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Experiencing War (Companion to the PBS Series -- The War: A Ken Burns Film) Stories from the Veterans History Project

Episode Five: “FUBAR”
September 1944 - December 1944

In the heady days after the liberation of Paris, hopes for a speedy end to the war against Germany were dashed by Operation Market Garden, a disastrous attempt by the Allies to secure a bridge over the Rhine River between Holland and Germany. Peleliu, a tiny island east of the Philippines and deemed a strategic launching point for retaking the Philippines, was the site in September and October of intense fighting in tropical heat. The Liberation of the Philippines took another six months.



[General Douglas MacArthur and aides wading ashore on Leyte, Philippine Islands]
[General Douglas MacArthur and aides wading ashore on Leyte, Philippine Islands]. October 20, 1944. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Operation Market Garden
Image: Thomas Blakey

"All these guys crying for help and dying up there in Aachen and these guys stop and make tea."

Thomas Blakey's story

Image: Albert M. Hassenzahl

"I thought that I was the only GI to land on the coast of Normandy."

Albert M. Hassenzahl's story

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And we made the landing on Peleliu, which in my opinion was the most ferocious thing I’ve ever been in."

Henry W. Andrasovsky's story

Image: Fred E. Miller

"But at Peleliu you fought 24 hours a day. I mean, it didn’t let up."

Fred E. Miller 's story

Image: John H. Sharda

"I felt as if I were finally doing what I should be doing for the war effort."

John H. Sharda's story

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"Peleliu was a mean, very mean situation."

Hubert Watt's story

Liberation of the Philippines
Image: Richard J. Foss

"It was a very noisy night. The loudest sound was my heart pounding."

Richard J. Foss' story

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"We started eating stray dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, eels ... eventually we started eating sweet potatoes..."

Severo K. Guerrero, Jr.'s story

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"We lost more to sickness than Japanese bullets on Leyte."

Richard Wendell Johnson's story

Image: Charles Rosario Restifo

"This was a very emotional moment for MacArthur and he wanted to let the Filipinos know he had set foot on their land."

Charles Rosario Restifo's story

  Home » The War: Episode Five
  The Library of Congress
  September 19, 2007
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