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Re: Looking for more info on the MS Sloterdyke

June 22 2014 at 5:07 AM
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Jim Broshot  (Login JimBroshot)

Response to Looking for more info on the MS Sloterdyke

I have a copy of the THE OLD BREED A HISTORY OF THE FIRST MARINE DIVISION IN WORLD WAR II but there's no mention of MS Sloterdyke.

But in USMC Historical Monograph "The Assault on Peleliu" (1950), there is a mention of this ship:

-The 2d Battalion, [7th Marines] which had been engaged
in some patrolling in the northeastern islands,
did not commence loading until 26
October. The men thereupon ran into unexpected
complications of a somewhat bizarre
nature, which the battalion commander
describes as follows:

- The Sloterdyke was a Dutch merchantman (under
a Dutch captain with a polyglot crew) leased by
the Army with an Army TQM and a Navy armed
guard aboard and was carrying a skeleton Marine
infantry battalion and a Marine artillery battalion
(4/11). By dint of the Marines manning the
winches and booms, we were able to load and depart
on the 30th.-

The good ship Sloterdyke (or Sloterdyck,
or Sloterdyk sources vary as to the spelling)
with her colorful complement arrived
"home" at Pavuvu on 7 November in the
convoy bearing the 5th Marines and its reinforcing

This combat team had been organized as
a task force under Brigadier General 0. P.
Smith, assistant division commander, attached
operationally to the 81st Division.
The force was not employed in the active
fighting, however, the several battalion units
remaining in the defensive positions previously
described, except for a few minor
changes, until 26 October. On that date
81st Division Field Order No. 23 directed
their relief by Army elements, which was
accomplished by 1200. On the 27th trucks
became available and began shuttling the
troops from northern Peleliu to Purple
Beach. Lack of suitable shipping delayed embarkation.
No regular personnel transports were
available, and most of the freighters which
were used as resupply ships lacked both
accommodations for troops and the loading
devices necessary to handle some of the
heavy equipment. Even after an adequate
ship had been found (transport Sea Runner),
loading out was seriously complicated
by rough seas. In the end it proved necessary
to leave some of the equipment behind
with a detail of men to take care of it.87
Not until 30 October did the weary Marines
see the last of that island for which they
had fought so long and so bloodily.
Some sour punster dubbed it "Nothing
Atoll".' pp.169-170

The monograph can be viewed at Hypewar:

Hope this is of some help

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