75th anniversary commemoration of Battle of Peleliu Nov. 1-2

75th anniversary commemoration of Battle of Peleliu Nov. 1-2
Living historians from as far away as Japan to gather at Ft. Morgan

Living Historians from all over the country (and Japan) will be at Fort Morgan Nov. 1-2 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Peleliu, in the Pacific Theater of Operations, during WWII.
From September to November of 1944, US Marines of the 1st Marine Division, Soldiers of the Army’s 81st Infantry Division, along with Navy Seabees fought to take the small island of Peleliu, in the Palau Islands, from the Japanese. Part of Admiral Nimitz Island Hopping Campaign across the Pacific, Peleliu was one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War.
More than hundred volunteers will represent WWII Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Imperial Japanese Army Soldiers (two of which are flying in from Japan,) at Fort Morgan.
On Nov. 1, there will be training and firing demonstrations of a WWII Flamethrower, a M3 37MM Anti-tank gun from the National WWII Museum, and a variety of US and Japanese small arms. Saturday morning will be more of the same. Additionally, weather permitting, a flight of WWII Grasshopper aircraft like those that flew spotting missions over Peleliu will land at Fort Morgan,
At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Living Historians will conduct a Tactical Demonstration of the effort to take the airfield at Peleliu. Fighting down the airstrip, Marines and Soldiers will demonstrate tactics used in the assault, while Japanese reenactors will demonstrate Japanese defensive tactics. Weather permitting air support for the Marines is expected to arrive at 1:30 p.m.
Marine Corps League Member, and 1st Marine Division Peleliu combat Veteran Bud Hance (a resident of the Green Veterans Home in Bay Minette) will be in attendance Saturday to visit with the Living Historians and visitors. Bud fought on Peleliu 75 years ago, and said he is very much looking forward to the event.
Another important aspect of the Peleliu landing is the fact that it was the first time African American Marines landed in an assault with a Marine Division. Montford Point Marines with the 16th Field Depot fought valorously on Peleliu, receiving praise from the 1st Marine Division Commander. Members of the Montford Point Marine Association, Mobile Chapter, will be on hand Saturday to educate the public on the struggles of these pioneering African American Marines.
For more infor, e-mail 75Peleliu@gmail.com. Regular Fort Morgan admission rates apply, and can be found at fort-morgan.org.
Pictured: Sgt Bud Hance of Elberta worked part-time at the Lowe’s in Foley until age 95. Now 97, the Michigan spent his first-grade year in Magnolia Springs. He signed papers to join the Marine Corps three days after Pearl Harbor, and was sent to naval headquarters in Indianapolis. He was stationed at locations throughout the Pacific and was among the first wave of troops to land on Guadalcanal in August 1942. Nearly five months later, Hance’s troop moved to New Britain, the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea. His final station, Peleliu, would present a whole different picture. The Battle of Peleliu, fought from September-November 1944, had the highest casualty rate of World War II.
“It was fast and furious and 24 hours a day, and it was dry and you couldn’t get enough to drink,” Hance told the Mobile Press-Register in 2010. “I don’t relive this kind of stuff, I don’t have (PTSD). I have memories.”
Now living at the Veteran’s Home in Bay Minette, Hance returned to active duty during the Korean War.