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        The South Pacific: Peleliu, Leyte, Tarawa, and Iwo Jima | Ken Burns: The War

        View images taken from locations in the South Pacific during World War II, including Peleliu, Leyete, Tarawa and Iwo Jima. In 1942, as the United States entered World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, a military advisor in the Philippines, was forced to leave because of advancing Japanese troops. He vowed his return. Allied progress in the South Pacific was slow and costly. Japanese soldiers were committed to fighting to the death. U.S. Marines would take the Tarawa Atoll in 1943. In 1944, they took the island of Peleliu, a brutal battle for an island with no strategic value. Marines won another month-long brutal battle on the volcanic island of Iwo Jima. By late 1944, MacArthur and his troops would invade the Philippine island of Leyte, making good on his promise.

        Peleliu: Mail Call | Ken Burns: The War

        A combat photographer from the 1st Marine Division reads a letter. It's the first mail to arrive since fighting began on Peleliu. September, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (127-N-96525).

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        Peleliu: Waiting for a Medic | Ken Burns: The War

        While waiting in a jungle clearing for stretcher-bearers, a Marine pours a drink of water for a wounded comrade. Peleliu, September, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (127-N-94986).

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        Mortar Crew on Peleliu | Ken Burns: The War

        A 60mm mortar crew in action on Peleliu in September, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (127-N-96551).

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        Leyte: MacArthur Returns | Ken Burns: The War

        General MacArthur arrives at Leyte Island, Philippines, October, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (111-SC-349595).

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        Killed in Action at Leyte | Ken Burns: The War

        The body of a dead American soldier killed at Leyte, Phillipines. October 31, 1944. Photos like these were not released to the public by the Office of War Information during the early years of the war. Credit: The National Archives (111-SC-261564).

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        Enjoying a Pin-Up En Route to Tarawa | Ken Burns: The War

        As Tarawa burns from an artillery barrage, Marines aboard a landing craft enjoy a pin-up. 1943. Credit: The Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98192).

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        The Dead on Tarawa | Ken Burns: The War

        A Tarawa beach strewn with dead bodies and wrecked equipment. November, 1943. Credit: The National Archives (WC-1342).

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        Tarawa: Destinations | Ken Burns: The War

        A sign on Tarawa marks the distance to the beach, Tokyo, and San Francisco. June, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (WC-1197).

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        Iwo Jima: With Painted Faces | Ken Burns: The War

        Aboard a transport vessel, a Marine assault force prepares for the invasion of Iwo Jima. They are most likely wearing "flash cream," used to protect the face and hands from burns caused by the "flash" of a nearby explosion. February 19, 1945. Credit: The National Archives (127-GW-316-111236).

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        Writing about Iwo Jima | Ken Burns: The War

        A United Press reporter makes his office atop a wrecked Japanese plane on Iwo Jima. February 26, 1945. Credit: The National Archives (127-N-110348).

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        Iwo Jima: Wounded | Ken Burns: The War

        A marine recieves medical attention for wounds caused by a mortar burst on Iwo Jima. February 20, 1945. Credit: The National Archives (127-GW-331-110154).

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        Raising the Flag on Mount Suribachi | Ken Burns: The War

        The famous photo by Joe Rosenthal on Mount Suribachi. February 23, 1945. This image would help raise millions in war bonds. Credit: The National Archives (WC-1221).

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        Eugene Sledge's Unit Heads into Combat | Ken Burns: The War

        Members of Eugene Sledge's unit—the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment—are crammed into a "duck" as they head to Peleliu's front lines. October 1, 1944. Credit: The National Archives (127-N-97261).

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        Supplies Arrive | Ken Burns: The War

        Soldiers offload supplies from two Coast Guard-manned LST's on Leyte Island Beach, while others build sandbag piers to speed the unloading. Credit: The National Archives (026-G-3738).

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