WW II BATTLES REMEMBERED ON PALAU’S PELELIU

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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Sept. 20) – Peleliu State Governor Jackson Ngiraingas and members of the United States Civic Action Team (CAT) led last Saturday’s simple ceremonies in remembering the start of war between American and Japanese forces in Peleliu, Palau on September 15, 1944.

Ngiraingas and CAT officers Steve Harvey, Billy Harger and Damon James joined members of the Peleliu women’s group Tatirou and visiting relatives of a veteran American marine who fought in the battle of Angaur and Peleliu.

The American flag was first raised at the Bloody Nose Ridge War Memorial and Monument then at the Orange Beach Monument, where they also offered flowers for their war heroes.

Palau Visitors Authority tour guide Tangi Hesus accompanied the relatives of war veteran Sgt. Fred Baker, who was with the 81st Infantry.

Baker’s relatives included his nephew Howard Terry, who was accompanied by his son Quay Terry.

Still in active duty as a reserve officer, the younger Terry fought in Iraq with the 1st Marine and he is now stationed in Long Beach, California.

Terry works with the Marine Corps Foundation, doing research and writing a book about Americans, who fought during World War II. He was with his girlfriend and Japanese historian Dan King of the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Company.

King, who served as an adviser to big movie stars in several war films, is completing a book about the Japanese soldiers during the war.

"We have to study both sides, so that we can better understand the war," he said.

He is here for two weeks to research the Japanese soldiers in the war not only in Peleliu and Angaur but also in all of Palau.

"When you walk and see the rugged terrain, you can actually feel the tragic moment that both the American and Japanese soldiers went through," King said.

A special recognition to Capt. Everett Paul, who also fought the war and has survived it, was also part of the ceremonies. He was later given Medal of Honor after his bravery with the 1st Marine Division.

The visiting relatives of the war veterans gave some photos of their loved ones.

September 21, 2006

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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