Segment 4


They got on three different ships to haul the First Marine Division on August 25th [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: 1944]. They landed three weeks later on Peleliu. Deen had to bunk on the top of the deck. They slept on hammocks on the top deck. The ship rocked back and forth. When it rained they were able to cover themselves. Three weeks on the ship was a rough time. They had to be inspected by the corpsmen and the doctors. They ate well so they were ready to fight. Washing the mess gear was their responsibility. Every day men threw up over the side because of sea sickness. Deen remembers arguing about baseball with a man.Their biggest interest was playing cards. They played hearts, Pinochle and some other games. Calisthenics were done on the ship. Three meals a day kept them healthy. On the morning of the landing they had steak and eggs and ice cream. Deen recalls a Catholic priest leading prayer and meditation. They could not stay up past maybe eight or nine oÂ’clock at night. The day of the landing they ate at six AM. They were in the boats [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Landing Craft] by six thirty AM. Deen had to go over the side of his ship onto a rope into the Higgins boat. They had a lot of experience climbing down the ladders.For Peleliu they landed in tractors. The front of the ship opened up and the tractors drove out of the ship. They packed like sardines into the tractors. As they left the front of the ship there were about twelve to fifteen tractors circling until they formed a wave. There was a lot of fear and anger occurring inside the tractors. They headed in around seven thirty in the morning. As they got closer the ships and planes were pounding the island. A lot of the leaders said there could not be anything left. When they approached the island it was engulfed in smoke and fog. A few trees were poking out. Coral grinded up the bottom of the tractor. The tractor took them in.


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