Segment 5


Deen was supposed to follow Bill Thompson [Annotator’s Note: during the invasion of Peleliu, 15 September 1944]. He was the group leader. He had been on Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester. Deen always worried what would happen if something happened to Bill. Before they got to land, the point that was to their left was heavily fortified. It jutted out forty five feet from the rest of the island. It was about forty feet higher than the beach, a natural fortress. They [Annotator’s Note: the Japanese] could fire down the entire length of the approach. The point was the most important part. Captain Hunt and his third platoon were to take the point. Deen's job was to cut off the point and keep Japanese infiltrators from reaching the point. Hunt and his men took the point eventually and lost a lot of men in the process. Their company had three platoons in addition to a machine gun platoon. Different parts of the machine gun platoon were assigned to other platoons.In combat, Deen learned quickly that you only know what is going on about fifteen feet in front and around you. He started running when he got on the beach. He saw bodies flying around, amtraks [Annotator’s Note: Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVTs)or Amphibious tanks] knocked out, airplanes crashing, and people getting hit. Once he hit the beach, Deen saw people getting shot, but he followed Thompson. They got in about seventy five yards into a tank trap. They saw Joe Gatto get killed near the tank trap. Numerous squad members were hit. Thompson came up with the idea to go around the side of the tank trap. Some of the tanks that were going over the side were getting hit. Daly, the squad leader, helped to get the men through it. Deen’s friend Murray got hit going into the tank trap. They patched him up. Murray expressed his desire to go to a hospital ship. There was a man named Lamp who was in the ditch with Deen. Harlan Murray wanted to try and advance up the perpendicular ridge in front of them. 


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