Saturday, August 16, 2014

Peleliu, Palau

Jim and I got a chance to take a quick trip to Peleliu.   The WWII battle waged here was fierce and cost thousands of lives.   An episode of "Pacific" was dedicated to this battle.   At the end, McArthur decided they didn't need the island anyway.  

We took the ferry down.  It is an old landing craft.  We grabbed a couple of spaces on a bench seat along with all the other passengers and cargo.    It poured rain most of the way down but cleared up when we got there and on Saturday we had a great tour of the island with our guide, Diane.

The ticket taker.

This guy had a few beers and decided he was Jim's best friend.

Our cute and comfy cabin right on the beach.

Jim inspects a Japanese zero in the boneyard just off the WWII airstrip.

A sad memorial to those who fell here.

Dave, an American living on Peleliu has started a very interesting museum, collecting and cataloging WWII objects found around the island.   He has volunteered his time and now the museum is in jeopardy as the very corrupt governor of Peleliu wants control over the donation box.    The museum is housed in an original Japanese building which was hit by rounds from American ships and still survived.   The governor wants a new building basically so he can embezzle much of the funding for himself.    Dave has resigned in protest.     There are a few really good guides, but some guides have sticky fingers and have removed (stolen) some of the artifacts and sold them.   Shame.    They don't know what a treasure they have there and many of the islanders know very little about the war history of Peleliu.

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