4:03 | Exhausted after three days of hard fighting on Peleliu with multiple wounds, Frank Pomroy finds himself separated from his unit. He runs into a Japanese patrol and then is almost killed by his own men.
Frank Pomroy recounts his exploits upon arriving at Guadalcanal on the USS George F. Elliot, his numerous brushes with death on that ship, and witnessing firsthand the Allied defeat at the Battle of Savo Island.
In the marshes of Peleliu, Frank Pomroy has a face to face encounter with a Japanese soldier where neither man comes out unscathed.
Frank Pomroy recalls having to leave his commanding officer, Lt. Fournier, behind, to hold a position by himself, as Frank tries to escape with a badly wounded leg.
After the severe damage to the USS George F. Elliot, Frank Pomroy and a few other men try to survive in the shark infested waters of the South Pacific.
On October 13, 1942, Frank Pomroy and his unit try to survive a Japanese bombing run on an airport on the island of Guadalcanal.
Frank Pomroy recounts the injury of friend and fellow Marine, Ben Coffee, while in combat on Peleliu.
On Peleliu, Frank Pomroy gets into combat with Japanese troops in the dead of night in the Battle of Coffin Corner.
Frank Pomroy recalls the landing at Peleliu from the prep to the landing on the sandy beaches where Frank and a fellow Marine tried desperately to stay alive.
Frank Pomroy recalls how a fellow Marine is seriously injured by friendly fire.
Frank Pomroy tells the "sinful little story" about how he joined the Marine Corps in 1941.
Frank Pomroy describes how the Battle of Savo Island was the Navy's greatest defeat during World War II due primarily to Japan's night-fighting superiority.
Aside from the fronts in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, Frank Pomroy contends that there was actually a third war going on at the time with General MacArthur.
After fighting at Guadalcanal and arriving at Cape Gloucester, Frank Pomroy describes the Battle of Coffin Corner, which resulted in the loss of a close friend.
Frank Pomroy remembers being part of the first wave onto the island of Peleliu and coming face to face with a Japanese soldier during a banzai charge.
Frank Pomroy recalls a memorable experience with legendary Marine officer Chesty Puller on the island of Pelelieu.
While fighting Japanese forces on the island of Pelelieu, Frank Pomroy remembers trying to save a fellow soldier who had been hit by friendly artillery.
It was their third mission over Berlin and they were heading home. Four German fighters pounced on the B-24 and it was engulfed in flame and going down. Clyde Burnette fought for consciousness as the other crew in the back of the plane bailed out. He woke in free fall with no idea how he had made it out, and soon he was in German custody. Everyone made it out of the plane except George "Danny" Daneau, the nose turret gunner, who went down with the aircraft.
After a nerve-wracking mission to bomb Tokyo and a typhoon, B.E. Vaughn and the destroyer O'Brien suffered a second kamikaze attack which killed all three of his hometown pals who served with him on board. Then, began the grim task of collecting the personal belongings of the dead and preparing them for burial at sea.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
Two engines were out, a third smoking, and they were were losing airspeed and altitude, but they were flying level and pointed home. Then time ran out for the B-17 and Don Scott had to slip down the hatch into the slipstream. Part 2 of 3.
Former WWII Chinese fighter pilot Fred Chiao was recruited by Col. Ed Rector to help build a new Chinese Air Force on Taiwan. Regional politics ensued as President Marcos used Clark Air Force Base as a bargaining chip with Washington.
The chief commissary steward would give you some tough jobs, says mess cook Curt Beckham. It could be hundreds of individually wrapped sandwiches or a breakfast cream sauce, but it was always too much work. There was a screwball in the outfit, though, and he had a joke backfire that involved one of the sandwiches.
You don't want to mess with a newly liberated POW. Ed Laporta had to dress down an imbecilic MP when he arrived back in the states and not long after, could be seen leaping over a steam table to get at a non-compliant German prisoner who was serving the food.
When Lyman Taylor arrived in Leyte as part of Gen. MacArthur's technical team, he had to ask about the gruesome sight he saw in the street. He was a Cryptographic Technician in the Navy but his rating was "Electrician." Lyman Taylor had to explain this when he got in theater and they put him in an engine room aboard ship.
While sailing in formation between ports in the Pacific, Ed Bean recalls a destroyer running off path and cutting in front of the USS New Jersey, a much larger battleship. The anchor alone of the USS New Jersey inflicted heavy damage to the other ship, enough to kill the captain of the destroyer and injure another crew member.
