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Cape Gloucester, New Britain...

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It was one of the most
brutal physical environments

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the marines would face
in the entire Pacific War.

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At Cape Gloucester

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in a pre-invasion strike,

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U.s. 5th Air Force planes
strafed enemy positions

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and dropped 400 tons
of bombs on the beaches.

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The main objective was to
capture two military airfields

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on the western tip of New Britain

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In order to isolate
a major Japanese base

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at Rabaul on the eastern
end of the island.

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The invasion began December 26, 1943.

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It was the very beginning
of the rainy season

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and honestly I have never
seen rain anywhere in the world

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like it did on Cape Gloucester.

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We stayed wet most of the time.

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And we wore the same clothes

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I think for at least three months.

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My shoes had just about
rotted off completely

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and two little toenails
had completely gone.

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Everywhere you went
it was knee-deep mud.

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Vehicles could barely move.

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We actually saw a bulldozer go down

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and disappear in the mud.

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For the marines the
conditions in the jungle

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and the unrelenting warfare

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took a physical and psychological toll.

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The only place I ever saw
the marines morale go to hell.

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As bad as it was in the other places,

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it didn't, but the
morale went straight down.

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Everybody was exhausted.

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I mean, physically exhausted,

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mentally exhausted.

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And you'd get to the point

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that you just don't give a damn.

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You know?

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Previously on "The Pacific"...

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Welcome to Australia, mates.

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We love you.

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How many Japs you kill, Yank?

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You kill many Japs?

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Everyone's going awol,
nobody's stopping them.

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I've got be a part of this.

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Drink it out of the
glass without spilling.

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- Excuse me.
- Hey, Leckie!

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Whoa! Attaboy.

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Are you p
[...]
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