The following is from a letter home written by Lt Phil Wood (KIA Saipan)
Somewhere in the Pacific - February 13, 1944
Namur Island must once have been a lovely spot - it and Roi are the largest of a chain of a thousand or more islets strung on a thread of coral around a lagoon – the water is all shades – bright green, robin’s-egg blue, a deep, satisfying cobalt blue - you can walk, hip deep, from one island to another and I went to four or five and they were idyllic – soft rich brown earth, mangoes, breadfruit and coconut crowding each other for a chance at the sunshine, forming glades of shade roofed over by the vivid green leaves. The steady breeze keeps it always cool – no mosquitoes - the only sound being the hissing of the surf.
But Namur has been touched by war and there is nothing tropical or lovely left. It looks as though someone with an imagination of his own had tried to make a Hollywood set for Journey’s End. Namur is a dry, hot, fetid version of the worst section of No Man’s Land that France ever had to offer – no living green thing, blasted tree trunks, huge gaping shell holes - disemboweled trucks, heaps of concrete and lumber that were once fortifications - bodies by the thousands – parts of bodies – so disfigured that they beggar description – horrible.
Various photos of the battle on Roi Namur provided by Sgt Leon Padelskas. These are from his personal collection.