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tv   [untitled]    November 22, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm EST

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cold war two hero who participated in one of the bloodiest and most brutal conflicts the battle of teta in the pacific. in the fall of one nine hundred forty three america began a major campaign against the japanese defenses in the central pacific over thirty five thousand u.s. marines and naval forces were assembled for an invasion. on nov twentieth america launched in figures assault against one of the most heavily fortified japanese islands in the world. tyrone. on board a higgins landing craft ensign leon cooper who was responsible for the lives of hundreds of men. for the thousands of marines riding to the shores that morning no
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one could imagine the ferocity of the battle to come or the death and destruction that would soon face. in february of two thousand and eight the young cooper a navy veteran of the tower and a film crew left los angeles on a journey that took sixty five years. to. be. on. while doing research for my recent book the war in the pacific of retrospect. i happened across a not so she had a press report that said in effect. where hundreds of marines died there are now
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millions of plastic bags crumpled paper boxes and when i saw that of course. since i had been a party. or a witness to all of the killings that took place i felt especially. in the need to do something about this. i was at home in my parents' apartment building in chicago i remember seoul well. that dramatic announcement. really shook me up as was practically all of america including all the big shots in washington i magine a tiny country like japan. attacking. our pacific fleet and pearl harbor and indeed for all intents and purposes of making america the giant a people mention. of the world all.
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but. all of. the. money. oh law. but. still. and the only. am i trying to live my brother and know of my brother said blame he was trying to decide whether to order me to get out of the country it. or to find a safer occupation than being in a n.m. country joy it was his thought that i should become an officer out of that i don't face. and of course if i had known of the time i bought a at a late pay me officer training program called the seven so i volunteered for it. within ninety days civilian leon cooper would become navy instantly on group and begin training as an in phoebe's boat command. taro was
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a series of coral reef atolls in the gilbert island group strategically located halfway between the quien islands in the philippines. the coburg islands had been under the jurisdiction of the british government to december ninth one nine hundred forty one two days after the attack on pearl harbor japanese soldiers came ashore the governing island that told of tower one and proclaimed it for the emperor. both sides understood the necessity to control islands across the sea. the american commands tactical approach dated back to teddy roosevelt's assessment of world sea diplomacy devised for the late one nine hundred centuries. roosevelt always believed that if the u.s. was to contain japanese expansion they would need to command strategic island bases across the pacific. the basic strategy first of all i tell you for scotland signalling athlete decided the best life possible explanation stakes
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are set up here for his holy his ship and hosting a polling station cod are hispanic the mother must separate that looking for something specific to fatima and that that madness record that. the japanese conscripted over forty one hundred korean slave laborers to build up a show's defenses as well as a small airstrip. they sent in over twenty six hundred crack japanese imperial marines to defender. massive fortifications were built including giant pill boxes some over seven hundred feet in height ten large eight inch gun emplacements field artillery and anti-aircraft guns. the war in the pacific was commanded by two key figures general douglas macarthur
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and admiral nimitz after the japanese lost the battle for guadalcanal in the south pacific macarthur and his troops focused on recapturing new guinea nimitz handled the central pacific region. and plans were drawn up to send forces against the japanese strongholds in the gilbert and marshall islands group's mark noah is a u.p.s. pilot in the world war two military historian he heads the nonprofit organization history flights they're working to locate the over seventy eight thousand missing in action from the second world war right way saying here is a good deed to intelligence maps that the u.s. marine corps put together for what they called helen island which was the code name for a base you know a toll in tar island region and they built this very complex map with all of the different information that they gleaned from a number of overflights from b. twenty four craft taking photographs of the island and it has pictures of all the
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different machine gun positions and the different types of large caliber weapons that would be used to shoot landing craft that has pictures of the tank traps the roads the airstrip. in june of one nine hundred forty three american recognizance flights discover that base yo had been transformed into a heavily defended outpost the now included a four thousand foot airstrip capable of supporting japanese bombers this dramatically extended their pacific sphere of office. after hearing this news nimitz in the pacific fleet command decided to invade tower. upon his arrival at fiji leone was interviewed by reporters for a fiji sun article on his visit to the nation of cuba my job was to bring us all troops in and by boat. during many trips into the red beach. so.
