Peleliu Landing Transcript


The following is a transcript of The Pacific’s fifth episode. I have done this myself, so please don’t copy and post elsewhere.

Opening Archive Footage:

Narrator: March, 1944. After four months of fierce jungle combat, the Marines of the 1st Division were withdrawn from Cape Gloucester.

Modern Day Veteran #1: We were absolutely certain we were gonna go back to Melbourne to, uh, rest again. But, uh, no, we ended up on an island called Pavuvu.

Narrator: Pavuvu, part of the Solomon Island chain, is just north of Guadalcanal. Once a thriving coconut plantation, it was abandoned when the war broke out.

Modern Day Veteran #2: The guy that picked that out, he sure didn’t know what he was doing. It was the nastiest, dirtiest looking place under the sun.

Modern Day Veteran #3: All kinds of things just grew in profusion, especially the rat population.

Modern Day Veteran #1: The land crabs would come out at night and you could hear them clackity – clacking and clicking around, and they would get into your shoes.

Modern Day Veteran #3: A lot of training started, and it seemed to get heavier and heavier, so you knew we were gonna go somewhere into combat.

Narrator: In late August 1944, the 1st Division shipped out again, headed for a small coral island between Guam and the Philippines: Peleliu. Only six miles long and two miles wide, Peleliu held an airstrip that was close to the Philippine Islands. General Douglas MacArthur decided that the capture of that airstrip was critical to retaking the Philippines, as a stepping stone to the invasion of the Japanese mainland. The Navy bombarded Peleliu for three days and the Marines followed. The men were told that the fighting would last only a few days, but the combat on Peleliu would last more than two months, and would become as deadly as any island invasion of WWII.

Modern Day Veteran #4: I don’t think you could train for anything like that. It started when we started in. And it didn’t cease. It was, it was a nightmare.

Previously on The Pacific

Theme Plays

Basilone – Airport:

Photographer #1: Big smile, Miss Grey.

Virginia: How’s that, fellas?

Photographer #2: You look beautiful, Virginia.

Basilone: When do we say back the attack?

Marine: Every chance you get. Now the kiss on the cheek, and we gotta go. Hold that.

Basilone – Hotel Basement:

Virginia: This is a shortcut.

Cook #1: Hey, that’s Virginia Grey.

Cook #2: Hey, excuse me, I don’t believe this. You’re John Basilone. I’m gonna be in the Marine Corps.

Basilone: It’s a fine branch of our Armed Forces.

Cook #2: I report next Tuesday.

Basilone: Boot camp’s a breeze. You get to sleep in on Mondays.

Cook #2: What else?

Virginia: You coming?

Basilone: Uh, keep your head down and keep moving.

Cook #2: Look down, keep moving.

Basilone: Listen to your NCOs.

Cook #2: Thanks. What’s an NCO?

Basilone – Hotel Room:

Virginia: You handle it well.

Basilone: Handle what well?

Virginia: Membership in the famous people’s club. Just, uh, don’t be surprised if it’s not quite what you expect.

Basilone: Go on stage, say back the attack a couple hundred times, get my picture took, there’s not much to it.

Virginia: You have no idea what’s coming at you. Better keep your head down.

Basilone – Hotel Dining Room:

Basilone: What kind of message is that? My kid brother comes to visit me.

George: Am I allowed to even speak to you without saluting? Sergeant Basilone?

Basilone: Shut up, you jerk. You know I work for a living.

Al: Early morning, Sergeant Basilone.

Basilone: Hey, morning Al. Hey, how did they let this palooka into a classy joint like The Biltmore? This is my brother George, Al.

Al: Can I get you some coffee, sir?

George: Please.

Basilone: Hey, how about some breakfast?

George: I got a train to catch at 0717.

Basilone: No, no, no. Come on, Al can swing it, right Al?

Al: Breakfast? Absolutely.

George: One of us has to go back to the Marines.

Basilone: Pendleton agreeing with you?

George: Paradise by the sea. Virginia Grey agreeing with you?

Basilone: Hey, don’t you be thinking about her, she’s in good hands.

George: Yeah, but, uh, is she in the best of hands?

Basilone: Sit down.

Al: Here we are, gentlemen.

Basilone: Thanks Al.

Al: You’re welcome.

George: Giovanni, you’re everywhere.

Basilone: Yeah, they keep me running. Listen to this: 0900, I got a meeting with the governor. Then a rally at a plan in Glendale. Tonight, some big deal at the Hollywood Canteen.

