Twenty-Two on Peleliu

Four Pacific Campaigns with the Corps: The Memoirs of an Old Breed Marine

George Peto, Peter Margaritis

Four days before his 22nd birthday, George Peto was one of the first wave of Marines to land on Peleliu in the Pacific. Despite his age he was already a combat veteran and this is his wild and remarkable memoir.
Publication date:
August 2017
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612005270

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
In Stock
ISBN : 9781612009797

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
In Stock

Regular Price: £18.99

Special price £15.00

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• By all accounts George Peto was a hard-living, hard-fighting man. This is his vivid autobiography
• The book centres on his detailed, first-hand account of coming ashore in the first waves of the landing on Peleliu, called "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines."
• There have been many successful memoirs of Marines in the Pacific War, this is unusual in that he was a prewar Marine, and he was involved in four landings without becoming a casualty

On September 15, 1944, the U.S. First Marine Division landed on a small island in the Central Pacific called Peleliu as a prelude to the liberation of the Philippines. Among the first wave of Marines that hit the beach that day was 22-year-old George Peto.

Growing up on a farm in Ohio, George always preferred being outdoors and exploring. This made school a challenge, but his hunting, fishing and trapping skills helped put food on his family's table. As a poor teenager living in a rough area, he got into regular brawls, and he found holding down a job hard because of his wanderlust. After working out West with the CCC, he decided that joining the Marines offered him the opportunity for adventure plus three square meals a day; so he and his brother joined the Corps in 1941, just a few months before Pearl Harbor.

Following boot camp and training, he was initially assigned to various guard units, until he was shipped out to the Pacific and assigned to the 1st Marines. His first combat experience was the landing at Finschhaven, followed by Cape Gloucester. Then as a Forward Observer, he went ashore in one of the lead amtracs at Peleliu and saw fierce fighting for a week before the regiment was relieved due to massive casualties. Six months later, his division became the immediate reserve for the initial landing on Okinawa. They encountered no resistance when they came ashore on D+1, but would go on to fight on Okinawa for over six months.

This is the wild and remarkable story of an "Old Breed" Marine, from his youth in the Great Depression, his training and combat in the Pacific, to his life after the war, told in his own words.


Peto's autobiography reads like a script from a Hollywood blockbuster…
Books Monthly

This is a well described story coming from a remarkable man and it's a tale that has taught me things about the fighting in the Pacific...It is easy reading, informative and riveting. 5 stars.
Army Rumour Service

It is a very atmospheric account of life in the front line, including beach assaults, perimeter defence, and the constant fight against disease and exhaustion.
Miniature Wargames