Monday, September 30, 2013

View from gap, Harpers Ferry, WV 
United States Marines
Commanding Officer
Colonel Robert E. Lee, U.S. Army
Fire Engine and Guard House
Harpers Ferry Armory, West Virginia

A fire engine house, a guardhouse, a watchtower, a fort, a prison, a storage place for junk, a World Fair exhibit, a campus museum, and a post for a Ground Observer Corps. And in four different locations. No wonder the little building, "humble in origin," now on the grounds of Storer College at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, known as "John Brown's Fort," is regarded as one of our most historic buildings.

In this "Fire Engine and Guard House" John Brown took refuge when his raid on Harpers Ferry, in 1859, brought mounting resistance. Here, he and the remnant of his faithful followers were beaten down and captured by U. S. Marines under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee, and the hostages whom he had assembled there with him were released. A new name now for the little structure - "John Brown's Fort" - and later, new locations too.

The "Fort" was built in 1847 to serve the U. S. Armory and Arsenal. It is a one-story brick building, 35 1/2 by 24 feet, with walls 114 feet high, gable slate roof, and open belfry. Its original site was just inside the Armory yard, near the present Baltimore and Ohio depot at Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, when the town was taken first by one and then another of the Union and Confederate armies, the "Fort" was used alternately by both forces as a guardhouse and a prison. After the war it was only a storage place for junk. But there was new fame ahead, and much traveling, including a trip to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1892. The writer still feels the sorrow that was his when his closest friend set out for the World's Fair, and he was left behind. But the John Brown Fort went to the Fair.

In the early summer of 1892 a group gathered at Washington, headed by Adoniram J. Holmes, of Boone, Iowa, a Civil War veteran and former Congressman, conceived the idea of removing the Fort to Chicago for display as one of the attractions of the World's Columbian Exposition. A company was organized with Holmes as President, and negotiations for purchase of the building were begun. The owners were reluctant to sell, and were supported in protests by the people of Harpers Ferry and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The sale, however, was finally consummated. Joseph Barry, the local historian, mourned that with its departure "much of the glory of Harper's Ferry is gone forever."

The building was torn down with the utmost care, the pieces numbered and the various parts were boxed separately, and shipped to Chicago. It was re-erected at 1341 Wabash Avenue in Chicago, outside the Exposition grounds, and enclosed in a neat frame building. It was opened to public view in mid-September, 1892. The architect declared that if the slightest difference could be found in the construction of the building now from what it was when it stood at Harpers Ferry, he would return to the company the entire amount of his compensation.

During the Exposition visitors in considerable numbers paid admission to enter the Fort, where they saw relics of John Brown on exhibition, and heard a lecture delivered by Colonel S. K. Donavin, who had been an eye-witness of the raid and subsequent trial and execution as a correspondent for the Baltimore Daily Exchange. The Fort Company had endeavored to get some one of John Brown's family to appear as guide and lecturer, but none was willing to make this public appearance. A daughter, Annie Brown Adams, housekeeper at the Kennedy Farm and last survivor of the company gathered there, wrote from her home at Petrolia, California: "I may be a relic of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, but I do not want to be placed on exhibition with other relics and curios, as such."

The Exposition came to an end in 1893, but it was not the end of the Fort, although it might have seemed so. The venture was not a financial success, and at the end of the Fair, the historic fire engine house passed from the sheriff's hands into those of wreckers, and it was again taken down to make way for the stables of a department store. The bricks and timbers were stacked only as "material." But it will rise again, for John Brown's Fort was not entirely friendless.

Back in Washington, where the movement started to take the Fort to Chicago, a lone woman began a single-handed campaign to save the old building from utter destruction. This woman was Kate Field, noted journalist, actress, lecturer and publisher of Kate Field's Washington, a weekly magazine of criticism and current affairs. She thought of the pile of bricks and timbers and felt it a shame that something was not done to preserve them, and in her own mind worked out a plan of returning the material to Harpers Ferry to be reerected at the center of a park. She had been interested in John Brown for years - twenty-five years earlier she had raised funds to purchase the John Brown farm at North Elba, New York, to save Brown's home and grave from falling into alien hands. When, in 1870, she was told that she would ruin herself as a lecturer if she insisted on eulogizing John Brown, "Then let me be ruined," was her reply.

