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Forty-Eight Hours

1 minute read

CORAL COMES HIGH (147 pp.) —George P. Hunt—Harper ($2).

“Death was as common as head colds.” These words of Marine Captain Hunt, who now writes for FORTUNE, are the essence of his brief, sharp account of the storming of the Pacific island of Peleliu by the U.S. 1st Marine Division. Captain Hunt and his company of 235 men were landed on Peleliu one dawn; forty-eight hours later, only 78 of them were alive. Most of an entire platoon of his, racing to the assault, had suddenly felt the ground collapse under them, and had found themselves wallowing at the bottom of a mammoth tank-trap, while Jap machine-gunners literally ripped them apart. The other rifle platoons stormed their way onto a nearby point of the island—and found themselves cut off. When, at last, relief came and Captain Hunt and his handful of men staggered back to the beach, they had withstood three terrible counterattacks and killed more than 500 Japs.

Coral Comes High is an unpretentious, stark, blow-by-blow story of a terrible action, well told in the fewest possible words and illustrated with the author’s own pen & ink sketches.

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