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a three days of savage or a. top of the japanese how to kill more americans. and taught us. how to kill more stupid thing. what the hell does that mean. leon's first official meeting with american authorities would be with deputy assistant to the u.s. ambassador in cuba ted may. first of all we're here to meet with the ambassador has tapped ambassador. especially wanted to have. a speak with him before we want to throw up he promised he would do his best to join us and taro and introduce us to. the president of. the country that includes taro i say i need my grammar's license by the company to get that i know
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there's no guarantee of. thanks to ambassador no staff again and i feel very confident it will be on the road to achieving something even the minimal objectives at least we'll get an action program going underway. with ted man a company leon boarded a jet for the highlight of his journey a return to tower. as the fortifications of base year were told the tower will continue the japanese commander admiral she was saki boasted to his troops that one million americans could not take the island in one hundred years. however american naval and marine forces would soon test that place on november twentieth one thousand nine hundred three the united states launched a major and furious offensive against our. a massive naval bombardment the place starting at dawn. by nine am this wave after wave of marines were launched from the
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ships the logistics of the battle took a bad turn. the tide is not as deep as what they had projected a project there would be about six to seven feet above the fringing reefs that they would land and there was a lot of confusion between the naval bombardment and they were supposed to cease fire and they were supposed to be in aviation detachment of a bomber aircraft or a fire craft to bomb the island and there was some confusion and they actually had a cease fire there was about thirty minutes when there is no firing at all and it enabled the japanese to take a lot of their soldiers from the south side of the heavily defended part and move them up to the north side of the aisle. and in doing so they were able to bring considerable devastating fire on the marines as they entered the league in. the japanese a kind of defense strategy that covered every inch of the island from hundreds of
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marines were killed by the accurate mortar and heavy gunfire at the research many had to disembark offshore and slog through withering machine gun fire dangerous minds and deep bomb craters and hope to make it to shore. among the first waves of many heroes save the day one was a young lieutenant alexander bonnie whose relatives meant to push him and be on the pier to the sea wall. after sixty five years leon cooper finally returned to that fateful stretch of sand that had shaped his destiny.
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ironically his first encounter at the airport would be descendants of his former odds. i'm i'm from the united states. well of course all bets are. off i was fair sixty five years ago. i was a member of the vote that i taxed as the japanese who are here defending this island . and we were not very finally starting to gather. we were wrangling toward each other and a lot of people got killed including over four thousand of your of your your people are you here and i want to honor your country my whole what i do in the battle of carolina. they all of a sudden i see things happening. and i feel like. i'm not really fair and on. the first item of business was for leon and ted to meet with
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the assistant to the president of cuba but in the hopes that they could access the president of the police releasing the first in the. short list of titles. but if you will to live with the person with the least two percent to the ministers despite the fact that because of what happened sixty five years guy had no desire whatsoever to return but after giving a great deal of thought to the matter i felt i could do something that would be of benefit both to the citizens of your country as well as to honor the memory of all those guys. died and a war in a battle that really was the beginning point of the defeat of japan. i had a small part to play in that victory. and i'm glad i had the opportunity all that time i didn't think very much of my participation and i wanted to be
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somewhere else. i know that's pretty sure but their face i recognize her from here leo and drove to the beach that haunted for many years and we know we came in from where we came and from here. i know damn well we can. smell the stench of all those bodies running in the sun sills comes back to me. all that stink of guys decomposing. and i came ashore about here. and i know why the bed the beach master as i remember coat motioned to me come on the shore and i was to go to the pier you see what's sinking up there is the remains of the pier i came ashore about here between here and the pier and i crouched behind the sea well. and the chaps were shooting
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at me from up there some water. they were shooting at me from every angle there was you see they had this whole thing and inflated and design sort of that all the approaching boats came in under murderous crossfire so there wasn't any wood going to go out of the line of fire they were shooting out from here from there and from there every goddam angle was covered and we own will and stumble right into all this. slaughter. by the end of the day the marine second battalion was holding on to seventy to three hundred foot stretch of sand and fifteen hundred of the five thousand american to be cheered with the dead who. i'm just. i can't stand it. look at the look at this sand here i couldn't get anywhere near the
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sand i was going up on the reef. there was a tank right about here half in the sherman tank. gone. we got stuck in the early am i were the only guys on my boat i think i remember saying let's get out let's vote and i said no because i knew these guys would have drowned because we were over a hundred yards from sand and they would have drawn rather heavy packs did this happen i don't know i think i did i think i had no say in the boat they were trying to climb out of the boat by ledge after shooting out i said. starboard and we found an access through the reef and that's when i landed these guys on a piece that happened i don't know i don't know i think i did i think i.