But Miss Field was in failing health. She discontinued her magazine and closed her affairs in Washington in the early summer of 1895. However, she did not lose sight of her plans for the Fort. After a couple of visits to Harpers Ferry to look for a site, she started to the west. At Chicago she met her old friend H. H. Kohlsaat, publisher of the Chicago Times-Herald, who gave her an assignment to Hawaii to write for his paper and to work for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. Meanwhile, she continued her campaign to restore the John Brown Fort - she secured permission of the owners to take possession of the pile of bricks and timbers without cost to her. Now her big problem was to secure sufficient funds to carry out the plan of restoration.

Colonel Simpson K. Donavin who had lectured on John Brown in the period of the Exposition wished to promote lecture tours, that he might continue to tell the John Brown story. Knowing Miss Field's interest in Brown, he hoped she might be willing to assist him in his plans, and to this end he appealed to his intimate friend, Attorney Robert McCabe, with whom he had been closely associated in Delaware, Ohio, to arrange an interview for him with Miss Field. The interview was arranged at Chicago. Then, Miss Field turned to Mr. McCabe to assist her in her plans to restore the Fort.

The writer, when living in Delaware, Ohio, heard the story which follows from Robert McCabe himself, and it is presented here as he told it.

Miss Field and Mr. McCabe undertook to raise the funds necessary for the restoration but were not too successful at the start. Men of means ridiculed their appeal for financial aid for such a "wild scheme." One wealthy man said he would not "give a cent for such a crazy idea," and that "you two ought to be ashamed of yourselves." And then he gave one hundred dollars. Other amounts of ten, fifteen and twenty dollars were secured but the total was far too small. It looked discouraging.

One day when "the two" were wondering if their plan must fail because of lack of funds, Miss Field suddenly cried out: "What is the matter with me? I have not used my wits." She had been watching the smoke that poured out from the chimneys of some of Chicago's largest breweries. "All my life I have stood for personal liberty, and have lectured on it since I was a girl," she said. In her lectures she had often said: "I believe in temperance which does not enforce total abstinence on one's neighbors; I believe in personal liberty."

Acting at once on Miss Field's new idea of approach, they set out together and first visited the McAvoy brewery on 23rd Street and South Park Way. Kate Field sent in her card, and almost before they were aware of it they were ushered into the presence of Mr. McAvoy in his inner office. "What do you want?" asked the brewer, with his usual directness. He laughed when he was told the purpose of their errand. "How much do you want?" he asked. Miss Field told him they needed two thousand dollars to complete the restoration. "Will that be enough?" was his further question. "I think I can get that much for you." He called for some of his associates and in a short time the sum of two thousand dollars was in Miss Field's possession. It was placed in the care of Charles L. Hutchinson, of the Corn Exchange National Bank in Chicago. Mr. Hutchinson was the son of the famous old "Hutch," known so well for his trading in wheat.

The work now began in earnest. Miss Field secured from Melville E. Stone, head of the Associated Press, the free use of the A. P. wire service for the transaction of all business connected with her plan. Also, she was given free transportation by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad of all material from Chicago to Harpers Ferry; and in addition, free passes for all persons in any way connected with the work of restoring the John Brown Fort.

Although the railroad was willing to grant the original site, or one as near to it as changed conditions would permit, Kate Field, for some reason, preferred a new location. Seven acres on the farm of Alexander Murphy on Bolivar Heights were finally secured. A local newspaper described the site: "The place on Murphy's farm selected for the re-erection of the John Brown Fort is the point at Bull's Falls where the Shenandoah makes a sharp curve. The Fort will be seen from the cars as they go over from the Island of Virginia and past the pulp mill. There are in the neighborhood beautiful sites for summer homes."

Now that sufficient funds had been raised and a site chosen, the next thing that must be done was to choose some one to supervise the construction. A man claiming to be a contractor presented himself and gave assurance that he was peculiarly fitted to do the work. Many others offered their services, some of them Negroes; in fact, several applicants seemed to covet this opportunity, especially that of handling the funds. The first applicant, Edward Cummins, had what Mr. McCabe called "an affidavit face." He seemed so sincere that he was finally entrusted with the responsibility of restoration. He spoke at length of the appeal this enterprise made to him, and said he would regard it as the greatest honor of his life to restore the historic old building. He made clear that he would charge nothing apart from his necessary expenses in view of the great privilege that would be his in this most worthy undertaking.

