T

he men of the 1st Marine Division leave Melbourne and on the day after Christmas 1944, land on the beach at Cape Gloucester. They encounter little initial resistance - reminiscent of their landing at Guadalcanal - but the jungle and the weather work against them. It rains almost constantly affecting the men's morale and their health. Bob Leckie has been assigned to the battalion Intelligence officer but like the others, feels that the jungle is closing in on him. They are eventually evacuated to Pavuvu where Leckie falls seriously ill. He spends some time at the hospital in Banika before eventually returning to his unit. Back in the US, Eugene Sledge undergoes training at a Marine camp in California.

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