Captain Dye's Blog
These are all the Blogs posted in December, 2007.
Friday, 14
Weeks 19 though 22: Land the Landing Force, Recover Same&an
It's been a mad scramble of frenetic action on all 1st Marine Division battlefronts as Christmas approaches. PFC Sledge and the other Marines of K-3-5 are marching up into the Umurbrogol on Peleliu. Along the way, they passed the bloody and battered 1st Marines who suffered so heavily up in that section of rugged coral high ground that they've been pulled out of the line. We'll pick up with that action later. Meanwhile, the Wayback Machine took us briefly back to the Solomons where we put Division units over the side of APAs via landing nets and into the boats for the landing on Guadalcanal. And then we put our Marines back on the nets to recover them and officially end the campaign. Platoon Sergeant Basilone has made the long, multi-leg flight back to the States and is now out there beating the drum and helping to sell war bonds. It won't take long before he's begging the Commandant to let him join the forming 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton and get himself back into the action. There's a lot of war left to fight  including the murderous crossing of the Peleliu airfield, the landing on Iwo Jima with Manila John and his machinegunners and the sprawling, muddy, bloody fight for Okinawa - but officially the Division is on stand down for Christmas and these frontline reports will cease until the first week of January. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Semper Fidelis.
Posted By Captain Dale A. Dye at 7:19 PM / Category:The Pacific War
Wednesday, 5
Week 17 and 18: Parades, Pageantry and more Hell on Peleliu
The 1st Marine Division cadre (The Old Breed officers and NCOs) went into Drill Instructor mode during this period to stage a massive regimental review during which several notable Marines were decorated for gallantry above and beyond during the Guadalcanal campaign. Platoon Sergeant Basilone got his Medal Of Honor and caught a flight out of Australia, headed Stateside for a war bond-selling tour. We'll catch up with him and monitor his efforts to get off the rubber-chicken circuit and back into the war later. Meanwhile, PFC Robert Leckie and his shipmates from H-2-1 are making themselves right at home in Melbourne and over-dosing on the liquor and the ladies...emphasis on the former in Leckie's case. He shipped a little too much Australian beer aboard, let his battleship mouth override his rowboat ass, and wound up in the brig on bread and water for insubordination and threatening an officer. Fortunately, the officer involved respected Leckie's war record and recommended leniency at battalion office hours. Leckie and his buddy Chuckler are back out on the town and making up for lost time with the 1st Marines alerted for movement into the Palaus campaign. And that brings us to PFC Eugene Sledge and his fellow mortarmen of K-3-5 who are already on Peleliu and just setting up to help support the battered 1st Marines who are struggling down from close combat in the Umurbrogol Hills, trailing blood and destined for relief. K-3-5 and the other companies of the 5th Marines have completed their sweep up the eastern side of Peleliu and have been pulled back to the airfield where they are staring into Death Valley, the finger of low-ground between the Five Sisters and Walt's Ridge. They are beat up and battered but Major General Rupertus wants fresh outfits to press the attack against stubborn Japanese resistance and elements of the 5th Marines under Colonel Bucky Harris are being sent up into the meat-grinder. The much beloved Captain A. A. ("Ack-Ack") Haldane is leading Sledge and his buddies up into the fight and he's fully aware of the difficulties his company is facing. King Company is resolutely plodding along into the attack but none of Haldane's Marines are under any illusions about what lies ahead of them in those enemy-infested coral hills. They've seen the bloody survivors coming down and they know the score. Still, they continue the assault...and so do we. Semper Fidelis.
Posted By Captain Dale A. Dye at 7:44 AM / Category:The Pacific War
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