Naval History's Guide to “The Pacific”
Episode 3 - Part 3
Physically and mentally debilitated after the ordeal on Guadalcanal, Leckie, Basilone, and thousands of their comrades land in Melbourne, where they are greeted by adoring crowds and viewed as the saviors of Australia. While his buddies carouse, Leckie becomes deeply attached to an Australian and her first-generation Greek family. Meanwhile, Basilone is awarded the Medal of Honor and is asked to return home to help sell U.S. war bonds.
Edwin C. Bearss, USMC
Bearss tells a gripping and detailed account of what it was like to get shot multiple times during the Battle of Cape Gloucester in WWII. This segment opens with Bearss (a noted Civil War historian) gruffly exclaiming, "When he hit me, it felt like a sledgehammer." The manner in which he relates this dramatic story is a colorful commentary on one man's near-death war experience. "The son-of-a-bitch is shooting a wounded man," Bearss say angrily, but softens his hard edge a bit with a slight smile. He then barks out, "Blood stinks" when he tells of how he came out of shock in the midst of the many heroic Marines wounded at Suicide Creek.