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Battle of Peleliu - Revisiting a Meat-Grinder of the Pacific War by Capt. Dale Dye, USMC (RET)

I had the rare opportunity to meet Sgt. William "Swede" Hansen (sp.) some 20 years ago who landed with K/3/1 on White Beach. He was a retired City of Tampa police officer and resided in North Tampa/Land O Lakes area. I had just finished reading Capt. George P. Hunt's book "Coral Comes High" and saw Sgt. Hansen's photo in the book. I called Sgt. Hansen and asked if he could see me as I was interested in his story. I sat down with Swede and his wife as he recounted his journey, how he met his wife and that he was really not Swedish, but Norwegian.

He told of the landing; he was not in the first wave. When he reached a flat plateau some yards in from the beach he saw Col. Chesty Puller sitting cross legged (like and Indian) facing his men as they raced further inland off the beach. He then said he "leapt over Col. Puller saying look out Chesty" and then on to the flat plateau where he saw dozens of Marines laying dead. He told me " not one of those Marines died facing the beach, they all were felled facing the enemy."

My recollection of our conversation is getting a little fuzzy now as age is a factor. He did say that he made it to the top of the point where by sundown he had dug in with a case of grenades, pulling the pins and counting to 4 as he chucked them over the parapet of coral all night long. He then said that come morning he peered over the coral to find dozens of the enemy dead and that if you were to visit that same spot today he was sure one would find that stack of grenade pins all nicely stacked as he had left them. There is much more to his store, too!

For now I Say: Simper Fi, Swede. You walked the walk.
 
i look forward to Mr. Dye's (Capt. Ret.) cameo appearances in the many movies he was an advisor to.

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same as R. Lee Ermey...

great American heros. (amongst the countless others)
 
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