Fred Chiao gave his P-40 a Chinese name and lovingly sanded the skin to make it smooth, but he had to bail out when he was hit while attacking advancing Japanese troops. Fighting for control of the plane, he realized a bullet had pierced his jaw.
The Russians had liberated them but when they were told they were going to Russia, the answer from the GI's was swift, "No way!" An American convoy caused the Russians to back off and the destination became Camp Lucky Strike and then, the Statue of Liberty.
After battling across rugged Italian mountains in a fierce rainstorm, the company commander lost his cool. Leonard Dziabas recalls how the Captain just left the company there, with no idea of orders or mission. Told by the Colonel to look for a wayward unit, they nearly ran into a German battalion before finding the lost company nearly annihilated.
Robert Gibbs only used his Georgia Tech engineering degree for two months before he was called up. He was already an ensign in the Navy, thanks to ROTC. There was a feeling that war was coming, he remembers, and when it did come, he was on a destroyer in the Caribbean, which was a hunting ground for German submarines.
When the 1st Armored Division hit Casablanca, there was no opposition, but along the coast at Oran, it was a different story. Ed LaPorta had the landing craft blown out from under him, but thanks to his training, he made it to shore. By the time the German fortress was knocked out, his company had suffered 80 % casualties.
The volunteers had to put a testy train conductor in his place on their way to Ft. Sam Houston. Once there, Leonard Dziabas was reclassified as a machine gunner, without any benefit of training on the weapon. After an absurd, meandering train journey across the Midwest and the South, he faced one last test before he could go overseas. It seems he was never qualified with his sidearm.
The brand new carrier USS Shangri-La carried out an attack on Tokyo, then participated in the Okinawa invasion, and then returned to attack Tokyo again. Curt Beckham was a mess cook on the ship and he had a battle station as well, down in the ammunition room.
While Edgar Dunlap was stationed in the Pacific, he was given the chance to meet Senator Richard Russell. Not only were Senator Russell and Ed from the same state, but the Senator was also a friend of Ed's father. While Ed was digging a latrine, the Senator's aide approached him, and told him to get in formal clothes to meet the Senator. Unfortunately, Ed was already wearing his best clothes.
At first they were confident a relief convoy would appear around the corner at any moment. That convoy never came. As MacArthur left for Australia and Bataan was written off by the men at the top, Bert Schwarz and the rest of the Battling Bastards of Bataan faced an overwhelming enemy force and were captured. Rocky Gause was one man who wasn't going to take it.
As a special treat, some actresses came to Biak to put on a show for the enlisted men. All the lights were turned off except the klieg lights. Around 8:30 that night, the show had started and a lone Japanese bomber saw the lights. He approached the airstrip and bombed it.
Jimmy Adams describes the living conditions in India. He recalls the bad weather conditions, having to accumulate his own supplies for their living quarters, and getting to know one of the Indian locals who had effectively been his servant.
Submarine Commander Robert Gibbs describes a rescue training exercise that involved a watertight tank lowered from the surface vessel. Later, after that training duty, the sub was finally outfitted with radar, it broke down immediately, but a persistent technician saved the boat with his efforts.
The ending of the war resulted in everyone going back home except Leonard Meyer. He was ordered to gather all the supplies and turn them in to the quartermaster. After completing his order, he saw three Filipino girls with absolutely nothing, so he gave them two torn blankets and some K-rations. Moments later, two MPs came by to arrest him for the improper distribution of government property.
Fred Chiao’s 29th Squadron never lost any of the young American pilots flying for him. But he had to venture toward enemy territory in a small trainer to rescue one who had bailed out.
The sight of the first modern superhighway, the Autobahn, was stunning for Bud Sosebee when he traveled on one in the waning days of the war. Stunning in a different way was the sight of stacks of civilian bodies in the last town contested. He had just dodged an anti-tank rocket but was still upset at the deaths and he reveals why there were so many.
Bert Schwarz tells the story of the cross built by POW's when a Japanese guard gave them a sack of cement for a shrine to their dead comrades. The most able bodied were sent to Davao Penal Colony which had farms and orchards. This was where Schwarz became an expert at rice farming.
Ira Bray talks about how American Jeep drivers had a habit of driving with their windshields down, which led to a nasty German trick of running piano wire neck-high across roads. The Americans, in turn, devised a means to disable the wire without having to raise their windshields.