by Jeff Hohman on August 08, 2015
Some PBS stations around the country are re-running Ken Burns’ 2007 series “The War” (check local listings and times). Section 5 of the series, titled “Fubar,” while focusing partly on the Allied march into Germany, spends most of the two hour segment on the Battle of Peleliu, drawing extensively on Gene Sledge’s great book, “With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa”.
The series uses interviews with soldiers, intercut with battle footage and home front reportage, to tell the story of the war. Because Gene died in 2001, the producers, being unable to interview him, had an actor read extensive excerpts from his book. It was very effective.
Our film, “Peleliu 1944 Horror in the Pacific,” which we produced in 1991, uses extensive interview footage of Eugene along with his fellow Company K Marines: R. V. Burgin, Bill Leyden, Jay de l’Eau, and Roy Kelly. Gene was the main character portrayed in the acclaimed HBO series, “The Pacific”. R.V., Bill, and Jay were also characters in the series.
If you want to hear the straight story of what it was like to be a Marine at Peleliu, our film is as good as it gets, coming from the men themselves.