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however despite the heavy casualties a further disaster was averted a coordinated japanese counterattack might have overrun the exhaust remains but there was no communication from the japanese command bunker and the japanese have known charge of shit saki decided to move his headquarters from this area to the south part of the island and when they were doing that they went outside of their bunker and a five and shell exploded right near them and killed them all and in doing that in losing their tactical commander on the first day of the battle the japanese did not amount to counter-attack in the night which potentially could have driven the marines right off of the island. i've had my moment of the song. let's go take a look at those a bitch. the legacy of the battle is still scattered across the sands of base.
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to this day the island is covered with the rusting remains of several of the big guns including the eight inch emplacements. tanks. heavily fortified tow boxes and the command post. the second day of the invasion was a precarious one for the american news although they had secured two small beaches the marines still had to fight inch by inch toward the airfield that bisected the island. after waiting nearly twenty hours in their boats the first battalion eighth marines attempted to land ashore almost half of them never made it to the beach a large number of the all the kids were knocked out of action in the first day and after that they had to use primarily hagan's beds in the hagans boats were dropping the marines off at the fringing reef because they couldn't make it all the way up to the island and the marines had to go about seven hundred yards across a title flat and in doing so they were basically wading through waist deep water
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all along this area from red beach three to in one into the face of tremendous japanese fire. the battle had many unsung heroes in the midst of the landings a young naval officer was on board a higgins boat in the horrible calmly rescuing wounded marines from the water while several enemy machine gunners tried to knock him out. that young lieutenant j.g. was a yogurt and he was a rising hollywood actor before in this thing in the navy he had stored in several movies and with major headline television shows including the popular series green acres i was sitting out there with a bunch of brains and one of them to know who the fuck is that somebody asked me and i said i don't have the looks of easel a navy guy of some kind and that guy's been up there for the last fifteen twenty minutes and the japs are shooting at him and he's hauling guys out of the water i said this guy is either brave or stupid or both and but he kept doing it tony made
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several trips back each time with a boat load of went wonderbra one hundred marines going back to the transport ship for medical treatment with these guys. that he saved the lives of nearly seventy marines that day. i got to know a number of the medical doctors we had eight as there are a member aboard. and the senior medical officer of an old guy in a chance conversation i want to know what his specialty was he said that my gynecologist and not seeing the may to be about as absurd a thing as i could imagine i said you know just possibly any one of us might be pregnant he says i'll take care of you. but there was another guy among the eight he also and a chance higher chance conversation i want to know what his specialty was he's a path ologist by training and i said you're a natural for this you can be sure and take care of all of us so the
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medical doctors on my ship as well as on the a number of other transports there took care of these guys i remodeled remember distinctly on my many trips carrying the wounded back to my ship for medical treatment one of them died but how many others diag you can only guess what were these guys able to deal with trauma with war warns i doubt it. despite the initial casualties at the beach heavy naval bombardments helped to turn the tide. who tended alexander bottom and rallied his marines and singlehandedly launched a major assault on a large bunker filled with over one hundred fifty japanese defenders during the course of this skirmish he was mortally wounded the marines finally worked their way inland and began to push the japanese defenders back to the airfield. just behind the rusting giant eight inch guns that protected the shore leon was shocked
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by what he saw. i'm pointing to what seems to me the very symbol of every word thing that represents the need and they reason for my trip they say we are surrounded by garbage everywhere but also there are. on this beach which of course is the most appropriate signification and a symbol of everything that's wrong with our goddamn government allowing not only garbage but to accumulate where so many guys died. cluster is the same i understand my family and there's always room or something to be looked but it isn't the market even though it's simply the right to protest demonstrating in front of one of america's largest military bases even journalists now can be expected be tarred.
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more news today violence is once again flared up to fill these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. china corporations are today.
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they faced it this is not a provocation but warning of. a full tit and the second step is already assured us of a critic responsible they have no idea about the hardships that we face. one it is this is a of them to listen for any army to life never using them it is the most precious thing in the world. is of self-sacrifice and heroism with those who understand it fully you have to live it. real life stories from world war two the success of victory nineteen forty five dot r t v dot com. well those journalists that we didn't have protection have freedom of the press we didn't have first amendment right to news crew jailed while attempting to fill with
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annual protest outside the so-called school of assassins in the u.s. is released on bail but we've got that eyewitness account coming up in the program tonight. new details of the russian nato missile defense deal with the russian daily clearly moscow on the block will protect each other from. the sky. as opposed to these are numbers i can't see the euro survive in this decade as the e.u. approves of massive bailouts we asked what the future holds for an alliance running to the rescue each time one of its members fails. as an economic lifeline to ecological catastrophe our travels to the our old sea in central asia to see how the decades of mismanagement have exposed the deadly strain.


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