Kate Field left for Hawaii in early September, 1895, but before leaving, she entrusted to her friend and attorney, Robert McCabe, the completion of the work she had begun, and made him sole custodian of the remaining funds.

Mr. McCabe soon faced objections. Rumors began to be circulated that it was the intention to recover, if possible, the remains of the followers of John Brown who lost their lives at the time of the raid whose bodies had been buried along the Shenandoah. The Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town newspaper, reported: "When Kate Field can get a piece of ground large enough on which to replace the old enginehouse these bodies will be reinterred near the fort and a monument erected above them, bearing their names and the incidents of their death." The article indicated no opposition to a plan "to re-erect the enginehouse where Robert E. Lee captured the old villain," but to memorialize "his crew" was "going just a little too far, and those engaged in it had better think twice before they attempt it." On October 5, 1895, Mr. McCabe wrote a letter to George W. Haines, Esq., of Charlestown, West Virginia, editor of the Spirit of Jefferson, in which he made clear that he was well acquainted with the views of Miss Field before she left for Hawaii, and that she had left matters wholly in his hands. He declared the rumor to be unfounded, that "Miss Field has no desire or intention of offending your people, and that John Brown's Fort would not have been returned had the movement met with opposition." That much was settled, but there was more to come.

Meanwhile Cummins had gone from Chicago to Harpers Ferry to begin his "altruistic mission." Rumblings from Harpers Ferry reached the ears of Miss Field in Hawaii. It was reported that the Fort must never go up again, and if it did it would be torn down. She sent an urgent message to Mr. McCabe to go at once to Harpers Ferry to see what it was all about. Upon his arrival there, Mr. McCabe immediately consulted the station agent, Mr. E. B. Chambers, and from him soon learned what the trouble was. It was not the fact that the Fort was to be restored; it was trouble being caused by the contractor who had come from Chicago to do the work. Mr. Chambers had been of great assistance to Miss Field and Mr. McCabe on their visits when they chose a site, and he proved of greater help after Mr. McCabe's conference with him. "I'll tell you what," said Mr. Chambers, "we won't allow this. This man Cummins has outraged the community, he has called our people rebels. He is abusive, he is lazy and good for nothing. He has not paid his men, and they are unable to pay for their board or room rent. All he does is fish. He is an intolerant fellow. We won't allow the thing to stand. This man must be gotten out of here." Mr. Cummins' wife and children had to come with him to Harpers Ferry, but all they had to do, according to Mr. Chambers, was "sit around while he fished."

Mr. McCabe went to see Cummins. He proved to be determined, and doggedly insisted that he would go through with the work he had begun. He declared that he would do just as he pleased; that he had a contract, and would secure a mechanic's lien if more money was not immediately forthcoming. Mr. McCabe, as the representative of Miss Field, even though he had the authority and was himself an attorney, was not disposed to enter upon court proceedings.

In another quiet conference with the station agent, a new idea developed. "Suppose," said Mr. Chambers, "we throw Cummins into the river. There are plenty of boys in town who would be glad of the chance, after all he has said and done. We won't hurt him, but I think he will be through here when we are through with him." A plan was agreed upon.

Later, about midnight, Mr. McCabe was awakened at his hotel and was told that a woman insisted on seeing him immediately. The landlord said the woman evidently was in great distress and "was scared to death." It was Mrs. Cummins, and she had come to report that her husband had been thrown into the river, but that he had finally saved himself and had escaped to their rooms where he was now in hiding. She begged Mr. McCabe to come with her at once to see what could be done for their safety. McCabe, perhaps with a slight twinkle in his eye, seemed to hesitate, then said: "I guess I better not go, for they may kill me too. This looks like a very dangerous situation." In a moment, however, he agreed to go if the landlord would go with him, and the landlord, without a moment's hesitation, said he would go.

The two men went with the distressed woman to the Cummins' lodgings. When Cummins came out from hiding, he cried out, "What can I do?" He said he was convinced the only thing for him to do was to get away as quickly as possible, and he made it clear that was what he most wanted to do. He said he did not have enough money for railroad fare, but if he had he would go back to Chicago on the morning train. Mr. McCabe gave him fifty dollars, took a receipt, and was given the original contract which Cummins cancelled. The "altruistic" contractor and his family left Harpers Ferry on the four o'clock train that very morning.

