The Pacific

[National Archives and Records Administration]

Jim Hunter from Charlotte joined the 1st Marine Division on the Russell Islands in the Spring of 1944. A few months later, Hunter – a rifle platoon leader – watched in awe as battleships pounded the Pacific island of Peleliu. Hunter and his men followed on amtracs, the first wave of Marines to hit beaches there, where thirty thousand Japanese were said to be waiting – many of them, in caves. Under fire, he and his men advanced and after tanks arrived, managed to blast some of the caves. By day two of the invasion, the fighting had moved to the air strip where Hunter was hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell. He thought he had lost his arm. Evacuated under mortar fire, he was taken to a hospital ship where he didn’t wake up for two whole days.

Videos

Rob Holliday narrates the story of Pinehurst native Robert Forsyth, a renowned dog handler who served in the Marines from 1942 to 1945. He was a member of the First War Dog Platoon, where he fought overseas in the South Pacific with his canine partner Liney, a Doberman Pinscher.