George: I had a six hour pass. I go to the movies and who shows up in the newsreel? You, mum, pa, and most of New Jersey at John Basilone Day.

Basilone: That was crazy.

George: Now, don’t slug me, but, uh, can I ask you a question?

Basilone: Take your chances.

George: How scary was it: Guadalcanal? I hope I don’t freeze up or make a mistake, is all. I hope I can be as.

Basilone: George. Don’t feel like you need to prove nothing. You know what I mean?

George: No, I.

Basilone: You know what I mean?

George: Yeah.

Pavuvu, June 1944

Eugene – Troop Ship:

Leyden: Looks like Hawaii.

Eugene: No it doesn’t.

Oswalt: Hey, Sledge, Leyden, what are you doing?

Eugene: Looking at land, Oswalt.

Announcer: Attention all hands, make way to debark station. Make all preparations to offload personnel and cargo.

Eugene – Beachside Camp:

Marine #1: Let’s go. Get your gear squared away.

Marine #2: Look at the new guys.

Eugene: Looking for How Company. This How Company?

Marine #3: Two in.

Marine #4: No. Damn.

Marine #5: I could’ve told you, I fucking warned you, you fuck.

Haney: What? Huh? Yeah. Take that, you fucking Jap. And recover.

Eugene – Snafu’s Tent:

Leyden: Hello.

Eugene: This K Company? We’re supposed to be in 60 mortars, 2nd squad.

De L’Eau: Jesus, these guys are supposed to be 60 mortars.

Burgin: This is 2nd squad.

Oswalt: Robert Oswalt.

Eugene: Eugene Sledge.

Burgin: You mortars too?

Leyden: Rifleman, 3rd platoon, Bill Leyden.

Burgin: Then we’ll ignore you. That’s Snafu. That man’s De L’Eau and I’m Corporal Burgin. Find yourself a bunk.

Snafu: Taken. Taken.

De L’Eau: Come on, I’ll show you around, find you another tent.

Eugene – Around the Camp:

De L’Eau: This is where they dry dock us when we’re not killing Japs. Over there is chow. Heads. King Company skipper, Captain Haldane. Everybody calls him Ack – Ack.

Sledge: And what’s your name?

De L’Eau: De L’Eau. Capital D, small e, capital L, apostrophe, capital E, small a, small u, De L’Eau. Jay De L’Eau.

Eugene: Were you, uh, on Guadalcanal?

De L’Eau: Gloucester. Capital G, small l. Grab a rack in that second tent over there.

Eugene: Thanks. Sure thing. Oh, uh, uh, you know where I could find a How Company? 1st Marines?

De L’Eau: Somewhere over there.

Marine #1: Wanna get some chow?

Marine #2: Been waiting for it.

Leckie – Tent:

Leckie: Ho, ho, ho.

Runner: You know this guy?

Hoosier: Mug’s ugly enough to ring a few bells.

Chuckler: Gloucester maybe? Was it Gloucester?

Runner: Was it Gloucester?

Chuckler: Was he on Gloucester? He may have been on Gloucester.

Runner: He looks familiar.

Chuckler: Maybe he was on Gloucester.

Runner: I don’t know, he’s ugly.

Leckie: Fuck you all.

Hoosier: Looks like a land crab that once crawled up my pee hole.

Runner: Hey, welcome home, Cobber.

Chuckler: You have a good vacation?

Leckie: Anything to get away from you bastards?

Runner: We’re not so lucky.

Leckie: Oh, jeez.

Chuckler: Ho, there you go.

Leckie: What’s in this?

Runner: When it tastes this bad, it’s hard to tell. Hey, what you got?

Leckie: Pens. Tell Santa whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

Runner: Naughty. The naughtiest.

Chuckler: It’s June.

Leckie: It’s the South Pacific. Christmas comes in June. For Hoosier, ’cause he’s always saying his prayers and making his bed.

Runner: Look that that.

Chuckler: That’s beautiful.

Leckie: Chuckler?

Chuckler: Yeah? Thank you.

Leckie: Heavier reading.

Runner: With pictures.

Leckie: Here you go. Something for Runner’s stocking.

Runner: Oh, I read this already.

Eugene – Elsewhere in the Camp:

Sid: I don’t believe it. Something’s wrong. Something’s very wrong if you made it through boot camp.

Eugene: Give me a break, you old greaser, come on.

Haldane: Get up off my deck.

Eugene: Captain Haldane.

Sid: Sir.

Haldane: What’s this about, Marine? Some rite of greeting new to the Corps?