Mr. McCabe returned to his friend, the station agent, to make a report. Now, a new contractor must be found. Mr. Chambers was proficient in many lines and was held in high regard by all of the local citizens. He accepted the responsibility of supervising the restoration of the John Brown Fort on the site chosen by Kate Field. There was no contract, but Mr. Chambers' work was done in honor. "We do things that way here," he said. There was no further public opposition, and no further delay in the work. The press supported Mr. Chambers and the plan of Miss Field. The Harpers Ferry station agent saved the day. And so once again the much-traveled little building was "back from the Fair" and at home in Harpers Ferry. But it still has one more move to make.

After the restoration of the Fort, an avenue was surveyed from the Valley Pike to its new site, and building lots were staked off in hopes of a building boom. Miss Field failed to find health in Hawaii and her death occurred at Honolulu on May 19, 1896, soon after the work of restoration had been completed. With her passing the project languished - none of the houses was built, the plan for a park collapsed, leaving the old fire- engine house to stand alone in its lonely isolation. And there it stood until 1909, the fiftieth anniversary of John Brown's raid, when the structure was taken over and removed to the campus of Storer College in Harpers Ferry, a co-educational institution for Negro students. Again it was restored, to be used as a museum to house mementos of Harpers Ferry and John Brown. There it stands today, though the college was suspended at the end of the 1955 term. The outer courses of bricks were not carefully separated in this restoration, hence it has a somewhat mottled appearance. In all things essential, however, it is the original "Fort."

Since 1954 this building, "one of the nation's most colorful buildings historically," has been a Ground Observer Corps post, and from its belfry volunteers scan the skies for enemy aircraft.

A fire engine house, a guardhouse, a watchtower, a fort, a prison, a storage place for junk, a World Fair exhibit, a campus museum, and a post for a Ground Observer Corps. Visit the John Brown Fort and you will read this message on a white marble tablet set in its wall:

That this nation might have a new birth of freedom, That slavery should be removed forever from American soil, John Brown and his 21 men gave their lives. To commemorate their heroism, this tablet is placed on this building which since has been known as John Brown's Fort by the alumni of Storer College, 1918.

Monday, September 16, 2013

History - 1st Marine Division
World War II
(Noah was a member of the 1st Marine Regiment)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

15 September 1944
69th Anneversity
(Noah was there)
By 1944, World War II brought U.S. island-hopping strategies into the Pacific in an upward swing towards the Philippines and ultimately Japan. Palau was thought to be the crossroad in the western Pacific. Taking Palau would cut off large Japanese forces occupying the Netherlands and East Indies and seal the fate of the Japanese garrisons who had already been isolated in western New Guinea. The airstrips on Peleliu and Angaur were considered a threat to General Douglas Mac Arthur's invasion of the Philippines at Leyte, scheduled for October 20~ 1944. Operation ?Stalemate II?, the Palau campaign was set.

Stationed on Babeldaob, the large island of Palau and the likely target of invasion, were 25,000 Japanese troops. General Sadae Inoue in Koror, knew the value of defensive strategy, using well placed strongly entrenched fortifications and tunnels and surprise attacks over banzai charges. The once Japanese supply base was transformed into an island fortress to be held at all costs.

Peleliu island was defended by a Japanese garrison of 13,500. In April of 1944, Colonel Kunio Nakagawa who was transferred from Guam, was placed in charge of defenses in Peleliu. In addition to the Japanese Navy's artificial tunnels, Colonel Nakagawa constructed mines and obstacles on the beaches and fortified over 500 caves. In preparation for the expected invasion of Peleliu and Angaur, the local population of Palauans were removed and brought to Koror and Babeldaob. More than a hundred Palauans from Angaur were not able to escape before the invasion took place and they were stranded and forced to hide out in caves during the invasion.

U.S. intelligence, through the use of aerial photographers, Navy frogman and submarines, produced geographic maps of Peleliu showing the beaches and had incorrectly indicated Peleliu to be basically flat. The seven-mile long island of Peleliu, volcanic in origin, in areas rose 500 feet above sea level. Not noted in U.S. intelligence maps was the Umurbrogol mountain area, soon to be renamed as Bloody Nose Ridge and "The Point" behind White Beach 1. The maps also did not show how rough and jagged parts of the terrain really were, or how honeycombed the island was with caves all but immune to bombs, artillery, and napalm.

