More and more debris filled the water as we neared the desolate shore.1 Several times a bullet whined near us, and I ducked behind the boat’s wheelhouse. Then, when no more came, we ventured back to watch the shore as we approached. On the beach everything was confusion. Ruin and desolation was everywhere. All of the trees were blackened by smoke and shattered by shell fire. Palms hung limply. The beach had several hundred men milling around who had just come off boats.
To our right, sporadic firing was going on. They had a sniper there. To our front, we could hear terrific explosions. A dense cloud of smoke rose above us from somewhere deeper in the island. A smaller fire raged not more than 200 yards back from the beach. I dropped my pack with an artillery outfit and started inland to look for a command post and to try and find the correspondents and get their copy out, as this was my job.