Segment 9


Bill Jenkins saved Deen's life on the first day [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Peleliu, 15 September 1944]. The men were busy preparing, or at least trying to consolidate a position. Jenkins passed the word that Sherman tanks were coming up to fire on the Japanese. There were three to four people in front of the tank trap who needed help. Jenkins jumped out of the tank trap. Jenkins is a hero in Deen's eyes because he was a corpsman and did not need to put himself in danger like that. The Japanese were attacking the positions around the point the most because of the value of the position. The Japanese were attacking mainly from the north. The Japanese were a threat from all sides though. The flares helped to save their lives.On Okinawa everything was better organized [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: April 1945]. When they approached a cave it was with the proper amount of support. On Peleliu it was men who had to clear out the caves. On Okinawa they were able to bring tanks, flamethrowers, or whatever they needed right up to the cave in an organized fashion. Deen would yell into the caves in Japanese in order to get people to come out. Sometimes they would get Japanese who wanted to live and come out. A lot of Japanese met their death by not wanting to cooperate. Japanese Zero's occasionally flew over during the month of April on Okinawa. Most of April was spent clearing the area around the airfield. They had learned of President Roosevelt and Ernie PyleÂ’s death. The Army was getting shot up pretty bad on the southern end of the island. The Marines were getting hit badly on the north. Deen recalls being transferred to the southern part of Okinawa. They enjoyed their truck ride for about thirty miles. They relieved the 267th Army group. They had lost so many men that the Marines were needed to help. Their first assignment was to take a town that the Army had tried three times before to take. The Japanese were in spider holes all over the place. Hand grenades were the weapon of the day. At that time Deen was using the Thompson submachine gun. The Japanese were able to drive them back from the town, they lost a few men on the first day. They asked for tanks with flamethrowers to come up. They were not sent up.


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