Air attacks on Palau began in early 1944, targeting Babeldaob radio stations at Airai and Ngatpang, and other military installations in the southwest part of the island. The biggest strike prior to the invasion of Peleliu and Angaur was on March 30 and 31 when a number of Japanese vessels were sunk in the vicinity of Malakal Harbor, 160 Japanese aircraft were destroyed, and naval and shipping facilities were badly damaged. By June, Palau was under constant air attack by the U.S. Fifth and Thirteenth Air Force bombers Through September 6, the U.S. military continued to keep the Japanese guessing as to where the invasion would take place when Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey's U.S. Third Fleet joined the air attacks and raided Yap, Palau, and Mindanao islands. Through the success of the constant air attacks, Palau no longer posed a threat to General Mac Arthur's return to Leyte in the Philippines. Admiral Chester Nimitz ignored the recommendations of his Junior officer, Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, to bypass Palau. Admiral Nimitz's rationale was that the U.S. marines were already within striking range and the island could be captured in three days.

Within a ten-mile circumference around Palau, Military support, for Operation Stalemate II consisted of 202,000 seamen aboard 800 ships, 49,650 troops of the III Amphibious Corps and 1600 aircraft. Principal assault troops under the command of General William Rupertus, were the 1st Marine Division assigned to take Peleliu. Under the command of Major General Paul J. Mueller, 16,000 of the Army's 81st Infantry Division's main target was Angaur. D-Day on Peleliu was scheduled for September 15 at 8:00 a.m. and Fox-Day on Angaur was scheduled for September 17 at 8:30 a.m.

Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey's Third Fleet shelled Peleliu for three days. On D-Day, for two hours prior to H-Hour, sea and air support fired nonstop into the beaches. Its mission was to keep the Japanese pinned down until the first wave of Marine assault troops landed and established functioning beachhead.

The 1st Marine Regiment was to land on White Beach 1 and 2, head inland, then swing left to the Umurbrogol Mountains. The 5th Marines were to land on Orange Beach 1 and 2, with one regiment to cross to the East Coast then turn north. The 7th Marines on Orange Beach 3 were to clean up the South end of the island. Waves of LVT's, DUKW's, and waterproofed Sherman medium tanks, under heavy artillery fire, made their way across the reef, which averaged 700 yards in width. Eighteen American tanks were sent towards shore on D-Day and all but one was hit. Three were stopped before they could make it to the beach and six more were lost ashore.

Once ashore, Marines were faced with razor sharp coral and heavy resistance. Over 13,000 Japanese protected by heavy steel and concrete reinforced underground fortifications, concrete casements and pillboxes fronted on all the beaches, unleashed a storm of coordinated mortar and machine gun fire upon the first wave of troops. Marines found their way inland blocked by extensive minefields and pillboxes carved into the raw coral. Japanese defenses blended in "so well with the natural terrain that a man had to walk practically up to the narrow firing apertures before recognizing them for what they were." Roads were covered by strongly entrenched antitank guns and automatic weapons. Inland traps were constructed to channel an invader's movement into lines of fire while artillery and heavy mortars covered the high ground. American losses on the reef and beaches were heavy. The ghastly horror of D-Day, left 210 of the 1st Marines dead with an additional 500 casualties.

The second day brought hand-to-hand combat in a former barracks near the airfield. By the end of day two the airfield was seized. The 1st Marines were already depleted by 33 %. By the 17th, they suffered 1,000 of the total 1,500 casualties and were now facing the Umurbrogol Mountains where the Japanese had pulled back into the 500 intricate, well camouflaged caves and pillboxes.

While Marines battled to gain a stronghold on Peleliu, the 81st Infantry Division and 710th Tank Bn. landed on the tiny island of Angaur on September 17th. Defended by 2,600 Japanese troops, Angaur lay only 10 miles south of Peleliu. The 321st and 322nd Regimental Combat Teams, two-thirds of the 81st Division, went ashore simultaneously, on separate beaches, and seized beachheads the first day. Both regiments joined together and fought their way across Angaur.

