Part Five of “The Pacific”
Basilone is still on his war bond drive back in the United States with beautiful starlet Virginia Grey.
Meanwhile on the island of Pavuvu, Eugene Sledge catches up with his Alabama buddy Sid Phillips, only to find out that Sid is headed back home. Sledge asks him before he leaves, “What’s it like?” ” You can never imagine,” replies Phillips.
15 September 1944: Eugene Sledge finally heads into combat on the coral atoll of Peleliu (Click here for the history of the battle). Leckie’s unit also comes ashore on another equally, heavily defended beach. The Marines suffer tremendous casualties in getting ashore. Once ashore the Marines have to fight off a Japanese counterattack with one of the few instances of the Japanese using their poorly armored and obsolete tanks.
Sledge observes the horrors of war and as night falls…wonders what the next day will hold as they attempt to take the airfield on Peleliu and realizes that he may not live to get home…
Sid Phillips arrives back in the United States and visits Sledge’s family.
Back on Peleliu, Leckie has been blown off his feet and knocked unconscious. He awakes on a hospital ship with a few of his buddies and quietly the ship is sailing away and taking them out of the war.
Sledge displays a calm demeanor as he safely charges across the airfield on Peleliu and his buddies note his valor and performance by assigning him the moniker of “Sledgehammer.”
Sledgehammer begins to note his combat experiences on the pages of his New Testament…but his baptism of fire is far from complete as even tougher fighting lies ahead for the Marines on Peleliu…