Sid: Yes, sir. Um, I mean, no, sir.

Haldane: Who are you?

Eugene: Private Eugene Sledge, sir.

Haldane: You fellas know each other or is this some kind of conflict resolution?

Eugene: Old friends, sir. From Mobile, Alabama, sir.

Haldane: Mobile?

Sid: Yes sir.

Haldane: Old friends, huh?

Jones: That explains it.

Haldane: As you were. But try not to dislocate a shoulder or break an arm. We need both you men healthy.

Eugene: Sir.

Sid: Sir.

Haldane: Carry on.

Eugene: Get me in hot water on the first day.

Sid: Yeah, well, you deserve it. Welcome to paradise.

Eugene: How do you get used to the smell around here?

Sid: You think this shit heap stinks now, you shoulda seen it when we first got here. It was wall to wall rats, crabs and rotten coconuts. Thank god I’m rotating home.

Eugene: I can’t believe I finally get here and you go home. When you leaving?

Sid: When the Marine Corps tells me. What’s your unit?

Eugene: K35. A mortarman, just like you.

Haney: Hallelujah. The health of the Corps is only as strong as the health of the individual Marine. Marines will make every effort to keep themselves clean. Hey, don’t you quit on me, fucker.

Marine: You’ve gotta be kidding.

Haney: Not till I’ve rinsed.

Eugene – Mess:

Sid: They get hot chow to you when they can. You know, it might only be crud like this, but when you been on the line taking fire, hot chow is a miracle.

Eugene: Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Leyden: What is that, baby food?

Sid: You know, you laugh, you laugh, but that might be worth its weight in gold someday. You get hungry enough, somebody’ll want to trade for it. You do not trade this ever. 45 will stop a Jap better than a clip in your carbine. You hit one of the suckers in the head with that, take his arm right off. You can write your father a nice thank you note for that.

Marine: Working party – three of you boots go with Snafu. Hurry up.

Snafu: You heard the Sergeant, now.

Sid: You don’t mind, do you, Leyden?

Eugene – Motor Pool:

Snafu: You assholes are gonna miss cleaning out oil barrels pretty soon. You’re gonna be humping up some fucking hill, or across a beach, Japs pouring shit for fire, pissing your pants, crying boo hoo, and wishing you were back here with nothing asked of you but to scrub oil outta drums.

Leyden: Why don’t you grab a brush and give us a hand?

Snafu: Fuck that shit, I scrub drums for no man.

Eugene: Can we take a break?

Snafu: Do whatever you want. This ain’t my detail. I was supposed to dump ya’ll off here, then report back to the CP.

Oswalt: Then why are you still here?

Snafu: I like to watch the new guys sweat.

Eugene – The Beach:

Sid: Ah. Are those the most but ugly creatures you ever saw before in your life?

Eugene: Jesus, Sid.

Sid: When you start pulling them out of your hooch in the morning, you won’t feel so tender hearted.

Eugene: Lost mine in the polk. Or somebody took it, maybe one of the swabbies wanted a souvenir.

Sid: Yeah? Some of the guys think they’re good luck. I don’t know. You can have this one. I got a couple. Here.

Eugene: Thank you.

Sid: Yeah, sure.

Eugene: Sid? What’s it like?

Sid: I slept with a woman in Melbourne. I’m not bragging. But that’s at one end, right? And then way down there, as far as you can go, and that’s what it’s like. And that, that you can never imagine.

Eugene: Ok. I’m gonna miss you, Sid.

Sid: You’ll be alright.

Leckie and Eugene – Open Air Cinema in Camp:

Woman: Roberto, are you angry about something?

Man: Of course not.

Woman: I’m glad. I won’t cry anymore.

Chuckler: Dear Christ in heaven, would you look at her?

Woman: I don’t know how to kiss, or I would kiss you. Where do the noses go?

Marine: There we go.

Hoosier: What are you waiting for? Fuck her.

Snafu: Think she’s blonde down there?

Woman: Look, Pilar. Roberto fell in the brook.

Eugene – Camp Training Area:

Haney: Fire. Cease Fire. Cease fire on the firing line. You stupid, goddamn shave tail son of a bitch. You keep your fucking weapon pointed downrange or I will shove that fucking piece up your sorry fucking ass.

Haldane: Don’t look at me, Lieutenant, the Gunny’s right.

Haney: Next relay.

Eugene – Outside Leckie’s Tent:

Eugene: You seen Phillips?

Hoosier: I believe the angels are shipping out. You might catch them back down at the docks.

