Segment 3


They would get up at four in the morning on Pavavu. They were in King (K) Co. 3-1 [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: K Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division]. They had K 3, 5, and 7. They had a weapons company of artillery and tanks. The entire Division was comprised of eight to ten thousand people. In the morning every platoon would be checked.Deen was in Bill Thompson's third group. He was the BAR [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Browning automatic rifle] man. Each group had a BAR man, an assistant BAR man, and a scout. Deen's assistant BAR man was Joe Gatto. He was shot in the head on Peleliu. Bill Thompson, Odell Evans, and Joe Gatto were the four men who landed together on Peleliu on September 15th, 1944. There were only seven or eight left at the end of Peleliu out of the original forty five. Odell Evans was the only one who made it through Peleliu and Okinawa.On Pavavu they would eat breakfast. Each squad leader announced to the platoon leader that everyone was present. Then the platoon leaders would have to announce to the company commander that everyone was there. After that, Joe Daly his squad leader, would do extra calisthenics. Everyone would laugh but they knew it was good. After that they would get ready for chow call. They would double time each platoon. After eating they had about twenty minutes to get ready for twenty or thirty mile hikes. Bill Jenkins was one of DeenÂ’s corpsmen. He looked after Deen on Pavavu. A lot of people had fungus that would eat at people. He had it on his hands long after the Marine Corps. A lot of the men had fungus. Jenkins would spray the man with some type of powder. Atabrine came in a yellow pill and was used to fight malaria. The corpsmen did a great job keeping everyone in shape. Bob Hope and his group were going all over the Pacific. He was on Guadalcanal. Hope heard the 1st Marine Division was on Pavavu and decided to fly to Pavavu to meet them. He was informed they did not have a runway, but they found a road that handled a Piper. He did his concert for the First Marine Division. Bob Hope looked back later in life and realized that the men he entertained on Pavavu, over sixty five percent of them would not come home or not come home the same. Hope was a feather in his cap and the men appreciated it.


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