The 81st Wild Cats were able to secure Angaur within 72 hours. Organized fighting on Angaur continued until Oct. 21 when the last pocket of Japanese soldiers was overrun in the northwest. U.S. casualties on Angaur numbered 2,559, including 264 KIA, 1,355 WIA and 940 non-battle losses. Japanese casualties were 1,300 killed and only 45 surrendered.

By September 20, the 1st Marines continued to suffer serious casualties on Peleliu. In the 1st Battalion alone three companies had already been reduced to 15% strength. In 100 degree heat, the Marines clawed and crawled their way up the hill as caves and pillboxes opened fire and Japanese darted out to throw grenades at the approaching troops. The Marines started referring to Umurbrogol Mountain as "Bloody Nose Ridge." Six days since D-Day and running into Umurbrogol, the bloodied 1st Marines were finally pulled off the embattled front line and replaced with the 7th Marines, who had secured the southern end of the island. The 7th Marines battled the mountain, but soon suffered similar losses.

Within one week the basic mission on Peleliu was accomplished. The airfield was operational, the beaches necessary for landing of supplies were in use and development of the island had begun. Ngesebus Island along the coastal plain and the tip of the peninsula, contained a small airstrip and was taken by the 5th Marine Regiment on September 27. The semi-connected island of Olngeuaol (Ngercheu) was seized the following day. All that remained was "the Pocket" and "Bloody Nose Ridge?.

The 81st Division's 321st RCT landed as reinforcements on Peleliu on September 23 and joined the fierce struggle around Bloody Nose Ridge. The 5th Marines seized the northern part of the island and doubled back to challenge the ridge from behind. From 100 degrees heat one day to typhoons the next the Army and Marines pinched the enemy from his mountain stronghold. By the end of October, the 1st Marine Division had been reduced to less than half strength. Colonel Kunio Nakagawa had only six hundred and fifty men, with many of them sick. Responsibility for the battle was handed over entirely to the 81st Division. Defenders continued the battle for was handed over entirely to the 81st Division. Defenders continued the battle for another month. Colonel Nakagawa ordered his commanders to fulfill their duty to the Emperor and the Land of the Rising Sun, and to inflict as much damage as they could to American troops. Finally, at 10:30 a.m. on November 25, Colonel Nakagawa radioed his final message to General Inoue on Babeldaob, "Sakura Sakura", all is over in Peleliu, he reported. With Major General Murai at his side, Colonel Nakagawa burned the beribboned ceremonial colors of his command. He and Murai committed suicide with ancient jeweled daggers in the traditional last rites of Japanese Samurai warriors. By November 27, the Battle of Peleliu was finally over. Peleliu and Angaur were converted into a U.S. fueling base.

Eight Americans earned the Medal of Honor on Peleliu, five for acts which cost them their lives. Captain Pope led his 242 men rifle company onto Peleliu. Four days later, only eight men were left. Pope's valiant leadership above and beyond the call of duty brought with it a promotion to Major, a citation signed by President Roosevelt, and the ultimate award of Medal of Honor. Private First Class Arthur J. Jackson received his Medal of Honor when after his commissioned second lieutenant commander and senior sergeant were killed, he took things into his own hands and single handedly, under heavy enemy attack, wiped out 12 pillboxes and over 50 enemy soldiers.

The former Secretary of State, George Schulz, was a Veteran of both Peleliu and Angaur. The former Captain, Schulz is the only marine recorded as landing with RCT 321 of the 81st. Army Division on Fox Day, September 17, 1944 on Angaur. He was attached to the unit as its Marine Corps liaison officer.

The Battle of Peleliu ranked with Tarawa and Iwo Jima as one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific with the highest percentage of casualties by any marine unit in the Pacific. The price of victory cost the U.S. 9,800 casualties, including 1,121 Marines / 278 soldiers KIA; 73 Marines / 373 soldiers missing; and 5,142 Marines / 1,008 soldiers WIA.

Japanese garrison suffered over 13,000 casualties. The number of prisoners taken by the U. S . forces was less than 300. Most were captured near the end of the campaign, when they started running out of food and water. Twenty six Japanese soldiers held out in the caves in Peleliu until 1947 and finally surrendered after a Japanese Admiral from Japan convinced them the war was over.

The Japanese garrison of 25,000 in Koror and Babeldaob was effectively isolated by U.S. forces, without supply or hope of escape. They surrendered at the end of the war. World War II finally ended on August 14, 1945 when Japan surrendered following the dropping of Atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9.