Description: USS PELELIU is named in honor of the Third Amphibious Force's assault and capture of the island of Peleliu. The battle was one of the most vicious and stubbornly contested of the Pacific campaign and nowhere was the fighting efficiency of the U.S. Marines more convincingly demonstrated. Eight Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor during this battle.
General Roy S. Geiger, USMC declared repeatedly that the battle for Peleliu was the toughest of the entire Pacific war. From the initial wave of Marines hitting Peleliu's beaches on September 15th, until the fury of combat was finally still on October 26, 1944, the 1st Marine Division suffered 6,526 casualties, of which 1,252 were killed in action.
The importance of Peleliu is a matter for speculation now; but history records show that nine days after the assault phase was declared complete, U.S. forces under General MacArthur invaded Leyte. His flank had been secured and the Pacific war entered a new and decisive phase.