Naval History's Guide to “The Pacific”
Episode 1 - Part 1
In the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Marine Sergeant John Basilone prepares to ship out and confront the enemy in the Pacific while budding journalist Robert Leckie enlists in the Corps. Eugene Sledge, unable to enlist because of a heart murmur, says farewell to his best friend, Sidney Phillips, who is about to leave for boot camp. Exactly eight months after Pearl Harbor, the 1st Marine Division, including Leckie and Phillips, lands on Guadalcanal to secure its strategically vital airfield.
A look at the biographical information of the real people behind the main characters featured in the HBO miniseries "The Pacific." John Basilone is described by Colonel Jon T. Hoffman, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired). Robert Leckie is described by Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Greeley Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). Eugene Sledge is described by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). Basilone is a Medal of Honor recipient, Leckie war experience were captured in Helmet for my Pillow and Sledge's written accounts of his war experiences were the foundation for the book With the Old Breed.
Richard B. Frank describes the events and highlights of the Guadalcanal campaign in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He features the 1st Marine Division led by Major General Alexander Archer Vandegrift, the same unit focused on by the new HBO series "The Pacific." He looks at both sides of the battle, the U.S. and Japanese forces, and the precipitating factors that resulting in the final outcome, to include the Battle of Midway.
Richard B. Frank tells the story of Sydney Phillips, a member of 1st Marine Division in World War II, how be came to enlist, his experiences during the war, and life after it. Phillips recalls how seeing 25 stretcher cases at Cape Gloucester and not being able to do anything caused him to become a doctor, and how morale during Guadalcanal was better than could be expected because nobody knew quite what to expect.
Following the battle at Guadalcanal, General Vandegrift sent scouts to find a place where the 1st Marine Division could go to recover and unwind, and further their training & preparedness. He picked Melbourne, Australia. When the Marines arrived, they were greeted as heroes. They bonded with the Australians, many moving in with locals during their stay, and some getting engaged or married. Many of the relationships forged during the visit lasted a lifetime. Richard B. Frank tells a compelling story of peacefulness during a very violent time in our history.
Benjamin Carson USMC
Benjamin Carson has been to hell and back. He fought in some of WWII's bloodiest battles including Midway, Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. His riveting story is about what it was like to be on the "point" at Guadalcanal.