalry Regiments fought pitched battles near two water supply installations north of the city, by 10 February, the cavalrymen had extended their control south of the river. That night, the XIV Corps established for the first time separate bridgeheads on both banks of the Pasig River.

The final attack on the outer Japanese defenses came from the 11th Airborne Division, under XIV Corps control since 10 February. The division had been halted at Nichols Field on 4 February and since then had been battling firmly entrenched Japanese naval troops, backed up by heavy fire from concealed artillery. The airfield finally fell to the paratroopers the next day, and the acquisition allowed Maj. Gen. Swing's division to complete the U.S. encirclement of Manila on the night of 12 February.

In an attempt to protect the city and its civilians, MacArthur had placed stringent restrictions on U.S. artillery and air support. But massive devastation to the urban area was not avoided. Iwabuchi's sailors, marines and Army reinforcements, having initially successfully resisted American infantrymen armed with flamethrowers, grenades and bazookas, faced direct fire from tanks, tank destroyers, and howitzers, who attacked one building after another and killed the Japanese—and often the trapped civilians—inside, without differentiation.[5]

Subjected to incessant pounding and facing certain death or capture, the beleaguered Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the civilians caught in the crossfire, committing multiple acts of severe brutality, which later would be known as the Manila Massacre. Violent mutilations, rapes, and massacres on the populace accompanied the battle for control of the city, which lay practically in ruins. General Yamashita was subsequently blamed for the massacres and hanged for war crimes in 1946 even though he had no responsibility for the battle itself.

Intramuros devastated
The fighting for Intramuros, where Iwabuchi held around 4,000 civilian hostages, continued from 23 February to 28 February. Already having decimated the Japanese forces by bombing, American forces used artillery to try to root out the Japanese defenders. However, the centuries-old stone ramparts, underground edifices, the Sta. Lucia Barracks, Fort Santiago, and villages within the city walls all provided excellent cover. Fewer than 3,000 civilians escaped the assault, mostly women and children who were released on 23 February afternoon. Colonel Noguchi's soldiers and sailors killed 1,000 men and women, while the other hostages died during the American shelling.

The last pocket of Japanese resistance at the Finance Building, which was already reduced to rubble, was flushed out by heavy artillery on 3 March. Iwabachi was said to have committed seppuku (ritual suicide) on February 25, but his body was never found.

Army Historian Robert R. Smith wrote:
"Griswold and Beightler were not willing to attempt the assault with infantry alone. Not expressly enjoined from employing artillery, they now planned a massive artillery preparation that would last from 17 to 23 February and would include indirect fire at ranges up to 8,000 yards as well as direct, point-blank fire from ranges as short as 250 yards. They would employ all available corps and division artillery, from 240mm howitzers down. (...) Just how civilian lives could be saved by this type of preparation, as opposed to aerial bombardment, is unknown. The net result would be the same: Intramuros would be practically razed."  "That the artillery had almost razed the ancient Walled City could not be helped. To the XIV Corps and the 37th Division at this state of the battle for Manila, American lives were understandably far more valuable than historic landmarks. The destruction stemmed from the American decision to save lives in a battle against Japanese troops who had decided to sacrifice their lives as dearly as possible."

Before the fighting ended, MacArthur summoned a provisional assembly of prominent Filipinos to Malacañan Palace and in their presence declared the Commonwealth of the Philippines to be permanently reestablished. "My country kept the faith," he told the gathered assembly. "Your capital city, cruelly punished though it be, has regained its rightful place—citadel of democracy in the East."

For the rest of the month the Americans and Filipino guerrillas mopped up resistance throughout the city. With Intramuros secured on 4 March, Manila was officially liberated, but large areas of the city had been leveled. The battle left 1,010 U.S. soldiers dead and 5,565 wounded. An estimated 100,000 Filipinos civilians were killed, both deliberately by the Japanese and from artillery and aerial bombardment by the U.S. military force. 16,665 Japanese dead were counted within Intramuros alone.

In the month-long battle, the Americans and Japanese inflicted worse destruction on Manila than the German Luftwaffe had exacted upon London, which resulted in the destruction of the city and in a death toll comparable to that of the Tokyo firebombing or the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Destruction of the city
The battle for Manila was the first and fiercest urban fighting in the entire Pacific War, from the time MacArthur started his leapfrogging campaign from New Guinea in 1942, leading to the invasion of Japan in 1945. Few battles in the closing months of World War II exceeded the destruction and the brutality of the massacres and savagery of the fighting in Manila.

A steel flagpole stands at the entrance to the old U.S. Embassy building in Ermita, which was pockmarked by numerous bullet and shrapnel hits, and still stands today, a testament to the intense, bitter fighting for the walled city. In this category, Manila joined Stalingrad as being the host to some of the fiercest urban fighting during the war.

Filipinos lost an irreplaceable cultural and historical treasure in the resulting carnage and devastation of Manila, remembered today as a national tragedy. Countless government buildings, universities and colleges, convents, monasteries and churches, and their accompanying treasures dating to the founding of the city, were ruined. The cultural patrimony (including art, literature, and especially architecture) of the Orient's first truly international melting pot - the confluence of Spanish, American and Asian cultures - was eviscerated. Manila, once touted as the "Pearl of the Orient" and famed as a living monument to the meeting of Asian and European cultures, was virtually wiped out.

Most of the buildings damaged during the war were demolished in the name of "Progress" after the Liberation, as part of rebuilding Manila, replacing European style architecture during the Spanish and early American era with modern American style architecture. Only a few old buildings remain intact.

Historical commemoration
The Memorare Manila Monument at Intramuros, Manila.
On 18 February 1995, the Shrine of Freedom also known as Memorare Manila Monument was erected in dedication and memory to the war victims. This monument is located at the Plaza de Santa Isabel, also known as the Plaza Sinampalukan, located at the corner of General Luna and Anda Streets in Intramuros, Manila. The inscription reads:

"This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or even never knew a grave at all, their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins."

"Let this monument be the gravestone for each and every one of the over 100,000 men, women, children and infants killed in Manila during its battle of liberation, February 3 - March 3, 1945. We have not forgotten them, nor shall we ever forget."

"May they rest in peace as part now of the sacred ground of this city: the Manila of our affections."
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
February / 1945
To Month/Year
March / 1945
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories
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  45 Also There at This Battle:
  • Beckwith, Bruce Norman, Sgt, (1943-1946)
  • Bradley, Bernard, S/Sgt, (1941-1945)
  • Johnson, Carroll Robert, S/Sgt, (1942-1946)
  • Lawn, John
  • Leones, Magdalena, Cpl, (1944-1945)
  • Loftis, Eugene, Pvt, (1944-1946)
  • Mayberry, Morgan, T/4, (1942-1945)
  • Parfitt, David, T/Sgt, (1942-1945)
  • Yingling, Clifford Lindaman, T/4, (1943-1946)
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