Segment 8


Deen believes the mortar team helped to save the men at the point [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: on Peleliu, September 1944]. He recalls throwing a lot of hand grenades. A lot of the Japanese would crawl up to their positions at night and engage the Marines in hand to hand combat. The returning fire from the Marines was accurate and deadly. By the end of the second night the mortar team had fired over a thousand rounds. Those mortar rounds killed about five to six hundred people. The taking of the point saved numerous lives down the road. K Company had about fifteen men left. Deen remembers someone asking, "Where is first Regiment?" The response was that there was no 1st Regiment left.They marched the third day and were sent to guard a few roads by Bloody Nose Ridge. They figured it would be a restful assignment for the guys who were beat up at the point. They practiced the buddy system in their foxholes. One guy slept and the other guy stayed up to keep watch. They had a password and if it was not given they would shoot at whatever was in front of them. Peleliu was needed to protect the flank of MacArthur. Two days before Peleliu, MacArthur landed somewhere else and it was deemed in hindsight that Peleliu was not needed. Deen feels that the losses that were sustained on Peleliu were not worth it. He was put in a rest area and remembers a couple men going out and slaughtering a young pig. They lost a lot of people on Peleliu.


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