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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an aerial image of Peleliu's famous "Bloody Nose Ridge". Scene of brutal combat in 1944. Unfortunately, the most storied of all ridges is now slowly being erased to time. The ridge on the right, being excavated, is Walt Ridge (renamed Pope Ridge) for the famous battle by Capt. Pope's surviving company during the battle. The ridge is loaded with caves and relics but is no more. Almos half the ridge is now gone, used for coral to pave the road system that circles the island. Very sad...kind of remids me of Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa that is no longer there..

-Eric
 

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Erasing History

You would think that the Japanese organization that collects remains of the dead would have some influence here, and could minimize the damage, or at least keep the bones.
 

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Palau Islands including Peliliu

I don't think the Japanese hold much sway over the islands they formerly occupied.

Palau is an independent nation since 1994. The US is responsible for its defence until 2044, it was the last of the Pacific island 'dependencies' to become independent.
 

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It may be a blessing in disguise that the island is so relatively remote. Any closer to populated areas and it would be a prime target for development.

C/
 

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I watched as Sugar Loaf Hill slowly disappeared as the Japanese were developing the land for new houses and businesses. During the construction, my father and I would drive up to Sugar Loaf Hill on the weekends and metal detect the areas that were uncovered and dig thru the Junk Piles of Japanese and American WWII relics that were being uncovered during the construction, we pulled out a nice 30 Cal Machine Gun, numerous equipment from both sides and the remains of a Japanese Cannon, yes we looked silly driving down the highway with the barrel of a cannon hanging out of our trunk but it was worth it. It now sits in the Battle of Okinawa Museum as a center piece of the Sugar Loaf Hill Display. If you look in the book "Killing Ground on Okinawa" The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill. I provided James Hallas a photo of what Sugar Loaf Hill looked like during the construction. Sad to see such a sacred ground disappear. David Davenport
 

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Erasing History

On second thought, if they did that on Okinawa, I guess they wouldn't care about road building on Peleliu.
 

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The folks doing this probably weren't alive during the WWII conflict. Why should they care? How many US whackjobs born in the 60's, or even the 50s understand what happened in WWII?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm sad to say that Peleliu is slated for major development. Do you think that they are improving the road system for boonie-stomper's like myself! Resorts will be constructed on Peleliu and nearby Ngesebus Island. After all, the best diving in the world in just off Peleliu. Dive boat operators are making the 30 mile run down to Peleliu from Koror right now.

-Eric
 

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Are these mountains on Peleliu made out of coral? Is that why they are able to knock them down like that? Sad that sacred battlegrounds are being plowed under. Even here in the US, Gettysburg, the most revered and monumented battlefield in this country, is slowly being encroached on for motels, fast food joints and housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are these mountains on Peleliu made out of coral? Is that why they are able to knock them down like that? Sad that sacred battlegrounds are being plowed under. Even here in the US, Gettysburg, the most revered and monumented battlefield in this country, is slowly being encroached on for motels, fast food joints and housing.
Yes, that is solid coral. Peleliu is basically a coral reef thrust out of the ocean eons ago...is there such a word? That was a huge advantage to the Japanese because many natural caves evolved. Right after the battle, the US Navy "Seabees" started the excavation project on the nose of Walt Ridge as a limitless source of material for the new airfield and road system. After the Americans left, jungle reclaimed everything but now the Peleliu Governor has resumed excavation efforts. Bummer.

-Eric
 

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Garfield, you got me remembering. Back in '97 just before I gave up softball (we played so that we could drink and eat burgers after the game), we had a young couple on the team. I was drinking beer and talking with the couple one evening after the game, and in the course of conversation asked the wife when her folks came to the country. It was her subject, and I can't rightly remember how we got to where we were, but, anyways, her grandparents came over from the ole country around 1880. I asked her how come, and she said to escape Hitler. Hey, it's ok with me; just makes the Harp taste better.
 

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I just discovered that this hill being destroyed is the same one that has all the symbols on it on the map many of us got from MGed. I was wanting to visit that hill and see some of those caves at some point. I guess that isn't going to happen! :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just discovered that this hill being destroyed is the same one that has all the symbols on it on the map many of us got from MGed. I was wanting to visit that hill and see some of those caves at some point. I guess that isn't going to happen! :(
Yes, that is the very hill depicted in MGed's map. There is a concrete casemate near the road that was once the start of the ridge's nose. Now it's almost half mile away.

-Eric
 

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Thanks whiteshark for the info. I printed out the pic you posted and put it with the Japanese Peleliu map, along with the translation of the markings that someone did a while back. At least I have a before and after pic, but would have preferred they both look like the before. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks whiteshark for the info. I printed out the pic you posted and put it with the Japanese Peleliu map, along with the translation of the markings that someone did a while back. At least I have a before and after pic, but would have preferred they both look like the before. Oh well.
At least the other ridges are intact (for now). One still has an artillery strong point complete with concrete OP, casemates and field guns still intact (although heavily demolished from naval gunfire).

-Eric
 

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Is the pic you posted looking northward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is the pic you posted looking northward?
Yes, taken from the north. Here's a remarkable archival low-level aerial taken of the nose of the ridge...now long gone. I showed this photo to Capt. Everett Pope in 1994, who commanded the survivors of his company that took the hill, and he was extremely upset that he didn't have that shot prior to the attack. It clearly shows several Japanese positions that decimated his unit. Only 8 of the 90 odd Marines remained after they retreated off the hill the day after attacking it.

-Eric
 

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Eric, you`re right! Only after staring at the picture for a while did I notice that there are
at least three caves at different levels on the ridge nose.The giveaway was a dirt trail
that seems to start at the left side of the dirt road in the foreground of the picture.This
trail then can be seen going up the slope and connecting to the caves.Too bad your
friend Capt. Pope didn`t have this info when he needed it.Thanks for posting.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Eric, you`re right! Only after staring at the picture for a while did I notice that there are
at least three caves at different levels on the ridge nose.The giveaway was a dirt trail
that seems to start at the left side of the dirt road in the foreground of the picture.This
trail then can be seen going up the slope and connecting to the caves.Too bad your
friend Capt. Pope didn`t have this info when he needed it.Thanks for posting.

Charlie
In my original 8X10, you can see a concrete casemate that contained a Japanese 105mm field gun. The casemate is still there. The picture was taken at least 2 days prior to the failed attack on the nose of the ridge (not foliage still intact on ridge) and Pope said Naval Intelligence could have easily supplied a copy of that picture to pinpoint enemy positions. As it was, his unit was cut to pieces even before it reached the ridge.

-Eric
 
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