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On this day in 1944, the U.S. 1st Marine Division landed on the island of Peleliu, one of the Palau Islands in the Pacific, as part of a larger operation to provide support for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was preparing to invade the Philippines. Within one week of the invasion, the Marines lost 4,000 men. By the time it was all over, that number would surpass 9,000. The Japanese lost more than 13,000 men. Flamethrowers and bombs finally subdued the island for the Americans, but it all proved pointless. MacArthur invaded the Philippines without need of Army or Marine protection …

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