Monday, August 29, 2005

Palau - Peleliu

Our last 2 dives of the trip were off the state of Peleliu, one of the last islands to the south that make up Palau. The dives were Peleliu Cut and Peleliu Express. They call it the express because the Pacific Ocean and the Phillipine Sea meet at the point of Peleliu and the currents can run really fast. This is probably the wildest dive you can do in Palau.

One of our dive guides, Jim. He is Palauan and is a wealth of knowledge. He drove the boat to Peleliu:

Peleliu is also known for one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during WWII. The first George Bush faught as a pilot in this battle. There is a wreck to the north called "The George Bush Wreck". According to the military George, heriocally, torpedoed a Japanese ship. According to the locals the boat was not a Japanes military ship but a local boat that wasn't involved in the battle. Like father, like son. But, hey, at least he participated in the battle and wasn't hiding out in Alabama, snorting coke.

After our dives we toured the island and some of the battle scenes. First stop was:

Our guide was named Tangee. Tangee is a native of the island and has worked for many years creating the museum and studying the history of the battle. Here is Tangee standing in front of the museum. The museum's previous use was a Japanese communication center:


Below is a picture of a hole in the communication center courtesy of the U.S. military:

A picture of a picture showing the island after the battle and what the same scene looks like today:

Japanese flag from the battle:

Hari Kari sword:

U.S. Tank

U.S. star on the back of the tank:

Japanese gun at the entrance of a cave:

Rich going into one of the Japanese caves:

A picture of some artwork in the museum depicting a US soldier called Shell Shock:

There is a memorial for both the U.S. and Japanese just below a ridge called "Bloody Nose Hill". Many, many deaths occured during this battle. I was looking at the memorial and those that received the Medal of Honor and I notice an Alabama boy. He was killed in the battle:


E.A.L said...

I'm a huge DBT fan and came across your site; my grandfather faught in Peleiu in WWII.

JPW said...

Hi EAL! It is a small world. My visit to Peleliu was one of the once in a lifetime experiences. One hell of a battle occurred there. Did your gfather make it out alive?