1st To Fight: Pacific War Marines

Lesson Plans

1st to Fight: Pacific War Marines follows several Americans of the famed 1st Marine Division who took part in the United States’ first significant land offensive of World War II on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal. These same Marines then went on to fight in bloody battles at Cape Gloucester and Peleliu. This documentary, narrated by actor Jon Seda (John Basilone in HBO’s The Pacific), features impressive drone footage of Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands, as well as the remote island of Peleliu, one of the most horrific and least known battles of World War II. Peleliu cost the 1st Marine Division and the United States Army some 10,000 causalities. Peleliu was also a fight that should have been avoided, “a tragic mistake,” according to many historians. In this “then and now” film, viewers get a feel for what the battle sites look like today, comparable on-screen to some of the most incredible combat video taken in the Pacific in 1942, 1943, and 1944. Also included are interviews with those responsible today for cleaning up the hazardous tools of war that still exist on these once war-ravaged islands and with a young woman still searching for the remains of her great uncle, a Japanese soldier, killed on day two of the fight on Peleliu.