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Trip to Palau and Peleliu

 
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Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:03:07 PM   
Mark VII


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Back in January of this year my wife Kim and I traveled to the Palau Island group. The main reason for the trip was a week long stay on the Rock Islands Aggressor doing a lot of diving. We decided to fly in 4 days early in case of flight delays so to NOT miss the boat departure.

As you all know, Palau saw a lot of WW II. The Americans invaded Peleiu and Angaur(now Ngeaur Island) and heavily bombed the other islands of Palau where the Japanese had facilities. So, before our dive trip we will be looking for the remnants of war.

Some 12 years ago we visited Guadalcanal for 4 days, this Palau thread will be similar, check it out at...http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=902875&mpage=1&key=󜛛

So we fly into Palau International via China Air from Taipei landing well after dark. On the way in I notice a very nice setting sun, almost looks like a rising sun.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:07:56 PM   
Mark VII


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First stop the next morning is the Japanese communication center. First thing we realized … the roads on Palau are not named. Not the smallest street. So, directions were interesting. We relied a lot on maps we had printed from internet sites while doing research. We crossed the big bridge onto the island of Babeldaob. After only a few wrong turns, we found the communication center, called Kaigun Sho.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:08:48 PM   
Mark VII


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Big sign out front… you must pay a visitor’s fee (someplace else that we didn’t recognize) or risk being fined if we explored the site. We decided to take the risk.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:10:04 PM   
Mark VII


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here was lots of evidence of heavy air attack by the Americans.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:10:55 PM   
Mark VII


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Lots of bullet-splattered walls and caved-in walls.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:12:17 PM   
Mark VII


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There’s some kind of Japanese armored vehicle and anti-aircraft guns, some of which were brought to this site specifically for the filming of a 1968 movie “Hell in the Pacific.”




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:12:56 PM   
Mark VII


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What is this?




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:13:29 PM   
Mark VII


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.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:14:57 PM   
Mark VII


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.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:15:46 PM   
Mark VII


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Looks more like construction equipment?




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:16:44 PM   
Mark VII


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Somebody did not have a good day.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:19:18 PM   
Lecivius


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Damn, that looks EXACTLY like it does in The Pacific. I am more than a little jealous

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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:22:28 PM   
Mark VII


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Forgot to mention that a dive friend, Suzanne, was exploring with us. Back on the road we were seeing absolutely no traffic. We decided to stop in at the Capitol building on the very day of the inauguration of President Tommy Remengesau…(one day before the inauguration of President Trump) and we found the traffic. Here we are at the capital building of Palau and there is no security to shoo us off.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:23:50 PM   
Mark VII


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It was a rather cool experience to walk onto the grounds of the capitol and not encounter any security detail along the way. It was a national holiday, so there were lots of families and children there to witness the fun. The design of the Capitol is very much like our US Capitol, except the texture of the material used to make it is rather strange. The walls feel like Styrofoam. We wandered around the fringe of the audience which was waiting for the President to make his appearance. The view of the water was fantastic… we got used to fantastic ocean views on Palau. Somebody was cooking up Inauguration barbeque and it smelled wonderful.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:24:38 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark VII

What is this?



That's a U.S. Marine amphib tank. I think it's a LTVA4, or a LTVA5.

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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:28:26 PM   
Mark VII


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Onto the Badrulchau stone monoliths at the northern end of Babeldaob, in the Ngarchelong State. As I put it, “No one knows exactly what these are, but they charge five dollars a head to come to see them.” They are very cool, but they’re not Easter Island.

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< Message edited by Mark VII -- 12/26/2017 6:31:07 PM >


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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:32:30 PM   
Mark VII


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The most likely theory is that they were built around 150 AD and formed the base of a large structure… presumably a bai, a meeting house. The grooves in the stones are believed to be a method of supporting large beams. There are approximately 37 of them, some weighing as much as 5 tons. According to some stories, the stones are not from Palau, but were imported from somewhere else. You can sort of make out some carved faces on some of the stones.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:35:01 PM   
Mark VII


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From there we went to far north end of Babeldaob to the site of the Japanese lighthouse that we had found via a Google map search.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:37:33 PM   
Mark VII


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Great view.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:38:35 PM   
Mark VII


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Also heavily strafed and bombed.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:39:40 PM   
Mark VII


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Pieces of the lighthouse.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:40:22 PM   
Mark VII


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more pieces




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:41:02 PM   
Mark VII


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.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:41:44 PM   
Mark VII


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We walked into the ruins of several structures including the lighthouse itself as well as a separate (command/sleeping?) structure. End of exploring on day one and back to our hotel on the island of Koror.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 6:56:55 PM   
Mark VII


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Friday, day two in Palau was mostly spent on Peleliu. Spending a day here was part of the reason we came all the way to Palau for the liveaboard dive trip.

We went with a company called IMPAC, a great tour company on Palau that is known to service Japanese visitors. They arranged transportation from our hotel to their dock. We got our ride to IMPAC where we met Kerrie(also on the dive trip) for the first time. Suzanne and Kerrie will be roommates during our stay on the Aggressor. IMPAC was great to work with, providing cold drinks, life vests and much-needed raincoats, as it rained on us on the boat ride over to Peleliu.

The trip was at least 25 miles through open water, there was one 10 minute heavy squall.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 7:34:14 PM   
Mark VII


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We approach Peleliu from the North.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 7:35:12 PM   
Mark VII


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The North Dock




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 7:39:41 PM   
Mark VII


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got on our bus and got a briefing at Dolphin Bay Resort, where we met our English-speaking guide, Jerry. Half of the tour spoke English, while the other half clearly were Japanese. our first stop is the cemetery on Peleiu




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 7:44:43 PM   
Mark VII


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at the cemetery is where Lt General Kunio Nakagawa is buried. Colonel Nakagawa was the commander of Japanese forces which defended the island of Peleliu in the Battle of Peleliu which took place from 15 September to 27 November 1944. He inflicted heavy losses on attacking U.S. Marines and held Peleliu Island for almost three months. On the evening of 24 November, after the battle was lost, he committed seppuku (ritual suicide) in the tradition of Japanese samurai warriors.




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RE: Trip to Palau and Peleliu - 12/26/2017 7:50:39 PM   
Mark VII


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Colonel Nakagawa ordered the construction of numerous fortifications connected by a tunnel system. The plan was to defend the island in depth, not at the beach and hold out as long as possible.




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