The World War 2 Guys hit the field on Saturday night, August 2 to recreate the Battle of Guam just south of Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska. Our band of four Marines were Casey, Will, Matt and myself. We had been doing research on the Guam campaign and the 3rd Marine Division for a few weeks prior to our event. I was pretty impressed with our overall impressions considering that it was everyone's first Marine Corps reenactment. We met up around 1900 hours and were out in the field within the hour. We circled around the perimeter of a large open field and then made our way into the jungle. Will and I selected a nice flat piece of ground surrounded by trees to set up an observation post while Matt and Casey selected another little ridgeline for a second post. Everyone worked quickly to get foxholes dug in before nightfall. However, as is pretty much standard routine, Will's stomach took priority over digging and he got a small fire going to heat up some rations. Now we are well aware that Marines on Guam probably didn't start cooking fires for fear of being shot at by the Japanese. So we made a few concessions to comfort during the course of the evening. The four of us headed back out on patrol around 2300 hours seeking out Japanese positions to the north. After a quick break we made our way back to our observation posts by 2400 hours...
And that's exactly when the night's activities took a rather unexpected turn. A severe thunderstorm with heavy lightning rapidly blew into eastern Nebraska along with the potential for flash flooding. The four of us hunkered down in our muddy foxholes and spent the next two hours experiencing a true taste of what every Marine in the Pacific endured. Torrential rains with heavy thunder and lighting pounded our little patch of woods mercilessly. It was quite honestly the most realistic two hours I have ever spent at a reenactment in my 14 years in the hobby. No squad of enemy reenactors or blank rifle fire can ever match the raw power and electricity of nature's mighty dominance over man. It was during this time that several of us realized that next to the M1 Rifle, the Camouflaged Poncho is the most valuable piece of equipment a Marine can carry. We watched as the water level in the bottom of our foxholes gradually rose. It also became near impossible to climb the hills up out of the woods we were situated in. So after two hours of heavy storms and, um, a wife's uncompromising text massages, the four of us begrudgingly marched back to our base camp and headed home. I was extremely disappointed that we were unable to finish our planned overnight event. I am even more upset that I didn't get to take as many photos of our individual uniforms as I had planned. Typically it's the photos taken the following morning that truly show how successful the reenactment was. So we will have to find another Pacific island to assault sometime next year in order to live out all of our Marine dreams.
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.