Leckie and Eugene – Leckie’s Tent:

Leckie: Sid was my best customer. When you’ve finished, please return it to the Pacific Library of Congress.

Eugene: Kipling. Always good.

Leckie: Ah, most of these jokers can’t read.

Eugene: Have you heard the latest about the other war?

Leckie: There’s another war?

Eugene: We invaded Europe. Landed last month in France.

Leckie: Hell, unless you got a brother over there, most guys don’t give a shit.

Eugene: My brother landed in Italy, tank battalion.

Leckie: Well, I guess you get to give a shit.

Eugene: Just coffee, thanks.

Leckie: Now, that explains it. You’re a believer.

Eugene: Yes.

Leckie: Ok, question. God created everything, right? The heavens, the seven seas, the Marine Corps, Sleeping Beauty there.

Eugene: Even him.

Leckie: Land crabs, rats, mosquitoes.

Eugene: The mosquitoes are a little tough to understand, I guess.

Leckie: God created Japs too, right? Yellow slants who’ve tried to kill me on many occasions? Japs come from the Garden of Eden too?

Eugene: Well, what we do is up to us. He gives us a choice.

Leckie: Free will. Right. Except he’s God, of course, so he knows what we’re gonna do before we do it.

Eugene: Predestination.

Leckie: So the whole game is fixed by the will of gramps on his throne while we’re down here for what? His entertainment? That makes us chumps, or God’s a sadist. Either way, I got no use for him.

Eugene: So what do you believe in?

Leckie: I believe in ammunition. Tell you what, though, since I’m not on speaking terms with him anymore, next time you’re having a chat with the old geezer, can you ask him to sink a few Jap transports and have ’em all fall on their bayonets so I can get the fuck outta here and go home? I sure would appreciate it. You go ahead and keep it. I don’t know why I have it in the first place.

Eugene: No thanks. I’ve got my own.

Peleliu – September 1944

Eugene – Troop Ship:

Haldane: Follow in the man in front of you and get off that beach. And when you get to the tree line, remember to clear your weapons of sand.

Marines: Aye, sir.

Haldane: Mortarmen.

Jones: Here you go, Marines.

Haldane: Make sure you have four HE rounds set for fire. Good luck. Good bless.

Marine #1: You heard the skipper, get your gear on, move.

Leyden: How’s my pack? Let’s get it done, Eugene.

Marine #2: 2nd squad, fourth boat.

Marine #3: Get inside. Easy, easy. Get inside.

Marine #4: Section 1 and 2 loading.

Haldane: Good luck, Sledge.

Eugene: Thank you, sir.

Haldane: Sergeant.

Eugene – Troop Boats:

Eugene: I don’t smoke.

Snafu: Yeah?

Haldane: Here we go, boys. Stay the fuck down. Fire, open fire. Load and lock, gentlemen.

Marine #5: Load and lock.

Marine #6: Load and lock.

Marine #7: Load and lock.

Haldane: Stand by, Marines.

Jones: Here we go, let’s go, let’s go.

Leckie and Eugene – Peleliu Beach/Forest:

Jones: Move, move, move. Go, go, go. Move out.

Marine #1: Fuck.

Marine #2: Let’s move out. Let’s go, let’s go. Keep it moving. Keep moving. Go, go, go. Move your ass.

Marine #3: Keep moving.

Haldane: Sledge, get on the beach, let’s make a move.

Marine #4: Let’s go, let’s go.

Marine #5: Marines, move it.

Marine #6: I’m hit, I’m hit. I’m bleeding out. I’m bleeding out. I’m bleeding out, help.

Marine #7: Let’s go, get fire on the greener.

Marine #8: I’m hit, I’m hit.

Marine #9: I can’t breathe.

Marine #10: Get up, get up, get up.

Marine #11: Corpsman.

Marine #12: Marine, let’s go this way.

Sledge: Come on.

Marine #13: Hold the mortars down. Hold the mortars.

Burgin: Easy on the water, easy on the water.

Jones: Where the hell is Love Company?

Marine #14: Is this 37?

Jones: No, 35.

Marine #14: Well, where the hell is the 7th Marines?

Jones: You’re on Orange Beach 3. 37’s supposed to be on our right flank.

Marine #14: Goddamn cocksucking son of a bitch.

Haldane: Go, Sledge, you gotta find a. They got us bracketed, we gotta move. Let’s go, get your ass out of this hole. Let’s go, move.

Marine #15: Move, get up there.

Marine #16: Come on, hurry up. Let’s go.

