In 1941 The United States of America was brought into the war through the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
The Pacific was a brutal theatre of the Second World War. The enemy was just one of the things a soldier had to worry about. Scorching heat and humidity, biting insects, disease and lack of food was something all the combatants from US Marines to Japanese Imperial Troops went through.
Before they went into the Pacific campaign soldiers thought the tropical climate would look like a holiday vacation postcard.
From their ship US Marines looked at Guadalcanal on August 7th, 1942. It looked like a serene, picturesque island. When they set foot on the island it soon sank in how dangerous it would be. Temperatures were above 100 degrees and the humidity made it hard to drink water.
The Marines would continue to ‘island hop’ from the Solomon Islands to the volcanic Iwo Jima. The Japanese enemy meanwhile was relentless and would often deploy suicidal kamikaze attacks instead of admitting defeat and retreating. Sometimes they would booby trap dead bodies and pretend to be dead.
Malaria and dengue fever spread by the bite of infected mosquitos were common diseases causing fevers, headaches and swelling of the spleen.