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Deen recalls thinking how lucky he was that he was not killed on the first day [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: 15 September 1944 on Peleliu]. The next morning they were told to get rid of their packs. It contained their possessions and included socks and personal affects. K-Rations were handed out in the morning. They got the remnants of the second platoon together; it was about eight or nine guys. They put them on a boat and landed with Captain Hunt and his men at the point. The second morning was spent trying to account for everyone. Some of the Marines were using Japanese weapons on the point, but they were happy to see Deen and the other eleven men.The first day on Peleliu was an absolutely horrific experience. Deen saw a lot of his friends killed and injured. Fred Fox was one of the twelve reinforcements for the point. He volunteered to keep an eye on the edge of the beach so no one could flank them. They had a platoon of mortars in the rear so they felt comfortable with their rear situation. Hunt was able to count about one hundred Japanese around their position, but someone needed to check the caves. The eleven men who were sent as reinforcements had to go ahead of the front line to check on the caves. Deen recalls trying to shoot his BAR [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Browning automatic rifle] but it did not work. He ran back to Captain Hunt and he fixed the weapon. During that time they realized there were about forty to fifty Japanese hiding in the caves. Joe Daly was shot during that time. Another man named Kushman was killed. This brought them down to about seven or eight men. The mortar team to the rear lit up the area in front of them with mortar flares. It helped them see what was in front of them. The mortar platoon also shot sixty millimeter mortars and Deen could hear the Japanese crying out. All of the machine guns were in order and by the night of the second day they were fighting for their lives on the point.
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