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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a shot taken in front of a Japanese pillbox that contains a 75mm field gun located on the storied "Point" of Peleliu. You can see White Beach and the excellent field of fire the Japanese gunners would have had. As it was, they raked this beach with deadly fire...a scene reminiscent of Tarawa. One vet told me during the 50th anniversary reunion of the battle on the island that at least 50 dead Marines were scattered at the high-water mark on the beach closest to the gun. A casemate some 40 yards from this view, housed a Naval Type 96 25mm machine cannon...a vicious weapon intended for anti-aircraft use but depressed for horizontal fire against the invading amtracks off the beach! Inland of the jungle line was a small coral ridge that paralleled the entire beach. The Japanese set-up rifle/mortar pits, machine gun nests, and 2 pillboxes (1 with a 37mm AT gun and another with a 20mm aircraft cannon). You could only imagine the hell this scene portrayed 65 years ago!

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh yes, the small coral ridge that I described still has lots of relics scattered about within the caves and coral pits/fighting positions (as if frozen in time). That's where a Type 94 pistol was found. In my searches, I discovered lots of spent 6.5 and 7.7mm shells, Nambu clips, 20mm shell casings, a drum magazine from the 20mm, shrapnel, helmets, canteens (Japanese), a Type 99 rifle and bayonet, 37mm AT gun(buried in pillbox), grenades (lots of them!), human remains, and other ordnance.

Amazing! Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The small coral point in the distance also housed a casemate with another 37mm AT/AB gun. It was used in conjunction with the 75mm and 25mm on the "Point" to rake the beach with devastating fire. It is also still intact today.

-Eric
 

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Is this the point that the Marines had so much trouble taking and holding on the first day and night? The jungle line comes a lot closer to the water than I imagined. Was this taken at high tide?
Thanks Eric, it's great to get an actual view of some place I've read and wondered about!
 

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I would bet that the vegatation had been blown away by the pre-invasion bombardment? Things sure look different these days.

Somehow we need to take a group trip to this island. I am planning to (hopefully) be in the Philippines in April of 2009. Would love to do a 2 or 3 day jump over to that island if you are going there, and if I can afford it! I take it the big expense is the airfare? Is it pretty cheap staying on Peleliu?
 

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A group trip there with an expert "guide" (hint-hint) would be most excellent! Might even get better rates on the trip expenses?
 

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Rob,

If you're serious, I think we could make a trip happen. I've been there eight times, and I know Eric has been there many more times than me. I know my way around, but not as well as Eric does. It is VERY strenuous to hike the area. Is anyone else interested in making such a trip a reality? It would not be cheap.

John in Charlotte, NC
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rob,

If you're serious, I think we could make a trip happen. I've been there eight times, and I know Eric has been there many more times than me. I know my way around, but not as well as Eric does. It is VERY strenuous to hike the area. Is anyone else interested in making such a trip a reality? It would not be cheap.

John in Charlotte, NC
John,

It would be trecking with you!

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is this the point that the Marines had so much trouble taking and holding on the first day and night? The jungle line comes a lot closer to the water than I imagined. Was this taken at high tide?
Thanks Eric, it's great to get an actual view of some place I've read and wondered about!
Yes. For an in-depth account of the horrific battle, read Capt. George Hunt's excellent book "Coral Comes Hight". It was published in, I think, 1947 and original copies are hard to find. Fortunately, the book was republished. Google it or check on ebay.

-Eric
 

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Rob,

If you're serious, I think we could make a trip happen. I've been there eight times, and I know Eric has been there many more times than me. I know my way around, but not as well as Eric does. It is VERY strenuous to hike the area. Is anyone else interested in making such a trip a reality? It would not be cheap.

John in Charlotte, NC
Some $$$ guesstimates would be a great place to start this train of thought. I could do most anything, vacationwise, if I just stopped buying this stuff for a while!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some $$$ guesstimates would be a great place to start this train of thought. I could do most anything, vacationwise, if I just stopped buying this stuff for a while!
LOL! You and me both! Yes, that jungle was completely denuded during the pre-invasion and invasion bombardments. As Rear Adm. Oldendorff stated, "that beach was as bald as a billard ball..." from his naval bombardment.

-Eric
 

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Eric, Thanks for posting Peleliu pictures AND a description of what the Marines faced in
just establishing a footing on that beach.And even if the beach was denuded,once the
ship`s main battery`s were lifted and "away all boats" was signaled I`m sure the Japanese
used the rubble and debris to their advantage.Good reporting.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Eric, Thanks for posting Peleliu pictures AND a description of what the Marines faced in
just establishing a footing on that beach.And even if the beach was denuded,once the
ship`s main battery`s were lifted and "away all boats" was signaled I`m sure the Japanese
used the rubble and debris to their advantage.Good reporting.

Charlie
Thanks Charlie. Of interest; ball-bearing like pellets (almost like buckshot but larger) still litter the "Point" today and I couldn't understand why or what they were for until I found a projectile, half broken, with the shot packed inside. Those rounds must have been used to keep the Japanese in their holes/caves and pillboxes during the landing since they exploded overhead, raining the shot all over the place! I've never read that before.

-Eric
 

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Whiteshark, you need to put both of the pics together...the before and after for a real good comparison.....
 
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