Haldane: Sledge, goddamn it, you gotta get your ass out of that hole right now. Move it. Move forward, join your squad. Move.

Marine #17: Move, move, move.

Marine #18: Keep your heads down.

Leckie: Aw, fuck.

Marine #19: We gotta get off the beach.

Leckie: I know.

Marine #19: Leckie, you gotta move.

Leckie: Leave me the fuck alone.

Marine #20: I’m fucking bleeding out.

Haldane: Keep ’em here, Gunny, I gotta find 2nd platoon.

Haney: Aye, aye, sir.

Haldane: Hillbilly. You’re with me, bring a runner. Let’s go.

Jones: You, let’s go.

Marine #21: K Company?

Haney: Part of it.

Marine #21: You’re supposed to hook up with the rest of the battalion in the southern edge of the airfield, in the brush line.

Haney: Got it.

Marine #21: You guys got any water?

Haney: No, we ain’t got any fucking water.

Marine #21: Southern edge of the airfield.

Haney: Everybody, take another salt pill.

Jones: Gunny. Bring them up here.

Haney: Do it later, we gotta move. Let’s go.

Marine #22: Keep moving.

Marine #23: First team on me, let’s go. Covering fire. Shift left. Keep the fire on ’em.

Marine #24: What’s moving that down?

Leckie: Oh, Bill, Bill.

Hoosier: Dropped my fucking weapon.

Leckie: Corpsman. Corpsman. Corpsman. Corpsman. Hey, everthing’s gonna be fine, Bill. It ain’t shit, everthing’s gonna be fine. It ain’t shit. Dammit. Corpsman. There you are, goddamn it.

Marine #25: Pressure, pressure.

Hoosier: Sorry.

Leckie: What? Bill?

Marine #25: Help me carry him back.

Leckie: Bill? Bill? Bill?

Leckie and Eugene – Edge of Peleliu Airfield:

Snafu: Son of a bitch. Those are Jap tanks.

Jones: Mortars. Get me some HE on those sons of bitches. Now, let’s go, let’s go.

Burgin: You heard the Lieutenant. Let’s go. Move out. Hold there. Hold there.

Snafu: Hot load.

Eugene: Hanging.

Snafu: Fire.

Eugene: Hanging.

Snafu: Fire.

Jones: Drop 25.

Eugene: Hanging.

Snafu: Fire. Drop two.

Eugene: Hanging.

Snafu: Fire.

Eugene: Hanging.

Snafu: Fire.

Eugene: Round’s complete.

Jones: Fall back fifty and dig in. Let’s go.

Snafu: Oh, shit.

Marine #1: Fall back.

Marine #2: Fuck.

Marine #3: Spread out, spread out.

Leckie: Chuckler? Chuckler? You see Chuckler or Runner?

Marine #4: Who?

Leckie: Juergens or Conley, H21?

Marine #4: Never heard of ’em.

Marine #5: Lieutenant wants us up front. Let’s go.

Runner: Leckie. Leckie:

Leckie: Runner.

Runner: Are you ok?

Leckie: Thirsty. Hoosier got hit.

Marine #6: Keep moving, keep moving. Let’s go, let’s go.

Snafu: You going Asiatic?

Eugene: My feet are soaking wet.

Snafu: What are you gonna do in your stocking feet when the fucking Japs bust through the line?

Haldane: You men got enough ammo?

Snafu: Sure thing, skipper.

Haldane: Perimeter’s thirty yards out from your hole. LP’s out beyond that. The password’s lilliputian. One man awake at all times.

Snafu: Lilliputian?

Eugene: Hard for the Japs to say? Hard for me to say.

Snafu: Trade you. Shit I forgot about that guy. We’re rich, boys. Jap’s got a shitload of gold in his teeth. Gold is what, thirty bucks an ounce? Take the first watch. Wake me up in four hours. Anything moves, kill it.

Oswalt: Look at that. You ever been to the Grand Canyon?

Eugene: No.

Oswalt: My dad went when he was a boy. He was always going on about it when I was little. I’d ask him about it. He’d say I had to see it to understand it. Finally took me when I was ten. We got there late at night to these cabins, couldn’t see a thing on account of the dark. Next morning we got up, went outside. Ten yards from where we slept, the fucking Grand Canyon. A mile down, colours I’d never seen before. My dad was right. Pictures don’t show it. You have to be there, looking down into it.

Snafu: Shut the fuck up, you idiot.

Eugene: We have to go out there tomorrow.

Next Time on The Pacific

End Credits Play


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