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    Peleliu Island (Beliliou)  Palau (Republic of Palau, Belau, Pelew)
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USN / USAFF c1944

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Steven Narisi 2004

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USMC September 1944

Island only 5 square miles, at the southern end of the Palau Island Group.

Wartime History
Peleliu was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War. 6,000 Japanese defended the island when the 1st Marine Division landed on September 15, 1944 on the southwest corner of the island. In two months there were over 20,000 casualties. The American drive was halted for a month on Umurbrogol ridge (know as the Battle of Bloody Nose Ridge). Organized Japanese resistance ended on October 13, 1944 although some Japanese soldiers held out for the rest of the war to harass American forces, or even longer.

Orin Whitman 1st Marine Division recalls:
"The Marines called for help, [on Peleliu] on 23rd and [from Angaur] we relieved some of the marines they were shot up bad, major Ray Davis lost 71% of his battalion any one who survived Peleliu should have some kind of metal, It was tough there. also went to Leyte PI but it was nothing like Peleliu. Went on to japan and was home 28 of Feb. 1946. Went back to peleliu in September 1999 for the 55th anniversary. The Island didn't look the same but lot of the pill boxes, bunkers, air strip,guns and gun emplacements were just as we left them, Peleliu was one hell of a place in 44, no way I can describe it."

American and Japanese missions against Peleliu
June 9, 1944 - November 29, 1944

White Beach / Bloody Beach
On September 15, 1944 "White Beach" was the site of the initial US Marine landings. There is a huge blockhouse inland of White Beach that has been renovated into the new Peleliu museum. During the battle, the blockhouse was heavily fortified and delayed the advance of the 1st Marines. Supporting arms failed to neutralize the position and it finally took the 14" guns of a battleship to destroy the fortification! Maj. Ray Davis then moved his CP group near the structure and the blockhouse was used as the 1st Battalion aid station.

Orange Beach
Located on the south-west corner of the island. On September 15, 1944 the USMC 5th and 7th Marines landed at this beach. Today, wreckage remains on shore.

Peleliu Airfield
Built by the Japanese, captured by American forces in September 1944.

Pope’s Ridge
Ridge located to the north of Peleliu Airfield

TBM-1C Avenger Bureau Number 16956
Pilot Baxter crashed September 13, 1944

Japanese Memorial
Tori gate and park area

US Army 81st Infantry Memorial
Simple memorial of two stone pillars and a white cross

Umurbrogol (Bloody Nose Ridge)
The American drive was halted for a month at this ridge by stubborn Japanese resistance. Wreckage includes an American Tank.

M4 Sherman Tank
Disabled by a mine, flipped on its side

LVT(A)-1 Landing Vehicle Tracked
Abandoned on Peleliu

War Museum
A small war museum in the main village, Klouklubed.

Bunkers and Japanese Headquarters
Japanese bunkers and headquarters building are also tucked into the jungle regrowth.

Japanese Supply Ship
This is a recently discovered shipwreck. The ship has depth charges, gas masks, helmets, forks and pots in the compartments and cargo holds.

A6M Zero
Ditched in shallow water offshore

A6M Zero
Upside down, ditched at Tim's Reef

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018


Map 1944

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