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R.V. Burgin in 'Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific'

R.V. Burgin, along with Bill Leyden and Jay de L'eau discuss the significance of Peleliu in a clip from Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific.

Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific, recipient of 1993 Telly Award and 1992 Columbus International Film Festival Citation as Best Documentary (re-released on DVD in 2009), tells the true story of the men of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (K-3-5) and the ferocious Battle of Peleliu, called "an island on fire", during World War II in the Pacific Theater.

In conditions that tested the sanity of each man, 9,000 Marines attacked 10,000 battle-hardened Japanese soldiers dug into hundreds of fortified and reinforced coral and limestone caves. 28 days of unrelenting battle with no quarter asked or given. Against a backdrop of archival footage and photographs, the Battle of Peleliu is told by Eugene (E.B.) Sledge (also featured in Ken Burns' film The War as seen on PBS), Bill Leyden, R.V. Burgin, Jay De L'eau (all characters, including Sledge, in the HBO mini-series, The Pacific, March 2010, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, producers) and Roy "One-Shot" Kelly is as harrowing as any in the history of modern warfare. A battle of total annihilation fought in inhuman conditions.

R.V. Burgin Biography

R.V. Burgin, author of Islands of the Damned, a memoir of his service with the U. S. Marines during World War II -- available March 2010 from New American Library (Read an excerpt from Islands of the Damned) -- was a 20 year old from Jewett, Texas, population 600, when he enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1942.

Burgin, a tough and lean Texan, was raised on a hardscrabble farm. Hard-working, athletic, and intelligent, he climbed the ranks from private to sergeant as he fought his way with Company K- 3rd Battalion – 5th Marines of the 1st Marine Division, known as the Old Breed, through Cape Gloucester, then Peleliu, and then Okinawa. Burgin was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Okinawa.

In March 2010 R.V. Burgin will be portrayed by Martin McCann in the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks $200,000,000 production, The Pacific, to be seen on HBO. (Trailer left.) Mr. Burgin was interviewed extensively by the producers regarding his wartime experiences.

In 1992 Burgin was interviewed alongside Eugene Sledge, Bill Leyden, Jay de l’Eau and Roy Kelly in The American Hero Film Series’ Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific, an award-winning documentary film on the Battle of Peleliu.